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 :)


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snack Attack {Part 2}

Good afternoon kind friends! Today is a SNOW DAY! Woohoo! Currently, I am sitting here with Reggie (my crazy cat) drinking a cup of joe. Just the usual.  I wanted to put together two more recipes for y'all to try out whenever you need a healthy afternoon pick me up...or have a hangry moment.  That is probably one of my favorite words. So true and so funny. Anwaysssss...

Today I have a few other favorites of mine:  Kale Chips and Homemade Almond Butter!

Kale Chips
-1 large bag of kale, washed & dried
-2 Tb. coconut oil, melted
-2 garlic cloves, chopped really small!
-1 tsp. onion powder
-1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder or reg. chili powder, whatever
-2 Tb. almond flour
-salt & pepper

Directions:  Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Combine the coconut oil, garlic, onion powder, chili powder, salt & pepper, and almond flour in a small dish.  Place the washed and dried kale into a large bowl and add the mixture ensuring all kale is coated.  Place the kale on a large foiled baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.  After it is done baking turn the oven off and let it sit in the oven for another 20-30 minutes (this helps dry it out more, I get so antsy though, ugh).  

Okay, so it really is best to eat the kale chips at once because they do not stay as crispy when you store them away. However, I've had decent luck with placing a few paper towels in with the kale chips and sealing them in an airtight container. YUMMMM!

Homemade Almond Butter  
-2 or 2 1/2 c. roasted unsalted almonds
-Ninja/Vitamix/Food processor
-That is it!

Directions:  Place the almonds into a food processor, ninja, get the point.

I place my Ninja on about a 4 or 5 and flip the start switch.  Let it go for about 3 minutes.

This is when the oils start to come out and goes from a powder to a crumbly mixture. Stir the sides and let it go again.

Keep processing until there are no more pieces and a smooth consistency is visible. From here you place it in an airtight container and you can decide if you put it in the refrigerator or keep it out. Also, eat on anything. I mean it. An-y-thing. Well okay so I usually put it on: carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, celery, pancakes, a spoon, etc. Eat it up!

Well stay warm folks! Let me know if you try any of these and your thoughts!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week 2: Paleo Challenge {In the Swing of Things}

How's is going? Week 2 is sort of like "okay I know what I need to do, so it's sticking to it" type of week. After Week 1 and figuring out a schedule of planning my cooking/snacks this week it was more of just ensuring I stuck to the planning. I know sometimes it is time consuming to prepare all  your meals by scratch but I personally love cooking so this thing is fun for me!  However, the recipes I make do NOT take a lot of time. 

So if you read my post on snacks the other day you may have seen some sugar in them!! You guys caught me...dang it. Yes, I had a little bit of sugar this week.  However, I did not include the fruits as I had been planning to. So some natural sugars were okay for me.  Those sweet potato fries were the best things ever...I didn't even need ketchup (sugar haven). 

So with further a due...meals and workouts for Week 2...

Week 2 Eats:

-eggs+spinach, avocado
-grass-fed burger + broccoli
-eggs+ bacon +broccoli/kale
-spinach + artichoke omlette + bacon

*all breakfast included coffee+coconut milk

-grass-fed burger + broccoli +olives
-salad (carrots, peppers, avocado) + chicken
-Chipotle salad bowl (carnitas, pico de gallo, grilled veggies, guacamole)
-chicken thighs +yellow squash + cauliflower soup
-bison burger + cauliflower soup 
-Applegate hotdog + sweet potato fries w/ almond butter

-Chicken thighs + squash + paleo muffin (egg, coconut oil, coconut flour, garlic powder, baking powder, pepper, salt)
-Grassfed burger + cauliflower soup w/ pesto
-Grilled salmon + veggies + salad (balsamic)
-Bison burger + broccoli & parsnips 
 -Chipotle salad ( carnitas, pico de gallo, guacamole, fajita veggies)
-PaleOMG Pizza Spaghetti Pie + salad 

