Practically Paleo


Thankfully this summer has been on the more forgiving side when it comes to the heat, yet I still find myself sweating like a crazy person in the kitchen at times when it comes to prepping dinner. Enter ceviche. I fell in love with ceviche on my honeymoon with the Mr. four and a half years ago and look for it on every Mexican menu each time we go to a new restaurant. I have been tempted to make it forever-- but the idea of simply cooking raw fish in lime juice had me a little weary {especially with a little one in the house}. I finally decided to bite the bullet the other day and make it since I had all of the ingredients and I really didn't want to sweat in my kitchen. So, here's what I did...hopefully it makes sense to those wishing to duplicate!

Feeds 3 to 4 people.

1 lb swai fillets {this is one of my newest finds and probably my favorite fish other than salmon at the moment...bonus, it is cheap. A little over $2 for a package feeds us all}
5-6 limes
1/2 lb shrimp {raw or cooked- your choice}
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 tomato
1 lemon
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp or so of minced garlic
Oregano and lemon pepper {or regular pepper if you prefer} to taste
Corn tortilla chips
Lettuce leaves (optional)

1. Thaw fillets {I thawed mine overnight in the fridge in their pkg}. In the morning, cut them up into bite sized pieces and place in a shallow dish {if you have one with a lid- use that one}.

2.Cut up the limes and pour their juice onto the fish until the fish is covered and in a lovely citrus bath.  Cover and place in fridge to marinate and "cook". {Now, here's where it gets tricky- some people say it only takes 2 hours and some say up to 8 or so (leaving overnight)..I stirred mine every once and awhile and would check on it to see if it was getting a nice white opaque color. When it was still not opaque about 45 minutes before dinner- that is when I decided to parboil it up with my shrimp.}

3. About an hour before dinner, thaw your shrimp {if not done already} by running cool water over it in a colander. Get out a small sauce pot and fill with about 1-2 c water to boil the shrimp in as well as your swai {if it needs it}. When water begins to boil place shrimp in the pot for about 1-2 minutes until pink and if your fish needs whitening, put it in there for about the same amount of time. Don't over cook!

4. After boiling, transfer the shrimp and swai into a bowl of ice cold water to cool down. Dump out the swai marinade.

5. While the fish and shrimp cool, mix up the juice of one lemon, the EVOO, garlic, oregano and lemon pepper in a medium to large sized bowl. Cut up your veggies as well and place them in the bowl.
(You could also add other things here like avocado and onions-- the other two in my house aren't too keen on those things, so I left them out)

6. Drain fish and shrimp and add to the new marinade and veggie mixture. Stir with a spoon to get fish and shrimp covered.  Place in the fridge to allow flavors to mix for at least 30 min before enjoying.

7. Serve in bowls or on lettuce leaves and enjoy!

The bug thought it was delicious--she avoided the shrimp, but thought the swai was chicken. We tried to convince her otherwise...but, hey! At least she ate it. ;)


In trying to get my toddler to eat green veggies, I often find ways of hiding them into other things. Smoothies, meat dishes, etc...My friend Chelsea shared this spinach nugget recipe with me a while back. She makes them as little bite-sized snacks that her little one can put on his snack cup for on-the-go eating. I kept mine about chicken nugget size and all three of us enjoyed them. I substituted a few things to make them more "Paleo". Mine were also better the day of and not kept around to eat for a few days.

Here is the recipe from Happy Healthy Mama. On her site she also made a yogurt dipping sauce. I did not. MC and the hubs aren't too keen on yogurt or really a lot of sauces in general.

Here is my recipe with the Paleo edits:

1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cups almond flour, divided {substituted for breadcrumbs}
2 eggs
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup shredded cheese- I know, I know, dairy- but it is my toddler's favorite and it really helps the nuggets.

Then, I just followed the steps listed by the Happy, Healthy Mama.
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Place the almonds in the food processor and process until they turn into a fine crumb.
Step 2
Add the two handfuls of spinach and pulse until you have a green crumb-like mixture. Set aside.

