Talking Paleo With The Merrymaker Sisters


I have found some fab Paleo resources on Instragram and one of my favourites is The Merrymaker Sisters – two Australian sisters living and loving Paleo and cooking up one hell of a storm. So I thought I would ask the girls about how they find Paleo and what motivated them to start eating that way……

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We are  the merrymaker sisters: fit + healthy made. Two sisters, e & c who love to find ways to make life fun, tasty and most importantly…healthy!

Our lifestyle revolves around creating paleo + primal + clean eating recipes, being fit and all-in-all? Feeling the best we can inside and out.

When people hear about how we eat, the usual questions start…what’s paleo? What can you eat? More importantly–what can’t you eat? Don’t you miss bread? What do you eat for breakfast though? 

These are definitely the top five questions we answer on a daily basis—and it’s great! We jump at any chance to talk food and health.

Let’s just quickly get the boring bits over…we aren’t nutritionists! We don’t know what preservative 202 is (well we do now because we just googled it!) but we do know what works for us…and it works well! So we follow a strict: ‘do what works for you and what makes you feel good’ policy. We are all about creating a positive environment to make being fit + healthy that little bit easier and a lot more fun!

So why paleo? Two reasons, the first, (a little more common): c had a wedding to attend…in Fiji…meaning bikini…c wanted to look and feel good. Reason #2: since we can remember, e has had tummy issues, we are talking looking six months pregnant at the end of every day. Welcome: PALEO…and the results? We both lost around 10kg (Fiji bikini body: tick!) and e was no longer feeling bloated and sluggish (DOUBLE TICK!)

Not to mention the other benefits of: increased energy, clearer skin, flatter tummies, stronger muscles and general happiness level? Well that is right up there! With so many benefits we think it’s kind of crazy more people aren’t on to it!

So we are feeling good and looking better…there’s no turning back. Over at fit + healthy made we enjoy reinventing meals we thought were going to be thrown in the ‘no column’ forever and making them paleo + primal + clean. Things like  lasagnepancakes, muffins and  chippies and dip. Yes we said chippies and dip! We also have a new found love for paleo no bake cakes…ooo we love cake! These unfortunately don’t last longer than a day in our household (too darn yum for our own liking!)

Paleo Lasagne

Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Paleo Choc-Raspberry No Bake Cake

Paleo Chips n Dip

Always merrymaking,

e & c

You can also follow the girls on Facebook and on Instagram.

I am sure will enjoys the girls adventures as much as I do!

Cheers,

Linda

Paleo Fudgy Cranberry Brownie Bars – Thermomix Conversion

I found this recipe through the Just Eat Real Food Facebook page and as soon as I saw it I had to make it. It can be made with or without a Thermomix but I thought I would do a Thermomix version today – but for those without check out the Multiply Delicious page for the recipe.

Ingredients

2 ¼ cup pecans

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Power Super Foods Certified Organic Cacao Powder)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

15 large medjool dates, pits removed

1 small to medium ripe banana (about 1/3 cup)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup Chocolate Chips, plus more to sprinkle on tops of bars

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsuis – place pecans on a piece of baking paper on a tray and toast for 5 mins

Once pecans have cooled, place in thermomix bowl with the cacao powder and the cinnamon and mix on Speed 6 for 5 seconds until coarsely ground

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Add the banana and the dates to the bowl and mix on Speed 6 for 5-10 secs.

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Add the honey and vanilla extract and mix on Speed 4 for 10 secs to incorporate well. You many need to scrape down the sides of the bowl half way through.

Add cranberries and chocolate chips, select the closed lid position and mix on interval speed (knead) for 5 seconds to incorporate.

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Scrape out mix and push down mixture into a slice or baking dish – you can add extra chips to the top and push in.

Put in fridge or freezer to set.

