Through the Paleo diet/lifestyle and the Whole30 my family, friends and I are becoming healthier! We are getting to our healthy weights, moving more, sleeping better and have better energy. We are suffering fewer mild medical issues and are just overall feeling better every day!

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. We cook and enjoy a lot of great food that's both tasty and healthy. I hope you'll find some recipes here that you'll enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Found this on Facebook.  Amusing :)

Catching up...

There's been a lot going on in the last week and half and I haven't even had time to share it all!  

On November 18th I participated in a 3-1/2 hour CrossFit Fundamentals class.  I'm hooked!  I went back the very next day and did a WOD that was spending 30 minutes determining your one rep max deadlift. I had never done a deadlift before, so I had no idea what to expect.  I started with 95lbs (you are only lifting the bar from the floor to a straight standing position, mostly using your lower back muscles and hips to move the weight, allowing for much heavier lifts).  I then tried 115, 135, 145 and finally 155 pounds!  I was proud as a peacock to have lifted that much on my first night!  

My friend Billie & I after we totally
ROCKED the Turkey Day 5k
That was only the beginning of what was to become an incredible week of accomplishments for me!  I had been planning on running the Turkey Day 5k on Thanksgiving morning for the 2nd year in a row and while I had been pretty excited about it, in the weeks leading up to it I felt very unprepared and not ready.  There were over 800 runners!  What a rush!  I was convinced this was going to be one of my worst 5k races.  Last year I finished it in over 35 minutes.  That's about what I expected this year.  You can imagine my shock and astonishment when I finished in 30:06!  That's over 2-1/2 minutes faster than my record.  Also, it was the first time that I have ever ran the entire time.  NO walking!  My next 5k will be under 30 minutes and I will bring home a trophy before the heat of summer in 2013 stops me from running.  Mark my words.

After the race we had Thanksgiving lunch with some of Husband's family.  I had deviled eggs, veggies with homemade ranch, turkey, potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes, fruit salad, cranberries and even a paleo cake that his Aunt made for us!  

I have since done 2 more WODs at my local box (CrossFit Jackson) and I felt a sense of accomplishment after each one like never before!  Husband has been CrossFitting since April and since he works 3rd shift, he attends the 7pm class (would be the equivalent of me going at 6am).  Since April, I have been making dinner while he's gone to the gym and when he would get home (after 8pm most times), I would either have already eaten dinner or we would eat together.  He really wants me to workout with him at 7pm, so I had to figure out how to make and eat dinner in that time frame.  Since this is the first week we are trying that schedule, I spent time this weekend cooking up a ton of food so that all of our meals would be ready to heat & eat.  Here's what I made:

Chicken Salad (with homemade mayo, grapes, salt & pepper)
Spicy Pulled Pork (I skip the sauce) Served with green beans
Smoked Beef Brisket with steamed broccoli
I also made 10 hard boiled eggs and baked a cookie sheet full of bacon.

We are nearly out of boiled eggs and the bacon is gone, so tonight I will fry up a pound of pastured pork sausage together with a dozen eggs and portion it out in the fridge for the rest of the week.  We like to heat it up and top it with Frog Ranch Salsa.

These Blueberry Muffins by PaleOMG were pretty good!  However, an entire cup of almond butter is a lot of money and when I think of it that way, they weren't good enough to warrant that kind of spending for a dozen muffins.  Also, if I were to make them again, I would put an entire cup of blueberries in them because you can never have too many blueberries in your blueberry muffins.

The recipe says it makes 8-10 muffins, but I easily filled all 12 muffin cups.  Also, it didn't say how far to fill the cups.  As you can see, I filled mine about 3/4 full.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Things that make you go hmmmm....

So Hostess is throwing in the towel and everyone on the social networking sites are making a joke about it or mourning the death of the Twinkie.  Some people are really upset about the jobs lost.  Personally, I'm happy that the little snacks are going away.  They are frankenfood.  Maybe it will be a step toward people eating more real, whole foods.  Or maybe not.  Either way, I'm not crying over it.  I do feel for the people losing their jobs, but after going through 3, yes THREE job lay-offs (where both Husband and I were laid off at the same time) in a 2-year period, I know that people will survive this.     

