Tag Archives: Paleo

A day in the life: San Fran edition!

I am finally settling into a semi-regular routine here in the city, at least during the work week. I wake up and marvel at the amount of space I have. Compared to my old room, which was literally an oversized closet, my room is a yoga studio!

yes, my old Texas license plate was BJ5 6969. classy.

Before work, I have been making paleo-ified oatmeal for breakfast. Being the rebel that I am, I occasionally throw some oat bran in there. Many people say that the number one thing they miss when going paleo is their morning oatmeal… here is your solution!

Coconutmeal [Paleo Oatmeal]

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, paleo, grain, dairy and sugar free

  • 5 tbsp coconut flour (can substitute half oat bran if desired)
  • 2/3 cup water (can substitute in some coconut beverage)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or greek yogurt (I use yogurt for more protein)
  • 2 egg whites
  • optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice, or other toppings
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Mix the coconut flour and oat bran, if using, with the water and microwave for ~110 seconds. It will look dry when you remove it from the microwave.  Add the yogurt or coconut milk and stir. Add the two egg whites and stir until completely combined.

 Microwave for another 30 seconds. If adding protein powder, add and stir. Do not microwave again, simply add a bit of salt and stir. Top with nut butter and enjoy!

After breakfast, I commute to work using the Muni bus system, which I LOVE. With an iphone, it is super easy to navigate. You can use the directions to determine which bus to take and download MuniApp in order to know exactly when the bus is coming. You will meet every kind of person on the bus. My favorites are the sullen teenagers blocking out the world via plastic white ear buds and the extremely vocal senior citizens that have been taking the same bus for 20 years and know all the drivers.

 

really excited to get dressed for work…

At work, I am Quant coach to some of Dr. A’s patients. A Quant coach is essentially a life coach, so I aim to help people target things in their life they want to change and discover patterns that they can manipulate to bring about those changes. Since the work is only part time, I am also applying to an awesome gym to be a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I have been bringing boring salads. I need to step up my game in the mornings because when it’s lunch time I get excited to chow down and then remember that I threw together a half-assed lunch. They appear even more lame when I have to go out and bring back the office deliciously expensive foie gras burgers, ahi salads, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Today’s salad was romaine with shredded carrots, roasted squash, a tomato, and grilled chicken with blue cheese dressing. On the side I had a juicy, organic fuji apple and my fave Kind bar.

After work, I typically go to whichever gym I am trying out and either swim or do my usual stress-fractured-lifting routine.

Also, a few of you have asked how about me feetsies (how sweet of you!) and I am coming up on three months of recovery. On Friday the 28th, I have the doctor appointment that is supposed to give me the okay to begin lifting, running, and whatevering again. Toes crossed.

Post-workout I had a nasty protein shake. I ordered some personalized protein powder from True Nutrition and made the mistake of using the “double flavor” option. All I can taste is aspartame, with a hint of cake batter. I think that is what an aluminum cake would taste like.

After all that, I usually try to explore a bit and study for my personal training exam, which I am taking this week. Alternatively, today I spent an hour guarding a parking space for my car while waiting for my roomie to return home to help me.

Dinners have been very simple, healthy and tasty.

1 small sweet potato mashed with 2 Tbsp almond and peanut butter and topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, onions, and mushrooms

sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale scrambled with 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese (salsa and sour cream sometimes too!)

After dinner I always have some kind of yogurt bowl. I like to tell myself its to help heal my bones, but it’s really just to satiate my dairy urges. At least suboxone isn’t prescribed for that kind of addiction!

guns n’ ice cream  [Humphrey Slocombe peanut butter bacon brittle banana, to be specific]

And that was..

recipes you must try!

Hi!

With all the running hobbling around I’ve been doing, I haven’t been getting creative in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I haven’ been cooking up a storm! I have made many recipes from blogs and the internet lately – some have been bland, some have been decent, and some have been superb. Here are my favorites, all of which I recommend that you try!

creamy cucumber walnut salad

this was ser i ous ly awesome! my favorite of all. 

recipe: serves 1

adapted from the healthy foodie

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp black walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or walnut oil!)
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mache or other leafy greens

Directions – Dice the cucumber into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Add the greek yogurt and mix. Add the walnuts, za’atar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix. Add the mache or greens and mix. Enjoy! Serve with additional protein source, like chicken or hard boiled eggs.

