BEST PALEO CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES {GRAIN FREE + DAIRY FREE + SOY FREE + GLUTEN FREE}

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Can you think of a better way to start the week than chocolate chip cookies? ...No? Me either. That's why I have made these bad boys every week for meal prep and every week they are demolished *cough Brennan cough* Sidenote: he actually told me not to share with y'all this recipe because he doesn't want the goods out in public, but, you know, here we are.

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A couple months ago when I was doing my friend Jess' Sexy Sugar Cleanse, I felt amazing. Then, when I started incorporating some foods back in, I felt not-so-amazing. Since then, in the process of trying to figure out what is causing my digestion/GI troubles, I've been eating a "diet" based on what makes me feel good: minimal grains, dairy, starchy veggies, and sugar.

One thing I really craved? Chocolate chip cookies. Naturally I had to find a way to satisfy that dang sweet tooth of mine. And trust me when I tell you these have done the trick.

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Have I talked them up enough yet? Will you believe me when I tell you there is no refined sugar, no dairy, no grains, no soy, no gluten, no BS. Just pure, yummy, homemade goodness. In all seriousness, my mom is one of the best bakers (this is punny if you really know me) I know and she even approves.

Without further ado, the long-awaited recipe... let me know what you think ;)

*I have not tested using any other form of flour OR with flax egg to make them vegan. However, feel free to experiment and let me know how they turn out!

 

print recipe
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Super yummy taste like your grandma's homemade chocolate chip cookies... and they're paleo
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour, I prefer Bob's Red Mill
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter, I used Georgia Grinders
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, I used Enjoy Life dairy-free
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat together coconut oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mix until smooth. 2. Add almond flour, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Add cashew butter and mix until even consistency. 4. Fold in chocolate chips (may add more/less if desired). 5. Use a cookie scoop and/or your hands to form cookies into equal balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. *The batter tends to feel "greasy" - this is normal as long as they're not falling apart. 6. Using two or three fingers, lightly press down on each ball of dough. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 cookies

xx,

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Going From Tracking Macros To Intuitive Eating

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If you've been following me for a while, you likely know that my journey with tracking macros began well over a year ago. Prior to that, my relationship with food was anything but healthy. If you're unfamiliar with my story, I have a whole blog post on why I started tracking macros, but here is a little recap:

 

2014: Graduated from college, bad breakup, relied on alcohol and food (aka all the carbs) as a coping mechanism, hardly ever worked out, gained 25+ pounds

2015: Recognized the weight gain, began extreme restriction (~1000 cal/day), started lifting light weights and doing 45+ min of cardio daily, lost weight, became weak, tired, still unhappy. Disordered eating hit an all-time high. Would binge thousands of calories in one sitting. Gained weight back. 

Beginning 2016: Followed beachbody meal plan, thought I had my eating under control. Found it to be even more restrictive, struggled with severe binge eating episodes (again). Mostly cardio workouts. Lost weight, gained weight, lost weight (you get it).

End 2016: Quit beachbody, pretty much stopped working out or following any meal plan. Gained weight yet again.

2017: Started lifting weights and working with a macro coach (Paola). Gained so much strength and happiness back, saw incredible results using her twelve week guide. Followed macros for pretty much the entire year (with a few weeks off here and there), finally started getting comfortable in the gym and could pretty much "guesstimate" all my meals correctly in MFP.

2018: Deleted MFP. Starting researching Intuitive Eating. Which led me to this very moment. So here we go...

First of all, let me just say that TRACKING. MACROS. WORKS. It's a great resource and it's based on science and it straight up WORKS - as long as you do it correctly. I do not want this blog post to be taken as "you shouldn't track macros," I just want you to understand it's not the ONLY way.

