whole30: in conclusion

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My Whole30 challenged ended on Monday. Although I wasn’t 100% percent compliant for all of my Whole30 (I mentioned those rogue cookies), I was gluten-, dairy-, grain-, legume- and alcohol-free for 30 days.

I feel lighter, clearer and more in touch with both how I react to food and what triggers my cravings. I’ve lost a couple inches around my waist and feel more capable in the gym and on the trails. My sleep has been excellent, my skin is clearing up, and I no longer feel attachment to the treats I was dreaming about ten days ago. My mood has been more stable and PMS symptoms haven’t been so severe. I’ve had more energy and more of a positive outlook.

It wasn’t easy. There were a few times when I thought that I should just quit in the middle — what’s the point of this silly challenge? — but in the end I’m glad I stuck it out and made the full 30 days. Now I can see the other side of the coin, that in reality it also wasn’t that hard. Again, although I wasn’t “paleo perfect,” I feel an immense sense of accomplishment for sticking with something for an entire month. Doing a Whole30 is certainly about your health and the food you put in your mouth, but more than that I think it’s an exercise in discipline and self-control. Much like a spiritual fast, it represents the denial of momentary pleasure for a long-term payoff.

That being said, I find myself in more of a relaxed mental state now that the 30 days are over. I started to feel a little crazy, trapped with in the confines of the “rules,” and it made me greedy and grabby. I’m hoping I can transition back into normalcy without the mental restrictions yet while still maintaining the good habits I learned in the month.

I learned that I am addicted to sugar. I crave something sweet in the afternoons, in the evenings, or I reach for a treat whenever things get tough. I did not slay the sugar dragon during this Whole30; in fact, it may have gotten worse while doing this challenge as I wasn’t “allowed” sugar and therefore sought out more natural alternatives at every turn.

I learned that I am a stress-muncher and a mindless eater, and it is far too easy for me to disappear a bag of plantain chips without even realizing it while watching an episode of Parks & Rec. When I’m worried or anxious or busy or on a deadline, I grab handful after handful of whatever is lying around, and in devouring it I pay no attention to satiety or taste. The action of snacking is soothing, for some reason, and that quieting is all I pursue.

picnic

I don’t snack because I’m hungry, usually. I snack because I’m bored, lonely, sad, anxious, annoyed, or have too much to do and don’t know where to start. I’m using physical inputs to try and satisfy a larger emotional need, and that, my friends, is where disordered eating comes into play. Challenges like the Whole30 are a great litmus test, removing us from our comfort zone and applying pressure and sting to see what kind of person comes out on the other end.

I found that I stopped missing breakfast treats like pancakes and waffles, and I feel my best eating a ton of veggies. Out of all of my sugary demons, dark chocolate was still what I missed the most. I think that’s okay. But, the cherry on top was how much I lamented my lost cocktails and glasses of wine.

Making a new cocktail every week or so was a fun ritual that Andrew and I would enjoy together — that, or picking out a bottle of wine and having a glass with dinner. Across the month we had several social occasions in which we’d meet friends at a bar or have drinks with food at a cookout or a movie night. It was surprisingly easy to navigate these situations, as I declared myself the designated driver and made sure to bring a bottle of kombucha with me for sipping. The fizz and the gentle sweetness helped me feel like I wasn’t missing out on the drinking. Now, I can tell that I run lighter without alcohol in my system, and I certainly sleep better without it. I don’t miss beer and would prefer not to drink it anymore. But all that to say: I’m looking forward to my next Maker’s Mark on the rocks, a gin & tonic, or a dirty martini sometime this weekend.

My post-Whole30 plan is this: keep going. Continue to avoid grains, gluten, dairy, legumes and sugar. Seek moderation in my dark chocolate indulgences. Have a cocktail once in a while. Celebrate Andrew’s upcoming birthday with homemade brownies. Relax. Settle into a rhythm. Congratulate myself on a job well done.

And then have a handful of my favorite snack, completely guilt-free. Yum.

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it has to get worse before it gets better

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Yesterday was the worst day in the history of my Whole30. I woke up after dreaming about buying dozens of treats from a cupcake-and-donut shop — btw, who runs a cupcake AND donut shop?? — and stumbled out of bed with the faint taste of cinnamon roll cupcake on my tongue. Mistake number one.

