It’s Beginning to look alot like Christmas + Orange-Cran Loaf {Paleo,GF}

Happy Friday everyone!! One of the things I love most is preparing early for the holidays.  I find we get to enjoy them the most when we prepare ahead of time and keep it stress-free!  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the busyness of getting last minute gifts and all the baking that goes into the holidays.  We often forget the real meaning of Christmas and to sit back and ENJOY this awesome time of year!

While I love living close to family so we can spend the holidays with both my side of the family and my husbands, we also enjoy being home on Christmas morning to enjoy each other’s company and a nice, cozy Christmas brunch.  This tradition started when I was a child and ever since, I have loved putting it together for T and I so that we could continue this tradition with our own family!

One of our brunch staples is the Sausage and Egg Strada (option to make it gluten-free) I posted last year.  This is a personal favorite of mine that I’ve been making for years!  We only make it on Christmas Day so it is definitely something we look forward to each year.  This year I am adding another delicious staple which is a Paleo, Gluten-Free Orange-Cranberry Loaf!  I find this to be a light bread that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy all day.  It is sooo flavorful, I am literally obsessed! I think the best part of it is that is is free of refined sugar.  So many holiday breakfasts are full of sugar and having sugar in the morning makes me feel sick all day! Of course, we both eat these dishes in moderation as there is just so much food around the holidays!
Orange-Cranberry Loaf {GF, Paleo}
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  1. 2 ½ cups almond flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. ¾ tsp baking soda
  4. ¼ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  5. 1/3 cup organic honey
  6. 1/3 cup grass-fed butter (plus some to grease the bread pan)
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 cup chopped cranberries
  9. ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  10. ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  11. Zest of one large orange
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a hand-mixer. After about a minute, add in the other wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  4. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients, saving half of the orange zest until later. Stir.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while mixing.
  6. Add the chopped cranberries slowly and stir until they are dispersed throughout.
  7. Slowly pour into loaf pan.
  8. Add the rest of the orange zest to the top of the bread.
  9. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Alyssa Grieco
Earlier this month, while out and about doing our shopping, we stopped into Pier 1 and found the most beautiful place settings for our brunch.  I had so much fun setting them up, and looking at them as I would pass our island the past few days!  They have the most beautiful stuff this season! Be sure to check it out!
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Avoiding the Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain

Hi everyone!!! Hope you all are having a great start to the week!  Well… I can’t believe it’s almost here!! December has absolutely flown!  It feels like yesterday that T and I were sitting at our Thanksgiving dinner and I cannot believe that it will only be a matter of time before we are closing out 2016 and bringing in the New Year!

It’s always around this time of year that most Americans gain those dreaded few extra pounds.  Combine the huge Thanksgiving dinners last month with a whirlwind of Christmas parties throughout the whole month of December, along with those holiday treats at the office and many will see a change in their physique by the time January arrives.  This of course, launches us into that New Year’s phase where everyone in the world floods the gyms and starts their diets… only to do what??!? Yes, to do it all again the next year.  I’ve recently been thinking about this and believe there is no better time than now to share a mindset that will help keep you on track this Holiday season.

Often in my blog posts and/or emails, I will give a few tips or tricks that you may find helpful.  As I was thinking more about this season, I realized that there is really only one thing that will get you through the season.  Rather than me telling you to cut out the sugary drinks, not go to the parties hungry, and to watch the carb intake, I would prefer to hold those thoughts and solely focus on one thing – moderation this holiday season!  Don’t get me wrong, all of those tips are great and will definitely provide success but rather than having you hold on to that weight of restriction, I would rather you solely focus on changing your mindset to focus on moderation. Of course, you are going to indulge a little bit around the holiday season and you should; but what you can start learning and practicing now INSTEAD of waiting until January is moderation.

Moderation is such a valuable lesson you can take with you for the rest of your life.  Once it is mastered, you can go anywhere, at any given time and never have that overwhelming feeling of overeating, the need to diet, etc.  

Moderation is definitely not EASY.  It is saying goodbye to the second serving of cookies, but allowing yourself the permission to enjoy all of the foods you want, in small amounts :).  It has its hard moments but if you are eating moderately, you will be able to enjoy everything and that is what it is all about.   I have always admired my Grandmother because my whole life, she has been a walking example of moderation. I don’t think I have ever seen her overindulge!  You can tell she enjoys whatever she wants, whenever she wants, but she never overdoes it.

I try to think of moderation as choosing the things I absolutely can’t live without.  For example, there are a few types of Christmas cookies that my mom has made year after year that I feel as though I cannot live without!… so I don’t!  If you live with the idea that you CAN’T have something, human tendency is to want it more.  Indulging moderately and then moving on is the way to go.  Don’t let food be the enemy this holiday season.  Focus on the Reason for the Season – its not food!! So enjoy each and every minute and just keep moderation in mind!!! 🙂



p.s!! I wrote this while eating THE MOST amazing clean, gluten-free orange cranberry loaf – coming to the blog this week!  Stay tuned!!

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