I might be getting caught in the hype. I don’t yet know. What I do know is that I’ve become sufficiently intrigued to attempt my hand at some of the Paleo- style snacks, meals, and ideas. Along with an attempt at CrossFit, of course.
Now, I’m definitely not a convert when it comes to CrossFit—I love dance, climbing, cycling, and other forms of training my body too much to get “sold” on one style or modality. I’ve also read enough research on Functional Training from many experts and, well, the jury is still out for me. But so far, I definitely like integrating it into my love of strength and body practices.
The same goes for food. My practiced sense is that there is no “one thing,” even when the people promoting the one thing are incredibly passionate and have a plethora of stories and research to back up their focus. To me, it can feel a little like a religious sales pitch… makes me kinda cringe. Plus, I get bored way too easy.
That said, so much of our life—mine and my families—is naturally “Paleo-Friendly.” (If you’re not familiar with Paleo, read this). Beginning with our belief systems regarding healthy, whole, organic food choices; natural foods in their raw states, low-glycemic meals and snacks, high Omega-3’s, low Omega-6’s; our food choices certainly fit into the “Moderate style” of Paleo living. Top that off with a son who is deathly allergic to dairy and peanuts (along with other foods), we’re kind of geared toward this trend.
We eat very few processed foods. Maybe it was the way I was raised—Having a huge garden, tons of fruit trees, farm fresh eggs, and our only meat due to my Dad’s gun or fishing pole… definitely close to the “Hunter Gatherer” style of nourishing our bodies.
Even our honey came from Dad’s beehives, and tasted like roses due to his amazing rose bushes that the bees loved as much as we did. We did eat some grains—which my mom ground herself to make homemade bread. And we ate dairy—usually either from my uncle’s or a neighbor’s cow, the cream on top used to make butter and ice cream. All that, coupled with the crazy-deep well my Dad dug for our drinking water, I have to say I feel very blessed with the foundation I had.
These days, I give more grains to the kids than I eat. My feeling is that the kiddos—their bodies and brains in the developmental stages they are, require a lot more complex carbohydrates than we do and can both digest and utilize them more thoroughly than we can, as adults. Recently, I’ve found that I feel much better with a close-to gluten-free diet. Since Lilly was born (Now eight) years ago, I’ve also reintegrated some dairy, because the girl could live off of it! However, I’m sure to give her all organic milk and yogurt—with sufficient probiotics and never treated with hormones. And my preference would be non-pasteurized, like I had as a kid.
On that note, I’ve given a shot to the popular “Paleo Crunch” snack. And I’m a definite fan! A single handful has filled my belly this morning and it’s just sweet enough to feel like a “treat!” Lilly has eaten a bowl with coconut/almond milk and loves it!
Personally, I’m allergic to sunflower seeds, which I see in all the recipes I can find. So I substituted Hemp seeds, which are a great source of Omega 3’s. Many of the recipes I found on-line also include Agave nectar of which I’m not a fan. I won’t go into the hype of that “all natural sweetener” but suffice it to say, in my opinion, it’s just that—HYPE. Here’s a good article if you care to read up on it: Agave Nectar: Good or Bad?
I made the following in two batches—I added about ¼ Cup of pine nuts into the second batch, just to try something a little different. For me, this is a great snack to have in the car, to have in a zip-lock on long bike rides, to eat as cereal with a little almond/coconut milk, or to put into my absolutely non-Paleo homemade Greek yogurt!
Let me know what you think!
Ingredients & Directions:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Mix Dry Ingredients in a large bowl:
- 1/4 Cup ground flax seeds
- 1 Cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 Cup Raw shelled Hemp Seeds
- 1 Cup Pine Nuts
- 1 ½ Cups almond meal
- 3 Cups shredded unsweetened, organic coconut (I used to use the “reduced fat”–not anymore. Full fat all the way!)
- 4 Cups of raw sliced, slivered, or coarsely chopped almonds
- 1 tsp organic True Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
Mix Wet Ingredients:
- ¾-1 full Cup liquefied Organic Coconut Oil. (I use Barlean’s Extra Virgin)
- ½ Cup Raw, Organic Honey (my personal love is a high quality Greek honey—it doesn’t crystalize like local honey and has such a rich, full-bodied flavor! While I don’t know this for certain, I’m curious if it has a lower glycemic index!)
- 3 tsp Pure Madagascar Vanilla
- 3 egg whites
Once you blend the wet and dry ingredients and it is thoroughly mixed, spread the mixture out onto a cookie sheet (you’ll probably need to divide it into a couple of batches as it makes a lot!) Bake for about an hour, until it’s lightly toasted and your house smells nice and toasty! Remove from the oven and stir the mixture—then put back in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the pan, and let sit for a bit to cool. Then place a dry paper towel in the bottom of a lidded container for storage, to soak up any excess coconut oil.
Give a taste, and see if anything needs to be altered slightly for your second batch. This is when I added pine nuts–if you’re wondering about the Paleo-friendliness of pine nuts, check this out: Pine Nuts: Another Healthy Paleo Choice. Some people also like to add a variety of dried fruit options or other nuts or seeds. Have fun, experiment, and let me know what you come up with! Enjoy!
For the Love of Your Life!