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Mint Chocolate Chip Balls… (great homemade holiday gift!)

If you love things like mint chocolate chip ice cream, then this is your snack. We love these things year round, which is why I put them in Super Paleo Snacks. But they just seem very festive and appropriate for this time of year.  And, (I know I say this a lot but it’s true) they’re so easy to make! See the pictures below for proof. Anyway, I hope you love these things as much as we do!! They really are fantastic!

Using a food processor, grind the nuts and pepitas together until they are finely chopped. You don’t want a flour-like texture, so be sure not to blend too much. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and blend until well combined. 

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Next, remove the mixture from the processor and use your hands to roll the into golf ball sized dollops. If they are sticking to your hands too much when rolling them, put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes, clean your hands off and then continue to make the rest of your balls. Enjoy! 

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Oh and apparently Sam Flax has some cute little containers so again, if you are thinking of using them for teacher gifts or what have you, you can get these for about $2 a box! 

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Oh, and one other gift besides the mint chocolate chip balls could be…a snack book maybe? Just a thought!

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Store them in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks or on your counter top for 4-5 days (but there is no way they are going to last that long without being gobbled up!!)…

Super Paleo Snacks book

Unless it were up to George and apparently he isn’t really a big fan…

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Mint Chocolate Chip Balls
Reminiscent of Girl Scout Thin Mints, these bite-sized little treats will make your taste buds want to sing around the campfire. With a crunchy texture and a minty-sweet taste, this snack will be loved by all. And unlike many Paleo snack balls (or bars) that use high glycemic sugars, like dates, these will keep your blood sugars stable.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup cashews
  2. 1 cup almonds
  3. ½ cup pepitas
  4. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  5. 1 tbsp flax meal
  6. 3 tbsp raw organic cacao powder
  7. 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  8. 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  9. 1/3 cup coconut nectar or honey or maple
  10. 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, grind the nuts and pepitas together until they are finely chopped.
  2. You don’t want a flour texture so don’t blend it too much.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and blend until well combined.
  4. Lastly, remove the mixture from the processor and use your hands to roll the into golf ball sized dollops.
  5. If they are too sticky to roll well, then put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes, clean your hands off and then continue to make your balls.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

 

Our veggie sides/appetizers for the week (NO cutting or chopping!!)….

Oh my, this is going to be a crazy week for all of us, right? Since time is going to be short, I thought I’d try to keep dinner as simple as possible. To be honest, I still haven’t figured out our main meals but at least I’m good to go on our veggies and appetizers. The good news is that none of these veggies have to be chopped (as long as you have access to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s). Easy and delicious! I hope this helps you all just a little bit. Maybe when I can really get my stuff together and figure out the main dinner portion, I’ll post that too.

Monday: Sweet & Salty Bacon Kale. We get our organic pre-cut kale from Trader Joe’s. This is a family favorite!
 
Tuesday: Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts (from Trader Joe’s) – Just heat up a large pan on high, add about 1 tbsp of ghee and add the shredded brussels sprout, some salt and pepper, and some garlic and onion powder and cook until brown (about 10 or so minutes).  You could always get fancy with it and use this recipe
 
Wednesday: Broccoli and Tessamae’s Balsamic Dressing (Whole Foods or online). Steam your broccoli, put it in a large bowl and pour about half a bottle of Tessemae’s on it.  
 
Thursday: Sweet Potato Fries. Whole Foods has diced pre-cut fresh sweet potatoes in the back, and Trader Joe’s typically has them, as well. Also, many other grocery stores will have them pre-cut in the frozen food section, or you can just use a mandolin if you have one). We love these things! Lately I have had these ready for my kids’ after school snack. They’re crunchy, sweet and salt, and great with cinnamon, too. 
 
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Friday: Oh, Friday. Sorry, I’m not cooking Friday! But…if you really want a whole week’s menu of sides, I’ll give you one more. It’s another family favorite, and ridiculously simple to make. It’s seasoned green beans. We get organic pre-packaged green beans from Whole Foods or Publix. All you need to do is take about 1 1/2 tbsp of ghee or grass fed butter and put in a medium pot. Melt and then add the bag of beans. Stir around so the butter covers the beans and they start to turn brown (for about 5 or so minutes). Then add 1 cup of chicken broth, some salt, garlic and onion powder and cook on low for about 25 minutes or until desired tenderness and enjoy! That’s simple enough, even for a Friday dinner!
 
