Answering the question: why we feel fluffy and sharing a delicious Paleo Cookie Skillet recipe (below)!
It’s Wednesday, which means it’s one more day closer to Scandal night. Fun fact: I really hate watching TV and it’s due to the fact I have no patience or attention-span that lasts that long (same reason I don’t do movies). BUT when I find a series I’m jazzed about, game over. Give me all the Scandal and Criminal Minds.
…and all the paleo cookie skillets. Yeah, you heard that right. And I made one. It’s paleo-friendly, grain-free and sweetened with just a touch of honey. It’s below and it’s delicious.
So, I had a question posed to me this past weekend. It was good one. One that I’ve had myself and I’m sure you’ve had, too.
Why do I feel so fluffy today?! (And no, it’s not due to the paleo cookie.)
Ok, maybe not those exact same words, but I’m sure you’ve had one of these thoughts before:
- I feel so bloated today
- But I ate healthy all week – why don’t I feel like it?
- And I felt so lean yesterday …
- Wait, where’d my abs go?
These thoughts run rampant. And unfortunately, they can really derail us. One day, you’re feeling lean and healthy and light on your feet and then wham, the next day you wake up bloated and just blah…
So what’s going on? Why can our shape, leanness or feelings associated with our bodies change so drastically, so quickly?
I did some research for you and I’m breaking it down into 5 reasons why we feel fluffy (totally scientific title, I know).
Number 1 is a no brainer …
Diet. There are going to be certain foods your body deals with differently. Across the board, there are certain foods that promote bloating, indigestion and gas – which causes our abdominal region to expand. However, as individuals, we also need to take a good hard look at foods that may not be on this list, but that we react unfavorably to. Think about foods that make you burp, toot, and feel heated or tired from. Those are all signs that the body is responding unfavorably and in most cases, causing some sort of pro-inflammatory response.
- Foods that cause bloating:
- Pop (or other caffeinated beverages)
- Bean, legumes
- Grains (and gluten)
- Raw cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower … also raw kale!)
If you ate one of these or another reactive food and you begin to feel bloated or not your “normal,” reevaluate what you ate and eliminate. See how you feel without that food choice next time (it’s called mindfulness).
In addition, there are a few nutrients that need a little deeper explanation:
Salt. We know if we eat pizza or Chinese buffet one evening, the next morning, we’re going to feel bloated, puffy and all sorts of uncomfortable. And this is most likely caused by the high amounts of refined salt that’s in these foods (also don’t discount the gluten and dairy). Table salt has been chemically cleaned (refined) and in that cleaning, removes all excess minerals, which leaves the salt at 99% sodium chloride. This makes it’s incredibly easy to overconsume (and over salt). In comparison, Himalayan pink sea salt carries 80+ minerals (that regulated pH and water content) and it sits at a much healthier, 85% sodium chloride.
End point being, refined table salt is not only chemically void of the wonderful minerals salt should carry, it’s incredibly concentrated – which can led to serious bodily upset and dehydration.
Bad oils & refined sugar. I’m going to lump these two together, because they technically do the same thing to your body – inflame. The gut becomes inflamed and a pro-inflammatory state holds onto water (water retention). In addition, sugar feeds pathogenic bacteria in the guy, again, leading to a serious of gut issues, indigestion, bloating, puffiness and gas.
I talk more about sugar and it’s effects on this post: Sugar Talk
Water. The more dehydrated we are, the more water we’re going to retain. How do we lose that unneeded water holdings? Drink more water to hold less water! When we become dehydrated by either the foods we eat or lack of hydration – the body drastically tries to hold on to as much as it can, water retention / bloat.
Sleep. To put it simply, if you’re body doesn’t have the adequate amount of time to rest, neither do your bodily functions. Which, much like you on little rest, produces stress. The more stress, the more inflammation, the more inflammation, the more we bloat and gain weight.
Hormones. This one is for the ladies. But hormones can plan an incredible role in how our bodies are feeling day-to-day. Leading up and during our cycle, our body naturally becomes more inflamed, which promotes more cramps and bloating. These symptoms can be drastically managed if we limit the amount of pro-inflammatory foods we eat during this time. Foods such as grains, seed oils and sugar.
Also, estrogen dominance can be a suspect in either our stubborn weight loss or constant bloating/gas. Read more about estrogen dominance and what we can do about it here.
Stress. Similarly to our sleep, when our stress spikes, so do levels of hormones. This will aggravate our digestive tract, resulting in bloating and gas. In addition, we’re no stranger to stress eating. It becomes that much easier when we’re stressed to reach for bad, pro-inflammatory foods and scarf it down as fast as we can.
I can check off the majority of these when I have those days where I feel fluffy. The days leading up to it are usually chalked full of at least 3 out of the 5 above.
My takeaway is to stay mindful and aware of what I’m eating/drinking, how much sleep I’m getting and my stress levels. If I can keep that in check, the less fluffy-days I gotta suffer through, right?
Now, let’s eat a treat without the guilt. Paleo Cookie Skillet. Huzzzzzah!
Paleo Cookie Skillet
Warm, gooey healthy chocolate chip cookie
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- ½ cup coconut oil, solid at room temperature
- ⅓ cup organic coconut sugar or raw honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tbs. coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (to sprinkle on top)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease cast iron skillet.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl add wet ingredients (coconut oil, honey, egg and vanilla), whisk until mixed together.
- Combine wet ingredients to dry mixture. Add dark chocolate. Mix together evenly.
- Spread mixture into cast iron pan.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!
- Add chopped nuts (optional) - I added chopped walnuts!