-hard boiled eggs
-almond coconut balls
-paleo muffin (coconut flour, egg, vanilla, baking powder, coconut milk topped with almond butter/walnuts)
-sunbutter + carrots 
-sweet potato fries

-CrossFit: Press (3x5), 15 AMRAP : 15 Push Press, 15 KB Swings, 15 Abmat Situps)
-CrossFit: Tabata circuit, 20 AMRAP: 8 Strict Pull-ups, 8 Box Jumps, 12 KB Swings
-35 minutes cardio (holy incline)
-20 min. spin in class + REST
-CrossFit: Buddy WOD (60 DL, 60 Burpee Pull-ups/Box Jumps, 60 Cleans, 60 T2B, 2 Rope Climbs) + 3 mile run
-CrossFit Strength:  Deadlifts (5x3) @ 190, 3 ct. strict pull-ups, farmer carries...grip killers...

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snack Attack: Nut Butter Balls & Sweet Tater Fries!

Good afternoon lovely people!  I hope everyone is making it through the week in one piece. This week has been weird. It felt long and I felt completely out of it. Oh, and I cut myself really bad. Like it wouldn't stop bleeding for over an hour...but anyways. Yeah, it was an interesting week & I was busy doing various things that NEEDED to be done! So that was my rambling...onto the food!

Then again...

During this paleo challenge I have been having snacks during the day.  Always been a snack person and always will be, so that is that.  With that being said I have been coming up with some random things to make & take for snacks.  These two recipes are my FAVORITE snacks ever...

Nut Butter Balls {2 ways} & Sweet Tater Fries

Almond Coconut Butter Balls
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. coconut flakes
1/2 c. coconut butter
1-2 Tb. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Dash of salt

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  Shape into tablespoon sized balls. Place onto a plate or small baking sheet, cover, and place into the refrigerator until hardened.  Eat or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator! These buggers are so freaking addicting...I warned you!

Carob Walnut Butter Balls
1  c. walnuts
1/4 c. coconut flakes
1/3 c. carob powder
1/3 c. coconut butter
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt

Directions: Place walnuts into a food processor (I used a Ninja) and process until an slight butter begins to form. You do not want a completely smooth butter for these! Place the walnut "not-butter" into a medium sized bowl.  Add in the carob powder, coconut flakes, coconut butter, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix until combine. The mixture will be a slight crumble.  From here form into tablespoon sized balls and place on a plate or small baking sheet.  Cover and place them into the refrigerator until fully hardened. From here eat them or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator!

Sweet Tater Fries {Individual Serving}
1 medium sized sweet potato
1/2 Tb. Coconut oil
Salt & pepper

Directions: Preheat oven for 425 degrees.  Cut the sweet potato into sticks (cut in half and then cut in half again, go from there...) place on a foiled baking sheet.  Melt coconut oil and pour onto sweet potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper, toss around until well coated.  You could also do this in a bowl if you think it's easier.  I'm just lazy and don't want to dirty another dish. Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes then flip over.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until they are browned and crispy! NOM!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 1: Paleo Challenge

Hello friends! Week 1 was not as expected.  Since I've basically been on a sugar high for the past month I thought this week would be really hard for me...sugar cravings...the normal. BUT it was not bad at all, the blasphemy!!

Don't I sound like an infomercial?? Ugh. But I mean this by saying that I felt great during my workouts and rarely starving for something sweet after my dinner in the evening (not saying I never wanted to eat a big bowl of fruit...). I was trying to stay away from fruit just this week so it wouldn't spark those super sugar cravings.  However, Saturday after my workout I needed a carb stat so I had a banana w/ almond butter and it was heaven!! Next week I will incorporate probably a fruit a day or every other.

The past year(s) I've been dealing with stomach issues, ya know the good stuff... :/ Since testing out the Paleo way of eating the past few months, these issues have been getting better and just this week I rarely had any problems. Extra credit!

