Friday, May 18, 2012

Sun dried tomato chicken

This is one of those recipes I found online and have made a million times now because it is just so good!            I originally found it here: on Everyday Paleo.

1 jar of julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts thawed (you could use thighs also, just don't cut them)
2 TBSP dried basil
8 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut breasts in half length wise and place in glass baking dish.
Sprinkle with Basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle sliced garlic on top of each breast.
Pour jarred tomatoes allover chicken, including the oil. Spread the tomatoes as evenly as you can over the chicken.
Cover tightly with foil and bake covered for 15-20 minutes. (I find that 15 minutes works best for thinner breasts.)
After 15-20 minutes, remove foil and continue baking uncovered for 15 minutes.

Jar of tomatoes: $2.99
Chicken: $4.39 (I buy tyson all natural frozen chicken breasts, 2.25 lb bags)
Basil: $1.99
Garlic: $1.13 (pre-peeled, cheaper if you peel it yourself!)

Total cost: $10.50
Servings: About 6
Cost per serving: $1.75

Super cheap and really delicious meal!

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

I made this dish up when I did a Whole30 a year ago. I searched online for recipes and never found one I liked (or that didn't contain cheese or bread crumbs!) 

What you need:

2-3 acorn squash 
1lb of ground meat (I used Italian sausage) 
Veggies of your choosing (spinach, kale, mushroom, onion, peppers etc.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepping and cooking the squash:

-Cut each squash in half from top to bottom and scoop out the insides.
-Slice a bit off the back side of the squash so it will sit flat and not roll around. Don't cut too deep or you'll make a hole in the inside of your bowl.
-Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and spray with cooking spray or lightly grease with oil. Place each squash bowl-side up on the sheet. Make sure there is enough room and they are not crowded or they will not cook evenly. 
-Pour about 1/2 TBSP water into each squash, tent loosely with foil and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30-45 minutes. (Until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.)

While the squash cooks, prepare your filling:

-Cook ground meat, adding spices if your meat is not spiced already. You can add things like Salt, pepper, sage, oregano, italian seasoning, fennel etc.
-When your meat is almost done, add mushrooms and onions - if you plan to add them, then finish cooking the meat.
- Add greens such as spinach or kale at the end and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the greens are wilted. Set aside.


-When both your squash and meat mix are finished, carefully spoon meat mixture into the squash bowls Packing in as much as you can. 
-Return  the squash with filling into the oven for another 15-20 minutes. If your meat is starting to brown too much, tent loosely with foil to prevent burning.

Serve and enjoy! (I like to pair this with a nice light salad with home made balsamic vinaigrette.)

3 small acorn squash $3.10
Kale $0.89
Onion: $0.79
Italian Sausage $2.19

Total for 6 servings: $6.97
Total per serving: $1.16

Obviously this would cost more if you added mushrooms and did not have spices on hand to season your meat with. But even with possible added costs this is still an easy, budget-friendly meal!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Taco Pie

This is a comfort food that is easy to prepare and everyone will love. I make my own taco seasoning to avoid processed weird stuff in my food. I usually make a double or triple batch and keep it in a container on the counter so I have some around if I need it. It's super easy to make and way better for you than store-bought taco seasoning mixes.

Ingredients for Taco Pie:
I use this biscuit dough recipe. But I use Ghee instead of vegan butter spread. I also use honey instead of agave.
2.5 cups of almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 TBSP agave (I used honey)

2lbs ground meat of choice
1-2 TBSP taco seasoning
1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
Cheese (optional)
taco toppings! (lettuce, black olives, tomato, onion, avocado, sour cream, etc.)

Directions for biscuit mix:
In a medium bowl combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl blend together butter, eggs and agave/honey.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until a nice dough forms, it will be sort of sticky.
Set aside.

Directions for taco pie:
Brown ground meat in a pan, when fully cooked add 1-2 TBSP taco seasoning, 1 can diced tomato and 1/2 can of water Mix well and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and flavors are combined. Set aside.
Prepare biscuit mix per directions then flatten into a greased glass dish with wet hands (to prevent sticking). I sometimes use a square 9x9 dish for a thicker pie or a 11x13 dish for a thinner pie. Up to you. This time I made 1.5 batch of the biscuit mix and used a 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or until dough looks almost set.
Remove form oven and top with meat mixture and cheese if you are using cheese, then return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or so, check occasionally. Remove when the pie reaches your preferred level one doneness.