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That’s it! I hope this might help you get through this busy week with all of the holidays approaching. Have fun and happy holidays!

 

 

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Celebrating my offical book release TOMORROW with my snack that I eat every. single. day!

Tomorrow, Saturday December 14th is the official day my book is released, and I’m so excited!! Super Paleo Snacks will be available from  AmazonBarnes & Noble, Indie BoundIndigo, or Bookish and in some retail stores. So crazy and surreal! We didn’t know for sure if it would launch in time for holiday gifts. (We thought Jan 1st all along, but hoped for this!) Now I’m in a mad scramble to do some speedy-quick marketing. So, if you wouldn’t spreading the news, I’d sure appreciate it. Fortunately, there is no easier and better way than to share the news via facebook, instagram or pinterest. I would be so so grateful!!! 
 
Okay, enough with my shameless desperate plea. So, to celebrate the release, I wanted to share my favorite snack. It’s the Crunchy Omega-3 Flax Granola (I am realizing just how truly lame that name is, so please don’t judge this snack by it’s name). I eat it daily. I take this on every trip with me. It is always in my purse in case I need a snack, and it’s the first thing I eat every morning.  This recipe is under the “Nut Free” section in my book (page 152) but I think this snack belongs in every chapter because it is so practical.
 
I love this snack for so many reasons.  First, you can easily tinker with the recipe to include what YOU like. Mine ingredients are fairly simple. But, you can toss in more salt or coconut palm sugar, add some different nuts, shredded coconut, whatever…Second, I love it because it is super duper crunchy and that (crunchiness) is one thing I miss eating from Paleo foods. It’s very satisfying when I want something crunchy! And third, I love it because it has a purpose (multiple, actually). While many of us love our flax and chia (especially chia) seeds for their fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, some of us have a hard time getting those slimy things down (especially the chia seeds!). This is by far the easiest way I have found to get these seeds into my diet. And, because I cook this recipe on such a low temperature, it helps to preserve the nutrients in the seeds and protect against oxidation. Oh, and lastly, it’s super easy to prepare.  It’s probably THE easiest snack I make, for what it’s worth.  Please do note though that compared to the other snacks in the book, this one tends to be more suited for adult pallets. 
 
Play with what combo works best for you. You can eat it on it’s own, add it to your Greek or grass-fed yogurt or however you would like….
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Crunchy Omega-3 Flax Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole flax seeds
  2. ½ cup raw pepitas
  3. ¼ cup chia seeds
  4. ¼ cup (56 g) raw sunflower seeds
  5. ¾ cup water
  6. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  7. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  8. ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  9. ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  10. ½ cup dried fruit (I like tart cherries which are anti-inflammatory)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°F
  2. In a small bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Then add the water, combine well with your hands and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Spread the mixture as flat and evenly as possible on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 hours or until crispy. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Break apart and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. Lately I've been using 1 cup chia and 1/4 cup flax to get in the extra chia and that seems to be my favorite combination.
  2. Also, I make this at night so around 7 or 8pm I'll get it ready and put it in the over. And then it's ready for me when I wake up in the morning. You can also flip the whole piece about two hours after it's cooked (but not necessary), and then let it cook the rest of the way until the next morning. It should be super crunchy when it's done cooking. If it's not, allow it to cook until it is completely dry and crunchy.
  3. Also, I typically double this batch so if you eventually do, be sure to spread it out on the baking sheet flattening it out as much as possible. It tastes better when it's thinner.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

landriav - Thanks so much Ann!! :-)

Ann - Excited for you! Just after I read your post, received an Amazon text. Book has shipped and will arrive on Monday!

