DESCRIPTION

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!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Oxtail Bone Broth

I've had a package of oxtail in the freezer for some time now. I also had a collection of other beef and pork bones from roasts, chops, steaks..etc. that we have eaten the last few month weeks/months along with vegetable scraps in the freezer. I put the oxtails and other bones my cast iron pot and tossed a whole quartered onion in the pot along with some baby carrots and roasted everything at 450 degrees for 30 minutes (turning once). *note: this makes your house smell amazing!


Meanwhile, while the bones & veggies were roasting, I quartered another onion and tossed it in the crockpot along with some of the frozen veggie scraps, more carrots, some garlic cloves (slightly crushed, but not peeled), dried parsley* & oregano*, a bay leaf, course ground black pepper and some sea salt.  I added the roasted bones & veggies along with the drippings in the pan and then poured filtered water in to cover everything. I added 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar and let it all sit for about 30 minutes before putting the lid and turning the crockpot on low. Let cook for 12-24 hours (or longer) and then strain out the broth. This is going to make a fabulous beef veggie soup, I just know it... ;)


*Before putting the dried herbs in, I rub them between my palms to sort of "wake them up"

Also, note that my bones didn't fit in my crockpot, so I transfered everything over to a stockpot and put it on the stove top.  I brought it to a boil and then turned it down to the lowest setting and let it simmer covered for about 27 hours. About half-way through (when I got up in the morning after it simmered most of the afternoon and overnight), I took the oxtails out and pulled the meat off and then put them back in. I plan to put the meat in my beef veggie soup!


This stuff is delicious! 

Some of the broth will be put in the freezer for future use. I've heard of freezing it in ice cube trays so that you have measured amounts to use, but I am currently short on ice cube trays, so I will just freeze it in the jars (I left room at the top to keep them from cracking).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Autumn Recipes - Chili

When you adapt a paleo style of eating, some of your favorite recipes will undergo a major overhaul. One of those recipes is most certainly your chili recipe. Previously, my chili consisted of meat & beans along with macaroni noodles, spicy V-8 juice and other ingredients. We would often top a bowl of chili with sour cream & shredded cheese or buttered saltine crackers! My how times have changed! Now we top our chili with slices of avocado or eggs fried over easy!

Chili is one of those recipes that I make a little different every time, but here's (roughly) what I did today (adapted from this recipe):

Ingredients:
Splash of Olive Oil
2lbs of Grass Fed Ground Beef
1 chopped Onion
1 chopped Hot Banana Pepper
1 chopped Jalapeno Pepper
1 chopped Yellow Bell Pepper (small)
2Tbsp Chili Powder
1Tbsp Cumin
1tsp Salt
1tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2tsp Allspice
1/2tsp Black Pepper
6oz can of Tomato Paste (I use Muir Glen Organic)
28oz can of Diced Tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic)
14oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Organic)

Directions:
Splash oil in the bottom of a heated pot and add the onions & 3 different peppers. Next add the meat and cook until the meat is no longer pink inside. Then add all remaining ingredients and let simmer for 1-2 hours. 

Then have fun playing with toppings..etc. I've heard of topping a sweet potato or squash with paleo chili. Bacon is another popular topping... Or just top it with some over-easy fried eggs like I did!
NOT a very pretty photo, but it was so very tasty!





Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tip of the Day

Save small glass containers such as herb/seasoning containers
and baby food jars to store single servings of dressing for salads!
This week's menu is simple and requires very little cooking. We're having a lot of salads.

I bought iceberg lettuce, organic spring mix and organic baby spinach for the greens.

We've chopped up radishes, bell pepper, red onion, cucumbers & tomatoes for veggie toppings.

And we've got taco seasoned ground beef, tuna mixed with homemade mayo, nitrate-free ham cold cuts from the farm,  grilled or buffalo chicken & hard boiled eggs for protein.

And most importantly, we've got dressings!  I've made a fresh batch of ranch dressing and bottled them in baby food jars and glass herb jars. I've also got a bottle of Tessamae's Italian Dressing!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Paleo Coleslaw (with a kick!)