Cut into squares and serve topped with taco toppings. Enjoy!

Price will vary based on what type of meat you use, what quality cheese you buy and how many toppings you purchase.

Almond flour: $5.69 (closeout price)
Ghee: $9.99 (13oz jar)
Salt: You should have this.
Honey: $5.00
Baking Soda: You should have this.
Eggs: $2.69/doz
Meat: $7.00
Tomatoes: $100
Taco seasoning: will vary
Cheese: $3.69
Toppings: $5.00

Makes 12 servings.
Total: $40.06 (Give or take this will vary a lot depending on what you choose to use for yours and what you already have in your pantry. For example I did not have to buy Ghee, taco seasoning spices or honey because I already had some. This dish only cost me $24.07 to make because I had most of the ingredients already.)
Per serving: $3.33 (Cost me $2.00 per serving)

If you've stocked up on kitchen essentials like spices, almond flour when you find it for a good price, Ghee, honey etc. You'll find the things you make are not as expensive because you already have half of what you need for the recipe. A lot of times you'll only need to buy the meat and veggie because you already have everything else!
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Balsamic mustard chicken

I got this recipe from the Everyday Paleo site. They do a section once in a while by a college student who budgets her meals. When she posts, she does include prices for her ingredients, but I will add mine since prices vary depending on where you live.

The kids loved this chicken, it was super easy to make, took simple ingredients you probably already have on hand and it only took a few minutes to cook (but you need to plan ahead to properly marinade). Definitely check this one out when you're in need of something new!

What you need to feed 4-5 people:
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4.39)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (2.99 if you have to buy a new bottle)
1/2 cup olive oil (2.99 if you have to buy a new bottle)
6 cloves of garlic, minced (1.13 for a pack of pre-peeled cloves)
5 TBSP spicy brown mustard (or just plain dijon if that's all you have) (I had some already, but I would guess 2.00)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Rinse the chicken breasts and slice each in half length-wise to create long tenders. season with salt and pepper to your liking. Place them in a large ziplock bag then add the balsamic, olive oil, mustard and garlic. Seal the bag and shake the chicken around to make sure it all gets nicely coated. Place the bag in the fridge for at least 3 hours, longer if you want or have the time.

Cooking the chicken:
We opted to grill ours for a few minutes per side. The original recipe calls for pan frying them, but I find my chicken dried out a lot that way which is why we chose to grill. if you want to pan fry them, just heat a frying pan on medium-high, drizzle a little coconut oil (the recipe calls for olive oil, but cooking with olive oil over high heat is a no-no, or so I have read, so use butter or coconut oil) Brown chicken on both sides, then turn the temp down to medium, add some marinade, cover with a lid and let the juices reduce down as the chicken finishes cooking.

Total cost for meal: $13.50 for 5 servings
Per person: $2.70 

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Home made mayo!

Many people think that eating healthy means giving up things like mayo, but it is simply not true!

Yes, the mayo you purchase at the store is horrible and full of weird chemicals and franken-foods you just don't want in your body. But you CAN make mayo yourself. Not only can you do it, but it is super easy!

Once you make mayo yourself for the first time, you will never buy it from the store again. Seriously, it takes less than 5 minutes to make mayo yourself.

The recipe I follow for making mayo I get from The Clothes Make The Girl.

Not only is the recipe available for free on her website, but it is also in her cook book, Well Fed, which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone doing a Whole30 or living the Primal / Paleo lifestyle.

What are you waiting for? Go make some mayo!

1 egg
1/4 cup plus 1 cup light olive oil (make sure you buy LIGHT olive oil because extra virgin will make your mayo very strongly flavored.)
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Blender OR Food processor. I always make mine in the food processor.


Crack one egg into your blender or food processor. Add 2 TBSP lemon juice. Put the lid on your device and LET SIT for 30-60 minutes while the egg and lemon juice come to room temp. This is VERY important.

Once your egg and lemon juice have come to room temp, add in your 1/4 cup oil, mustard and salt, then whir together until well mixed, 20-30 seconds.

This next step will make or break your mayo.

