I LOVE deviled eggs.
They always seem like such a treat to me even though they are pretty easy to make and can easily be made to fit in your healthy diet.
They can be an appetizer for a party if you don’t want to cheat on your diet or just a fun little side dish for your lunch or dinner. (Shoot you can even save leftovers and eat them for a breakfast!!)
I also find it can help people starting out on a new diet to occasionally be able to indulge in healthy variations of the “treat” or “party foods” they used to love!
Buffalo Blue Cheese Deviled Eggs
1/2-1 tbsp Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other hot sauce)
1 oz blue cheese
1/2 tbsp cream
1 tsp dill
Place eggs in cold water in a pot (to make them easier to peel, put vinegar and salt in the water). Heat the pot on high heat until the water boils. Leave the eggs boiling for about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and place eggs in cold water.
Once cool, peel the eggs and cut in half.
Scoop out yolks and add to a food processor with cream, cheese, dill, and hot sauce. You can add each ingredient to taste. Blend until smooth.
Place mixture back in eggs and serve!
You can also make jalapeno bacon deviled eggs this way as well! That is one of our other favorites!
What are some other “traditional” party foods or “treat” foods that you love that you’ve made healthy variations of?
When I bought the nut butters from Eddie of Ingr-EAT-ients, we talked about a macadamia nut butter.
I love macadamia nuts. They are super tasty and also low in phytic acid, which makes them the best nuts to consume.
The only downside is that they are generally more expensive – at least in all the places that I’ve lived.
But anyway, since I love macadamia nuts, so does Ryan, and Eddie doesn’t YET offer macadamia nut butter, we decided to make our own.
Sweet and Salty Macadamia Nut Butter
1lbs Macadamia Nuts
1 tsp Organic Raw Honey (Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Salt (a little less than a full tsp…add slowly to taste)
Put macadamia nuts in a food processor. Start to blend. (Save a handful for the end if you want a crunchy nut butter.)
As the nuts blend, they will start to stick to the side. Scrap them down until the nut mixture begins to form a ball.
Add honey, oil and salt. Keep blending until completely smooth and oil, honey and salt are combined.
If you want to have a crunchy butter, add in the handful of macadamia nuts now and process for just a few seconds.
Serve on anything you want or eat by the spoonful…which we may or may not have done….
For other delicious nut butters, head over to Ingr-EAT-ients and try one of theirs!
Especially their new MAPLE BACON ALMOND BUTTER! Bacon…YES!
I’m a bit obsessed with cauliflower. I mean I could literally just eat a whole head of it raw.
Is that strange?
But anyway, since it has looked so amazing at the farmers market, we’ve gotten it the last few times and the other night, Ryan created a cauliflower mash with it that was absolutely amazing.
So because I’m cauliflower obsessed and this was a super delicious meal of Wild Caught Salmon steak and Cauliflower Mash, I wanted to share the recipe! (Maybe I should call this the Un-American meat and potatoes…even though I do like grass-fed steak and mashed potatoes…)
Salmon Steak and Cauliflower Mash
2 Salmon Steaks
1/2 tbsp Paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp diced garlic
1/2 tbsp dill
1 tbsp cream
3/4 head cauliflower
Salt and pepper to taste
For Salmon Steaks:
Sprinkle with spices and then sear in a skillet (with 1 tbsp olive oil) on high heat for 1-2 minute each side. Then lower temperature to medium/low and cook to medium/medium rare. About 8-10 minutes.
Steam cauliflower until soft. When you transfer the cauliflower to the food processor, try to get rid of all extra water first. Put into a food processor with butter, garlic, dill, cream and salt and pepper. Blend until everything is mixed and there are no cauliflower chunks.
Then serve steak and mash together. If you are like Ryan, you may even enjoy a bit of hot sauce on your cauliflower mash!
The salmon steaks made one portion for each of us, but the cauliflower mash actually made about four servings…however, it was so good (and low-calorie) that we ended up consuming all four portions! (YUM!)
What random food do you love to consume…like raw cauliflower?
Also, since I’m into self-experimentation and have actually tried a number of the diets on Free the Animal’s list (and happen to agree with his findings), I thought it was interesting to share. What diet have you found to be most effective?
While I love to get all my nutrition from whole natural foods, I do love the ease of protein powder.