If you like walnuts, you must try this salad. Up next is a paleo recipe that I made for dinner one night. The caramelized mushrooms and onions were incredible, I wish I had tripled that part of the recipe!

Paleo Mushroom Chicken Fricasse

Recipe: Serves 1 – Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

adapted from tgipaleo

  • 1 slice bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a shake of basil, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 skin on chicken thighs

Directions – Add a pat of butter to a pan and place on the stove on medium high heat. Add the slice of bacon and cook until extremely crispy, then remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions and let cook for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have softened, lay the chicken thighs in the pan. After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken on the other side. Let cook for a couple minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamari, mustard, spices, and stir. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid and once the sauce has thickened to your liking, serve and enjoy.

 

My most hardcore paleo-eating friend taught me that you can eat the ends of chicken bones, since they are the softest. They are loaded with calcium and important proteins for healing. I think eating the soft portions of bones and making bone broths is speeding my fracture recovery! That red stuff you see in the photo above is bone marrow.

This next recipe is originally from the magazine Clean Eating, but I found it via the blog The Candid RD. I didnt make the spinach portion of the recipe. Instead, I opted to use my abundance of zucchini and simply sauteed it in a pan with a bit of butter, dijon mustard, and maple syrup.

Maple Dijon Cod

 

Call me cray but I think this photo is so pretty. Look at how the sun reflects of the mustard seeds!

I hadn’ t eaten white fish in so long. This hit the spot.

And finally, a gluten free cookie recipe for dessert!

Honey-Vanilla Tahini Cookies

Recipe: Makes 12 cookies – Gluten Free

adapted from everybody likes sandwiches

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour (you can just grind gluten free, rolled oats in a blender)
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup well stirred tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, flax, and baking powder. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, tahini, vanilla, and honey. Slowly add and mix in the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Refrigerate the dough until cool. Spoon dough into 12 cookie balls on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for ~15 minutes. 

Anyone who appreciates tahini, will definitely love these cookies!

 

Success!

 

 

 

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins [gluten free]

This blog used to basically be a muffin blog. I ate a muffin a day. Muffins and eggs, muffins and greek yogurt, muffins for dessert, muffins for snack.

And then I got muffined out.

And then I got more paleo.

And now the muffins are back.

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins

Recipe: Makes 6 muffins – Gluten free, Primal adaptable, Sugar free

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make your own!)
  • 1/4 cup real or sugar-free maple syrup (depending on your needs…and politics)
  • 1 cup diced pink lady apple
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + extra for topping
  • 4 slices crispy bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Primal version: 6 eggs and 1/2 cup coconut flour, no oat flour.

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the bacon until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Pour the grease into a jar and lay the bacon on a paper towel to dry. Dice the pink lady apple and set aside. Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut flour. Add the oat flour (I simply ground up oats in a blender until powdery) and maple syrup (I use Joseph’s Sugar Free with malitol) and beat again. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the batter and stir. Crumble the bacon into chunks and bits. Fold the apples, cheese, and bacon into the batter. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are just lightly browned.

come to mama.

bacon never looked so cute

I’m on a bit of a life high right now. Yesterday was my first day at my LINC (low income housing) volunteer position. I got there early and helped my supervisor set up the room for the after school/summer program for the kids. The kids trickled in around 2:15 and had Enrichment until 4. I helped the cutest pair of 6 year old twins I have ever seen with their reading and writing. One of them has an afro mohawk and was really into his work and getting as far through the workbook as possible. The other was completely disinterested in working and just kept gazing off at the other kids who had already finished. He simply didn’t believe in himself! He thought everything was too hard for him. I kept telling him that he could do it – he could do whatever he wanted to accomplish as long as he didn’t give up and worked at it. We got through a few pages, but then it was snack time. During snack, my supervisor introduced me and we had the kids go around and introduce themselves. They ranged in age from 6 to 14 and were all very lively. Next, I had an hour to teach them anything. I started out with asking them to name a food they like and a food they don’t like.