VERY SLOWLY add in your remaining cup of oil while the mixture is whirling around in your food processor or blender. I am talking the smallest of drizzles here. A little more than dripping, but barely. Don't rush this and dump it all in at once, you will be mad at yourself! This step will take 2-3 minutes and work your triceps real good. (When I do this step I tend to get splattered a bit out the top hole of my food processor so I hold a napkin as a shield around the opening while drizzling in the oil. You may or may not experience this.)

If you've let your ingredients come to room temp and slowly drizzled your oil, you should have some well mixed fluffy mayo!

This mayo will stay good in the fridge for 1 week past the expiration date of your eggs.I made some about 2 weeks ago and it will be good until the first week of June. Plenty of time to eat it all!

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Paleo banana pancakes

I have made these many many times and my kids LOVE them. They are so easy to make! And what I love is they are super simple, take only 3-4 ingredients (That you probably already have!) and they are super healthy. I also love that they don't have ANY almond flour or coconut flour etc. in them. Not that almond or coconut flour is bad, not at all - it can just be expensive, and when you're looking for a simple treat, like pancakes, it can take a lot of flour to make enough for everyone. So I love this recipe because it really is simple and it's really inexpensive to make.

When I make a single batch it makes about 4, but I usually double the batch (hello! I have 3 kids!) and I measure the batter into 2 TBSP piles, this gives me about 9 pancakes. I have not tried cooking these in a pan yet, but when I do I will let you know how they come out.  My 11 yr old loves to eat them plain, but my 7 yr old loves them cut up with pure maple syrup on top.

In case you need even more reasons to check them out, all you need for 1 batch is-
1 banana
1 egg
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 TBSP nut butter (optional)

Cookie sheet
Parchment paper

THAT'S IT! So go check them out already!!

How to make a single batch:
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.Mash 1 ripe banana in a bowl really well, add 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 egg and 1/8 tsp baking soda and mix well.
3.Spoon onto parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 TBSp of batter per circle, the batter will be pretty thin. (I found they tend to stick on some kinds of cookie sheets so you may want to spray the parchment with cooking spray or brush lightly with coconut oil).
4.Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

(I apologize for the poor photo. My kitchen isn't very bright, so it's hard to take great pictures when it's still dark outside.)
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Hamburger helper

I've made this recipe once before and it turned out really good.  It felt like it was missing something, so after reading the reviews, I decided to add some allspice this time.

The format of this recipe on the original site isn't very user friendly - it is in paragraph form, so I will repost it here step by step. However, the original recipe is linked back at the top of this post. I also used ground bison instead of lamb.

1 lb ground beef
1lb ground lamb
1/2 onion chopped
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup beef stock
can of coconut milk
TBSP thai massaman curry
chopped carrots
1/2 large sweet potato chopped
2 tsp allspice (I added)
Frozen chopped spinach (I added)

Cook meat on medium low with 1/2 onion and clove or two of garlic.
Drain fat (If you want to, I did not).
Add beef stock to meat/onion mixture, can of coconut milk and a TBSP of thai massaman curry plus a couple chopped carrots and a large chopped potato. (Add additional spices of your choosing now)
Cover and simmer until veggies are soft.
About 10 minutes before serving toss in some frozen chopped spinach and stir to combine.
Serve and enjoy!

Your cost for this dish will really vary depending on what kind of meat you purchase. I already had some meat in the freezer. I think the bison was about $7 per 12oz (yikes!) and the organic beef was about $4 for 12oz The meat is going to be the bulk of your cost. Also you'll need to buy curry paste if you don't already have some. The veggies will be pretty cheap and you probably already have coconut milk in your pantry. This is one of those dishes that once you get the curry paste, you can use this as a sort of go-to meal when you don't have any other ideas. Curry paste is good in the fridge for about 2 years. It's really versatile and I bet would be great with other veggie combos, just be creative and use what you have on hand!

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Home made nut butter

There will not be a cost breakdown for this post because the cost of making nut butter varies depending on what type of nut you buy, where you buy them and the quantity you buy.

But making home made nut butter is so easy, once you do it, you will never buy store nut butter again!!

You will need a food processor. I have this one.  (Thanks mom!)

I use dry roasted almonds with sea salt to make my nut butter. (Ingredients: Almonds, salt.) You are doing this at home yourself to avoid the unhealthy oils and additives they put in commercial brands of nut butter. So please, PLEASE, do not buy nuts that are roasted or baked in oils. It won't harm the process of making the nut butter, but nuts dry roasted with no added oils are much better for your health.