Hey everybody! The weather is starting to cool off and everyone is getting into their fall recipes and I'm over here making summer salads! I never really cared for coleslaw and the only one I've ever REALLY liked was the jalapeno slaw at Chili's.  I don't even know if they still have it and I honestly can't remember what it tasted like, but I've been craving coleslaw lately and I got to thinking about that slaw at Chili's with jalapeno in it, and then this happened:



Ingredients:
14 or 16oz. package of coleslaw mix (or you can shred your own cabbage & carrots)
1/2 - 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp Fennel Seed
1 Cup Paleo Mayo
1 tsp Vinegar
1/2 tsp Lime Juce
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, toss the slaw mix with the jalapeno and fennel seed. In a smaller bowl, mix the remaining ingredients to make the sauce. Pour the sauce over the slaw mix and blend everything together well. Place in the refrigerator for a while to allow the flavors to blend.  

Oh yeah, and Whole30 5.0 week 1 is in the books!  




Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chicken Bacon Ranch Zoodle Salad

Are you looking for an alternative to the typical summer cold pasta salad?  Well, have I got the perfect recipe for you!  This one is simple and fairly easy to make.  I like it best the next day, so it's perfect to make it ahead of time and then carry it to your next picnic or family gathering.  

Ingredients:
1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 TBSP Butter
4-6 slices of cooked & crumbled Bacon
5-6 cups Zoodles (I used 3 large zucchini) 
1/4 Cup diced Red Bell Pepper 
1/4 Cup diced Red Onion
1/4 Cup Homemade Mayo
Salt & Pepper (to taste)


Directions:
Cut chicken up into bite-sized chunks. Heat butter in pan and add chicken and ranch seasoning to pan.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink. I put my chicken in a bowl in the fridge while I finished the rest of the recipe. While the chicken is cooling, you can start boiling a large pot of water and create your zoodles by using a spiralzer or julienne peeler. I salt the water and the zoodles. Once the water is boiling, toss the zoodles in and put a lid on it. It will only take 3-5 minutes for your zoodles to soften up, so keep checking them. As soon as you can easily cut one with a fork, put them in a colander in the sink and run cold water over them. While they are draining, you can cook and crumble your bacon and cut your onions & peppers. Squeeze all of the excess  water from the zoodles and put them in large bowl. Mix in the chicken, bacon, peppers, onion and mayo. Add salt & pepper to taste. As I said, this dish tastes great after the flavors have blended in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).  

*I always have mayo & ranch seasoning made and on-hand.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My New Obsession

My latest obsession is ZOODLES! See how my first attempt with them turned out below (and stay tuned for some more experimentation with zoodles coming soon!).

I've been dying to try making zoodles since spaghetti squash is out of season in the summer.  I didn't discover the previous link before my first zoodle experience so, mine were a little watery. I might try the salt, sit & squeeze method next time!

I didn't want to invest in a fancy spiralizer until I knew if was even going to like this stuff. So, I ordered a Pampered Chef Julienne Peeler and gave it a whirl!  I was pleased with how easy it was to peel the zucchini using this peeler.  I don't see a need for fancier one (yet!).  

I was recently disturbed by own willingness to pay over $5 for a jar of spaghetti sauce at Kroger that was sugar (and offensive oil) free. I did decide that I need to can my own sauce this year. 

Anyway, I was pretty pumped when I found this brand at Walmart for a little over $3. You can see it has a good, clean ingredient list!

So... here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
4-6 Zucchini 
1lb Grass-fed Ground Beef or Italian Sausage
1 Jar of Sugar-free Spaghetti Sauce
Onions, chopped
Garlic, sliced or minced

Directions:
Turn the zucchini into "noodles" using your julienne peeler and place in a glass bowl.  I salted mine and then started a pot of boiling water.  Once the water is boiling, pour it over the zucchini in the bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes (to soften the zucchini).  You may want to try this method.  While I was waiting for the water to boil, I cooked my ground beef with some onion and garlic and then added the sauce and let it simmer.  After draining the water off of the zoodles, I topped them with the meat sauce an promptly stuffed my face!  I also had this left-over for lunch the next day and it was just as good reheated.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pizza!


Boy, it's been a while, eh?  Sorry for the long absence.  I've been busy, busy, busy!  

So... I haven't had pizza in over a year and I really miss it.  I don't miss a lot of the foods that I no longer eat, but I do miss pizza!  I even make pizza inspired bowls when I go to Ghengis Grill (pepperoni & other meats with peppers, onions, spinach, garlic...etc. and I use the tomato based sauce).  Yes, I know there are ton of "gluten-free pizza crust recipes" out there.  I'm really not interested in those.  

