May Foodie Penpals and a June challenge

I love participating in the foodie penpals that Lindsay is kind enough to put together every month. It opens me up to new blogs and new friends! If you want to join in the fun, head over to Lindsay’s blog and sign up. It’s worth the $15 and the anticipation of an awesome package each month ;)

The Lean Green Bean

This month I received my package from Meg. She is also gluten free and takes some awesome pictures! You should definitely go check out her site ;)

In my goodie box I received some amazing equal exchange coffee, white peony tea (you can never go wrong with sending tea or coffee!!), soy nuts, 2 awesome lara bar flavors, dried apricots, justin’s almond butter, and TONS of mini chocolate bars – which I thought was a fantastic idea!

I have never had apricots before and was sold after trying these dried ones. I’m already on the hunt for some more :) Thanks again Meg I really enjoyed the package!!

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I can’t believe tomorrow is JUNE! June is going to be a BIG month for me. I have fallen off the healthy band wagon (which I will be posting about on Monday). In order to get back on and feel like I have a little more structure in my life I will be participating in the Powercakes Clean eating june challenge. So if you follow me on instagram (@pumpedpumpkin) you may be overloaded with delicious food pictures!

I am also planning on doing a 21 day sugar detox that Diane from Balanced Bites created. I hear it works wonders and could really use a sugar detox and a good Paleo start-up again. PLUS my birthday is June 22nd so I thought the 21 day sugar detox would be perfect leading up to my birthday ;)

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What things would you like to accomplish in the month of June?

What kind of things would you like to get in a foodie package?

Do not fear fat

“Fats make us fat” or that’s at least what I have heard from numerous amount of people. Everyone assumes what we’re told is true. Wrong, again. Since going grain free I wanted to make sure I started to learn everything I could about nutrition. I have spent hours reading medical research papers, reading books, and browsing through the internet’s reliable resources. (No I did not include any of the research articles in here but if you want them email me!)

Uhm if you haven't tried this stuff, find it, and eat it. I'm sorry nutella but rawtella is my new favorite.


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Fats are our friends! But many of us believe they make us fat. This is partly true but only because we as people have little self-control and eat everything way out of proportion. I have a pretty hard time stopping myself after two tablespoons of almond butter, and thinking of only eating half an avocado is really heart-breaking. Not to mention fat is a highly rewarding food. Fats taste REALLY good and for those of us who have poor self control it can be hard arounds fats. Just remember moderation with all food groups!

Individual nut butter packets is a great way to consume fats in moderation

Fats are an essential nutrient for our body

  • Fats help absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Healthy skin and hair are maintained by fat
  • It is an important building block for our cell membranes and hormones
  • Our brains, most nerves, and reproductive hormones are fat
  • Fat keeps you feeling satisfied longer (if you’ve ever overdone it with the almond butter aka the whole jar you know you’re usually not hungry for a long time)
  • They give us energy. Our body can only use up so much carbohydrates when exercising for so long, eventually it will switch into fat burning mode.

Mark’s Daily Apple has a good description on the different types of fats and their uses in the body.

Robb Wolf’s Big ‘Fat’ Blog post answers some more in depth questions about fat.

Homemade Macadamia Nut Oil Mayo. Aka the most expensive yet delicious mayo ever

All this talk about fat leads me to my favorite types of fats

  • Nuts and nut butters – I limit these because I honestly have no self control. There I said it. I love nuts and nut butters and cannot just limit myself to them.
  • Avocados
  • Homemade Macadamia Nut Oil Mayo – I hated mayo before, I have a whole different perspective on it now!
  • Olive oil, macadamia nut oil
  • Salmon, sardines, any fatty wild caught fish
  • Grass-fed beef

Overall, fats are wonderful. I do not limit my fat intake and have been feeling healthier and healthier each and everyday. Not to mention incredibly full! It’s nice to finally not think about food every 2 to 3 hours and feeling the need to snack.

Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist and this post is based off of research I have conducted. This is my own opinion and what works for me may not work for you!

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What’s your favorite type of fat?

Ever consider making homemade mayonnaise?

Where do I get my carbs from?

The other day, someone questioned me about what happens when my body wants carbs?

Grains are not the only place our body gets carbs from. A cup of mashed sweet potato has 41g of carbs per serving, 1 medium banana has 27 g of carbs per serving, 1 cup of pineapple has 20 g of carbs. Bam. There is a total of 85 g of carbs that could easily be eaten post workout or throughout the day. (Yes a little high in sugar but nothing crazy). This total is not including other vegetables that are consumed during the day. A cup of oatmeal has 57g of carbs and lacks all the wonderful vitamins and nutrients I can get from fruits and vegetables – just showing the different no need to jump down my back people.

Giving up grains was easy for me. I knew a long time ago grains did not agree with my stomach but I didn’t realize I could eliminate them from my diet and be perfectly fine. As surprising as this may sound, I do not crave grains at all. I haven’t thought “oh man a bowl of oatmeal sounds great right now”. A bowl of oatmeal would actually make me feel worse.

However I haven’t been denying myself of foods that could be made from a different type of flour. These recipes do not increase my carb intake but if I’m feeling like I want something “bread like” I’ll opt for one of these choices.

I’ve been enjoying Felicia’s pumpkin protein bars everyday pre-workout.

I’ve also been making tons of coconut flour pancakes

and the other night I ventured out to make a coconut/almond flour biscuit

They are a huge hit in the new Paleo household - I'm easing everyone into the transition of Paleo. Having it around makes them forget about bread :) .

If you make this recipe, make sure to really whip the egg whites and put everything in the fridge when it tells you to – I believe doing these 2 things really made the recipe great. These biscuits were the equivalent to Red Lobster’s biscuits – flaky, warm, and delicious. Except they’re grainless and gluten free. :)

My body has been functioning fine on a low to moderate intake of carbs. If I’m feeling a little tired or off I will increase my carbohydrate intake – but again it depends on how I am feeling. So far no cravings but more importantly I’m feeling healthier and happier than I ever have in my life. My workout performance has increased exponentially, no more bloating after meals, and finally my fear of food is gone. Completely gone.

So what do I eat exactly to get carbs in? 

  • Any vegetable you can name
  • Fruits – bananas, berries, melons
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash – spaghetti, acorn, butternut

Everyone requires different nutritional needs. What works for me, may not work for someone else. I am not a nutritional expert this just my experience over the past few weeks.

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Have you experimented with different types of flours?

For those of you who aren’t interested in anything I’ve talked about – How was your weekend? Anything exciting happen?