Category Archives: Paleo Diet

Crispy Duck

Thought I would share with you this paleo crispy duck recipe I concocted today out of stuff I found in my fridge. It was very omnomnom.



  • 2 duck legs with skin
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes
  • Mangos
  • Onions
  • Green beans
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander
  • Mushroom
  • Apple cider
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste

1) Mix all of the vegetables in a bowl with a tiny, tiny bit of olive oil. A lot of oil will come out from the duck skin so you don’t want to put too much.

2) Put the ingredients in a tray. Rub salt and pepper on the duck legs and lay them on top of the vegetable mix.

3) Put the oven to 180 degrees. Put foil on top of the duck + veg to keep the moisture in. Roast for 40mins-1hr (I did 1hr, but I’m sure it was ready before that).

4) Remove the foil and raise the oven temperature to 220 degrees. Roast the skin till brown and crispy.

5) Enjoy!

I’m off to try some night yoga before bed.

Peace out.

Love Your Food

Despite going pretty hardcore healthy/paleo yesterday, I didn’t sleep that well, and had mild allergies at night. This morning I had pretty severe allergies. Which means that something I ate yesterday my body doesn’t like.

My money is on the starchy arrowroot. Whilst eating it I didn’t feel too good, and I did put quite a lot in the ‘bread’ and ‘cookies’ yesterday. I’ll lay off it for awhile, reintroduce it again to double confirm this intolerance.

It’s frustrating when you’re trying ever so hard to be healthy but you have set backs like this. But this is a type of life training. Knocked down? Picking myself up stronger than before!

… was what I declared this morning whilst sneezing and blowing my nose. The day turned out very differently to what I expected. Whilst I got off to a good start – body combat, ballet and yoga at the gym, go me! In between that and doing the open day at my university at had to whip up something quick. And oh that didn’t go well at all. I won’t bother putting a pic up because essentially an attempt at coconut flour crusted cod turned out to be just white goo.

That didn’t make me feel happy at all. And you know what, I just thought I won’t do the sugar fast. Not because of my mood, but because I sensed myself becoming obsessive about it – yes I know I didn’t even last half a day but I know ‘the feeling’ of excessive repression. It just leads to extreme rebound. And whadya know, once I let go of thinking ‘no sugar’ every min of the day and had a chocolate bar, that  led to another chocolate bar and some cookies (gasp). This is what unhealthy repression does to me.

I know that I can quit, or at least reduce sugar naturally if I continue to eat healthy and exercise, so I’m not going to force myself. My binge eating tendencies are starting to subside a bit.

It’s important to love your food while your cooking it, and love you food while eating it. It makes a big difference.

Today I made oven-roasted mackerel with an amazing mango avocado salsa. You have to try this recipe out it was positively delicious.


Mackerel with mango avocado salsa w/ lots of veggies.

Now, I’ve been having issues with coconut flour. It just doesn’t seem to like me. My butternut squash cookies were meh. My coconut flour crusted cod was a disaster. Third time lucky? Not so much. This evening I made coconut flour chocolate chip cookies. Now, I tried to religiously stick to the recipe, but it was strange. Only 1/3 cup of coconut flour meant my mixture was just liquid, which couldn’t have been right. So I added some more flour till it was dough like. Now, it smelt and looked good:


Coconut flour chocolate chip cookies

But it’s ever so dry and hard to swallow – kind of grainy. Flavour is fine. Hmmm. Coconut flour you elude me, when will we have a good relationship?

Peace out.

Update: Did a bit of googling and people mention the dry nature of coconut flour and the need to put as much moisture in it as possible. Maybe there was a reason for that super liquidy form. I’m not going to give up, I’m determined to be coconut flour baking goddess extraordinaire, watch this space!!


Spinach Spinach Spinach + A Confession

Today was what I call a ‘bad food day’. Everything I made just didn’t seem to go well and you’re left in a pretty bad mood.

One downside of living alone is that you don’t eat up vegetables or meats quick enough and they end up going off. The big bag of spinach I bought has been looking questionable since two days ago but I’ve been picking out the slightly decomposed leaves and have been trying my best to use them up.

I definitely think the solution to this problem is to make soups right from the start and store them in your fridge or freezer.

Here is what I ate today.

For lunch I decided to try to make Butternut Squash Flatbread, only to realise I had no coconut flour or gelatine. Given that I was hungry after the gym I decided to just try combining the squash with arrowroot powder (starch alternative) and this was the result.


Kind of ‘bread-y’….

