Grain-free Blueberry Muffins

Let's talk about grains.

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As a passionate plant-based eater & nutrition student, I see both the benefit of grains and their potential of harm.When I'm talking about grains, I'm not talking about Uncle Ben's converted rice. I'm talking about whole grains, even gluten free grains.

Yes, they are "healthy," but everyone's body is different and in different states. Grains, even in moderation (and even  gluten free) can cause inflammation in certain instances, and when not consumed mindfully, can bring excessive sugar to our bodies that we simply do not need.I do love eating grains, and they are a regular part of my diet. Still there are stretches of time where I can tell my body needs a shake up.In these times, I enjoy Paleo recipes for sweet things and baking.

Those who follow a Paleoethic lifestyle typically refrain from eating grains, and it's one way of eating I admire. Unlike Keto, Paleo doesn't focus on cutting carbs, which is not-sustainable long-term for women physically, and emotionally and mentally for most people.

Unlike Keto, Paleo peeps can eat most fruit, and even sweeter vegetables. They focus on eating whole foods, as local as possible, and reducing inflammation. There are different Paleo guidelines for different purposes.

'Basic Paleo' removes dairy, soy, grains, and processed and refined foods from the diet. Well-sources meat, fish and eggs, fruits and vegetables can be enjoyed bottomlessly. And  nuts and seeds are to be eaten moderation.

'Autoimmune Paleo' is a targeted way of eating Paleo that is proven to be highly effective for those living with autoimmune diseases. AIP takes Basic Paleo to the next level. Catered to the person and their responses to certain foods, these people usually avoid nuts, legumes, nightshade veggies, and limit sugar intake.

'Primal Paleo' is supposedly more flex. Some primal dieters eat raw, unpasteurized dairy, white rice, and the occasional legumes.

'Ketogenic Paleo' folks would not be eating grains anyway, but also restrict carbohydrate intake. It is a more calculate approach to eating, and excludes starchy veggies and fruits.'80/20 Paleo,' or 'Paleo-ish' as some of my friends call themselves, is a mostly Paleo dietary lifestyle that includes local meats, eggs, etc, minimal gluten free grains, and no refined or processed foods. When eating meat, they would often not combine with grains, and they may eat legumes and certain dairy products once in a while.These muffins came out of an empty fridge, ripening bananas, and a bag of Paleo baking mix bought on clearance. They are 'Basic Paleo' friendly. 

Grain-free Blueberry Muffins (Paleo)

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  • 4 ripe-overripe banana

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup of wild blueberries (I use frozen)

  • 1/8 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • 3 cups Bob's Red Mill Paleo baking mix

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

  • 1/4 tsp chopped almonds

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

  • Pinch of aluminum free baking soda

  • Pinch of salt

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  1. Mash bananas in a bowl.

  2. Add coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla, flax and eggs.

  3. Slowly add the grain-free flour mix, and gradually add more, while stirring the mixture. You can add a bit of hot water if the flour gets hard to mix.

  4. Now, stir in the almonds, cinnamon, baking soda, salt - and - if you're a chocolate chip freak like me, now would be a good time to add some if they are in your pantry today.

  5. Scoop the batter into muffin molds and let bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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While you're waiting for the muffins, scoop a couple spoonfuls of batter into a small mug, and microwave for two minutes. And le voila, the mighty impatient baker's mug-cake.Then comes the moment where you open the oven, and they're ready. Enjoy them while they're hot, or make them in batches and freeze for grab and go options throughout the week. 

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New Mindset Breakfast Smoothie

vegan - gluten free - whole foods

During the 6th hour of the new day, I gazed upwards. Glorious sun-rays beamed over the top of a set of hills. Four silhouettes moved further away from me and into the blinding image. I paused from the track of their footsteps and glanced behind me. The picture-esque scene overlooked an anointed city. A  beautiful river that weaved through a tribe of mini-mountains.sunriseI noticed a bench. “I will come back here another time.” But this wasn't the time. I couldn’t decide whether the next hill being turned into a set of 30 stairs made the climb better -- or worse. The lactic acid build-up blocked my capacity to decide.I joined a performance training group a few weeks ago to build my body's capacity to complete a triathlon, to have fun, and to challenge my emotional ideals. This was only my second run with them.  It hurt my spine, and healed me soul. That glorious hour-long (at points crawl) run in the Coulees poured energy into my veins.The increased ATP action from training my body again cannot compare to anything else. I forgot that having energy for your whole entire work day is possible.And my post-training breakfast helps too.

Wash and chop fresh organic cucumber, and freeze to have on hand for as week's worth of breakfast smoothies.fullsizeoutput_2cc

Joining this training group has been so good. My relationship with exercise has never felt so pure. So life-giving. So joyful. So fun!I decided I'd turn around halfway into their run. Before the run even started.I told one of the guys "I think I'll do a couple k.m's and go back on my own."He ever so kindly turned around a couple k.m's in, meeting me at the back of the pack to say  "Hey, this would be a good time to go back, because we're going down here next."He was pointing at a set of Coulees. Yikes.But a Voice spoke to me:  Keep going.I remembered last week's muscular death, and the effects of  the 9 k.m. coulee run leaving me unable to walk "normally" for 3 days. I remembered that everyone else in the group has been training much longer than me. I remembered that they have all ran marathons and are not coming from the same place as me this morning. I remembered that LIFE follows DEATH. And then the "lightbulb" illuminated my entire demeanour.

Perseverance over perfection.

 

In the blender:-  4-5 chunks of frozen cucumber  -  1 ripe banana  -  2-4 ice cubes .  --  2 handfuls organic spinach  -   almond butter (depends on how much you want)-  plant-based vanilla protein powder   -   distilled waterfullsizeoutput_2d3

To choose to complete the course, and not care if I didn't "appear" perfect, or trick myself into "perfection," was liberating. It meant I could finish last (by a lot) and still overflow with Joy. It meant I could walk when I needed to and run when I wanted to. It meant I could receive the companionship of someone who was capable of completing it without stopping when he willfully walked with me. 

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Running has been the most challenging for me.Swimming is my favourite. I choose to swim every morning, even on morning there isn't' swim training. I choose to jump in the pool even after the run, just to start my day.There are treasures hidden in the depths of water.But whatever movement my body performs each morning, it feels so beautifully incomplete. As a post-elite athlete, it's historically been easier for me to do NOTHING than SOMETHING because things aren't what they used to be.Now, these 1 hour times each morning happily break me.I am not who I was anymore.Regardless of what I do in the morning, I finish my precisely imperfect movement session and bask in the glory of driving home after sunrise.Throwing together a quick, nourishing and loaded breakfast that takes 5 minutes is a joy that follows.

fullsizeoutput_2d5"Increasing the percentage of plant-based products we consume daily could impact the world's food supply. This single strategy has profound implications for food availability and protecting the environment. By reducing land, water, and energy use, and protecting the web of life, organic, sustainable agriculture benefits the entire human race. Organic. Non-GMO. Vegetarian. Sustainable."

 

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"500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 Billion a year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and oceans."  - The Last Strawfullsizeoutput_2d8

The freedom to walk has changed everything for me.And if I keep showing up, keep giving my best to the run, and walking when I need to, I will be able to run and not faint -- one day.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9

There is freedom to rest, and freedom to run. Freedom to swim, and freedom to sleep. Freedom to fight hard and freedom to finish well.

Where are you not persevering today? Are you, perhaps, focusing on perfection?