Place 2 - 2.5 cups of nuts in your food processor.
Firmly attach lid.
Turn on (be prepared for a super loud noise as the nuts begin whirling around!)
Let process for about 6-8 minutes. Depending on how creamy you like your nut butter and how fast your food processor works.
Scrape your nut butter into a container with a tightly sealing lid and store in the fridge.

Your nuts will grind up pretty fast into what resembles almond meal, then will turn into what looks like a globby dough ball that will thunk around in your food processor. Do not be alarmed!! It may even get stuck a little and not move. If the glob has not moved in a couple minutes, turn the appliance off, use a wooden spoon or spatula and break it up a little, then return the lid and turn the appliance back on. I let mine go until it's VERY creamy, almost soupy. 

The nut butter will firm up in the fridge as it chills, so keep that in mind. 

I go through about one container a week. My kids eat almond butter and jelly sandwiches at school in their lunch. 

The entire process will take you 10 minutes or less and will result in delicious nut butter you made yourself!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fire roasted bacon meatloaf

Meatloaf with bacon IN it?!? Why yes! The Civilized caveman comes through for me once again and we will be having bacon mixed with delicious beef for dinner.

Some of these items I already had around the house and are typical things you should have in your kitchen too. For these items I will not be adding a price.

1 lb beef: $3.52 (Mine is regular old store bought meat, not grass-fed like the recipe calls for. Without easy access to grass-fed meats, you do what you have to. Regular meat is better than nothing.)
1 lb bacon:  $3.00 (nitrate/nitrite free)
Onion: $0.49
Bell pepper: $0.52
Garlic cloves: $1.19 (for a tub of pre-peeled cloves)
Eggs: $2.29
Almond flour: $5.00 (I bought mine on close-out)
Oregano: You probably have this.
Salt & Pepper: You probably have this.

Total cost: $16.01 for 6 servings (Remember this is assuming you have to buy a new carton of eggs and don't already have garlic cloves at home from another recipe.)

Cost per person: $2.66 per person. (not including sauce if you choose to top your meatloaf with sauce)

I added a bit of Rao's pasta sauce to the top. I already had it in the fridge so I am not sure what I paid for it.

The kids dubbed this THE BEST meatloaf they have EVER had. Rating it 10% higher than Nom Nom Paleo's veggie/spinach meatloaf. We will definitely be having this one again!
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Paleo creamy chicken soup

A crockpot recipe yay! I am sure we all have days where we just don't have the time (or energy) to whip up a meal at dinner time. Crock pot recipes are the perfect solution for that. (Unless you have some really great leftovers that is.)

Now this recipe was already budgeted on the original site. But I am going to still budget it here because things are priced different in different areas of the Country. Also, I will always link back to the original recipe so you can bookmark it.

I will give you my tip for bookmarking food recipes. I have created a bookmark folder in my browser called 'Food' and then within that 'Food' folder I have created sub folders called 'Breakfasts' 'Lunch/Dinner' 'Dessert' and 'Other' I also recently added another one for 'Budget'. When I find a recipe I may want to try, I bookmark it into the appropriate folder so that later it is easy to find. I hope that tips helps you organize your meal planning!

Chicken: $4.79
Garlic salt: Already had but if you don't add about $1.50
Italian seasoning: $1.79
Basil: Already had this but if you do not add $1.50
Clove garlic: $1.19 (for a container of pre-peeled cloves)
14oz coconut milk: $1.07
14oz tomato: $0.99
Chicken broth: $2.52

Total: $15.35 for 6 generous servings plus leftovers. This was calculated assuming you need to buy seasonings.
Cost per person: $2.55

My review:
This was really tasty! I served mine on a bed of raw spinach leaves. I feel that it could use another half can of coconut milk because mine was not very soupy. However I also used 5 chicken breasts instead of four because my bag had five in it. I would definitely recommend this for an easy, inexpensive, delicious meal!

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Sun dried tomato stuffed pork and zucchini noodles

This was my first time making either of these items, and one came out better than the other. We'll start with the pork recipe, which I got here.

Use a meat thermometer please! Mine cooked WAY longer than 25 minutes in the oven. Also my pork loin was not one giant loin I could butterfly, it was two smaller ones, so I just slapped the stuffed between them and tied the sides together. It worked just fine. I served mine on a bed of raw spinach. It was a little dry because of my cooking temp issues, but it was not terrible. But really, everything is better with sun-dried tomatoes.

