Packing Heat on a Plane (Okay, they’re really just snacks.)

I’m leaving for the wonderful state of New Jersey in less than 24 hours. I am headed up to visit some family and friends and then be reunited with all my childhood (and teenage/adult-hood) memories at Pine Bush Bible Camp as a camp counselor. Yes, people entrust their sweet children to me for a week. Trust me, everything will be fine. 😉

Camp Life
Camp people understand this type of behavior is not only acceptable, but expected.

All of this got me thinking about traveling and sticking to the Paleo lifestyle. I am trying to be as prepared as possible to stick to it while traveling. There is only so much I can do once arriving at camp, but while boarding planes and road tripping, I’m arming myself with paleo-approved snackage. (Whoa, I just sounded like my father. He loves to add “age” to words for a reason unknown to me. Boilage. Beepage. Snackage. Love that man.)

The trick is to keep things simple, portable, and carry little-to-no liquids, which seem to upset airport security. Let’s get to it:

1. Raw, Mixed Nuts & Seeds: For me, cashews are currently a big hit with my taste buds, but any mix or nuts & seeds will do. Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats and will keep your tummy satisfied when paired with a protein source. Try not to overdo it, as it is easy to do when reaching your hand in a large bag of mix. I like to separate mine into single-servings pouches so I’m aware of how much I am eating.This is nuts.

2. Bars: Another perfectly portable snack. My favorite is the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar (shocker), but I like to bring a variety of bars for whatever mood I’m in. Sometimes I’m feeling all Colonial American-like and Apple Pie strikes my fancy. Just make sure whatever bars you bring along have real food in them and none of those crazy artificial & chemical ingredients that you can’t pronounce.Check out those bars

3. Canned Meats: Portable protein for the win! Canned tuna (or salmon or chicken) is a great addition to bring along with you. Some people love to eat it straight from the can, or you can add it to a garden salad you’ve purchased in the terminal. Either way, eating a quality source of protein (check the cans for organic and/or wild caught) will keep you satiated and loving that you didn’t go for that sugary donut instead.Canned Meats

4. Coconut Water: Dehydration can become a bit of a problem due to the low humidity on airplanes. You many not even be aware it’s affecting you, but sometimes air travel can cause dry-skin, itchy eyes, and lethargy. Plain coconut water contains a natural source of electrolytes and is high in potassium, which will aid to ward off dehydration. Try and drink some before or after your flight. Also, drink some good ‘ole H2O while on the plane. Staying hydrated while traveling will keep you feeling energized and refreshed.This water is coconuts

It may be tricky, but it is 100% doable to stick to healthy choices if you come prepared. I hope these are a few things you bring along on your travels so you will feel nourished and energized! Travel well.

Iced Coffee Smoothie

For the indecisive, like myself, the Coffee Smoothie is both coffee and smoothie. Mind-blowing, I know. I wanted something cold and creamy, but also spiked with java. Eureka! Frothy coffee goodness.Coffee SmoothieCoffee Smoothie (serves 1)

Ingredients:
4oz chilled coffee
1 frozen banana (sliced)
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp creamy almond butter
2 tsp honey
4 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in blender.
2. Blend together and drink it up.Coffee Smoothie Take 2


Are there any delicious coffee creations you’ve sampled recently?

Whole30 at STARBUCKS

Sorry in advanced, but you won’t find any frappuccinos or pastries on this list.

"Frappuccino" must be code for "A Milkshake You Can Drink in the Morning"
“Frappuccino” must be code for: “A Milkshake You Can Drink in the Morning”. Talk about a sugar rush.

