I need a bigger kitchen
I am acquiring more than my kitchen can handle. Eating/cooking paleo doesn't have to be hard or involve lots of gadgetry, but several items definitely make it easier. Using some more of my BBB store credit from our wedding, Eric and I picked up a 6-quart pressure cooker ($15) and a dutch oven ($50). I just ordered a carbon steel wok from amazon ($20) which should hopefully get here today. I treasure my food processor, and I'm just beginning to fall in love with my new wedding present KitchenAid. So again, I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen this weekend prepping for the week.
Day 27 Grub:
B: lamb sausage with artichoke and eggplant
S: LO butt squash mash
Then I made Everyday Paleo's apple muffins which were phenomenal! I ate 5 with some coffee and called it lunch.
D: Roast Chicken With Balsamic Peaches | Real Simple Recipes Amazing. I'm still undecided if I like this recipe better or the rosemary apple. The peaches couldn't have been more perfect, and pairing with some sweet onions from the FM made it.
Finally, as if the muffins weren't enough, I made brownies. I'd been promising Eric brownies since we started this shebang. I used this recipe: Health-Bent | Paleo Fudgy Brownies. They were amazing. Absolutely amazing. Best brownies ever. I adapted the recipe a little (only added about a tablespoon of honey for sweetener since I used 70% dark choco chips. I also added some shaved 100% baking chocolate to the mix. They are truly best right out of the pan all gooey and warm and melty, but freezing them does make them taste more fudge like. So either way you eat them, you can't go wrong.
Sunday was marvelous. Eric and I got to spend the whole day together. I feel like the weeks are so crazy we barely get to see each other some days, so when I didn't have to share him with anyone else on Sunday, I was psyched. We ran some errands to BBB and Whole Foods, and then I spent a good portion of the afternoon making food for the week. I made homemade chicken stock for the first time ever despite the fact I have zero room in my freezer to store all this stuff. If we're serious about getting some deer meat this fall/winter, we are going to buy a deep freezer. There is no other option.
Grub Day 28:
B: Coconut crepes! I filled them with pumpkin pudding I made from Elana's Pantry and we had some Italian spiced sausage as well.
L: I don't remember. We went climbing for a couple hours and shared a Larabar and finished the muffins when we got home.
D: Kielbasa with cabbage from Primal Blueprint Cookbook-SUPER EASY, REALLY YUMMY! I added onion and carrot and it was fabulous!
So after another weekend of even paleo-indulgences, I'm almost feeling like I want to start another Whole30. I haven't decided if I want to do that or just not make desserts all the time. Honestly, I just have so much fun cooking and seeing how delicious stuff is without all the added crap.
So, overall, we had a nice weekend. Wasn't long enough for sure, but the weather certainly was gorgeous. The challenge is almost over which doesn't really mean a whole lot for us since we don't plan on ever going back to our pre-paleo days. Either way, finish it out strong, everyone!
Oh, and for day...
Day 29 Grub:
B: zucchini egg bake (made it last night so I could sleep in today)
S: tea and apple
L: big ol chicken salad with just about everything in it
D: I'm makin' fajitas! The chicken is marinating in the fridge as we speak.
Though I'm already more tired than I should be coming off a weekend, I will post up whatever WOD I decide to do today.
Two challenges down!!!
The first, of course, being the Primal 30 day challenge. 30 days down of no grains, legumes, and only a teensy bit of raw, yogurt cheese from the FM. Honestly, I would be really curious to see how many people after doing a clean 30 days want to revert back to eating all the old SAD food.
The really awesome news...I FINALLY COMPLETED THE 5 MINUTE FOREARM PLANK HOLD!!!
Day 29 WOD:
55 pushups PR!
5 MINUTE FOREARM PLANK HOLD!!! It was insane. My abs are sore today as you could probably have guessed. It gets boring. I'm telling you. Staying in one place while all of you is burning gets boring after about 2 minutes. Then it becomes a mind over matter game. And I won! Boo yeah!
