Monday, October 28, 2013

Re-Booting my Healthy Lifestyle

After my last post I received lots of support and positivity- so thank you to those that reached out! It truly meant a lot to me and has given me the push I need to get my healthy lifestyle back on track. Lately- our lives feel like they have been on fast forward. The hubs has been traveling like crazy for work and busy with football. We have been traveling for weddings and my mother in law visited last week. Needless to say it has been very busy. Which is my favorite excuse for not cooking/eating unhealthy. Now add being pregnant to this with my carb cravings and it has been a recipe for diet disaster (disaster is the best word I can think of to describe what I have been eating like). Luckily this past week I have added back exercise and I think I worked out 4 times last week. Which helped with my energy levels. We leave tomorrow night (on a red eye flight) for one of my very best friend's weddings in Charleston, SC. I am so excited but know that if I have any chance of beginning this re-boot of my diet I will need to prepare! Starting with a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joes for some flight friendly snacks that will get us through the next couple of days. I also think I am going to start with making some Paleo Bars and I want to try out a new recipe this time- so stay tuned for that recipe later today or tomorrow. 
I am starting to show. I can't tell if it is the pasta I have been eating or the baby in my stomach! Either way I have seemed to have popped in the last few days. It is really awesome but also a little difficult readjusting to the changes in my body. I think once I begin to eat healthier this transition will become a lot easier because I will know all the changes are due to baby and not to the cookies I ate the night before. I have been doing a lot better taking my prenatals and they have not made me feel sick at all lately. 

So as I always do I want to make some goals for this week- and next week once we are home I can re-adjust these. Changing the way you eat can cause a lot of detoxing for your body- and it is REALLY important not to make radical changes really quickly. Lots of people will eat like crap then go on a week juice cleanse the day after binging on a cheeseburger. This can shock your system and the side effects are way more intense then they have to be. I have become very aware of doing everything a lot slower now that I am pregnant- so this readjustment will not be me starting a 30 day challenge out of the blue like I used to. Instead I am going to ease into my old lifestyle- so this is how I plan to do it this week: 

1. WATER. I want to up my water intake as much as I can this week. I am completely cutting out soda and tea and replacing with more water. 

2. Fruit. I want to eat at least 1 piece of fruit a day- preferably more. 

3. Veggies. Veggies with at least TWO meals a day. (obviously as many as I can eat is the ultimate goal). 

4. Cut out SOME sugar. I have been eating more sugar than I should be. This can be dangerous during pregnancy due to the fact your body digests things differently. So taking out soda is step one and step two is limiting dessert to 2 times a week this week. Next week I can limit more and the final step (later) will be cutting out juice too (I have had an unhealthy love for orange juice since becoming pregnant). 

5. Keep moving and exercising!! 

Here we go- I am starting off this challenge with some very attainable goals for this week. Hopefully soon I can cut out grain and gluten again (yikes!) but we will cross that bridge when I get there. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Coming Clean!

Well hello blog world! It feels like it has been forever- because it has been a really long time since I have posted!! I was just reading the last post I made about life outta control- the rice krispies, the pizza.. and yes these food choices were due to my own failure to plan. They were also due to the fact that I am preggers! Yup. There is a little one on the way and that is why I have been neglecting this blog so very much. Being pregnant has made me so unbelievably exhausted. On top of that the thought of meat- or touching raw food nauseated me and sent me to the bathroom. My first trimester was challenging. As I look back and think about my preconceived notions of what my pregnancy would be like I have to laugh because life has taught me another lesson- what you imagine and reality are two very different things.

This is what I imagined for my first pregnancy: I wake up early in the morning and have a protein shake on the way to my new CrossFit gym. I get a tough WOD in and feel strong being able to work out with my body going through so many changes. I get home- scramble some eggs with a chicken sausage and prepare my lunch. I head to work- snack on almonds during the day and the occasional dark chocolate (I am pregnant) then I eat a vitamin dense lunch made in mind of the nutrients my baby needs for that week. I head home and go on a quick jog and make an awesome Paleo dinner for the husband and I while we laugh and sip on coconut water. I blog about all the wonders of being pregnant and the importance of proper nutrition for a developing baby. 

No joke- I seriously was convinced this was how it would be. I was so excited and could not wait. Well about 6 weeks in reality decided to take the reins and this is what my days were really like.

I wake up running late. Too exhausted to brush my hair so another low pony tail it is. I stuff down a bagel because the thought of eggs makes me want to puke. I head to CrossFit and after the workout my morning sickness really kicks in- I am dizzy. I want to pass out. I am so tired. After a week of this I finally decide it is time to put my membership on hold. For lunch I drive through in-n-out because all my body is screaming for is CARBS. The thought of a meat patty makes me want to die- so I get the burger without the meat. Just cheese, bread and fries. What about work? You may ask. Oh my company got into legal trouble and I have been so sick I had to quit. So after I come home I am so nauseous it is back to my familiar spot on the bathroom floor where lunch makes an early exit. Then it is time for a lifetime movie with a massive headache until I fall asleep on the couch. The house is bare of any food that is natural. My cupboards are filled with saltines and the fridge is stocked with ginger ale. So the husband has to pick something up for dinner- and the only thing I think I can stomach is a tropical smoothies with a side of salt and vinegar chips. This is actually a good day for me because I made it OUTSIDE of the house.

Thanks reality. I am now in my second trimester and the nausea is almost gone. I have felt great the past few weeks but after cooking a Paleo dinner for the hubby last night the nausea came back full swing and I had to force down the only thing that sounded edible before bed: a grilled cheese sandwich with some chips. The good news: I am doing a lot better and most of the food in my house is Paleo. Right now I am sipping on a spinach, banana and strawberry juice. I have been able to eat meat again and I am slowly getting ready to begin a daily workout because I think I won't feel nauseous after. I know now how far fetched my imaginary pregnancy was but I had so many friends who were able to work out every day, had no symptoms and ate healthy. You would think after years of learning not to compare yourself to others that lesson would actually sink in at one point in your life. I was really down and even a little depressed when I was sitting on the bathroom floor those few weeks- feeling like a bad mom for not feeding my baby the things it needs- not even able to keep down a prenatal vitamin. Feeling weak for not crossfitting, feeling out of place eating all the things I know are bad...but finally I just stopped. I stopped being so hard on myself. I began to truly think about what is going on in my body. There is a human. A human in my stomach area growing. The reality of that finally hit me and made me feel blessed and amazed rather than sad and critical of myself. In the grand scheme of things not eating Paleo for the first trimester will not hurt my baby. Paleo wasn't around when my mom was pregnant with me and I feel like I turned out just fine. My little sister is practically a genius she is so smart and my mom ate taco bell almost every day when she was pregnant with her because that's what she craved. Parenthood will not be enjoyable for me if I don't get over this critical type of thinking now- I am not perfect. My kids will not be perfect. I will probably not have home cooked balanced meals every night for them. They will be allowed to be messy and have fun. I guess the beginning of this pregnancy was God's way of teaching me that no matter how badly you want something or how many times you imagined it going your way- life may have different plans and the easier you adapt the better. Now that I have stopped being hard on myself and stopped caring about every bite I put into my mouth I have had the chance to truly enjoy the miracle that is happening. Yes- I will try to drink these spinach smoothies every day and eat healthy but I will NOT be hard on myself if I have bad day. Or a bad week! If I am too tired to cook then take out it is because in my opinion the stress I was putting on myself was much worse for my baby then the salt and vinegar chips.