I found this recipe for Primal Eggplant Pizza from The Domestic Man, I really wanted to try it.  Yeah, I know dairy isn't paleo (it's primal!), but I thought a small amount of high-quality cheese might not hurt me (it didn't).  

So, I bought a nice looking eggplant from the farmers market and then picked up my favorite toppings:
Italian Sausage (from my fave farm!)
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Pepperoni



You'll also need some olive oil and salt & pepper.  You can include any toppings you like.



As the recipe indicates, you want to slice your eggplant and then salt both sides of the slices.  These need to sit for 30 minutes.  You'll see the moisture drawing out of them. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.  

I cooked my Italian sausage while this was going on.

After 30 minutes, rinse your eggplant slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Then brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and add salt & pepper (I just liberally added the S&P, didn't measure).  I put them on my cooling rack over my baking sheet and stuck them in the oven.  It took closer to 10 minutes for mine to start to brown.

Then I added the sauce and toppings and cheese (I tried to go light on the cheese) and baked them again until the cheese was bubbly and the pepperoni was starting to crisp.



















Overall, this recipe really hit the spot!  I like that the "crust" is made of a vegetable (vs. a bunch of nut flours...etc.). 





Monday, June 17, 2013

Attitude

This is short post about CrossFit.  While it's not technically paleo related, it's all combined in my life, so there.  

Since I started CrossFit (about 7 months ago), I've been noticing things.  Things like how many people look at what I do at CF and say "I could NEVER do that" or "I wouldn't make it past the first rep."  This doesn't just apply to CF either.  I notice many things in life that invoke this type of response lately.

These things make me sad.  I wonder "did I ever have that attitude?".  Yep, I'm pretty sure I did.  I didn't think I'd ever run a 5k in under 30 minutes or I would ever jump on a God-forsaken wooden box.  Ever.  

So... this explains that "all CrossFitters think they are elite" thing that I hear people talk about.  I don't think I'm elite.  I just have a different attitude now about what I CAN do.  To be honest, while new things (hello hand stands!) still scare the sh*t out of me, there is really nothing that I am not at least willing to TRY to do. And usually, I find that I CAN do them.  I just never tried before.

If I never get another thing out of CrossFit, at least I have gotten rid of that "I can't" attitude.  

Posing for photos, post WOD
Quick story about my first rope climbing experience:
It was a Friday morning (just over a week ago) and I was super excited about the crazy workout that was posted.  What made it even better is that two of the ladies that I had been missing working out with in the evenings were there!  I had never attempted to climb a rope before (not even in school that I can remember).  So, in practice, I was the first one to try it and I only made it about halfway up.  I decided to do the scaled version for the workout (start out lying on the floor and pull yourself to standing, using the rope).  If you were doing the scaled version, you had to do 5 reps to everyone else's 1.  OUCH.  By the end of the workout, my hands were KILLING me!  The last set had only 1 rope climb and I was determined not to have to do it 5 times, so I got on that rope and climbed to the top!  It's pretty typical of me to do my best work in the last set or minutes of the WOD.  I always seem to save the best for last :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hocus Pocus Let's all FOCUS!

This title comes from an old co-worker.  We used to say this after he told us all the story about his kindergarten teacher using that phrase to get the class under control.  

I've changed my focus.

Lately, I've been really focused on nutrition and Whole30 and fat loss.  Now that summer is here and I feel pretty good about nutrition, I want to change my focus to performance.  I want to really commit to CrossFit at least 4 days a week and give it my all and see some performance gains and PRs.  I plan to eat in a way that fuels these goals using the guidelines outlined here by Eat To Perform.  Here is another good article from ETP that explains why it's better to eat for performance than to eat for weight (or fat) loss.

According to the ETP calculator, I should be eating 2,258 calories per day.  This might shock some people for a 5'2" tall 130lb female to be eating that much, but trust me, I have very little problem meeting this goal! I've been doing it for quite a while, actually.  I will shoot for 100g of carbs per day.  I usually under eat on the carbs, but have been consciously adding more sweet potato and fruit to increase this.  I will try to eat at least 130g of protein (1g per pound of body weight) and the rest will be fat (apprx. 150 grams).  

I will occasionally use My Fitness Pal to make sure my numbers are where they need to be, but I hope to get to a point where I am intuitively eating to fuel my performance.  