So what have the meals looked like for week 1? Here ya go! (Remember this is just what I ate, I am no registered dietitian or for that matter a biochemist, but ya know ;)

Week 1: Paleo Challenge

-Omelette (eggs, spinach/kale, coconut milk) w/ bacon + hot sauce
-Mini beef sliders w/ broccoli & spaghetti squash + pesto  (homemade)
-Chicken thighs + Bubby's sauerkraut & olives
-Bison burger & spinach/broccoli

*All breakfasts included 1 cup coffee

-Spaghetti squash w/ meat sauce(homemade w/ bison) + roasted broccoli + walnuts (3 days, love this)
-Roasted chicken thighs w/ summer squash + half avocado or w/ broccoli (2 days)
-Bison burger + roasted broccoli
-Broiled haddock +banana/almond butter (random, I know)
-Homemade Cauliflower Soup + Applegate grass fed hot dog+mustard

-hard boiled eggs
-walnuts or almonds
-carrot sticks w/ almond butter
-coffee w/ coconut milk
-almond butter coconut cups (literally almond butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, coconut)
-coconut paleo muffin
-sunbutter balls (homemade sunflower flour, almond butter, coconut)
-cucumber slices

-Spaghetti squash w/ meat sauce + roasted asparagus
-Beef mini sliders w/ mustard + roasted asparagus
-Kayla's chipotle bowl ( lettuce, red & green salsa, grilled onions/peppers, carnitas, guacamole, hot sauce)
-Breakfast for dinner (omelet w/ spinach + bacon) 
-Bison burgers + spinach & olives
-Broiled haddock + broccoli & olives 

-Full body circuit (4 circuits/3 rounds), 30 min. cardio (bike/ treadmill intervals)
-30 min. cardio + ab circuit
-CrossFit: Back squat (strength, 5x5) + Fran (ugh)
-CrossFit: Sumo deadlifts (strength, 5x5) + 7 Min AMRAP Rx: 65lb (1 deadlift, 1 thruster, 2,2 etc.)
-CrossFit: Rope Climbs + 10 Rounds Partner WOD (10 T2B, 15 Burpee Box Jumps, 10 C2B Pull-ups, 15 Hang Cleans)...umm this was hard but fun!
-Strength/Core circuit + 30 min. cardio

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chicken Thigh Time!

Happy day people! It's a beautiful day and it's great to be alive. Quote I live by...even when it's raining & cold!
I of course love EASY & FAST recipes. Do not give me a recipe that takes 45 minutes to prep... no ones got time for that! So today I've got another quick recipe for you to get y'all through this Paleo Challenge craziness. Enter my 
Stupid Easy Chicken Thighs. Here we go...

Stupid Easy Chicken Thighs

1 1/2 pounds organic chicken thighs (boneless, however you could use bone-in that's but that's just what Wegmans had)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder or real garlic (1-2 cloves)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions: Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the coconut oil and let it heat up.  Wash and pat the chicken thighs dry.  Place in the skillet giving the thighs appropriate amount of space to get delicious. Then top with half of the seasonings. (If you want other seasonings, go ahead I'm not stopping you. I am sure they are more delicious anyways :)  Cook for about 5-7 minutes on the first side and flip over add the remainder of the seasonings to finish cooking on the other side until the thighs are completely cooked through.  At this time eat them because they are hot and juicy..nommmm.

I paired my chicken thighs with summer squash even though it's not summer, and a half avocado. It was delicious. The end!

**Bonus: Roasted Summer Squash & Broccoli
2-3 yellow or green summer squash or zucchini 
1 medium head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 Tb. coconut oil, melted
salt & pepper
fresh thyme
*optional: chili powder, red pepper flakes, etc.

