Fresh fruit for juggling a busy scheduleI love food. I really really love food. I love eating as much as I need breathing. Ok, maybe I love food even more than breathing. And my food passion turns to serious food desperation on those crazy days that I don’t really have time to cook (that’s pretty much everyday). It’s all about the food.  And I love snacking just as much as I love eating but if I am going to stick to my 80% Paelo lifestyle, I need to make good choices even on crazy days. So I’m working on a list of ‘standard snack fare’ that I keep in my kitchen at all times. It’s gotta be healthy and Paleo friendly because otherwise, I’ll be chowing down on my kiddos’ pretzels and goldfish crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pretty much everything else that they leave behind. I’d much rather feed their leftovers to the chickens and eat something healthier! And it’s got to be a robust kind of a snack or I’ll eat way too many. After all, I like food. I love food. I NEED food. But I don’t need it making me sluggish or hanging around on my thighs…. So here are my favorite go to snacks and mini meals to keep me fueled up and feeling full when life is out of control. And let’s face it, when is life ever not out of control?

1. Banana with a couple tablespoons of almond butter and a few crumbles of homemade Paleo chocolate.

2. A couple of cuties. Call them Cuties, or Halos, or whatever – but a couple of fresh mandarin oranges are a great way to satisfy the sweet tooth, get your vitamin C, and have a nice healthy snack in its own convenient packaging.

3. Faux apple pie. This is delicious when you’re craving something warm and sweet! Cut up an apple any old way you like – I prefer bite size pieces, but slices are good too. Dump them in a bowl with a little bit of coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon (I love cinnamon). Microwave for about a minute, then drizzle with honey (Raw Manuka honey is awesome). It’s like apple pie without the carbs. The coconut oil gives satiety so it’s a great bedtime snack to replace your sugary, sweet dessert.

image4. Eggs. For years, eggs were the ‘bad guys’ of cholesterol, but new studies are showing otherwise. Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrition and protein, easy to cook, and versatile. Keep some hard boiled eggs in the fridge for when you need a quick protein fix.

5.  Smoothies. Smoothies are filling and delicious, but just watch because the calorie count adds up fast. Frozen bananas, a few ice cubes, almond butter, maybe a little protein powder or a scoop of cocoa powder and a little honey. Toss it in your blender and your good to go.

6. Fresh juice. If you have a juicer, you can throw in 3 apples and 2 cucumbers for a great juice to take on the run. They are super nutritious, helps remove any water retention, and will give you energy. Need juicer? Try this one. It’s easy to use and I love mine. Bonus – the chickens love the leftover juice pulp! If you don’t have chickens just use it to create your own compost pile and the waste becomes fertilizer to grow more veggies!

It’s so easy to reach for carbs – crackers, croissants, or pop tarts, make such easy and neat packages, but the sluggishness that comes on after makes the convenience of carbs so not worth it. Instead, keep an extra supply of fresh fruits and veggies on hand: bananas, berries, apples, carrots, celery…. Fresh seasonal produce is almost always cheaper pound for pound than processed foods and gives you much more energy, satiety, and vitamins.

What are you favorite healthy snacks and meals for when you’re super busy?

 

Chocolate.

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In my house, it’s one of the 4 basic food groups. You know, protein, fruits and veggies, coffee, and chocolate. I’ve been taste testing lots of varieties of homemade paleo chocolate, and finally came up with my own version that I love! It’s totally delicious, decadent, easy, and versatile. I’m sure you’ll love it too, so I conjured up a recipe page so I can start keeping these yummy ideas all in one place. Enjoy!

Go here for the recipe: I Need a Chocolate Fix 3 Ingredient Paleo Chocolate 

I am completely and totally unashamed of my urgent, frequent need for chocolate. It’s chock full of antioxidants, feel good endorphins, and it comes from a bean, which is a plant, so it must be healthy right? [insert laughter here]. Ok, except for the sugar, and the butter, and the preservatives… after trying out any number of chocolate paleo recipes, I came up with my own super-fast version. Because anything I do with 6 kids around has to be super-fast!

There’s only 1 downside to this incredibly delicious chocolate recipe – it has to be kept in the freezer or fridge or it will turn to mush. Which, in my opinion, is not really a downside because I prefer my chocolate frozen anyway! There are so many ways you can use this chocolate: eat it right out of the freezer (my favorite), add it to coffee, muffins, cookies, melt it and drizzle over a banana…. you get the idea. The best part is that it’s main ingredient is coconut oil, when of my favorite super-foods for its healthy, satiating qualities.

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Perfect chocolate.

I Need a Chocolate Fix

Ingredient Paleo Chocolate RecipeIMG_0621

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup organic baking cocoa

3 tablespoons raw manuka honey

Directions:

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Organic extra virgin coconut oil

1. Melt your coconut oil completely in a glass dish in the microwave for 1 minute or over low heat in a small pot.

2. Stir in cocoa and honey. Keep stirring until smooth.

3. Pour into prepared candy molds OR line a small dish with raised sides with wax paper (make sure the paper goes up and over the sides) and pour your chocolate into the dish.

4. Freeze for about 20 minutes for small candy molds, thicker molds may take longer.

 

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That’s it!

It’s super simple and fast. Instead of candy molds, I use silicone ice cube trays from Ikea and spray them with organic olive oil spray. And since I ran out of honey yesterday,I substituted 4 tablespoons of maple syrup. If you want to get fancy, place a dollop of almond butter in the middle of your chocolate molds. You could also stir in a tablespoon of vanilla, some chopped nuts, or fresh fruit. You can use the same recipe to make frozen protein bars – just substitute some of the cocoa for your favorite protein powder for an energy boost.

 

 ShoppiIMG_0625ng List (These are affiliate links, which means I might make a dollar or two if you shop)

Manuka Honey 

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Organic Baking Chocolate