In other news, Larabar is owned by General Mills (another maker of frankenfoods).  General Mills gave $520,000 to defeat California's Prop 37 (Mandatory labeling of genetically modified food).  So, some people in the whole food world are boycotting Larabar now.  I'm on the fence.  I think GMOs should be labeled as such, but if the proposition was poorly written, maybe it needed to be tabled and re-thought.  Overall, I would like to see the labeling of GMOs on all foods as well as the labeling of BPAs.  We used to eat a lot of Larabars, but I haven't even been buying them lately because they were becoming a "Food With no Brakes" for us anyway.  Another company that gave money to fight Prop 37 is nestle and they own my favorite juice drink Naked.  I don't drink juice often, but when I do, it's this stuff!  It's a great little pick-me-up treat!  I will probably think twice about buying either of these items from now on.  As you can see in this infographic, there are several other big companies that you might buy from that also spent their profits to fight Prop 37.  I have been working toward spending less and less of my money at the grocery store and instead spending it at the Farmers Market or other small, local businesses.  This knowledge will just push me a little further away from the grocery store.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What is YOUR Paleo?

I've mentioned before that Paleo (or clean eating) means different things to different people.  What it means to me is ever evolving.  At first, I really thought that I would want to keep dairy around, but that doesn't seem to bode well with my health, so I typically avoid it.  There is a great post from the Robb Wolf website called Seven Shades of Paleo.  This is a great post that really reflects how Paleo is not really definable.  It's just a word we all use (probably way too much) to describe our way of eating.  For me, I would say I am mostly shade 5, with a little of shades 3, 4 and 7 sprinkled in.  If I had to explain my way of eating without using the word Paleo, I would say that: 

"I mostly avoid grains, dairy and processed foods.  I occasionally indulge in gluten-free alcohol and love raw honey.  I center my meals around meat and veggies and prepare most of my food myself"

My motivation comes from a few different things including (but not limited to):

  • keeping my digestive health in order
  • maintaining my weight loss
  • supporting local, sustainable farmers and growers

Friday, November 9, 2012

Leftover Veggies for Breakfast with Turkey Sausage

The leftover veggies from yesterday's fajita post also make for a great breakfast.  I happened upon some turkey sausage that was on sale and I had coupon for it.  I normally prefer pork sausage, but I'm trying to eat more poultry and seafood and less beef and pork.  I eat a LOT of beef.  Granted it is good quality, grass-fed beef, I still feel like I'm not properly balanced in my protein sources.  Soooooo... last night I stir-fried more peppers & onions and I also fried up the entire package of turkey sausage.  This made breakfast so easy this morning!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Whenever I make this AH-mazing Beef Fajita recipe from Paleo Effect, I also use the Adobo Seasoning to make some Chicken Fajitas.  I just sprinkle the seasoning on a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them on the grill with the flank steak.  Then I stir-fry extra veggies and and I have a couple of lunches for coming days!  I take some guacamole along to top the dish.  YUM!
Delicious lunch!
Beautiful colored bell peppers and jalapeno prior to stir-frying
Leftovers: stir-fried more veggies and added the leftover grilled
chicken in at the end to re-heat.  Dinner!

Quick Lunch

Sometimes you just don't have time for a fancy lunch.  When I make a chicken in the crockpot, I remove the meat from the bone and put it into lunch containers in the fridge.  Then I grab a container of chicken and some homemade mayo and take it to work.  When I get hungry,  I eat the chicken cold, dipped in mayo.  It's like chicken salad without the work!  I also keep the small single serving cans of veggies on hand to go with a lunch like this.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Omelet Re-Creation

I never used to like veggies in my eggs.  Even during my first Whole30, I struggled with this.  But the Whole30 really changes your tastes.  Typically (pre-paleo), when out for breakfast, I would order a ham & cheese omelet.  This weekend I decided to order the Ultimate Omelet at Denny's.  It has onions, peppers, tomatoes, bacon, sausage and mushrooms (I asked them to hold the cheese).  I don't even LIKE mushrooms, but I devoured this thing!  It was soooo delish!  So... I sort of recreated it at home (without the tomatoes and mushrooms because I didn't have any).  I started by cooking the onions and peppers in butter. Then I added a little sausage and a piece of bacon that I had cut up.  Once that was all done cooking, I put it in a dish and added more butter to my pan.  Then I poured 3 whisked eggs in the pan and let it begin to set-up.  Once it was starting to set, I added the meat and veggies back in (on one side like the picture above shows).  Once it was firm enough to flip one end over, I did that and let it cook just another minute. YUM!

