Gingerbread Cookies (Paleo)

These are my new holiday favorite!  Quick & easy. Soft & chewy. Can be rolled out into gingerbread men/women with a little extra coconut flour to keep them from sticking to the shape cutter.

If you want to know nutritional facts, look for Paleo Gingerbread in MyFitnessPal.

FOR BREAKFAST  with coffee

gingerbread

or DESSERT with Samuel Adams Merry Maker Gingerbread Stout.

stout

Ingredients

2c Almond Flour

1/4 c Arrowroot Starch

6 TBS Coconut Flour

1-2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 TBS Baking Soda

2 tsp Ground Ginger

1 TBS Crystallized Ginger (chopped)

1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt

1 egg (broken up)

8 TBS Unsalted Butter, melted (recommend Kerry Gold)

1/3c Honey, slightly warmed

1/3c Molasses, slightly warmed

Method

Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Mix wet ingredients together. Combine wet with dry ingredients.  Let dough rest or refrigerate until ready to use.  Scoop out dough and roll into a ball then press onto sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  OR scoop out a large amount, dust with coconut flour, then use gingerbread shaped cutter.  Bake 10-12 minutes depending on thickness.

**REMEMBER!  Honey needs to be cooked at lower temperatures in order to keep it from scorching.

Scones

These scones are gluten-free made with almond flour adding extra protein.

INGREDIENTS

2.5c Almond Flour/Meal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3c grapeseed or avocado oil

1/4c honey/agave nectar

2 large eggs

*Optional Add-Ins:  chocolate chips, blueberries, dried fruit, cinnamon, etc.)

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In bowl, combine almond flour, salt, & soda.  In separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, & honey.  Stir wet ingredients into dry, then fold in optional “add-ins.”  Drop 1/4c batte on baking sheets about 2″ apart.

Bake 12-17 minutes until brown or done in the center.  Let cool 30 minutes.

Paleo Brownies

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS Coconut Oil

16oz Walnuts (or Almond Meal)

1 cage-free egg (vegan option: 1TBS flaxseed meal whisked with 3 TBS water)

1/2c. honey or agave nectar

1/2c. cocoa or carob powder

1 TBS Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

2oz chocolate chips (optional; substitute with soy-, diary-free chips)

*Add 1+ TBS water if dry

METHOD

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease 8×8 (smaller) dish with coconut oil.

Use food processor to pulse walnuts until smooth, butter-like.

In separate bowl, beat egg then add walnut puree, vanilla, honey & combine.

Add cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda then chocolate.

Pour into baking dish & bake for 30-40 minutes (until done in center).

*It’ll rise then fall in the center.  Cool 15 minutes before cut/eat.

 

 

 

 

Age 30: part-Paleo, part-CrossFit, part-Athlete, all ME

If you  haven’t heard about the Paleo Caveman Diet or the Crossfit (IronTribe in Birmingham) workout style, then do not be afraid.  If you HAVE, then also don’t be afraid either.  I’ve gone from hate to indifference to curiosity to personal guinea pig in order to determine the what, how, and why of this recent craze.  Between my injury-prone history, my all or nothing athletic attitude, and my obsession with finding harmony, health, and balance, I became humbled enough to seek outside advice and inside experience.

I’ve always been the person who had to try it on before believing it.  My famous last words before every break-through or breakdown, as it more often seemed to be, were, “I can do it myself.”  And oh how I tried, sometimes succeeding but usually ending up with stitches (head, finger, nose, chin, etc.).  My ego and/or excitement seemed to always get me in trouble or hurt, until I realized how to embrace as a lesson that I desperately needed to learn.  Too bad it only took 30 years, a severely weakened and pulled hamstring, and a painful finish to my 1st half-marathon to learn it.  That was the spiritual 2×4 that has so lovingly followed me around for decades.  Of course I didn’t even realize its’ presence until about 10 years ago.

So now I’m 30 and the realities of fitness, family, work, and spiritual reality are booming loudly around me and inside me.  I can’t keep going full blast until breakdown like I did in my teens and 20s.  Unless I want blown out knees, hips, back, and more (Dr. Sophia Lal already pointed out the bursitis and arthritis in my hips, least I say more).

In an effort to minimize and eventually eliminate my pain and join inflammation, I’ve not only been going to physical therapy at Eskridge & White for 4 month but I’ve started working with new chiropractor, Dr. Jessica Dietrich-Marsh, in Pelham.  Strengthening muscles, aligning bones/vertebrae, discovering nutritional deficiencies, and being my own patient, has given me patience and insight into what true healing is about.   While no one “diet” or “food plan” is for everyone, I do believe we have much to learn from each other.

WHY the Paleo, Cross-Fit, Spinning, Yoga-Extravaganza?!

PALEO: This caveman approach says we need to go back to our ancestral diet because they didn’t have diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.  Paleo people blame the previous on excess fats, carbohydrates, sugars, and dairy.  In particular, sugar (i.e. simple/double & even complex carbohydrates like grains/wheat) can feed the body’s stress response along with overtaxing the the liver & other digestive organs leading to an accumulation of toxins (and fat: the “tire around the waist” kind).  It does give us energy but we have made sugar a food group and the main one at that in the past 30 years.  No one needs that much energy, nor that poor of a quality which is found in sodas, desserts, and all sorts of pre-fabbed  (i.e. processed) foods.  Basically, sugar feeds the Stress Response  which creates Toxins = Inflammation.  Enough said.  I’m inflamed enough so good by wheat, dairy, refined foods, potatoes, rice/quinoa except at lunch/dinner with protein and veggies.  I’m still going to eat my legumes though; the vegetarian in me is still quite alive.

For more ideas on a gentle balance way to try it out, check out Paleo for Athletes.

CROSS-FIT/IRON TRIBE go hand in hand with the Paleo diet.  The point behind their WODs (workout of the day) is to keep your body and brain guessing but also use dynamic, functional movements like lifting, swing, pushing, pulling, etc.  They only have you do it with weight, quickly, and timed.  This method builds endurance and quick muscle firing = strength and agility to name a few.  My weak muscles and extra-stretchy body via Yoga called for major strengthening if I was ever going to swim, bike, run or even walk again pain-free.  I might can stand on my head, balance on one foot, touch my toes, and fold over backwards but what functional purpose does that have if I can stand or sit for more than 5 minutes without hurting? So strength it is!

SPINNING & YOGA: These two things probably seem like polar opposites depending on the type of spinning and/or yoga class you attend  but for me that create a dynamic balance of cardio, flexibility, and mental focus.  Spinning makes me physically strong like the Cross-fit moves but it also requires focused breathing which I hone through my yoga practice.  My yoga is more breathe work and meditation these days than an endless series of body contorting poses.  It’s all good but only if it fits YOUR NEEDS.  Stretching wasn’t working anymore and I couldn’t figure out how to strengthen while I stretched so I pulled the two a part and created a practice for me.

This is the introduction. Look forward to the reports.  Y-Cross starts in T-30 minutes.

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WATCH ANOTHER LOCAL ATHLETE & WRITER named Kim Cross as she takes herself through a similar journey under the tutelage of IronTribe Instructors and the healthcare professionals at Fagan Sports Medicine and PhysioFitness.  Check out Kim’s journey at Operation IronTribe.