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Now I couldn’t end this post without sharing a bit of vintage love with the J & G Meakin vintage cake plate. My grandmother used to have a set of J & G Meakin plates and bowls, the Sunshine Collection, and I absolutely adore them. I picked this plate up at a thrift store for a couple of dollars.

Linda

Paleo Diet Recipe Resources

I have had a number of friends interested in starting the Paleo Diet but the big question I get is “where do you find your recipes?” So I thought I would share some of my favourite websites, apps, and recipe books with you.

Websites

My go to websites to find Paleo inspiration are the following:

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  • PaleOMG: too many recipes to list!

Apps

  • Nom Nom Paleo – the most fantastic recipe app – super easy step by step instructions….well worth the money! 

Recipe Books 

I have many of my recipe book on my Kindle app on my iPad, mainly cause I didn’t wait to wait for post from America!

Make It Paleo 

Everyday Paleo 

Paleo Comfort Foods Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen 

Well Fed

These are just a snippet of soome of the fabulous Paleo resources out there but I think enough for anyone just starting on a Paleo journey.

Cheers,

Linda

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free Paleo Bread – Recipe Review

I LOVE bread – but unfortunately it doesn’t love me. My mother had Coeliac disease and I am gluten intolerant. Being on the Paleo diet this means that you are also grain-free so that means that you don’t eat any of pre-made store bought or home made gluten-free breads.

My lovely friend Jess forwarded me this Paleo bread recipe from the Against All Grain website the other day and I thought I would give it a go to see what it was like.

This recipe calls for cashew butter, coconut flour, eggs, almond milk, bi-carbonate of soda, honey, salt and apple cider vinegar. I decided to adapt the recipe so I could make it in my Thermomix which worked really well.

This is a picture of how mine turned out…

What I liked about this bread:

  • it was pretty easy to adapt the recipe to Thermomix and this means that you didn’t need to wash lots of mixing bowls – the recipe calls for beaten egg whites and mixing things separately in different steps.
  • it had a lovely light, almost sponge texture – the egg whites meant that the loaf over all hardly weighed anything
  • the taste was good, a little nutty and a little sweet
  • it toasted well and stayed fresh for about 3 days

What I didn’t like:

There was nothing I really disliked about this recipe. The ingredients were easily obtained from the local health food store, but as expected the cashew butter and the coconut flour were pricey.

Would I make it again?

I would happily make this again, it would not be something that I made regularly as a substitute for “normal” bread but rather as a treat or for a change. I have decided that nothing will ever really replace “normal” bread so I would rather live without it than settle for something to replace it.

All in all, this is a good recipe and from what I have seen from the rest of the site they have some other great recipes that I will be giving a go.

For the full recipe click here and if you would like the Thermomix adaption of this recipe just leave a comment and I will post it.

Cheers,

Linda

Eating Paleo – One Family’s Journey to Health

It has been a little quiet here on the blog this week as I have been busy sewing and spending some time with the kids. Recently my sister sent me a link to a website about why we should avoid eating grains. My mother has coeliac disease and both my sister and I have suffered from both gluten and lactose intolerance and been given the rather vague diagnosis of “irritable bowel syndrome” (IBS). I loved reading this article and found some great Paleo recipes so I asked the page owner Shanti to share a little about her journey and some of her fabulous recipes!

Linda

First, I want to say thank you to Linda for having me here to do a guest post! I am so excited to share a piece of our journey to health with you all!

Let me introduce myself. I’m Shanti, and I’ve been married to Chris (who I lovingly refer to as Superman) for almost 14 years. I adore him more and more each year and can’t say enough wonderful things about him. As a matter of fact, I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve often wished I had grown up with him as my dad as he is seriously the best father in the world. We have 5 children–our oldest is almost 9 and is our biological son. The other four are adopted through foster care (another wonderful story!), and their ages are: 8, 7, 5, and 3. Yes, it’s always loud at our house, in case you were wondering. =) Superman is an 8th grade math teacher, and I stay home with our kids and home school them.

