It's the simple joys in life...like coconut
I typically don't blog this early in the day, but I am so excited with my new little concoction. I work from 10-7pmEST, and I eat breakfast around 9ish. So it is 12:33pm and I start getting a little hungry. I am trying to gravitate away from always snacking on nuts at this time, so I came to work armed with my leftover can of coconut milk (I made coconut whipped cream the other night for my pumpkin custard). So I brewed a cup of black cinnamon tea and poured in a significant amount of coconut milk and then dumped no small portion of sprinkled cinnamon on top. FABULOUS. I know this isn't like Julia Child's kitchen here, but I was amazed by how perfectly creamy and sweet it was with no sugar and considering that the coconut milk was more watered down than normal since I had scraped all the cream off the top the night before. Breakfast was equally as amazing.
Day 17 Grub:
B: lamb sausage with artichoke, red onion, topped with poached egg and FM pink tomato. Today, I broke out my new little egg-ring I bought. Cheesy, but the thing is incredible. I did "legit" poached eggs yesterday in a pan, but Eric summed it up perfectly: "I just feel like we don't end up with as much egg this way." A decent portion of the white decides it doesn't want to cuddle with the yolk and abandons ship. So the egg ring is perfect for this problem. I still get a wonderfully poached egg with all the egg. I wish I could give you all tasters of the lamb sausage. It's incredibly juicy and the fat drippings are so tasty.
S: coconut/cinnamon tea and concord grapes
And later on today here is the menu-
L: BA Salad
S: apple slices and almonds
D: the cavegirl dish: Grilled Salmon with Red Pepper Salsa and Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad I am so excited for this! I got a huge fillet of wild caught alaskan salmon on sale a while back, and I was more than happy to finally pull it out of the freezer.
And now I must rave about last night's dinner. Thank you thank you, Elana's Pantry, for the amazing recipe-http://www.elanaspantry.com/rosemary-apple-chicken/. Everyone else, YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS! I followed the directions to a T and the chicken came out incredible. And when you're cooking with a $15 chicken, it's important not to screw it up. I made gravy out of the pan drippings which will probably be the best gravy ever. The combination of balsamic, rosemary, and apple was to die for. I had cooked the chicken before Eric and I went climbing, so needless to say, I could not focus to save my life on climbing. I was mentally drooling over the chicken until we got home. Every once in a while, it's nice to eat caveman style, so Eric barehanded ripped the leg/thighs off that bird and threw them on a plate where we quickly devoured every shred of meat on those bones. Thank you, "beyond organic" pastured, non-GMO fed chicken, for allowing me to eat your deliciously crispy skin which I would always previously pick off and discard. Dessert was equally as amazing-http://www.elanaspantry.com/pumpkin-custard/. Elana's pantry is incredible I tell you. This was almost the easiest thing I have ever made as it was all done in the food processor. Topped with coconut whipped cream, I left the table absolutely stuffed. I had planned on doing my FM green beans with bacon and red onion, but we were so hungry when we got home we just ate them plain with our fingers. Did I mention I covered them in a bit of the pastured pork lard from the FM? Delicious! Tomorrow at work we are having a pitch-in lunch, and I still haven't decided what to make. So far, there are a variety of macaroni salads, coleslaw, brownies and the like, ect...if you have any ideas throw them at me. Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Ext of Day 17...I needed to add on after what an amazing WOD I had today. I started off completely unmotivated. The weather is gloomy, I was feeling sluggish and tired, and all I really wanted to do was eat my BA salad. But as usual, once you kick your butt into gear, you won't regret it. Plus, I had records to beat. Today was my burpee, situp, squat, prisoner-getup challenge day. As soon as I hit the timer to start my 100 burpees, I heard my brain say, "Meaghan, there will be some days you don't beat your record. And you have to be okay with that. Today just isn't your day." And I agreed. For like, 5 seconds. Then I came to my senses, told my brain to shut its pie hole, and told my muscles to get it in gear. The big moment...I FINALLY DID IT! I completed the 100 burpees in under 10 minutes challenge!!!....WITH A TIME OF 9:30!!! So, I cut almost a minute off of my prior time and was totally stoked. To top it off, I beat all my other records as well.