Then I proceeded to go for a run for the first time in a couple of months, after which I was very hungry and couldn’t seem to get full. I made a green smoothie, ate some eggs, ran some errands, came home for lunch, and continued to feel munchy. So down goes a small bag of plantain chips, crunch crunch crunch…

Which wasn’t so bad. But then I embarked on a massive baking mission to feed several friends and community members, in which I made three dozen applejack molasses cookies and three batches of cornbread. I ended up tasting a cookie out of each batch, and then probably a couple more for good measure. At this point, it’s all a blur. (But it is a good thing I taste-tested because I left the eggs out of one batch. Oops.)

That left me feeling sluggish and guilty, two of my least favorite feelings. That, compounded by a terribly unsuccessful dinner out at a restaurant, made for one grumpy mess of me.

My sweet husband drove us out to a bar & grill out on the lake we’d heard about and had wanted to try. It was going to be one of the first date nights out we’d had in a long time because we’re watching our budget and trying to save money by eating at home exclusively. There were some potentially Whole30-friendly options on the menu: burgers ordered without the bun, kebobs, salads. I got a grilled chicken breast topped with avocado and pico, with two vegetable sides. I thought I was safe. Little did I know that the grill cooks were actually the same people that made my cafeteria lunches from yesteryear — at least, that’s what it tasted like. Frozen, chemical-y chicken with some weird spice mixture (I swear I detected MSG), frozen steamed carrots with the texture of styrofoam, and “pico” that was actually canned corn with a couple of mealy tomatoes thrown in. I just couldn’t eat it. Insert pouty child rendition of “yucky” here.

How fitting that all of this transpired on Whole30 Day 18, the same day that I quit the challenge on my last go ’round. The forces that be were out to break me yesterday, but I’m back on my feet and ready to break this bronc today.

a cheater’s tale

Whole30 day 12 and I miss ice cream. I also miss dark chocolate, red wine, gin & tonics, and my favorite movie-watching snack: Glutino pretzels and Enjoy life chocolate chips.

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On Sunday I baked a cake from scratch for a friend’s birthday — a gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free creation that took most of the morning and an extra pair of hands to execute, with two types of frosting. We delivered the cake and I had a piece in celebration with said friend and — you know what? — NO ONE DIED. The world, also, continued to orbit the sun and turn on its axis. I’m all for total compliance on a program like the Whole30. I don’t believe in “everything in moderation.” And I still felt great about that cake.

You know what else I feel great about? Cramming as many vegetables as possible into my day. Not having to weigh the pros and cons of having a cocktail after dinner or a handful of dark chocolate squares. Aiming for nutrient density. Not thinking all that much about what I’m eating. Is it a fruit? Mine. Is it a vegetable? Get in my belly. Is it high quality meat, simply prepared? Dinnertime.

I’m still eating my favorite zucchini soup for lunch every day and making eggs for most breakfasts, but lately I’ve been making these nonstop and I urge you to do the same. And yes, I’ve also been making this: a play on the “apple pie a la mode pudding” you might have seen in my last Whole30 recap and at Paleo Magazine. I contest that nearly everything can be turned into ice cream if you want it badly enough. And boy, do I ever.

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Apple Pie A La Mode Ice Cream

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1 pastured egg yolk

1 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

3-5 apples

1 Tbsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk and apples to a boil and then lower to a quiet simmer for 30 minutes. If you forget about it and walk away for the better part of an hour, the flavor will be all that much more concentrated. If you’re not concerned with your sugar intake or would prefer more of a treat, include more apples or simply add in a half cup of maple syrup while on the stove.

Once the apples are soft, remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in spices, vanilla, egg yolks and gelatin. Let cool before pureeing in a food processor or blender. Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or two, or until it is no longer warm. Warm custard makes for impossible ice cream.

Pour the cooled mixture into your ice cream machine and let it work its magic for 25 minutes or so, or until the custard has thickened to your liking. Eat all of it, immediately, with the cool white drops streaming down your forearm.

Or, if you’re of the patient variety, let the ice cream harden in the fridge for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you’re not on the Whole30 bandwagon, top this baby with applejack molasses cookies and/or oatmeal butterscotch cookies for the ultimate yum factor. I won’t be jealous. (<< lying)

whole30, round two

Yes, I am here again proclaiming my intentions to complete a Whole30. You may remember how I stopped mid-way through the challenge this past January, learned a lot, and continued to implement paleo/primal details into my diet and lifestyle. Welp, I’m at it again. I’m declaring this to you, anonymous internet, for a little bit of accountability and for record-keeping benefits.

