Paleo-ish Protein Brownies

Hey friends, just had to share these awesome bars I made from Alexandra’s Brawny Brownie recipe!


I made a 1/2 batch and baked them at 350F for about 15 minutes.  Dee-licious!

  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 2 scoops (33 g each) chocolate whey protein powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  1. Sift dry ingredients together
  2. Mix wet ingredients together
  3. Mix wet into dry and place in a greased 8×8 baking dish
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
  5. Cut into 6 bars



WIAW what my foodie pen pal sent me

Hey friends,

Well you know that I’m totally swamped with school and work but you know what’s making it easier?  AWESOME foodie pen pals like Katie!  Seriously, this girl hooked me up with snacks and that have fueled many a study session!  Thanks Lindsey for hosting the Foodie Pen Pals and thanks Katie for giving me something to bring to Jenn’s WIAW party!

The Lean Green Bean




Still alive

Hello friends! 

Let me preface this by saying how much I miss you guys!  I’m on serious blogger withdrawal – thesis, four classes (with 2 labs) and work is seriously taking its toll.  Oh yeah, plus wedding planning (but that, my friends, is the BEST problem!). Also, J and I have decided our wedding is going to be the most low-key event ever! Campingcausal is our theme and there will be NO colors, bridesmaids, florists or any other hoopla! 

In my microscopic amount of time, I’ve been cooking up a storm (I bought Practical Paleo and it was the best purchase ever)!

I’ve also been really trying to focus on body acceptance. Oh Lordy, I have a scary feeling that this is going to be a lifelong struggle. But it is a worthwhile fight and I refuse to give up. I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 3 years, I wear the biggest size I’ve worn in 3 years, but what I have to keep reminding myself that I’m also the healthiest I’ve been in 3 years!!! 

I keep thinking that I need to lose weight, that I must have a thyroid problem because I can’t lose weight, or that I should be restricting/exercising more in order to lose weight. I have to keep reminding myself that in NO way am I overweight. I am extremely healthy and I should be celebrating my body! This self-loathing is such a miser able existence and I just refuse to go back.

You all have been instrumental in my recovery and I know that you all will be vita in my ability to stay healthy.

Thank you thank you thank you!




Foodie PenPal reveal day!!!

First off, I want to send out a special thanks to all my blog-y buddies.  I’ve recently fallen off the blog-o-sphere due and a few of you reached out to me just to say hi and see how I’ve been.

You have no idea how much that means to me.  You all are more than just fellow bloggers.  You’re friends.  I want to give you all big hugs and maybe someday we can hang out in real life! Smile  Until then, I absolutely love hearing about your days, challenges, and triumphs.  And I am celebrating all your highs right there with you!

The reason for my absence is simple:  too much life!  It is such a good problem!  I’m taking 4 classes (2 of them also have labs), working, and writing my thesis.  Plus, J and I are trying to plan our wedding (luckily he’s awesome and is helping out a ton).

I embrace this business because it means that I’m filling my mind with knowledge, filling my workplace with dedication, and filling my heart with love!

And luckily, I have awesome foodie penpals that fill my cupboards with goodies!!!  Thank you Lindsey for hosting another great Foodie PenPal and thank you Elizabeth for such a great package!

The Lean Green Bean

Mounds and mounds of coffee – fueling me through early mornings of studying.  I like to wake up early to study before I workout.


Cherry Chicken Jerky – fueling me through snack-y afternoons.  Cherry + chicken = delicious combo!!!


Maple Almond butter – fueling me through 12-3 labs.  Sometimes I need something quick and dense while I’m in lab and I can’t sit down for my usual salad!


but seriously, the coffee was the prize – this Rwandan coffee was amazing!


Thanks again, Elizabeth!

Okay, back to studying!  At least I have the aroma of pork tenderloin roasting in the oven to perfume the apartment!  I love making dinner for J while he’s at work so that he walks into the smells of “home.”

MIMM preparing for the storm

What’s Marvelous in my Monday?  Well, thanks Katie for letting me partake in my favorite part of the week. 

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

First off, Congrats Ashley for winning the Coconut Oil giveaway!


Now, the not so fun stuff … nope, scratch that.  I’m going to reframe my thinking. 