If you would like to continue in this journey with me then please do! Just know this blog might not be the place where you find a new recipe everyday because I might be too tired to cook. And if I bake a cake because I am craving one I might put that on here too (Gasp- not gluten!). Overall whole foods, the Paleo lifestyle, I know in the long run this way of eating is for me and for my family. I have done the challenge- I have seen the results and they are so amazing you can never go back after knowing how you can feel everyday. But for now- I am happy with doing my best and not stressing over the days where all I can eat is french fries.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Life Outta Control

Wanna know how you can tell when your diet is out of control? When your lunch looks like this:
And when your breakfast included a rice krispie treat. Someone save me. Someone punch me in the face. I must be stopped. Now today has been 100% bad (I did have a banana and some almonds...but that won't save me). I had turkey cabbage for dinner, and a spinach mango Nutri Bullet yesterday. And greek yogurt for breakfast. Sometimes salads for lunch...but my arch nemesis is back and it goes by the name of failure to plan. I have not been planning meals. Which means when there is FREE pizza at work I end up stuffing my face with it instead of going to buy a salad from El Pollo Loco. I chose the pizza. Why? Because I am undisciplined and because I love pizza. It is so good. If you are here reading my blog for the first time you might be thinking, "Wow, this girl sucks at eating Paleo why am I reading it?" Good question. I wish I had the answer. You can always look at all the great recipes from days when I do well. I have always been honest about the fact that I am human. I make mistakes. I eat crappy sometimes and I don't hide it. Because for most people that are trying their hardest to live their healthiest life- it is a daily battle. We screw up. We eat pizza for lunch. We even have bad MONTHS. We buy bridesmaids dresses that we probably aren't going to fit in by October. But we keep trying. There are some super-human robots out there that eat healthy for years at a time without messing up- but that's not me. I must have some issues with food that need delving into...or I might just be busy and lazy right now. What ever it is I am off track. But I am also willing to call it what it is...unpreparedness, laziness, lack of desire... and hit it head on. So next meal I will do better. And the meal after that. I am feeling so off track at this point I need to stop trying to make sweeping plans for 30 day challenges- it has not been working for me. So I have decided that for now I am taking this one meal at a time. One snack at a time. One good choice at a time (after my pizza lunch). So who wants to join me in a new kind of challenge?

I shall call it the 1-Meal Paleo Challenge. I am going for one meal at a time and once I complete that meal I am going for the next meal. Maybe if I stop stressing about the bigger picture of the challenge and start focusing on the PRESENT - the here and now- maybe I can find a way to get myself back on track. And once I have gotten myself to a place where I feel good I can think about a 30 day then.

Also- I have signed up for a new CrossFit here in Vegas and I am STOKED. It is called CrossFit 702- check out their website-----> http://www.cf702.com/

I am really excited to started with a new community. And one of my best friends who I have known since 5th grade goes there. I have already decided starting on Monday my goal is to go 4 days a week. I honestly think once I get my working out back on track my diet will soon follow.

Okay 1-Meal Challenge begins with Dinner! Wish me luck ( I need it).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shrimp Alfredo with Zoodles

So- first of all you might be able to make this more Paleo by using coconut milk for the alfredo sauce...but without the parmesan I am not sure how that will taste...but if you are out of a 30 day challenge and have added dairy back without an issue this is a really tasty (not necessarily super healthy) dinner. Is it healthier than Olive Garden? YES. Is it the healthiest dinner in the world? NO. 

It is really easy. I made the sauce by first cooking the butter down, then adding milk (instead of cream) and letting that simmer for 5 minutes. Then I added the parmesan and spices (I used red pepper flakes, garlic powder, pepper, etc.) 

I am new to cooking most seafood- except salmon and tilapia. SO I dumped a frozen thing of shrimp and sauted it...probably not the best and should have defrosted for sure. Oh well it ended up tasting really good anyways!! 


Here is the final product: 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Internet Not Working

Well for some reason my laptop is not connecting to the Internet and hasn't been the last couple of nights. Luckily I am a master at typing quickly on my I phone so this post is brought to you from my tiny phone screen. 

The challenge has been going well but could be going better. My hubby is getting ready for a hunting trip this weekend so we have been a little busy and hectic-which means we ate out last night and the tonight. But Monday night we made rosemary chicken with green beans and Parmesan tomatoes. If you have never made Parmesan tomatoes you are seriously missing out. Just cut a tomato in slices, use some olive oil on a baking sheet and on top of the tomatoes then sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and voila a delicious addition to any dinner. I just put those suckers on low broil and watch them carefully for a couple of minutes until they are done. 

Unfortunately the chicken turned out waaaay over done. I knew I should have cut the breasts in half before baking but got lazy and in turn the chicken kind of sucked- but hey I learned my lesson. I also learned a trick from my parents- I used fresh rosemary from my mini herb garden and instead of tearing it and putting it on top while the chicken baked I  kept it intact and placed a whole little sprig underneath the chicken. The herb doesn't burn and the chicken absorbs the flavor. 

Since I didn't want to eat that leftover chicken for lunch I had a protein shake at work and then a lettuce wrapped burger from in n out afterwards- and it was amazing. For dinner we had Mexican so I ordered fajitas minus beans and rice. They were really good! 
I also made a nutri bullet with a peach (pit removed bc FYI peach pits have cyanide), spinach, blueberries and chia seeds. It was good! 

Today- which is day 7- I had a protein shake, a banana, some green chile and pork for lunch and zabas (Mexican again) for dinner. I NEED to cook more or order more so I have lunch the next day. I have no idea what will be for lunch tomorrow :( I am hoping this unprepared stage I'm going through doesn't mess with the whole challenge. Time to re-focus and make some new goals tomorrow. 

Happy eating! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Days 2 & 3

The challenge has been going really well! For lunch on Day 2 I had leftover curry and zoodles. And for dinner I decided to make my Paleo Blue Cheese Meatloaf with some steamed broccoli. On Yesterday we went golfing for a tournament very early in the morning. I had a banana for breakfast but by the time we started golfing I started to feel nauseous. I had some gatorade mixed with water (not paleo) and some peanuts (also not paleo) because I needed something and these were the closest choices I had to Paleo. When lunch finally arrived I ordered a bun-less burger with a side of fruit. After golf I made myself a NB (NutriBullet) with avocado, apple, pineapple and coconut water.
For dinner on Saturday we got an Against The Grain Pizza (you all know how much I love these things) and we put on tons of tasty ingredients (pepperoni, leftover meatloaf, fresh basil, jalepenos, mushrooms, olives, etc.)
And today (Day 4) I woke up, had a banana and now I am starving so I think it will be leftover meatloaf for lunch. For dinner tonight we are having Thanksgiving in August. I know- weird. But my little sister will be studying abroad for a semester so we are having early thanksgiving for her and I am really excited to hang out with family and eat some turkey. I have already decided that I am alloeing myself mashed potatoes but nothing else. If you haven't noticed Matt and I allow dairy in our challenges. So far we have had too much and one of my goals for next week is to cut some out. 

While at Walmart one day I discovered a sweet little gem called Coco Cafe and have been searching in stores ever since. Unfortunately I cannot find where to buy this in bulk so today I grabbed about 7 individuals and bought them. Here is a picture: 
Check out their website: http://www.drinkcococafe.com/ . Looks like I can only get a 12 pack off Amazon for an arm and leg. I will continue my search because this stuff is AWESOME. Later tonight I need to lay out a menu for the week and get ready for our first full week of the challenge. So far it's been pretty good. Only problem is I have felt tired/nauseous some mornings and if I remember correctly this is totally normal due to the amount of detoxing my body is going through. I usually feel this way the first week and it means I am doing the challenge well because my body is naturally cleansing. It isn't too late to join me and start your own 30 day challenge! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 1- Paleo Chicken Curry with "Zoodles"

Yes. I made up another word- "Zoodles". They are my new favorite kind of Paleo noodle- just straight zuchinni squash cut with a hand held mandolin slicer. But we will get to that later.