They liked chicken, carrots, pizza, mashed potatos, tamales, fish, and chocolate. They didnt like broccoli, sea food, peppers, peas, onions and more broccoli.

Next, I asked them to name a food they thought was healthy and a food they thought “wasn’t good for them.” They thought carrots, lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, and olives (?!) were healthy. They thought cake, chocolate, gravy, bacon, cupcakes, ribs, and pizza was not good for them. I told them that we needed to move ribs to the good list because it was such a great source of protein.   That lead to a great little conversation on why and how protein helps us grow up and get stronger.

The main thing I wanted to get out of this first session was seeing how much they knew about the food groups, what the thought was healthy versus not, and what kinds of foods they liked.

The most successful part of the lesson was when I asked them to look at the list of foods they said were bad for them and figure out what the cake, chocolate, and cupcakes had in common. Silence. Eventually, one of the older boys screeched SUGAR!!!

 I asked them why sugar was bad for them… Silence again. Come on you guys, why is sugar bad for you? A boy in a 49ers hat raised his hand and mumbled “because it makes you fat.” This gave me a way to talk about how eating too much sugar and not moving around enough can make us gain weight because our cells aren’t eating all of the food we are giving them. The more we move around, the more our cells will eat the food that we eat.  It we eat too much sugar and don’t do anything, the food will become fat on our bodies. Also, sugar may give us energy at first, but then it will make us sleepy and leave us with less energy than we had before. They all seemed to understand and were particularly interested in why sugar leaves us tired and why protein helps us get stronger. I did my best! They also wanted to know what was wrong with my foot (I didn’t drink enough milk and yogurt growing up and didn’t wear proper shoes to work out in) and what that thing on my arm was (its a machine that measures my heart rate and steps every day to make sure I am active enough). 

I have three more sessions with them, so I’m thinking of theming one veggies, one fruits, and one protein/dairy. I contacted Chobani and they are going to send me yogurt to give the kids! I am so excited – I am sure that none of them have been exposed to greek yogurt!

Thank you to the couple of you that gave me suggestions. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Good afternoon y’all! It has been a full week since my last post and it feels so wrong! My foot is still in da boot, and I have yet to get a confirmation on whether or not it is fractured.

I should be getting an MRI this week and will finally know what’s going on down there. Regardless, I definitely won’t be able to get back to my normal lifting and CrossFit workouts in the near future. I miss them so much I can’t even explain it. I don’t really look forward to working out like I used to because the workouts I am doing aren’t what I really want to do. I think it is important though to keep working out in order to prevent muscle wasting, strength loss, cardiovascular fitness decline, as well as increase blood flow for healing. Not to mention maintaining SANITY and giving an endorphin boost! I had been avoiding the rec center for the first two weeks of my injury, but I finally braved it. Every time I felt judged I just had to tell myself that a) no one really cares and b) I know I am only doing safe exercises, so if people are judging then eff them. It turns out there are a lot of machines one can do with an injured foot!

Injury-Safe Full Body Gym Workout #1

  • Pull ups until failure, 3 rounds
  • Quad extension machine, 3 sets of 8, 90 lbs
  • Hamstring flexion machine, 3 sets of 8, 80 lbs
  • Bench press, 3 sets of 8, 65 lbs (SO WEAK!)
  • Butt Kick-Back machine, 3 sets of 8 per leg, 190 lbs (ONLY do this if you are confident you can isolate the part of your foot that is not injured. I purely used my heel so no pressure on metatarsals.)
  • Back extensions, 3 sets of 12, holding 45 lb plate
  • Hanging tricep dips, 3 sets until failure

Occupying myself has been going very well. That goal list is officially annihilated. I have started up two research projects that will extend through August. The first is under Dr. Baar at UC Davis. He is trying to figure out the cellular pathway that leads to muscle growth. So, what I am doing is taking cells from rats that either have the leucine (an amino acid) transporter gene or don’t and culturing them in several different media. Then, we run a test to see which ones are growing the most proteins (AKA muscle).

