Time to Resurrect this Blog!

Wow! Hard to believe it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve posted anything to this blog. Guess you can say my life has been busy and has taken some unexpected turns. Between having a baby, and then loosing my husband to a heart attack, I haven’t been good on the weight loss journey or cooking for that matter. So now it’s time to dust off the apron and get back into cooking again. Not to mention that I’m planting in the garden, have 1/2 a hog, and 1/4 of a cow so why not use the fresh meat and produce to make some yummy meals.

So last night, my parents were in town to help me with yard work and watching Miss Ava who is not always super helpful and I tried out a new recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummonds. And to quote my mother “Oh my” it was superb and super simple. Below is the recipe with my changes. And although it’s not super Paleo as it does have Dr. Pepper it’s worth that cheat meal. And really, you aren’t drinking the Dr. Pepper, so the sugar is very minimal.

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork

1 whole Large Onion
1 whole Pork Shoulder (“pork Butt”) – 3-4 Pounds
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 – 1/2 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce (depending on your spice preference)
1 can Dr. Pepper
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven or casserole pan with a lid.

Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Mix the Chipotle peppers & juice, Dr. Pepper, and Brown Sugar, then pour over the pork.

Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least 4 hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after 4 hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour. If in the midst of turning the meat you notice it’s falling apart then go ahead and remove from the oven. I ended up turning the oven off and going about my yard work for another 2-3 hours and then enjoyed it. It was still warm and super yummy!

Ree goes on to talk about straining out the fat from the liquid. I found that the meat didn’t really need the liquid and I just served on a roll with some BBQ sauce.

Hope you enjoy and I’m going to start trying to show more of my adventures in the kitchen.

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Success, rewards, and the battle

So I woke up this morning and decided that I needed to weigh myself and take measurements. It’s been over 3 weeks since I started my 365 day life change. So far I have lost 14lbs and 4.5″ on my body. So then I decided to Tyron a pair of pants I ordered before Christmas that didn’t fit, but I was too lazy to send back. They fit! That was real success. Finally I can see big changes happen.

Improvements in the gym include getting my double unders, push ups, and box jumps back. I am finding that things at the gym are coming back a lot faster. It’s really picking up my mood.

Now people are usually skeptical when I talk about paleo. They want dairy, grains, peanuts, etc and question eating bacon, coconut oil, etc. I am telling you if I can eat things like this:
Bolognese sauce over zucchini noodles

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And this, coconut-ginger shrimp

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And this, banana coconut ice cream

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I mean how can you go wrong? I feel great, it tastes great, and I don’t feel like I am truly missing out on much. I know it’s only been 3 weeks and there have been temptations but I am pushing on. My overall goal is to eat healthy, workout hard, and not focus purely on the scale.

Here’s a great start to 2013!

The Mental Game

Another week down. Another week towards my overall goals. It’s not without its challenges though. First, there was national popcorn day the night I went to the movies with my friend. The good part was that I have talked to her about my goals and she’s very supportive. I feel in order to be successful you need to have support (friends & family). I am blessed with great friends both at the gym and outside it keeps me going.

And today was one of those days I needed the support. I went to the gym and we did back squats which I did well with. The coach, Arron, goes around and films you so you can see how you are doing. I love and hate it. I love to see where I need to improve but I hate it because it confirms that what I see in my mind is not what I see in the mirror. It’s frustrating. I tell myself that I didn’t make myself overweight in a night so I can’t expect to lose the weight in a night either, but it’s still hard. I know I am making small losses each day but its still hard to see myself like this. The thing that keeps me going is the support of others. The people at the gym don’t judge and encourage everyone to do well, it’s just hard being the last one done. To not be able to do things that I use to be able to do. It’s a constant battle and 3 steps forward and 1 back.

Ok enough with that, lets talk about good eats. Yesterday I had the day off so it meant another food prep day. I made Breakfast Lasagna and it was fantastic! Oh my goodness so yummy. It has sweet potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, and coconut milk, yum! I didn’t put the eggs on top and it still rocked!

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I also threw together some tomato basil soup and paleo scotch eggs. Yet another fantastic snack! I am very excited to eat them tomorrow!

