Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday

Today we woke up and had some breakfast (Matt eggs, me a banana). Then for lunch we had the last of the Paleo Lasagna. Then I had some delicious Whole Foods guacamole and plantain chips. YUM. Once we finished cleaning the house and running errands I came home and made some Paleo Bars for Matt.


Here is what you need: 
-1 cup walnuts 
-1 cup pecans 
-1 cup slices almonds 
-1/2 cup almond flour 
-Coconut oil 
-Maple Syrup 
-Coconut flakes 
-Dark chocolate 


Step 1: Put the oven on 350 degrees
Step 2: Get a big bowl and add 1 cup of walnuts, 1 cup of pecans, 1 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of almond flour.
Step 2: Add 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil and then put this mixture into your food processor. Mix and then keep add a tablespoon of maple syrup. 
 Step 3: Add some more coconut oil until the mixture has the desired consistency (You want it to be a little sticky and clumped together).

Step 4: Get a baking sheet and put some parchment paper on it. Then pour the mixture onto the paper and spread it out in a thin layer with your hands. 
Step 5: Then I added a handful of coconut flakes. Then I cut the chocolate into tiny pieces and added that. 
Step 6: I then put the bars in the oven for about 15 minutes- and then we had to leave because we were running late for CrossFit. So I turned off the oven and let them sit in the oven until it cooled down. This was a little too long- one side burned a little. The trick is you want to wait until the bars brown on the sides and the chocolate melt. It would probably have taken 20-25 minutes. 

Step 7: When we got home I stuck those suckers in the freezer. Yes the freezer- it makes the coconut oil turn solid again and makes them stick together. I plan on taking them out later and cutting them into squares and leaving them in the fridge. They taste delicious cold :) 

For dinner we had Matt's favorite- Turkey Cabbage. Here are a few pics. 






What makes me happy...

Whole foods guacamole and plantain chips

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday

Well today I made a fun recipe for dinner. It is Paleo Lasagna! Well technically Paleo plus dairy.

Here is what you need: 
-1lb ground beef (grass fed preferable) 
-A bag of italian cheese (choose which kind you want, I used Mozzerella) 
-A large can of Trader Joe's marinara 
-Spices! (salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, basil, garlic powder, etc). 
-Garlic Cloves 
-A dash of olive oil 
-1 eggplant 


This recipe is actually super easy to make. The hardest part was slicing the eggplant thin enough. My first layer sucked- but then I got better on my second layer.

Step 1: Sautee some garlic (I used like 4-5 cloves) on medium heat with some olive oil
Step 2: Cook the ground beef
Step 3: Add the marinara to the beef and stir, add all the spices you prefer, and then let it simmer
Step 4: While the sauce simmers, cut the eggplant. I tried a few different ways but found cutting it in half lengthwise and then cutting slices lengthwise worked the best
Step 5: LAYER! I did the eggplant, then the meat sauce, then sprinkled cheese. I got 2 layers of deliciousness.
Step 6: I stuck it in the fridge then went to work out, but you could cook it right away- I think it is better if it sits for an hour at least in the fridge.
Step 7: When ready to cook preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 25 minutes ( This leaves the eggplant still a little hard, if I could go back in time I would have cooked it for 30-40 minutes).
Step 8: ENJOY!





Monday, May 14, 2012

Life after the Challenge

Matt and I actually ended up completing a 32 day Paleo challenge. Why 32 days? Well because we were too scared to cheat! Which was something if you would have told us on Week 1 we would have laughed in your face. Because I remember spending hours during that first brutal week planning out all the delicious things we would eat. But by once it ended we were so comfortable eating Paleo and so used to cooking for ourselves- we just didn't want to quit. But then my cupcake dreams kicked in again. Yes, cupcake dreams. I had several dreams during the Paleo challenge that involved me eating cake and/or cupcakes. So on Wednesday I grabbed myself a cupcake from Whole Foods that is the best cupcake ever. It is actually gluten-free, made of almond flour, and delicious.

So I ate this delicious little piece of heaven on our way to Vegas (yes, again) for the weekend. My beautiful friend Kasey got married! And I was in the wedding. So we headed back and got in Wednesday night. We ate some Brian's bowls and went to bed. We woke up Thursday had some Bananas and I headed to get my nails done with the girls. After nails I did some shopping for the Bachelorette party and met Matt at Zabas for a burrito bowl- Paleo, of course.