You can make a ton of pretty healthy snacks and treats like bars and cookies and shakes and smoothies.
It is a great if you are on the go as long as you still make whole natural foods your top priority.
Anyway, today, I made a little caffeinated shake with coffee. Let me just say right now, I really don’t like coffee.
I love the idea of coffee – that morning beverage to get you going. To drink while you do your morning work.
But the only way I drink coffee, or espresso, is with a ton of sugar and lots of cream. It is more like cream and sugar with a hint of coffee, but whatever. So because I only like horrible-for-you coffee, I try to restrict it to only cheat days.
BUT I sort of miss the “treat” of coffee in the morning on the days when I don’t feel like consuming a ton of sugar. Because even though I don’t like coffee, I like coffee-flavored things.
So today I decided to try to satisfy my non-coffee, coffee cravings with a coffee protein shake.
So while Ryan sat at his desk drinking the most disgusting black coffee (I don’t understand how anyone likes it that way), I got to indulge in this…And yea…ok it doesn’t look that great but it was GOOD!
So the recipe…
Coconut Mocha Protein Shake
1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein (I used Gold Standard Whey for this)
1/2 cup chilled coffee
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp heavy cream (I used the organic cream from Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp coconut butter (We actually found this for a great price at TJ Maxx home goods store!)
So brew your coffee however you normally do. Ryan makes french press for himself so he just made some extra for me. Chill that until nice and cold.
Then mix coffee, protein powder, water, cream and coconut butter in a protein shaker. My shaker has a little strainer like thing at the top which really helps break up the coconut butter and protein powder chunks.
Then pour into another glass and enjoy!
You can also make this into an iced beverage by pouring it over ice OR you can make the changes below to turn it into a “frappuccino/blended ice beverage.”
CHANGES FOR FRAPPUCCINO PROTEIN SHAKE: Sub in whole milk for cream and water…So instead of the 1/2 cup water and 1 tbsp cream, use a little over a half cup of whole milk. ALSO, add ice to the mixture in a blender instead of using the shaker and pulse till the ice cubes are broken down and the mixture is combined. I would use anywhere from a 1/2 cup to a full cup of ice depending on the size of your ice cubes.
P.S. Everyone gets freaked out when they see HEAVY CREAM. They think “Oh no! So much fat and so many calories!” So below is the basic nutritional breakdown for the shake.
Coconut Mocha Protein Shake nutritional facts:
AND…Soon to come Ryan’s amazing deconstructed Shepard’s pie!
Just because most recipes use breadcrumbs or saltines or some gluten filler doesn’t mean you have to!
Below are some delicious crab cakes we made with some jumbo lump crab we got at Trader Joes.
16 oz crab
1 slice nitrate free bacon cut into thick chunks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the bacon into thick chunks and cook until browned. Then remove and place in a bowl to use later.
While bacon is cooking mix together crab, eggs, mustard and spices. Don’t mix so well you completely destroy the crab chunks!
Once the crab mixture is combined, form into patties. We made 12 individual cakes.
Then place the patties in the pan that you just cooked bacon in. While patties are cooking on the first side, push a few bacon chunks into the top of each patty. When you turn the patties over, the bacon will cook into them and infuse the whole crab cake with a bacon flavor!
Top the patties with a sauce of your choice (they don’t even really need sauce though!). We did use a little chipotle blue cheese “aioli”. Sour cream can be combined with some blue cheese chunks, dill and chipotle powder to make an easy, tasty sauce!
Serve with a nice light salad! We used arugula, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, and lightly tossed it in our homemade blue cheese dressing!
These crab cakes are high in protein and pretty low calorie! The whole can of crab is just 350 calories! That with just two eggs and one slice of bacon (on top of the fact that you aren’t eating the whole can yourself!) makes the meal great if you are watching your calorie intake!
I’m sort of sick of being called Paleo with a negative connotation attached. I’m sick of having my diet dismissed because of a term someone else attached to it.
So while I’ve discussed the great components of both the Primal and Paleo diet, but I’m really not either.
I mean let’s face it, no one really eats Paleolithic food so no one is really Paleo.
It is just a name. A way to describe a “philosophy.”
