for the record, i totally don’t understand coconut flour. adjusting recipes i find online by adding ingredients usually always ends in a fail for me. it took me so many attempts to even land decent coconut chicken nuggets that I decided I liked grilled chicken better anyway. i tried onion rings and they were so very dry. meatballs yielded the same result. egg & nut allergies make cooking and baking very difficult on a paleo diet.
the plan was to make a really small batch of some kind of chocolate chip cookies, and i found this recipe for 5-ingredient coconut flour cookies. It only makes eight 2-bite cookies and I thought, hey, i can use my magic bullet and add in some Good Life chocolate chips and we are good to go for a quick, tasty grain-egg-dairy-free dessert. and i deserve it. i’ve been so very faithful to my veggies, healthy fats, and protein.
the ingredients to the cookies are simply: 3T Coconut Flour, 2T Clarified Butter, Pinch of Sea Salt, and 1T Agave to sweeten.
Crazy me, I thought I’d add in 1T of Sunbutter (I’ve been looking for a reason to eat this. It’s too sweet and tempting to allow myself to eat by itself), and a few chocolate chips. Then, it was SO sticky and unbatter-like that i added in more coconut flour. Note to Self: Do not add more than the recipe calls for. When will I ever learn?
Well, the batter itself was absolutely heavenly. But I resisted - I really wanted to make my tiny, sweet butter chocolate chip cookies that I’ve been patiently holding out for, so I spooned them out onto some parchment paper and baked them at what the recipe called for, 9 minutes at 365F.
And what do you know? I didn’t watch them. I thought - 9 minutes will make them golden brown. And that is how I found myself with burnt, dry cookies.
Granted, I still tested and ate them. I mean, let’s be honest - they still tasted buttery and contained chocolate - something I haven’t consumed in what feels like forever. But to learn a very valuable lesson… watch the oven, and never, I mean never add more coconut flour than the recipe calls for, even if it is a mere 3T.
I’m not giving up, though - I plan to try to make another small batch after dinner. I’ll try them out on my roommates.. see what the hype is. I will make them perfect and feel completely satisfied. I am sure of it. Or it could be an excuse to consume another dessert while it’s still the weekend. Yeah, I said it.
In other news, I am so pleased at the positive effects from the Whole30 so far. And there are definitely frustrating moments. A part of me feels like I should have tried this experiment when I was married or had kids, so that I could force everyone else to eat my cooking. Being single makes food expensive and avoiding meals and outings with friends really difficult.
1. I have a desire to cook! And eat veggies and healthy fat! I’ve always been a meat-lover, but aside from salads slathered in sugary, cheesy dressing, I never kept veggies in the fridge. Other than cucumbers.
I have a newfound love for guacamole, bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, spinach, and an even bigger appreciation for sweet potatoes. I’m not on the kale bandwagon as of yet.. but who knows what could happen. I eat carrots as snacks. I make lettuce wraps.
I’ve added lots of other meats into my daily regimen. I used to be a strictly deli turkey and grilled chicken eater. Now I experiment with marinades, making veggie meatballs, turkey burgers, sausage, a little bit of steak, and most importantly: uncured turkey bacon. i’m head over heels and eat it almost every day for breakfast.
And honestly, the possibilities are far beyond what I ever imagined. Veggie pasta? Yeah, okay, I bought a vegetable spiraler but it is the greatest creation on earth! I also bought a magic bullet. I use it every day.
2. I have discovered intolerances in my body.
-I think the increased consumption of eggs has been a big red flag, and they seriously make me feel terrible. I’m almost a week into cutting them out completely, and am going to finish the whole30 egg-free.
-Having more than one serving of fruit a day completely breaks me out. I have to watch this very closely. I love high sugar fruits, but am trying to stick to berries and apples versus bananas and pineapple.
-My nut allergy stands strong - almonds are not my friend, even though I really wish they were. I think they are drops of heaven, and I used to just eat them anyway without caring, but it’s been easier to avoid them now with substitutions. Sunbutter is more of a allergy-friendly spread like peanut butter, (a die-hard love of mine) yet since cutting sugar, I can’t eat it on bread. I try to reserve it only for baking and avoid taking a spoon to the jar. Because let’s be honest, after staving off sugar, that is all my body wants to do. A big, giant spoon.
-Things containing too much salt leave me completely and totally bloated. Including organic sauces. I’ve tried making my own, but haven’t had too much luck in that department. I still prefer Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce or Guacamole to my own any day. This may be something I have to live with, but it does help me watch my sodium intake.
3. I have kissed my RedBull addiction goodbye! I really did try to cut caffeine completely, and that was just too difficult for a girl as active as I am, with a day job where I have to focus the way that I do. Maybe that’s an excuse, I don’t know, but I still function much better with it. So my go-to has been a double-shot of espresso, followed by guzzling more water than my body can probably handle. And glory hallelujah, I am no longer dehydrated or fiending to sip on something sweet.
4. My body has definitely leaned out. I’ve dropped weight. Now, granted: this was not my goal for the whole30. But I can totally see why crossfitters do it. My body is much more sculpted. i feel like I can push the limits and improve upon my normal workouts. the funny thing is, since changing my diet, my workouts have actually become shorter. I’ve been able to focus more energy into strength training than the cardio that I used to feel the pressure to maintain to stay at a goal weight. My body fat percentage has also dropped 2%. that certainly can’t hurt a girl.
In terms of what results I haven’t seen from Paleo-living so far:
My poor skin. This was the whole reason I went Paleo in the first place. Now even natural sugar or anything sweet spikes a breakout and I can’t seem to figure out why, since this diet is supposed to be anti-inflammatory. I’ve been faithful. I’ve taken the Vitamin D and Zinc supplements. I’ve focused on the whole foods. But as of yet, it hasn’t done a whole lot.
It’s totally possible that it is hormonal. That even though my diet seems to spike it, diet won’t cure it. I thought I had to check this out and see. But Lord-willing, results are right around the corner.
Once Whole30 is over, I’ll definitely add a little bit of cheese and grains back into my diet. I may try to make Paleo versions of bread and tortillas instead of actual grains (hard to do without eggs though). But I love my feta. I miss my pizza. I’m 100% sold on the making things at home - knowing what is in exactly what you are cooking, as opposed to a greasy processed mess.
It’s been very nice to crave fresh healthy things.
I’ll do a recap of my favorite recipes and modifications in future posts. I guarantee these will be my new favorite meals post-whole30 too.