Preheat oven for 400 degrees. Wash and cut squash into 1/4 in. slices and broccoli into florets.  Place onto a a foiled lines baking sheet.  Pour melted coconut oil over the slices/florets and sprinkle with salt &  pepper, thyme, and other seasonings if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden :) Then enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mom's Spaghetti & Meat Sauce (Paleofied)

Here is a quick recipe post that is easy and will last all week for this Paleo Challenge!  I bring to you Mom's Spaghetti & Meat Sauce! Obviously it's called Mom's because she has always used this recipe and its the best sauce ever!
* This picture shows meatballs, but you can easily make them as well. Look below for the modification.*

Mom's Spaghetti & Meat Sauce!

1 lb. ground grass-fed beef or bison
3 small cans organic tomato sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
optional: red pepper flakes

1 spaghetti squash (any size!)
coconut oil
salt & pepper
optional: garlic powder

Sauce:  Preheat oven for 415 degrees. In a medium sized pot place the ground beef/bison and onion on medium heat. Cook until the beef is browned, then drain! Add the tomato sauce & seasonings, bring to a boil. After the sauce boils turn the heat to low and cover. Stir periodically and let it simmer for 1 hour. *For meatballs: place ground beef in a bowl and combine with a 1/4 of the onion and salt/pepper. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then add to sauce.*

Spaghetti: Meanwhile, poke holes in the squash and place in a microwavable glass bowl with a bit of water.  Place in the microwave and heat for about 5-8 minutes until it gets slightly soft. Remove and cut into two halves (this part is tricky so be careful, we want all our digits!), remove seeds. Place on a foiled baking sheet and place about a tablespoon of coconut oil on the halves and season with salt and pepper. Flip over so the squash is skin side up and bake for about 45 minutes.  Let cool and with a fork remove the delicious spaghetti! Top with meat sauce and ENJOY!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Paleo Challenge for 2014! Eekk!

Well hello there! I have been long gone on this little blog thing because I do what I want, am I right?! Yes. However, I am going to begin a Paleo Challenge (eek I know!) and I wanted to write about my experience as I went along. 

I have been eating somewhat "Paleo" for the past few months. Yes, it's been a bit of a change but I've been trying out some different things to make and it's been fun! Now I don't get into all this craziness with this way of eating and people seriously get their panties in a bunch about what is Paleo and what isn't and how it's good or bad. But with a lot of research I've read I decided to take it on and focus on a 6 week "Paleo Challenge" with my CrossFit box. (Yes, I do CrossFit and yes I call it a "box").  I thought it was the perfect opportunity because others will be completing the challenge and it's always good to have that support!


Basically, you eat REAL food. No, not food that comes out of the freezer section wrapped in plastic that is marked "natural".  BUT real, whole food...

Examples (this is not a complete list):

-grass fed beef
-free range chicken
-wild caught fish
-cage free eggs
-bacon (higher quality)
-lamb (higher quality)
-pork (higher quality)
-vegetables--lots of color! (asparagus, artichokes, carrots, spinach, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.)
-coconut milk (full fat)/almond milk
-coconut oil
-extra virgin olive oil
-nuts & seeds (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
-fruits (avocado, apples, blueberries, lime, lemon, raspberries, etc.)

*Sparingly eaten foods (consider physical activity)--> sweet potatoes, bananas, acorn squash, yams

**Organic for most if possible

The meals will be around 3-4 per day and will consist of a protein, vegetable, and healthy fat! The sweet potatoes/bananas (w/almond butter...duh) will be kept for post workout either a part of the meal or snack. Woohoo!

I will also keep my CrossFit workouts to 3x a week and probably 2 more sessions of some kind of activity. So basically sticking to 5x week exercise. 

Of course these are my goals and hopes. If something happens that strays from my goals I will try to fix what I can to stay with it! Here's to determination! (...or at least that's what I am thinking in my head).

Basically, the reason I am doing this is to see how my body reacts to this type of eating since I am that one who will enjoy too many sweets all the time...I mean especially during this holiday season. It's New Year's Resolution time so perfect I right?! So with some measurements and my physical/mental state it will help me to determine my future with the Paleo way of eating.

So with further a due I am taking on this Paleo Challenge craziness! Woohoo! Who is with me?! Let's do this!