The name has either become a source of pride or something to mock. People either blindly follow the name or won’t give the diet a second look because of it.
BUT, even though I wouldn’t define myself as perfectly Paleo or Primal, I respect the message of both of the diets – EAT WHOLE NATURAL FOODS!
All diets THAT ARE ACTUALLY HEALTHY, no matter what you call them, should follow that basic rule – Eat whole, natural foods. Get plenty of healthy fats, proteins and vegetables and avoid process crap and gluten.
I personally believe that if you avoid gluten and vegetable oil, you will avoid the two leading causes of inflammation, which can cause serious health problems.
I also believe thought that it doesn’t mean you can just eat a ton of gluten-free products.
You also need to avoid as much processed food as possible because frankly, it is CRAP.
But whether or not corn or dairy or peanuts or beans are bad is all up to you. Certain diets say they are bad, but honestly, I think it comes down to how you feel when you eat them and the studies you choose to believe. Because, let’s face it, you can find studies to basically support anything.
At some point you have to make an educated decision about what studies to believe. And then you experiment to find what works for you.
I’ve found that corn tortillas are something I really enjoy. And they can be all natural with no crap. I find that they help me get the perfect amount of carbs to perform well and feel great.
The Primal diet doesn’t promote eating corn, but it works for me.
I also like to include full-fat cheeses and minimal cream in moderation. I don’t have a problem with dairy SO I EAT IT.
Of course, if you have a problem with dairy or follow strict Paleo, you probably won’t.
Then the amount of fat and types of fat you choose to consume are also up to you.
I’m not afraid of some saturated fat. NATURAL products contain it.
HOWEVER, I’m going to choose grass-fed or naturally raised animal products because they have a natural, appropriate ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s. Just because I’m not afraid of some saturated fat doesn’t mean I’m going to eat grain-fed, conventionally raised animals.
They do not contain the same healthy ratio of fats!
But again, it is up to you and HOW YOU FEEL! Maybe you are still a bit more fat-o-phobic even though you eat whole natural foods.
Anyway, stop worrying about the name of your diet.
Whatever you call it, if you eat whole natural foods, you are on the right track! Then it just comes down to exactly what foods you choose to include.
Also, this leads me to a quick fasting update….I used to do intermittent fasting almost every day. Now I’ve varied it up more and I’ve found I’ve gotten even better results. I train fasted still, but only in the mornings. At night, I generally train after eating a small meal.
I’ve found that I get the best results training in this way. I also find that I’m listening to my body more by not forcing myself to fast till a certain time every day.
Again though….it is up to you to find what works! You can find a bazillion suggestions, articles that tell you to never fast and articles that promote fasting for 24 hours at a time. But it comes down to what works for you – to self-experimentation (which I’ve written about so many times!).
I think the sign of a good diet is whether or not it has evolved, even just a little bit, from when you started it.
When you first start a diet, you should stick to the guidelines laid out as strictly as possible because that way you know if the principles work.
But most of the time the guidelines laid out by that other person, aren’t perfect for you. So either you end up giving up on the diet OR you start evolving the diet to better work for you.
I started out doing the Primal diet as Mark had it laid out. But slowly I made my own changes.
At first apples and almond butter were a staple snack to replace the apples and peanut butter I had been eating. Now….I can’t even remember the last time I ate them as a snack.
At first I also didn’t eat rice and potatoes. I ate nuts and fruit and vegetables as my only carbs. But then when I wanted to really cut body fat, I stopped eating as many nuts (actually I basically only eat macadamia nuts now) and started carb cycling with rice and potatoes.
Recently though, I haven’t eaten any potatoes. Instead I’ve had a very little bit of white rice and homemade corn tortillas. Although corn isn’t recommended in Primal, I’ve found that having tacos with corn tortillas as kept me from really cheating otherwise. And my energy levels have felt great, my workouts have been intense and my body composition has actually improved.
I also used to eat a lot more cheese when I first started Primal. Slowly cheese became more of a treat and less of a staple. I no longer need the cheese each day to keep me sane.
That is really what experimenting with your diet is all about – staying sane while being healthy.
You don’t want to deprive yourself of something you love to the extent that you complete give up on a healthy lifestyle. Remember the 80/20 rule – perfection is only required 80% of the time to reach your goals.