Pork Loin: $7.94
Basil: $0.99
Tomatoes: $2.99
String: $2.35
Spinach: $3.00 (optional)

Total cost: $14.27 for about 6 servings (without spinach)
Cost per person: $2.37

I also made some zucchini noodles as a side of green.

2 large zucchini: $1.50
Fat of choice: Price will vary depending on if you choose Ghee, butter, coconut oil, bacon fat etc.
Garlic powder/spices of choice

Everyone loved the zucchini noodles and I cannot wait to make them again!
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Fresh Basil

Every time I go shopping for a recipe that calls for an herb, I always buy those plastic packages of fresh cut herbs that are about $2.00 a pack, sometimes closer to $3.50, and last about 7 days max. Today I needed fresh basil for a recipe I am making this week, but the store did not have any. I was disappointed but figured I would buy it elsewhere.

But then...

As we were walking to the check out area, I walked past a 'garden area' inside the store, and low and behold, they not only had basil, but it was only $0.99!

So lesson learned. Check for fresh plants. Not only might they be cheaper, but it's something that can continue to produce herbs for you for months. Much cheaper this way!
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Braised Brisket

Let me begin by giving you a little insight into meal time in my house. As I mentioned before, I have 3 kids and a husband. My 11 year old can eat as much as an adult on any given day. My almost 7 year old eats like a normal kid and my 2 year old usually does not eat the same meals we do. He is Autistic and also has food aversions. We also strongly suspect dairy intolerance/allergy (different from lactose intolerance). We also strongly suspect he is gluten intolerant as well. (We're scheduled for food allergy testing in 2 weeks.) All of this is great for eating a Primal/Paleo diet! Except his food aversions cause him to completely refuse great foods like meat and vegetables. So for the majority of the meals I cook, they are split between myself, my husband and two older kids. Sometimes there are leftovers, sometimes not, depends on the recipe. Now that you know that nugget of information about me, let's move on to the food!

Braised Brisket - Cook time total 5 hours.

I found this recipe months ago and had yet to try it because I had never had brisket before and wasn't sure where to buy it or what I was even looking for. The few times I had looked, my local Food Lion did not carry it. I finally found some at the Commissary (grocery store for Military people), but it was a large cut, almost 9 pounds! It was $31.99 for the whole thing, but the recipe calls for 2 pounds. So I brought it home, cut it into fourths and froze the individual chunks. Those chunks cost roughly $7.99 a piece and will make us dinner on 4 occasions.

I also don't own a fancy schmancy braising pan, so I used a corning ware dish I already owned.

2 lb beef brisket ($7.99)
1 can Muir Glen Organic (no salt) tomato sauce ($2.00)
1 onion, chopped ($0.42)
Salt & pepper to taste (already had)
Dried basil and oregano, to taste (already had some, but assume you need to buy some $3.00 total)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Cover the bottom of your braising pan (or corning ware dish) with chopped onions.
3.Place brisket over the onion.
4.Sprinkle the brisket on either side generously with salt, pepper, dried basil and dried oregano.
5.Place brisket in the oven for 1 hour, uncovered.
6.After 1 hour, remove brisket from the oven and reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees.
7.Pour canned tomato sauce over the brisket, sprinkle again with salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
8.Cover pan with a lid and cook for a remaining 4 hours at 325 degrees.

Total meal cost: $13.41 for 5 people to have generous servings.
Total per person: About $2.68

Review: This recipe ROCKS! My kids LOVED it and said they would gladly eat it again. It was flavorful and delicious and I could easily see putting this into a coconut flour tortilla or even chopping some up and adding it to eggs or a fritatta in the morning.

Try this recipe, you will not be disappointed!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Journey Begins

And so it begins...... The journey to the bottom of your denim pile.  Don't deny it.  You have one.  Your jeans sit piled on top of your dresser, on a shelf in the closet, on the floor, or if you're fancy and organized, you have them labeled in a bin from "fat jeans" to "soon" to your oh. so. hopeful... "SKINNY JEANS" (NO.... not the new "stylish" skinny jeans that currently make you look like an apple). The jeans you may have worn in High School, or maybe before you were pregnant, or even just before you gained all that "happy fat" while dating and/or married. (Yes, I use A LOT of quotations)

My skinny jeans are four sizes smaller than what I am currently wearing.  You bet - I gained weight when I started dating my husband, then a few more pounds when I got married, but what really threw me over the edge was two children.  I would love to blame it on them, but I am fully aware that this weight gain is all my fault.  I stand at 5'2" tall and weigh in today at 166.8/lbs.  Yep, that's pretty large, but I am on my way to the bottom of that pile and will hopefully work my way into those super cute Express Jeans in the next year.  I do need to be realistic with these goals.  I have a long history of eating disorders, but this time, I have done my research and I am sticking to a Paleo/Primal way of life.  