Yes, I will be starting the fall quarter tomorrow but it is also an opportunity to learn new things and expand my horizons.  I’m aware that I will be stressed, that at some point I will cry, and that J and I won’t get to spend quality time together.

But, you know what?  It’s okay.

I’m getting better at dealing with stress and tears will dry and J and I have the rest of our lives together. 

Tomorrow is going to be good … nope, it’s going to be MARVELOUS … and so will the rest of the next 11 weeks.

MIMM gifts

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

Good evening and Happy Monday friends!  It’s time again to partake in Katie’s awesome MIMM tradition and reflect on what’s marvelous!

This Monday is marvelous because I had a great Sunday night at a work BBQ potluck.  Great food and bloody mary mix made with homegrown tomatoes = fun times, good memories, and a slight headache this morning. Smile

However, today was great.  It’s hard to complain with beautiful weather and a little lunch time track circuit workout. 


I’m keeping my cardio 30 min or less and really focusing on yoga, walking, and strength training.  Mainly, just trying to take care of myself!  My motto right now is exercise should be training NOT draining!

And MIMM wouldn’t be complete without a little When I loved myself enough update.



When I loved myself enough, I began taking the gift of life seriously and gratefully …

This reminded me of something that’s been on my mind lately – the death of an ex-boyfriend.

I dated this man for about 2 tumultuous years with good times and very, very bad times.  It was an unhealthy relationship but not because he was a bad person, he was just a troubled person.  About 2 years after we broke up, he had a sudden heart attack and died at the age of 35 with no personal or family history of heart disease

At the time of his death, I was very deep in my eating disorder.  After his funeral I found myself walking around a lake on a sunny, beautiful May day.  For the first time, my mind was calm and I felt the anxiety easing.  I realized at that moment that I was alive, and that was enough.

Recovery didn’t happen overnight, of course, but I think that’s when it truly started.

That day I recognized the gift of life and I accepted it. 

I strive to be thankful for this gift every day.

Tell me, friends, what is Marvelous in your Monday?

How do you express your gratitude for the gift of life?

And speaking of gifts … here’s a shameless plug to enter to win your chance for the gift of some Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil!

Giveaway! Coconut oil needs a cape

As I’ve spoken about previously, my whole diet has changed (for the better) and coconut oil has a lot to do with it.

During my eating disorder I subsisted on mountains of low-calorie vegetables.  During my recovery I had to learn how to eat for nourishment … a journey I’m still in the process of.  I still found myself restricting fats, though.  Within the last few months I transitioned into a Paleo-style diet with a carb-cycling approach to low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein.

The only problem?  I don’t like many foods that are naturally high in fat and I don’t want to rely on nuts due to their high Omega-6 contents.

So what swooped in and saved me like a superhero?  Coconut oil.

I used lesser quality coconut oils until I tried the good stuff.  The former oils quickly found themselves banned from my kitchen and are now being used for natural skin lotions and hair deep-conditioning.

So what’s the good stuff?

I was SUPER lucky and Tropical Traditions sent me a jar of their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to scoop into my mouth with a spoon review.

And guess what? You’re super lucky, too. because Tropical Traditions is giving one of you a jar of coconut oil, too!

This stuff is so freaking good!  

I’ve baked with it …

Paleo Banana Bread from Primal Palate                  Coconut Bars 

Paleo Banana Bread, Primal Palate coconut bar 001

I’ve roasted veggies with it …

017Lamb chops002

I’ve cooked massive quantities of chicken with it …

Father's Day & 29th Birthday 002

I even spoon chunks on spinach then nuke it at work to get all melty and delicious … or I save the chunks for my lunch dessert!

You can watch this video to learn more about this amazing product!

Want to get your hands on some coconut oil for yourself?

This contest is only open to my US and Canada readers!

Disclaimer:  Tropical Traditions provided  me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Click below to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil - 32 oz.Win 1 quart of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil!

Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on their website: What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

You can also watch the video they produced about Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil:

Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.

WIAW Paleo staples


Happy Wednesday friends!!!  I love WIAW parties – it’s so fun to peek into other blogger’s kitchens and lunch pails to see what we’re all eating!

My kitchen has been transforming with my new found love of Paleo.  Gone is the Splenda for artificial sweetness.  Trashed is the wheat bran for low-calorie bulk.  A forgotten jar of Better n’ Peanut Butter languishes in the corner of the fridge.

