Guest Post by Louise Hendon: Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cashew “Cheese”

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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

We love to have guest posts and we’re so grateful that others want to share their stories and experiences with all of us. This is a guest post from Louise Hendon at PaleoMagazine.com, and we think you’ll love this recipe…who can resist bacon-anything anyway?! Louise Hendon just released her new cookbook, which comes with some amazing recipes and a bunch of awesome bonuses – click here to check it out!


Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cashew “Cheese”

By Louise Hendon

One of the last foods I gave up when I went Paleo was cheese. My husband and I both loved cheese, and I’d guess that almost half of our dishes contained cheese of some sort.

We used to make these bacon-wrapped dates with blue cheese, but now that we don’t eat cheese any longer, we had to find a new way to make this recipe. (We didn’t really NEED to find a Paleo way to make it, but we just couldn’t resist).

You wouldn’t imagine it, but the cashews actually turn out quite well as a substitute for cheese. I certainly never imagined it would turn out this well.

The only problem with this recipe is that 16 dates probably won’t last very long for you…

Bacon Wrapped Dates Stuffed with Cashew Cheese

Prep Time: 15 minutes (however, cashews should ideally be soaked overnight before using)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 4 dates

INGREDIENTS

16 pitted dates (small) (scale up the cashew and coconut oil amounts for larger dates)
8 slices of thinly sliced bacon (cut each slice in half to create 16 shorter slices)
1/2 cup (60 g) raw cashews, soaked overnight (omit for AIP)
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil
1/2 cup (118 ml) water

RECIPE

Place the raw cashews into a bowl of room temperature water so that it covers the cashews, drape a paper towel or tea towel over the bowl to prevent dust settling, and soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).
Place the soaked cashews, 1/2 cup fresh water, and coconut oil into a blender and blend until smooth.
Slice each date along one side so that it opens up and fill each date with the cashew ‘cheese’ and close it up. Wrap one of the half-slices of bacon around the date and place on baking tray with sides (as the fat from the bacon tends to run).
Bake for 20 minutes before flipping the bacon-wrapped dates over (with tongs).
Bake for another 10 minutes (i.e. for a total of 30 minutes).

Badges

Kid-friendly, AIP-friendly


Louise Hendon

Louise Hendon is the co-founder of PaleoMagazine.com and author of the Essential Paleo Cookbook. Apart from cooking a little too often, she really loves hiking and playing with her Shih Tzu named Karma.

Learn more at PaleoMagazine.com.

 

Guest Post by Z Zoccolante: Stop Weighing Yourself – How to End a Love Affair with Your Scale

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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

We love to have guest posts and we’re so grateful that others want to share their stories and experiences with all of us. Every individual is entitled to their own health beliefs and we respect everyones wishes. While some of the comments in our guest posts may not be reflective of a true “Paleo Diet”, it is our hope that the common goal of a healthier life will help to guide you in your own health choices.


Stop Weighing Yourself: How to End a Love Affair with Your Scale

by Z Zoccolante

“You weigh yourself everyday?” I ask perplexed. I’m the friend with the eating disordered past, but scales have never been my thing.
“Morning and night,” she states. “I’ve done it for years.”
“What if you stopped? Like today, what if you just stopped weighing yourself?”
Her bottom lip dips down, towards her espresso cup.
“What are you afraid will happen?”
An expression pools across her face – The admission of something we repeat in our heads but are afraid to say for other’s ears. “What if I blow up like a blimp?” she says with lowered voice.
“So the scale’s your measuring stick. How do the numbers affect you?” . . .

Tiny numbers rule her day. If she’s ‘heavy’ in the morning, the day starts on a bad note. If she’s ‘lighter’ she feels happy, like things are on track.

Her scale’s numbers tell her how to feel about herself. They tell her that after the cake and the glass of wine, she’s ‘heavy.’ They roll over into the next day and affect her decisions about what to eat or what to wear. She’s wondered if the job or the promotion that slipped through her grasp would have been hers, if she were thinner.

Often people don’t realize that weight fluctuates within about five pounds during the course of the month. Hormones change. Digestion can back up. We could be chastising ourselves over a large glass of water!