Day 17 WOD:
100 burpees in 9:30!!! (53 seconds cut)
100 situps in 4:11 PR (29 sec cut)
100 squats in 3:18 PR (32 sec cut)
50 prisoner get-ups in 3:43 PR (27 sec cut)
So I was super dead at the end, and mowed down my BA salad in no time. Loving the apple/balsamic combo. No surprise, I was still a little hungry so I had a small handful of almonds and 2 squares of my Dagoba xocolatl bar (amazing: rich dark chocolate, chilies & nibs). And now I'm so looking forward to my salmon dinner...
Good morning 10 degrees below the average, Indianapolis. It's quite cold. Yesterday was phenomenal-perfect weather by all accounts. I thoroughly enjoyed my 15 minute sub break. I worked through lunch so that I could leave early since I was going to go to the climbing gym before Eric got home from school.
Day 18 Grub:
B: Fried okra with bacon-I know right?!? I'm from NC, so I don't know how southern that makes me to warrant fried okra but it was good. I cooked the bacon first, then "breaded" the egg-dipped okra rings in almond meal. Pretty simple and I fried it till it was nice and crispy, served it with crumbled bacon, and topped it with Valentina! Yesterday at work was also the company Pitch-In where everyone brings a dish to share. There was literally nothing there to suit a caveman. The only thing that was on the fence was the Italian beef which was swimming in a pool of unknown liquids. Plus, I came armed with my leftovers from the previous night's salmon dinner, so I knew goodness awaited me. There were brownies, cookies, cupcakes, chips, pies, you name it, they had it. And, in all honesty, I swear to you, cross my heart, I WAS NOT TEMPTED! Unbelievable right? A huge chocolate cake dripping with chocolate fudge? How could that not stir the senses? It's all about the Hump, people. I can't say exactly when it hits. In fact, you'll probably hit it then find one again next month. Who knows. All I'm saying is that, at some point, it gets easier to resist those prior temptations. When you keep filling your body with what it truly craves and thrives on, the other crap is just that-crap. Now what is tantalizing would be a homemade chocolate cake from my kitchen. You can make equivalents of almost anything that you used to crave from your SAD diet. I need to make Eric paleo brownies soon before he abandons ship on my again. So yesterday was a huge success as far as resisting temptations goes (since there truly wasn't any really).
Climbing was awesome. Eric has decided he will only climb 2 days a week since he feels like he recovers the best at that frequency. For me, I feel like that's too long and I feel weaker. So I went solo last night, and I felt great. I easily repeated a couple of newly-sent problems, and made significant progress on some others that I had really struggled with before. Afterwards, I got to come home to my wonderful husband and psychopath puppy and feast on leftovers from Elana's Pantry chicken from 2 nights back. I reheated the chicken with the gravy I made from the pan drippings, reheated the green beans with the LO apple slices and some toasted hazelnuts. I also made up the roasted cauliflower recipe from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook...IT WAS AWESOME! Super easy, and the dressing was phenomenal. I used purple cauliflower; I love colors. It was so fun to eat. Eric swears up and down it "tasted purple" whatever that means. Either way, super yummy meal, and finished off with a couple pieces of Green & Black 85%, I was happy as a clam.
Today: Trifecta! Pay day, Friday, and Jeans day at work!
Day 19 Grub:
B: Breakfast pizza! Cooking Demo – Breakfast Paleo Pizza! | Everyday Paleo
S: I didn't finish all my breakfast so I brought that. Also, my new-usual cup of cinnamon tea with coconut milk.
L: LO chicken with salad
S: herbal tea and concord grapes
D: Uh...what do I have planned? Crap-I don't! We may use one of our restaurant gift cards from our wedding present stash tonight. We got a gift card to this new restaurant called Seasons 52 which features locally grown, in season delicious dishes. I am already drooling looking at their menu.
I will update later this afternoon after my WOD. It's cold, but hopefully it won't be raining. I have in mind to do my sprint workout today.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Day 22 of the PB Challenge! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend; I certainly did. As you know, I didn't have any dinner planned for Friday, but Eric and I went on a Whole Foods shopping date where I bought fixins to make Cottage Flower Pie. (Paleo Comfort Food: Cottage-Flower Pie | theclothesmakethegirl) Another huge winner! I will never fail to be amazed by cauliflower. That one will definitely show up again.