One of my goals for this month was to complete a Whole30, modified to match my schedule for the month. Instead of starting on August 1, I started on Monday and will go through the end of the month into September. What is the Whole30, you may ask? This is a great resource, but you can also do a quick web search and come up with a ton of results based on individuals’ experiences.

Over the weekend I prepped some meals to make weeknight cooking a little easier — I hardboiled half a dozen eggs, roasted up a couple of sweet potatoes, washed and chopped raw veggies, set some chicken thighs in a brine and some beef in to marinate. I made a big batch of Mel’s yummy Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, and I put on a pot of bone broth to simmer overnight. Plus, I’ve got activated almonds, plenty of farmers market melon and a jar full of EPIC bars. I think I’m going to be fine.

Here’s my progress so far:

BREAKFAST  1/30: egg and veggie scramble with cilantro pistou. Coffee.

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LUNCH 1/30: salad with veggies and leftover beef kabobs, zucchini soup.

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SNACK 1/30: Israeli melon from our farmers market.

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DINNER 1/30: coriander chicken thigh, garlic roasted cauliflower, side salad.

BREAKFAST 2/30: kale and roasted sweet potato with two fried eggs, PG Tips tea.

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LUNCH 2/30: leftover coriander chicken thigh, salad with 1/4 avocado, zucchini soup.

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SNACK 2/30: “apple pie a la mode” pudding.

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DINNER 2/30: beef liver fajita salad with bell peppers and onions, avocado and cilantro pistou.

DESSERT/SNACK 2/30: blended frozen banana with coconut milk and cacao.

SONY DSCBREAKFAST 3/30: cashew cookie Lara bar, leftover broccoli sauteed in ghee, deli turkey. Coffee with coconut milk and grass-fed gelatin.

SONY DSCLUNCH 3/30: zucchini soup, deli turkey, sliced radishes and cucumbers.

SONY DSCDINNER 3/30: shiitake shrimp stir fry with baby bok choy.

DESSERT/SNACK 3/30: “apple pie a la mode” pudding with ground flax.

BREAKFAST 4/30: kale and sweet potato hash with two fried eggs. Coffee.

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LUNCH 4/30: remaining zucchini soup, salad with smoked mackerel and fresh dill.

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SNACK 4/30: CocomoJoe “baby bar” and remaining Israeli melon.

DINNER 4/30: coriander chicken thigh with peach-cherry tomato salsa, kale salad with avocado dressing, smoky spiced sweet potato fries.SONY DSCI’ll be keeping track of my progress throughout the month and will report back regularly on how I’m feeling and what I’m eating. This time around I have a better mindset, and have approached the guidelines with less of a sense of duty and perfection and as more of an investment in my health. Plus I’ve been really busy lately with new projects and moving preparations, and eating this way dramatically simplifies my day-to-day. I’m feeling light, energetic, positive and nourished — not deprived.

Across the weekend I’ll be working on incorporating more fermented foods, homemade bone broth, seaweed and fresh vegetables into my meals. My snacks have been a little heavy on the fruit, and as I’m trying to curb sugar cravings I’m going to pay more attention to how I snack from now on.

Meanwhile, I’m going to continue to pretend that red wine and gin and tonics do not exist. It’s just a little bit easier that way.

take what you need

whole 30 recap

Although my Whole30 challenge only lasted 18 days, I compacted a lot of discovery into that small amount of time and at the end of it I felt a little sad to see it go. One of the biggest questions I asked during the process was “who am I doing this for?” I hoped to always be able to respond honestly that it was for myself, and only for myself, but that wasn’t always the case. As my resolve drifted away last weekend, I was a bit reluctant to release my hold on the clear structure that the Whole30 had afforded my life. So reluctant, in fact, that I decided I needed to check my motives and my sense of self-worth, and perhaps try again when I was ready to do this for myself and only for myself. Not to please others. Not to prove anything. Not to look like a champion or a martyr.

Along the way, however, I learned a great deal.

