The finished product

I’m going to give you a Day 4 update, but first I wanted to post this recipe.  I’ve been meaning to post this for months, but haven’t gotten around to it.  I recently gave it to one of my clients, so I figured it was time I posted it.  This is my go-to snack.  I got so sick of snacking on avocado so I needed a new fat-snack.  These are toasted Coconut Shavings with Vanilla and Cinnamon.   If you live in Toronto you can find these at Ethnic grocers or Domino Bulk Foods in the St. Lawrence Market has them for $1.99 / lb.  You can also find organic brands that are pre-packaged, but they are quite expensive ($8 for 1/2 a lb).  Here you go:

Ingredients:
– A bag of shaved coconut  
– 1-2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
– 1 Tbsp cinnamon
– 1 Tbsp 100% pure vanilla extract or ground vanilla beans (no sugar added!)
Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 375
2. Spread the coconut over a baking sheet lined with foil
3. Drizzle the coconut with the coconut oil, cinnamon and vanilla
4. Mix around to spread evenly
5. Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove, toss around.
6. Bake for another 5 minutes or until they are browned and crispy.  Watch carefully because they burn fast.
7. Try not to eat massive quantities at once!
 

Now onto more important matters….How is everyone doing?  Today is day 4 and I have to say that I woke up (at 5:30) this morning and felt….GREAT!  I think the zombie has been exorcised from my body and I have finally come back to life.  I was seriously fearing for my work productivity after the first two days because I would find myself staring at the wall and drooling for significant chunks of time.  The last 2 days have been totally different….I felt awake and was able to be more productive.  Today I am feeling almost as alert as I was on coffee, so it’s a huge improvement from the past 2 days.  I am shocked by how quickly I am reaping the benefits of this detox.  I am also shocked that I did not experience any physical withdrawal symptoms.  I was convinced I would be a disaster for at least the first two weeks…so I apologize if you were tuning in to hear me have a meltdown.  I guess my body can re-adjust fairly quick.  Maybe it’s my diet that made this easier or maybe I am really lucky.

One thing that is crystal clear is that my sleep has improved dramatically.  I have always had a hard time falling asleep.  Even upon transitioning to 100% paleo/primal, I still had a horrible time falling asleep and it usually takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.  The odd night I would toss and turn until 3-4am.  I assumed this was because I had many things on my plate and my inner thoughts were keeping me awake.  I am realizing now that it may have been the coffee.  Usually after I have class on Monday nights I’m unable to turn my brain off and I toss and turn for a couple hours.  This Monday I fell asleep right away and slept solid the entire night.  The last 2 nights I did not have class, but I fell asleep right away and slept until my alarm went off.  I even woke up a bit before my alarm today which is unheard of at 5:30am!  What is frightening about this is that I never drank coffee after 9:30am (because I would chug it down like Brittany Spears with a Big Gulp between 6am-9:30am), so this tells me that it was still metabolizing in my body over 12 hours later.  That cannot be good.  Seriously, that is messed up, right?

From a science-y perspective, my sleep might be improved because perhaps my Magnesium supplement is actually being absorbed now!  Too much caffeine blocks the absorption of Magnesium….which is not good because your metabolism needs it to burn fat and Mg acts as a natural muscle relaxant (hence I take it at night).    Super-nerdy cool!

I don’t want to get too excited yet, because these past 3 days may have been a fluke.  I will keep you posted.  How are YOU doing?  Are you hitting the Whole30 and loving it?   

For those of you who were at the Crossfit Quantum open house a few weeks ago, you may have had some of this trail mix which was in the goodie bags. SPOILER ALERT: the best Semi-Primal Husband testimonial to date is for this recipe…read on:

Ingredients (makes 1 Cup of mix):
 – 1 Cup of raw unsalted nuts – I used almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews and walnuts)
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1/4 tsp each: cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chili powder, sea salt
– 1 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 350. Slightly roast nuts on a lined baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne, chili powder, sea salt and maple syrup
  3. Add semi-roasted nuts to spice mixture and mix until thoroughly coated
  4. Return nuts to baking sheet and roast for another 5-10 minutes (watch that they don’t burn).  You may need to toss them around mid-roast.

