It took me two weeks to get to this point, but I finally went to bed feeling full and happy.
The fullness definitely didn’t come from the bowl of the apple cinnamon hemp chia breakfast porridge. I think the sun has set on that dish. The kids and I actually had the day off together. We had a wonderful time spending the day at a symphony concert and at the zoo. This was a great distraction from the feelings of frustration and irritation with being hungry and tired lately. It was also great at keeping those thoughts of grilled cheese sandwiches pushed back, although I did buy the kids kettle corn when we left the zoo because they had eaten every last crumb from the thoughtfully-packed backpack of snacks, and were still asking for food. I carried that friggin bag of fresh kettle corn all the way to the car, tortured by its warmth and sweet, buttery aroma. But I didn’t cave. I didn’t have a single kernel even though I spilled a few right on my lap when pouring some out into the kids’ bowls!
We did a late-afternoon CrossFit workout, which I was not super enthused about or adequately fueled for. I had just packed some pistachios, strawberries, an apple, carrots, guacamole, and plaintain chips in a backpack for us to munch on while at the zoo. The kids were extra ravenous all day long, so all I ended up getting to eat was the apple, 2 plantain chips, maybe 8 pistachios, and about 10 baby carrots with the 100 calorie Wholly Guacamole pack. So, I felt like I was muddling through the workout. I made a decent 70 pound snatch, which was heavy for me but not a PR. I was really irritated with the number of rounds I did on the AMRAP of pull-ups and wallballs though. My husband has been feeling equally frustrated with feeling slow and tired for the workouts too during this Paleo challenge.
On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to buy Larabars, some cashews, and some sorghum beer so we could start throwing ourselves a pity party. I destroyed a cherry Larabar in about 3 bites before I had even reached the car. After we had split a beer, scarfed the meatloaf from last night and a whole tray of roasted asparagus with bacon (see Day 6 for picture and recipe or click here), I continued to pout. When I get wrapped up in a pouty, defeated mindset, my usual patterns have been to eat myself out of the funk without measuring, evaluating, or even thinking about ANYTHING, until I feel good again. I had intended to give in to the mindless emotional eating binge but make that binge food a Paleo chocolate chip cookie dough recipe that my pal who writes Clean Eating With A Dirty Mind made from http://www.girlgonecountry.com/recipes-2/cookie-dough-butter-primal-gluten-free-low-carb/
After I had already mindlessly popped back a few cashews, I started the “cookie dough” process by blending .75 pounds of raw cashews into a powder. I drizzled about 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil into the cashews to make cashew butter. I, of course, sampled each stage in this process with generous licks of the spatula. It was already tasting and looking like cookie dough. I was impressed. The next step in the Girl Gone Country cookie dough recipe was to add butter, which is not ok for the Paleo challenge. I wasn’t even sure that I’d be ok with ghee (not that I bought that anyways to have on hand for this recipe) for the challenge since, although the lactose has been removed, ghee still would not have been a pre-agriculture food. I was debating between using melted coconut oil and melted palm oil when I sampled some more of the cashew butter as it was and thought about the chocolate chip situation. I didn’t think even evaporated cane juice, which is the sweetener in Enjoy Life chocolate chips, would really be ok for Paleo in a strict sense either. I had purchased unsweetened baking chocolate and had intended to use chopped bits of unsweetened chocolate in this cookie dough recipe, but after chopping a square and tasting it, I knew it would just be too bitter and ruin what a beautiful thing I already had going. That’s when it hit me. Why not leave out the extra oil—the cashews already tasted and looked like real deal cookie dough? Why not leave out the chocolate altogether too? I asked myself what cookies do I love that don’t contain chocolate? That’s an easy answer—snickerdoodles!
Immediately, I added a touch more coconut oil, some honey, vanilla, and cinnamon to the cashew “dough” and then rolled dough balls in a mixture of coconut crystals and cinnamon. My husband and I popped back those suckers until they were almost gone. Yes, it was probably close to 60 grams of fat that we each ate between the cashews and coconut oil, but I didn’t even stop to ponder the calculation until the next morning.) It felt so good to just eat and not think. It was so satisfying to be stuffed! My happy belly and I went to bed with a contented sigh and a smile.
Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Balls
3/4 pound raw cashews (raw versus roasted makes a difference for this!)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons coconut crystals http://www.coconutsecret.com/crystals2.html
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
In a blender or food processor, chop cashews into a fine flour. Stream in a tablespoon of melted coconut oil until the flour comes together into a thick paste. Use a spatula to scrape the down the sides and ensure all the cashews get incorporated into the paste. Add the remaining coconut oil, the honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Blend to incorporate everything until it looks like cookie dough!
Measure out the coconut crystals and cinnamon and pour into a wide dish like a pie plate. Roll the cookie dough into balls the size of walnuts and roll each ball into the coconut crystal/cinnamon mixture until lightly coated on all sides. Makes about 16-18 cookie dough balls.