Tales of A Paleo Mom

Whole 30 (attempting again!) and Unsloppy Joes Meat Mixture Recipe

I had planned on writing a long post about handling my stomach issues, but that has all changed. So instead you get the short version, a quick what’s going on now and then a recipe if you stick around that long.

Short version…At the end of May, I started doing a “leaky gut” protocol which I learned about online. I bought a bunch of supplements and started taking them. Shortly after, I talked with a nutritionist-in-training who agreed with what I was taking and thought I should also take HCl for low stomach acid. So I started taking that as well. And I was feeling good. My stomach was “normal-ish”, but I was consumed with taking pills three times a day and it was not cheap. We went on several vacations, and I did pretty well hauling all 7 of my bottle with me even to Hawaii. It was the last vacation that messed things up with a bit of drinking and a lot of eating…some not so healthy. During the last vacation, my stomach did okay and I just gradually stopped taking the pills because I just got lazy.  My stomach has been acting up a bit but that’s because it doesn’t like the crap I’m eating.  Point taken, Stomach, and it’s time for a change 🙂

What’s going on now…The last three days I have been attempting my 2nd Whole 30. I think this might be attempt number 6 or 7. I have had three good days of eating. I don’t think I am eating enough which has been a problem in the past I think, but no slip ups yet. The thought of having something like a little sugar in my coffee or a little dark chocolate has crossed my mind but I have been able to distract myself with things other than food. I am trying to eat more fats but that is another area I need to work on too. So far so good though.  And no more P90X3.  Back to real weights for me…Strong Curves.

Recipe…My son loves Unsloppy Joes and had requested them several times over the last couple weeks. It is basically Sloppy Joe mix rolled up in a croissant with cheese sprinkled on it and then baked. That ain’t going on my plate! Instead, I made the sloppy Joe mix from scratch and served mine over half a baked potato and used the rest to make the Unsloppy Joes for the rest of the gang. Everyone was happy!

Unsloppy Joes Meat Mixture

What you need…

  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • 1 Tb. coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 TB. ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 heaping tsp. of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do…

  1. Heat coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is warm, add onion, bell pepper and crushed garlic.  Saute until soft, approximately 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook.
  4. Once the meat has been cooked, add the tomato sauce, chile powder, cumin and salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Yum!  If I wasn’t doing a Whole 30, I probably would have topped mine with a little raw cheddar cheese….mmmmmm!

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Broccoli Slaw with Bacon

This has been a perfect side dish for our summer meals because it’s quick!  Most nights we throw something quick and easy on the grill and I whip up a batch.  Even the picky eaters in our family like this one!

What you need:

For the dressing…

  • 4 Tb. homemade mayo (check out my Minute Mayo recipe)
  • 3 TB. white vinegar
  • 1 Tb. raw honey

For the slaw…

  • 4 cups broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 cup bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped

What to do…

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (mayo, vinegar, and honey).  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together broccoli slaw, bacon bits, cranberries, and pistachios.  Add dressing (as much as you like), toss and serve.

Note:  If you anticipate leftovers, do not add pistachios to the large bowl.  Instead, place in a small bowl and  sprinkle them on top of single servings once plated to avoid them getting mushy.

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No Excuses and Better With Chocolate Chips Banana Mini Muffins

It’s been a while.  A long while.  Lots has gone on and I will be writing about that in a long post soon to come.

Today…just a delicious, simple recipe my whole family loves, and I always have the ingredients on hand for to whip up a quick batch.  I found the recipe on Pinterest (addicted to Pinterest currently!) while attempting my fourth try at #2 Whole 30 (that’s a whole post of its own as well).  I changed the original recipe up by cutting it in half and making mini muffins.  My first batch was without chocolate chips because I thought I was doing a Whole 30.   Once I stopped my Whole 30, I changed the recipe by adding mini chocolate chips…because everything is better with chocolate.

This was my first batch without chocolate chips when I thought I was trying to do Whole 30.

Aren’t they cute!  This was my first batch (believe or not without chocolate chips…what?!?!?!?)  when I thought I was trying to do Whole 30.