15 forearm to palm planks
So, overall, awesome workout for yesterday. Coming off a sluggish weekend, I definitely surprised myself.
And for dinner last night, I actually made spaghetti bolognese! Super yummy. I did also make the chicken fajita stuff as I needed to cook up that chicken. So now I already have dinner ready for tonight! Throw it in some big old lettuce leaves, top it with the rest of our raw, yogurt cheese, and maybe I'll splurge and buy a $2 avocado. Can you believe it? That's so expensive. Are they that expensive everywhere else too?
Day 30 Grub:
B: LO Zucc egg bake-it does not get old. So yummy, every time. And we munched on some beautifully colored grape tomatoes from the FM....a paleo's candy I tell you.
S: Concord grapes
L: LO chix salad
D: Chicken fajitas!
Dessert: I made Andy Deas coconut/apple pudding/custard. Super easy, way yummy. I threw in a couple raisins because apple+cinnamon+raisins=heavenly perfection.
Day 30 WOD:
AMAZING DAY OF PRs!!!
100 burpees-8:55 (shaved 35 seconds)
100 situps-3:33 (shaved 38 seconds)
100 squats-3:07 (shaved 11 seconds)
50 prisoner get-ups-3:17 (shaved 26 seconds)
Super exciting to beat all my previous times; super exciting to beat my butt into the grass. I feel this huge streak will plateau out fairly soon; doing my 100 squats was super tough and I'm sure it will take a while to chip away at that time. As Robb Wolf says, see how you look, feel, perform and make a decision if this is right for you. Well, in terms of all those categories, this is for me. Hope you are all kickin butt out there!
30 days down, people, a lifetime of looking, feeling, performing better to go!!!
Enjoy reveling in the amazing food opportunities that await you; yell "Boo yeah!" with each PR you set, and watch as literally your entire day-to-day changes. For Eric and I, we're keeping it going, and hopefully I will try to keep up with this blog as well.
Day 31 Grub:
B: Comfort Noodles | theclothesmakethegirl Absolutely amazing! I threw in some leftover coffee/spiced steak, and I chowed threw my bowl with glee.
S: apple from FM
L: LO chix salad
D: LO peach balsamic chicken, and I plan on making NomNomPaleo's Best Braised Cabbage (Recipe: World's Best Braised Green Cabbage | Nom Nom Paleo)
Dessert: might take a few more delectable bites of Andy Deas apple coconut custard/pudding.
As you can see but probably didn't notice, I've been trying to cut out snacking on nuts during the day since I typically get them somewhere else. That somewhere else yesterday was in this banana swirl bread (Health-Bent | Paleo Banana Bread (Chocolate Swirl, Optional)). PHENOMENAL! I promise to you that you cannot tell the difference between this and SAD banana bread. Eric and I ate the whole loaf while watching "THOR". Haha! Do not make fun. It was actually ok despite reviews on rottentomatoes. I wonder what "Thor's" diet was for that movie...besides steroids. Maybe not, maybe he really did just eat a whole cow everyday with smothered with lard and a dozen eggs for breakfast. Who knows. And the best part about the bread? No added sugar (if you skip the chocolate-which we did not). Super simple and from start to finish you can be nom-nom-ing on your bread in under an hour (including cooling time)
Eric and I are climbing tonight, so no WOD for today. Might continue to write wedding thank you cards over lunch. Gosh, I wish I could hire a robot to do that for me...
