You copycat!

Larabars are one of my favorite snacks, but the ones I like (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip) are not Whole30 approved. I thought about making my own, subbing cashews for the peanuts  and leaving out the chocolate chips. Then I found out there is already a Larabar for that – Cashew Cookie. I eagerly tried it, but can’t say I enjoyed it.

So after doing a little research and modifying a recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, I came up with my own version – the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and satisfying. Just dates, cashews, coconut oil, and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt (see above pic). 

First, crush cashews.

Next, add remaining ingredients.

Then, press dough into parchment-lined pan. Chill.

Finally, cut into bars and enjoy!

No baking, no cooking. Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier. And, it just happens to be one of the most delicious treats I’ve made – healthy or not. 

Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo also makes her on version called “Liar Bars,” which she sometimes shapes into balls and rolls in coconut. Sounds super yummy and I’ll have to give them a try!


Whole30 guidelines recommend these snacks on an occasional basis. So, try one recipe or try them all, but don’t eat them all in one sitting – even though you’ll probably want to!

Whole30 – The beginningΒ 

I don’t cook every night. I try, but every now and then it’s just too much – I’m tired, have to do laundry, and sometimes I just don’t want to adult. I’m totally guilty of sending the quick afternoon text: pizza or nah? Spoiler: the answer is always pizza.

If you follow my blog, you already know that I’m lactose intolerant AND have a severe dairy addiction. Somehow – and I’m still trying to figure this out – the luxurious taste of cheese, yogurt, and ice cream today outweighs the discomfort I will feel tomorrow. It’s not a maybe-it-won’t-happen-this-time thing; it’s an it’s-definitely-going-to-happen thing. I will eat dairy and I will feel like shit the next day (no pun intended). Why? because I’m human. 

What you probably don’t know is that I get terrible, crippling migraines and ice pick headaches 4-5 days a week, and they last the majority of my waking hours. I’ve had every test you can imagine, taken every migraine and pain medication, tried acupuncture, went to the chiropractor, and visited multiple doctors. Nothing helps or cures, and no one can figure out what’s wrong. I’ve been battling this condition for 10 very long years. It’s a pain I wouldn’t wish on my very worst enemy (if I had one).

After doing some research, I came across a program – or way of life, really – that could potentially solve both the addiction and the pain. The Whole30 consists of a month of whole foods – no dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, alcohol, or processed foods. If that kind of “diet” sounds familiar, it is based on the principles of paleo. Real food only. The guidelines are pretty strict, but doable. So many people have had amazing results – medication reduction or discontinuation, weight loss, glowing skin, lower sugar levels, stabilized blood pressure, better sleep quality, etc.

In their book It Starts with Food, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig talk about the science behind cravings and how the brain plays a HUGE role in why we love what we love. “It’s not your fault. You aren’t lacking willpower. You are not lazy. And it’s not your fault you can’t stop eating these foods” (p 29). The entire book is very logical and easy to follow – even for us non-science-y types. This book is the why behind the Whole30, which thoroughly outlines the program and gives you step-by-step directions for how to make many of the yummy recipes, including homemade mayo, southwest scrambled eggs, and sweet potato soup (all of which are on my menu!).

My two main goals: banish the migraines and kick the dairy addiction to the curb! Check back for an update on day 15 and a detailed review on day 30. This is happening.

 

 

If you’re thinking about doing the program, I can’t recommend both books enough. It will be like having a friend or coach guide you through every step of the way. Check out the Whole30 website for online support, a ton of resources, pantry items, recipes, and the books available on the Whole30 website.