Banana Mocha Smoothie {Paleo approved!}

So for the past month I have been on the infamous Paleo diet.  Now you know I avoid diets like the plague because I just loathe them.  I love to cook and even though I don’t eat a lot, I really really enjoy good food.  So diets are take a lot of will power for me.  Especially when that means cutting out some of my favorite things like breads, milk and cheese.

Banana Mocha Paleo Smoothie

But my Hashimoto’s (learn more about this autoimmune disorder here) symptoms have been worsening lately and I was just so tired of feeling awful.  My brain fog is insane, I can wake up from 8 hours of sleep completely exhausted and feeling like I got hit by a truck in the middle of the night, I started losing a lot more hair than normal, and the list goes on and on.  I wanted to know more about this diseases so I started researching Hashimoto’s online and came across some fantastic YouTube videos by two doctors in particular that really struck me.  The one in particular, Dr. David Clark, explained my experiences with a typical endocrinologist to the T.  Every single thing he said would probably happen, already has.  They are not interested in treating my Hashimoto’s, preferring to instead continue increasing my dosage of synthetic thyroid hormones to make my labs appear “normal”, but my symptoms continue to worsen.  I’ve been dealing with this for 8 years and honestly can tell you exactly what will be asked, said, checked, and prescribed at each visit.  It’s like a game of monopoly but instead of collecting when I pass GO, I pay.  It’s so frustrating.

The one thing I noticed was pretty consistent with everyone trying to heal their Hashimoto’s was some version of the Paleo diet.  Either the typical Paleo or the Autoimmune version of it.  So I started looking into it and realized that the majority of the foods you cut out we’ve already been trying to cut out anyway.  Processed foods, refined sugars, gluten, etc.   Our healthy living efforts are like a roller coaster though.  For several months we do great and then slowly we start descending back into our {bad} old eating habits.   This seemed like a good way to practice being consistent with it.

The typical Paleo diet basically requires you cut out all processed foods, refined sugars, grains, legumes, dairy (except for eggs and ghee), and starches for 30 days and then slowly start reintroducing some of the better stuff back in slowly.  You can learn more about the details from people who are much more qualified though.  I’m still learning and trying to figure it all out.  {two of my favorites so far are Civilized Caveman and PaleOMG}

By day 2, I noticed a HUGE difference.  All the bloating (which to be honest I just thought was me putting on weight, getting older, three kids, no excercise) in my tummy was gone.  Like TOTALLY gone.  My stomach is flatter than it has been in a long time.  I also noticed that I slimmed down in my arms and legs.  It was like someone skinnified me, lol.   I just felt so much lighter.  By the end of the first week, I noticed I had a lot more energy and was not as sluggish come midday like I normally was.  And overall, I just felt better.

At first, my long term goals were to cut out the gluten and sugars but after a few weeks of eating Paleo I realized it’s not just the gluten and sugar, I have a major problem with grains in general.  As soon as I eat them, my belly bloats up.  Not nearly as bad as before because I am barely eating them, but I still see and feel a difference.  They also just make me feel gross.  Now that I’m feeling a little better,  I realize how gross it feels to feel bad.   I’ve cheated a few times here and there and honestly, it’s so not worth it because I just end up feeling awful for 2 or 3 days until it’s out of my system again.  I’ve been using a ton of Danielle Walker of Against All Grains recipes for some delicious grain free options.

Shopping was a little difficult at first, and I had a couple days during the fast that I felt like I was seriously starving, but I just kept cross referencing recipes to see what ingredients were reappearing and that I really need to stock my pantry with.  After I replaced my regular flours with almond flour, coconut flour, gluten free oats, coconut sugar, etc.  it started getting easier.  Slowly but surely it is getting easier and easier.  Sometimes I feel like just throwing in the towel but I can’t bear to feel that bad again so I just keep trudging through.  I believe the key is learning to cook differently.  I am determined to master grain free bread (sounds crazy, doesn’t it?) and then I think I’ll be okay.  Another key element are smoothies.  I know we’ve been through the smoothie vs. juice debate and I definitely agree that juicing has a ton more health benefits than smoothies but smoothies are a lot easier and more practical sometimes.  Plus they fill you up and you don’t feel hungry all day.

We recently broke down and bought a Vitamix (I’ll be posting my thoughts on it soon) so we’ve had smoothies for breakfast and here and there throughout the day.  This Banana Mocha one is my current morning favorite.  It’s healthy, delicious and doesn’t call for any hard to find ingredients.  It usually keeps me full until lunchtime and gives me a little energy boost too!  You can even have it on fasting days which makes it a definite keeper in my book!

Banana Mocha Energy Smoothie

All you need is:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup of coffee, chilled
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa, unsweetenend
  • 3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and enjoy!


8 thoughts on “Banana Mocha Smoothie {Paleo approved!}

  1. Have you seen “Sick, Tired, and Nearly Dead”? We broke down and bought the best we could afford (sadly not a Vitamix) and after one blueberry smoothie we are hooked. So much energy, so much fuller (on GOOD food), and probably way cheaper than continuing to buy so many carb-based foods! We almost always buy organic, but how many organic Trader Joe’s pizzas can a person’s belly really handle? Ha! Glad you’re feeling better, and hope you can celebrate the feast with more vigor than ever! Evlogeite!

  2. We were thinking of doing the Whole30 but weren’t sure about what to eat on fasting days! Glad to see someone else has done it.

  3. I needed this! It’s been a drudgery around here lately concerning food. The children have recently gone back to school which has thrown my whole schedule/routine off-track in how/when I/we eat. However, we are famous for what you described – being soooo good for awhile and slowly slipping back into our old ways of eating. When I became aware of the pattern I tried to keep up with how we get off track but I can never figure it out! *sigh*
    We do both juicing and smoothies 😀 During the summer I was getting up with my husband and making our juice. He would take fruit to work to make a smoothie mid-morning while I would make a smoothie not long after he left for work. The school routine has thrown that all in a tizz. But, now I am determined to figure it all out.
    Not only do I have an undiagnosed auto-immune disorder but my mom has triple negative breast cancer (she is healing uses natural means – the tumors in her sternum have already disappeared) – so figuring out this healthy eating is imperative.
    I guess what I’m really getting at is I’m glad to see Orthodox families doing something similar to what we are doing. Others who are not Orthodox do not struggle with how to eat while fasting and are of no help to me. I wish we could have a little Orthodox healthy eating support group!

  4. I am so glad I stumbled on your blog again! I am considering doing some version of the Paleo/low-FODMAP diet to combat the intense, painful belly bloat I’ve been battling for a few years (it’s not just being too full or a little gassy– my stomach swells dramatically and it hurts so much!) However, I just can’t see how I could participate in the fast without carbs/wheat. Another challenging factor is our budget– I’m so proud of myself for making healthy, mostly real-foods meals for pennies, but to do that you rely on a lot of lentils, dry beans, etc. So cool to see an Orthodox family go Paleo. Will be following!

  5. This smoothie looks so good and refreshing! I’ve never tried making a smoothie with almond or coconut milk before. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

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