Many people have love affairs with their scales. But if we measuring our worth in numbers, what are we measuring?

If we allow a number to effect how we feel about ourselves we don’t allow ourselves to be present in our bodies. We shut down our awareness of how our body feels. We disconnect from ourselves and let a number tell us what to feel.

How many times have you felt good in your body until a step on the scale instantly brings you down? How many times have you thought you were a gluttonous blob only to wonder why the scale doesn’t reflect that?

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Look at it this way, if a stranger called you an idiot you probably wouldn’t lose sleep over it. But how would it be different if someone close to you called you that? We’ve let our scales become close to us. They’re inanimate objects that we’ve granted the power to hurt us and control our moods. We nurture dysfunctional relationships with something that doesn’t even have a heartbeat.

Years ago, when I was in the hospital, I’d found myself fascinated with a quote plastered on the wall. It read:

“This is what a scale is: a weighing machine. This is what a scale measures: level, size, balance, range, degree, extent, amount, magnitude, and dimension. Notice this list does not include happiness, self-esteem, worthiness, lovability, deservingness, goodness or badness, beauty, body image, fatness, distress, or sanity.”

A scale does not measure any part of what I love about my friends or about myself.

Imagine your gravestone with the words:
Name: X. Successfully weighed: X.
How sad. What’s the point? What can a number on a scale, tell us about who we truly are?

I invited my friend to do an experiment to test if her fear was true. Would she blow up like a blimp? What was she at risk of loosing?

A few weeks later, having not mentioned the subject again, I slipped in the passenger’s seat of her car.
“I haven’t weighed myself this week,” she said beaming.
“That’s awesome,” I said. “So what?”
“It’s been liberating,” she smiled.

In the months that followed she set a system where she weighs herself once a week, on a predetermined day.
“I used to use the scale as a punishment or a reward,” she tells me. “Now I’m free from the number on the scale affecting me at all throughout my day. It’s pretty fantastic.”

Would you like to be free?

  • Throw your scale away.
  • Be dramatic and burn it in the front yard (safely of course).
  • If that thought causes a minor heart attack, start with a baby step.
  • Reduce the times you weigh yourself.
  • Put your scale in a drawer so it’s not accessible every time you walk in the room.
  • Set up a system, like my friend did, where you weigh yourself only once a week.

Fluctuations are a normal part of life with our bodies. Let’s not obsess over every one of them.

We end a love affair with our scale the same way we would with any relationship.

  • Realize the cons outweigh the pros.
  • Realize the relationship no longer serves you.
  • Realize it’s unhealthy and doesn’t lead to joy.
  • Realize you are more than an arbitrary number.

Desire freedom and true awareness of your body.
And then . . .
STOP IT. Stop weighing yourself. Stop cold turkey or stop with baby steps.

Try it for yourself. Take a breath. GO.
With Love,

Z 🙂


Z Zoccolante

Z Zoccolante is an author, actress, and fairytale dreamer. Her debut memoir will one day help others, who are trying to recover from eating disorders, attain happiness and freedom. As a coach, she specializes in uncluttering and defragging the mind. Originally from Hawai’i, she now lives in LA.

 

You can visit her blog at zzoccolante.com or connect on Twitter @ZZoccolante.

 

 

Guest Post by Tarah Chieffi: Selecting The Best Foods For Your Paleo Pregnancy

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A Note from Camilla & Melissa:

Tarah Chieffi brings a great deal of knowledge and personal experience to the Paleo community which we so greatly admire. As the Founder of one of our favorite Paleo Blogs, What I Gather, and the Author of the latest Paleo Pregnancy book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book (which we are so excited to have just received in our mailbox!), Tarah shares Paleo resources and recipes with thousands of fellow Paleo fans and we are so honored that she wrote this Guest Post exclusively for The Paleo Pact.


Selecting The Best Foods For Your Paleo Pregnancy

By Tarah Chieffi

If you are familiar with the Paleo Pact girls and their book, PALEO Cleanse, then you are well aware of the benefits of eating a nutrient-dense Paleo diet. Eating real food and cutting out all of the “fake” food is what brought me to love Paleo in the first place; I knew that everything I was eating was full of nutrients and contributing to my overall health. You certainly can’t say that about an extra value meal from the fast food drive thru!