Second of all, I'm not really sure how to tell you how I got here. And I'm not really sure how this transition is going to pan out. All I know is that I haven't been tracking macros for almost a month now; I haven't completely gone off the deep end, but I haven't completely figured it all out either. The best way I can present this is to give you a list of pros and a list of cons. Take with it what you will :)


What I liked about tracking macros/IIFYM:

  1. Saw the physical results I wanted
  2. Still got to eat the foods that "weren't allowed" on my previous diets (aka all the ice cream)
  3. Gained so much knowledge about nutrition and metabolism
  4. Became familiar with portion sizes
  5. Gave me concrete rules to follow, which my type A personality inevitably loved

I loved tracking macros. I saw the results I had been so desperately trying to achieve for so long. I finally felt like I understood how my body was using the food I was eating.

I had the freedom to not restrict myself out of fear of eating too much and I had room for the foods I used to binge on.

I learned to eat in correct portions and that weighing your food gives you a much more accurate portion size than eyeballing a certain fraction of a package. I gained knowledge, I gained muscle, and I gained a sense of understanding about how the body is fueled by proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. I also learned that you don't need to cut any of these out of your diet. Ever.


Why I'm transitioning out of it:

  1. Entering everything into MFP (and I mean everything) became annoying
  2. Had to learn to weigh my food
  3. Sometimes felt like I was forcing myself to eat when I wasn't even hungry
  4. Stopped focusing on ingredients and began to see food as numbers
  5. Not a sustainable lifestyle for me long-term

As of right now, counting macros has served it's purpose - I'm ready to move on. After listening to so many podcasts, reading blogs, and now finally reading the book "Intuitive Eating," I know I'm ready for this next step in my journey with food. After a year of counting every little thing I put in my mouth, I knew it just wasn't a maintainable lifestyle for me. One day when I'm in my 30s with a family I'm not going to have my children watch me enter all my meals into a silly app. I recognize that that's totally manageable for some, but for me, it's just not an option.

I found myself starting to see food more as numbers in an app and less as sources of nutrients.

Some days I would be force feeding myself a protein shake or a handful of crackers because "I needed to hit my numbers." That still didn't feel like I was being the healthiest me I could be.


"Hold up, what even is counting macros and intuitive eating?"

The long and short of it is this:

Counting macros refers to simply calculating the number of grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats that your specific body needs. Sidenote: I HIGHLY recommend working with someone that is trained and someone that has been doing it for a decent length of time. There are online calculators and computer-generated formulas, but being able to talk to someone who actually understands your activity level and your dietary needs is SO important. I cannot recommend Paola (@paosfitworld) enough. A couple other women I found helpful while tracking macros are Madeline (@madeline_moves) and Julie (@juliealedbetter) - they are incredible!

Intuitive Eating is exactly as it sounds. It's tuning into your body's needs and hunger cues - eating when you're hungry, stopped when you're full. It's kind of sad, if you think about it, that we have to have a name for this. It seems so logical that it'd be second nature, but in today's day and age, it's just not. It's definitely proving to be challenging, but it's definitely going to be worth it.


"How did you go about making the transition?"

To be honest, I stopped tracking macros cold turkey. At the beginning of 2018, I took part in my friend Jess' Sexy Sugar Cleanse, in which I gave up most forms of sugar - as well as dairy, grains, legumes, and some fruits and veggies. I didn't track a single macro and I focused on eating whole foods. I had never felt better. The first week was tough; I still found myself adding up numbers in my head. Once you track macros for a year, it becomes habit to measure portions sizes out in your head and calculate their protein, fat, and carb content. But as the 20 days of the cleanse went on, I found myself focusing less and less on the macros and more on how my body was feeling. 


"Won't you still be tempted to overindulge?"

Of course. I'm human. However, I'm at a point in my health and fitness journey where I can trust my body to tell me what it needs. Obviously I'm still learning and it's going to be a process. IE is not going to be an excuse to eat all the burgers and fries and milkshakes and call it satisfying my taste buds. Just as counting macros is not intended to be a free for all with just "hitting numbers." 

