Archive of ‘Paleo/Primal’ category

 Real Food Rainbow Popsicles (No Sugar Added!) Made with Natural Sugar-Free Sweeteners (Stevia, Erythritol)

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It’s officially summer! The MS-1s are out enjoying our last “summer of freedom” (doesn’t that sound ominous?), so I’ve been grateful for some down time. (To follow along with my medical school journey and get a glimpse of life in rural North Carolina, head on over to my instagram!).


Here in North Carolina, the fruit bins are overflowing with seasonal produce.  To celebrate the colorful array and the start of summer, I made cool, creamy, drip-down-your-arm frozen fruit bars. These cheerful treats have no added sugar, made from real whole fruits and a splash of coconut milk for creaminess.


After working with patients this year on mission trips and at the free clinic, I’ve been more inspired to talk about healthy food than ever before. Many of them have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. The ones I’ve spoken with have been open to making dietary changes, but aren’t sure where to start. Through such conversations, I’ve learned that small tweaks and substitutions are the most manageable for people trying to change their way of life. In my next chapter of blogging, I hope to share more simple recipes with common ingredients that can nudge people towards healthier habits. I’d also like to solicit your feedback, dear readers. What’s one change you made to your diet that kick started your healthy eating? Leave it in the comments, and maybe it’ll inspire others to take a step in the right direction. 



Recipe: Soft Gingersnaps (aka Healthy Ginger Molasses Cookies) – Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Low Sugar


It’s almost Christmas!

If you, like us, are still scrambling to make treats for your holiday dessert tray, give these sweet and spicy cookies a try. No one will know they’re a healthier alternative to the white flour, white sugar-laden treats that abound this time of year. 

Made from high protein almond and cashew flour, these lightly sweetened soft ginger cookies will remind you of those classic crinkles you’ve been eating for years. And with only a few tablespoons of sugar in the entire batch, they won’t send your insulin levels soaring. Leave a tray out for Santa by the chimney, and he won’t be disappointed. 


These soft and chewy morsels also make great last minute gifts. Just dress them in a glamorous box and savor your budget-friendly decisions. I picked up the silver filigreed boxes and wrapping paper at Dollar Tree, believe it or not. They’re a one stop shop for gift wrap and holiday party supplies. As a newly minted medical student (!), it was especially important to find budget-friendly gifts this year. 

Much more will be said about medical school in another post. Let’s just say I was never so glad to have winter break! It’s been whirlwind since August, but the sleepless nights and countless cups of coffee will hopefully be worth it when I’m a physician who can help patients address their health conditions and live better lives. Feeling so blessed to have the opportunity to pursue my passions. It’s the best Christmas gift of all. 


Recipe Notes

I used a small amount of real sugar in combination with sugar-free sweeteners to decrease the amount of carbohydrates while preserving that familiar molasses cookie flavor. You can, however, adjust the recipe to leave out the sugar-free sweeteners if you prefer. Truvia, a blend of the natural sweeteners stevia and erythritol with a little added coconut sugar perfectly sweetens the cookies without leaving an aftertaste. In this recipe, I used the Target version of Truvia (look for the red and white container in the baking aisle) which is a bit cheaper than the brand name. You can also make your own Truvia-like sweetener at home following my recipe posted here.


To make these cookies paleo, leave out the Truvia and oat flour, and add in 2 Tablespoons arrowstarch + 1/3 cup coconut sugar. I adapted this recipe from an incredible paleo cookbook by the immensely talented Julie Hulet, so pick up My Paleo Patisserie if you’re looking for recipe inspiration. 

To make these cookies dairy-free, use non-hydrogenated organic palm shortening in place of the unsalted butter. 

Soft Ginger Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low Carb)

Serves 15
These nutrient-dense cookies are packed with almond flour, oat flour, and coconut flour! This flour blend creates a soft and chewy gluten-free cookie that even your non g-free friends will enjoy.

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  1. 100 grams (1 cup) blanched almond flour
  2. 130 gram (1 cup) cashew flour** (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  3. 12 grams (2 Tablespoons) coconut flour (I used Arrowhead Mills brand)
  4. 20 grams (1/4 cup) oat flour
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 2 teaspoons ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  11. 3 Tablespoons Truvia*** OR stevia blend OR coconut sugar
  12. 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
  13. 1/4 cup unsalted butter OR nonhydrogenated palm shortening
  14. 1 large egg
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  16. 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  17. 2 tablespoons molasses
  18. 2 tablespoons cane sugar, for rolling (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add butter, coconut sugar and Truvia to a mixing bowl.
  3. Beat with an electric mixer 1-2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients, and beat in until a dough comes together.
  5. Chill dough for 1/2 hour.
  6. Remove dough from refrigerator, and shape into 1.5″ balls with your hands. Toss each dough ball around a small bowl filled with the 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar.
  7. Place dough balls 2″ apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  8. Flatten each dough ball with the bottom of a glass to 1/2″ thickness.
  9. Bake 13-14 minutes, and let cookies cool for a few minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
  10. Store in baggies or tupperware. Cookies should keep for a week unrefrigerated. Freeze cookies if you’d like them to be extra chewy!
  1. **You can replace the cashew flour with more blanched almond flour if you like. The cashew flour greatly enhances the taste, though. Get it at Trader Joe’s or online.
  2. ***Grind up Truvia into a fine powder using a clean coffee grinder or Magic Bullet if you would like to ensure that the cookies don’t taste gritty.
Nutrition Facts
  1. Per cookie (1/15 batch): 120 Calories; 8g Fat ; 4g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber
Healthy Indulgences



Healthy Vanilla Coconut Cake (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free) + A Tribute to My Beautiful Mom


This is the story of a very special cake. 