But if you’re a big fan of the morning mud (or other Starbucks items) then step right up and ask your barista for one of these items:

Drinks:
– Black Coffee (hot or iced)
– Unsweetened Teas (hot or iced)
Espresso
– Caffe Americano
– Apple Juice
(cold or steamed)
Evolution Fresh Juices:
*
Apple Berry
*Carrot Orange Mango
*Coconut Water & Greens
*Essential Greens
*Essential Vegetable
*Mango
*Orange
*Avocado Greens
*Carrot Apple
*Grapefruit
*Sweet Burn
*Sweet Greens
*Pineapple Coconut Water
*Smooth Greens
*Tangerine

Black CoffeeFood:
– Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend
– Protein Bistro Box (but only the fruit and eggs)

Starbucks Fruit Bowl

Extra Tips:

1) You can use a reusable cup and get 10-cents off your drink order.
2) If you add the Starbucks mobile app, you will get all kinds of rewards like free birthday drinks & free in-store refills!
3) Currently, the treat receipt is happening until August 17th! Get any grande drink for only $2 after 2pm.
4) When I know I’m headed to Starbucks, I bring a little jar of coconut milk to add to my coffee.

NOTE: Remember, if you’re participating in the Whole30 program, only 1-2 8oz cups of coffee is allowed and it must be before 12pm.

The Incredible Bulk [Nation]

I am probably a little too excited about this post. I’ll try to contain most of the excitement. This morning, Austin and I were roaming around Orlando and he said, “I have a surprise for you!”. We pulled into a shopping plaza and I saw it:

BULK NATION USA

Bulk Nation USAQuick background story: Last summer while working at an incredible summer camp, Muskoka Woods, we were allowed to head into town a few times a week and one of the highlights was the local Bulk Barn. I have yet to see anything like it in the States. So this was truly an exciting find for us and was reminiscent of our last summer in Canada.

Bins on bins on bins!
Bins on bins on bins!

This place is truly a gold mine. Strolling up and down the aisles, there is a plethora of options ranging from flours to butters to coffees, and everything in between.

I had to be very careful around all these coffee beans.
I had to be very careful around all these coffee beans.

I love that this store can appeal to everyone too. Paleo? There are bins full of coconut flour, almond flour, and organic, local honey. Are you Gluten-Free? Not only do they have bins of gluten-free products, but also a whole wall dedicated to Bob’s Red Mill products (I honestly didn’t even know some of these products existed and I’m a fan of Bob’s). Maybe you are a hardcore Organic consumer; there are plenty of organic options which are labeled with a bright green label. And if you have a major sweet tooth, you may not want to get too close, due to an aisle of chocolates and candies, which I walked through at a brisk pace.Bulk Barn Aisle

And let me tell you about the prices! I have a list in my phone of prices of products I use most often from the stores where I shop at most. Bulk Nation blew these prices out of the water. A 16oz jar of coconut oil is on sale for $2.99 right now (no, that is not a typo). TWO NINETY-NINE! They have a student discount available with valid student ID, so bring a college kid with you. Not to mention that they have a list of “Products of the Month” that have additional discounts on them. Finally, check out the website right now for a $5.00-off coupon for a purchase of $30 of more for the rest of August.

Make Your Own Nut Butters! Talk about fresh!
Make Your Own Nut Butters! Talk about fresh!

Once I reminded myself of that thing called a “budget”, my recipe-creating juices came to a halt and I agreed to grabbing just one bag of Vegetable Chips as a snack. FOR TODAY, that is.

Hello there, Delicious.
Hello there, Delicious.

Perhaps the best part of this mini adventure was the staff. We were greeted by every employee in the store. Also, since they have a specific system to bagging up your goodies, we were offered a little “training course” on their procedure. Although, there was some friendly banter about our memories at Bulk Barn, but luckily Canada is not down the street and this place is. 😉 We may have new loyalties now.

Oh decisions, decisions...
Oh decisions, decisions…

We had an awesome experience today at Bulk Nation USA. Sometimes fun surprises can happen in your own town. I am excited to have this new store in Orlando and it will aid with my Paleo recipe-making in the future!

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post without stopping and running to Bulk Nation, well done, but now go hop in your car and get going! The Grand Opening will only last so long!!