Our story started about 12 years ago, when Superman started having seasonal allergies. It started with a stuffy nose, then progressed to sneezing, headaches, and tonsil stones. After a few years, he developed intestinal pain, bleeding and diarrhea. He experienced significant weight loss, and at his lowest was 130 pounds (at 6 feet tall!) He went to numerous doctors, and was always told that he just needed to eat more fiber, exercise and drink plenty of water. That was it. That was the extent of the advice we received. That lasted for a solid 10 years. Over the course of this time, Superman began to experience anxiety over his health, and would constantly research online trying to find out what could possibly be wrong with him. He had a hard time sleeping, would wake up at the slightest of noises, and was constantly drained. He felt like he was going crazy. In January, 2010, he was talking with a co-worker, and after hearing her describe her symptoms, he knew he had stumbled onto something: she had Celiac Disease, and he was sure that he had it.

He made an appointment with his doctor, told her he would like the test, and she said, “Oh, you don’t have that. Only 1% of the population has it, so it’s pretty much impossible.” After he pressed her repeatedly, she grudgingly agreed to “allow” him to have the test done. I have to interject here that just a few nights before, Superman had told me he felt he was close to death. He had the “what to do if I die” talk with me, showed me all our insurance info, etc. and was setting me up to take over “when” he died. That’s how bad he felt.

A few days later, he got the results: Celiac Disease! We were ecstatic. Just having a diagnosis made Superman realize he wasn’t crazy after all. He gained 20 pounds in 3 months, and was eating lots of gluten-free goodies. His energy levels increased, but unfortunately his diarrhea and intestinal pain continued. In the fall of 2010, we started seeking advice from people outside of “conventional” medical practices. After a series of tests through a Naturopath, he found out he was allergic to nearly everything–except meat, some fruits and most veggies. Everything else was causing his body to go into hyper-mode and basically attack itself. He realized he was suffering from “Leaky Gut Syndrome“. In order to heal himself, he needed to go on an extremely restricted diet to allow his intestines (which had holes in them as a result of his disease) to heal.

I was originally cooking two separate meals, one for him, and one for the kids and I. It was just too much, so after being inspired by the book “The Paleo Solution,” I decided to switch us all over. The results were amazing. Our son, who had suffered from severe allergies, asthma and eczema his entire life was for the first time medicine-free. The joint pain that I had for over 15 years disappeared. My mental fog was gone. And Superman was improving.

It has been a long few years to healing, but we are getting closer and closer each day. His health is like a puzzle, and it seems that we constantly stumble upon more pieces of this puzzle.

The Paleo diet has been incredible for our family. The kids and I now eat a diet free of sugar, dairy, grains and legumes about 80% of the time. Superman, however, is pretty much 100%.

I went through a period of mourning after realizing I wasn’t going to enjoy french bread or donuts anymore (or at least rarely), and wondering what in the heck I was going to feed our kids if I couldn’t give them mac n’ cheese or sandwiches at lunch. But now I can’t imagine going back to the way we ate. Our quality of life has improved a hundredfold since we began this journey.

There is so much more I would love to share, but I’m afraid I may have already bored you! So, I’ll move on to the good stuff. I have really learned to love experimenting in the kitchen, coming up with new combinations and flavors. I especially love baking, and so a lot of my blog is devoted to yummy desserts. I have lots of great recipes we enjoy, but these are some of my favorites!

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

Coconut-Chili Fried Chicken

Balsamic Marinated London Broil Steak with Pan-Fried Zucchini Noodles

Bacon Cheeseburgers Like You’ve Never Had ‘Em

And some awesome sweet treats!

Chocolate Cashew Caramel Bars

Mocha Coconut Ice Cream

Strawberry Shortcake for the Clean Eater

Maple Coconut Cookies

Feel free to stop by my blog at: http://cleaneatsinthezoo.com and my Facebook Page!

Thanks again for the opportunity to share with you!

Shanti