Tropical Holiday Salsa!

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This recipe is to celebrate my vacation in the islands! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It may be snowing and below zero where you are now but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little something tropical.

INGREDIENTS

1 mango, peeled & diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 tbsp cilantro, diced
1 avocado, peeled & diced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp honey
2 – 3 limes, juiced
1/2 tsp salt

RECIPE

In a bowl combine mango, red onion, cilantro and avocado.
In a small bowl whisk together apple cider vinegar, honey, lime juice and salt.
Add liquid to bowl and stir.
Serve when ready.

This festive salsa is a great topping for fish or it can be enjoyed as a side. I hope this recipe brings you day dreams of the islands or makes you think about taking your own vacation. Vacation is good for the soul, just like this salsa is good for your body!

Happy Holidays!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

 

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Christmas Pie

Christmas Pie
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Merry Christmas to You, our wonderful Paleo friends!

Since Christmas is a time to be thankful, we wanted to let you know just how grateful we are to you for sharing this journey to health with us. Your friendship, comments, advice and support are what keep us going and words can’t adequately express just how appreciative we are, Thank You.

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is different in every household. Mince Pies were a staple holiday treat throughout my childhood in South Africa. My boyfriend’s Italian heritage meant that family style pasta was a tradition at his family Christmas gatherings. What is your Christmas tradition? We would love to hear it! And have you been able to make that tradition Paleo?

A Taste of the Holidays

Since I left South Africa (over eight years ago now) I have craved Mince Pies. I’m not quite sure why they are not a huge hit here like they are back home, but I am determined to change that!

Mince Pies are not mincemeat pies–they are the traditional English Christmas treat with stewed fruit and festive spices–or in other words, pure deliciousness!

This year I couldn’t let another Christmas go by, so I put myself up to the challenge and not only did I make my first Mince Pie ever, I made it Paleo (and alcohol-free):

INGREDIENTS

Pie Filling

1/2 cup water
6 apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsweetened, dried cranberries
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup honey or raw agave nectar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup grass-fed butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pie Crust
+ Everything included in the Paleo Pie Crust recipe

RECIPE

In a medium pot or large sauté pan, bring all of the Pie Filling ingredients to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Christmas Pie Filling Preparation
While the filling is cooking, make the Paleo Pie Crust.
Once the Pie Crust has baked, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Let the pie filling mixture cool before scooping it into the baked Paleo Pie Crust.

Christmas Pie Preparation
Top the mixture with a thin crumbled layer of unbaked Paleo Pie Crust dough to ‘seal’ the pie.

Christmas Pie Topping Preparation
Place it in the oven to bake for another 30 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Tip: The pie filling can also be made in advance and refrigerated for a few days, or frozen and used later when a Christmas Pie craving kicks in.

May this Christmas be your sweetest ever,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Dealing With Criticism

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It’s the holidays which means we’re spending a ton of time with family and friends. Unfortunately, sometimes the people we spend the most time with can be the most critical and the topic of lifestyle is generally fair game. When your friends and family find out that you’re following a paleo lifestyle, you may run into a few critics and probably a load of questions. Here are a few of our recommendations on how to handle both.

Handling Criticism and Questions

Knowing your stuff- if you’ve committed to the paleo lifestyle it’s probably because you understand the impact of clean eating and eating like our ancestors on your body. Brushing up on a few facts of why certain foods, foods not included on paleo; are bad will allow you to make your case. While I’d like to say you can’t argue with science, I know that’s not true. At the minimum it will make you appear to others that you know what you’re talking about, because you do.

Answer questions- remember most people may not know anything about paleo. Try to answer all questions without judging, you may think someone is making fun of you when in reality they simply don’t know.

It’s not that big of a deal- when it comes down to it the best way to end a critics criticism is to act like it’s not a big deal. If someone won’t let it go just ignore the topic.

Ask your own question– ask others what they’re doing to get healthy this coming new year. It’s an easy and simple way to change the conversation.

These are a few tactics to handle criticism and questions. For more examples of how to handle criticism and to hear some of the questions we received take a look at the “FAQ” section in our best selling book PALEO Cleanse

Happy Holidays!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Apple Thyme Roast Chicken

Apple Thyme Roast Chicken
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There is just something special about serving a golden-brown roast chicken. Whether you are cooking up a feast for yourself, or  preparing a festive dinner, a stuffed chicken roast makes a wonderful center stage to any meal, and is truthfully quite easy to make.

This recipe combines the sweet flavors of caramelized apple with the savory taste of thyme to form a delectable combination that looks good and tastes great. Plus, with those two ingredients added to the dish, you suddenly have a protein dish that is enriched with vitamin C, iron, manganese and fiber.

INGREDIENTS

1 whole baby chicken (about 3.5 to 4 lbs), fresh or defrosted, neck and giblets removed
1/8 cup grass-fed butter, slightly melted so that it’s workable
4 teaspoons thyme spice
1 apple, sliced
1/8 cup honey or raw agave nectar

RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the chicken upside down in the center of a large oven dish and separate the legs.
Reach under the skin and coat the chicken with a generous amount of grass-fed butter on all sides.
Sprinkle the chicken exterior with two teaspoons of thyme spice.
In a small bowl, mix the apple slices with the honey/agave and another teaspoon of thyme spice.

