You could say I married into a health(ier) lifestyle.
Prior to marriage, I worked out for two hours a day and ate a diet pretty much based on the food pyramid (except for gluten). I thought I was healthy despite not feeling my best.
It wasn’t until nearly our third year of marriage with newborn in hand did I realize the decisions we were facing, all in regard to food. Without getting into the debate of creating food preferences in the womb or furthering your child’s palate while breastfeeding, setting my child up for a healthy and hopefully disease free life meant feeding her quality food now. Of course there are environmental factors I can’t control but by offering healthy, flavorful options since nearly day one of our daughter’s solid food life, I hope to encourage healthy habits. It may be somewhat unconventional (although time efficient and easy), we didn’t stray far from our own diet when offering her meals. Turns out, at 13 months old, we have quite the carnivore on our hands; I think our little lady could eat salmon, broccoli and blueberries for every meal and never think twice.
While one percent of me feels guilty, and un-American, that I’m not feeding her Cheerios, in the grand scheme of things protecting her against obesity, diabetes, and digestive disorder – to name a few – is more important. What is also important is that as a family we grow together in health and encourage wellness.
As the wife of an athlete and owner of Xplore CrossFit, I also have to think about feeding my husband high quality fuel. So how do I juggle athlete and infant taste buds? Like I’ve said before, feed them delicious, seasonal and nourishing meals. I hate to say we follow the Paleo diet but we do try to adhere to eating lean protein, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds 90% of the time. Most people hear this and ask what we eat. So let me repeat it: lean protein (think grilled salmon, hamburgers, meatballs, pulled pork), veggies (think roasted asparagus, bacon laced brussel sprouts, kale “nachos”), fruit (stone fruits, berries, tropical fruits, you name it), and even dessert (I make killer chocolate cupcake that are even good for you)!
You may be thinking I’m completely crazy or you may be wondering where to start. There are two basic camps: babysteps or cold turkey. It may sound extreme but personally I think it’s best to completely eliminate all of the allergen and tempting foods in your house. If it’s there you will seek it out. Or you can take baby steps. For example, eliminate soda or gluten or sugar for 14 days, 30 days or even 60 days. Record how you feel. After eliminating gluten, it only took me a week to notice my body loving life again.
Don’t get me wrong, we can overdo it even when eating whole foods or healthier options. Did I mention the chocolate cupcakes (yes, even these gluten free, coconut flour chocolate cupcakes) I made tonight are nearly gone? Healthy, yes; delicious, perhaps too much.
You’ve heard it before but moderation is key. Be mindful of what you eat and how your body feels. Stop sabotaging your future for the instant satisfaction yet guilt-ridden promise of a bag of chips or pint of ice cream…or paleo chocolate cupcakes.
A few of our favorite recipes right now include:
Herbed Flatbread with Prosciutto, Pesto & Sheeps Milk Cheese (courtesy of http://www.roostblog.com/)
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 TBS fresh sage, chopped
- 2 TBS fresh oregano, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup ghee, melted (or oil of your choice)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated cheese (I used a mild sheep’s milk)
- 2-3 big slices of prosciutto broken into smaller pieces
- pesto (make or buy your own)
- aged balsamic for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F. Combine first five ingredients into a bowl. Add the ghee (or oil) and eggs. Mix until incorporated. Pat into a ball and then place on parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment on top of the ball and roll until desired thickness. Place rolled dough (still on the parchment) onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Spread pesto all over dough, followed by the prosciutto and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and edges have browned.
- Remove from oven, cut with pizza slicer and drizzle balsamic on top.
Slow-Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken
- 1 pork roast or 3 chicken breasts (3-5 lbs)
- 16 oz jar of salsa verde (this is the key ingredient so make sure it is a super star with a little bit of heat). I like the Mexican Grocer’s salsa in Pike Place Market
- Pour half your salsa verde into your crock pot. Set your pork roast in the slow cooker and place the other half of the salsa verde on top of it. Set on low for 4-8 hours. Remove from slow cooker and shred. You can add a little of the juice if you like after shredding.
- Now assemble to your hearts content…we like shredded cabbage and/or spinach, cilantro, tomatoes and avocado.
Chocolate cupcakes (adapted from www.paleospirit.com)
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine celtic sea salt
- Place the medjool dates in a food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
- Add applesauce and continue to pulse until pureed and combined with the dates.
- Add the eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and water and mix until well combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil and pour in the batter 2/3 full
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
- Eat plain or cover with freshly picked blueberries, cocoa nibs or walnuts. Enjoy!