The second research project is under Dr. Havel, also of UC Davis. He is investigating the effects of drinking sugary beverages on hunger, blood triglyceride levels, and insulin sensitivity. I don’t start this one until Friday, but a few times a week I will be driving out to the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento to partake. One some days I will be preparing the buffet food for the research participants (in order to see if the sugar drinkers eat more than the non-sugar drinkers) and on others I will be taking their blood and running tests on it to see the hormonal and triglyceride responses to drinking the sugar-laden drinks.

I can’t wait to learn more about the science behind these studies and get a better feel for what research is like! I will definitely blog about the cool nutrition and muscle building stuff I learn in the next month or so. :)

As far as volunteering, I found a position that I am the most excited about out of everything.

But I need your help!!!

What I am going to be doing is with LINC Housing. LINC stands for Low Income Housing and is a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing in big cities. I will be working at the housing (which are apartments) in Sacramento as a Youth Empowerment Educator. This means that once a week I will look after the kids and teens that live in the apartments for 3 hours in an after school/summer program. For 1 of those 3 hours, I get to teach the children whatever I want. Of course, I want to teach them about healthy food and exercise and inspire them partake in a healthy lifestyle. However, I have no experience with kids! Let alone teaching them! Besides my massive family reunions, I interact with children on the rare occasion. How do I get them stoked on veggies? How do I not bore them with facts and figures? I want to engage them and help them find their own fire for healthy foods and habits. If anyone has any experience or tips on how to keep kids engaged, teach them about healthy living, and make learning fun – please leave a comment or email me at lauren dot dedecker @ yahoo dot com!

And finally, a mouthwatering recipe for you. I usually don’t remake dishes – I may vary them a bit, but exact repetitions are rare. When I do replicate a meal, I know I must share it on the blog. This recipe is unique blending of the flavors of American BBQ, Indian spices, and summer produce. It may sound odd, but trust me, they go together seamlessly.

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Recipe: Serves 1. Paleo, dairy free, gluten free, low carb, high protein.

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 5 oz chicken breast, raw
  • 1 ripe peach or nectarine
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls kale, shredded
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • spices (from greatest amount to least): cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, smoked paprika, chili pepper, TJ’s African Smoke Pepper, pinch red pepper flakes, tiny pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • shredded coconut, to top


Directions – Dice the sweet onion and cube the raw chicken breast. Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the onion and chicken and top with spices. [Note: If you don't have all the spices, that is okay, it will still turn out great.] Once one side of the chicken is cooked through, flip and add the diced peach or nectarine to the pan. Add additional spices to the peach or nectarine (I used mainly the sweeter ones for the peach). Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the coconut milk and BBQ sauce. Stir.
Sprinkle salt over the entire pan. Let cook for about a minute, then add the kale. Once the kale has wilted and the sauce is thick, scrape everything onto a plate. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!!

Up next… Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins ;)

Persistence and perserverance.

Gooood evening. I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to start.

I guess I will begin with the internship I alluded to a few posts ago.  I wanted to find a doctor that was familiar with the paleo diet and preferably had their own practice similar to what I would want to do. At first, I got all no’s and I-don’t-have-time’s, but it is amazing what a bit of persistence will do. You have to show people that you really care about what they are doing and demonstrate your skill set in some way. The doctor I will be working with is located in San Francisco, which means I will need to move there in September!! I am so excited. Hopefully I will have my NASM personal training certification done by then so I can personal train on the side. Without saying too much (since I don’t know what would constitute too much at this point), I will be teaching his patients how to use a technology to track various aspects of their life. The data will come from an assortment of gadgets, one being the BodyMedia. The BodyMedia is the armband I was wearing in the photo in my last post and it measures your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, etc. The other aspect of the job is to encourage patients to keep using the gadgets and software, as it can be a bit of a pain. I have been wearing the BodyMedia as well as the other devices so that I can get a feel for what I am supposed to be coaching and encouraging people to do.

At first, I was bummed about wearing the BodyMedia because it arrived right when I injured my foot. It would have been so cool to see the calorie burn and activity level when I was doing my crazy CrossFit workouts and two-a-day’s. However, it turns out that wearing the BodyMedia when I am extremely inactive has been eye opening.

