Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Full-Speed Ahead

If someone would have told me that I would have mowed and edged our yard in the same day a month ago, I don’t know if I would have believed them. Then added that I also cut down the ornamental grasses, trimmed the rosebush and still had more than enough energy to chase Lydia around Monkey Bizness for a birthday party. I most definitely would have called you crazy. This Sunday I did all of these things and still had energy at the end of the day. What a significant difference our new lifestyle has had on my overall health. It makes me wonder at times when I fight this internal battle to give in but ultimately most of the time I reflect on how great I feel and want that to continue.

This weekend we tried numerous new recipes. The key for us is that we signed up for e-meals, paleo dinner plan, which has given us new ideas and takes the guessing out of what’s for dinner. It is also very helpful because every week it gives you your shopping list at the grocery store. I try to sprinkle in little treats here and there from the web (mostly from paleomg.com or civilizedcavemancooking.com). Today we are exactly one month away from my Mayo appointments. Here are some of our favorites from the week.

Huevos Rancheros (we used hot Italian sausage instead of chorizo)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb raw chorizo, casing removed
12 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan. Cook 8 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined pan. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add eggs, salt and pepper to pan. Cook 4 minutes, stirring gently, or until just set. Stir in cilantro. Serve eggs over chorizo.

Shrimp Scampi
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
15 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup white wine
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
¼ cup minced green onion
3 tablespoons minced chives
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and garlic to pan. Cook 3 minutes. Add wine, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook 1 minute. Stir in onion, chives, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

Gena really liked the following recipe.

Wilted Spinach with Pine Nuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 (5 oz) bags baby spinach
½ cup pine nuts
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; saute 4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add spinach and pine nuts. Saute 5 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Stir in salt and pepper.

On Saturday as a treat I made these banana pancakes from Paleomg.com. They were delicious. Lydia couldn’t get enough!


I can’t tell you how much the Paleo diet is changing my lifestyle, day by day I am feeling a difference. My crohn's feels under control and isn't dictating my life as much as it has in the past.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Temptation lurks around every corner when you are doing the Paleo diet. I’ve realized that no matter where we are soda and bread are everywhere. They are strategically placed throughout the store to get you to buy it. This weekend at the Royals game I totally would have ate the bun on my dog if it hadn’t fallen apart and I did scarf down the Fritos like a mad man even though I don't ever recall enjoying them. I still avoided soda though. In fact the last soda I had was on Easter but I’ll admit I want to have one when I see it on a billboard, sign or when someone else is drinking one.

I did okay on Sunday which was Gena’s birthday. We like the way one of our friends expressed how he does Paleo/Primal and that is by the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the time you eat Paleo and 20% of the time you let things slide. I’m only saying this because on Sunday I used the 20% for the hash browns at breakfast, the tortillas for fajitas at dinner and the Italian birthday cake.

Here is one of the testomonials that really spoke to me. Maybe it will speak to you the same way if you are experiencing Crohns too.

We made some pretty good recipes this weekend that were super easy and tasted really good. The below are two of my favorites. T-4 days until I can tell you how our first brew of kombucha taste!

Chicken and Kale Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 (14-oz) cans organic chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 bunch kale, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt
and pepper. Add chicken to skillet; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Transfer to a
5- to 7-quart slow cooker. Stir in broth, wine, onion, garlic and bay leaf. Cover and cook on
low heat 5 hours. Stir in kale and parsley. Cook an additional 1 hour. Shred chicken with 2 forks
before serving.

We even experimented with making our first Paleo cracker and they were good too!

Almond Flax Crackers

1 cup almond meal (or almond flour)
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine almond and flaxseed meals in a medium bowl. Stir in
oil, eggs, baking powder and salt until well blended. Roll dough into an 8 x 10-inch rectangle on a large baking sheet lightly sprinkle with almond meal. Use a knife to score dough into 12 equal crackers, marking the surface of the dough without cutting through completely. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool on baking sheet 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp. Break into crackers.

Whole Grain Dijon Salmon

6 (6-oz) salmon fillets
2 tablespoons whole grain or regular Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat broiler. Brush salmon with mustard.Place on a baking sheet rubbed with oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Quick Sauteed Swiss Chard

2 bunches Swiss chard, cleaned and trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Coarsely chop chard into 1-inch pieces. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and chard to pan. Saute 5 minutes or just until chard wilts. Stir in salt and pepper.

Even Lydia liked these. One thing that I can say is that we are learning about new veggies and enjoying it. It is good to cook in abundance with meals while doing Paleo so you always have leftovers. An easy way to trip up is if you need something quick but don’t have anything on hand. I’ve learned this from experiences that we’ve had. It’s a lot easier to through a pizza in the oven than cook. To combat this we’ve stalked up on dried fruit, nuts and jerky for snacks.

Gena and I went and saw 42 last night. It was phenomenal. I highly recommend it even to those who are not fans of baseball. My one and only slip-up was the popcorn at the movie theatre. Typically I can’t digest it and it gives me problems but I haven’t experienced that yet so it makes me believe that the diet is working and healing my gut! This has me excited!

As far as my health, I am feeling better with more energy. My fatigue is not as much now and am able to stay up later than 9:30 which I’m sure Gena enjoys!


“Most people will not reach their potential without somebody else believing in them. Is there someone you can encourage today?” ~ Joel Osteen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paleo and Crohn’s

So it has been a while since we have updated the blog. Actually I have never updated it , not even once. I might have conveyed some thoughts to Gena but it has been all her. Recently we’ve been researching and trying to implement the paleo diet into our lives as there are numerous testimonials on how it has helped those with some kind of IBD or auto immune disease. It initially started by me giving up any type of restaurant that had a drive thru and committing to eating 3 to 4 paleo meals during lent. Since lent I have also given up soda although with any old habit it is hard to kick. I admit that I do slip up and drink a soda every now and then but I’m no longer pounding a 32 oz back every day. The increase in energy, mental focus and the way my gut reacted convinced us that as a family we needed to do this all the time for not only my health but everyone’s. Hopefully when we go to Mayo at the end of May we will be able to see the results of how our new lifestyle has impacted our lifes.

My goal is to impact someone else’s life who has Crohn’s or any other disease through showing them my struggles and how I try to overcome them. I’m going to share how I am feeling, what I am eating and a bunch of other things hopefully if the idea in my head comes to fruition. Hopefully I can also put some pictures and recipe’s of the food we make to show everyone that eating paleo is very doable.

Last night we made curried skirt steak w/ creamy mashed carrots and it was absolutely delicious. Who would have known that carrots could taste that good!

Curried Skirt Steak
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
.5 teaspoon pepper
.5 teaspoon minced garlic
2 lb beef skirt steak

Preheat broiler. Combine oil, curry powder, salt,
pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Rub mixture
evenly over both sides of steak. Place on a
roasting rack in a pan. Broil 4 to 5 minutes per
side or until desired degree of doneness. Let
stand 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the


Creamy Mashed Carrots
1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped
14 oz can coconut milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Place carrots in a large saucepan; cover with
water. Bring to a boil; cook 18 minutes or until
tender. Drain and return to pot over medium
heat; add coconut milk, salt and pepper. Mash
with a potato masher until creamy and heated

We have even started to brew kombucha. Here is our first attempt of blueberry-pomegranate kombucha.