So so SAD
So at my job, our HR department has put together the "Go Center" with all these fun features where you can learn more about the company, your job, and even yourself. There is a "Go be heathly!" tab where you can take BMI tests and whether your cholesterol is in a good place. There is even a "What's your body's real age?" test. Just out of curiosity's sake, I checked to see what their "heathly menu" looked like. SAD SAD SAD. They advised that women who wanted to lose weight should be eating around 1000-1200 calories a day and 1600 for men. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????? I think I personally would keel over...or eat one of my coworkers. Then I checked out a sample menu. I'm sure none of you would be surprised to hear that their idea of a healthy breakfast consisted of: a bagel with low-fat cream cheese, orange juice, coffee or whole wheat cereal/toast with some jelly. Lunch was like 2oz of meat with some other crap. Dinner was 3oz of meat with baked potato, roll, some veggies...slathered in margarine! Only one dinner suggestion sounded like something I would eaten-except I would slather my veggies with amazingly delicious nutty ghee! It's just sad. And disheartening. Eat less, exercise more, lost weight. Eat low-fat dairy, whole grains, lean meats, and egg..whites! I was ranting to my fellow cubers (coworkers in our cubes). They were getting a kick out of me ranting from across the hall. It's sad because eating the SAD way, you do have to eat less to see any change. And most often that change will probably be your body eating it's way through muscle. You guys are familiar with this cycle. Lose muscle, gain it back in fat once you up your calorie intake again. We need to break through the fear in people's minds and bring them to the land of bacon, savory meats, and veggies slathered in ghee/butter.
Oh yeah, in that sample menu, they said "1/2c green beans"!?! Are you kidding me? You are limiting someone to a half cup of green beans? Babe, green beans aren't making you spherical. Maybe it's the margarine on top of the greens that's doing it...
Well, enough of sad SAD stuff...time for me to be happy about what I put in my belly.
Day 31 Grub:
B: Pizza frittata
S: Golden Delicious apple and pistachios
L: BA salad
D: LO Spaghetti with meaty meaty sauce (pre baked my spag. squash this morning since I won't be getting home till 8pm)
Day 31 WOD:
I completed 20 cycles in 20 minutes of my pyramid "Sprint, pushups, situps" routine....in a thunderstorm!!! It was awesome. 60 degrees and raining cats and dogs. So much fun. I was covered in wet grass and mud by the end and got plenty of weird looks from people as they drove by the field I was sprinting across. Thanks, Mark Sisson, for teaching me to play again!
Sorry to end with one more sad thing, but I went to HR to ask about any "wellness" related positions. We're a growing company here at The College Network, and pretty "health-conscious" at least. I was told we didn't have it in the budget yet but would be notified if we ever did. I was also told to shoot them specific ideas should they decide to ever create a position like that. Who knows...maybe I'll put some work into seeing where that goes.
How is everyone doing??? Still on the boat???
Attack of the gluten-oids! And a new challenge
What a weekend. Oh boy, oh boy. After being gluten-free for months now, we got cornered. We had dinner plans with one of my friends, his girlfriend, and his parents. We had been communicating via FB, and I had made it known to his mom as we talked about food possibilities that Eric and I were on a gluten-free diet. We finally decided upon Puccini's Pizza for Friday night. I called ahead and made sure the chicken dish I had been eyeing was completely gluten free. A-OK. So I called my friend to confirm which location-turns out, they were just going to order in from their house. CRAP. We get to their house, and I have no idea what I'm going to do. It was just awkward. I can't describe it any better. Because his mom knows we don't actually have an autoimmune disease, I think she just treated it like this was some fling we were doing. Ugh. So people, I did not trip into a box of pizza. I bit the bullet. Since going paleo, I hadn't had a gluten-cheat. So I chalked this one up to a, "This will be an interesting experiment" and encountered the Gluten-oids head to head.
I drank a ton of water (as if that would do anything). So after pizza and apple dumpling with caramel sauce, I had undergone quite a seige from the gluten-oids and the Sugar-sackers. Eric and I made our way home feeling bloated and lethargic beyond belief. Eric was lying in bed while I was brushing my teeth moaning, "My poor tum-tum, my poor tum-tum." Upset stomachs, splitting headaches, and bloated we tried to sleep. Neither of us slept well. Saturday I felt like a blob, regretting every bite of pizza. As Eric and I were sitting on the couch some time that day, he said, "I think we should do a whole30." I heartily agreed!
So here we are. Day 1 of our Whole30, stomping out the remaining Gluten-oid troops and sugar-sackers. Lesson learned: gluten is not worth it. If forced, I would rather eat straight sugar. Gluten has way too many other side effects. SO NOT WORTH IT. I even got Eric to admit it wasn't worth it. SCORE ONE FOR TEAM PALEO!