Alice’s Molten Lava Cakes…

I love this time of year! What a great time to celebrate with family and friends. And, yes, often these celebrations include yummy treats like candy canes, sugar cookies, hot chocolate, gingerbread men, and pumpkin pie. While it can be hard to do, I still try to maintain a little bit of a healthy balance with my family. Of course, sugar is super tasty and makes us feel good when we are eating it, but soon after look out for a loss of energy, grumpy moods and a lowered immune system. Not to mention, for us adults, too much sugar can trigger inflammation and stress to our bodies in an already stressful time of year. Who has time to be sick and worn down during the holidays? We’d miss out on too much fun!!

I like to balance our days with some healthy yet fun and tasty snacks and treats. One of our favorite treats are these Molten Lava Cakes. I have to be honest, in the year or so we’ve been eating these, I’ve never actually made them. Alice is the one who has always the baker of these delicious treats. It’s so great that she can make things all on her own now!

Anyway, this recipe is one of the treats in the “Sweet Treats” chapter of my new book Super Paleo Snacks. The chapter includes a few sweeter snacks like real chocolate chip cookie cake (crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside) and the most delicious cupcakes you will ever eat…you’ll swear they aren’t Paleo, but they are!  You can find these recipes and more in the new Super Paleo Snacks available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, Indigo, or Bookish available just in time for the perfect holiday gift!! 

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I bet Tate is nicer to his sister now…

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Paleo Molton Lava Cakes
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. ½ cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
  2. 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or bar
  3. ½ tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  5. 2 organic eggs
  6. 2 egg yolks
  7. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  8. ¼ tsp sea salt
  9. 2 tbsp almond flour (or 1 1/2 tsp coconut flour for nut allergies)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Grease four 4-ounce ramekins or 4 muffin holes in a muffin tin if you don’t have ramekins.
  3. In a small pot on low heat, melt the chocolate and butter.
  4. As the chocolate is melting, stir in maple syrup and take the pot off the burner.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs.
  6. Then add the chocolate mixture slowly to the eggs while continuously stirring.
  7. In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients. Then that to the chocolate mixture and stir well.
  8. Lastly add the batter to greased ramekins or muffin cup holders (silicon muffin holders work well too).
  9. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Centers should be soft but sides should be done.
  10. Eat straight out of cup holders or flip upside side on a serving plate and serve immediately.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

landriav - Ah sorry Kathryn! I clearly didn’t post my most recent version of the recipe. I just added that in in the post. Sorry about that! Hope yall like them!!

Kathryn - Hey Landria, making these right now… When do I put in the vanilla, cacao powder and sea salt?

landriav - Ha! Thank you Ann for your support and note!! :) I really appreciate it so much!

Ann - Yummy! And, so excited…just received an email from Amazon…your book should arrive at the end of next week! Merry Christmas to me! Just in time for some paleo Christmas goodies. Thanks!

My body feels 10 years younger!

I feel like I’ve won the lottery…or better.

I turned 40 at the end of last year. Ever since, my knees have ached, and I haven’t been able to bend them well. It’s actually been so bad that when Scott and I went to Utah last month and when we hiked down a mountain, I had to sometimes sit and scoot down bigger rocks because it hurt too bad to put all of my weight on one leg and bend. I had 80 year old people passing me. It was embarrassing and even more so…very depressing. All I could think was….”forty sucks.”.

While for the past year it was just my knees hurting, it more recently spread to my big toe. I could hardly bend it one way or another and had lost all flexibility in it it.  Worse, when running, my toes would go from feeling tingly to numb to having this really sharp pain. Oh and then my heel began to hurt.  All I could think “if this is 40, what is 50, or 60 or 70 going to be like”? I can’t clean up my diet, I mean, not really. I exercise, but at a moderate amount (but much less than in the past which apparently is a good thing for my adrenals). So am I just destined to have a really old body, at 40? After my MRI last year my orthopedist said I just had “really bad arthritis”, and I could get cortisone shots. After hiking in Utah, I thought, maybe a cortisone shot isn’t such a bad idea (you know I’m desperate if I am thinking that way). They also suggested I get a shot between my toes (ouch!!) for the tingling and numbness. And then I figured well, I might as well do it all because at this point I don’t know what else to do.

