Are Treats Paleo? Should I Care? Or Should I Just Make Some Zucchini Loaf?
As you can probably tell I am not a zero treats kind of person. I don't even know if I want to call them treats? But for lack of a better word I will stick with it.
So did Paleo Person eat treats? Well technically no, but does that mean they wouldn't have? And does that mean we shouldn't?
Paleo Person would have 100% eaten almond flour cookies if they existed. I mean we are wired to find calorically dense sources of energy, especially carbs, so that we can survive. We don't live in this kind of world anymore, but that does not mean our brains have really changed. Robb Wolf has a whole book about this subject. It's called "Wired to Eat".
Because Paleo Person would not have had access to treats some hard core paleo-ites don't consider them paleo. But I am not about that. I have tried the restriction thing, and all I did was mess myself up psychologically. So I wouldn't really recommend it. I mean I also wouldn't recommend living solely off of almond flour cookies....but I think your body is smarter than that.
Restriction and telling yourself you can't have something is really just a recipe for disaster. I mean think about it, if I say to you "don't picture a unicorn", you will. My high school chemistry teacher did this to us. He told us not to picture him running down the beach in a thong speedo with his back (butt) hair flowing out behind him. Of course we all did, and of course it ruined the entire day, maybe the entire year, maybe I still picture it when I blink. YIKES. DON'T BLINK. I am 100% serious, this happened. I will never do this to my students. I'd likely get fired. He was an eccentric one. He also told us he used to fall asleep driving to school, and set the attendance on fire, often.
Anyway, the point is that when you tell yourself you can't have something all you do is want that something. It's also like you are sending a signal to your body that you don't trust it, and that you don't trust your cravings and that your cravings don't matter. Your body is really actually quite smart, it wants you to feel good. I promise. That does not mean that when you give up your rules you will instantly crave kale and grass fed beef. You may go through a couple days or weeks of eating crap, but then guess what you are not going to feel so hot, nor will it be nearly as exciting, because its not forbidden anymore. And then your body is going to start sending signals for what it really wants and needs. Yes this is going to take time and work. Yes you are going to have to ask yourself why you are really craving something, are you bored, or sad, or really physically hungry. But it gets easier.
I am not expert on this. However I have been working really hard on letting go of judgement around morality and food and just eating, and you know what most of the time my body now craves things like a big arugula salad with salmon and plantains. I can't explain how delicious real food is when you start to listen to your body. But them sometimes I eat the whole bar of dark chocolate, or some ice cream, or a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, or warm zucchini bread slathered in butter. Or whatever. And that is okay too. It is all okay.There is no point judging or hating myself. Instead I reflect on how I feel.
Example: I had a gluten free carrot cake cupcake this weekend. Guess who had a headache the next day? Me. So I guess that refined sugar was not my best idea, even in a considerably small dose. But I didn't go to the gym to work it off, or feel guilty, I just mentally filed away that headache piece for next time.
This does not mean I don't make treats, however I do 100% aim to paleo-ize my baking. Gluten, grain and white sugar just make me feel crappy, so my inclination is to make treats that won't do that to me. I mean what is the point in purposefully giving myself a headache? But I am also not interested in restriction. I don't call the way I eat restricting. Instead I eat based on feedback from my body. Some people might disagree with me. But I don't. I have built a way of eating based on how food makes me feel, and I am not really all the strict. Out for dinner on a special occasion I may order a gluten free treat. I even had a regular pizza this summer, the result was my face tripled in size, so I doubt I'll do that again, but you get the picture. I am not a staunch paleo only person. I am however a staunch listen to your body cause it has a lot to say kind of person.
Sometimes when I listen I end up baking! Like this zucchini loaf. Its been rainy, and so a warm baked load, dripping with melted butter and tea is just pure perfection.
- Butter or coconut oil for greasing
- 2 small zucchinis, shredded and with all the water squeezed out
- 1 mashed banana
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Grease a loaf tin with butter or coconut oil - don't be shy and go all the way up the sides
- Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl and mix with the shredded zucchini and eggs
- Add the ACV and maple syrup, stir
- Add all the spices and stir to combine
- In a small bowl box the baking soda, powder, coconut flour and tapioca starch with a fork
- Add to the zucchini mixture
- Stir to combine
- Pour into the prepared baking dish
- Bake for 40-45 mins, the sides and top should get nicely browned
- Let cool for 10 mins before removing from the dish
- Best served warm and slathered with butter
- Refrigerate leftovers