19 Sep

Paleo Chocolate Banana Pancakes

This morning, I had the blessing of taking care of my children while my wife rested after taking care of a sick child overnight. Like most dads when they have extra time at home, I tried to make the day a little more special. Breakfast was first on the list, so I decided to try finding some paleo pancakes. (A few days ago some friends of ours invited us over to dine with them. They were very thoughtful to try to make us a paleo meal. Our hostess whipped up a paleo-ish pancake recipe that she found online. The search for this recipe was sort of inspired by her.)

After finding one, I checked to see what we had in the house and gathered everything together. By the grace of God we had all that we needed, with some small (paleo) improvisations (I made the chocolate part a little different from what I found online – my version is what is in the recipe below).

As I was cooking the pancakes, my children suddenly became very silent. It was the calm right before the storm. My oldest daughter had been in the stickers and was putting them all over herself. This wasn’t a big deal. But then my youngest started screaming because no attention was being given to her. So as I began trying to entertain and calm my little ones, I could smell the pancakes beginning to burn. Fortunately, I was able to hold a baby in one arm, while flipping the pancakes in time, so they were still edible.

After the crying had subsided, we sat down to eat. One taste, and I was hooked! I don’t think I have ever had such delicious pancakes, with no flour in them whatsoever. This is a recipe that we will continue to use for years to come.


12 Sep

Paleo Failure – Fishy Bites/Coconut Flour

About a month ago, my wife and I started a program called Whole 30. Essentially Whole 30 is a very strict Paleo diet. We did this for many reasons. One of the main reasons for me was to get rid of some skin problems I have been having. During this diet, I was wanting to try out all sorts of recipes that I found online. After having chicken and potatoes for 20 days in a row, I was ready for a change in cuisine. My wife was nice enough to try a recipe that I found online for “Fishy Bites”. Just so you know, fish is my favorite type of food. Not only that but these were supposed to be just like fish sticks which I absolutely loved growing up. Yes, I know that fish sticks probably contain no fish at all but it was still good.

Some how during the course of making dinner, I volunteered myself to make most the recipe. Kelley started it but I ended up finishing most of it. I could taste the “Fishy Bites” with every ingredient I added to the bowl. It was like being a kid again. When it got to the almond flour, we decided to use coconut flour instead. (WARNING: If you ever exchange any flour for coconut flour, you need use 1/4 cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of flour. Also for everyone oz of coconut flour you use, you need to add 1 egg. If the recipe calls for 1 cup for flour and 2 eggs, you would use 1/4 cup or 2 oz of  coconut flour and 4 eggs. You will see why in a second.) Back to the story. It wasn’t long until we had replaced a few of the ingredients and still thought, “Hey, it shouldn’t matter. It will taste fine in the end.”

After cooking the “Fishy Bites” in EVOO(Extra Virgin Olive Oil), they didn’t stay together like I wanted them too but it was only my first time. I served them up on a plate and called the family in for dinner. Kelley and I blessed the food and started to eat. It only took one “Fishy Bite” then out came the buffalo sauce. The taste for ok but the texture was like trying to swallow sand paper the size of a golf ball down your throat. By this time, we had each consumed two “Fishy Bites”. We asked our two year old to take a bit and she immediately was disgusted by them. We continued to eat each one trying not to gag ourselves as the tuna slowly, and I mean slowly, made it’s way to our stomaches. By the fourth bite, Kelley and I are about to die, not only from lack of air but how much we were laughing at our first Paleo food fail. We finally got all five bites down…but wait. I had thought they were going to be so good that I had made fifteen of them. I quickly texted my friend to send his dog over to finish of the last five. Sammy gladly devoured the remaining “Fishy Bites” and returned home satisfied.

The lesson of the evening, even though something might look good on a website doesn’t mean that it will taste as good as it looks. The same thing is true with sin. Sin looks to good to us when we are just thinking about it. We mull it over in our minds. We think about all the different things we could do if we gave into the temptation. Then we execute our plan. Sin is good for the moment but after the pleasure is gone, disappointment comes. Yes, we laughed about the “Fishy Bites” until we were almost on the floor but sin is not a laughing matter. Sin not only takes the joy that we find in Christ, it destroys everything around us including ourselves. It creeps in unaware in the small things that we think and keep in our minds.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15 ESV)

Let us take hold of the thoughts that tempt us:

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

We are promised that God will not tempt us more than we are able to bear through Christ:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)

Thank you Lord for allowing us to see and know what the desires of the flesh are compared to the desires of the Spirit. Lord, by your strength may we follow you each day as you guide our path through this life. You are the rock that we build our house upon so that when the storms come, our house will stand.

12 Sep

Quick Running Fuel

Larabar bar single

When Kelley and I started our Paleo journey, one of the hardest things was trying to figure out what we would eat for our workouts. It needed to be something quick, easily accessible and cheap. I asked a friend of mine who had been on Paleo for a while and he said that Bananas, raw eggs and coconut milk made into a smoothie were a good source of fuel but I wanted something already pre-made. I researched around and found a great product called Lärabar. There are not many prepackaged products out there that only include whole ingredients.Larabar Bar Double

The main three that we eat are:

The store we went too didn’t have much variety. We went to a different store and found a few more that I we will be trying next:

Now even though Lärabars are great, there are different types of Lärabars that contain not so friendly Paleo foods. The ones that contain chocolate or peanuts are disqualified because peanuts are in the lagoon family and chocolate is made with sugar and unclarified butter.

I usually eat one before I go running and then after I’m done with the run. After you eat the Lärabar, wait about 10 minutes before you workout and no more than 75 minutes. When you are done, make sure to eat even though you might not feel like eating. You want to make sure that your body gets the calories and nutrients it needs to build muscle. It’s never good to substitute one of ours meals as our workout food. Workout food needs to be eaten on top of  the normal three meals a day. We can all run or workout until we are overly sore but if we don’t put in calories that our body needs to build, we will never be able to grow our muscles.