Monday, May 12, 2014

NEW Post: Simple Random Paleo-ish Noms

I'm getting right to it today. Countdown for wedding is 110 days, time to get on the train and get things done! But of course I haven't been on here forever, whats new? 

I've decided to put together some random simple recipes for your arsenal of cooking & creating. People can then be impressed by your cooking, but you know you don't really try hard. So basically it's a win-win situation. Got me?! Okay...

I love salads. Like a little kale with a whole bunch of toppings because I'm a topping kind of gal.  This dressing, I can NOT get enough of it. I crave it. Kinda of weird.

Lemon Basil Tahini Dressing

1 heaping Tb. of tahini

1 Tb. fresh lemon juice

1/2-1 Tb. EVOO

1 Tb. fresh basil, chopped or 1 tsp. dried basil

Dash of salt & pepper

* Optional: Dash of garlic & onion powder

*Optional: 1/2 Tb. nutritional yeast

Measure and mix together.  Top your favorite salad with this and enjoy it's wonderfulness. Easy, peasy. 

Burgers are my jam! I absolutely love me some red meat. I remember a time I hated the texture of steak & ground beef. I am for sure over those is a delish burger recipe using coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

No-Soy Sauce Burgers

1 lb. grass-fed ground beef

2 Tb. coconut aminos

Dash of salt & pepper

1/4 c. chopped onion or 1/2 tsp. onion powder

2 chopped cloves garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and evenly mix with meat. Separate and shape into 4 even patties. Grill or pan fry until slightly pink in the insides.  From here you can lettuce wrap, or just eat it straight up with a fork & knife. Side of spicy mustard is a must for me! NOM!

You all know I have a sweet tooth. Pancakes may be one of my favorite things. So of course I have a go to pancake recipe that is not full of sugar & gluten.  I've been staying away from nut flours also lately, so this one is coconut based. 
Try it out!

Coconut Blueberry Pancake

1 egg, whisked

1 Tb. applesauce

1 Tb. coconut milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 Tb. coconut flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Dash of salt 

Dash of cinnamon

1/4 c. blueberries

Combine all ingredients expect blueberries.  Pour into a skillet on medium-high heat. Once it looks set, place a tablespoon of blueberries evenly on top of the pancake.  Flip to the other side and cook for about a minute, making sure to not burn the blueberries.  Place onto plate and top with favorite topping (coconut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc) Place remaining blueberries on top!  Enjoy :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars {Gluten Free/Grain Free}

 Good evening friends! Currently watching NC State being awesome in the tournament. GO PACK!  I really need to quit making goodies for myself. But experimenting is fun so I don't want to stop. Can't stop, won't stop! I hope everyone had a fun filled St. Patty's day! DB and I went to Chicago and got to hang out with some awesome peeps. Drank too many bloody mary's but what else is new? 

Anywho, I'm sharing this delectable treat with you because I had a few peeps ask for it so I guess they can give it a try and let me know if it is really worth while ;) Also, I just want to say that I am really bad at measuring. I'm pretty sure I didn't even measure this besides the baking powder. But you can trust me, right?? I promise I will do better next time!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 
{Gluten Free/Grain Free}

1 1/2 c. almond flour (I made mine with raw almonds)

1/4 c. + 2 Tb. for topping unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp. baking powder

Dash of salt

1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

1/4 c. grass fed butter, melted

1/3 c. almond butter

1/4-1/3 c. honey (depending on sweetness)

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c.+ 2 Tb. for topping chocolate chips (could be Paleo depending on the type you get)

Directions:  Preheat oven for 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 pan with some oil/butter.  To make the almond flour from scratch, place almonds into food processor and grind until it becomes a fine powder.  
From there you can add the remainder of the dry ingredients into the processor and pulse a few times.  Add in the melted coconut oil, butter, almond butter, honey, eggs, and vanilla. Blend until combined.  From here mix in the chocolate chips.  Place dough evenly in the dish, top with the remaining chocolate chips (~2 Tb.) and a handful of shredded coconut (~2 Tb).  Place into oven and bake for about 25 minutes.  Let the bars cool. Please do this or else they will fall apart. (I guess more broken ones would mean more for taste tests?? ;)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Well HEYYYYY! Sugar Abatement...

Post Paleo Challenge: Sugar hates me. It's a good thing I guess...