 A cake meticulously tested and frosted with care for the woman who encouraged my creative endeavors from day one. From the moment I could hold a paintbrush to the instant I started my blog back in 2008, she told me that I was talented and more importantly, that if I tried my best, that was enough. Without her support, I might never have grown confident enough to share my recipes and photos with the world.


This cake is a token of my appreciation for the woman who lifted me up with her boundless love, generosity, and unshakeable belief in my abilities. In college, I went through a trying period of personal growth and transformation. Without Mom to talk me through it, it would have been far more difficult to see the light rays peeking through the storm cloud.



Weekday Waffles (Low Carb, Grain-Free, Diabetic-Friendly)

These fluffy, gluten-free, nutrient-packed waffles will get you excited about breakfast again. 

Biting into the lightly sweet, bread-like interiors, you’d think these golden brown Eggo knock offs were made from white flour. Not true! Coconut flour, cashews, and a little bit of arrowroot starch (the powdered form of a root vegetable) blend up to create a batter that makes these waffles equals part delicious and nourishing. 


Although they look fancy and time-consuming to make, these homemade waffles are as simple as tossing the ingredients in a blender and whirling them into a smooth batter. It takes me all of 10 minutes to prep the batter, and another five for the cooking. We use and love a waffle iron similar to this one. It not only cooks up a crispy waffle, but it makes a mean cauli-hash brown… but that’s a recipe for another post! 

The name Weekday Waffles comes from the superb freeze-ability of these toothsome treats. You can make up a big batch on Sunday for a quick breakfast during bleary-eyed weekday mornings. It’s comforting, nutritious fast food. 


Paleo Pecan Pie with a Secret Ingredient (Low Sugar, Gluten-Free)


Before I wax poetic about Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to watch the greatest Thanksgiving commercial of all time, starring the two salt shakers pictured above. My life as a Florida resident was enriched every holiday season by the sentimental holiday ads from Publix grocery store. 


Secret Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe (Sugar-Free and Better Than Starbucks!)

What’s the secret to making a healthy, diabetic-friendly version of Starbucks’ infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte at home? 

It involves real pumpkin, fresh spices, and a crock pot! You’re gonna brew up a batch of your own PSL flavored coffee creamer, so that you can have this nourishing and delicious treat every morning on the go! A few glugs of this sweet nectar of the gods (it’s that good!) will transform your coffee into something magical…

Homemade Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

DId you know that the Starbucks version doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin?! 

The best part about making PSL lattes at home is that you can control the sugar and type of milk used. The recipe below is sugar-free and dairy-free! It’s made from a blend of creamy cashew milk and coconut milk, which creates an amazingly rich, silky smooth “cream” that lightens coffee just like dairy cream!

To keep this treat diabetic-friendly, I sweeten it with natural, calorie-free sweeteners called stevia and erythritol. You could use xylitol as well (3/4 cup xylitol = 1 cup erythritol), or mix erythritol and xylitol together for an even better sugar-free sweetening option. Keep in mind that xylitol will cause your blood sugar to rise, whereas erythritol and stevia will not. I like adding 2 Tablespoons of xylitol to the recipe below for an extra boost of sweetness. (*whispers* Find out why you need to combine sugar-free sweeteners in the Healthy Indulgences E-Cookbook!)

To make this paleo, simply swap out the sugar-free sweeteners for maple syrup or coconut sugar. 3/4 cup of maple syrup should sufficiently sweeten the creamer.You’ll want the Pumpkin Spice Creamer to be quite sweet since it’s a concentrated mix that gets diluted by coffee, so keep that in mind if you’re adding your own sweeteners. 

So, how can we make a PSL coffee creamer that tastes like pumpkin without any chunkiness from the pumpkin puree? I’ll show you how!


Almond Flour Biscuits + Pumpkin Apple Butter (aka Fall In a Jar!)

These paleo biscuits will rock your world.


 Slathered with Pumpkin Apple Butter, which tastes like a cross between pumpkin pie and apple pie, these biscuits will satisfy the fiercest of carb cravings.


Sugar-Free Pumpkin Apple Butter make your house smell the best it’s ever smelled, getting you in the mood for pumpkin spice lattes and color changing leaves and knit scarves and all of the other seasonal accoutrements taking over storefronts and Pinterest.


Healthier Ice Cream Bars and a GIVEAWAY! Banana + PB + Chocolate = Bliss. (Paleo, Low Carb, Dairy-Free, Vegan)

This post contains a product review, a sponsored giveaway, and affiliate links which generate commission for the blog if you click and purchase. Read more about Healthy Indulgences review disclosure policies here.

UPDATE: The giveaway is closed now, and the winners have been picked. Check your email to see if you’ve been selected for one of the NuNaturals stevia prize packages!

Paleo Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars


Do you remember eating peanut butter n’ banana sandwiches as a kid?


An Easter GIVEAWAY + Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg Candies (a.k.a. “Better-than-Reese’s” Eggs!) for a Healthier Holiday

My name is Lauren, and I’m a Reese’s peanut butter egg-a-holic.


Earlier this month, I received a request from a reader, Deb, to create a healthier version of the highly addictive, seasonal candy that is the Reese’s egg. Knowing there are many low carb eaters out there who face the temptation to hoard these candies every Easter, I was determined to create a healthier alternative. It would be  dairy-free, soy-free, and paleo for my primal peeps and allergen-averse candy fiends.


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