Day 1 was a success! For breakfast I woke up fried and egg and threw together a NutriBullet juice with a handful of spinach, a few chunks of pineapple, some blueberries and almonds. I use coconut water as my water filler and it is delish.

For lunch I had leftover turkey cabbage (which I spilled on myself so it was a smaller lunch than anticipated) and a banana for a snack. I came home and went straight to cooking dinner. I decided to make:

Paleo Chicken Curry with Zoodles

What you need: 
-3 large chicken breasts 
-Coconut Oil 
-Coconut Cream 
-Red Curry Paste 
-Fresh Herbs (I used basil and curry) 
-A dash of honey 
-Spinach 
-Zuchinni Squash 
Red Pepper flakes (if you like spicy) 
-Fish Sauce (I did not have any but this is what the curry paste calls for) 

It was a really simple recipe. I cut the chicken into strips and cooked it until done in coconut oil. While that was cooking I got a can of coconut cream and added a tablespoon or so of curry paste. I let that simmer for about 5 min and tasted it- I like a more flavorful curry so I added a few more spoonfuls (which is more than the recipe on the paste says). I also added a little squirt of honey for some sweetness. 
I grabbed some fresh herbs from my herb garden and threw them in the curry. After the sauce was to my liking I added it to chicken and let the chicken simmer in the sauce. I then added a handful of spinach and went to cut the Zoodles. After the Zoodles were done I added them too. 
I let all of this simmer together until the hubs got home and we ate! Then I went to my indoor soccer game (yes, I am playing again after the ankle) and got my workout in. Day 1=Successful. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Plan

New plan!

We are back from an AMAZING vacation. Where we ate WAY TOO MUCH but enjoyed every minute of it. I am learning new little things about myself as I continue this health journey.

Thing #1- when I get off track I like to stay there
Thing #2- I need major inspiration to get back on track

Bad News: I have been off track for quite some time and I have enjoyed it a little too much over here stuffing my face with cookies and pizza- I have also added some extra fat and gotten out of shape.

Good News: I have 3 things that are inspiring me to get back on track.

Inspiration # 1- My dad surprised us with a NutriBullet! I am a huge fan of my MagicBullet and this new addition to my family  kitchen has really got me excited. I have already tried it out twice and LOVE it. I may be a little obsessed with it- only time will tell. What I love about it is it is different from a juicer where you have to use TONS of veggies and fruit for small amounts of juice because it gets rid of all the pulp. With this you eat the WHOLE veggie or fruit and it doesn't dispose of any parts so you don't lose any nutritional value. This morning I had a spinach, banana, blueberry, pineapple and almond drink. Sounds gross. Looks grosser. Tastes AMAZING.

Inspiration #2- I have 3 weddings coming up in the next few months. One of which I am a bridesmaid and will need to look decent for. Professional pictures=huge inspiration. 

Inspiration #3- Tomorrow is the first of the month. When better to start a full blown Paleo challenge? It is a time to cleanse my body of all the crap (with the help of my new friend NutriBullet) and to start fresh!! 

I am excited. Tonight I am making turkey cabbage so I will have lunch for tomorrow. Impressed with my forethought?  

All right...so ready...set.. Paleo challenge! 

Goals this time around: 

1. Eat Paleo for 30 days with less than 3 cheats (I will be at a wedding so trying to be realistic). 
2. Work out at least 4 times a week preferably 5-6 times. 
3. Stay away from eating out- Cook 5 times a week (that's a big one but I need to). 
4. Drink LOTS of water 
5. Wine only 2 times a week 

I love my NutriBullet the end. 



Friday, July 12, 2013

Days 3 & 4

Well that was short lived. We got sick. Which threw a big wrench into the "I will work out for 10 days straight plan". The hubs had a pretty high fever, the chills and a stomach ache. I had a stomach ache and a pretty awful headache. So we lived off soup, crackers and gatorades on Thursday. Which meant no cooking. No cooking=no leftovers. No leftovers=eating out. Eating out=bad. So for lunch I had a subway sandwich and after dinner I had some popcorn and candy at the movies. Ugh. So here we are again. Except now it is t minus 6 days until we leave. So operation eating healthy, working out and getting my life back together goes into full effect (again) tomorrow.

As I continue my health journey (which has taken a major detour these past 2 months) I am learning that life throws some obstacles in your path and you don't always overcome them in the way you wish you did but that doesn't mean you give up. I have all the tools I need- I can cook, I know how to make healthy food taste awesome, I have the time, I have the means, I have the knowledge and I have the desire (deep down) but what I am I lacking? Motivation. When you get into a pattern of eating unhealthier than you want and when excuses become your new normal ("I am too busy" "I am too tired" "We got sick" etc) it gets really difficult to get back on track. It is a pretty sick cycle because when you eat unhealthy you lose energy. When you lose energy you stop working out. When you stop working out you get out of shape. When you get out of shape you feel pissed when you do work out and you suck at it. So then you end up feeling tired, fat and lazy. When you feel tired, fat and lazy you decide you need to get back on track but the problem is you feel too tired, fat and lazy to put in the effort. That is where I am at now- I have the TFL's (tired, fat, lazies).

So how will I drag my TFL ass out of this cycle? I am going to wake up tomorrow and run. Then I am going to drink a protein shake. Then I am going to throw away all the gross food at my house. Then I am going to cook some chicken for lunch. I will eat that chicken with a sh*t ton of vegetables. Then I am going to make a Paleo dinner and eat that. Then I will have one day under my belt and I will worry about the next day then because right now I feel too TFL to even think about it.

One day at a time.
One meal at a time.
One WOD at a time.

I will get back on track. It will suck but I know once I do overall I will be a much happier person. Because even though it is sooooooooo much easier being TFL it makes me grumpy. And negative. And unhappy. For those of you just reading this blog it isn't always such an awful Paleo blog full of non-paleo food written by someone who just ate a pack of Nestle Buncha Crunch. So stick with me and I will get back to my every day recipes/healthy lifestyle. Soon. Hopefully.

Here is a Paleo recipe for those of you are still fighting the good fight. I will be joining you soon- keep strong and healthy!!!!
http://www.health-bent.com/treats/paleo-15-minute-apple-crisp-nut-free

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

DAY 2

I have not been doing too terrible!! I worked out yesterday & today. Today we did a kickboxing/cardio video that was fun and yesterday we did this WOD in my parent's garage gym AKA the Dojo.

3 RFT
5 dead-lifts (95/185)
10 Bar Facing burpees ( I did regular ones)
15 sit ups
Run 200M

The hubs did the entire thing in a weighted vest. For dinner last night my Dad made fresh collard greens from his garden, brown rice and black eyed peas (and jalapeno cheddar corn bread of which I only had one piece). So I had that for lunch today and for breakfast I had an egg with a chicken sausage. Came home drank a protein shake and worked out. For dinner I had some chicken tacos (and maybe some queso...).

All said and done I have not done too terrible. Could I cut out some cheese? Yes. I am also trying my best to drink TONS of water and I have been doing a good job of that. Already feeling a little better :)

Here is a picture of the delicious dinner/lunch and NO this is not Paleo.

But since this IS a Paleo blog and all I will post a nice recipe for all of you to enjoy :)

Here is my friend Brooke's Protein Turkey Burger and a link to the recipe on her family's blog.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Intervention Time

It is time for a foodervention. I have been eating bad. By bad I mean really bad. I am talking pizza, soda, chips...just typing it all out makes my tummy hurt. Granted- I am not waking up in the morning pounding a coke and eating pizza for breakfast- but there have been A LOT of family get togethers in the past week and I have been enjoying all the food offered. It all started with 4th of July, then there was family dinners, then there was my grandpa's funeral- which included a lot of cake and italian desserts afterwards and now I find myself incredibly bloated, feeling gross and exactly t-minus 10 days until Hawaii and I am in a bikini for a week straight. Oh boy.