Saturday morning at the farmer's market was FREEZING. That has been the theme; the morning starts off freezing and then the afternoon turns into a beautiful sunny 70ish day. I spent basically all day Saturday in my kitchen-and I love it! I made FOUR soups! Emily came over to keep me company while food was flying all over the kitchen. One of my friends gave me this amazing soup cookbook, and I plan to try to cook through as much of it as I can this fall/winter.
My four soups:
1-spicy cilantro tomato
2-creamy summer tomato
Before I started making the soups, I had started my carnitas!!! carnitas « the crankin' kitchen!
I followed the recipe to a T and got amazing results! I had made a spicy cabbage slaw to go with it (cabbage, carrots, poblanos, banana peppers) and we splurged and got a small block of raw yogurt cheese from the market (first time we've had cheese in a while). We also got organic corn tortillas and salsa verde. It truly was a feast to remember, and we all felt just fine afterward. While I don't plan on making corn/cheese anything more than a sparse/once in a blue moon treat, it was all too fitting to serve with carnitas. Eric is such an amazingly wonderful husband he did almost all my dishes from my kitchen craze.
Sunday-the day I had been looking forward to all week long. Eric and I knocked out about an hour and a half of climbing before I got on the road to Champaign, IL. My grandpa was having his 83rd birthday, and all my family was making a day of it at Curtis Orchard. It was a beautiful day, and my grandpa and my dad helped me fill my half-peck bag with beautiful Golden Delicious apples straight from the orchard. I also bough a peck of Honeycrisp which may just be my favorite for baking/eating. There were so many amazing looking jams/preserves, but alas, all with an unhealthy dump of sugar. After the orchard, it was back to my aunt's house to feast. This was my first family function after going paleo, and I was psyched to share my new dishes. I made a delicious warm purple cabbage spinach salad with a balsamic vinagrette which was a huge hit. I also made sweet potato salad with my homemade chipotle chili cilantro mayo. They held their own against the cheesy/sour creamy white potato salad my mom made and the pasta salads and rolls. We had 2 huge smoked pork butts which were to die for! Dinner was soon followed with an array of delicious looking desserts, and I remained steadfast. I had, after all, made my own paleo-approved apple crisp to compete with my mom's. It was phenomenal, and though I didn't try my mom's to compare, I couldn't have been happier with mine. All it needed was some coconut ice cream, but I hadn't had time to make my own. I do have leftovers though, so I may be whipping some up this week. Overall, everyone was thrilled with my exciting, new dishes and are looking forward to what I will be featuring for Thanksgiving. Certainly, the pumpkin custard from Elana's Pantry will probably be making an appearance.
I started this week with a delicious breakfast of "eggs in a nest" of chard, red kale, and cabbage topped with some hot Italian chicken sausage from TJ's. I have a Golden Delicious apple and almond butter as my mid morning snack (along with my now-regular cinnamon tea with coconut milk). Lunch is LO bacon/egg/avocado/tomato salad from the Reader-Inspired Cookbook on MDA with some greens. I have planned my grass-fed beef patties from the FM along with carrot fries for dinner tonight. I got a sweet manager special 99 cents price on 2 portabello mushroom caps, so I bought 2 packages for our "buns" tonight. I will be posting my WOD later this afternoon-back to work now...
WOD for today:
51 pushups PR!!!
14 divebombers PR I believe
4 minute forearm plank!!! PR!!!
1 Lake Lap
14 forearm to hand planks
Overall, I was psyched. The weather was glorious; I had brought a long sleeve and ended up ditching it. On my first cycle during forearm plank, I was feeling tired and mentally resigned myself to just trying to make it to 2:30. Then, my ba side got fired up and said it was time to set a new PR. 4 minutes! Only one more minute to go. I hope the weather stays this good; I'm feeling like I'm headed for a winter depression with no warm sun breaks at work. My lunch was incredible by the way. It cracks me up how counter-CW it is. It was basically a big bowl-o-fat. Avocado, egg, bacon...atop a bed of greens. I was so wonderfully full after eating it that I still haven't eaten my concord grapes I had brought. I love how filling good fat it! D
Have a wonderful evening, everyone. Dear hubby has asked me to stop at TJ's to buy more ginormously-huge butternut squashes. I seriously think his nose and ears are going to tint orange here very soon. I almost hope they do as that would truly amuse me. Good eatin' and good night!