You need to find what works for you.
How many carbs do you need? Do you crave sweets or can you not live without your cheese?
All diets can and SHOULD be adjusted to fit YOUR needs.
How has your healthy diet evolved since you started it? What changes have you made to keep yourself dedicated to an overall healthy lifestyle? What do you allow in your 20%?
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
When people hear the name “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Diet,” they scoff and say, “Oh that is that crazy Caveman diet right?”
BUT if I tell people, “Oh I eat only whole, natural foods and avoid gluten, processed foods and vegetable oils” they nod their head in agreement.
UHM HELLO!?! Basically what I’m doing is eating the exact Primal diet that they scoffed at!! The only difference is…..
I DIDN’T CALL IT PRIMAL!
One word can define how people view a diet, workout program even a way of living!
Once mainstream media deemed the Primal/Paleo diet the “Caveman diet” people began to scoff at it even if they will nod in agreement when you list off all of the principles of the diet.
The same thing is true if you say you eat a “low-carb” diet.
People instantly say, “Oh like Atkins?” or “So you don’t eat fruits and veggies?”
BUT if you say you avoid “unhealthy carbs,” again people nod in agreement. (Of course my definition of unhealthy carbs is most often different from theirs, but still…)
There are just so many things that annoy me with the above situation.
For one, if people did any research, they would know that Atkins has now changed and DOES allow carbs as well as a plan to help you add them back in to an appropriate level after the initial weight loss.
For two, why does low-carb instantly mean to people that you cut out fruits and vegetables!?!
Trust me you can eat low-carb but still eat tons of fruits and vegetables! Honestly, I eat more fruits and vegetables since going “low-carb” than I ever did when I ate lots of carbs and low-fat!
So I could eat 7 cups of broccoli throughout the day and still eat fewer carbs than if I had ONE cup of brown rice!
And personally I think having just two cups of broccoli is better nutritionally than one cup of brown rice (AND fewer carbs!)
And diet isn’t the only place that I see “names” being misconstrued.
Honestly, I believe that the same thing has happened as Crossfit has become more and more popular.
It is so funny the different reactions I get from other trainers when I say “intense circuits” versus “Crossfit-style workouts.”
To me, Crossfit means pushing your limits. Trying new things. Constantly varying up the workout. Lifting heavy things and sprinting often.
It means intense circuits that are never the same and constantly challenge your fitness level.
But that isn’t what it means to most trainers.
To most trainers, Crossfit means injury and Olympic lifts with bad form.
But what in this DEFINITION of what Crossfit TRULY is supposed to be says that?
CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises.These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs”. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes,” typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
Uhm I swear I’ve heard the exact trainers that condemn Crossfit utter this exact same phrase to describe their strength and conditioning program “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness).”
Am I wrong?
But because a few people practice something in a way that some consider “wrong,” a whole movement gets condemned.
There are always going to be people who do things that you don’t agree with….in any movement or facet of life.
But that doesn’t mean you can just ignore and belittle something without learning more!
How many things have you not tried because of one word associated with them? How many times have you not done the research to find out the principles behind the diet/lifestyle/workout?
Also, can we ever really accept that one word represents an entire movement? Let’s face it…Primal SHOULDN’T mean the exact same thing to ever person. Neither should “low-carb” or “Crossfit”……
Sunshine, BBQ and some frozen berries and chocolate. What could be better?
Primal Potato Salad
2 oz Blue Cheese
4 slices of bacon
2 hardboiled eggs
1/2 tbsp of dill
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
Boil potatoes and cook the eggs.
Crisp bacon in pan.
Crumble bacon into bowl with extra bacon grease (yum! haha). Chop up hard-boiled eggs.
Peel the potatoes, dice and add to the eggs and bacon. Add in crumbled blue cheese, dill, cream, olive oil and mustard.
Mix well and refrigerate till chilled.
Between getting up early and riding for 7 hours I’m a bit tired tonight and don’t have the attention span to write a post.
I must say though, I felt really good energy-wise eating Primally while doing all of that cardio! I didn’t even add in potatoes or anything. Just a bit of dark chocolate after dinner and some fruit during the day.
Here is a wonderful photo of me and Candy from before the 7 hours. Later I’ll post some sweaty photos taken during the event!