Friday, November 2, 2012


I don't normally like chunky spaghetti sauces.  Pre-paleo I usually bought Ragu or something like that and even since going paleo, I've made blended sauces.  So, I was a little skeptical of this Paleo Marinara Sauce w/Beef recipe that I found on Spark Recipes.  But... it turned out to be DA BOMB!  I baked a spaghetti squash to have with it and it totally hit the spot!

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
5 cloves of Garlic, diced
1 Yellow Pepper, diced (I had half of a large green bell pepper that I used instead)
1 cup Mushrooms, sliced (I left these out)
1 cup Baby Carrots, diced
2 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Dried Basil (I was out, so I put a few shakes of Italian Seasoning in there)
2 tsp Dried Thyme (I'm not a huge fan of thyme, so I only used about 1 tsp)
2 Dried Bay Leaves (I left these out too)
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
1 can Diced Tomatoes, drained (I didn't drain mine because I wanted more juice)
1 can Crushed Tomatoes
1 pound lean Ground Beef, drained (I used grass-fed)

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot and add onions and garlic.  Cook until softened, then add bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaves and ground pepper. Cook until veggiess are tender.  Add both cans of tomatoes and cook until boiling, then reduce heat to simmer and begin cooking the beef.  Once the beef is finished cooking, drain the grease off and add to the sauce.  Simmer on low for 30-45 minutes and then enjoy!

**NOTE: I typically cook my squash ahead of time.  While it's hot I toss it in butter and little garlic powder.  When we are ready to eat, I saute some of the squash in butter and add more garlic powder.  This softens the squash a little more and heats it up.  I heat the sauce separately and then serve them together on a plate!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do-Anywhere CrossFit

I found this little gem on Pinterest last week.  The workout was featured in Women's Health magazine.  I have been alternating days of running (Couch to 5k style) using my 5k Runner app on my iPhone with "CrossFit" days.  I don't belong to a box at this time, but I have been doing all of the body-weight only CrossFit workouts that I can find!  This one is spectacular!  I know it's a good workout because I can hardly walk today after doing the "Total Countdown" yesterday.

Basically there are 6 moves that are rearranged into 4 different workouts.  The first workout didn't seem to challenge me as much as the second one did.  Some of these moves were totally knew to me (like the jump squat and the lunge hop).  

See the four workouts below.  Be sure to visit the article from Women's Health to see what the moves are!

Total Time
Do 10 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without resting. Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes.
EXERCISE ORDER: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 -
Total Countdown
Complete 60 reps of the first move, 50 of the second, 40 of the third, and so on, until you've worked down to 10 reps of the last exercise.
EXERCISE ORDER: 2, 1, 6, 5, 4, 3
Total Rounds
Do 12 reps of each exercise, moving from one to the next without rest. Complete five rounds and note how long it takes you to finish. Aim to do the workout faster next time.
EXERCISE ORDER: 3, 4, 5, 2, 6, 1
Total Reps
Complete as many reps as you can of each move in one minute each, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the entire sequence two more times. Keep track of your total rep count (e.g., if you finish 20 lunge hops, start counting pushups at 21). Try to beat your grand total next time.
EXERCISE ORDER: 5, 6, 2, 3, 1, 4

Seasonal Veggie Shopping

I found this colorful info graphic on the web a few days ago (wish I could remember where!) and thought I would share it here.  I'm still learning what produce is in season when, but since I do the majority of my shopping at the local farmer's market, its pretty simple!

Confession: I have never tried brussel sprouts.  Since they are about to be in season, I think I will have to try them!  Anybody have any good recipes?