 Step 3
Whisk the two eggs in a small bowl.         
Step 4
Add the spinach-almond mixture, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, the flaxseed, basil, oregano, and cheese and mix until evenly incorporated.

Step 5
Place the remaining cup of breadcrumbs in a small bowl.  Using your hands, form a small portion of the spinach mixture into a ball and roll it in the breadcrumbs until it is fully covered.
Put it on the cookie sheet and press it down to form a nugget shape.  Repeat with remaining spinach mixture and breadcrumbs.  You should end up with 15-20 small nuggets.
Step 6
Bake for 25 minutes, turning the nuggets over halfway through the cooking time.  Allow to cool and serve. {You might need to cook a little longer if using almond flour, it doesn't crisp up as much as bread crumbs}

These are pretty almond heavy- so make sure there are no allergies {duh} before you try with your fam! Thanks again to Chels and the Happy Healthy Mama.
Here are our complete nuggets. Even though they were pretty green,
little one had no problem gobbling them up!


I keep up with  100 Days of Real Food through Facebook and I love that she posts what she is feeding her kiddos almost everyday. It gives me some ideas as well- even though we try and stay away from the grains/dairy side as much as possible. It is kind of funny, even though I have a small kiddo, she is not the one I have to pack a lunch for every weeknight. It used to be both Adam and I that I would pack lunch for during my nightly routine, but now it is just him. I keep his lunches pretty simple most of the time so he doesn't have to reheat. {Because if you know the lunch break of a teacher, it is more like an eat-lunch-while-you work-with-a-small-break-from-students}.
Here is an idea of what I feed him on a normal basis:

The foundation for his lunches stays about the same- lunch meat (usually turkey, ham, or chicken. I try to be Applegate farms when I can, but sometimes I just by the Heart Healthy pack at Sam's), and 2 to 3 kinds each of fruits and veggies. Cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes are some of the easiest things he likes to eat that don't take a lot of prep. 

I also try and cook up some hard boiled eggs about once a week for us all to munch on. Great protein and a cinch to make now that I found a way to bake them in the oven awhile back thanks to Pinterest. I seriously could never get the boiling water, timing, etc. right for something that seems so simple- and never bothered to buy an egg timer.

The gist of baking "hard-boiled" eggs is easy: Preheat oven to 350. Put desired amount of eggs in their own slot of a muffin pan. Place in oven and cook for about 28-30 min. *I usually do 27 min and find it is perfect* After they come out of the oven, place in a bowl of ice water for 10 min. Voila! Hard-boiled eggs. Thank you to whoever came up with this. Not only do I get to enjoy these eggs, but my future Easters are saved from me crying over undone eggs for dying with my family.

With all this being said, I am getting in a bit of a rut with some of the things I pack, so I am starting to search for more ideas and a few more things to spice it up and keep it interesting. He doesn't seem to mind to much- but I hardly like to eat the same things everyday, so I try to give him the same courtesy.


Well,  it has been a bit since I have updated this page of our blog. A few reasons why- 1. I can't seem to add new posts to this "page". I just have to add on to the top of the original post. It frustrated me to no end that I couldn't figure out how to add "posts" to a new page other than the main part of our blog, so I just kept putting it off. {Maybe someone out there in blogger land that reads this can help me- I've searched and tried this and that to no avail.} 2. With the holidays, moving, etc...we fell off the mostly Paleo wagon a bit. We stuck to some of the foundations of it, but strayed more than we probably would have like to have done.

So, we are back to being "Practically Paleo" with a cheat/splurge day here and there. {Trying to keep it just to Sundays and special occasions}. We really have noticed a difference since getting back on it too. We can feel when we've had more of a carb/gluten/sugar filled meal compared to when those things are gone or minimal. It is kind of crazy how the body works.