First, I discovered that discipline — such as the discipline required not to eat all of the Christmas candy in the bowl on the counter on Whole30/Day 1 — is practical across the board. Meaning, the discipline I was exercising in restricting my diet inevitably increased, and I was able to apply it to greater discipline in getting work done, implementing good habits, increasing my productivity and my emotional responsibility. I’m not saying that the Whole30 was the greatest thing that ever happened to my whole life because it was hard. And, as Andrew can probably attest, I was not nice about some things. (For example, opening a bottle of wine for him. When I couldn’t have any. Wine aromas are pungent.) But overall I can say I am leaving my Whole30 experience with greater discipline to apply to other areas of my life.

Second, I had the mini-epiphany that really wanting to see results requires absolute commitment. Again, this applies to nearly everything, not just a diet/exercise plan. In a marriage, if the couple really wants to fix a communication problem, they must totally commit to the relationship. If a family wants to save up for something, they must commit to giving a certain amount of money to a savings account, even if that means going without other luxuries for a time. In the same way, as I was hoping to see a marked difference in my body composition, skin clarity, energy levels and quality of sleep, I was trying to commit fully to the project to reap the most results. In previous efforts — whether they were toward the end result of running endurance or thinking before speaking — I inevitably sabotaged my own resolution by allowing a slip-up here or a cheat there, all the while thinking I could “handle” it while still making a positive change. I would knowingly compromise my own success. But now, in reflecting on those 18 days, I understand the level of commitment required for such an undertaking. I’m hoping to try again with renewed vigor and resolve — in everything I try to achieve, not just a little Whole30 challenge.

During the challenge I could see and feel results happening, and even now that head start is encouraging me, despite my Austin blow-out. My skin and body were on their way to optimal health and wellness, and I just had to (have to!) keep it up. I came to understand that my skin is the largest display of my total health — if we see a problem on our chin or forehead, it’s usually something internal. Our skin is our body’s way of telling us what’s going on before it becomes a greater inflammatory issue inside, which I think is very cool. I realized that sugar or grains aren’t worth any amount of indulgence when it really comes down to it, and even now I’m turning down fro-yo for hot tea after dinner to avoid that phlegmy, bloated feeling that inevitably comes from such a treat.

The Whole30 also helped me to pay more attention to my digestive system — another way the body communicates its health to us. I quickly realized that too much nut butter (raw almond butter, yum) is not kind to my tummy, and even though I was starving and ravenous it’s better for my mental and physical states to slowly savor a meal instead of scarfing it.

Here are some practical things that worked for me on the Whole30 plan:

1) Starting the day with coffee. Non-negotiable.

2) A breakfast combining fats and proteins and some veg-based carbs was always the most satisfying. Something like roasted butternut squash or sweet potato hash over greens with a fried egg, or leftover roast veggies with scrambled eggs and avocado.

3) Grapefruit. Always. Everywhere.

4) A cup of hot tea after lunch is a nice way to mark the end of the meal in the same way that it is a nice signal for the end of the day.

5) Fresh veggies were the best snacks. Roasted veggies were the best for everything else.

6) A salad with protein for lunch was my favorite, most reliable midday meal. I craved hefty, savory, meaty feasts for dinner, but lunch was always a little lighter and I felt lighter because of it.

7) Keeping “emergency protein” around was a great salvation for snacky-munchy afternoons or an ill-prepared-for dinner. I need to start keeping pre-made meatballs, hardboiled eggs, baked-off bacon and sausage, and salmon filets broiled in bulk on hand for such occasions. All you need then is a bowl of soup and lunch is ready.

What I missed the most with Whole30 protocol:

1) Green smoothies/juices — mostly because I was too lazy to make them. (They are “allowed.”)

2) Red wine and dark chocolate. No explanation needed here.

3) Bone broth — laziness again.

4) Apple cider vinegar tonic, like this one from Delighted Momma.

Now I’m equipped with a ton of knowledge that I didn’t have before the Whole30 — knowledge about how I function best and how this sort of thing works in real life. I also came to a fresh appreciation of my wonderful, supportive husband through 18 days of sometimes-grumpy food challenges. He was an incredible cheerleader and I’m grateful for him, as I always am.

So…now what?

