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!