Why The Paleo Diet Is A Good Option When You’re Gluten- & Dairy-free

The paleo diet is centered around eating similarly to the way our ancestors once ate. It’s said to help optimize health, minimize the risk of chronic disease, and help you lose weight. (source)

The main concepts of the paleo diet are to:

  • eat high protein foods
  • limit your intake of high glycemic and high carbohydrate foods (including grains, legumes, and sugars)
  • eat a good amount of healthy fats -mono- and polyunsaturated fats, with some Omega 3 and 6’s
  • get loads of fiber in the form of nutritionally dense vegetables

Why the paleo diet is a good option when you're gluten- and dairy-free | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

It’s a great diet to follow if you feel the need to follow a specific protocol. Of all the “diets” out there that are gaining popularity, this is the one that I’d recommend to most people.

Why?

Because it is the most nutritionally sound “diet” I’ve seen to date.

It avoids processed foods, white flours and sugars, dairy, limits sugars of any kind, promotes eating tons of vegetables, and eating filling protein to keep your blood sugar stable. Toss in a few healthy fats and you’re satisfied between meals and cutting down on over-snacking (if that’s an issue for you) and major cravings – this is a diet that almost any health expert can get behind.

That said, I don’t follow the paleo diet myself.

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Whales & Walnut Coconut Orange Cookies

Do you ever have those moments where things just come together and you can’t explain it – let alone really believe it yourself?

This happened to me last week as I was out for a walk with my mom and son. We meet up at least once a week for walks at this same park that I’ve been going to since I was a kid. The park has changed over the years, but the location – right on the water of the inlet into the Puget Sound – hasn’t.

As we were walking, we saw a couple of kayakers who had come to the shore and were just sitting and chatting. My mom said “I’d love to get out on a kayak one of these days” and I replied “Yeah, Tyler (my husband) wants to do it someday too… but I would NEVER get in a kayak in any water that whales had been in. A lake? Maybe. But not this water.” And she followed it up with “well, whales are rarely here. It’s only once every ten years or so. But I get your point. I’d kayak in a lake too.”

The truth is that I’ve seen whales while at that park before. Yes, WHALES. Orca whales. Our area is sometimes graced with their beauty – but it’s truly rare. And when it happens, it’s like the whole world opens up and people flock to see them.

So as we made our way around the park loop a second time, I noticed a ton of cars showing up to the parking lot. And what was weird was that they weren’t even pulling in to properly park. They just barely pulled in, hopped out of their cars, and were running to the shore. Completely strange.

And I said to my mom, “the only time I’ve ever seen anything like this is when there’s something in the water.”

Then we both saw it. Four orca whales swimming along the inlet on their way back out to the Puget Sound. Three adults and a baby. It was incredible. We watched as far as we could. I even got a video on my phone… except after playing it back, I realized I was so enamored watching them in person that I took video of the sky and not the water they were swimming in – oops!

And in that moment, I realized two things. One – sometimes it gives me the heeby jeebies when I say something like “whales swim in that water” and ten minutes later there are WHALES swimming in THAT water. And two – there are sometimes things that come together that you never would have anticipated, but they just work.

Now that’s a terrible segue, but that’s also how I felt about this new cookie recipe. At my first idea of them, I didn’t think they’d work out. And then, as I pulled them out of the oven and had my first bite (I waited for them to cool a little bit), I thought “I don’t know how I did it, but these are delicious!”

I had the idea to throw together a simple cookie, but didn’t want to go to all the effort of mixing up flours or batters – so I tossed a few ingredients together, and tossed them on a cookie sheet to bake. I was so surprised at how well they turned out that I had to share them with you.

Walnut Coconut Orange Cookies | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

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18 Go-To Healthy GFDF Costco Finds

When it comes to shopping, I generally split it up about three ways. The first is my local grocery store, the second is an organic produce delivery service, and the third is hands-down Costco.

Truth be told, as much as I love to eat, I hate to shop. So Costco is a no-brainer when it comes to finding products that we use over and over and stocking up. I try to plan for a monthly shopping trip but sometimes we head back a second time to restock on items that we’ve run out of early.

It has taken a bit of detective work to find foods that work with my current diet and lifestyle. Not only do the foods that we pick up once a month need to be gluten- and dairy-free, but I am a huge stickler on picking up only healthy foods. A one-time lapse in judgment has found me with a case of 54 Rice Krispy Treats in my cart that we absolutely did not need in the house. Two? Maybe. 54? Absurd.

These days, I’ve developed a plan of attack for making my way into and out of Costco without completely blowing my healthy eating plan. My top two tips? Avoid the candy and bakery aisles. Easier said than done, right?

With all of that said I want to share with you my go-to healthy shopping list for Costco. We don’t buy all these items every time we go there, but this is a rotational list that we always come back to. I’ve outlined the items plus a few ways we use each of them on a regular basis at my house. Enjoy!

18 GO-TO HEALTHY COSTCO FINDS | RachaelRoehmholdt.com

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Quinoa

I like to make a big batch of quinoa on the weekends and use for breakfasts (instead of oatmeal), as a base for salads, or for side dishes for dinner.

Coconut oil

We use a ton of coconut oil in our baking and cooking. My new favorite way to use it is with sauted veggies – so good! I also use it for oil pulling and the occasional hand cream if my hands are really dry. You can really do a million things with coconut oil.

Olive oil

We like the Kirkland brand of olive oil, because its organic, it tastes good, and its a pretty good price for the quantity. I use it in all my homemade dressings, and marinades. [Read more…]