Better With Chocolate Chips Banana Mini Muffins

(adapted from todaysletters.com, Grain Free Banana Muffins)

Makes 12 mini muffins

What you need…

  • 2 spotted bananas (original recipe called for 3 spotted bananas but since I cut it in half I used 2 smaller spotted bananas)
  • 3/4 c. raw cashews
  • 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 1 Tb. coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • coconut oil to grease muffin tins
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips (optional)

What to do…

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease mini muffin tins.
  2. Grind cashews in food processor until ground into a fine meal.
  3. Add coconut oil and blend until consistency is cashew butter.  (This takes a while.  Be patient.)
  4. Add the bananas and blend until well combined.
  5. In a separate bowl (medium size), whisk egg.  Then add cashew banana mixture along with almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until batter forms.
  6. If adding chocolate chips (and why won’t you!), mix into batter now.
  7. Pour batter into greased muffin tins filling each about 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes or until muffins are cooked through.
  9. Let muffins completely cool on a rack before storing (if they last that long!).



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April Challenge and Minute Mayo Recipe

So I am at it again with the challenge thing.  But April is going to be different…really!  Instead of going at it alone, I am doing a squat challenge with my sister and a few friends (if they all commit!).  Working out with others is a great way to stay motivated and committed, or at least I am hoping it is :).  So I will be starting tomorrow morning with 30 squats…definitely doable.

About a year ago, I tried making mayonnaise using my food processor and blender.  Both appliances got too warm and broke the emulsion (I think that’s what it’s called!), so I gave up after two failed attempts.  Then I found a few recipes using an immersion blender and discovered how easy it was to make homemade mayo using this method.   I love making this mayo.  It is super easy and tasty!  My husband likes this homemade mayo better than “regular” processed one on grocer store shelves.  The best part it is there are only a few ingredients which are staples in most kitchens, and it really takes 1 minute to whip up.

Minute Mayo Recipe (Whole 30 friendly)

What you need…

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (I have also used an egg out of the fridge and it worked fine.)
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • squirt of Dijon mustard (about a tsp.)
  • 1/2-1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 cup mild tasting oil (I use walnut oil.  Be careful not to make with regular olive oil…it doesn’t taste all that great.  If using olive oil, get the light kind.  You’ll thank me!)

What to do…

  1. In an immersion blender cup/container thing, crack the egg.  Add the lemon juice (watch for seeds!), mustard and salt.
  2. Place the immersion blender into the cup/container and begin to blend.
  3. With the blender running, slowly pour in the oil.  It will take 10-15 seconds before it begins to emulsify.  Keep pouring the oil until all has been added.
  4. Continue to blend until all the oil has been combined.
  5. Place in a container and refrigerate.

Some people say it can be kept in the fridge for one week and others say up to three weeks.  When it starts to smell funky or tastes weird, it’s time to make a new batch…if it lasts that long.

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Weekly Meal Plan – Week of March 30th

Here are the meals planned for the week…

Week of March 29th30th (oops!)

  • Sunday:  burgers (buffalo burger for me), sweet potato fries, roasted Brussels sprouts and artichokes
  • Monday:  Balsamic Chicken, sauteed green beans, green salad
  • Tuesday:  Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Pasta (zucchini pasta for me)
  • Wednesday:  Roasted Chicken Pieces
  • Thursday:  Pork Tenderloin for the family but not me since it has honey in it
  • Friday:  ?
  • Saturday:  out

Today, while out shopping, I sent my daughter a picture of the prepared salads from Costco she keeps asking me to buy.  The rest of the family is technically done with their healthy eating 30 day challenge tomorrow, so Sarah had asked for the salads for lunch because her BFF brings them for lunch and “they look so good!”  Her reply to the picture, “No I changed my mind.  I’m just going to keep eating turkey rollups.”  🙂  No argument from me!

And about the healthy eating 30 day challenge…overall, I would say it was pretty successful. It turned out that the family ate healthy during the week (for the most part, husband went off more than the kids during week) and then on the weekends they got to chose what they wanted.  Most of the time, it turned out only to be Saturday night’s meal which wasn’t too bad.  We talked about the challenge over the last few days, and they want to continue to eat healthy during the week and then be allowed to make their own choices on the weekend which I think is fine for now.

Workouts have been few and far between if any.  I ran twice this week (I think) and that’s it.  I am hoping this next week slows down and I get a few lifting workouts in there.  It is hard when there is a lot going on at school and with the kids.  I just can’t get up at 5:15 right now to workout on the side yard in the cold and dark.  Maybe once things start to warm up.

Hoping this week is a little less hectic!