From here on out, I'm focused on my hunger cues and eating healthy, nutrient-dense food. I'm sure I'll have days I'm more hungry than others and I'm sure I'll have days I eat less than what my macros used to call for. Bottom line is, if I'm out to dinner, I'm not going to stress about the carb content or the fat content and I won't feel obligated to get a salad. Is there anything wrong with getting a salad? NO, not if that's actually what you want. But if I want the fully loaded bison burger and sweet potato fries, that's what I'm going to enjoy.

Because from now on I'm going to look at the menu and ask myself "what is my body telling me it wants?" rather than "what can I fit into My Fitness Pal?”

I'm extremely excited for this new chapter in my life. Equally nervous. But excited. And I just want to thank each and every one of you for being so supportive of me. I know I have a long way to go, but hopefully this gives you plenty of insight as to why I'm making this transition. My relationship with food was better in 2017, but I know 2018 it will be the best it's ever been. And I can't wait to share this journey with you. If you have any questions at all, or if you have any good IE resources, feel free to leave a comment or email me!

xx,

 

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CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS {GRAIN FREE + DAIRY FREE + SOY FREE + GLUTEN FREE}

There are two things I can meal prep and never get sick of them: asian dishes & mexican. So when a friend of mine showed me this recipe for healthier chicken lettuce wraps, I had to put my own twist on it. No soy sauce. No grains. Just pure, whole food, yumminess. Best part is it's super easy and can be prepped and finished in under an hour.

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 3 T liquid aminos
  • 3 T teriyaki coconut aminos
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T water
  • 1 T ginger, minced/ground
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sriracha
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 t arrowroot (can sub cornstarch)
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FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, ground or cubed
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1/4 C cashews, chopped
  • 1/3 C green onion
  • 1/3 C carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 C white onion
  • 12 oz package cauliflower rice (can use regular rice if not grain free)
  • Bibb lettuce for wraps

  1. Prepare sauce. Place all ingredients in a small bowl & whisk. Set aside.
  2. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly brown.
  3. Add sauce, cashews, green onion, carrots, and white onion. Allow to thicken for a couple minutes.
  4. Stir in package of cauliflower rice.
  5. Serve in lettuce wraps or as desired.

Feel free to spice it up your own way and add any extra veggies you like! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think :)

xx,

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#SixWeeksStrongerWithLindsey Week Four

HAPPY MONDAY! I know, I'm a day late. To be honest I completely forgot to upload this blog. Everybody makes mistakes *queue Hannah Montana* But here's my week-in-review :)

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What I meal prepped:

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BBQ chicken with pineapple, green beans, quinoa *This is for 3 lunches*

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1.5 cups of pineapple (300g)
  • 12 oz package green beans
  • 3/4 cup organic, gluten-free quinoa (from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Tessemae's because it has no added sugar, but any BBQ would work!)

1. Put chicken in glass bowl and allow to marinate in BBQ sauce for about an hour.

2. Cook the quinoa according to the package. Set aside when finished.

3. If green beans are not previously cut, trim those. You can cook these any way you prefer, I just steamed them until cooked but still crisp. Set aside.

4. Heat large pan/skillet over medium heat and spray or cover with olive oil. Add chicken breast and cook for 5-10 min on each side (depending on thickness) or until cooked through. Add pineapple and let sear for a minute or two on each side.

5. Remove pineapple from pan and separate the chicken, quinoa, pineapple, and green beans into 3 equal portions. 


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Egg white breakfast cups

**Recipe is from my blog post last week, except I used green pepper instead of broccoli! Feel free to mix up this recipe however you like :)


Grain-free granola

**This recipe is also on my blog post last week. It was too good not to make again. 


AND my workout schedule: 

MSS Guide = my friend Madeline's workout guide you can find here!