10 days. Crap. So I need to get my booty (and midsection) in gear for this upcoming vacation. Why? Number one- I want to look like a normal human not a baby whale in a bikini (ahh the negative self talk is back!) Number two- I want to be able to eat a ton of food in Hawaii and have a few extra pounds I can work with. Ya, not the healthiest reason but if I go and I am already feeling gross and bad then I get there and keep this up for the 10 days we are there it will be that much harder to get back into shape once we are home.

SO let it begin. Day 1 of 10.

Breakfast- Protein shake & coconut water
Lunch-I have packed a greek salad and a green juice
Dinner- no idea what dinner will consist of

I also plan on working out for 10 days straight. Yes I do. 10 days straight. I have done it before and honestly I should be working out more anyways. So not sure what today will consist of but I will keep you posted once I work out.

For your viewing pleasure I will post my ultimate health goal person. If I could get into this kind of shape (it might require owning my our CrossFit and doing nothing but working out) it would be amazing.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Guess Who's Back...Back Again

Whew. It has been quite a while!! And boy has a lot changed. The hubby and I made a move across the country, we left our wonderful CrossFit, got new jobs (yes-I got a job!), moved into a new place, reunited with our dog child and ate pretty crappy through it all. We are finally settled into our new home and on the prowl for a new box. We have been to a few we really like but we have not been able to find one that has times that will work for us. We have been 100 times more busy since moving. The hubby has a job AND he is coaching the o-line for my little brother's high school football team. So not only is there work all day but now we have added practices at night. Trying to find a box, sort of near of us, with a 7 AM class AND a shower has been very difficult. We have had a blast in Vegas but we do miss our CrossFit CoolSprings family and our awesome friends. The great thing about being home has been being able to see my family all the time. It has been incredible having them right down the road. Enough about my life- you may be thinking this a Paleo blog shut up and get to a Paleo recipe already. 

So what have we been eating? The better question is what haven't we been eating, Driving 33 hours in a U Haul meant a lot of trips to fast food (bleh). Being back we have done pretty well- but still have not gone full force into our old eating habits. I started a nutrition plan given to me by my old CrossFit coach Jamie Free and I have really enjoyed it but have had trouble the past week eating the amount I am supposed to be eating. I know the plan works for me because I lost all the weight I gained on the road trip (about 7lbs) in a little over a week but I have yet to lean out and without CrossFit everyday I can tell my strength is decreasing dramatically. After that success I have fallen off the nutrition wagon this past week. I have plenty of excuses of why- but why bore with you those? The fact is I have not been trying hard enough. Excuses are just reasons we make up to make us feel better and to make the truth not seem so harsh. Excuse: I have been so busy with my new job, and with the move and settling in I just haven't had the time to prepare my food. Truth: I did not make the time and got lazy. There it is. I have been lazy about it and it is time to get my butt back in gear. I have a lot more to talk about but have to run so I will leave you with a link to a Paleo recipe from one of my favorite sites. 

Enjoy :) 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Paleo Chicken Parm

Last night I ended up going to the early CrossFit class (where I completed death by power cleans...ouch!) so I had time to make dinner once I got home.

I was feeling extra Italian so I decided to make some Paleo Chicken Parmesan and I wanted to make it fast and easy.

I used Trader Joes Marinara for the sauce- I always add extra garlic, red pepper flakes and italian seasoning to my sauce.

What ya need: 
-Chicken breasts 
-A can of marinara 
-3 small or 1 large zucchini squash 
-3/4 bag of spinach 
-olive oil 
-butter 
-spices (basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, s&p) 
-almond flour
-2 eggs 

 I am in a rush so instead of writing out each instruction I will show you what to do via pictures. Start by pre heating your oven to 375.
 Start by heating up that marinara and leaving it to simmer while you do everything else. Add all of the spices to this sauce and let it meld together (is meld a word?!).  Next grab two eggs and beat them together. Get some almond flour and mix it with spices (I used basil, oregano and red pepper flakes).
Butterfly your chicken breasts and set up a little "breading" station. Dip a piece of chicken and cover both sides in the egg mixture then do the same with the almond flour. Place the chicken onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Throw those suckers in the oven at 375 for 35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking grab your zucchini and use a mandolin slicer to make it look like spaghetti but so much healthier. I have made a decision. I know I am big about spaghetti squash- but this is 10x easier and I think tastes 10x better- SO I would like to formally say I like zucchini noodles better. Feels good getting that off my chest.
Grab a bag of spinach (just for added flavor and nutritional value) and saute about 3/4 of it in a pan with olive oil. When it is wilted add in your zucchini noodles and warm everything up. I added a bit of butter and put it in the microwave to keep it warm.
When the chicken looked finished and crispy plate it by adding the noodles first then the chicken and finally add some of that sauce to the top. I like adding parmesan to the top too because I love cheese but you don't have to!
ENJOY!!!!









Monday, May 6, 2013

Quick Catch Up- Hungry for Change

WOAH! it has been waaaay too long!! I am exhausted after CrossFit so I do not have enough energy to write more than a little bit. We have been doing really well and eating some pretty tasty and healthy food lately. Over the weekend we watched an AMAZING documentary called- Hungry for Change.

If you have an hour and a half to spare I HIGHLY encourage you to watch Hungry for Change. It opened my eyes to a lot of things that I was not aware of before.

Seriously. Watch it. ASAP.

I took notes I loved it so much-what kind of nerd takes notes while watching a documentary? This girl.

One of the quotes that truly impacted me was in regards to changing the way you think about food if you ever want to be healthy. This was the quote:

"Instead of thinking 'I really want that but I CAN'T have it- say I CAN have that but I don't want it'".

Mind. Blown.

Stop dieting! Start LEARNING about what you are putting into your mouth. Learn about how harmful chemically altered and processed foods are for you. Food is killing us and as a country we haven't opened our eyes and accepted it. The next time you are staring at that grocery store blueberry muffin (which I learned in the documentary has NO blueberries in it- the 'blueberries' are a mixture of toxic chemicals and dyes) instead of thinking "Oh man if I wasn't on a diet I would eat that I really want it" Think to yourself, "Wow, I could eat that right now but knowing what is in it repulses me". If you are really DYING for a blueberry muffin- get off your a** get some blueberries, flour, etc. and make a fresh one!!

Am I perfect? No. Do I eat bad things sometimes (see last post on Taco Bell). Yes. After seeing this film am I changing the way I think? YES!! I just hope the next time I am tempted to have something like that I think about what I have learned and I won't WANT it anymore. Will that be hard? Of course. I have spent 23 out of 25 years of my life eating highly addictive and processed foods not having a clue about what I was putting in my body.

All I know is after watching this film I am more educated and inspired to change my way of thinking.

Rant over.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pulled Pork & The Importance of Preparation

I completely forgot to add the recipe of the pulled pork from last week. It is super simple and we had leftovers for days.

Mexican Pulled Pork 

What you Need:

-1-2lb pork loin
-1 onion
-Green Chiles (I used small Trader Joe's Can)
-Vegetable or chicken stock or broth (you just need liquid)
-1 pack of taco seasoning

This recipe is so simple. All you do is
1. Mix the taco seasoning and broth
2. Throw all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 10 hours
(I was in a hurry so I cooked on high for about 3 hours and low for 4ish-you know it is done when you can easily pull the pork apart with a fork).


