Primal Carrot Cake

January is almost over, and I’m happy to say I’ve been “primal” about 80% this month, which has been more like 90%, the last couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still indulging in dark chocolate and primal baked goods more often than I should be, if I plan to get rid of the last 15 pounds of excess fat on my body… But at least I’m not hitting up sugar mountain or eating cartons of commercial ice cream. Yay me, for turning my emotional eating on fruits, sweet potatoes, and almond flour baked goods.

I’m back on track though. The four pounds I gained over the holidays are gone, and my exercise is back up to snuff. I purchased some weights for my apartment, and have been doing my primal lifting about twice a week, when not too sore from kickboxing.

At the request of a friend who has officially just gotten through his own 21 day primal challenge (yay George!) and my wonderful wheat-free neighbor (yay Char!) I took my primal approved baking to another level, by making carrot cake.

We followed the recipe found at the following link, but doubled it… Because you can never have too much carrot cake!

I was pretty happy with the result. A little more moist than a traditional cake, because there is no flour to absorb the moisture, and you need plenty of mashed bananas and whatnot, to hold the thing together… But I was impressed, and could not control the moaning sounds coming out of my mouth as I chewed. I know, another TMI moment. I’ve always been an over- sharer.

Note that our cakes took at least 20 minutes longer to bake through, than the 50 minutes the recipe suggests. Our carrots and bananas could have been bigger, I guess (more moisture in the recipe could have extended the cooking time).

This is definitely something I would have as a rare treat… Maple syrup and cream cheese become very unprimal if consumed regularly, or in large portions.

Also, check out the pic of our primal Scottish eggs! Got the idea for them off this MDA post.









Chocolate Chip Cookies and “All You Can Eat” Sushi

Hey Primal fans and friends! A friend of mine is nearly a week into his own primal trial, so I’ve been given the opportunity to test some new primal alternatives to traditional sweet tooth favorites. He is already seeing benefits! No more morning breath, and down 10 pounds, as he is no longer bloated… Way to go!!!

This weekend we tackled old fashioned chocolate chip cookies from one of my favorite paleo/primal blogs. Click here for the recipe and instructions. We followed them exactly, but personally found the cookies to be done at about 13 minutes, as opposed to the recommended 15.

This was my first time cooking with coconut oil… Delicious! It’s funny, because you expect it to be the same consistency of other oils, but it is actually a hard paste that requires some melting to work with it. I do not melt it to liquid, only until it is the consistency of pudding… That is the best comparison I can come up with right now.

I definitively recommend them. Unlike the other primal cookies I’ve tried, these would be mistaken for regular chocolate chip cookies, they don’t have that “healthy” taste, or gritty texture. I used 71% dark chocolate chips, to give the cookies an extra rich taste, and keep the carb content down. Traditional semi-sweet chips are at around 50% cocoa.

Warning for those especially carb conscious… Don’t have more than 1 or 2 a day! Maple syrup is ridiculously high in carbs, and there is half a cup in this recipe, which yielded about 30 cookies, dropped on a parchment lined baking sheet, in heaping table spoons.






I also wanted to share with you, that I think all you can eat sushi can be primal, on occasion. Well, 80% primal. I went on Friday for the first time in months, and stuck to sashimi, miso soup, and seaweed salad. Well, I had some green tea ice cream at the end, but that was a planned indulgence. Also, I stopped eating long before I was uncomfortably full. Here are pics!




Back on the Wagon

My oh my. I fell of the wagon this weekend, hardcore. I can’t help but blame polish vodka, and its after effects. Seeing as hard alcohol is about as primal as a loaf of bread with refined sugar on top, I don’t know what I was thinking. Oh well, it was a special occasion, and I had a great time. 80/20, right? The good news is, the alcohol completely killed my chest cold. Weird…

After a day of eating tummy easing carbohydrates, I jumped back on the wagon this morning. Nothing like a green smoothie to regain my cravings for living foods!

This evening I cooked a delicious 4 poundish cross rib roast curtesy of Grazing Days . I :

– let roast sit on counter for 30 minutes to reach room temperature
– preheated the oven to as hot as my oven goes, about 480f
– massaged olive oil and spices into the Beef (something called Perfect Spice, kind of like Montreal steak spice, and summer savory)
– covered my roasting pan in tin foil to make clean up easier, and put the cut of angus beef in the oven
– I let the meat braise for about 10 minutes on the high heat, then turned the oven down to 200 degrees and went out for a couple hours
– when I got back home I checked the temperature of the beef with a meat thermometer (was only 140f, I like my roast done to about 160, or medium)
-turned oven up to 350f, and cooked for another 30 minutes, which gave me perfect medium meat

I was surprised how tender the cut was. I think cooking for longer at a lower temperature helped.

I also made some mashed sweet potatoes whipped with a little
Butter, cinnamon and very little honey, and some broccoli.

I’m off for a walk now, then back to regular workouts tomorrow. I need to purchase some weights for my home. Lifting heavy things is a massive part of the primal fitness plan that I have yet to tap into. I do plenty of pushups and planks in my kickboxing class, but I need more strength training to balance all the cardio. I won’t have access to lunch hour circuit training classes at my new job 😦

Enjoy the pics!!!!



Withdrawal Free and Roasted Chicken

I’m happy to report that I have yet to feel any withdrawal symptoms, after my week long primal hiatus. I suppose I didn’t set my cells back as far as I thought I did! Phewf.

I thought I’d share my dinner with you this evening (at least the pictures of it) 😉

I decided it was finally time to eat the grass-fed chicken that has been patiently waiting in my freezer. I let it defrost (this took a couple days in the fridge), then:

-preheated my oven to 450f
-greased the skin with butter
-rubbed the skin with sea salt, pepper, summer savory (inside and out) and put a few garlic cloves in the chicken’s cavity
– placed it in a roasting pan and put it in the oven.