Monday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Cardio/Heavy Legs/Burnout

Tuesday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Upper Body/HIIT

Wednesday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Cardio/Core

Thursday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Back/Upper Body/LISS

Friday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Full body workout from my own #LYFB guide (just $20 here!)

Saturday: MSS Guide Week 4 - Legs/HIIT

Sunday: Rest day/yoga??


Here's a good HIIT burnout if you're still reading ;)

Repeat circuit 2-3 times at the end of your workout! Minimal rest between rounds.

  • Mountain climbers x40
  • Alternating jump lunges x20
  • Butt kicks x40
  • Sumo jump squats x20
  • High knees x40
  • Burpees x20

Keep an eye out for my blog post regarding the sugar cleanse I just finished. Should be up by this weekend :) My friend Jess is still offering the discount code LINDSEY50 for you guys for 50% OFF her entire cleanse package! Here's her website if you're interested!

xx,

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#SixWeeksStrongerWithLindsey Week Three

HAPPY WEEK THREE!!! I have been loving having all of you to hold me accountable and I'm ready for another week of crushing goals.

This week my workout schedule will be a little different than usual just because I did legs this weekend and won't be doing them again on Monday (aka RIP legs). If you are following the MSS guide with me, or any guide for that matter, DON'T be afraid to mix things up to fit your schedule :) 

P.s. If you missed last week's post, I shared some awesome resources for planning out your week and also some meal planning printables!


What I meal prepped:

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Shrimp stir fry (adapted from Just A Taste)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos teriyaki sauce, found at Whole Foods!
  • 1 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, from Trader Joe's
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger paste (could use fresh ginger)
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 cup snow peas 
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into noodles (about 200g)

In small bowl, whisk together broth, coconut aminos teriyaki, liquid aminos, and cornstarch and set aside. In a large saute pan, add 2 tbsp sesame oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add shrimp to the pan and cook until pink, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer shrimp to separate bowl. 

Increase heat to medium, add the remaining oil and all of the veggies except the zucchini noodles. Saute vegetables until crisp but tender. Add the sauce and cook for a couple minutes as the sauce thickens. Add shrimp and zucchini noodles to the pan and toss.


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Egg white breakfast cups

  • 1 Applegate sweet italian chicken sausage
  • 1 small head of broccoli, finely chopped (about 40g)
  • 1 1/2 cup egg whites

Chop up one chicken sausage link into small pieces and divide in muffin pan (I made 6 muffins). Divide broccoli into each muffin tin. Then top each with 1/4 cup egg whites. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake at 325F for 15-20 min or until risen and slightly golden brown.


Homemade refined sugar-free, grain-free granola

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  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp monkfruit sweetener
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries (no sugar added), chopped

In a small sauce pan, heat coconut oil, monkfruit sweetener, and cinnamon until melted. Remove from heat. Lightly chop almonds and cashews (not too finely - I just used a knife but you could use a food processor). Transfer nuts and seeds to coconut oil mixture. Add vanilla extract and coconut flakes and stir until everything is well-coated. Spread mixture onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 275 for 20-25 min or until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 20 minutes and add dried cherries. Store in mason jar.


And my workout schedule:

Monday: Pilates class & MSS Guide - Cardio/Core

Tuesday: MSS Guide - Upper Body/HIIT

Wednesday: MSS Guide - Cardio/Heavy Legs/Burnout

Thursday: MSS Guide - Back/Upper Body/LISS

Friday: Full body workout from #LYFB guide (you can purchase for $20 here!)

Saturday: MSS Guide - Legs/HIIT

Sunday: Active Rest Day!


There ya have it! If you have any questions, leave 'em below. This Wednesday will be day 10 of my #SexySugarCleanse and the end of Phase 1 - make sure you keep an eye out for my blog post covering my experience! Don't forget my friend Jess was sweet enough to discount it 50% if you use code LINDSEY50. She's the best! Check out her website and her cleanse here :) LOVE YOU ALL!!

xx,

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