We enjoyed these with some brussel sprouts, guacamole and salsa. The next day we had these again with some asparagus and we munched on leftovers for a couple days after that. It is really great to have something like this in the fridge when doing Paleo (especially a challenge) because I find myself hungry during the day or needing lunch and not having anything to eat. I think that is one of the reasons I have been SO off track lately- because I am not prepared. I will go more into that later.
 First I want to introduce you to a new recipe that was super simple and really tasty. After CrossFit on Saturday Matt and I found ourselves roaming around Whole Foods searching for something to make for brunch. Matt found a bag of sauerkraut and got really excited. Before my journey into eating Paleo there were A LOT of foods I did not like. Just to name a few of things I used to hate but now love: broccoli, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, onions, mushrooms (I still am on the fence about these) and sauerkraut. Out of the list sauerkraut was probably the top thing I disliked. After realizing that I was picky and did not give things a fair try because I actually liked so many of the things I used to hate I decided to give the same shot to sauerkraut. So we grabbed some spicy chicken sausages from the meat counter and I gave sauerkraut a shot.

Paleo Kraut & Weenies 

What you need:
-A high quality chicken sausage (free range, anti-botic free, etc.)
-A bag of Sauerkraut (we found ours at Whole Foods in the refrigerated section)
-Spices (salt, pepper)

All I did was fill up a pan with a little bit of water (enough to cover half of the sausage or a little less) and I cooked the chicken sausages. I then emptied the pan and added the sauerkraut. I cut the sausages into pieces and added to the mixture. I waited until it heated up and we served it with some mustard. We also made eggs and had a few snacks on the side. It was actually really good. My next goal is to make sauerkraut from scratch.
This was so simple I think I will add it to my list of easy things when in a bind that I can throw together instead of going out to eat. We have been going out to eat too much and it has caused me to fall from my healthy ways. The worst part of having a night like Saturday is the bounce back. It has always been my downfall- whenever I slip a little it turns into an avalanche of bad choices. Last night I went to happy hour and dinner with some friends and there I was again eating chips, salsa and everything in sight. Not to mention all the SUGAR from margaritas. I have decided SUGAR is my biggest downfall. In becoming a healthy person that has been the ONE thing that I know holds me back. Why?? Because I am not prepared enough. For example: yesterday was a busy day. I babysat from 11 to 4 PM and I always struggle on these days because I think I bring enough "snacks" but I never do. I brought a banana, some trail mix and a Lara Bar. After eating the Lara Bar I couldn't choke down more almonds and dried fruit so all I had for lunch was a banana and a Lara Bar. I WAS STARVING by the time I got home but had to quickly change and rush to happy hour. So I show up starving and down one million chips and salsa. If I would have made myself a large lunch and ate it around 1PM I would not have been ravenous come happy hour and I wouldn't have ate my bodyweight in chips.
I am considering a 21 day sugar detox. I think I need one pretty badly. I am not sure when this will occur but I have been mulling it over. I made some more Egg Cups on Monday and I added chopped up jalepeno to them. They were really good and a great first step to staying prepared with food on hand. In a nutshell here are the issues I am having:
1. I am not eating ENOUGH
2. I am eating TOO MUCH crap
These things are 100 percent related. Because I am not eating enough of THE RIGHT stuff and OFTEN I am finding myself starving and eating TOO MUCH junk. So the goal for the rest of the week is to eat more, eat more often and to stop eating crap.

Happy Eating!!




Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sometimes You Just Need Taco Bell

I know. Taco Bell should be called Toxic Hell because health wise it is pretty horrible. You know what else is awful? Little Cesar's Hot N' Ready. But you know what tastes pretty amazing at 3 AM? Taco Bell. And what hits the spot the next afternoon? Pizza. The hubs and I don't really go out that often (okay, we barely go out and we are pretty lame). We are usually asleep by 10:30 every night and yes even on weekend nights. Saturday after our WOD a lot of our friends we're talking about going out downtown and we decided it was time we stopped being boring and joined everyone! We know ourselves far too well so a nap was taken that afternoon and bulletproof coffee (click on that to see what we recently discovered and have been drinking) was consumed and we made it out. Honestly, we usually are out for the count around midnight but last night we went to sleep around 4 AM. Just writing it hurts my body. We NEVER stay up until the AM's. And no- the night wasn't even some crazy time. We had a really fun time playing shuffleboard and talking and hanging out with our CrossFit buddies. I am literally in SHOCK that we stayed out that late early. It has proven to me that bulletproof coffee is pretty much the most amazing shiz out there. You know how you know you are old?? Even when you go to sleep at 4 AM your body still wakes you up around 8. I fought it but couldn't fall back into a good sleep and eventually gave up. I am a useless excuse for a human being with 4 hours of sleep. Thank goodness it's Sunday because we have watched 2 movies and laid on the couch all day long.
So what does this mean for the healthy lifestyle we have been trying so very hard to live? Well it means days like today are 1,000 times harder than they used to be. Maybe it's because we are getting older or maybe it is because we have been taking such good care of ourselves- but I don't think I could walk more than 20 feet right now. No I am not hungover- it is purely from lack of sleep and it amazes me how much this affecting me. In college we would go out late on the weekends EVERY week and during the week I would barely sleep because of studying and just not caring about sleeping enough. I could function almost totally normally and now I feel like a zombie. I honestly think days like this when you totally throw your system off you can see all the progress you have made. I know that sounds backwards- but I have had my body in a healthy pattern of sleeping 8 hours plus and eating mostly clean for such a long extended period that one day off causes this much of an effect on me.
So is it worth it??? After all of this hard work?? Umm...yes. Totally worth it. I think in the pursuit of health and happiness it is necessary to give yourself a weekend once in a while. Could I have had made better eating choices? Of course I could have, but where is the fun in that? I could have come home and ate a banana with almond butter and left all of our friends hours earlier to make sure we got more sleep- but sometimes in the pursuit of being healthy to live longer we forget to actually live. What is the point in living to age 100 if you live too strict and confined within your healthy ways and leave no room for spontaneous fun? Now- am I going to do this every weekend? NOWAY. Number 1- it might actually kill me and Number 2- my body would never heal.
This actually reminds me of an article I was reading the other day. It was about a woman named Elsie who was the oldest person in America at age 113 when she recently passed. Here is the article. The article wasn't full of comments on how healthy she ate or how she always got 8 hours of sleep- but it was about her big heart. She said she loved people. She would wake up every morning and say "what a beautiful day it is" and if it was raining she would say, "we will make our own sunshine today". How inspiring is that? Isn't that point of our lives- to love one another and to bring sunshine everywhere we go? I know I blog about eating Paleo and trying my best to be healthy- but the reasoning behind these decisions in the way I eat all go back to what makes me feel like my happiest, my most whole- self. And I can tell you right now if I stayed up to 4 AM every day and ate Taco Bell I would be very unhappy, and on the flip side if I didn't allow myself that fun once in a while I also wouldn't be very happy. Balance is one of the hardest concepts to master and I honestly think I will spend my life in pursuit of true balance- and I am fine with that. But I think the absolute most important part of living a long and healthy and happy life is loving other people and making your own sunshine. I think we all can take a few pages out of Elsie's book and the next time we get angry or we feel dislike for someone else we think about what that does to our bodies. I think feeling hate and meanness towards others is worse for our health than drinking a liter of mountain dew and eating a box of twinkies. I hope that every day I can brighten someone else's day in a small way and that I can find my happiness by being the best version of myself that I can be.
I know this was a long rant and tomorrow I will post some recipes of the healthy stuff we ate this week :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Back to Business

It has been a while! We have been busy this past week but we have been doing a pretty good job of sticking to Paleo. This weekend we started on our quest to live more simply and we went through all of our things in our outside storage unit. Matt also went through a lot of his clothes and I went through a lot of our stuff and this is the pile we brought to Goodwill.
It felt really great to start this process and our apartment is already looking a lot cleaner and less cluttered. Last week I made a recipe that was worth posting:

Twice Baked BBQ Turkey Sweet Potatoes 

What you need: 
-2 large sweet potatoes 
-1lb ground turkey 
-1 onion 
-3-4 garlic cloves
-Spices to your liking. I used red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, pepper and a little chipotle seasoning 

This is a fairly easy recipe. First- cut your sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and throw them in the oven which should be set to about 400-425 degrees. Let these cook until while you make your turkey.