Instead of a rigid Whole30, I’m going to still try and implement many of the guidelines in my weekly life, while also adding in a few things specific to my case. For example, I’ll be avoiding sugar a la Sarah Wilson — meaning, staying clear of most fruit and all sweets — except for the occasional spoonful of raw unfiltered honey. With antibacterial properties, a little of this does more good than harm. Specifically, I’ll be combining a teaspoon here and there with Bragg’s apple cider vinegar to boost my digestion and immunity, plus help clear up my skin. (I’ll also be implementing a few of Liz’s suggestions for natural skin remedies, including supplementing with brewer’s yeast and sauerkraut, plus a few vitamins and natural skin treatments.)

And when I’m feeling indulgent, a scoop of honey melted with some coconut oil and cocoa powder makes for a delicious alternative to chocolate. Okay, who am I kidding…there’s no substitute for chocolate. This concerns me not.

whole 30 recap II

A note on fruit-sourced sugar: I do eat fruit, only in moderation and seasonally. This means that right now I’m eating all of the Texas grapefruit I can get my hands on. I also reach for the occasional banana after a workout. Although not the most ethically sound fruit — and although very starchy and sugary — my body feels good when I eat a banana after strenuous exercise. I don’t know if it’s the potassium or the carbs, but it just feels right.

In conjunction with some of the the strict Whole30 guidelines, I’ll be avoiding any additives or preservatives in my food, whether in seasonings, condiments, canned goods or meats. Sulfites and parabens aren’t good for anyone, no matter who you are.

I use red wine and a little beer in my cooking sometimes, and so will continue to use those small amounts whenever a dish needs a flavor boost. I’ll save most drinking for the weekends, along with other indulgences. (Like these or this.)

Otherwise, I’ll keep eating what I love to eat and what I love to cook for my little family: roast chicken, mashed cauliflower and roasted asparagus, sweet potato hash with fried eggs, steaming mugs of bone broth, braised kale, roasted zucchini, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast, avocados and grapefruit upon grapefruit. One thing that the Whole30 took away from me was the freedom I felt in eating paleo before…I didn’t so much as experience a loss of freedom per se, but rather a loss of joy. So I’m hoping to reclaim that with a little less obsession on the diet-intensity front.

This Whole30 experience was great, but what I did was all I needed to do for now. I’m going to take what I need and tailor it to my life, a life that is different from everyone else’s but yet full and richly blessed. And as my friend Helen mentioned, it’s important to offer myself some grace — and, if I say so myself, a little bit of dark chocolate here and there.

our favorite brunch

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Brunch is my very favorite meal. I’ve always thought that I was a strictly breakfast girl, but now I’ve come to understand the beauty of brunch. Brunch is fancy. It is two meals in one. It’s usually eaten later in the morning, which would imply that it encourages sleeping in. I approve.

Andrew and I love to eat a fancy brunch out on the weekends. We’ve tried a couple of different places in town with mixed reviews, sometimes on a Sunday and sometimes on a Saturday. On the other day that we don’t go out for our mid-morning meal, we cook up a big feast at home…and lately, we’ve decided that we like our handiwork the best.

(And by “our” handiwork I totally mean “my” handiwork.)

Sweet potato hash is the best combination of everything brunch has to offer — it’s a little sweet, it’s a little savory, and there’s plenty to keep you full until the afternoon. And compared to the typical brunch fare of syrupy french toast and mimosas — don’t get me wrong, I’d be all over a mimosa if I had one — this is definitely a healthier, more satisfying choice.

This dish is a little time-consuming and thus perfect for the weekend, though there are a few shortcuts and preparations that can be done ahead of time to make the cooking process more expedient. Just roast a big batch of diced sweet potatoes ahead of time and use pre-cooked proteins like smoked sausage or some bacon you’ve baked off earlier in the week, and your cook time is already halved. Thanks to those shortcuts, this hash sometimes makes it into our weekly breakfast routine, although we prefer to savor it on a slow morning, over big cups of coffee with a nice record on in the background.

SONY DSCSweet Potato Skillet Hash

1 large sweet potato

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4 large eggs

3 oz. sausage, diced (preferably Pederson’s Jalepeno Smoked Sausage)

greens, like kale, collards or spinach, if desired

s + p

Heat a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop to medium heat. Melt coconut oil and toss in diced sweet potatoes — either pre-roasted or raw — and cook until tender inside but with a crispy crust. Meanwhile, dice sausage and add to the pan to brown with the sweet potatoes. While this is cooking, preheat your oven, depending on the consistency to which you prefer your eggs cooked. If you like them cooked through, you’ll bake your hash at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you prefer your yolks to be runny, broil on low until the egg whites have set.