After 10 minutes I turned the temperature down to 375f and basted every 20 minutes, for about an hour and a half, until it was ready to come out of the oven. I let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.

While the chicken was resting I decided to experiment with making my own gravy using arrowroot flour, as opposed to wheat flour or corn starch. I didn’t have any stock on hand, so I just mixed 2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour with about 4 tablespoons of drippings from the roasting pan. It thickened up nicely, and was deadly delicious. Glad I didn’t make too much… Haha

There is definitely some truth to the difference in taste between grass fed chickens and the stuff you buy at a typical grocery store. It was moist, aromatic, and delicious! Well, that may also be a nod to my roasting skills 😉

If you plan to roast your own chicken, check out this link:

It was very helpful.





Hello 2012

Ah, a new year- the perfect time to make a new start after the inevitable holiday binge. And boy, did I ever binge! Pies, cakes, cookies, processed meats, excessive alcohol consumption, white potatoes, potato chips and sandwiches… YES, sandwiches. Mark would be so disappointed in me.

I had the best of intentions, heading home for Christmas. I planned the days and ways that I would be only 80% primal. Sadly, my new lifestyle is no match for nostalgia and the challenges of living for one week in a home without a steady supply of vegetables and natural foods, and plenty of temptations.

Luckily, I couldn’t go too far off the primal track, at least not at first. The light headedness and stomach cramps that accompany eating processed foods and grains prevented that, before eating too many of these things muted my awareness of my intolerance. I exercised quite a bit, and didn’t binge as much as I have in previous years… So hopefully I didn’t undue all of my hard work. I’m terrified to check the scale- I’ll wait until the bloating goes away!

While I was home I read plenty of primal/paleo blogs, and was jealous of their primal Christmas feasts. Next time
I go home for Christmas I have to make an effort to make primal versions of holiday treats, and save myself the labour pains brought on by my grain and processed sugar based food baby.

To get back on track this morning I killed my new years hangover with some peppermint tea, eggs, natural bacon, and a green smoothie. Then I took an afternoon nap (getting adequate sleep is a very important primal law, after all!) and went for a walk. For dinner I enjoyed grass-fed steak, broccoli, and an orange pepper. Mmm mmmm good. Later this evening I killed my craving for something comforting by making peppermint hot chocolate with unsweetened chocolate almond milk and peppermint extract. I’m also drinking plenty of water to ease the withdrawal migraine that will inevitably come sometime tomorrow. I went to a bikram yoga class when I got back to the city, but the positive detox effects of that session were probably ruined by the alcohol I consumed last night.

Here’s to taking control over my stomach again, with another 21 days of being 100% primal. Time to rock out with my grok out, and more hardcore than ever! I’m going to make every effort to keep my carbs closer to 50 than 100 grams a day. Let’s see how much fat I can burn this time 🙂 I hope my week off won’t make it too hard for my body to adapt quickly. I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck!

I’ll also be making more of an effort with the primal laws related to moving often at a moderate pace, sprinting every once and a while, and lifting heavy things. I may have to purchase some weights for my home. I’ll also be trying to stop watching TV at least an hour before bed. More on these primal laws later. Enjoy the pics from my holiday binge…







Random Thoughts and Grass Fed Meat

It seems like only yesterday that I was eating ice cream, dairy products, flour and legumes- all without tummy aches. At least I thought so, since I had no idea how amazing my digestive system would feel without those things in there- my, how times have changed.

Christmas has been a trying time for my primalness, as I suspected it would be. It seems my manager (god love him) has a new member of the Lindt collection waiting on my desk every morning. I know that lindors are a gateway chocolate for me… But I went in anyway… after all, it’s Christmas. Before I knew it, one led to four and I had to send an emergency message to friends on the 4th floor to host an intervention and save me from the headache and stomach pains that would soon follow. They made it just in time, before I could make it to number five. The stomach aches didn’t come, but the headache sure did.

Other than chocolate binges, I’ve been doing pretty well, almost 80/20 in favour of primal, but probably more like 75/25, thanks to alcohol. Why does everyone drink so much at Christmas? Partly because alcohol is a way to kick back and celebrate, but for me, because everyone else is and I don’t want to be left out. I hate being that person who orders water when the others order beers- or the person who goes home and works out, in lieu of having drinks with a friend in need.

So, tonight, I went out for “one drink” after a work function where I had already consumed a glass of wine from a bowling alley in Quebec that came out of a box and tasted like paint thinner. One drink led to three rather quickly, and the bartender was definitely not pouring me singles… Spiced rum, another Christmas vice.

But on a positive note, I received my first order of grass fed beef and chicken from Grazing Days on the weekend. Ten pounds of grass fed beef and a grass fed chicken were brought to my door by a smiling farmer. I gave the man cash, and stuffed the goods in my freezer (see pic below). I was impressed with the variety… A roast, sirloin, rib eye, sausages, and ground beef. I had a relatively small piece of the massive sirloin cut tonight. To be honest, I couldn’t really decipher a difference in taste between the grass fed beef, and what I get at Aubrey’s butcher shop. But, it was much more convenient, and not much more expensive, if at all. Also, Aubrey’s has been quite inconsistent in their service lately… One day they were almost entirely out of beef, and out of bacon on another. Now they are closed because of a
flood. As such, I tried the bacon at Sasloves on the weekend… It wasn’t nearly as good. Aubrey’s is still my favorite butcher shop in Ottawa, despite the issues lately.

Anyhow… All this to say, although Christmas is kicking my smaller primal ass, I have not gone too far off track yet. I can’t or else I get sick haha. I plan to do another 21- 30 days of 100% primal, beginning in January. I have a feeling I’ll be needing a cleanse.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!