For the turkey:
Add some olive oil to a pan and cook the onions for about 3 minutes. Add your chopped garlic and then your turkey. Cook your turkey until cooked all the way through and add spices.
After about 30 min (my oven takes longer than all other ovens) your potatoes should be mushy enough so you can spoon the insides out very carefully. Be sure not to tear the skin or you will not be able to fill them. Take the insides and add it to the turkey mixture. Take scoops of the mixture and add it to the skins then cook for about 5 minutes until the tops are hardened. We added BBQ sauce to the tops and really enjoyed these.
On Sunday after all of the labor to go through our storage unit we were hungry for some sandwiches. Sandwiches are hard to achieve while on Paleo but we ran to Publix and grabbed some fresh sliced deli meats, an onion and tomato. I was able to make a huge sub on a Against the Grain baguette. I just thawed it out and then stuck it in the oven on broil for about 1 minute (It will burn quickly if you don't take it right out!). We ate the sandwiches with some plantain chips and watermelon.
On Monday I found a new place that we can eat Paleo!! It is called Humdingers and I have already had it twice and it is only Wednesday. For lunch I got some fresh fish on top of HUGE grilled veggies.
I have had a very off week. Monday we did CrossFit totals and I was really happy that I PR'ed on my dead-lift (from 250 to 265) and strict press (from 85 to 90). Unfortunately, with my ankle I could not even come close to my old squat max due to pain so I kept it the same from last totals. Overall, I went up 20 pounds and from a 505 to a 525!! I was really happy and very relieved because I was worried that being from being injured for the past month I would decrease on everything.
I finally went to the Dr for my ankle yesterday and it didn't go so well. I am starting physical therapy twice a week for the next 3 weeks. He said if it does not improve and if the MRI/X-rays come back with a lot of ligament issues then surgery is a possibility. Honestly, I was shocked. I have sprained many an ankle and never has it taken this long to heal and never have the words "possible surgery" come out of anyones mouth. I have to admit I was pissed off yesterday. I went to CrossFit pissed off and in a bad mood. The WOD was basically all of the things I can't do (double unders, running, etc). and I got even more pissed off. I am a very stubborn person and I cannot stand being unable to do the regular WOD's nor do I handle injuries very well. So after the workout and on the way to the car all of this anger turned into what it really was- disappointment and sadness. My poor hubby had to deal with an emotional wreck for the rest of the night. Yes- the rest of the night. Usually, I am only upset for a short period of time and I can get over it but last night the waterworks kept pouring. Which made me realize that obviously this was about more than my ankle. Isn't it funny how we try to ignore our emotions when we know that doesn't work and eventually they will catch up with us? I always tell my clients that holding in and ignoring emotions will only end badly. I also tell them that anger is usually a mask for another emotion because being angry is so much easier than feeling sad, disappointed, unworthy, etc. So last night I went through the stages of being angry and then it turning into all of the things that have been going on inside for the past month. It is exhausting. I woke up today feeling cleansed and with a resolve be more connected with what I am feeling. I know it sounds silly but it is really important to our emotional/spiritual/physical well being to take time every day to check in with ourselves and see what we are feeling and why. Self growth is an ongoing process with many facets that each require time and energy every day. 
I will jump off step off my soapbox (bc I am not cleared for box jumps yet) and get back to the Paleo cooking! Today I am trying to make some mexican pulled pork and will let you know how that goes after we eat it tonight. I also bought some cocoa powder for various baking adventures and would like to start with Paleo brownies and homemade Lara bars. Again- I will let you know how those go.
Happy eating!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mini Meat-loafs!

I ended up going with mini-meatloafs last night. Here is the recipe. I made some asparagus with some olive oil and some salt & pepper. Quickly made some Against the Grain garlic bread and we ate ALL of the meatloaf and it hit the spot.
Today I had a banana for breakfast and a couple of fried eggs for lunch. Tonight we are going to dinner with our friend Claire to a new Mexican place downtown and I am excited! My goal this week is to buy some protein so I can have an easier snack that will fill me up.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

21 Day Challenge- Bison Burgers

Last night we had some pretty delicious bison burgers. I took the night off of CrossFit because my shoulder has been really bothering me lately so I had time to cook. I grabbed two bison patties from Whole Foods and on each side I sprinkled some Lawry's Seasoning Salt with salt, pepper and garlic powder as well. I caramelized an onion in some coconut oil, cut up a tomato and avocado. Then I made sweet potato fries for the very first time! They were really easy. I got a large sweet potato and cut it into fries. I coated them with some coconut oil, sprinkled some seasoning salt and cooked them on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. We also threw together some homemade honey mustard. I wish we would have measured but honestly we kept mixing some fresh local honey with mustard until it tasted good. I added about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it and a dash of milk to thicken it. We plopped on a piece of provolone and devoured this dinner. It was one of our favorites and I will be making this again with some regular beef and turkey patties.
As for today I woke up and had a banana and a glass of milk (we drink whole milk from a local farm). For lunch we went to Panera and ate cobb salads with bacon, tomatoes, eggs and avocado. For dinner tonight I am thinking mini meat loafs again or maybe some turkey cabbage...haven't decided! Tomorrow I will try to use my crock pot again and I plan on making some more egg cups with a different twist this time. Happy eating! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bacon-Wrapped, Sausage-Stuffed, Pimento Cheese Jalepeno Poppers

Hmm...I think I should probably shorten that name...I will think about a new one that does not involve all of the ingredients, but each ingredient is so delicious how do you pick out which one to leave out!? So these things are not healthy so let's go ahead and get that out of the way. They are pretty freakin' awesome though and super easy to make. The reason I made these was for an amazing post 13.5 BBQ we had at our box- we called it 13.6. It was such a blast and it made me love our CrossFit that much more. By the way if you are in the Nashville area and want to go to a great box come try out CrossFit Coolsprings. We played games, ate, drank and had a lot of laughs.

Here is what you need for these Jalepeno Poppers..
-10 Jalepenos 
-Pimento cheese 
-10 Pieces of Bacon 
-Italian ground sausage
-some spices (salt, pepper, chipotle seasoning) 

This is what you do- first cut each jalepeno in half and clean out the seeds and membranes (unless you like them really, really spicy).
 You clean out the peppers, put some pimento cheese in it, roll up some sausage (add some spices if you want to the sausage) add it on top, cut the bacon in half and wrap it on up!!!
I placed them on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet (so the juices drip off of the peppers and they will not get soggy). Bake on 400 for 15-20 minutes- until the bacon is cooked.
I know...food porn. They taste even better than they look. Hard to believe but believe me. Everyone should make these once in their life.

After a weekend of fun and eating whatever and everything in sight we have both decided we need to stop. Especially after looking over my online banking statement and seeing that froyo (frozen yogurt) is becoming almost as expensive as our cable bill this month. I admit I have a froyo (which really just means sugar) problem and it is time to get back on the wagon. We are on day one of a mini 21 day challenge we are doing (thanks to my friend Brittany from Whole Self Health Britt who decided to do a 21 day challenge so I copied her).