Whole30 Grub Day 1:
B: scrambled egg with zucchini, chorizo, and avocado
L: BA salad (mixed greens topped with chicken salad)
D: Stuffed zucchini: Stuffed Zucchini
See that? No snacking! I'm going to try it because I want to wean myself off those mid morning/late afternoon snacks. I want to be hungry for dinner. Also, no eating after dinner. Just no. That will probably be the hardest thing for me. But again, I want to wake up hungry, truly appreciative of breakfast.
WOD Day 1 after weekend attack of the Gluten-oids
30 forearm side to sides
30 sec chin hold on tree branch
10 forearm to palm planks
So yes, weaksauce. No PRs. But I did have fun, and I did a lake lap as well. Plus, Eric and I had a super hard climbing session yesterday. Which was really surprising since I felt like a trash can all weekend. Each of us actually sent several projects we had been working on, and I felt considerably strong. And no, I will never give gluten the credit for my strong sending. I give credit to my resilient body and my encouraging friends/husbands for cheering me on. I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend. I think it's a great time to start a Whole30. Clean yourself out before Thanksgiving. Make yourself truly appreciate what is to come in about a month.
Wow-what a difference between how I felt after Eric and my's dinner last night and after our dinner date with my friend and his parents. (refer back to my Attack of the Glutenoids post). We had that stuffed zucchini which I topped with the "Zesty Paleo BBQ sauce". We ate our dinner while watching the documentary River of Waste. It was about the hazards of factory farms (specifically poultry). Let's just say I'm super glad I wasn't chowing down on some Tyson chicken-yay for grass fed beef!
And, thanks to Whole30, I didn't wash my dinner down with chocolate. Eric and I went to bed around 10:30 and woke up at 7:30am feeling refreshed and actually hungry for breakfast. That's the thing-pig out on a late dinner and overfill yourself with dessert and then you don't appreciate breakfast. I made breakfast around 8:30, and as I didn't have to work until 11am, did an hour of yoga. I haven't been yog-ing (as Eric calls it) as much and it was really nice to start the day like that.
Whole 30 Grub Day 2:
B: Salt, pepper, sage pastured pork sausage (FM) with spinach, kale, onion, mushroom and egg
S: small apple and cinnamon tea with coconut milk
L: LO Chicken salad over greens
D: BACON EXPLOSION-google it, drool over it, make it, eat it, LOVE YOUR LIFE! Eric has had no school the last two days for fall break. He has been a wonderful husband and has taken care of some household chores, and volunteered to make the Bacon-ator for dinner. He's been sending me picture updates at work all day...I fear my keyboard won't work as I have thoroughly drowned it in drool.
WOD Day 2:
Eric and Ava (our little Aussie) came for work today. Before they got there, I did some burpees, high kicks, pullups, and walking lunges. Then we walked 1.1miles around the lake playing fetch with Ava. I swear, there is no need to have a leash when you are holding that ball.
I hope everyone hasn't lost momentum since the 30 day challenge has been over. Maybe like me, it's time to just start a new challenge. Doesn't have to be a Whole30; it could be anything. Doing x amount of pushups every day or whatever. Get creative. After all, that's what being primal is all about.
Bacon bacon bacon!!!
Like in that commercial with the golden retriever who goes, "I smell bacon!"
I wrote this on my 21-year old brother's facebook page: "Nathan, should you ever want to woo the heart of a young lass, my best advice is this: make her dinner out of bacon. Bacon wrapped in bacon, topped with bacon, and with more bacon on the side for garnish."