After sausage and sweet potatoes have cooked, crack four eggs over the whole thing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for appropriate time at appropriate setting.

This is best served fresh from the oven, with the sweet potatoes and eggs forming a savory crust at the bottom of the pan, kept moist by the juices from the sausage and the hot, runny egg yolks. Andrew likes his with toast and jam, or a warmed sourdough english muffin. I like mine with some greens — either fresh or steam-sauteed, depending on the greens — and a half a grapefruit. This always pairs well with coffee, and usually with pajamas too.

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Some other brunch hash options, all topped with a fried egg, of course:

roasted zucchini + garlic + onions + spinach

roasted cherry tomatoes + eggplant + basil + proscuitto

roasted butternut squash + sage + sausage + kale

roasted beets + sweet potato + apple + bacon

my favorite paleo snacks

radish

If snacking were a sport, I would be a champ. Before I started eating paleo, I would always make sure I had a snack on hand to cope with sagging energy levels and low blood sugar before it led to anything drastic. I’d usually keep a baggie of almonds in my purse, or a Luna bar, or some dried fruit or crackers in the console of my car. Although I’m nearly free of my blood sugar fluctuations and borderline-hypoglycemia, there are still afternoons when I need something to munch on. Some days I’m just downright HUNGRY.

day 17 II

The Whole30 was a revolutionary snacking experience for me, as I was almost constantly thinking about what I could or could not have. The exercise resulted in a little bit of obsessive behavior, which I will have to pay more attention to next time, but at the end of it all I think my healthy appreciation for food is just tempered with a bit more awareness. But back to snacks — I was very serious about my snacks, and got to the point where I would have the right things prepped and packed in the fridge at the beginning of the week, ready to grab at a moment’s notice. I delved into some new options for snacking that I’d been missing out on before, but really anything that tastes good and offers protein or fiber is a good snack in my book.

fruit

Sliced jicama – crunchy, slightly sweet with an earthiness similar to that of beets.

Sliced red and green bell peppers – great flavor and crunch with tons of vitamins (any brightly colored veggie is the same!).

Radishes – again, gotta love the crunch in these babies, plus the pungent spice adds a nice kick.

Hardboiled eggs – easy, portable, and satisfying with plenty of protein.

Bubbie’s Lacto-fermented pickles – a variation on the theme of “crunch,” this time with a fantastic effervescent sourness that pairs nicely with a hardboiled egg and mustard.

Leftover protein – leftover chicken from last night’s dinner or a little cup of stew acts as a tiny meal, but quenches any cravings for something savory.

Macadamia nuts – these I can go a little crazy on, but they have an ideal omega 3:6 ratio compared to most nuts, and have a naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture that I find satiates a craving for something sweet.

Roasted sweet potato coins – drizzled with a little coconut oil and cinnamon, or dipped in coconut butter, there are my go-to treat when I need something filling but a little decadent. Another squash that I love to roast for snackage is kabocha, a sweet little gourd with soft skin and plenty of fiber and beta-carotene, just like sweet potatoes. I like to slice it thin, roast it in a low oven, and eat it drizzled with toasted pumpkin seed oil.

Beef jerky – in mealtime emergencies or when traveling, little packages of good quality beef jerky are the perfect choice for snacking because: they’re made of pure protein and they take a lot of time to chew through, meaning you won’t eat too much regret it. (Your jaw gets tired before that point.)

Hot herbal tea – sometimes I’m not really hungry when I want a snack, I’m actually thirsty or, let’s be honest, bored. A hot cup of tea refocuses my attention and helps me to re-energize.

Plantain chips – sliced thin, fried in coconut oil, sprinkled with salt and paprika and then spritzed with lime, these usually don’t last long enough in our house to be eaten as a snack…

Toasted coconut flakes – slightly caramel in color and with a sweet, roasted aroma, toasted coconut is a great stand-in for granola and can be gulped by the handful.

Half an avocado – drizzled with a little coconut aminos or sprinkled with a touch of sea salt and lemon, half an avocado needs no dish — just eat the flesh from the hull with a spoon!

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What are your favorite snacks? Healthy or indulgent? Portable or more of the sit-down kind of fare? Let me know, I’m always curious!