On a day where I did not work out and was seated or supine about 95% of the day:

1739 calories is pretty good for a small female sitting all day long. The blue spikes are calories burned per minute, which increases as my heart rate increases. This information made me think that I may not have been fueling enough when I was super active. I had this issue when I was on the triathlon team at UCSB and I do not want to suffer those consequences again.

On a day where I did one of my 30 minute injury-safe workouts. Keep in mind, I do as little walking/moving as possible!

Again, 2,000 calories for being basically immobile plus a 30 minute limited-ability workout is not bad!

Once I am back on my feet, I cannot wait to show you guys the data from CrossFit workouts versus lifting versus cardio. My guess is that after high intensity (but short) workouts like CrossFit and HIIT, there will be an increase calorie burn for the rest of the day. With long, steady state cardio, I imagine there will be a greater calorie burn during the workout but less calories for the day total. Why? Because long, steady cardio does not increase your fat and calorie burn after your workout – but high intensity (AKA sprints, weight lifting, CrossFit) does!

The workout I did today burrnnneedddd! Instead of rotating through a bunch of body parts to avoid fatigue, I wanted to really stimulate those muscles and stay on them for long periods of time. I used this tabata timer, set to 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 30 rounds.

Injury Friendly Workout # 3

  • 10 minutes of abs
  • 1 minute V-ups
  • 1 minute bicycles
  • 1 minute cross toe-touches
  • 1 minute sit ups
  • 1 minute leg raises
  • repeat
  • 10 minutes of booty
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, left leg
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, right leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, left leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, right leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, left leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, right leg
  • 10 minutes of chest and triceps
  • 1 minute push ups
  • 1 minute tricep dips
  • 1 minute of ab or booty work
  • repeat 3x + 1 more minute of whatever you feel like

On the recovery front, my foot is still being lame (ha…) but I have definitely continued to work through my goals list. I have been slow to start cooking more “real” meals again, but I’m getting there!

Breakfasts have been paleo waffles and protein pancakes.

The  lunch recipe I have for y’all today is so easy it’s not even a recipe, but it never fails to be delicious. It packs 40 grams of protein and can be as few as 400 calories or as many as you want, simply adjust the avocado and other fats to your needs.

Mini Paleo BLTs

fresh. saliva inducing. filling.

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 4 butter or Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp paleo or regular mayo
  • slather of your favorite mustard
  • handful of baby tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4+ slices of roasted turkey (nitrate free)
  • 2 slices of crispy bacon, split in halves (nitrate free)
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced

Directions – Lay the lettuce on a large plate. Add a smear of mayo and mustard. Top each leaf with a slice of turkey. Arrange the tomatoes, bacon, avocado, and onion on each turkey slice. Add salt. Enjoy!

Best enjoyed eaten like a taco:

make this. you don’t have an excuse not to.

Dinners have been inspired by other blogs, but I will save those for my next post!

[grain-free] cinnamon sweet potato waffles

Happy Independence Day everyone! Let’s take at least a minute to be appreciative of the fact that we live in a non-occupied territory and do not have to suffer the pain and inconveniences that come with such a life condition.

Ho’kay, for today’s

I have a special new recipe to debut. Please welcome Paleo Waffle 2.0 to the stage.

These are grain free, dairy free, sugar free and paleo-approved. I was trying to come up with a paleo waffle that used only sweet potato and eggs and no coconut flour, but I couldn’t make it work. The coconut flour is key to making them hold their shape and be waffle-like. However, this waffle has less coconut flour than my original version (and seems to digest easier) and a delicious sweet potato flavor.

For breakfast I have been having 1 sweet potato waffle and one banana paleo waffle topped with ~2 tablespoons of nut butter and 2 egg whites on the side.

I will never get sick of waffles. Did you know I’m a quarter Belgian?

Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Potato Waffles [gluten free]

Recipe: Makes ~7 waffles

  • Sorry this has been removed until further notice!

