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Chocolate Dipped Clementines

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I have been DYING to make these for a few weeks now. I already eat clementines for dessert pretty regularly because they are (in my opinion) one of the most delicious fruits ever! So I thought dipping them in dark chocolate would really take them to the next level. I sprinkled pistachios on some, sea salt on some, and shredded coconut on some. I think they’d also be good with chia seeds, almonds, or ginger.

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They taste so good its hard to believe that they’re actually healthy too, but I find that to be the case with a lot of Paleo food. Clementines are loaded with vitamin c, rich in calcium and potassium, and can help maintain healthy digestion because of their fiber content.

 

 

So, here’s the recipe:

7-8 clementines

4 oz. dark chocolate

Toppings of choice (sea salt, pistachios or other nuts, finely shredded coconut, ginger, chia seeds, etc.)

Directions: Peel and separate the clementines and set them aside. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, then dip each clementine segment into the dark chocolate and sprinkle with desired topping before the chocolate sets. Place on wax paper, and once all pieces are dipped, refrigerate for 10 minutes to harden. They will store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes about 50 pieces.

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This recipe was adapted from  The Food Network.

Electrolytes, and how to replenish them.

 

imagesSometimes after a strenuous workout or a really hot yoga class, I feel exceptionally groggy the next day. After trial and error of trying to figure out why I’m not left feeling amazing and energized, I learned that its because I failed to properly hydrate and replenish my electrolytes.

As a paleo lifestyler, its pretty normal to tune out what commercials and food labels tell us we “need”. Products such as gatorade and other sports drinks constantly tell us we need to replenish our electrolytes, and that part is actually true! We just don’t need all the added sugars, syrups, coloring, natural flavors, and whatever else they put in there.

You’re body relies on a balance of electrolytes for proper functioning of your many systems, including muscles, brain, heart, cells, and kidneys.

You can lose electrolytes from workouts that make you sweat, excessive alcohol consumption, vomiting, diarrhea, starvation, and diaphoresis (excessive sweating). Sometimes, water isn’t quite enough to help you replenish them. There are a million ways to replenish electrolytes, both with food AND drinks. Here are a few food suggestions for the following electrolytes:

Sodium: it’s what we lose in the highest concentration when we sweat. (Check out this article on why salt isn’t bad!) Have some salted almond butter, or put an extra sprinkle of sea or himalayan salt on your after workout meal.

Chloride: helps maintain balance in bodily fluids. Food high in chloride includes seaweed, tomatoes, celery, olives, and lettuce.

Potassium: its important to replenish potassium because it helps maintain heart function, can prevent bone loss and kidney stones, and maintains muscle function and movement. Foods rich in potassium include dark leafy greens, avocados, butternut bananas, winter squash, salmon, and raisins.

Calcium: You can replenish calcium buy eating dark leafy greens and sardines, or add some chia seeds to a smoothie.

Magnesium: helps fight fatigue, and replenishing magnesium in your body can give you more energy during workouts. You can absorb magnesium by eating dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, avocados, dark chocolate, and fish. Its excellent to absorb it through the skin by taking baths with Epsom salt. (Stay tuned for my favorite detox bath recipe that I’ll be posting soon).

One of the most hydrating drinks, and best ways to replenish electrolytes, is coconut water! But, if you’re like me and can’t stand the taste, you can blend it up with a handful of frozen berries or pineapple, or add a couple tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. I also like to blend it with 1/2 of a green apple and some lime juice.

Here is a smoothie recipe chock full of electrolyte replenishing foods that will mask the taste of coconut water, and you’ll still reap the benefits.

Banana Avocado Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 small avocado or 1/2 large one
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • about 2 cups coconut water (+/- depending on desired thickness)

Blend all together and enjoy.

Hi, I’m Katie.

d2db9c2223c611e3b49e22000ae91347_5I live in San Diego and am currently studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I have been looking for the perfect place to share my nutrition findings, and I am so lucky and grateful to Jennie for letting me take over here! Here’s a little about me.
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I always considered myself a healthy person.
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I have tried hundreds of diets, everything from being vegetarian, to counting calories, to low fat diets, to following the food pyramid and consuming a lot of “healthy whole grains”, to consciously choosing soy products over dairy, to starving myself. You name it I have probably tried it when it comes to dieting. I eventually settled into a not so happy place of eating about one meal a day so I wouldn’t get fat, and that one meal usually consisted of some form of whole wheat, soy, beans, sugar, and processed meat. More often than not, that meal came from a restaurant or a microwavable box in the freezer section because I was too lazy to cook. Nothing ever made me feel full, nourished, and satiated.
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I never really knew when to stop eating because I never felt full, and that would lead into occasional binges where I would eat muffins, bagels, cakes, cookies, fast food, and any kind of bread-like product I could get my hands on until I had eaten so much I was sick. I must’ve said “I feel gross” a million times a day and after every bite of food I put into my mouth. On top of that, I worked out on a regular basis and never noticed changes in my waistline or my muscle mass. My stomach was always “jiggly” and even though I wasn’t considered overweight, the fat I did have was clinging to my gut and back. And worst of all, I was always completely exhausted. I wasn’t looking for a change because I assumed it was inevitable that I would eventually lose weight and find energy. I figured I just needed to work out harder and eat even less, and one day something would click in my body and the weight would just start to peel off. I wasn’t on any kind of search for a new lifestyle, even though looking back on the way I felt, I should’ve been.It must’ve been meant to be.