Also, for the summer I am not weighing myself (until sometime after Labor Day).  I look forward to this summer and all it will bring!  What are you focused on right now?  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paleo/Whole30 Marinade (Stir-fry Recipe)


I got a little creative in the kitchen again on Sunday.  I didn't do as well planning my menu and shopping list last week as I normally do.  Since we'll be out of town this weekend, I had to buy enough meat for 2 weeks (I buy my meat on Saturday mornings at the farmers market).  I couldn't seem to find the time to make a menu for one week, let alone two!  So... I just ordered a bunch of random stuff from the farmer and created a menu for this week using what I had.  


I bought some minutes steaks because they came in a package deal and I decided they would be great for stir fry (easy!).  I wanted to make a good flavorful stir fry and I had just scored this little gem at Vitamin Shoppe:



Marinade needs to include some oil (for moisture), an acid (to tenderize) and, of course flavor!

Ingredients
1Tbsp Avocado Oil (olive oil would probably work fine)
1tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (any sea salt would probably be fine here)
1tsp Coconut Aminos
1/4tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (more if you like it HOT!)
1/2tsp White Pepper (I think black pepper would be ok)
1 Garlic Clove minced
1 package of Minute Steaks (mine was just under 1lb)



Directions
Cut minute steak up into bite sized chunks and place in a glass or ceramic container that has a lid.  Mix all other ingredients together in a glass bowl and pour over the meat.  Toss and mix the meat to coat it in the marinade really well.  










Cover and place the marinaded meat in the fridge for 2-24 hours (I left it in there for about 3 hours).  In the meantime, you can chop your stir-fry veggies if needed.  I used a combination of fresh veggies and a bag of frozen.  When you're ready to cook the stir-fry, heat your wok to medium-high heat and add a little oil (any fat of choice) to the pan.  Then throw the marinaded meat in there and continue to stir it while it cooks.  When the meat is almost cooked through, remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon (it will continue to cook a little after it's removed and you'll also be putting it back in the pan at the end, so it can be medium-rare here).  Now put your veggies in the hot pan with the fat that's left from cooking the meat.  Continue to stir-fry the veggies until they are done (I like mine tender-crisp).  Then add the meat back in and toss it all around in the pan for a minute.  Serve immediately or portion out for future lunches and dinners for the week.




Monday, May 13, 2013

Crockpot Pork Roast

Hi everyone!  I hope all of my mommy friends had a great Mother's Day weekend!  I got to spend the entire day Saturday with my husband, so that was awesome! Sundays are always my prep/cook days and yesterday was no different.  I had a 2.25lb pork shoulder roast in the freezer that I wanted to use.  I googled "crockpot pork recipes" to get some inspiration.  This recipe from Cooks.com was my main inspiration.  Obviously, I wasn't going to use onion soup mix and I had already decided that I wanted to put onions & carrots in with it, so here's my version:




Ingredients
2-3lb Pork Shoulder Roast (grass-fed, organic, free-range is best)
10-15 Carrots (I used fresh ones from the farmers market that were a little small, so I used 15)
1 Onion, quartered
3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 cup Broth (any broth will work.  I used homemade bone broth)

Directions
Peel and cut carrots.  I left them pretty much whole so that they wouldn't get too mushy.  Peel and quarter your onion and peel your garlic cloves.  Throw all this in the bottom of your crockpot.  Salt & pepper your roast on all sides and then place on top of veggies.  Next sprinkle on the caraway seed, garlic powder and onion powder.  Last, pour a cup of broth (or water) in the bottom of the crockpot.  Turn that sucker on low for about 2 hours and then crank it up to high for about 6 more.  Or, if you won't be home, high for 6-8 hours should be fine too.  I like my meat to fall apart.  

This roast turned out well.  It had plenty of flavor and the caraway wasn't too overwhelming.  My carrots weren't mushy and the onions were a nice addition.  


Friday, May 10, 2013

...so this is ketosis?