I think whipped up a vegetable and tuna stir fry to put on top:


Taste. Hmph. Might as well have just mashed some butternut squash, it was just mushy but very very starchy mushy so wasn’t that pleasant.

Later in the day I acquired some coconut flour so I decided to make some Butternut Squash Cookies:


Again this wasn’t too great either, felt a bit dry and bland.

I had to have a late dinner today due to tutoring and so I made asparagus, spinach and avocado soup:


I won’t bother writing the recipe down because it didn’t taste great 🙁

Next I have to make a confession regarding my sugar fast declaration: when I opened the fridge I found three chocolate puddings. All of them would go off in a months time so I thought I’d just finish these off and then go on the sugar fast. So I ate one. Then I felt so crap about having broken the fast so soon I threw away the other chocolate puddings (they were dirt cheap anyways). So my fast now starts from tomorrow and ends on October 9th.

So to not fall asleep feeling down I’m going to list some good things that I did today:

  • Yoga
  • Kept paleo (apart from the chocolate pud)
  • It was a nice sunny day
  • Tutored

Peace out.




Bye Bye Sugar

I’m having a binge eating problem and it’s probably psychosomatic. When I say ‘binge eating’ the worst that it’s gotten is that I’ve eaten two bars of chocolate and a cookie all at once, but all day every day I’m constantly suffering from the need to put something in my mouth even though I’m not hungry.  It’s very uncomfortable and frustrating.

While I’m trying to find out the root of this problem I need a combat, or at least a coping, strategy. I’m guessing meditation will help calm the restlessness I’m constantly feeling, so I’ll try that every day (and I’m starting a meditation course next week).

When I binge, I have managed so far to resist the urge to binge on carbs despite there being two huge bags of corn chips and popcorn in the cupboard. But As mentioned by the chocolate binge earlier, I let myself snack on sugar. Does it help? Only during the 20 secs that I’m actually eating the chocolate.

So, like with the paleo diet, I am declaring that for a month from this day on (till Oct 8th) I will cut sugar from my diet, including chocolate. When I say cut ‘sugar’, I am referring to processed sugar. I will stick to fruits for now. I hate the fact that I’m cutting my no 1 comfort food, but I also know it’s my ‘favourite’ because I’m just addicted to it when I have problems. When I’m back in Japan, surrounded by family and happy I hardly need to eat chocolate. In fact, I don’t really want it.

Besides, numbing pain isn’t a solution.

I’ve also been constantly entertaining the idea of a juice fast. My stomach irritation/serotonin deficiency syndrome has gotten a lot milder on the paleo diet, and my allergies have virtually disappeared, but it’s not enough. My gut feeling (this joke is going to get old) is that my whole digestive track just needs a big break so the chronic irritation can stop. I think this month is the best time to do it because I don’t have intense work. I’ll start off with a one-day juice fast and will extend it if I feel a bit better (though I hear three days are necessary to really feel the effects). I’ll say here when I’ll be going on a juice fast, probably sometime this week, so stay tuned.

I’m not doing it today for the simple and childish reason that I desperately want to try to make 1) Butternut Squash Cookies and 2) Butternut Squash Flatbread (can you tell that I have a carb-binge eating craving?).

Making changes slowly so I don’t crash….

Stay tuned!




Be Kind to Your Gut

I had an awful night last night. Couldn’t sleep, stomach irritated, felt a bit epileptic. The culprit at the end of the day seemed to be the mildly spicy curry I had. I’ll lay off any heavy spices for awhile.

On the bright side my depression has lifted significantly. I really think yesterday’s mood crash was due to the phytic acid. Also, I had a few pimples today – evidence that my body was getting rid of something.

I now have a list of foods I’m intolerant/don’t digest well/allergic to:

  • Honey
  • Crustacians
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Soy (mild portions ok, fermented like natto ok)
  • Milk
  • Chilli
  • Soba (mild portions ok)
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Phytic Acid in nuts/seeds

I’m sure the list will grow as my food journey continues but it’s nice to have a proper list to remind me.

So, to help mend my gut a bit, I made myself a delicious super veggie spinach soup.

Marie’s Paleo Super Green Spinach Soup


Paleo Spinach Soup – it’s super green and delicious!

Ingredients: Onions, garlic, chicken stock, butternut squash, courgette, LOTS of spinach, coconut oil, mango, basil

1) Fry the onion and garlic in coconut oil till soft and brown.

2) Add the courgette and butternut squash, stir around, then add the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. Let it brew till everything is soft.

3) Add the spinach and stir till wilted.