Off to fix dinner and prep mayo and Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole (with homemade sausage) for this week’s breakfast.


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Whole 30 – Day 2

I successfully made it through Day 1…barely.   After my lunch post, we had had to lock down at school which caused much chaos for students and teachers.  It’s a long story but made for an exciting and anxiety causing afternoon.  Following work, there was a bridal shower for one of my coworkers at Sonoma Chicken Coop.  I wasn’t looking forward to going but knew it was the right thing to do.  It had plates of appetizers which consisted of icky, greasy food “stuff” , so I opted to watch everyone eat and drink while I sipped water.  I even drove home with a red velvet cupcake in my hand (for my husband) without sneaking even a small nibble.  Dinner was boring…sauteed chicken and salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I was still hungry, so I ate a handful of pistachios.

After doing the dishes, I decided to make myself a cup of mint chocolate tea with coconut milk.  I was hoping this would hit the spot for “a treat” after dinner but it didn’t really do the trick.  I ended up eating a few more pistachios and an orange.  All in all…day 1 was a success!

Today…Day 2….hmm…I had nothing to pack for lunch which could have lead to me calling the WHOLE thing off (that’s my bad attempt at humor!).  I decided that wasn’t an option.  I am committed to doing this!  Meal 1 was easy to take care, and I decided to throw Applegate salami into Meal 2 bag and planned on running out for something else like a salad or something.  I ended up picking up sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and guac.   Once I got back to school, the salami wasn’t sounding like a great choice, so I had 2 hard-boiled eggs which I had left in the fridge overnight and my veggies and guac. along with a banana.  I can’t repeat enough how important prepping is…need to practice what I preach 😉  I will definitely be prepping this weekend.

I did wake up with a headache this morning which went away about 10:00 and I felt a bit nauseous for about a half hour.  Not sure if it’s related to changing my diet…it’s only been one day!  I did sleep all night without waking up sweating to death so I was happy about that!

That’s it.

Nothing too exciting.

I think I will wrap up my day by having a cup of red velvet chocolate tea in a bit, meal planning and prepping my grocery list, before calling it a night.

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Quick Update…Whole 30 Day 1

Day 1 of the Whole 30 and it’s going fairly well so far.

Meal 1: 2 scrambled eggs with spinach cooked in coconut oil, black coffee
Meal 2: leftover roasted chicken, sautéed green beans with garlic and olive oil, orange

I didn’t eat breakfast within one hour of waking and had to force myself to choke it down.  I just wasn’t hungry.  It was a hectic morning with the executive team walking through our classrooms.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have had a few hectic days which has lead to beginning my second Whole 30.   Things should be slowing down I am hoping.

Crossing my fingers and toes I make smart choices the rest of the day!

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A WHOLE Lot of Help Needed….

The last two days have been rough…

Yesterday, I was on a field trip from 10:15-1:55 (early dismissal-thank goodness). There were 84 students from third and fourth grades and only two teachers.  We did have lots of parent chaperones which definitely helped, but some parents are not comfortable speaking up if needed.  No one got lost, and the students behaved themselves for the most part 🙂  I forgot how much I hate riding on a school bus packed with LOUD children!

Following the field trip, we had a staff meeting where we went over training on how to administer the new assessment (CAASPP)  since shifting to Common Core this year.  My brain went into shutdown mode, and I was done for the day after that.  UNTIL…I found out that the GATE test I was administering the following day to all 3rd grade students still needed to be picked up by ME!  This was my first year giving the test, so I really had no idea what I was doing.  I missed the training due to conferences, so I had no idea that I was responsible for picking up the tests.  I called the district office, contacted the person in charge to confirm she was still there, and then rushed over before she left for the day.  While my brain was done, I still had more work to do after dinner and packing lunches for the next day.  Since I needed to be out of the class for the day to do the testing, I still needed to prep and type up sub plans.  I finally made it to bed at 11:45pm.

Oops…I left one thing out…I didn’t eat anything until 2:00pm.  I had my usual cup of coffee with coconut milk and a little coconut sugar.  I was too busy making sure everything was prepped for the field trip.  The students had to eat lunch at 9:45 am since we weren’t allowed to bring food or snacks with us.  I just wasn’t hungry, so I ended up eating once the students had been dismissed and I had a chance to sit down for a minute at our staff meeting.  After rushing around to pick up the tests, I was on anxiety overload and started eating anything and everything in sight.  After dinner, I consumed large amounts of sugar.  I went to bed on a sugar high and had a hard time sleeping.