But instead of boring you with some sob story about my sugar nonsense (I'll save that for another time) I will give you a chocolate chip cookie recipe & chia pudding recipe that you may want to try. Because we all need a treat once in a while. Am I right??!!

Chocolate Chip Puff Balls
(Notice I called them "puffs" because they turn out a bit puffier and softer than normal cookies, but still delicious)

1/3 c. amond butter, smooth

2 eggs

2-3 Tb. honey 

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. almond flour

1/4 c. coconut flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

1/3 c. chocolate chips of your choice 

Directions: Preheat the oven for 375.  Combine all wet ingredients (almond butter, eggs, honey, vanilla). Then add the dry ingredients besides chocolate chips. Once combined fold in chocolate chips. Place by rounded tablespoon onto a greased or parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 10ish minutes until slightly golden brown.  Let cool and enjoy.

*Note:  These are not super sweet. I am very sensitive to sweet now, and we are trying to take things down a notch in this household. Therefore, with baked goods I usually half it but try to make sure I even out the recipe based on the sugar reduction. Also, you can you use any chocolate chips you want. I usually use dark chocolate that I chop up or cocoa nibs but whatever should be fine :) These are gluten free and can be paleo depending on the chocolate you get.

 If you noticed in the picture above there is some weird looking goop. Yeah, that's chia pudding but don't worry it's mighty fine!

 Chia Coconut Pudding

1 c. coconut milk (or other milk if you want)

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2-1 Tb. honey or a few drops of Stevia

1/4 c. chia seeds

dash of cinnamon

Directions:  Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir until all chia seeds are coated, making sure they do not clump together.  Cover and place in refrigerator until set.  Stir and enjoy. 

This can be eaten with some bananas or other kind of fruit for breakfast or dessert! You can also take out the honey or stevia in which the pudding is still fab. I put a few pieces of dark chocolate on top because I wanted to :)

Alright, that's it for now folks! Enjoy this (silly) snow! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Paleo Challenge Review...What's Next?!

The time has come y'all! This past week was the final week of the 6 week Paleo challenge.  Can I just tell you that I really just want a Lost Dog gluten free pizza right now! HA! But for real, I do. See the thing is I really enjoyed the whole Paleo approach and I still do. It's just, I do want to LIVE life and have some gluten free pizza once in a while with CHEESE. And you know what it's okay. As long as I maintain feeling well and performing well, I will enjoy what I want while maintaining a Paleo approach. Treats have their time and place  ;)

Below are some thoughts I have in various topics:

* Overall, I had about the same mental aspects as I previously did. I may have got a little bit crazier than I am considering it has been super crazy at work BUT I think I was able to handle situations better than I may have before (more patience perhaps??). I tried some deep breathing during some stressful situations as well and it really does calm you down!

* Also, I felt mentally in control with this way of eating and did not feel deprived for treats too often! SCORE! I also don't think I have been as "moody".  My fiance is probably happy about that one ;)

* As I mentioned in the beginning of the challenge I had my case of stomach issues in the past and those issues have literally ALL disappeared through this challenge. It is so crazy to me, but I love it! Let's hope I am able to stay symptom free! (Update: I did eat some pizza (gluten free) with cheese then ice cream and I did NOT feel well. I suppose dairy is a big culprit of mine..and SUGAR! Get it together, Kayla...)

*I have felt strong during my workouts over the past few weeks.  Even days when I may have been a bit tired I was able to have some PR's! Woohoo!

*Honestly, I don't weigh myself like ever. I go by the clothes fit or body fat percent to find progress. My body fat percent has gone down 2 percent in a few months butttt I gained about 5+ish pounds?  Hmmm it's crazy how that happens...LIFT BIG! I attribute this to CrossFit (woohoo) and diet!

Time Management/Budget: 
*Eating Paleo does require some planning and preparation.  However, if you put a little time into preparing beforehand it really does not require too much time for cooking meals. I would make a large batch of food on Sundays or mid-week and that way I could use that for lunches & dinners through the week. I would normally make breakfast everyday which did not take more than 5-10 minutes total.

* Many people complain about the cost of eating Paleo.  Yes, it can be pricey but there are some ways you can save yourself money.  Superior quality food is worth it but can find bulk meats for at least $2-3 less a pound.  I look for sales on those meats in some of the organic markets, which I was able to find on many occasions.  Lastly, I know this time of year it may be difficult but farmers markets are a super way to keep the cost down while purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc.