Image courtesy of tumbler
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/jungle%20cat?before=23
Hi everyone!  I'm wrapping up my fourth week of my fourth whole30!!!  Holy cow! As I mentioned previously, I changed this one up to limit carbs (very little fruit and no sweet taters).  I've been trying to stay under 50g of carbs most days.  I've had about 5 days that were over 50g.  In the first weeks I was pretty sure this wasn't working for me and that I would do better with some sweet potatoes in my life, but I am committed to at least the 30 days.  This week, I feel like a freaking animal!  I normally go to bed around 9pm and sleep until 5:30.  All week, I've been up late (11:00-11:30) and most days I've gotten up early.  Today I got up at 5:00 and went to CrossFit.  Then proceeded to go to my "other gym" and run sprints on the treadmill!  And I'm still feeling like I could do more, more, more!!!!  (Hating that I have a desk job at the moment!).

RAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!




I've been tracking my intake on My Fitness Pal, if you'd like to check it out, my user name is SnicciFit.  I will publish my data here after this week is over.  I'm thinking I may keep up the very low carb stuff with one "carb load" day per week.  Also, Hubs and I have decided to keep this whole30 going until we leave for our vacation.  That will make it a Whole39.  



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ranch Buffalo Chicken Spinach Salad

I had a sudden burst of creativity last night and created a new dish.  It's really a combination of parts some of my other favorite dishes that I put together.  It turned out really well.  I call it Ranch Buffalo Chicken Spinach Salad.

Ingredients
3-4 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts (I had about half a bag left which is apprx. 24oz)
Ranch Seasoning (I didn't measure, but I'm guessing I used about 2 TBSP)
3 TBSP of Butter (or ghee)
1/2 Cup Frank's Red Hot Original Sauce

Directions
If you don't already have a jar of this amazing homemade ranch seasoning by Living Low Carb One Day at a Time, you should totally make a big batch of it first!  I use it quite often.  It's delicious.  My favorite recipe is these Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.

Next, you need to cut your chicken up into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle that ranch seasoning all over it.  Put about 3T of butter (or ghee) in a large skillet and heat on medium heat.  Add the chicken pieces to the pan and toss to coat in the butter.  Cook until the chicken is just cooked through.  There will be a lot of buttery liquid in the pan, like this: 


Now turn the heat down a little (med-low) and add a 1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot** to the pan.  Let it come to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.  The chicken will become more tender and the flavors will blend well.  I then took some fresh raw spinach and filled a plate up with it.  I topped it with about half of the chicken mixture (being sure to include some of that juice) and a few dollops of my homemade paleo ranch dressing.



**Note: be sure to check the labels on whatever hot sauce you decide to use.  The Franks Red Hot Original is Whole30 compliant, but the Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce is not :(



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sardines - Still Trying New Things!

Howdy!  I'm still over here trying new foods like a boss.  In fact, this week I tried sardines for the first time in my life!  Why, did I do that?!  Because sardines have many health benefits including being rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

I chose this brand...

 Full Box 

...because:
  1. It's BPA free 
  2. They are wild caught
  3. It's available at my local Kroger store (in the organic section)
  4. The ingredient list looks clean: Sardines, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Water, Sea Salt, Aqueous Natural Smoke (I'm not sure what "natural smoke" is, but I'm hoping it's nothing scary)
These were actually quite good!  I'll even eat them again.  I would rather eat a can of these (or split it with my husband) a few days a week than take fish oil supplements.  I'm not sure how many sardines I need to eat in a week to equal the benefits of supplements, but I'm willing to bet the nutrients in the sardines themselves are more bioavailable than in the supplements.

According to this chart, one can of these per week would give me enough Omega 3s. 

Chart found here: http://cessh.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/how_much_omega_3_web.pdf


Monday, April 15, 2013

Progress & Whole30 V4.0

Hey y'all!  Guess what?!  I'm doing another Whole30!  This is my fourth one.  After reading Primal Body-Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, I've decided the Hubs and I should approach this Whole30 with her suggestions in mind.  That means that we are skipping the sweet potatoes and fruit this time around in an attempt to really find the elusive ketosis.  I am a little nervous about being so low carb and doing CrossFit, but I won't know how it works until I try it.  The key here is to eat PLENTY OF FAT (for fuel) and a moderate amount of protein.  

Here I've been pushing myself lately to eat a lot of protein...  

I think with my activity level (CF 3-4 times per week plus other things like running, rock wall climbing...etc) I am safe to still eat around 100g of protein a day.  As long as I am eating a TON of fat too.

My goal is to see my abs when this over.  I've gotten stronger and leaner, but just need to remove that little layer of fat.  It's ON!  