Fast forward to today, I feel amazing. Like REALLY amazing!!! My knees don’t hurt!! My big toe will bend! My little toes aren’t as numb! I still cannot get over it!!! It’s like I won the lottery. I ran all last week, the most I’ve run in a year (probably a little too much) but I felt incredible. I felt, for the first time, like my age! I felt like 40 and I was happy with it! I do still feel a little pain now and then in my big toe and a little in my knees but it’s NOTHING like it was before. Quick side note: while I felt so good, I may have pushed it a bit. While my arthritis is better still, I may have done something else to my knee….so, if you see me walking instead of jogging, know still that the arthritis is still better, but my knee is just a little jacked up. But, at least it’s not arthritis!

So…what changed?? I started a regimen of apple cider vinegar and baking soda three times a day.

Having an autoimmune disease, my gut/body has always been more acidic than the average person. But many people tend to become more acidic with age due to diet (refined sugars and carbs), stress, etc. When our bodies become too acidic, as was mine, we build up uric acid. I use to test myself to see how acidic my body was years ago by using these test strips. I somehow got out of the habit and, honestly, I wasn’t sure how much it was really helping me to try to stay more alkaline. Recently, I found some old strips and tested myself. I was a 4.5 on a scale of 4.5-9  (6.5-7.5 is ideal alkaline).  After testing, I used my old remedy of baking soda powder and apple cider vinegar to get things back on track. Within 24 hours I noticed while in bed that the sheets didn’t hurt my toes. The next day, my knees felt much better during a workout. Then, I did some research on acidity and arthritis. Sure enough, the first thing I read about explained the link between uric acid and arthritis. I had no idea! So, it’s hard to say it was a placebo effect for me since I had no idea before drinking my concoction, but regardless, it worked for me! And I’m happy to say I’m back to 6.5. While I still have days where I feel a little tingling in my toes, my knees still feel 90 percent better than before and that makes me so happy!

My point to sharing all of this? If your knees are hurting or your joints are aching more, test your acidic/alkaline balance and if you’re acidic, you might want to try this drink. What do you have to lose? I’m just so happy that rather than taking care of the symptoms, I took care of the root of the problem. I couldn’t be happier!! I feel like I won the lottery. Bring on 40, or 50, or even 60!

This is a great drink too if you’re fighting a cold. Here are some other benefits of being more alkaline. Oh and last thing, if you do have arthritis and are looking to lower the inflammation tart cherries and turmeric can be great to take as well. 

I never said it tasted good though…

 

 

Arthritis remedy
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  3. 1/4-1/2 cup water
Instructions
  1. Add 2 tbsp of ACV to a large glass and 1/4 tsp baking soda. Let it fizzle like a volcano and then add your water. I said 1/4-1/2 so you can do it to your own taste preference and drink up!
Notes
  1. Do this on an empty stomach 3 times a day until you start to feel better. I did it for about 3 weeks. Then just do it once or twice a day for maintenance. Be sure to test your urine Ph so you don't become to alkaline.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

landriav - SOOO great to hear Diara!! :) Thanks for sharing!

Diara - I have used ACV for a while now, but I have to say the addition of baking soda made a huge difference! I have only been using it for 3 days and I have already seen major changes. My inflammation is gone in my heads and ankles. I have seen my sugar cravings go way down and my digestion is def better! I also feel more energized after I drink it. Thanks Landria! I will def be making this a part of my daily routine.

landriav - Hey Patty! I take it on an empty stomach, usually just before a meal. The ACV helps with digestion, too! After a full meal…I would say 3 hours, but also, it’s more important to take it when you can, too. You know what I mean? I try to take it at certain times, but more so, I take it when I remember. Hope it helps you!! I’ve already heard back from many people that it’s helping, and in many different ways. It’s so cool to hear!!

landriav - Thanks Coleen! Hope it can help you some (as long as you stay away from that gluten, which I know you do! :)) !! Hope you’re well!!

Patty - This sounds like something I will do. Couple of questions – how long after a full meal is your stomach empty?; how about after a snack?; and how long after you take this vinegar/baking soda mixture can you put something in your stomach? for example, if I take it upon rising in the morning how soon can I have coffee or smoothie or breakfast?

Coleen - That’s great, Landria! I’m going to get the test strips and check my pH, though my aches and pains are pretty good unless I eat gluten.