“The Paleo Kitchen” Cookbook Review

You may have heard I slightly enjoy cooking. Okay, that’s an understatement. I sometimes can’t even stop myself. I’m not even hungry and I’ll just start making up recipes. When I have “cooking-block” I pull out a cookbook (or three) for some inspiration. Since I’m broke, the library helps out a lot with this process.

My most recent rental came just a week ago: The Paleo Kitchen
by Juli Bauer & George Bryant

The Paleo Kitchen

In about a week’s time I have made seven recipes (out of the bazillion in the book): Pumpkin Waffles, Banana Bread Waffles, Lemon Raspberry Muffins, Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread, Hot Wings, Crockpot French Onion Soup, and an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Coffee Smoothie to wash it all down. My sister also got a hold of the book and made some Honey Ginger Wings.

Hot Wings Recipe (but I used Drumsticks)
Hot Wings Recipe… They were “Mmmm, mmm, GOOD”.

This book I believe has become on of my favorites, if not the favorite, of all the recipe books I’ve sampled recently. The only reason I say it might be is due to the fact that I’ve had more time on my hands this past week so I’ve had more opportunity to use this cookbook in comparison to my time with the others. I’ll have to re-rent a few again.


Likes:

 Information: I love a cookbook with some meat to it (the metaphorical and literal kind). This book starts out with tons of basic information about the Paleo lifestyle, then moves onto cooking tips, and everything in between. It makes you feel supported in your venture into Paleo cooking.

– Pictures: I don’t know about you, but pictures are the things that make me cook a recipe. When I flip through a cookbook in the library or bookstore, if I see a bunch of pictures of mouth-watering dishes, then I’m all about it. If it’s just a bunch of text, it better have a really catchy recipe title or you’ve lost me (I’m like the Dory of the cookbook world). This book has a gorgeous photograph for every recipe. Congrats, Juli & George–you’ve got me.

Cookbook Snapshot– Simplicity: From what I’ve experienced so far, all of these recipes have simple ingredient lists and directions. I don’t like when a recipe calls for a really obscure ingredient I can never figure out how to use again, or a list of directions that’s two pages long. Ain’t nobody got time for that. There is none of that going on in this cookbook, which makes it really user-friendly. This is why I’ve been able to make so many recipes in such a short time. I keep finding myself looking at a recipe and saying “Oh I have all these things!” or “Wow, it only takes 20 minutes. Let’s do it!”

– Amount of Recipes: This is not a cookbook you can just blow through. I like when there are a solid amount of recipes in a book so I can have it for a few months and find another one I haven’t tried yet.

Dislikes:

– Breakfast Section: I usually don’t make baked goods for breakfast. Muffins, breads, and waffles I can normally wave off. I understand that lots of people love these breakfast items, so having Paleo versions of them is a fantastic idea (clearly, I had to try them for myself too). With these particular baked good recipes, I had a hard time putting as much sugar as was requested in the recipe. I found myself cutting out a lot of coconut sugar or honey and still ending up with a sweet product. I also wish there were meat & egg type dishes in this section since those are usually my go-to’s for breakfast.

Cinnamon Chocolate Banana Bread
Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

– Referencing Other Recipes: This could be a very handy thing and I could be just complaining about nothing over here, but a decent chunk of the recipes require “ingredients” that are other recipes. I would understand if it mentioned a sauce or condiment t, but some of them were asking for leftovers from other dishes. For example, if you wanted to make the Cranberry Chicken Salad, you need 1-1/2 cups leftover, shredded Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs. Again, this is a really minor thing, but I ran into it two times when I was interested in one dish, but couldn’t make it due to not making another one. I guess if I owned the book and had leftovers of something, this could come in handy to figure out how to use them if it is in another recipe.

Overall, I really love this book and may not give it back to the library have to go out and by my own copy soon!
This is definitely one I highly recommend you checking out for yourself.
Thank you Juli & George for your brilliance! 🙂