So there you have it. The bacon explosion was an explosion of all things perfect in this world. Thank you to Darby from Simpson's Family Farms for the pastured-non GMO fed bacon, to Homestead Heritage Farm for the pastured-non GMO spicy Italian pork sausage, and to my wonderful husband who created the masterpiece and made homemade BBQ sauce to drench it in. Did I mention I made green beans in bacon grease as a side dish? It was absolutely wonderful to come home from an 11-8 shift at work to a house smelling of pig. Eric had texted me at work with this: "The pig is in the barn." aka, the bacon explosion is in the oven. Yes, we did not do it traditionally as we don't have a smoker, but come on, it's hard to make bacon taste less than divine, and the oven did a fine job.
So in light of last night's dinner, you might have thought I would have had no interest in pork for breakfast. Yeah right.
Whole30 Grub Day 3:
B: Scotch eggs-if you haven't made them yet, do so. Served with a side of Nutty Cabbage from Catalyst Athletics site. Nutty Cabbage by Scott Hagnas - Catalyst Athletics Recipes
L: LO spaghetti bolognese
D: Bachelor Stew-beef cubed steak, lots of veggies, in a pot. Done.
And Eric and I are climbing tonight! Whoot whoot!! We are hopefully going down to Red River Gorge this weekend in Kentucky to climb.
As a side note, I must comment about poor Little Stinker. Our poor puppy, Ava, has had to endure the worst torture I can imagine. Let's all just sympathize with her for a second. Here she is, having to eat the same dry food day in day out while she smells the most heavenly creations her little brain probably dreams about all day long. Trust me, we feed her high quality food, but it's no bacon explosion. Poor little girl...
Higado higado higado!!!
LIVER LIVER LIVER! There is absolutely no reason behind why I entitled this post with the Spanish word for liver. Other than that while I was taking Spanish in high school I found the word "higado" very hilarious. And if you yell it 3 times in a row, it sounds like a battle cry. That is probably just me.
Anyway, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I COOKED CHICKEN LIVERS!!! I know right? After all these offal recipes I keep seeing, I have to take another step forward in the primal style and start eating from beak to tail feathers. I followed the recipe from the Reader Created Cookbook for Blackened Cajun Chicken Livers. Raw, they are super funny. They're slippery and slimy; I can imagine little kids having a blast "gooshing" them. Man, this post is all kinds of crazy already. I know I've probably turned 99% of you off already...unless you're liver lovers. Anyway, I dipped them in the rub, then pan fried them till they were blackened and crispy.
The verdict...Eric did not like them. He said he felt like he was eating mush. I simply cut them up, mixed them into my winter squash and went to town. Are they the best thing ever? Probably not. But hello!!! They are $1/lb for PASTURED, NON-GMO, HAPPY CHICKEN LIVERS! And offal is awesome for you! I've seen a recipe where you simply add it into a big old hunk of meatloaf as well which would probably disguise it a lot better. I plan on mixing the leftovers into scrambled eggs tomorrow. For that stinkin cheap, I'm going to keep trying to find ways to prepare them that make them enjoyable.
On to Whole30. Eric is already trying to bum me out. He was craving some chocolate last night and this morning he kept commenting how his squash would be heavenly with some ghee on it. 30 days, Eric. We'll get through it, I promise.
Whole30 Grub Day 4:
B: winter squash, blackened cajun chicken livers, green beans
L: LO stew-it was amazing by the way. After browning the meat, I threw everything in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes and it was perfect!!!
S: At some point today, I might make Andy Deas apple coconut pudding. I brought an immersion blender to work...oh boy. Score more points for the crazy hippie girl who eats liver.
D: Not sure yet. Maybe something with ground beef since that is what I have?
And I will post WOD later today. It's 47 and raining here. Ick! So I might be trapped inside.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF ANY OF YOU HAVE GOOD WAYS TO EAT/PREPARE LIVER!!! I'M ALL EARS!
WOD Day 4:
Very not super exciting due to the nasty ick weather we're having. Come on, Winter! Cut Fall some slack and let her have her 15 seconds of fame!
I stayed inside and did a variety of body-weight exercises and some yoga. The whole time I was pretty much thinking about how delicious my stew was going to taste.
P.S. I STILL NEED LIVER RECIPES, PEOPLE! I need a recipe that my husband will actually swallow gleefully. Thanks in advance