So here we go- DAY 1. We had a big brunch- I made eggs, sausage, shaved brussel sprouts and an avocado. For a snack I had some plantain chips with salsa and some strawberry rhubarb Noosa. Tonight I made this chicken I found somewhere online...I know this is vague but I randomly threw it together. I put in two frozen chicken breasts, some coconut milk, chicken stock, seasoning and an onion. Put it all in the crock pot and it has been cooking ever since. I have not tasted it yet but will share it if it is any good. As for tomorrow- I need to go to the store and restock. I plan on using my crock pot a lot this week so I can post some easy, fast recipes that anyone in a time crunch can cook.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bored.

So I have been waiting to hear back about a job. The company I applied for is in a temporary hiring freeze for another week which means I have been bored out of my mind. In the meantime I have applied to other places but there are only so many MFT jobs for interns available at one time and some point there is literally nothing you can do but wait to hear back from places. I have thought about holding off longer on the whole following my dream to become a therapist thing and just getting another job doing SOMETHING but I decided ehh I have waited this long why not wait another week?

SO with that said I have spent far too much time on Pinterest and various Paleo sites searching recipes. I have also spent time coming up with weird recipes in my head- I feel like a mad scientist. Hair all messed up, in hobo looking clothes, walking around my apartment throwing random ingredients in bowls and making weird stuff. So in my unclean, hobo-mad scientist craze the other day this is what I came up with:

Paleo Green Chile Bacon Cheddar Egg Cups 

What you need: 
-A small can of green chiles (i use trader joe type)
-Cheddar cheese (again, I use the Raw Milk T.J type) 
-Bacon 
-5 eggs
-Some spinach (to add some more nutritional value) 
-Jalepeno slices 
-Spices (s, p, a little cayenne if you wanna get crazy) 

What you do:
Get a large mixing bowl and throw in your 5 eggs, can of green chiles and some spinach you have chopped.
Mix it up with a fork and grab your muffin tin that you can line with 5-7 pieces of bacon (5 eggs will make 7 cups, I left two without bacon). 
Shred some cheddar cheese and add it to the top of each cup (I used just a small amount) and top with a jalepeno slice. Then bake at 375 for about 15-17 minutes or until the bacon looks crispy. 
Enjoy :) These little guys are pretty tasty. They have a little kick to them because of the green chiles and they are a fast, easy breakfast for being on the go. Plus the whole thing (clean up, prep, cooking, etc) takes about 25-30 min. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Simplifying Life

I am back from a trip to Vegas for Easter with my family. Weather was perfect and we had such an awesome time. Like most Italian families my trip home included a lot of eating, loud talking and laughter. But mostly a lot of eating- and the food was delicious. When we first got there my mom made us a nice Paleo meal which included rosemary chicken, veggies and mashed sweet potatoes. YUM. The rest of the weekend included some of the best sushi I have had, pizza, In n Out, homemade french toast and lots of desserts. It was a really great time and it was nice to let go and eat whatever I wanted. Needless to say it has been tough getting back on track this week. I went grocery shopping today so we have no excuse of not starting back with Paleo. While on pinterest I saw this cool picture and wanted to share it:

I really like the bottom part where it says "Live-don't beat yourself up-enjoy it". I have been practicing some self positivity so I will not beat myself up over the food I ate and lack of working out this weekend because I enjoyed the hell out of it. But I am really excited to get back in my kitchen and make some meals. I have no idea what is for dinner tonight so I should probably get on that when I finish this post. I also like how the plate is on this picture- a small amount of meat and tons of veggies. I think a lot of people think that all you do is eat meat when you eat Paleo and that just is not true. I was even considering having a "meatless" day once a week for Matt and I where we just eat a lot of veggies. Why? Because I think it would be beneficial to eat tons of veggies one day and also because if you think back to a hunter gatherer lifestyle they did not always have the luxury of eating meat. If a hunt was unsuccessful they did not have meat that day or week. I also want to do some more research on intermittent fasting. My hubby wrote a good post on it that you can find Here.

While looking back on my blog to find that post I just realized that it has been exactly ONE YEAR since the beginning of this blog and the beginning of my journey into eating healthy. Wow. A whole year...looking back on this past year I recognize that I have had my ups and downs with sticking to Paleo. I can't imagine what I would feel like if I had stayed strict for the entire year- especially in the midst of a 60 day challenge that it is time to admit I failed. That is how life is though. You have your ups, you have your downs but you keep going always trying to do better. I can say these things for sure about this past year.

In this past year I...
Have become MUCH better at cooking then I ever imagined. A year ago I was afraid to touch raw chicken and now I can make meals I only dreamed of making before 
Have eaten more vegetables in this past year than I have ever eaten in 365 days in my entire life 
Feel confident in my cooking ability and have tried out tons of new ingredients
Feel healthier overall 
Have made HUGE improvements in the gym 
Learned a lot about nutrition 
Have become an active participant in my health- instead of just eating what ever is fast or easy 
Have stuck to this lifestyle because I truly believe it makes happier, healthier people 
Have proven to myself this is not a "fad diet" it is a healthier way of being 
Have learned that it's okay to not always eat perfectly- I am human and there are things that are not Paleo that I enjoy eating and that is OKAY 
Have learned that a passion of mine is to spread healthy living to others 

Why is the title of this post "Simplifying Life"? Well now after realizing it is the year anniversary of this blog it only brings more meaning to my original intent of this post. I am feeling the urge to purge. No- not throw up, but to purge my life of the "junk" that I feel is becoming a little overwhelming. I want to go on a mental, physical and practical purge. I want to get rid of all the junk that seems to be over running our small apartment. We have too many clothes. We have too many things we do not need nor do we use. We have too much clutter- and I want to donate all of these things we do not need or use to someone who may need and use it. 
I also want to purge my life of negativity. Now I am pretty lucky in the fact that I really do not have that much negativity to begin with but it can't hurt to think about my relationships that I have and decide if they are positive ones or negative ones. My hubby and I have recently been going to church. We both grew up in odd religious situations. My family did not belong to a church and I went to church with friends every once in a while. My hubby had some negative experiences with church and when we met in college we both agreed that it wasn't that big of a deal. We both had our ideas on organized religion and our questions about religion in general. Without going into too much detail about our history with religion for some reason at around the exact same time this past year we decided that we wanted more. We both just knew we needed more of a spiritual presence in our life and it took us quite a long time but we found a church we love and we are newbies in the sense of finally practicing some sort of religion. This new experience has caused me to think a lot about becoming a better person. In this train of thought it has caused me to think a lot about living simpler lives. Being grateful for what we have and not concentrating on what we do not. Giving unconditionally to others that are in need. Trying to always treat others with love and kindness. 
I think in order to truly begin this journey of living simpler we should "kick it off" with literally gathering all of the things we do not need and giving them to charity. I will update on how this goes and post some recipes this week since we will finally be eating healthy again! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Day Am I On Again?

This "challenge" has turned into just everyday life with a few minor slip ups. That was the goal of the 60 day challenge- to end up just eating Paleo for good with some cheats every now and then (I would prefer less frequent then it has been thus far). In general these are the things I need to improve (yes this list might look familiar I always have trouble with these things):

1. Drink more water and less coffee
2. Limit dairy intake
3. Sleep a full 8 hours (go to bed earlier)
4. Decrease amount of eating out and increase cooking
5. RUN more (I have a good excuse for this one right now).

Last night I threw together a quick dinner. We had raw cheddar stuffed chicken, asparagus and Against the Grain garlic bread. It wasn't too shabby and easy to make.

Cheese Stuffed Chicken 

What you Need: 
-2 chicken breasts 
-some fresh rosemary 
-spices (s & p, red pepper flakes) 
-garlic 
-a little butter 
-olive oil 

It was easy I just cut slits about 1/3 of the way into the chicken, stuffed it with cheese and garlic + rosemary mixture that I heated up in a pan with a tiny bit of butter. Cook it at 350 for about 20 min and then make a veggie!