Overall, I am happy with the challenge and learned a lot about myself during the adventure.  I found many new recipes that I will continue to enjoy.  I realized that I am able to feel great without taking TUMS or running to the bathroom on an everyday basis.  Lastly, I know that if I continue to feed myself real, nutrient dense foods I can continue to improve my health everyday :) Woohoo!

For those of you who are considering trying out a Paleo challenge or just trying it out for 6 weeks. I really do encourage you to give it a try. I do get many people telling me they don't like red meat or don't like many veggies. Well that does not mean you can't try it out. It may take a few small steps in the beginning but it is do-able and in the end it may be very beneficial for you individually!

I appreciate y'all staying with me through this and I plan to continue blogging new recipes and fitness ideas! Keep on keepin' on! Much love!


Monday, February 10, 2014

Random Paleo Nom-ing Recipes

Well hello! Stopping in this week to give you a few recipes I've been cooking up lately.  Try some if you want, but no hard feelings if you don't. I won't know anyways...

I called the post RANDOM because it is random, and I am random so it's only appropriate! Speaking of random I just want to stop and say that my job makes me laugh so much.  Sometimes I have to stop and think like did that really just happen?! Oh geez, some days are crazier than others but I wouldn't trade it for anything else!  Working in the fitness industry just makes my day :) 

Here is what you have coming... Bangin' Banana Bread, Cocoa Avocado Pudding, & Paleo Basil Pesto. Told you it was random...

Bangin' Banana Bread {Paleo}

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled

3 Tb. honey (or up to 1/4-1/3 c. if you like sweeter)

1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. almond flour

1/3 c. coconut flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

Preparation:  Preheat oven for 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper.  Combine all liquid ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined. Scrape the sides and pour in the dry ingredients.  Pulse until combined (do not over mix!!!). Pour the batter into the prepared load pan and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.  **Time for baking may differ but it should be ready between 40-50 minutes** Let cool & ENJOY!

I like to eat my bread topped with almond or sunbutter and a sprinkle of coconut! YUMMM

Cocoa Avocado Pudding {Individual Serving}

1/2 avocado, mashed

2 Tb. raw cocoa

1 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preparation:  Combine all the ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Enjoy by itself or try on top of a sweet potato for a snack!


Paleo Basil Pesto

2 cups, fresh & washed basil

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 Tb. almond butter

Salt & pepper to taste

Dash of onion & garlic powder (optional)

1/4-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:  Combine the basil and garlic cloves in food processor and blend until chopped very fine.  Add in the almond butter and seasonings.  While it is processing pour in the olive oil until consistency is reached.  You want a smooth consistency :) YUMMMMM.

I used the pesto to mix with my spaghetti squash, top my eggs, or burgers! I don't have a picture because I ate it all...oops. 
Here is a picture you might like instead. Random yet again, but beautiful...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Paleo Challenge: Week 4 & 5

Good morning people! Where have I been?  There is a thing called work and being busy that gets in the way of blogging.  I mean maybe if I got paid to blog that would be a different thing buttttt that is not happening...

I have combined the past two weeks in the post.  There may be a few differences than the past 3 weeks. Such as I may have had an alcoholic drink (WHAT?!) or some paleo banana bread! AH! But you know what...I don't care.  Seriously, I had a time in my life where I looked at certain foods in a negative way and how many calories were in that meal or how many grams of fat I had consumed. It was just so exhausting...I am SO over that time in my life.  Life is too short people!

With that being said.  It's not like I totally went off the challenge and demolished an entire cake.  I kept with drinks that contained limited additives or sugars and didn't get sh** faced and kept with "paleofied" banana bread with limited added sugars. Therefore, screw you Paleo police if you have a problem with that ;)

-Eggs + spinach + salsa
-Omelette ( bacon & bacon, turkey & spinach)
-Hardboiled eggs + coconut butter balls
-Burger + spinach + paleo garlic muffin

*All breakfast had coffee (duh)

-Applegate chicken sausages + sweet potato fries
-Spaghetti squash + bison burger + marinara sauce
-Burger + spinach
-Baked chicken + avocado + broccoli
-Omelette + sweet potato fries

-Burger + spaghetti squash + marinara sauce
-Chipotle!!!!! (salad, carnitas, guac, pico, fajita veggies)
-Chicken thighs + asparagus + carrot fries
-Wegmans salad bar (spinach, hard boiled eggs, chicken, broccoli, cauliflower)

