Super Duper Easy Paleo Pancakes

Since switching to a (mostly) paleo diet last year, I have been two variation of a paleo pancake recipe for breakfast that I absolutely love. Unlike most recipes that you can find online, this recipe has minimal ingredients and takes just a few minutes to whip up. Plus, these pancakes are little energy pucks fill me up and get me ready to take on the day. Either variation is delicious, and I usually decide between the two based on what ingredients are more readily available!

Super Duper Easy Paleo Pancakes

Using an electric mixer, stir together:

Variation A: 
one egg
one banana (the fresher the banana, the better it will hold together... if you use a ripe banana, add a spoonful of coconut flour to help hold it together)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup almond flour (different brands will absorb differently)
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
a itty-bitty pinch of clove

Variation B:
three eggs
2 bananas
1/4 cup - 1/2 cup coconut flour (add 1/4 cup, mix, then see if more is needed to thicken)
a dash of cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
a itty-bitty pinch of clove 

Heat a nonstick pan to medium high heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil, and once melted, scoop batter into pan into small pancakes. I have found it easier to flip the pancakes if they aren't much bigger than my spatula. Cook until you can easily slide a spatula underneath and see a nice golden brown, then flip!

To be honest, I typically cook this while multitasking, and don't measure exactly or keep a watchful eye while it cooks. The result is darker, less "cute" pancakes (alright, slightly burnt), but they still taste delicious! (However, if "pretty pancakes" is what your after, try Variation B.)

Once you get the hang of either variation, try mixing it up with added fruit! I love to add blueberries into the pancakes, and next I am going to try a few small cut up pieces of apple.

Try at first not to add additional sugar to this; it has plenty of yummy flavor all on its own! If you want a little extra, try frying a few banana slices in the left over coconut oil and putting those on top. Or keep a tiny dish of pure maple syrup on the side. Also, I like to fry up some turkey bacon as well for a real breakfast feast!

Happy cooking!

Keeping Healthy Habits, Plus A Free Printable

It's no surprise that when you eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, you tend to be in a better mood.

Still, even knowing this information, it is easy to slip up. Maybe you decide to press snooze and skip yoga. Maybe instead of making a salad, you indulge in a junk food feast. Maybe you go out and have too many drinks, resulting in a nasty hangover the next day. You're only human, after all! Once the healthy pattern is broken, though, it sometimes can be hard to return to.

Over a year ago, I made the switch to a paleo diet (at the recommendation of my doctor). Cutting out processes sugar and grains made a noticeable improvement in my overall health, leaving me energized, strong, and less susceptible to getting sick. Despite the encouraging benefits, however, a strict diet can be challenging. I found that I would do well and feel fantastic once I got in the groove, but if I went off track and ate something not within the paleo restrictions, it can take a heck of a lot to get me back to where I was.

Lately, I've realized I've been in a bit of a slump, mentally and physically. Not coincidentally, I have only been eating a "paleo-ish" diet, and have slowly been consuming more and more sugar and grains. Although it may seem obvious, it can be much easier to spiral into unhealthy habits than healthy ones, and I found myself the other day going out in the pouring rain and hail to pick up yet another loaf of cinnamon sugar challah bread because my craving was too strong to ignore, despite just finishing off a huge loaf that morning. Not a proud moment for me, and I felt even worse later with the resulting stomachache and headache.

With spring's arrival, the reminder of new beginnings are popping up at every corner. The green grass grows taller, and flowers blossom on every block. Even after a hard time, whether it be cold temperatures or the spiral of an unhealthy habit, you can always start anew. Empowered by my desire for a fresh start, I am prioritizing my health once again. By no longer indulging my less than healthy cravings and by stocking my fridge with delicious paleo-friendly options, I find myself back on my path.

My yoga instructor offered this beautiful piece of wisdom that I thought was too inspiration not to share: Imagine that you are assigned a car at your birth, and that is the only car you are allowed to have until your death. In order to not only keep that car running, but running smoothly, you will likely make that car a top priority for your whole life. Your parents may help you when you are younger, but as you grow, as does your responsibility. You'd have to make sure it gets the necessary tune-ups, is constantly scrubbed and polished, fed premium fuel, isn't over-worked but also isn't left in the yard to rust, and is given a cozy garage to rest in in-between journeys. Now, realize that your body is your vehicle for your lifetime, and understand why you need to prioritize your health.

Without a hovering parent reminding you to eat your vegetables like they did when you were a child, you have to realize your well-being is your own responsibility. Tired of being sick and tired? Then do something about it! Go that extra mile and make yourself the priority! Switch that soda for a coconut water. Bike to work instead of driving. Set aside even just ten minutes in the morning to sit down and meditate. Find something that you can do for yourself that will set you on the path towards being healthier, mentally and physically. What is the reward of all your hard work? Happiness.

Keeping in mind that healthy living can be challenging at times, I created a little visual reminder to encourage me when I become frustrated. As a thank you to my readers for all their support, I've made my poster available to download!

(It might not show up when you open in your browser, but it should work once downloaded.)

Do you have any healthy habits that have significantly improved your life? What unhealthy habit do you find hardest to break?

Rise with the Sun

With the exception of my teenage years, I have always been a morning person.
As a child, I would wake around 5:30, softly pad into my parents' room, and pinch my father's big toe until he woke up. We would then spend our weekend mornings together, getting breakfast at our favorite dinner, running errands, fishing, and bird watching. Even at a young age, I remember marveling at the serenity of the world when you are awake while most are still curled up in bed.

As an adult, mornings have become my serene sanctuary once again.

With the chaos of work schedules, social commitments, date nights, and the rest of life's hectic activities, mornings ensure I get that essential "me-time". By carving out time centered around taking care of myself, inside and out, I have found that I am more present throughout the day and am able to better tackle the day's challenges.

Here's a peek into my typical morning routine:

7:00 am: First alarm. (Currently: Destiny's Child "Say My Name", in case you were wondering.) I let the dingo hop up and enjoy my nine minute snooze while snuggling.
7:10 am: Boil a pot of tea, let the dog out, and roll out the yoga mat for at least 20-30 minutes of yoga.
7:40 am: Read a chapter from "Meditations from the Mat" by Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison or take a moment to meditate.
8:00 am: Start cooking breakfast, like eggs over-easy with fresh vegetables and some paleo pancakes. 8:05 am: Feed the dingo (he does a bucking horse dance around his bowl when he's hungry).
8:20 am: Enjoy my healthy meal while pouring over a book or watching a rerun of Friends.
8:45 am: Get dressed, throw on some Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer & mascara.
9:15 am: Wake up Z with a cup of black coffee.
9:30 am: Go start the car so its nice and toasty (leather seats and -10 degree weather makes for a frozen tuchas). Run around my house a couple times throwing things in my work bag while attempting to be quiet because Z has inevitably fallen back asleep curled up with the dingo.
9:45 am: Run out the door and head to work!

That said, there is always variety from day to day. As the sun starts coming up earlier, I am working on pushing my alarm back a few minutes so that I will eventually be waking up at 6:00 am in hopes that I can squeeze in more exercise time (either at the climbing gym or outside once the temperatures start rising).

Although I have found myself to more naturally sway towards being a morning person versus a night owl, I planning on sharing a few tips and suggestions I have collected along the way that help make mornings all the more easier.

Have a beautiful day!