Are we still eating PBJ?
We sure as heck are! Day 23 of the PB Challenge! And, I haven't totally dropped ball with blogging yet. I figured I would have fallen off the wagon way back. I am so happy that I'll actually be able to go back to this to reference my workout scores and past recipes.
To start things off, I'm going to rave about how amazing my burgers were last night. Sloppy, juicy, succulent messes on our plates. 100% grass-fed patties with raw yogurt cheese topped with tomato with dill, my homemade mayo, field greens, LO purple cabbage salad all smooshed between two marinated then baked portabello mushroom caps! Now someone get on me about that run-on sentence. It was totally worth it. The mush caps were marinated in balsamic with some oregano, basil, and garlic then baked along with my carrot french fries! Dinner was phenomenal. Was I pretty eating it? No. I had juices dripping down my hands during the entire events, but it was so worth it. Eric was slightly disappointed I hadn't made sweet potato fries as though are his favorites, but the carrot ones were almost equally delicious. We were both pleasantly stuffed, but that didn't stop us from having a little of my paleo-apple crisp later that evening. Last night, I also pre-roasted our butt squash since this morning we had butt squash with sauteed onions and sweet apple chicken sausage from TJs. It's hilarious how much Eric loves that breakfast. I've been looking closely and his ears/nose haven't tipped orange yet. I feel it's only a matter of time. Well, let me organize the grub as I usually do.
Day 23 Grub:
B: Butt squash with chicken apple sausage
S: Pistachios and honeycrisp apple with almond butter
L: Roasted sweet potato salad with wild-caught salmon
S: Concord grapes (if I'm hungry for them)
D: Sushi! With fried cauli rice
Dessert: we may just have to finish off my apple crisp.
No WOD today. I'm tired from yesterday, but I'm going to go climbing at the gym tonight. I sent one problem last time that I had been stuck on, and hopefully I'll send another project tonight. (sorry for climbing lingo). I did do two sets of 10 pullups during my 15 min Vit D break this morning at work. The weather here is actually surprisingly gorgeous. I checked the 10 day weather forecast and it's SUNNY AND 70S THE WHOLE STRETCH! Amazing I tell you! I am definitely going to be soaking up the sun this week. Get some yourself and enjoy the last week of the challenge!
Sun-day Sun-day Sun-day
Multiple days of sun! Loving it! It's actually bordering on too-warm I dare so. No please! I'm not complaining, I swear! Winter will be here all too soon. My building is located right next to the Marriott hotel and since we often rent rooms from them for conferences/town hall meetings, I stopped in the other day to ask a special favor. Yes, I was that person. The weird girl who comes in asking to use their pool during the winter. I have since received an email that their manager was checking with her manager, so hopefully it'll be a go. I'm that person that will ask for pretty much anything. The worst someone can say is "no", right? I'm all about standing up for yourself and taking ownership. This goes back to our debacle at restaurants too, people. Don't get pressured or guilt-tripped into not asking for what you deserve. You'll get different reactions everywhere you go. A couple weeks ago when Eric and I stopped to eat at Applebees before Cirque du Soleil, our waitress was less than helpful when I was inquiring about gluten-free dressings. And I'm lucky because I don't actually have celiacs or a severe gluten-intolerance. But our waitress didn't know that. For all she knew, I did have celiacs, and she still was less than helpful. But in those instances, we work with what we've got.
Ok, I can barely contain myself about yummy food discussion.
Day 24 Grub
B: Scotch eggs!!! Protein wrapped in protein wrapped in protein. Hard-boiled egg encased in sweet Italian pork sausage from Simpson's Family Farm, rolled in almond meal/shredded coconut, then finished off with a piece of bacon. AMAZING! Served with the rest of my red cabbage salad and zucchini. Can you think of a better breakfast???
S: cinnamon tea with coconut milk, small apple with almond butter
L: LO sweet tate/salmon salad on top of greens with concord grapes
D: In the crockpot. Stuffed green peppers from Reader Created Cookbook on MDA
WOD Day 24:
2 lake laps complete with pullups, sprints, wall "box" jumps, traversing the brick wall, jack-knives, etc.
Have a wonderful "hump" day of the week, everyone!