Even though last week I posted about Spring being around the corner, you would never know it this weekend. Temps in the 30s and 40s {with windchills even colder} put me in the mood for some hot chocolate. Did you know that you can make really yummy, simple, creamy hot chocolate without all the junk?? Until we started REALLY reading labels, I never knew so much went into those instant packs of cocoa mix you buy at the store. It's like buying pancake or cake mix- a lot of unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. You really can keep it simple and it tastes just as good and doesn't take much {if any} longer than "instant".

After perusing several different recipes out there, I've come up with the one I like the best. You could substitute the almond milk for coconut or even regular if you are not going dairy free.

1-2 cups Almond, Coconut or other milk of your choice
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (can adjust to your taste)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons honey {for sweetening}
A pinch to 1 tsp of cinnamon {*optional- it takes away from the sweetness a bit, so play around with this if you'd like}

(Makes 1 to 2 cups of cocoa, depending on your mug-Amounts can be doubled for more servings)

Heat the milk in a small sauce pot over medium heat until it begins to boil. Bring heat down and add honey and vanilla. Whisk in cocoa with a wire whisk or fork to eliminate all clumps. Add a pinch of cinnamon if you'd like, or, if your like my Hubs, leave it out and enjoy as is.


Okay- hopefully this works and I've created a place for you to share in our adventures a la Paleo. We've fallen off our wagon a bit lately with a trip to Raising Canes and some Nutella,  but when you have made the lifestyle change we have...a little splurge or two is what it is intended to be. A treat. And...let's face it. Sometimes you need to give into a craving or two.

I feel like recently the grocery store has been my nemesis. We LIVE by our budget, and I feel like the grocery bill is always the one that has us "take" from a few other areas where we don't spend all we have allotted for the month. {Now, let me also add that by LIVING by our budget, I actually feel the least worried and constricted by money in my entire life- that might be a whole 'nother post(s) in itself}. To help with this and to also eat the way WE want to eat and not the way the stores want us to eat with their prices on everything (especially how cheap processed food is), I have started menu planning. {I know, some of you are has taken you this long??} The whole idea of menu planning used to be overwhelming to me. However, at the same time when I would do it for a week, it was amazing how relaxed I felt. So, I have officially gave in and am working my way to planning out a whole month at a time.

With that being said, my plan (as for right now) to help us in our Paleo endeavors will be to shop ahead for meat, frozen fruits, frozen veggies, and any other household nonperishables for a month at once. Now, the tricky thing has been the fresh produce. We go through A LOT. My plan right now is to budget about $80-$100 a month, equaling to about $20-25 a week. This produce can be bought at the Farmer's market right now or at Sam's club- where I can get a good quantity and actually very decent quality as well.

So, let's get to it-
Here are some of the things that have been on our table recently:

Starting with the most important meal of the day- this was enjoyed on a lovely weekend morning...

Brownie Batter Pancakes- I mean, really! So good.These are brought to you by the lovely lady at PaleOMG!

Find the recipe here.

Egg Muffins- I made some ahead, but trying to perfect freezing them for the days when we need to make and take breakfasts. I found my recipe on Pinterest and my friend Sarah also has one listed on her blog {}

 I made a variety in one batch-

Magic with leftovers: I had made a roast in the crock pot and wanted to jazz up my leftovers for lunch one day.

I cooked the roast in just some things I had on hand, eyeballing the ingredients. I know, so scientific. ;)

I put in a whole box of chicken stock, worcestershire sauce, sherry cooking wine and a can of diced tomatoes. I added in some black pepper and called it good.

For the leftovers I just scrambled up an egg and reheated the meat mixture. It was wonderful.

Breakfast to dessert smoothie:

Smoothies are a staple around here. We keep it pretty basic with a mixture of our favorite frozen fruits and add a fresh, ripe banana and some almond milk to help it all blend well.

However, to get our "dessert fix",  I decided one day to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Talk about yummy. I kept it simple with frozen strawberries, a whole banana, and the almond milk and it was probably the best one we've ever made. I mean, who doesn't love chocolate with strawberries and/or bananas?

Hope some of you find this helpful as you pursue any healthy eating adventures of your own! Dig in! :D

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