Josef’s sugar free maple syrup (don’t hate! malitol is one of the less craptastic sweeteners) and shredded coconut

Nutrition Facts for 1 Waffle

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams protein (more if you sub protein powder)
  • 15 grams carbs
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 4 grams sugar

poor coco shreds, I bet it’s hard to swim in almond butter and syrup. 

Yesterday’s lunch consisted of pastrami lettuce wraps.

Simply take a few Romaine leaves and place a slice of nitrate-free pastrami, gourmet mustard, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and salt on each and eat like taco!

The second course of lunch was pink lady apple slices topped with pate.

Pate = duck liver. It is delicious. Please don’t stop reading my blog. 

Dinner was colorful and satisfying.

Leftover roasted chicken, a slice of bacon, salted avocado, sweet potato fries, and salad with honey mustard bacon grease dressing.

As is apparent, I am still pretty paleo, but this is just how I eat nowadays. I’m back on the dairy hard as ever. My first sip of creamy coffee after my week of strict paleo felt like liquid happiness was seeping into my system and coursing through my veins. In true relapse fashion, I’ve been eating yogurt and ice cream like its my job.

Best way to break up with paleo =

first thing I bought after paleo week was pastured butter, half and half, and gelato

Speaking of jobs, I have exciting news! But I will save that for the next post. :) Along with this lil’ gem…

go outside!!

This weekend was perfect. After days of being in the house, classrooms, and laboratories, the weekend just screams go outside! On Saturday, my friend Erin drove to Davis to visit me from San Jose. We went to middle school together in Austin and I hadn’t seen her in years! She happens to be doing an accounting internship in San Jose for the summer, so hopefully I will get to see her a few more times before she leaves. The fact that you can go years without seeing someone and then have it be like no time has passed at all speaks volumes about true friendships. While we are both very different than we were in high school, we still meshed well and were able to connect in new ways. We saw Ted that night, and it was actually way better than I thought it would be. I usually avoid comedies that look…. you know… dumb, but it was cute and funny. A slight over-reliance on racist jokes, but pretty good.

Erin and I, overlooking Lake Berryessa

meet the newest addition to our house, Kathleen :)

Northern California is so beautiful. I am in love. The vineyards, the farms, the bay, the ocean, the people. I think I may want to cozy in here. :)

On Sunday, my friend Aaron and I drove up to Marin to visit Zoe. Before she got off work, we went to the Marin County farmers market. It is the best market I have ever been to. I am so sad and sorry I didnt take photos! I bought…

  • a pound of pasture raised goat meat
  • pastured sheep yogurt
  • maple whiskey jerky
  • an entire pastured roasted chicken
  • an entire pastured raw chicken
  • organic goat cheese

That roasted chicken came in handy for the 5 hour hike we took afterwords!

It was three hours, and perhaps 6 miles, up to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.

We were very hungry and slightly exhausted once we got to the top, but the views made it all better. Long hikes like these require the best company. I realized how much more fun it was being able to talk during the hike than the many times I have hiked alone in New Zealand or Tibet.

beautiful Zoe and Aaron, who wore a weighted vest…. 

We treated ourselves to burgers, Cobb salads, french fries, and honey lavender ice cream. Third day in a row (between two cities) that I have had honey lavender ice cream. Obsessed.

Honey Lavender from Scoop in Fairfax

Honey Lavender in my bed ;), from Davis Creamery

But until I figure out how to make my own honey lavender ice cream, you will have to settle for this friggin amazing chocolate pudding recipe. Seriously, this was so delicious that I ate the whole thing in one sitting. I had meant for it to be two desserts, but that didn’t happen. I worked out hard that day, damnit! Not that it really matters, since it is sugar free and dairy free and paleo approved.

Aztec Chocolate Pudding

Recipes: Serves 1-2

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 dropper stevia, to taste
  • big pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (chipotle is good too if you like it!)

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until nice and cold.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge. 

it seriously tastes exactly like chocolate pudding.

Benefits:

Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

Bananas * a good source of natural sugars, fiber, and potassium, which is key for electrolyte balance. A great source of carbs for paleo followers!

Cocoa * a dense source of antioxidants. Cocoa is also a great source of pre-biotics to feed the healthy flora living in your digestive tract!