I know I’ve been slack on posting but I will try to be better. Hope you are enjoying the recipes, struggles, and accomplishments.

Day 10 – recipes galore

So it’s day 10 now. Only 50 days left. Pssst that’s nothing, right? Well this week was eventful, I decided to change the way I make food by planning my “menu” ahead of time. So on Sunday I sat down with a warm mug of bone broth, my cookbooks, and iPad and began to plan. I got the inspiration from Melissa Joulwan’s book Well Fed. She talks about how she preps everything on Sunday. So I decided on a variety of meals:
Breakfast: acorn squash with sausage & breakfast lasagna.
Lunch: leftovers from the night before
Dinner: Beef fried fo-rice, smokey chicken thighs, Best Ever Chicken Wings, creamy spice market kale from Well Fed, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, and sautéed cabbage.
Snacks: Paleo crack dip (we will get to this) and sweet potato chips, roasted red peppers, and hard boiled eggs.

Afterwards I wrote out my grocery list and off to the store in went. People ask how you shop for paleo and the best tip I have is shop the outside. When you are at the grocery store stick to the outer edge of the store (produce and meat). The only times I venture down the aisles is A) when the husband needs something non-paleo or B) I need frozen veggies, spices or coconut/olive oil. When I was done I had about $100 of groceries and it looked like this:

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From there I spent a few hours prepping the food and making food. First I had to feed my belly as it was protesting. So I threw together my tried and true quick recipe, Beef Fried-fo Rice, courtesy of my friend Sunny! Miss her!

Chicken or Beef Fried Rice
1lb beef or chicken (sliced into strips)
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp (divided) coconut oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch or bag of broccoli
1 red pepper
2 eggs, scrambled
1inch of ginger, grated
3 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp fish sauce
Salt

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the beef or chicken. While it cooks prep your veggies and “rice” the cauliflower either by pulsing in a food processor or with a cheese grater. Once the meat is done remove from the pan and set aside. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to the pan and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and set aside. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil and add the garlic. cook the garlic a minute, then add the veggies. Cook 5-7 min till done to your liking. Add ginger and cook another minute. Add the cauliflower and cook 3-4 min till soft but not mushy. Add the meat then add the coconut aminos and fish sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

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So yummy!

The upsides of this week were the fact that my husband unhid the scale for one day and I had lost 8lbs! Yay! I have a long way to go but hey every pound is a victory! At the gym I managed to find my push ups and double unders. Not bad week so far! To be continued……

Tacos

So the last few days have been full of temptation and cravings. To decide your life style and say there aren’t any cravings would be lying. I definitely have been fighting the craving roller coaster. Ugh! Friday my hubby and I had dinner with a friend of ours. Luckily she is into clean eating as well so it wasn’t too difficult to find a paleo friendly restaurant. We settled on my favorite, Flat Top Grill. For those that aren’t familiar it is a Mongolian style restaurant where you pick your own veggies, meat, and sauces and they cook it up for you. So yummy. Great way to fill up on veggies and since I was going paleo it meant I could eat calamari and pork, as its not marinated and free of gluten. Well I made it through dinner without a drink, although the other 2 were. After dinner it was off to Old Chicago for a couple drinks, which of course meant a couple more waters for me. The next day my husband complimented me on being strong. Trust me it wasn’t easy, but it’s only 60 days, I’ve done 90 days no alcohol to win a bet so this should be easier, right?

Well Saturday meant leftovers from dinner and a quick drive up to the QCA for my friend’s baby shower. Temptations galore. The table was full of cupcakes, fluff, animal crackers, popcorn, all my favorites. The old me would have filled my plate, but seeing as this was the new me and I was fashionably late I focused on socializing and drinking my water I brought. Managed to make it through the shower unscathed.