Here is my WOD from the other day. There is another friend at the box who had to have knee surgery so we worked out with each other and against each other which was really fun having some competition (even though he beat me by a second!). 
My bench was just the bar. I want to save myself for 13,4 which comes out tonight!!! I am hoping it is something I can attempt!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend!!

Good afternoon! So this past week has been tough. I was excited that my ankle was allowing me to work out without a ton of pain and that I was able to put some pressure on it without the boot on. Here are a couple of WOD's I did this week: 
Now the Bar Muscle ups were with a band. And yes-these WOD's took me quite a long time. The 2 pistols and 2 hand stand push ups every minute on the minute (emom) seriously slowed me down on the second one. So the beginning of this week went really well. I was able to work out, I was in very little to no pain and I felt like this ankle wasn't going to hold me back too much. And then came Wednesday and the announcement of 13.3. 

12 min AMRAP
150 Wall Balls 
90 Double Unders 
30 Muscle Ups 

I have to be honest I was bummed. After attempting one legged double-unders for way too long and failing over and over I started to get really bummed. In my mind with the way my ankle was recovering I would be able to lose the boot for the Wall Balls and get through them but then by double unders I would be screwed. So when I woke up Thursday I was getting more and more upset. I also had to end an internship that I was doing in order to get hours toward my licensure (I have my Masters in clinical psychology and have been unsuccessfully attempting to gain hours towards my Marriage and Family Therapist License). So not only was my personal life sort of falling apart so was my work out life. And then it happened. I was getting out of the shower and attempting to hop around to get dressed and had placed my huge 2 pound boot on my bed. One mis-hop and BAM. The boot fell off my bed and landed directly on my bad ankle- exactly where it was swollen the most. Talk about horrible pain. Like really horrible pain. 
So then my week really went downhill. My ankle hurt worse than it did right after I rolled it. I was 2 days away from attempting 13.3 and I had to go back to crutches (which I had been off of for days). Thursday night I woke up several times because it was so uncomfortable with just the covers on top of my ankle. Friday was the same. So when Saturday rolled around I was worried I would even be able to do 1 wall ball. On top of all of this I was starting to eat like crap again because I was so upset. Did that help? Of course not. Crappy food makes you feel worse on every level except for that false sense of happiness you get while eating it which immediately goes away once you are done. So here I was. Feeling depressed and weak and looking down at a 14 pound wall ball. 
I did the WOD and I got 130 reps. I am my own worst critic so I was very upset with this score. I know I have a sprained ankle. I know I probably shouldn't have even tried, but still there is that little voice that always comes up after what I consider a bad performance, "that wasn't good enough. You should have got more." I hate that little voice and I honestly kind of like it. I hate it because it stops me from actually sitting down and being proud of my myself when I deserve it. Why in the world do I like it? Maybe it's because I have played sports my entire life and I am just used to it. Maybe it's because I am too competitive. What I think is it keeps me working. It keeps me striving for more. To do better. To push myself. To not be satisfied when I think I had more in me to give. No matter what the reason is it's there and sometimes it's too much. This weekend when I was already feeling down on myself it was too much. I got in the car and cried. 
Thinking back it's really ridiculous I let myself get to this point. Usually when I am feeling sad/annoyed/angry/any negative emotion my coping skill is working out. It is my release. It is my way of thinking of nothing but the WOD in front of me and ignoring all the outside world. So having that coping skill taken away from me at some extent with being injured really caused me to get to the point where I was being hard on myself for only getting 130 reps on one leg. I mean seriously? I did 130 wall balls 90% on one leg. And instead of stepping away and thinking- wow good job self I was disappointed for not getting more. That is not okay! And after having Sunday and today to think about it I have decided I need to reign in the negative self talk and only use it to my advantage because Saturday it was a disadvantage. Now I can say I am proud of myself for even attempting the workout and I am super proud of score. My goal for the remainder of this injury and for the remainder of my workout life- is to recognize that I need to be more positive to myself. After every workout I need to make a mental note first of what I can fix/technique/etc. but then to take the time and congratulate myself on the wins. What did I do well? I really think this will help me improve not only as an athlete but as a person. 
Enough with the deep talk- have I ever talked about how much I love Against the Grain products? I'm just kidding I know I have and sound like I work for them as salesperson. Saturday night I was craving more bad food so instead of getting a normal pizza we opted for a couple of Against the Grain ones (Paleo + dairy). I went to the Whole Foods salad bar and got some toppings- tomatoes, roasted garlic, onions, more cheese, olives. mushrooms, etc. and baked a couple. They were awesome. 

Today is a new day and I am ready to attack it with a positive attitude. I am done feeling bummed out about my ankle- it is what it is and I need to make the best of it. I am ready to be more productive and to start my goal of more positive self talk tonight after whatever boot friendly WOD my coach comes up with. Oh and in case you are in a boot and wondering what CrossFit exercises you might be able to do (depending on your pain level and Dr.'s approval) here are some I have been doing; 
Bar Muscle Ups (w/band for me) 
Ab Mat sit ups 
Push Ups 
Bench Press 
Dips (ring or other) 
Wall Balls (not recommended if you want the use of your good leg) 
Pull Ups 
Chest to Bar (if you can- I am working on them) 
and Wall Climbs (I discovered this yesterday) 

I will add more to the list as I try out more things I can do! So I will end with some positive notes: I am happy that my ankle is allowing me to work out at all, I am grateful for my CrossFit community and all of their support and I feel blessed to have such a wonderful life even if I allow myself to get in the way of recognizing it sometimes. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Back on Track

I know I have been saying I need to get back on track- and I have been trying but again, last night, watching UNLV lose to Cal I decided to have some bar food. Which included beer, fries, wings & queso. If I wouldn't be embarrassed I would post a picture of how I look this morning. I had 2 beers and ate a TON of crappy food and I woke up exhausted, with huge bags under my eyes and overall looking like hell. And you know what- I just realized something-  (my hubby will laugh at me for this thought because he thinks that I think that Paleo effects ALL aspects of life (which it does)) but I am CONVINCED that my ankle hurts as bad as it does this morning because I ate like sh*t last night. No joke. Sprained it Sunday- hurt really bad. Mon, Tues, Weds and yesterday- virtually ZERO pain. Inflammation went down, bruising began, slept like a baby, stopped taking Motrin- worked out. It was seeming like a miraculous recovery (still can't put weight on it without boot) until this morning. What a coincidence. I eat crap and drink gluten and here I am- looking like hell with a REALLY sore ankle. I know I sound cray-cray but if you eat Paleo you understand where I am coming from. If not- then my only advice is TRY IT FOR 30 DAYS! That's it. You can do it. And if you TRULY do Paleo for 30 days and come back feeling worse than you did when you started then I will personally send you a loaf a bread and a bag of your favorite chips. All right let me jump off my soapbox real quick and give you a recipe for some Mini Blue Cheese Meatloafs I made that were delish.

Mini Blue Cheese Paleo Meatloafies

What you need:
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef
-Blue cheese
-2/3 cup almond flour
-1 egg 
-Tomato Paste (1/2 of can) 
- S & P 
-A muffin tin 

All you do is mix the ingredients in a bowl then grease your muffin tin (I used coconut oil) and bake these little guys at 350-375 (depending on your oven) for 15 minutes!! I added a little coat of tomato paste on the top before baking. I served them with some shaved brussel sprouts and Against the Grain garlic bread.

I have been gimping around my kitchen making up new recipes out of pure boredom so today I tried something I saw on Pinterest but made it my own. It is so easy.

Bacon and Egg Cups

What you need:
-6 eggs 
-6 pieces of bacon 
-S & P 

I will let the visuals do all the talking- except bake them at 375 for 14-17 min (depending on how you like the yolk).



These little suckers were awesome. As a matter of fact I might go have one now :)
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