4) Put in blender some mango (just enough to sweeten), basil, and the soup mixture.

5) Blend and enjoy.

Once again I’m amazed at how tasty home made soups are. They’re fresh and hardly seasoned – yet flavourful. You really can’t go back to buying supermarket goods!

Peace out.

The Nuts and Seeds Issue.

Last night, I felt positively awful. I had a depression episode, and to top it off my binge eating tendencies came back. This continued in the morning and the afternoon – if anything I felt worse today. I managed to drag myself to the gym, but it was tough.

My strong gut instinct was that it was all of the nuts and seeds I consumed yesterday. Nuts contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. This is indigestible, and worse, binds to essential nutrients such as zinc and iron. If you soak nuts and seeds you can remove this phytic acid. In the past I used to eat a cereal consisting of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds and had no issues, but I always soaked them overnight. I ate the seeds yesterday without soaking them, and this could have significantly irritated my gut, leading to IBS, leading to depression.

Incidentally, in the past I also developed awful IBS when I started using almond flour. I discovered today that almonds are super high in phytic acid. Again, evidence that it could be a prime culprit for depression.

Today I had brown bags under my eyes – evidence that my body wasn’t getting enough nutrients. Another piece of the puzzle that makes sense.

I resisted the urge to binge on ramen, and decided to go super duper healthy and to attempt to get as many nutrients as I could in my body. I decided to take a half raw half paleo approach today. I’ll save the pros and cons of the raw diet for another post, but it’s clear that eating lots and lots of fresh vegs couldn’t hurt at all.

Lunch: Gazpacho + Over-Roasted Salmon


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Gazpacho: Blend chopped tomatos, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic and a bit of apple vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste/

Oven-roasted Salmon: Salmon w/ asparagus, mushrooms and spinach, soy sauce and butter to taste.

Dinner:  Thai Salad + Thai Fish Curry

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Thai Salad: I got the recipe from the Raw Chef’s cookbook. So far, all of his recipes are pure alchemy, it blows my mind how he comes up with the flavours he does. This one is a great dish as it has *so* many vegetables and herbs in it: courgettes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, mint, spinach, spouts….basically anything green you can bung in there. The dressing is made out of tahini, lime, garlic, ginger, tamari, and agave nectar. As the tahini in my cupboard was dangerously out of date (read: six years old) I made my own from scratch. I know I used sesame seeds but I thought a bit on dressing shouldn’t irritate my gut too much. I also garnished the salad with some roasted butternut squash seeds as I used butternut squash for the curry. I soaked them for an hour before roasting them.

Thai Fish Curry: Standard. Green curry paste, coconut milk, kale, mushrooms, onions, cod, butternut squash.

I had a very, very satisfying meal. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Although…. I have a confession, because I had coconut milk left over I made chia seed pudding out of it. A quick skim on the internet said that if they’re soaked their fine, but after consuming them and reading further it doesn’t seem to be good for people with IBS, so I may have counteracted my dinner by having this dessert. Ah well. I’m hoping the ridiculous amounts of veggies I consumed today will help.

Oh, and don’t mistake ‘cumin’ for ‘cinnamon’ when making dessert. Doesn’t make for a good flavour….

Peace out.

To Breakfast or Not to Breakfast? : Paleo Cinnamon Toast Crush

Breakfast has always been an issue for me. The opinion seems to be strongly divided as to whether it’s actually good for you or not. Most the studies that state clearly that breakfast is a must are sponsored, surprise surprise, by cereal companies and the likes.

For what I think is a nicely balanced summary on the breakfast issue, check out this post.

It’s important to remember however that scientific evidence is strictly an average, so any anomalies that may exist in any of the studies are cancelled out. So if the majority of the people need breakfast, but you don’t for one health reason or another, the study will not show this.  This is why I think personal experience holds just as much credibility as those figures. Yes, there is the danger of any true effects being masked by a placebo effect, but scientific literature has its problems too.

Best to try to achieve a happy medium.

Anyways, I still don’t know what to make of breakfast. I find that eating straight after waking up isn’t too great for me. My stomach still feels asleep. Whilst skipping breakfast makes me actually feel strong, light and clear headed, the only issue is that around 10am I start to get *very* hungry. Now if I were running around or exercising in the morning, no breakfast is absolutely fine – I don’t eat breakfast on the weekends as I workout in the mornings. But the reality is I spend most of my day sitting and teaching, and the hunger pangs can be very distracting.