Semi-Primal Husband grabbed a handful and gave the following testimonial (keep in mind that I was making 20 times the recipe for cfq open house so there was a HUGE pile of nuts): “Man, these are so good.  I would not want to encounter this after a night of drinking…i’d eat the whole pile.”

The Challenge:  Come up with some Paleo Superbowl Food.  That is what I’m going to be posting this week.  These recipes will be Paleo-ized versions of munchies.  Although they use Paleo ingredients, these are not recommended for weight loss or everyday consumption, but they will definitely be healthier than typical bar food.  The first recipe in this series in my attempt at Nachos.   I say attempt because these aren’t perfect and I lost about 1/2 the batch because they stuck to the wax paper or fell apart.  But the ones that turned out were pretty good and satisfying!

Ingredients (serves 3)
– 1/2 Cup flax seeds (soak them overnight in 1 cup of water)
– 1/4 Cup almond flour
– 1 Egg
– 1 Tbsp minced garlic
– 1 Tbsp tomato paste (organic)
– 1/2 jalapeno pepper (i would recommend using a whole pepper  – these were not spicy enough for me) – seeds removed, sliced
– 1/2 tsp chili powder (I would probably use more next time – maybe 3/4 tsp or 1 tsp)
– 1/2 tsp onion powder 
– 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1.  Make sure you’ve soaked the flax seeds as per ingredients
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350
  3. Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix until it is blended well 
  4. Thoroughly cover a baking sheet lined with wax paper with Non-Stick Spray (i know, not Paleo).  I say thoroughly, because this is how I lost 1/2 the batch.  
  5. Evenly spread nacho mixture on wax paper to create a thin layer (about 1/8 inch thick)
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cut into triangle nacho shapes.  Put back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes or until they are mostly crispy.
  7. Remove and immediately get them off the wax paper to cool.
  8. Serve with Salsa and/or Guacamole (make your own or use a store-bought mix that doesn’t contain any additives – organic ones usually don’t contain any non-paleo stuff)

My Semi-Primal Husband often eats real nachos, so I wasn’t expecting him to like these.  He gave the following testimonial, “These are pretty good.  I actually like them plain.”  Not bad!!

Pre-baking

Before you read this recipe, take a minute to learn about the tragedy in Haiti and how you can help.  Here is a link where you can donate $5 via text – every little bit will help.

I don’t have enough time to sit and eat a nice breakfast every morning – it’s usually in my car (i use nice silverware to be civilized).  I also tend to eat lunch at my desk and snacks on the go.  These are all bad habits.  But, I’m busy and sometimes that means eating and multi-tasking.  This recipe is PERFECT for these occasions and they look very gourmet (especially compared to the hunk of chicken and 1/2 cucumber that you’ll normally see me eating at my desk).  This is totally portable and would make an excellent breakfast, lunch or snack.   Or appetizer for a dinner party. Radicchio is also in-season…extra bonus!

Ingredients (makes 8 Radicchio Wraps)
–  2 cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts – shredded or cut in small pieces
– 1 radicchio
– 2 celery stalks – cut into small pieces
– 1/4 C chopped basil
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
–  2 Tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Carefully peel and separate the leaves from the radicchio.  Soak them in cold water for a 1-2 minutes – this will help to crisp them up so they maintain their curves.  Let them dry.
  2. In a bowl mix together the chicken, celery and basil
  3. In a small bowl mix together olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  4. Pour the dressing into the chicken salad and mix
  5. Scoop some of the chicken salad into the radicchio wrap. 
  6. Enjoy!

My Semi-Primal Husband saw me eating these and wasn’t too interested.  I asked him if he wanted a bite so he obliged and said, “wow, this is actually really good.  I want to make these for my lunch!” Then he proceeded to eat the rest of the wrap.  I will take that as a compliment.