“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

paleo/primal and a muffin recipe!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Paleo/Primal Muffins Paleo/Primal Muffins Paleo/Primal Muffins Paleo/Primal Muffins Paleo/Primal Muffins Paleo/Primal Muffins
Thought you wouldn't see me for another 6 months, didn't you? Well, I'm trying really hard to blog more often, mainly because I miss the blogging world so much! I miss writing about my cooking and sewing adventures. I LOVE my iphone, but sometimes it makes it difficult for me to transfer pictures into blog posts, instead I end up "instagraming" them.

Today I planned to make some muffins and thought what is better than a muffin blog post. Oh, but not just any muffins, these are paleo/primal muffins! Don't know what paleo/primal is? Well, it's my new way of eating! Basically, paleo/primal way of eating is cutting out all grains (yes, even corn), legumes and processed foods and some people cut out milk as well. It really also depends if you have intolerances to anything. If you find you do, you cut those out as well.

(By the way, just skip to the end if you don't want to read my long explanation about foods and diet etc!!)

How did I decide to eat paleo/primal you ask? I have been dealing with a really intensely itchy rash under my knees for almost 5 years now. It's awful. It started under one knee and then eventually the other knee got it. Doctors said it was eczema, whatever that is. The creams only helped for a little bit and eventually they stopped working. Anyway, after experimenting with a bunch of different theories, I finally caved and decided to go gluten free. That was only after Jed found an article about this thing called dermatitus herpetiformis (note, there is a kind of disgusting picture of a guy's belly if you click the link!). It was pretty much exactly the symptoms I was experiencing. The itching was so very intense and no one could understand that I simply couldn't stop itching it! Really, I tried not itching it (that was hard!) and it still wouldn't go away. Finally I decided it was becoming ridiculous. Now, there were times when it went away if I used an expensive cream (that was hard to find) on a regular bases. But I was sick of spending $15-$20 on a tiny bottle when it really wasn't doing anything and going to the doctor was no help at all. I was planning to get tested for a gluten intolerance, but ended up going off of gluten myself instead. (I kind of hate going to the doctor because they never help and I didn't want to risk not having insurance if they did find out I had an intolerance.)

This summer I decided to go gluten free. It actually wasn't that hard, because I found there were lots of things I could eat, including LOTS of junk food! After doing that for about a month, I was thinking that I'd really like to find a better way to eat to keep me from eating so much junk foods, just because they say they are gluten free. While the rash had gone down a ton, it still wasn't completely gone yet and I was thinking maybe it would be good to cut out other grains in my diet, even some gluten free ones. So I looked up "grain-free" and found out about the paleo/primal lifestyle. At first it seemed like a lot to do, then I read more about it and figured out that a lot of people tailor the paleo lifestyle to their needs. For instance, a lot of paleo hardcores seem to cut out a lot of starches and milk etc. But I don't think they are bad in moderation. I think that's where primal comes in, as they tend to add in more of those things than the paleo diet does. Simply put, the paleo/primal diet is basically vegetables, meats and fats. Then you can add in other starches, fruit/sugar depending on your needs.

I also wanted a diet where I didn't have to always count calories, because whenever I count calories I always end up eating way more sugar than healthy foods! And I want a well balanced healthy diet, while still enjoying some healthier snacks and sweets now and then. I actually love that the paleo diet is big on fats. It makes cooking so much easier! I don't have to worry about skimping on fat or protein and I'm finding I'm eating a lot more meat and vegetables than I had before. Of course, I've only been gradually building up to this lifestyle, so I'm far from where I want to be. I'm just happy that I feel like I have some sort of a goal now, instead of feeling utterly confused at what kinds of foods I need. Now I have a better idea of the foods I should eat more of and the foods I should try to avoid. And it also helps that when I go "off" the paleo/primal lifestyle, like when going out to eat, I can just worry about being gluten free so that my rash doesn't come back. Also, I will say living in Colorado makes eating gluten free a lot easier. Almost every restaurant I've been to here has gluten free options. Not just gluten free crackers and cheese!

So after all that, I'm finally getting around to the muffin recipe! This recipe was really delicious, although I did make some changes from the original recipe, because that's kind of what I do. I listed the changes I made below:


Chunky Monkey Muffins
Yields 12 muffins
from Primal Cravings cookbook, also on their blog Health Bent.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (unfortunately I don't have coconut sugar, so just used plain old cane sugar)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas, from ~2 medium bananas (oops, I used 3!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I added a little extra)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I omitted this because I'm out of chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (my addition, optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (my addition, optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves (my addition, optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (my addition, optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and salt, spices if you are using them. In another large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, bananas, vanilla extract, and eggs. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Divide batter among the lined muffin cups. Bake until the muffins have puffed and the edges have slightly browned, about 20-25 minutes (mine took more like 30-35 min).

Enjoy!

P.S. I forgot to add, the muffins were outstanding! Really can't tell the difference between "normal" muffins and these. By the way, if you like coffee, these are brilliant paired with a cup of black coffee (the way I like it best). Yum! 

our new home.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! Moving into our new home! 
Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I've blogged. We worked really hard all last week and especially this past weekend to move all of our belongings to our new home! It was A LOT of work, mainly because we left most everything to pack last minute and we had a lot of stuff to pack! Thank goodness for Jed's family. I'm pretty sure just the two of us couldn't have accomplished all of that by ourselves. But we are here now and we LOVE it and we have the most amazing landlords. So far we are still getting situated. I finally arranged my work space a little bit, although I stuffed the closet full of un-opened boxes. I'm kind of loathing the part when I have to un-box everything, which is partly why I'm writing a blog post right now! After discovering we had even more stuff since our move to Chicago two years ago, I have decided I am going to go through everything and get rid of anything I really don't need or use anymore. Wish me luck on that! I will probably have more yardsales, so look out for those in the coming weeks/months!

I am itching to get back to work now that summer is almost over and the fall season will be approaching us soon. I have a few fun outfits planned for my fall collection and really hope I can work hard to get those things made in time! It really is my favorite time of year. I feel like I've been so out of it, rushing around this whole month. Hopefully September will go a little bit smoother. I may open the shop for a bit to sell the rest of the summer clothes, but we'll see if I have time. Everything will be on sale, of course. So be on the lookout for that as well!

xoxo

sale! sale! sale!

Monday, August 5, 2013

peaches almost ready! peaches almost ready! new dress in the shop

I am having a 3 day moving sale currently in the shop! Jed and I are heading back to Chicago the end of this week to pack up our apartment for our big move out to Colorado! I'm so excited! I thought I would put my late summer items on sale for a few days this week before heading out. I'll have everything ready to ship out before we move, but I will be closing the shop after the sale. If you want anything, get it now! I won't be opening the shop until September. It shouldn't take as long to get settled into our new home as it did when I moved to Chicago. At least I will try to get everything unpacked as soon as I can! I'm so excited for fall!! Our new home is an actual house, not an apartment! I'm thrilled about that and I'm also thrilled about the beautiful weather and landscape of the new area we will be in. I'll write up a post sometime about our new home soon. I can't wait to show you our cute little house. The summer has drifted away so fast, I just cannot believe it! I'm excited to change seasons, though. And maybe I can squeeze in some time at the lake in between packing boxes. I know I'll need a few breaks to keep me from going mad, right? I probably won't update too much until we have moved, but you never know! Summer has been so busy and scattered. I'll be glad when I have some sort of schedule again. xoxo