For dinner we met some friends at a sushi place. We ordered some salads and chicken teriyaki- minus the teriyaki. It was actually pretty good! Then I went out with the girls! And I cheated with some alcohol. And then on the way home in the wee hours of the morning (Matt picked me up) I made a terrible decision. I will say I was not thinking clearly, and asked Matt to take me through the drive thru. I wanted some Taco Bell. It was closed. So we went next door to Jack in the Crack, I mean Box. And I ordered some fries and the most disgusting looking taco I have ever seen. And then I ate half that taco and a small french fry. And I felt HORRIBLE afterwards!!! It did not even taste good! But I did it. And then I paid for it the next day. I had really bad cramps, and spent a lot of time hanging out in the bathroom. It was so not worth it. But, hey, no one is perfect. And I learned a valuable lesson- don't ever eat Jack in the Box again. I even took a picture just for you guys- Gross huh?? I made Matt promise to never to listen to me again when my belly is full of tequila and my brain full of bad ideas. On Friday I woke up, chugged water and ate a banana. Then I headed to the rehearsal! After that Matt and I headed to the rehearsal lunch at Bucaa Di Peppo. One of my family's favorite places to eat. There was one Paleo choice- a salad. So we watched everyone eat chicken parmesan and pasta. BUT after the night before I was happy to watch and not partake! So we headed to Whole Foods after and ate some lunch. Then for dinner my family BBQ some chicken and we ate it with veggies and cauliflower rice.

I woke up the next day, had another banana and some coconut water. I layed out by the pool and headed to get hair and make up done for the wedding! I picked up the bride and her soon to be sister in law and we headed to the salon. We got ready allll day and then finally, at about 7:30 PM I got to eat. And I ate a lot! There was delicious food at the wedding. We had some asparagus, salmon with steak and onions. YUM. And her cake looked so delicious I could not help myself from having a few bites (and cheating again, woops). Matt finally got to have a few beers and tonight was his night to make some bad decisions- after the wedding I took him to Raising Cane's and got him some fried chicken and fries. I nibbled on a couple of his fries and took a bite of his chicken
( I know I was out of control!) But just like my experience- Matt paid for his with cramps and a few dates with the bathroom. So on Sunday- which was Mother's day, for brunch my grandmother made a wonderful meal and made us some Paleo options ( I know, she is awesome). We had eggs, sausage, ham, avocado, tomato and some eggplant, squash sliced thinly and cooked in tomato sauce. It was delicious. We ate some chinese food for dinner, (Veggies and meat- but I know there had to be tons of soy :( .. so I guess that counted as another cheat). After that we knew we were done. Done with cheating, done with gluten and ready to get back on the Paleo wagon.

So here we are! Today is Monday. And we have been 100% Paleo today and worked out twice at our box. Breakfast was a banana and lunch was some Zankou chicken with a salad. Then for dinner I decided to make something new and I created a little dinner. I shall call it...Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers with Tomato Sauce. YUM.











So here is what you need for this recipe:
-3 bell peppers 
-1 pound of turkey 
-1 onion 
-I yellow squash 
-5 garlic cloves 
-1 can of diced tomatoes 
-1 can trader joe's tomato sauce 
-some olive oil 





For this recipe:
Step 1: Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
Step 2: Chop up your garlic and add it to a large pan, with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil,  on low heat
Step 3: Chop up your onion and add to the heat
Step 4: Chop up your squash and add to the heat
Step 5: Turn heat to medium and let the veggies cook for a few minutes
Step 6: Add the turkey meat with some salt and pepper.
Step 7: Add the can of diced tomatoes and cook until the Turkey is cooked through.



Step 8: While the turkey is cooking cut the tops off the bell peppers and then clean out the insides and all of the seeds. I had to cut the bottom of my bell peppers a little until they stood up on their own
Step 8: Once the turkey is cooked add the tomato sauce and let it simmer for about 5 minutes or so
Step 9: Add spices to your liking ( I added crushed red pepper, garlic powder, basil and italian seasoning).
Step 10: Fill the peppers with the turkey mixture and stick it in the oven. We were starving so ours only cooked for 10 minutes and the bell peppers were still crunchy. So I would keep them in until the peppers start to brown. Probably closer to 20 minutes, but if you like fresh bell pepper then 10 minutes is perfect.
Step 11: Take em' out and enjoy!






Challenge is Over!

Our 30 day Paleo challenge is over! Matt lost 25 pounds and I lost 11 pounds, we both feel GREAT and our workouts have improved. Honestly, this was one of the best decisions we have made. Why one of the best? Because it has changed our lifestyle and our health has improved. We have already decided Paleo is something we want to stick to for the long haul. We learned this is something that is not only sustainable for us, but enjoyable. 
Yes- we sound like weirdos when we order at restaurants.
Yes- we get asked the same questions over and over, for example, "Oh so you eat like a caveman? But I heard grains are really good for you, why are they bad?"
Yes- we have limited our options of places we can eat (McDonalds does not have any Paleo choices).
BUT everything listed above is worth it when it comes to all the benefits of eating Paleo.
We have more energy.
We look and feel better.
We actually PAY attention to what we put in our bodies.
We have learned to cook with cool ingredients.
We have gotten great results at the gym (well, at the CrossFit box).
We are happier when eating Paleo.
We feel satisfied and never guilty about what we eat.

So what's the conclusion? We will do our best to eat Paleo forever with a few added cheat days here and there- because sometimes you just need a cupcake or a beer.

We have also discussed adding some dairy back into diets. Neither of us have ever had any sensitivity to dairy and we feel that it would be beneficial to add certain dairy items back.

So where do we go from here? Well I can start by sharing with you our experiences right after the challenge. We cheated. More than once. And we paid for it...


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