Today, I got to school after picking up pencils and brain food (Goldfish?  not my idea of brain food) for testing and needed to finish copying materials for the sub.  I quickly went over the plans with the sub, and I headed into the first classroom to give the GATE test.  Again, I didn’t eat breakfast because I was nervous about giving the test for the first time and was prepping for my sub and the test at the same time.  I tested three classes of 30 students back to back, but it wasn’t bad at all once I made it through the first group.  Lunch finally rolled around and I was able to sit down around 1:00 pm to eat some leftovers from Monday night’s dinner.  I left school briefly to watch my son’s play at school and then headed back for a planning meeting with my teammates.  On my way home, I stopped by Target to get sheets for my daughter’s new bed and grabbed a couple other items.  Got home and started snacking, snacking, snacking…ate dinner..then more snacking, snacking, snacking…

And no working out….

And…this is kind of gross…but I am SWEATING to death at night again…

The executive team will be coming to our school tomorrow for a meet and greet in addition to observing our classrooms…YIKES!…another nerve-wracking morning!

While I am not beating myself up over my poor food choices, I clearly need to get myself back on track.  I know everyone slips up now and again, but my slip ups can turn into downhill catastrophes quickly.  I feel like at least I know what is going on and why and maybe I can get things back under control.  So how am I going to do that you may be asking???


I have to.  I don’t see any other way to get things under control without following some sort of “plan”.  In the past, I said I wouldn’t do another Whole 30 or Sugar Detox, but the truth is sometimes you just need to reset your body and get healthy again.

I will not be cleaning out my house of off limit foods because I am the only one who will be doing this.  My mother in law still eats her “regular” diet and while the rest of the family is eating healthier, many of the items they are eating aren’t allowed on the Whole30.  I think this will be the biggest challenge along with food prep.  But I know I can do it because I did it once before!

So Whole30 starts tomorrow…

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Weekly Meal Plan

Super quick…then off to bed…

  • Sunday:  my MIL invited my parents over, so she was in charge of dinner – steak, marinaded chicken, oven roasted potatoes, asparagus, spinach salad, garlic bread with brownies and ice cream for dessert
  • Monday:  Paleo Pizza Casserole from onceamonthmeals.com <——love that I found this site over the weekend…excited to try some of the meals and maybe prep by freezing a few we like
  • Tuesday:  Brick Roasted Chicken
  • Wednesday:  Pork Tenderloin
  • Thursday:  Coffee Marinaded Steak Fajitas from PaleOMG.com…prepped this for last week and stuck in freezer which turned out to save me a night of figuring out what to make this week 🙂

Not sure what the rest of the week will look like…I have some ground beef so maybe meatloaf or burgers on Friday or Saturday.  We shall see.

I was planning on starting a Whole 30 this morning, but not having stuff in the house and having stuff in the house we should not is making it really hard to commit.  I am thinking maybe during April I will try which would be give over a week to get things lined up and figured out. The new site I found Once A  Month Meals has a spot for recipes for Whole 30 which will probably be my go to.  Meanwhile, I am just working to get back on track.  I seem to have a good day and then things fall apart.

Setting a goal for tomorrow (was going to be for the week but starting small) – eat three meals starting with Meal 1 before leaving the house and drinking plenty of water, no snacking once I get home from work or after dinner



Recipes I Have Made and You Should Too

Just a quick post because I wanted to be in bed an hour ago…

Not my recipes, but they are delicious and you should make them now…seriously!

Current favorite…Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta from Stupid Easy Paleo – I have been eating mine without the bacony goodness because I am too lazy to throw it in the oven.  Next time, which will be tomorrow because I at ate it all in two days…myself…no sharing.

Best Banana Bread ever…Coffee Cake Banana Bread from PaleOMG (random thought…why call it coffee cake if there’s no coffee in it???) – Everyone likes it (even my mother-in-law) which is actually not a good thing.  Less for me 😦

Weird but I loved it…Broccoli Bread from Purely Twins – sometimes you just need to try something new…ate this today for lunch with Applegate ham and LOVED it!  AND…my broccoli HATING husband ate this (his whole piece) and said it wasn’t that bad – that’s huge.  I successfully got him to eat a green veggie without gagging!

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