A different way of eating just fell into my lap. My sister (Jennie!) told me about how she had just finished doing something called a Whole30 and was transitioning into a “Paleo” lifestyle – a lifestyle in which you look back in time and eat what humans were genetically programmed to digest. Fruit and vegetables that grow from the earth, fish and animals in their purest form. No preservatives, additives, fillers, chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides or who knows what else that our food is laced with these days. She said she had never felt healthier, and I was curious. Being a modern dieter, I was all about any kind of cleanse or detox ever invented, and since this thing pretty much sounded like a 30 day cleanse to me, I was all about it. I didn’t know it would change my life.

Everyone thought I was crazy.

I began a Whole30, and I really didn’t think I’d take it much further than 30 days. It was really hard at first. I worked in the food service industry, and was constantly surrounded by delicious food and alcohol.  Plus, many people are not open minded enough to realize that perhaps what we have been taught our entire life about food is actually wrong, so I received flack from almost everyone in my life. The idea that a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee with nonfat milk and splenda isn’t an excellent breakfast option, or to take it a little further, that any bread/milk/sugar (etc) is unhealthy, is something most people refuse to believe.  However, two weeks into my Whole30 I was feeling so great I knew I’d never want to stop.

What I was feeling was really truly human.

I don’t know how else to describe it. I just felt the way I knew I was supposed to be feeling my whole life. My body was nourished and I had energy, I was sleeping at night and popping out of bed in the morning, my skin was clear, I wasn’t getting headaches, I wasn’t taking afternoon naps, I wasn’t gassy and bloated. I was changing my relationship with food, and my body was figuring out when I was full and letting me know (like its supposed to!). I was clearheaded and happy, I just felt so “well”. There are few things as satisfying as doing something healthy and excellent for the body.

My curiosity sparked. 

I wanted to figure out exactly why I have been taught by friends, family, nutrition classes (I even studied nutrition in college…), magazines, books, media, movies, television, restaurants, doctors, nurses, health coaches, commercials, radio stations, schools, articles, advertisements, and documentaries that the food I had been eating my whole life was healthy, when ultimately it was leaving me fat, depressed, exhausted, hungrier, and craving. And why I had spent my entire life being “brainwashed” into buying foods that promote sickness, health problems, disease, and cancer.

I want to share my findings with you.

I live a busy, constantly on the go lifestyle. Incorporating the Paleo diet into that kind of lifestyle is difficult because almost every meal has to come from your own kitchen. We all know this is a fast-food nation, so that alone is a big adjustment for many, including myself. Because of this, I have struggled with falling off the Paleo wagon every now and then, and staying off the wagon for longer than I’d like to admit. The good thing about falling off the Paleo wagon is being able to personally experience the differences in how I feel when I am eating Paleo and when I’m not. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do learn from my mistakes. And I have learned a lot of little tips and tricks to incorporate Paleo into my life without seeming like a freak. All you’ve gotta do is be a little creative.

A Farewell… and a FRESH START!

IMG_9947Where have been?  Well… see the little red-haired dude in the picture?  That’s where I’ve been.  If you have kids, you understand what I mean.  Having a baby has been FAR more life-altering than I ever expected!  And it continues to surpass my expectations (in a good way, but also in an exhausting way!).

You’ve probably seen me say on Facebook  a few times “I’m back!”  Yeah, that’s because I kept thinking that things were calming down around here, and that I’d have time to get back on a regular blogging schedule.  But a few weeks ago I decided to get real and face facts:  I barely have time to get all my meal-planning, shopping, prepping, and cooking done.  How the heck do I think I’ll have time to blog about it?

To be honest, I get a little frustrated when I hear other bloggers say that they’re up all hours of the night blogging about health.  Isn’t that a contradiction?  Or when they clearly neglect time with their families because they’re so wrapped up in their website and/or Facebook page.  I know it’s great to help others, but I think prioritizing is important!  In my life, my family is THE MOST important element.  To neglect them in order to help others just doesn’t make sense to me.  When I have down-time, I’m not going to open up my computer and write about my dinner… I’m going to kiss my husband, snuggle my baby, and SLEEP!

You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m leaving my post here at Easy Paleo.  It’s been SO fun and rewarding, and it’s kept me motivated to come up with new ideas to keep our food habits healthy and delicious.  Thank you for being loyal fans, for checking in on me when I’ve been absent, and for sharing my posts with your friends.  That means the world to me!  And that’s why it’s taken me such a long time to make the decision to say “farewell!”

But wait… GOOD NEWS!  This site and its Facebook page won’t disappear into thin air.  In fact, it’s about to be more active and interesting than it’s been in over a year (maybe ever?).  It’s time for a fresh start, and a new beginning.  It’s time for some new ideas and inspiration.  I’m leaving you in good hands, dear readers!

katieAllow me to introduce you to Katie Dickens… she’s the talented home cook behind the popular Instagram “Creative Paleo,” and she’s constantly coming up with new recipes and wellness ideas.  You’re going to love her tips and her easy style!  She’s been eating Paleo for a few years now, and she has quite a transformation story, which I’m sure she’ll share with you.  She’s a pro at Paleo on a budget, and she’s got a lot to share.  She also has some SUPER cute dishes, which always makes me jealous.  AND she happens to be my sister!  Lucky me!

 

If you’d like to see what I’m up to, check out my MUCH simpler little mommy blog, Natural Mommyhood.  Many of you asked about my natural water-birth story, and I’ve shared it there.  I also pass on some tips about pregnancy struggles, postpartum eating, breastfeeding, and first foods for baby.  I’ve learned a lot so far!  Also, be sure to check out the ways healthy eating reversed infertility for me!

In the meantime… enjoy the NEW Easy Paleo, and thank you again for your amazing support over the years.  Farewell for now!