Nope, only nourishing whole foods for me!  Thanks Jenn, for letting me show off my new Paleo staples!

My goodies from my school’s meat department & a local butcher at the farmer’s market:

Meat loot

Beef heartBeef liverbeef sweet breads

Sauerkraut fermenting in my cupboard and some to tide me over until it’s ready!

fermenting sauerkrautraw sauerkraut

Kelp seasonings for healthy thyroid function & deliciousness!

kelp seasoning

Homemade bone broth for calcium, gelatin, glycine, etc. etc. etc.

bone broth

And the best reason to give yourself Paleo “wiggle room”:  Hell’s Kitchen PB brought to me by my AWESOME FMIL (future mother in-law).  This stuff is so amazing, chunky, and flavorful – like peanut brittle in nut butter form!

Hell's Kitchen PBH'sK PB in jar

I don’t suppose anyone has sweetbread recipes? Smile

When I loved myself enough

MIMM (healthydivaeats)

Good morning friends!  I hope you’re all having a great Labor Day weekend with all of your families and friends.  Thanks Katie for providing another great MIMM celebration of life’s wonders!

J and I had a great Saturday with his family!  It’s so great to know that my family is expanding with such amazing people.  Seriously, his mom has been absolutely wonderful in getting to know me and fostering a loving mother-in-law / daughter-in-law relationship.  His step-dad is the kind of man you want to just sit on a porch and chat with and his brothers and their wives are so nice and welcoming!

It hasn’t been exactly easy, though, to really open myself up to these new people in my life.  Sometimes it’s hard for me, with a recovering ED, to eat around people.  I know that a lot of you have dealt with the same things – even if it’s just because you eat different foods than those around you.  For me, I have  a lot of anxiety when it comes to food.  I have intense fear that people will think I’m snubbing the food they provide or will think I’m “weird” for eating what I do.  These fears really don’t affect me in normal life, just around people that I really want to accept me and like me.


This week’s “When I loved myself enough,” post couldn’t have been more appropriate – “When I loved myself enough, I came to know my own goodness …”


I realized that I have goodness within me, that I am worthy of being accepted for who I am and that there is nothing wrong with me.  J’s family is wonderfully open-minded and I need to believe that they will see me for who I am and not misconstrue my dietary habits as personality flaws. 

This Saturday was great and while I did stress a little about food, I’m proud to say the most of the day was spent reveling in good times with new family. 

And that, my friends, is success!

Please share what’s Marvelous in Your Monday!!!

Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

Yay for Foodie Pen Pals & Yay for Lindsay who makes the whole thing possible (seriously, the amount of organization that goes into these shenanigans is mind-boggling).

Seriously, though, thank goodness for these boxes of goodness that arrive at my doorstep.  My partner, Becki, did such a good job with my package and was especially amazing given my Paleo diet!  She researched foods and ingredients and the end result was a box filled with delicious and new foods – some I’d never tried before!

A really sweet letter that thoughtfully explained all the foods


Really, really good local beef jerky!  I love me some dried meat and this did not disappoint.  I tore it open and ate it right away!  It’s great because I’m need healthy protein sources to snack on in school and eggs kind of wreak havoc in the middle of classes.


Barney’s Almond Butter – I was actually really excited to get this because I’ve never tried Barney Butter and I’ve heard great things.  Plus, doing the whole Paleo thing has cut out Peanut Butter so I’m always looking for alternatives.  005

Kale Chips – these were sooooo good!  I’ve never really liked the taste of cheese but these were made with Nutritional Yeast and I do love that yeast-y flavor!  Plus, “Vampire Killer” … I have eaten roasted garlic straight up with nothing else.  This stuff was gone in days.


Raw Rev mini-bars – I really like the Raw Rev company and I’ve previously reviewed their products so I was happy to get some more!  They’re great for when I’m working long catering shifts and need some energy quick!


Again, thank you so much, Becki and Lindsay!  And check out Rachel’s post to see what I sent my Foodie Pen Pal!

Are you interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal for September? If so, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You need to sign up before September 4th in order to participate next month. The Foodie Pen Pals program is open to everyone so don’t worry if you aren’t a blogger. Check out Lindsay’s blog for all of the rules of the program.