Back track, it was time for WOD #3 at the gym. It was a doozy, The Filthy Fifty! Gross!!! Here is the workout:
For Time:
-50 Box Jumps 24″/20″
-50 Jumping Pull-Ups
-50 Kettlebell Swings 45#/35#
-50 Walking Lunges
-50 Knees To Elbows
-50 Push Press 45#
-50 Good Mornings 45#/35#
-50 Wall Balls 20#/14#
-50 Burpees
-50 Double Unders
Till the weight comes off knees to elbows (k2e) are a challenge I have problems holding myself on the bar. So it was to the floor for me. I hold onto a bar and lift my knees to my elbows. The challenge is my darn boobs always try to strangle me. Anyone who says they want bigger ones, please feel free to take some of mine, goodness! I definitely didn’t have a great time, but once again it’s a start.

Saturday night I decided I had a craving for tacos plus it was quick and easy. So my hubby made a quick run to the store to pick up the essentials: ground beef, tomato, onion, lettuce, cheese, taco seasoning, tortillas. Now simmer down not all of this was for me, some was for my non-paleo hubby. I started by browning 3 lbs of ground beef. Once it was cooked and the fat drained off, I took 2 cups and put in a separate frying pan for me. I then added 2 tbsps of taco seasoning, recipe below, along with some water. Once complete I served on a romaine lettuce “tortilla” with some chopped tomatoes and guacamole. Not too bad.

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Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all together in a air tight container. Add 2-3 Tbsp of the mix plus 1/2-3/4 c water to 1 lb of meat. Simmer on the stove till liquid cooks off.

Day 3/4 – Fat Good or Bad?

Sorry for not posting yesterday, it was Day 5 of the month which means a crazy day at work. The good thing was the systems crashed so I was told to be on call till they were working correctly. Well maybe it was so good, but it meant I got to join my peeps at the gym for the noon class. Turns out a lot of the 4:30-ers had the same idea so it turned out to be a good group of people. We had to do our 2nd WOD (Workout of the Day) that will be used to measure our progress at the end of this challenge. That day’s WOD was…..ROWING!!! Yay, I’ll take rowing over running any day. It was the 2K meter row. Previously, I had been under 8 minutes, but I knew that I had to put that time behind me and just do the best I could. Best thing was Kirsten told me that she wanted to row with me so we could motivate each other. It’s always better when you have a friend to encourage and challenge you, in a fun way. I finished my row in 8:16.9, not too bad. Prior to that we had our back squat workout. Feel free to check out the daily wods ;here;. I don’t know if it was because I had bone broth and kicked my cold, if I got to sleep in, or that I was going to the noon class, but I felt great at the gym. I was happy, ready to take on the workout and had a great result.

Breakfast had been 1/2 a chicken breast with brussel sprouts, with an apple as a pre-workout snack.

Due to not going into work until 2:30p and working until 8pm my meals were thrown off. I did enjoy some of the Slow Cooker Kalua Pork that I had prepared and let cook the night before. It was fantastic, no BBQ sauce needed. I also made sure to throw in some slices of red pepper. When I showed up my boss had arrived with this glorious, dangerous treat called Scotcheroos. Definitely NOT paleo. I have attached a picture of the piece I brought home for my hubby below. I resisted. That’s pretty good since in the past I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Score one for me!
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Dinner on the other hand was a negative point. I succumbed to the desire to make some popcorn. The benefit is that it’s made with an air popper and not with all the harmful toxins in the bagged version, but still with the butter it was not on the paleo approved list. Oh well we are all human right, and it’s back on the wagon again.

Day 4: Much better day today.

Breakfast: 2 eggs with diced red peppers, salt, & pepper
Lunch: 1 cup broccoli/kohlrabi soup
Snack: some Kahlua Pork leftover from lunch as I didn’t have time to finish it. I think part of my problem is that I get distracted and don’t focus on eating. I am going to have to focus on my food more.
Dinner: Chicken, roasted green beans, guacamole and of course a cup of bone broth. I feel a little tired and wonder if I am not getting enough fats in order to sustain my work out efforts. Going to try adding more to see if it helps.

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While browsing facebook I saw this link to this article and thought I would share. It talks about how chronic inflammation, not fat is the cause of heart disease and that the doctors, himself included, have had it all wrong. Now I get in many discussions with friends and family that talk about Paleo and Fat.

“What do you mean you eat bacon/coconut oil/etc? Isn’t that bad for you?”

