Paleo Vanilla Chai Porridge

Paleo Vanilla Chai Porridge

This gluten free, grain free, dairy free porridge is a quick and easy way to satisfy your craving for warm comfort food on a cold morning!

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Back before I changed my ways to eating real food, breakfast cereal was my spirit animal! Cold cereals like Kix and peanut butter captain crunch and cinnamon toast crunch literally rocked my world when I was a child! I also thoroughly enjoyed many bowls of chocolate malt-o-meal or oatmeal with brown sugar on cold, winter mornings. But, as I grew a bit older {and more health conscious—wink, wink} I knew that it was time to starting paying more attention to the foods I was eating on a daily basis. So… I switched over to things like special K dark chocolate cereal {OMG so good}, kashi cereal with extra fiber and old fashion oats--- things that {at that time} I thought were better for me.  And up until I removed processed foods from my diet and learned how my body was really supposed to feel, I had no problem eating these things.

Have you ever heard the quote {Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better}? This is something that has always resonated with me because when I hear it, I can see the evolution of my health unfold before my eyes.

As a child I was fed amazing home-cooked meals every single night. Meat and vegetables yes, but some of the other ingredients used were far from clean. When I initially went off to college I basically ate whatever I wanted {and drank way too much alcohol} but about halfway though undergrad I started being more conscious of what I was eating and was way more consistent with my workouts. When I first started eating {healthy} it was a lot of fat free this or that, whole grain sandwich thins, chalky meal replacement shakes, protein bars with words I couldn’t even guess how to pronounce, etc… you know, the Standard American Diet.

This {worked} for me for the time being, but then I wanted to step things up. I knew that I was being frivolous with my eating habits {especially after 2am on the weekends} and honestly I was becoming a bit self conscious about my body, so I decided to become a Pescatarian, meaning I was no longer going to eat any meat other than seafood. I’m way more of an animal rights activist now than I was back then, so that was definitely not the reason for the change in my diet but,  I did it because I knew that if I cut out meat I wouldn’t be able to eat a piece {or 3} of the post-bar Toppers Pizza order on a Saturday night. I also wouldn’t be able to get McDonalds late night menu on the ride home, because who really craves a filet-o-fish… ever. And lastly, when I went out to eat my options would be much more limited and healthy, salmon and shrimp versus chicken strips and chili cheese fries.

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My regular diet was filled with beans, lentils, dairy {still fat-free at this point}, whole grain bread, vegetables, fruits and lots of seafood.  This may not sound like a terrible diet, and it definitely again worked for my body for the time being, but I was still eating things like pita chips, crackers, candy, cookies, ice cream, etc. which are terrible for you.

This way of eating led all the way up until grad school when I REALLY became serious about my health. I became a runner, finishing many half marathons, 15K’s, etc., I stopped drinking nearly completely because I simply didn’t have the time, yet I continued to become more and more aware of the {flaws} in my appearance, in my body. Even after training for a half marathon and logging tons of miles for 10 weeks straight, I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin.

Then a good friend introduced me to the 21-Day Sugar Detox and I was mortified that she asked me to do it with her. No ice cream or peanut butter for 21 days… was she crazy?! Regardless of what my initial thoughts of the program were, I am not usually one to turn down a challenge so I jumped on board. 21 days of eating non-processed, no sugar foods later and I felt like a million bucks! Not only that, but even though I kept my exercise very moderate throughout the program, I was more comfortable and confident with my body that I had been in years and I finally knew what it meant to be {regular} and damn did that feel good! I think I dropped about 12lbs throughout the 3 weeks and although I could care less about the number on the scale, I did care how much different my body looked. My eyes were finally opened to the reality of REAL FOOD.

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Even after my ground breaking discovery about following a real food or paleo diet, it took me over 3 years to get to where I am now. I have been learning new things day by day {about myself and about food} and I have been implementing things into my life slowly, in baby steps, because this type of lifestyle change does NOT happen over night.

I did the best I could, until I knew better. Then when I knew better I did better. And will continue to do better each and every day moving forward.

So now that I obviously am no longer stocking my cupboards with breakfast cereals of any kind {have you looked at the sugar content or the ingredient list on a box lately?} I wanted to find some kind of replacement or alternative that would be something I could feel good about eating.

Summertime breakfast {cereals} were easy, Maple Vanilla Grain Free Granola, Dark Chocolate Mocha Grain Free Granola… it was the wintertime/fall alternatives that I was having a tough time figuring out as I choose not to consume oats/grains in general. Until I stumbled upon the thought of mixing nuts, coconut and a few other ingredients to test a sort of grain free porridge and let me tell you, it sure hit the spot after years without hot breakfast cereal!

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{Printable Recipe}


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·       1 Banana

·       ½ C. Shredded Coconut

·       ½ C. Walnuts

·       ½ C. Coconut Milk, full fat

·       2 Tbsp. Almond Milk

·       2 Tbsp. Almond Flour

·       1 Tsp. Chia Seeds

·       1 Tsp. Chai Spice Mix {see below}

·       ½ Tsp. Sea Salt

·       ½ Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

o   For the Chai:{combine ingredients together in small bowl, use 1 Tsp. for the recipe and store the rest in an old spice container}

§  3 Tsp. Ground Ginger

§  2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon

§  1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

§  1 Tsp. Ground Cloves

§  1 Tsp. Ground Allspice


1.     Process the coconut and walnuts in a food processor.

2.     Once they are ground into a meal-like substance, add the banana, almond flour, chia seeds and sea salt.

3.     Pulse until well combined.

4.     In a medium sized saucepan heat the coconut milk, almond milk, chai spice mix and vanilla.

5.     Allow to warm 1-2 minutes, then add the banana/nut mixture and allow to cook 3-4 more minutes {or until it thickens to your liking}.

6.     Spoon into 2 bowls and top with nuts, coconut, fresh fruit or anything else you would like.

7.     Enjoy!

*If you're on the 21DSD remember to use a green tipped banana and top with nuts or coconut as the berries are not allowed on the progra.


Chat with me!

Have you ever done a 21-Day Sugar Detox? What was your experience like? What were your favorite breakfast cereals as a kid?

P.S.  For more Paleo breakfast ideas check out my Buffalo Chicken Frittata, my Berries’N’Cream Chia Seed Pudding or my Banana Pumpkin Pancakes!

P.P.S.  Be sure to follow along with me on Facebook//Instagram//Twitter//Pinterest and Snapchat [definefettle] to ensure you don’t miss out on healthy recipes, workouts, and daily inspiration.

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