My gut (ha-ha) instinct is that I do better without breakfast, but I need to reach a happy medium again based on my job. The next issue I face is sugar. When I wake up that is really all I want. A lot of paleo advocates eat protein such as eggs and fish for breakfast. My stomach can’t handle that in the morning.

However, eating sugary things also makes me sugar crash. So what could be the best breakfast for me?

I’ll try out a series of different types of breakfasts and will report the results here.

Today:  Paleo Cinnamon Toast Crush (recipe here)


Paleo cinnamon toast crunch cereal w/ hazelnut milk.

9:10am:  Started making them

9:45am: Consumed w/ hazelnut milk. Flavour is ok, could have done with more cinnamon but then again I was in such a rush to get it done quickly I didn’t follow the recipe properly. Despite the fact that I’d burnt 1/4 of the batch and had to discard the charred ones, I was still full half way through eating the remaining cereal.

9:55am: Feel a bit of pain in my stomach. Happens quite often. Never know where it comes from and it could be due to a variety of reasons. Maybe I don’t digest chia seeds well – I’ll have to isolate it and find out. I have this pain for flaxseeds too.

10:00am: Pain gone. I’m feeling full, but do have a very strong sugar craving. I want chocolate, haha. I wonder whether it’s because my sugar levels are genuinely low or whether it’s the sugar addiction. I usually give into these cravings but I’ll try to hold it out till lunch today.

11:30am: I’m hungry. Gonna start making lunch.

12pm: Et voila. Salmon Eggs Benedict, roughly based on the recipe here.


Salmon Eggs Benedict

I get a bad reaction from almonds, so I used sunflower seeds instead. Also I only had one egg left to poach….


I don’t think the breakfast really helped. I felt heavy and was hungry after an hour an a half. I’ll keep on searching for the perfect paleo breakfast solution.

I also have been wondering about how healthy nuts and seeds are. I know they are high in nutritional content, but I think if you over roast them all healthy nutrients may be lost. Also, I’ve read it’s important to soak nuts and seeds to remove substances (Phytic Acid) that stop your body from digesting the good stuff in the foods. I didn’t soak the seeds this time round. So it’s clear that if I want to make any seed or nut based foods I’ll need to plan in advance in order to get the maximum benefits from them.

Also, I worry about the calorie content. While I’m a person who doesn’t really care about calories, I do know that nuts and seeds are super high energy, and I wonder whether eating a cereal bowl full of them is really good for me given that I don’t exercise as much when I’m working.

Peace out.

Win Some, Lose Some: Maguro Peperoncino and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Some days you have good cooking days, some days you have bad. Today was both.

Today in the morning, I was delighted to find in the fish section of ASDA a fresh slab of tuna for three pounds. Wanting to eat just a bit more than sashimi, I concocted another ‘zoodle’ – zucchini noodle – dish (see previous post). I attempted to make it peperoncino style. I fried some onion, garlic and chilli, and then added the microwaved the zoodles. Didn’t really work too well. Zoodles, as nice as they are, are a bit soggy, so you just end up with a mushy stir-fry. I’m right now thinking of a way to dry them up a bit to give them a more noodle-y texture. Onions were a mistake – far too overpowering.

Will have another go soon.


My peperoncino zoodles w/ raw tuna (Maguro)

After the lunch disappointment, things were brought back later during dinner. I decided to make Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (recipe here). This recipe is so simple, yet incredible! I didn’t expect it to taste as good as it did.

Some extra tweaks: I added a bit of ground ginger to the marinade. I also roasted the seeds from the butternut squash, roasted them w/ a bit of salt, and added them later to garnish. Mmmmmmmmm. Perfect soup for the winter.


Roasted butternut squash soup, garnished with oven-toasted butternut squash seeds and coriander.

Did make me think – I often buy butternut squash soup from the supermarket. If you look on the back there are so many ingredients, including things such as potatoes and corn starch. This recipe only has butternut squash, apples and onions. Nothing more. Yet it tastes far more flavourful than anything you would get in the shops.

Food for thought.

As yummy as the soup was, I didn’t feel satiated enough without some protein. So I ate the rest of the tuna.


Post-dinner snack: Tuna sashimi.

What I did struggle with today were snacks. I taught a Zumba class which meant my sugar levels were very, very low in the afternoon. Eating fruit didn’t help and I had to escalate to a huge hot chocolate. I know that because I’ve been eating starches such as wheat, as well as things such as chocolate, my sugar levels are still very mercurial. I sugar crash a lot. If I hit rock bottom I desperately need a pick me up. I’m hoping to discover some alternative snacks to help me along instead of going straight cold turkey on sugar.