Now for those that don’t know me, I’m heavy right now. I’m well over 50lbs (sad to admit) heavier than I would like to be, and I’ve been eating bacon, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc and cut out the other types of oil/processed food (canola, soybean, peanut, margarine, etc). My cholesterol and BP was in the normal range, and I was told was great. Yes I’m not that old, so it helps, but still the high fat diet I eat isn’t causing my cholesterol to be high.

In the article, Dr. Lundell, states,
“Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods…..Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent.”

I strongly recommend that you read the article, linked above, and consider it. Think about how do you feel? What are you eating? What is my body telling me? Consider making some small changes to your diet to eliminate processed foods and go back to eating a more natural diet. Yes, it takes longer to prepare, and yes you have to plan, but it is doable. What is more important? Spending 30 extra minutes preparing a meal or spending 5 more years with your family/friends?

Day 1

So here’s the run down of Day 1.

I’m still suffering from this nasty cold, so taking some allergy medication to keep the sneezing and nose blowing to a minimum. I did wake up and make breakfast, which I ate of course on my way to work.

7am: Breakfast consisted of 2 eggs fried up in a little coconut oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. I know, boring, but hey it’s quick and easy.

12:00p: A warm cup of Kombucha Green Tea from Yogi along with about 8oz of the Curry Broccoli/Kohlrabi soup with some diced chicken thrown in. Of course, I’ve been slurping down the water. The goal is to finish 1 34oz Nalgene bottle by lunchtime which I finished about 22oz, 1 by 4pm, 1 during/post workout, and 1 in the evening. This gives me about a gallon of water intake, some days I do it, some days not so much. If I’m thirst I drink, if I’m hungry I drink as well. Many times my body says it’s hungry but really it’s just dehydrated. So I try to get 8 oz of water in and then see if I’m still hungry prior to eating. It’s not too bad, and once my body gets use to all the water it starts craving it. The downside is running to the restroom, it feels like, every 30 min.

So by the end of work I had consumed 1.5 bottle of water, not the 2 I was hoping for but I wasn’t beating myself up over it. It was time to head to the gym. First mistake, not squeezing a snack in before the gym. I now know my body is hungry by the time I make it to the gym.

Today’s workout was:
Warm-up
20 min to find 1 rep max Clean & Jerk
Mini-WOD: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of power cleans 95# & box jumps

I hit 135# Power Clean which wasn’t my life PR (personal record) but was a PR since getting back to the gym. So I was happy. In actuality I power cleaned the weight so I know I have more in me. Now I need to focus on getting my squat clean. It’s all mental and I know it!just need to beat that mental voice telling me no! The wod wasn’t great. I did step ups as my hamstring was tweaked during the warm up due to my legs being sore from FGB on sat so I decided to play it safe. I did do the 95# prescribed weight for the women and had no problems. Still battling this cold so my time was 12:01. Not great but it’s a start. The hardest critique of me is me as I know what I can do and I can’t seem to get my body to cooperate. So frustrating. But this where I change, day by day!

Post- workout snack was my apple.

Dinner: 1 chicken breast pounded to 1/2″ thickness, sprinkled with Magic Mushroom Powder. If you haven’t checked out Nom Nom Paleo you really should. Her app has fantastic recipes. One of these is her Magic Mushroom Powder. It’s great on chicken and steak. So far that’s what we have used it on. It’s quick and tasty.

I also roasted some Brussel sprouts.
2 Tbsp bacon grease
1 lb Brussel sprouts, cleaned
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Toss together the ingredients together.

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Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-30 min. Yum!

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I can tell I am going to need another snack as my tummy is rumbling a little now. Good signs that my body is starting to process food faster, in my opinion. Hopefully I can start burning this insulation off!

For my evening snack I warmed up a cup of bone broth.  Once you take the layer of fat off your prepared bone broth it is really good, not greasy as I originally thought.  Plus it’s full of great benefits (healthy hair and skin, helps heal your gut, and helps your joints).  Overall I finished 3.5 Nalgene Bottles totaling about 124oz of water.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on the menu tomorrow!

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