I am not going to lie.  I am very new at this Primal/Paleo thing.  I started a month and a half ago (March 2012) and  for the first few weeks I was out of my mind trying to find things I was "allowed" to eat.  I had to make EVERYTHING!  My boss- the chef- laughed at me and said, "you mean you're cooking?".  Yes, yes you are cooking.   I spent 90% of my day in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up after breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is not a diet for those of the meek and mild in the kitchen, BUT it is sooooo worth the effort once you get the hang of it.  I understand that most U.S. Citizens are lazy, busy, tired, stressed, I do - I get it, but this way of life will help with all of that.  When your body starts working properly, let me tell you, it's AMAZING what you can accomplish.  And the results are pretty immediate if you start strict.

I started this Paleo/Primal way of life with the Whole30 challenge.  A friend (Tracy) introduced it to me after I got done complaining that I was killing myself at the gym six days a week (two with a trainer) and I gained a pound!  I didn't exactly make it through the whole 30 days, but I did make it through a solid 14 and will try it again in the next few months (this time I plan to conquer the Whole 30 days!).  My husband decided to try the diet with me and loved that we could eat tons of quality meat with veggies and fruits.  He lost 16 lbs in the first month on this diet.  I lost 11 lbs and I can't wait to keep losing more.

So, I hope we've inspired you enough to join us in our journey.  Oh, don't worry.... We won't stop blogging once we've shimmied our way to the bottom of that pile.  This journey doesn't end until we decide it will end, or mother nature decides... ya know.....  

Keep it "Fresh"


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Introduction Tracy.

My name is Tracy and I am a wife and mother full time. I have three boys ages 11, (almost) 7 and 2.5 years old. I also have two dogs. My husband is active duty Army and we currently live near Ft. Bragg, NC.

I started trying out the Primal / Paleo lifestyle about a year ago. A friend online was doing her first Whole30 Challenge and got me interested. So I jumped on the bandwagon and did my own whole30. It was hard, but it was worth it. By the end I felt amazing. Unfortunately the day after I finished my 30 days, we had a series of tornadoes hit the area. The destruction caused a massive black-out for miles. We had no power for about 20 hours. Because I had been doing Whole30, I had cleaned out almost all of the non compliant food from my house. This mean in that 2o hours we had very little to eat. I did still have some bread for the kids, but I didn't want to eat it. Eventually I gave in and had some because I didn't have much choice. I was trying to not open the fridge or freezer to conserve what cold air was in there. (lost cause) The morning after, we still had no power, we ended up having to drive an hour away from our home to find a breakfast place that had power. I used this as an excuse to eat poorly. Everything fell apart after that.

My husband returned from his deployment to Iraq in August after having eaten as Primal / Paleo as possible over there. He was looking forward to eating this way for good.

When you are already living on a tight food budget, making the switch to Primal / Paleo can be scary. If you're already scraping the barrel with your food purchases and still consuming the SAD (Standard American Diet) you would think "There is no way I can afford to eat that way! It's expensive!!" and you're right. A loaf of bread is cheaper than a grassfed steak or a pound of grassfed ground beef. But, if you cut out all of the junk you're eating for snacks, in between meals, desserts, etc. You will find you have a lot more money to work with than you thought.

My friend Lauren and I got the idea for this blog because we both have families to care for, we both want to eat and live as healthy as possible and we're both on a budget. We don't live in the same area, or the same State for that matter. But that's what makes this a unique experience. We'll be able to offer meal budgeting ideas from two different perspectives, and I think we'll have a lot of fun doing it.

Post only Primal/Paleo meals with photos.
Post cost breakdowns by ingredients when possible.
Post total cost of meal at the end of each post when possible.
Link original recipe sources when applicable.

And that's it, I really hope you enjoy this new adventure with us!
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