I thought this would be a good time to take progress pictures too.  I had taken some when I first started CrossFit in November 2012 and hadn't taken any since.  My husband took them for me and I looked at them immediately said "I look the same!  Nothing has changed!"  Later I used my PicStitch app to put the old pictures next to the new ones and I could really see a difference then!  The biggest differences I noticed were in my posture and my thighs!  I'm really sorry, as much as I want to show them off, I'm too nervous to post pictures of myself in tiny shorts and and a sports bra all over the interwebs... Y'all will have to trust me that my progress has been good.  I plan to take the same pictures again in 30 days.  I can't wait!  

Oh yeah, I'm also tracking my food on My Fitness Pal.  I know that tracking during a Whole30 is a no-no, but I've done 3 of them without tracking and feel pretty confident that it won't effect how I eat.  Also, I want to be sure to keep my carbs are low enough and that I am eating enough fat.  And I'm a curious person, so I want DATA.

So, here's my menu for week 1:

2) Waldorf Tuna Salad *obviously there's a litte fruit in here, but it's less than half an apple/svg.
3) Skillet Taco Pie w/homemade guacamole
5) Hard Boiled Eggs/Egg Salad
6) Smoked Sausage w/Kraut (I just fry up a little uncured smoked pork sausage from the farm with some Bubbie's Kraut

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Duck Fat Carrots

Remember when I went to Whole Foods and on impulse bought some Rendered Duck Fat that I had no idea what to do with? Well, I had purchased a bunch of carrots this week and had my prep cook (read: husband) cut half up into sticks for dipping in my homemade ranch and the other half into medallions for cooking.  I got to thinking (while in the waiting room at the dentist office) that I had carrots at home and duck fat and that there just had to be something I could do with that combination.  So of course, I googled "duck fat carrots" and found this great recipe for roasting carrots in duck fat from A Time-Honored Table.

Let me start by telling you that I have only very recently tried roasting vegetables.  I've roasted broccoli only twice and I really enjoyed it, but Husband wasn't overly impressed. I used olive oil (and garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes) for these broccoli expeditions, but I really want to get away from heating olive oil at all and I'm looking to get a variety of fats in my diet.  The carrots were good, but I'm not convinced they wouldn't have been just as good with butter as the fat?  I won't know until I try it...  I look forward to roasting a variety of veggies in both butter and duck fat.  I'll let you all know how it goes.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ONE YEAR!

I started this blog one year ago today!  A lot has changed in the last year.  I don't even know where to start!  So... let's look at some of my early goals:


  • Eat 125-150g of protein/day - I've actually come back to and am still working on this one.  I started tracking my intake again about 6-7 weeks ago and found that I was getting around 70g of protein a day.  I have since upped my protein to at least 100g/day and increased my calories as well.
  • Eat 20-25g fiber/day - I don't find this one to be as important anymore, but I've been getting anywhere from 15 to 20g/day
  • get most (if not all) of my carbs from fruits & veggies -I've done spectacular on this (especially since doing Whole30s)!  I do go through stages where I eat some candy or honey, but most days my only carb sources are fruits & veggies (including starches like sweet potatoes!).  I have allowed for rice ocassionally when dining out.
  • continue to avoid artificial sweeteners -This is a no-brainer.  I don't use any artificial sweeteners or drink or eat anything with them in it.  I'd rather have refined sugar than artificial, but I mostly opt for fruit or honey for sweetening.
  • continue trying new foods -Yep!  Still trying new things all the time :)
  • feel good about the changes I am making :) -Totally!
  • read new material about paleo every day (this should be an easy one!) -Everyday I read material about nutrition and health both on the internet and in books.  I'm currently reading The End of Overeating by David A. Kessler, MD as well as Primal Body - Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas.  Both are great reads!!!!  
October 2011               August 2012                 February 2013

So, here are some new goals:
  • Continue to PR at CrossFit and my 5ks
  • Keep trying new food
  • Keep educating myself and keeping an open mind about nutrition and health
  • Keep inspiring others to take control of their own health through nutrition & fitness

So... that's it folks!  It's been a great year and I look forward to many many more!  Thanks for hanging out with me this year!  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Whole Foods

As I mentioned in my previous post about traveling, I ended my trip with a visit to Whole Foods in Nashville.  As you can see, I brought home a load of stuff.  The total bill was over $80 (ouch), but I mostly bought things that I cannot find in my city.  







