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 :)
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