-Celery + almond butter
-Coconut butter balls
-Banana bread (paleo)
-Carrots + cashew butter

 -CrossFit (3x during the week)
-45 min. treadmill run/walk
-Spin class (45 min.)
-Strength circuit

-Eggs + bacon + broccoli
-Eggs + banana bread (w/ almond butter)   
-Shredded chicken + banana bread (again ;)
-Paleo pancake + chicken sausage 

-Meatballs + spaghetti squash + celery/carrots
-Bison burgers + guacamole + celery
-Shredded chicken + butternut squash
-Tuna Salad ( lettuce, ahi tuna, mandarin oranges, cabbage, radish, orange vinegarette)
-Chicken Salad (lettuce, grilled chicken, hardboiled eggs, cucumbers, broccoli, brussel sprouts) 

-Burger + guacamole + broccoli
-Omelette + asparagus
-Chipotle (carnitas salad, same as week before)
-Shredded chicken + butternut squash
-Chicken sausage + broccoli + sweet potato

-Celery/carrots + almond butter
-Coconut butter balls
-Applegate turkey
-Sweet potato 
-Avocado cocoa pudding
-Banana bread 
-Bloody Mary (!!!), Dark & Stormy (gingerbeer in this was fabulous)

-CrossFit (4 days)
-Spin class (45 min.)
-Yoga (2 days)
-Strength circuit  
Overall, I am still happy with my progress.  My stomach is still doing great!  I have also noticed through this challenge what foods make me feel better than others (certain veggies). Some of them I try to stay away from considering their effects on my body. For example, peppers make me burp a lot. Not saying these foods are "bad" for me just that digestively they are not the best for my body.  It's interesting! 

Well I will be back next week for my overall thoughts of the 6 week challenge! Have a good one!

 Keep training hard!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Week 3: Paleo Travel...+Cheat Day

It is Monday (Tuesday...oops) and I am just sitting down to write my thoughts from the past week. This is because...Yes, I sometimes do have a life. I flew to Nashville for a wonderful wedding where I got to see many of my bestest friends. It was so much fun! Honestly, I thank God that I found such wonderful girls whom will always be a part of my life. I miss them already. Anywho, enough of the sappy stuff. Here is what went down this week...

Travel + Paleo is do-able. However, you need to plan ahead! Actually, I have a funny story from the airport...Literally the only thing I could seem to get Paleo at the airport was a burger. So of course I ordered and said NO bun & NO cheese and when he finished my burger he said "Your PALEO burger is ready!!" I just had to laugh...guess this whole thing is catching on! 

Really though you need to plan some things.  I brought snacks (bananas, almond butter, beef jerky) with me for the airport and breakfast at the hotel because I was not sure what they had. However, they provided bananas, eggs, hardboiled eggs, and some other fruit that I was able to eat. I DID take my cheat day on Saturday (hello, it's a wedding...give me some drinks!) This was great! I did not go overboard basically had alcohol and some cake. It was AWESOME! However, it felt good to get back on track the next day.

Week 3: Eats & Workouts

-Eggs + bacon + broccoli
-Pizza Spaghetti Squash Pie + banana (haha yup)
-Omelet w/ spinach & bacon
-Hardboiled eggs + banana w/ almond butter
*All breakfast with coffee

-Mustard Glazed Pork Loin + kale chips +paleo garlic muffin
-Grilled Tuna w/ spinach, avocado, & cauliflower (salad)
-Pizza Spaghetti Squash Pie + broccoli & carrots
-Chipotle bowl (carnitas, lettuce, pico, fajita veggies, guacamole)
 -Grilled chicken bites w/ mustard

-Grilled Tuna + kale chips & green salad
-Mustard Pork Loin + sweet potato fries & broccoli
-Grassfed hamburger w/ guacamole, lettuce & tomato + broccoli
-Ham, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies 

-hard boiled eggs
-almond or cashew butter balls
-banana w/ almond butter
-paleo dessert muffin
-carrots  & cucumbers
-chocolate cake & cookie (CHEAT DAY!!!!) 

-40 minute run + CrossFit (Press strength + WOD)
-35 minute run + CrossFit (OHS strength + AMRAP WOD)
-CrossFit (Double unders, KB work)
-Tabata circuit
-4 mile run + 15 minute strength circuit

Well that's it folks! I hope your 4th week goes smoothly...we are almost there! Leaving you with a picture you can't help but smile...we all have rough days but we got to keep on swimming :)