Over the past six months my family has been undergoing an experimental diet change. It has been a real interesting process of first eliminating processed food entirely then introducing nutrient dense alternatives
. Severely limiting refined sugars, grains and beans was a big change to my usual heavy handed floury, sugary, cheesy staples. Beans, rice and potatoes are important staples in my house because they are nutritious filler. With fiercely picky eaters AND a budget, sometimes I feel like the deck is stacked against me. These days on the web there’s a line drawn within the traditional, whole food community
with theoretical “facts” galore. A basic whole foods diet has branched out, and there are many variables under the microscope. Everyone has the science, everyone has the facts, and naturally, no two people can agree on anything and they shouldn’t because no two people are identical. It is not a science, it is not black and white. What works for your family might not work for mine, and that is that.
I’m sure many people don’t set out to cast people away, diet is just an oddly defensive topic. People are all in: real food, paleo, vegan, low carb, vegetarian, primal, low fat etc. On the flip side many people are perfectly content with their standard american diet. I happen to have very negative opinions of low fat and vegan diets, especially ones that do not contain good fats and worst yet, rely heavily on processed foods and unhealthy “alternatives.” I’m not one to tell anyone its wrong, it’s just wrong for me. I’ve always been quite defiant in some ways, adamant about not being labelled in any way and that mostly applies to my diet too. (real food first, primal template second… uh-oh, I did it!!!) I rant and rave because I’m a lunatic and I can’t help it, I have no agenda I’m simply speaking my mind. Many “diet lifestylers” remind me very much of the cat lady from the Simpsons, spewing noise here and there with no real method to the madness. I’m sure that maybe the other progressive bloggers are simply stating their minds as well. With no real intention of aggression, maybe even the “anonymous commenter” has no ill intention.
There’s no anonymity here, I am not a hush-hush kind of person. You can’t miss me, I’m not an undercover blogger. I’m also not the type of person to convert, conspiracy theory, or push my lifestyle. It does me no good to complain about how another person chooses to live. So with that out of the way, this is how I roll: I like the idea of limiting our wheat and grain consumption. Why? Because I’m fat, I always have been. I work hard to grasp at an “average for me” physique and a vegetable and protein diet is great for me. (more about that in a moment) Eating floury, sugary foods usually results in over eating. Those favorites are an “I want,” not an “I need.” Second, I do believe that refined grains and sugars are not healthful, nutrient dense options. Going strictly “paleo” was never a permanent life long change for us. Merely the vehicle that was meant to lead us towards our destination, and it did its job. We are doing great with balancing our good and “bad” because of the changes I’ve implemented. Keeping a “template” mentality is about putting our most nutrient dense foods first. If we are talking in “diet lingo” I happen to think paleo/primal is a great foundation. Deliberate eating is a daily struggle that is a life change for me, I’ve been working on this for years. Its hard quitting something you love, having the control to live intentionally is a tool that not everyone has in their toolbox at birth.
Since I’ve based my diet on protein and added fermented, raw dairy products I feel less tired and sick. In fact, I’m bouncing off the walls many days. I have fewer migraines, I sleep better… and I quit drinking too. Alcohol has been an enemy of mine, for years I would rely on alcohol to maintain my happiness. It was a crutch, and it spackled my holes. This year I have learned that I can’t quit my life, but I have to use what I’ve learned to make the best of each and every day. Some days I feel my holes are exposed more than others, some days eating clean is what helps me to focus on the here and now. Many people have allergies, many people are all-in lifers with some strict routine or another… that is not us. I won’t go the rest of my life without a martini, greasy meaty pizza or even a real muffin. So I may not have lost 100lbs going paleo, but I did something better. I found my balance. Muffins, love em or hate em it’s your decision not mine. I happen to love them. This is my favorite blueberry muffin recipe, I’ve recently mastered an almond flour variation that is almost equally as delicious but it is nutrient dense, you get bang for your buck. My kids truly love them.
Today I’m sharing the coconut flour muffin, I have to say I was somewhat surprised when my kids liked them too! They are very lightly sweetened and pretty lean, with gobs of grass fed butter they are perfectly savory and delicate with the just-right crumbly softness. To maintain a Low Glycemic Index
omit or reduce the amount of honey. You can use an alternative sweetener or nothing at all. Use fresh berries for best results. (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries are good options)
Grain Free, Naturally Sweetened
Coconut-Flour Blueberry Muffins
Adapted From This Recipe From Cheeseslave.com
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole milk or cream (coconut or raw)
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut flour
1-2 tablespoons flax meal
2-3 tablespoons dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
Combine eggs, butter, milk and honey (or other sweetener of choice). Stir to combine. Mix coconut flour in and allow to rest 10 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients. Dollop into a buttered (or coconut oiled) muffin tin. I use silicone muffin cups or a whoopie pie pan. Silicone muffin cups have a tendency to burn on the bottom quicker but they will never get stuck like paper cups.
Bake for 18-25 minutes (25 minutes at 400 degree’s is too long)
Coconut Flour: My two Cents on the
In comparison to regular flour it is nutrient dense with some protein and fiber. In addition it is low calorie, low carb. Although I don’t meticulously “count” my calories or carbs I watch what I eat because I could easily eat 4lbs of bacon and continue to eat. Deliberate eating for me means taking note of what I’m putting into my pan and into my body. That means I do some math, and when coconut flour is involved the numbers are good. It is fabulous trick to have in your bag for low carbohydrate breads and treats that are satisfying without being super starchy and “high calorie.” It is a much better option for those who are diabetic as it does not peak your sugar levels in the same way as regular flours or starches.
There are negatives to using coconut flour-
Although tons of people speak on how ancient and miraculous coconut flour is, it is not really a “whole food” or even an ancient “tradtional food.” It’s a processed by product of coconut milk that does not contain all of the healthy fats associated with coconuts. (Almond flour is probably a better choice if your looking for calories that work hard.) When I use coconut flour I am sure to use plenty of fresh pastured eggs and grass fed butter. Coconut milk and coconut oil are great with coconut flour because well… your putting the puzzle pieces back together.
Caveman Food? Not Really- Unless your Polynesian, Thai or from some other tropical climate, many of the “ancient” diet staples such as avocado, pineapple, banana and yes the beloved coconut are not what your ancestors actually ate. Most likely they ate bugs, berries, various types of meat and even raw grains, grasses, roots and eventually dairy. The progression to domesticating animals for milk and dairy is what transitioned the caveman to a civilized society free of death, desperation and disease. For instance I am of European decent, and I live in a heavily forested area in the mountains. It is cold, it is damp, there isn’t very much sunlight. My ancestors wouldn’t even know what a coconut was, without the domestication of animals and consumption of things like beer, wine, bread and cheese
many most European societies would have died out. If I were to live off of my land I would consume blackberries, black bear, wild turkey and white tail deer… Not much else unless somehow chickens and a cow magically appeared. That’s not to say people really think they are going to abide by a truly “ancient” diet, (obviously) it’s just an example of how people (I’m no exclusion) try to justify and over analyze things that don’t really need analyzing.
If you think Coconut flour is right for your family, give it a try sometime. It can be tricky to work with, without a little trial and error coconut flour can result in some gritty and wet baked goods. Check out This post for a few of my tips and tricks.