Apple Thyme Roast Chicken Stuffing
Once mixed, place the apple and honey/agave mix in the opening between the chicken legs.
Place the stuffed chicken in the oven for 25 minutes.

Apple Thyme Roast Chicken Preparation
Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F and continue to cook the chicken for about another 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the chicken is well cooked (the interior temperate on a thermometer reaches 165 degrees F), remove the bird from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
When serving, scoop the stuffing out with a spoon and serve it alongside the chicken.
Drizzle the natural juices from the oven dish over the chicken pieces to provide extra flavor and moisture to the dish.

Note: While this recipe calls for the removal of the neck and giblets to make room for the stuffing, these parts of the chicken are excellent sources of protein. They can be added to the dish when the oven temperature is turned down part way through the recipe, or kept separate and cooked later on the stove top. To learn more about Nose To Tail eating, click here.

Enjoy this healthy home-cooked chicken roast,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Holiday Mint Cookies

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These peppermint cookies are amazing and a perfect treat for the holidays! If you need to bring a treat to a holiday party consider these your go-to. You can also top these with Paleo frosting to make them more festive!

Ingredients

1/2 cup grass-fed butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1⁄4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. water
3 oz. Peppermint Tea, brewed
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (you can substitute for honey, we use agave for allergy reasons)
Arrowroot flour as a non-stick base for rolling

Recipe

Pre-heat the oven to 325° F.
Place foil or parchment paper sheets over your baking sheet. This will prevent your cookies from sticking.
Combine the tapioca flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt in a small bowl.
In a food processor (or using a large bowl and an electric hand mixer) beat the butter and sugar for approximately 2 minutes, or until fluffy.(keep your butter in the fridge until you’re ready to blend, cold butter makes the cookies easier to cut)
Brew 3 oz. of Peppermint Tea.
Add the dry ingredients, water, agave and tea to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until well combined.
Lightly dust arrowroot flour on a clean counter.
Using a rolling-pin, roll the cookie dough until 1/4 inch thick and then cut out your cookies using a cookie cutter. (If the dough is too soft place it back in the fridge until it hardens slightly.)
Place the cookies on your lined baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Giving these cookies enough time to cool is critical, if you serve them warm they tend to be a little crumbly. For more fantastic cookies take a look at our Giveaways page to see how you can get your free copy of Quick & Fantastic Paleo Cookies. 

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Battle of the Omegas

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It seems to have been commonly accepted that omegas, despite their high natural fat content, are necessary for human health.

Our bodies don’t produce these fatty acids naturally, so we need to get adequate amounts from food in order for our cells to function. What is still in question however, and what surfaces more and more with the growing amount of vegetable oils on our shelves and in our food, is the question of the appropriate omega 3 to omega 6 ratio.

What’s the difference between omega 3 and omega 6?

Both are polyunsaturated fats, also known as fatty acids. Omega 3 is primarily found in fish, such as salmon and tuna, as well as in walnuts and flaxseed. Omega 3 aids the body with blood thinning and reduces inflammation. Omega 6 comes largely as linoleic acid from plant sources, such as corn oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. Omega 6 helps with blood thickening and immune response. Both fatty acids are vital components of the human diet, however, due to the large amount of vegetable oil, processed food and candy that contain high doses of omega 6, the average American is getting a much greater amount of omega 6 than necessary, and too little omega 3.

Why is the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio important?

Because each of the omegas have opposite functions, a healthy body relies on a balance of both fatty acids. An excess of omega 6, so common in the Western diet, is thought to be directly related to the increase of diseases like asthma, heart disease and cancer, and attributing to the alarming rise of obesity and depression.

What are a few easy ways to ensure I maintain a good omega 3 to omega 6 ratio?

  • Eat grass-fed beef
  • Eat wild-caught fish
  • Eat flax seeds
  • Eat walnuts
  • Eat olive oil
  • Avoid all vegetable oils
  • Avoid fast food
  • Avoid industrial food
  • Avoid candy

Here’s to a healthier You!

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Cucumber Asian Salad

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This salad is delicious and packed full of fiber. If you like pickled foods you’ll enjoy this a lot. I add this as a side for chicken dishes, but it’s also great for anything flavored with coconut aminos.

INGREDIENTS

2 – 3 large cucumbers, thinly sliced(you can use your food processor, they generally come with attachments to thinly slice)
1/2 bag shredded carrots (roughly 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 limes, juiced
3 – 4 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt

RECIPE

It a Tupperware container add cucumbers and carrots.
In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, water, lime juice, honey and salt.
Add liquid mixture to Tupperware.
Close Tupperware and shake to mix.
Place in fridge over night.

You can play with the portions here, some individuals like it more “vinegary” so they could add more vinegar to achieve this flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it work for you, it just takes a little adjustment to get everything going.

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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