During pregnancy, though, there are certain nutrients that become even more important because of the roles they play in your baby’s growth and development. These include folate, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. Following is a list of my favorite pregnancy superfoods and some tasty ways to work them into your diet.

  • EGGS: If I had to choose one pregnancy superfood it would most definitely be the incredible, edible egg. There is a reason eggs are referred to as nature’s perfect food. They are packed with protein, choline, selenium, B vitamins, and they are one of the few food sources of vitamin D. Need I go on? I don’t think there are many new ideas under the sun on how to use eggs, but I can tell you they are spectacular in my Garden Veggie Omelet, an exclusive recipe straight from my new book that you can find at the end of this article.
  • BEEF: A good source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and selenium, beef should definitely be on your pregnancy plate. Take the time to search out quality sources of grass-fed, pastured beef for the best nutrient profile because happy cows make happy hamburgers, stir fries and pot roast. Ready to take it a step further? Although there are warnings about consuming too much liver during pregnancy because of the high levels of vitamin A, one or two servings a week is perfectly safe and provides even higher vitamin and mineral levels than muscle meat.
  • AVOCADO: One avocado contains about 20% of your daily folate needs during pregnancy, a level that can be difficult to meet through food sources alone. You can blend half an avocado into your smoothie, whip up a batch of guacamole or serve it up on the side of your favorite omelet, like my Garden Veggie Omelet.
  • BERRIES: Need a sweet treat? Berries have it all – fiber, vitamin C, folate and those ever-important phytonutrients. Strawberries are one of the stars in my California Salad, but you can also top a bowl of creamy banana soft serve with sliced strawberries or throw a handful of mixed berries into your smoothie (along with that avocado, perhaps).
  • BROCCOLI: Move over, oranges. A cup of broccoli provides almost all of your daily vitamin C needs and is also a good source of calcium and vitamin A. Broccoli is delicious eaten raw with salsa or guacamole and it is also a wonderful roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper or as an addition to stir fries.
  • WALNUTS: Walnuts are a good source of plant-based protein, certain B vitamins (including folate), omega-3 fatty acids, copper and manganese. There are a lot of fun ways to use walnuts besides grabbing a handful every time you open the cupboard. You can mix them with berries for a true superfood snack, add them as a crunchy salad topping or roast them with veggies, like in my Roasted Green Veggies and Grapes recipe.

If you are ready to learn more about how a Paleo diet can help you meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy, check out my new book, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book. With exercise recommendations, breastfeeding support and advice for recovering from childbirth and adjusting to motherhood, The Everything Paleo Pregnancy Book is the guide a mom-to-be needs to navigate a Paleo lifestyle during pregnancy. To top it all off, I’ve included over 100 recipes and a four week meal plan to set you on the path for a happy, healthy pregnancy. You can order the paperback and Kindle versions now on Amazon or find it at Barnes and Noble in stores or online.


 

Tarah ChieffiTarah Chieffi is an author, freelance writer, blogger at What I Gather and holistic nutrition educator in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area. Tarah’s passion is working with pregnant women, new moms and families to achieve health and happiness through physical fitness and a “real food” lifestyle.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE EVERYTHING PALEO PREGNANCY BOOK

 

 

 


BONUS RECIPE from Tarah Chieffi

Garden Veggie Omelet

Serves 2

Garden Veggie Omelet

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon ghee or coconut oil
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped spinach
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, diced
1 avocado, sliced

RECIPE

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add ghee or coconut oil to pan.
Crack eggs into a medium bowl. Add water, salt, and pepper. Whisk well.
Pour eggs into pan. When eggs begin to set around the edges, use a spatula to push cooked eggs toward the center of the pan, and tilt skillet so the uncooked eggs can spread to the bottom of the skillet.
When eggs are almost set, sprinkle spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onion evenly over half of the omelet.
Use a spatula to fold the omelet in half. Cook for 2 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked.
Serve with sliced avocado.