Squash squash squash...AND A QUESTION?!?
Squash in the morning, squash in the evening, squash no matter how you're feeling (if you read it right, it will rhyme). The top of my fridge is basically a squash patch. Butternut, winter, spaghetti, pumpkins, etc. If there are some squash-haters out there, I strongly encourage you to give it a second go this fall. It is so versatile and doesn't take any more work than cut, scoop, and pop. Cut in half. Scoop out seeds. Pop in oven. Done and delicious!
Day 25 Grub:
B: Winter squash with LO pork scramble-I made the squash last night and left it in the oven (turned off of course) overnight so all I had to do was reheat it in the morning. I also had leftover pork/cabbage/carrot stuffing from my stuffed pepper dinner last night which I topped the squash with. Such an amazingly warm, tummy filling breakfast. And no eggs. I mean, I love eggs. Love them. But it's nice to have yummy, filling meals without eggs.
S: LO butt squash/apple chicken sausage, cinnamon stick tea with coconut milk, and pistachios
L: I made some Chicken and Chard from Everyday Paleo's site. Couldn't have been easier, and it looks beautiful.
D: Will be LO fried cauli-rice with shrimp since Eric and I needed something fast as we're climbing tonight.
I will be posting the PBF-LHT WOD later this afternoon. I just returned from my Vit-D sun break outside. Twas truly heavenly.
Let's get some feedback for this one: What has been your favorite part of this 30 day Challenge??? I would love to hear what has you all really psyched and pumped!
52 pushups PR
15 divebombers PR
3 minutes forearm plank-I know, it was hot, I was tired, I was starving, and I gave up at 3 minutes.
30 second chin-above-tree-branch hold
10 forearm to palm planks
And for one final excuse...Eric and I are planning on climbing tonight, so I wasn't as motivated as I probably could have been.
Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter, Stop Overthinking, and our Paleo Puppy
It's amazing. As if I needed to say that based on the title. It's made by Naturally Nutty and is available online. My aunt had some at her house this past weekend and after I tried it and loved it, she sent me home with a little bit. It DOES have a little flax/hemp which gives it an awesome texture, but in the grand scheme of things, a little bit is not going to be a big deal. I might actually try making some homemade cinnamon vanilla nut butter this weekend.
I think the theme of now, today, this week, whatever is going to be "Don't worry about the little things." I think I've been overthinking a lot lately, over-inundating myself with all things paleo. Reading about eating raw nuts, limiting nuts, which nuts are best...well, I guess it's mostly been nuts I've been going on about. But at the end of the day, cutting out all grains, dairy, and legumes is HUGE leap in the right direction, so I've decided I'm not going to sweat it when I revel in my handful of cashews. I'm by no means saying that ignorance is bliss, and I do believe in continuing to hone in on what the most nourishing/least damaging way of eating is. Also, as Eric and I sampled about 4 different dark chocolate bars last night, we decided we should do "chocolate tastings." Similar to wine/cheese tastings.
Paleo pup: Ava is trying to make a statement I think. Since we have switched paleo, I feel she has become more and more dissatisfied with her plain, dry food. We have been treating her with bits of apple, cantaloupe, carrot, and Darby gave us a huge pork bone last week at the FM for her. We keep telling her if she wants to eat paleo, she'll have to just go get a job and buy her own groceries. It's expensive enough as is to feed Eric and I. I mean, the economy is supposedly picking up right? She should have no issue finding a position...a Walmart greeter perhaps?
Day 26 Grub:
B: Peach Pecan Breakfast Scramble-http://cathletics.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeID=47 Make it! It's absolutely amazing!
S: LO butt squash mash/tea with coconut milk, apple with last of Cinn/Van Almond Butter
L: LO chicken/chard
D: Coffee/spice rub sirloin with mashed butt squash and broccoli/almond soup
No WOD today. I'm tired, I need to rest, and I think I may go to Whole Foods anyway. Darn near out of coconut milk. Can't have that now, can we?
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Don't know what I'm planning on creating in the Kitchen this weekend. But I do have 4 wonderfully ripe peaches, so I will probably end up doing a roast chicken with peaches/balsamic/thyme to compete against the rosemary/balsamic/apple from last week.
Wherever you are and whatever you do, enjoy it!