RX Bars

I was technically homeless when I started my Paleo-ish lifestyle. I spent my first two weeks at my daughter’s while she was in England, but moved into my car when she came home. I was unwilling to undo everything I’d worked for over the previous two weeks because I didn’t have a kitchen, so I started to think about portability, things that keep and were cheap.

I had actually discovered RX Bars when I was an Uber/Lyft driver. I would be in my car 15 hours a day, and, depending on how the day went, I didn’t necessarily have time to stop and eat. I would pick up these bars at a 7-11 that sold them 2 for $5, and I’d buy $20 of them at a time.

I don’t usually like nutrition bars, but I am really impressed with these. They are just what they say on the front of the package. The egg gives them a little more staying power than, say, a Lära Bar, which is another favorite of mine, and they are more of a meal bar than just something to deal with my sweet tooth. They can be a little pricey — a box of 4 is $6.50 at Walmart, more at other stores —but they are so worth it, particularly when I’m on the road. They come in some great flavors: chocolate chip, chocolate sea salt, coffee, mixed berry, blueberry, chocolate coconut, and, even though they aren’t paleo because of the peanuts, peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate.

Paleo Banana Bread

Mom and I find a lot of good recipes, but  the ones we really love are those you could  serve to a non-Paleo person without warning them, and they wouldn’t know the difference between the Paleo and the non-Paleo.  It was really  incredible to find a banana bread that we could swap for grain-filled bread without being sad about it. To be frank, I didn’t think it was possible. I’ve had gluten-free banana bread before, vegan and therefore Paleo, and I’ve not liked it. The same goes for cookies and cakes. So, I’m always a little nervous when we try something from those categories.

Just like the chocolate cake and the chocolate chip cookies you’ll find among these recipes, this banana bread is fantastic. You’d never know anything was “alternative” in it. ​Mom found the recipe on a site called Paleo Running Mama, and you can find the original, un-tweaked recipe here.

4 small to medium overripe bananas, mashed well
4 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to almost room temperature
1 ¾ cups almond flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a medium loaf pan with parchment

3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and mashed bananas. Add the vanilla and coconut oil and combine well.

4. Slowly stir in dry ingredients. Do not use an electric mixer. Mixing too well can cause the bread not to rise. Moisten until no flour is visible

5. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips

6. Transfer batter to parchment-lined loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in them middle of the loaf comes out clean. Place pan on cooling rack and leave bread in pan until it is almost completely cooled. While bread is still warm to the touch, tip it out upside down onto the rack and remove the parchment. Slice when cooled.

7. Enjoy.

This bread will be very moist, particularly toward the middle. These slices are wonderful pan-fried and served hot with toppings. The bread can be stored at room temperatures for twenty-four hours, but should be refrigerated if it lasts any longer than that.

Lära Bars

One of my carry-along staples, even now, is a Lära Bar. These are date and nut bars that come in a variety of flavors. These are not meal replacements but more of a candy bar replacement. They’re sweeter than RX Bars and Epic Bars that have egg in them. Those tend to be heavier, if that makes sense.

I always have one of these in my purse. If I need a little something, it’s enough to take the edge off of hunger without filling me up if I have a meal shortly. They’re great to have at work for that reason. They’re also my go-to if everyone around me is munching on candy bars.

They’re pretty straightforward — no refined sugar (except for the minuscule amount if there are chocolate chips in a bar), no grains, no dairy. Just dates, nuts and possibly some other kind of fruit depending on the flavor of the bar.

My go-tos tend to be the Almond Butter Chocolate Chip and Coconut Pie. In a good Whole Foods, Alfalfa’s or Sprouts, there selection is a little better and you can find a huge range of flavors, but there are some good basics in Walmart.