This stuff is so freaking delicious that I jumped
on the internet after we tried it to see if there are
any places closer that I can get it.  Turns out
there is!  I have a co-worker picking up 4 jars for
me next week :) :) :)

Let's take a closer look at some of these items...
I got this because I have heard read so many recipes that go on and on about how wonderful it is.  I have no idea how I'm going touse it yet, but it's in my freezer waiting...
These were ok, but I like homemade better.
Of course this was amazing!
Another item that I have no clue how I am
going to use.  I was searching for palm oil
and never found it, but came home with this.

I also got 4 half pound packages of KerryGold butter.  It was almost half the price of what I pay locally.  I put that in my freezer too.  I bought medjool dates because I have a lot of recipes that call for them and have never seen them locally.  I probably need to use them soon.  The Kombucha was great! At least the berry one was.  The citrus was just ok.  I also bought raw goats milk cheese, which was just ok.  Cheese isn't wasn't I use to think it was.  I can live without it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reflections...

Photo Credit: www.blog.zap2it.com

Have you all seen this commercial for the new Cool RanchDoritos Taco at Taco Bell?  I watched it the other day and thought about how when I was a teen/young adult, I thought Cool Ranch Doritos were the tastiest thing on earth!  Now I probably wouldn't touch them with a 10’ pole. I've been learning so much about how these types of foods are engineered to our tastes and to make our brains react in a way that we want more, more more!  I am currently reading “The End ofOvereating” by David A. Kessler, MD. and it’s driving that point home even more. 

The further I get away from the processed foods, the more I wish I would I have known these things sooner.  Like 10 years ago would have been nice (maybe I would have never become overweight.)  Or even to have been raised eating real food would have been awesome.  My parents were not overly-dependent on processed foods when I was growing up, but once I was old enough to make my own decisions about what to eat, I made terrible ones and nobody told me differently.  If they had, I probably wouldn't have listened anyway. 

Of course, those years I did Weight Watchers, I lived off Smart Ones frozen “meals”, Slimfast shakes and Campbell’s "soup to go".  I guess we all have our “gateway” foods that (hopefully) get us on a path to better health.  As I sit here fluctuating between 5lbs of bodyweight and a percent or two of body fat, my biggest concern is this:

WILL I KEEP IT OFF THIS TIME?

I feel like I could never go back to eating a lot (or even very much more than a little) of processed foods and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to eating gluten grains or refined sugar, but what if I do?  What if this isn't the “be all, end all” that I think and hope that it is?  Then what?  I have already come to the conclusion that I will need to change things up as I go.  My body has different needs when I am trying to maintain vs. when I am trying to lose.  I just hope I don’t ever get out of control and pack on 30-45 lbs again.  You hear it all over the place: “Paleo isn't a diet, it’s a lifestyle”.  Hubs and I are even guilty of saying it.  I just hope we’re right…

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Paleo Gurl Travels

I took a little road trip this weekend.  On my way out the door I grabbed a few things to help me stay Paleo(ish) while on vacation:

Avocado, Cahsew Cookie Larabars, Homemade Grass-Fed Beef
Jerky,Clementine, Apple, Plain Almonds
I was a little nervous about how I would eat while I was staying with my friend and her family.  You see she's an incredible cook and I always loved her cooking, but her cooking style doesn't fit with my new (it's been a year now!) way of eating.  It turned out that she was nervous about "feeding me" too.  Everything went just fine.  We met at the Tennessee aquarium in Chattanooga and had a great time seeing the sights there.








Afterward, we ended up at an O'Charleys where I had a Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with asparagus!  I did also have a couple of pickle chips :)  The next day she made me eggs for breakfast and I shared my avocado with this handsome little man:
 











I snacked on my fruit & jerky for lunch and for dinner we ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta where I enjoyed this:

Smokehouse Chop Salad
I also had a fruity alcoholic drink and some french fries with ranch dressing (not perfect paleo, but so worth it!).  


On my way home yesterday I stopped for eggs, hashbrowns and bacon.  I also stopped at Whole Foods in Nashville and will feature another post about that tomorrow!  The stress of driving in bad weather got to me and I ended up stopping at an Arby's on the way back.  I ate the roast beef (no bun) and a small curly fry.  Needless to say, today I feel the need to get back on track!  Been drinking plenty of water and eating "clean"!