I was eating my cooked Chicken & Apple Adele's sausage for breakfast when it occurred to me: This tastes a lot different cooked in coconut oil.
There is packaged chocolate out there that Paleo people eat. A lot of Paleo recipes call for Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Dark chocolate bars exist like LuLu's Chocolate or Pascha. But I don't buy them.
They all contain some form of sugar.
Call it cane sugar or coconut sugar it's all sugar. (Yes, even coconut sugar which made one friend of mine all hopped up just like she was eating regular sugar.) Not to mention some say coconut sugar is unsustainable and I really, really like my coconut oil and coconut milk and I want to keep them. No coconut milk, no Paleo vanilla ice cream! (Link coming soon!)
I don't eat sugar, except for the listed ingredient that makes 0 grams in my bacon (what's in there, a pinch?) which I tested and does not make make me climb the ceiling or get addicted. Sugar really affects me. It probably affects everyone, seeing as how it buzzes the same center of your brain as um, cocaine, but since I haven't had any sugar (sans bacon) for almost two years I can really, really, really tell.
Like when went to The Counter for the first time and had a burger-in-a-bowl.
They also had certified gluten free sweet-potato or white-potato fries. I went crazy and got some ketchup. Regular ole Heinz with its high fructose corn syrup. I'm not intolerant to corn and although corn isn't Paleo I decided to splurge a little and dip, just a teeny bit, my fries into it.
It took me a while to figure out that I felt different.
Perhaps it was the overly bright look in my eyes, my bouncing legs or the fact that I sounded like one of Alvin's chipmunks talking a mile-a-minute in a higher than normal voice.
"I feel kinda drunk", I admitted to my friends, perhaps in apology for the barrage of talk they had to endure. Their hair was blown back like an 80's music video.
Yeesh. It was only ketchup. But like I said, it had been almost two years and my body could tell.
So I make my own chocolate when I want the cravings. A mixture of honey, coconut oil, and cocoa powder like in the Coco Munch recipe. I will make the munch, or else I will make the munch without the coconut flakes and dip strawberries and bananas into it, freezing them afterwards for 20 minutes and then eating them.
I will make Chocolate ice cream (link coming soon) or Chocolate Muffins (link coming soon). All of these things are made with honey and cocoa and they keep me from turning into a chipmunk.
Why am I telling you this?
I'm just sharing my story in case it helps someone else understand why the chocolate that lots of Paleo people eat might make them start dreaming of donuts, if it does. It might not. But it might. You know? And to share that there are alternatives to satisfying your chocolate desire that don't involve sugar like making it yourself.
Or.... upping your magnesium intake. I started taking magnesium supplements and I had zero desire for chocolate for years. I talk about that more in this post. I think I only make chocolate covered strawberries right now because I'm pregnant.
That's right, I blame the baby. ;)
P.S. Chocolate (cocoa) is one of the items that your body can think is gluten. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac you might not do well with it. Everyone in my family is fine with cocoa except my eldest daughter who has gluten-light symptoms after she eats it. That's why I make my pregnant-mama chocolate covered strawberries in the morning while she is still sleeping. Shhh.
P.P.S. It's OK, my daughter knows about the strawberries. I can't keep the secret very well when my face is covered in chocolate.
Photo by flickr.com/photos/boboroshi/
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and often the meal that makes or breaks the successful transition to a Paleo lifestyle. Why? We've been trained. Having a salad with shredded chicken for lunch or steak and broccoli for dinner is easy to picture, but what do you do without grains or dairy in the morning? Oh my!
The short answer is, of course: eggs. Bacon and eggs. But as much as I love bacon (and I do love bacon!) even that meal can get boring after a while.
So now what?
My kids love this Paleo snack. I love that they are loving this awesome healthy food.
*We use Native Forest brand organic canned coconut milk. It's BPA-free.
I recently went to a wedding. Buffet. Cake. Food everywhere. It was a joyous occasion and I loved being there. In the past I would have used a wedding as an excuse to eat. "Of course I'll have cake!" (and everything else, too, whether I was full or not).
But this time I celebrated the bride and groom with a smile, a bottle of water and a small cooler filled with Paleo snacks. (Bacon and dates, anyone?) I was happy as a clam and I felt great, too.
I looked at the cake a lot. It was a beautiful two-tiered, square affair with light blue frosting flowers. I really thought it was gorgeous. But I didn't want to eat it.
Or did I?
The rest are already eaten.
Nut free. Grain Free. Gluten Free.
Soy Free. Dairy Free. Sweetener Free.
My 8 year old loves these muffins. She begs me to make them. Now when I have any pumpkin left over from other recipes I know what to do with it - it's muffin time!
Paleo is not about what you eat, it's about what you don't eat.
I'm not sitting around eating vegetables while holding my nose like I'm in 5th grade and my parents are tormenting me with asparagus again. Rather, I'm not eating anything that causes inflammation in my body, chains me with addictive behavior or smacks me - and everyone else around me - with mood swings.
Cutting those things out of my diet made me feel happy, instantly.
Someone emailed me and asked, "Why no grains on the Paleo diet?" I wanted to say "Because they suck", but that's probably not scientific enough to help. Honestly, if I thought it would work I'd put on a chicken suit and run around flapping my arms in the air yelling into a megaphone: "Hey, everyone, stop eating grains and your lives will be so much better!" But again, that's probably not enough to convince someone to give up the breading on their fried chicken and the biscuit that came with it. So I'll buck up here and leave my personal storytelling aside to try and give you some honestly researched information on grains.
And I'll try to sound like I know what I'm talking about. Ready?
Paleo and non-Paleo people alike loved these mashed yams! My 8 yo asks for them all the time. (8 and 3/4 she says.) They're not something you want to eat every day if you are watching your weight, but once in a while, or after workouts, or all the time if you are an active kid they are excellent!
This is one of my go-to dishes for when we have company and it always disappears. Even the neighbor kids gobble them up when they visit. Yum!
I haven't had sugar in over a year. Not at someone's birthday party. Not at a holiday dinner. Not even in the middle of the night when no one else is looking. How do I do it?
I'll tell you.
I like the easy Paleo stuff.