Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Paleo Challenge Complete!

Popping in after a long hiatus!  I do apologize for my long break.  Kick off of programming at my job is a difficult transition for me.  It makes it hard to balance all that life is expecting of me and I got off track with my blogging.  Plus after being in front of a computer screen most of the day the last thing I wanted to do in the evenings or mornings was sit in front of my computer screen at home!

Now that things are kicked off at my job and the challenge is completed...I'm happy to report that my Paleo partner and I came in second place for the challenge.  Neither of us had any cheats BUT there was one meeting that I wasn't able to attend because of work...and those 5 points got us.

I'm super proud though of our persistance!  My Paleo Partner was a great support for me when I really just wanted a glass of wine after work.  She would vow me to stay true to the challenge!

This past weekend I ran my second 5K with my oldest twin G-money.  He did awesome for his first time out.  I was pleased that my time and pace was so much better than my first 5K.  Of women in my age group I ranked 15/77...not too shabby at all!






The weekend prior Mr. and I headed out of town to be Godparents.  We had a 14 hour drive one way and were determined to continue down our Paleo path even on the road.  We packed great yummy snacks and meals for the road.  This is how we survived:







I'll be back sooner rather than later...but until then...trust me when I say Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Day 8/30 Day Paleo Challenge!

After an extra long weekend I was really hoping I was going to be able to get out of bed and to the gym on Monday morning.  It wasn't pretty but I managed!  I was glad I went too!  I have a love/hate relationship with my alarm going off at 5:05 a.m.  I am not a morning person so my first instinct is to hit snooze or turn off my alarm all together.  I've noticed lately that if I turn on the bathroom light (where my phone is located), I have a great chance of staying awake.  The entire time I walk from my bed to the bathroom I have an inner struggle going on about what I am going to do.  This morning I turned on the light!

What I love about 5:30 a.m. workout is that you get them done and out of the way.  Our night tonight is jam packed of kid activities; piano lessons, football, and PTO meeting.  Getting my workout in first thing allows me to be active and shuttle my active kids.  A year ago I would add that 5:30 a.m. allowed me to run in the dark and was the least attended class but overtime our 5:30 a.m. squad has grown and there are several of us who regularly workout at that time slot.  I must also add that 5:30 a.m. is easier to do in the spring/summer/fall than it is in the winter.  Winter at 5:30 a.m. is horrible!

I refueled with breakfast when I came home and remembered to take my vitamins!

I packed turkey and peppers for a morning snack:

When I went home for lunch I worked on more leftovers and prepped for dinner:

A good afternoon snack to get me through to dinner:



I was excited to make this recipe for dinner.  I roasted my spaghetti squash the night before because I knew our Monday was jam packed with activities.  A year ago the boys rebelled against spaghetti with spaghetti squash for dinner.  I made this a couple more times and added the spaghetti squash to the meat sauce and gave them a little bit of noodles.  This time I only served it with the spaghetti squash mixed into the sauce and they ate it all!  I love a good progress story when it comes to kids eating paleo!



Our challenge this week for the 30 Day Paleo Challenge was to share a meal uninterrupted by electronics with your family.  I'm proud to share this picture as it is 98% of the time possible for our family to share a meal together.  I hope G & E appreciate family dinner time as they grow and have families of their own.


This dessert was at the end of a long tired day and was inspired by a coach at my gym.  She had mentioned it to me last week and I had purchased some apples but hadn't thrown it together yet.  Last night after the kiddos went to bed, I whipped this up for Mr. and I.

Started with 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil in a skillet.  I got the pan and oil warm and threw in a handful (1/4 cup) of pecans.  I toasted them until their was a real nutty aroma and added to sliced apples and sprinkled cinammon over all to taste.  I put a lid on the skillet and let it simmer for a bit.  When the apples were about 1/2 way cooked I added unsweetened coconut flakes and toasted them as well.  This turned out warm and comforting....and I thought to myself, "This would be perfect over a bowl full of vanilla ice cream!"  But I'm making a concious choose about my future and my goals and decided that I didn't want the ice cream in the bowl that bad!  Make good food choices because Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 6 &7/30 day Paleo Challenge!

It's Monday and I am happy to be back to work today so I could relax!  I know that sounds crazy but this weekend was an unexpected whirl wind.

Friday is typically my "day off" from work.  After getting the boys off to school I came home and made a big breakfast because I was heading out for a run.

I logged 3 miles on Friday morning and got extra points for my team for our Paleo Challenge.  It was a humid/hot morning but it felt good to get through without walking!

By the time lunch rolled around I was really hungry and made a pretty big lunch of leftovers:

Mr. and I had Friday night to ourselves!  Think we went someplace fun?  Because of the 30 Day challenge I couldn't think of a fun date that wouldn't tempt me food wise.  If you have ideas for future free nights please send me a message!  Restaurant=out; we don't have any really good healthy restaurants close by.  Bar=out; no alocohol for 30 days!  Bowling=out; to tempted by smells of food stand.  Movie=out; I {heart} popcorn!  So we opted for dinner at home and headed to our local high school football game.  Romantic aren't we ;)
Paleo Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Casserole

Saturday morning I headed to the 'box' with Mr. and we did the Crossfit Lite class.  It was a family affair as my parents were there and a huge kuddos to my sister for completing her first WOD post baby!


After our workout Mr. and I tagged teamed breakfast prep.  I love weekend breakfast's because we make sweet potato hash browns.  Those are my favorite!


Lunch was a great mixture of things we had left on hand from the week!  It was so yummy!


I had prepped most of our dinner earlier in the day.  Hawaiin Pizza Salad is one of our favorites and we hadn't had it in a long time!  It was just the boys and I for dinner as Mr. had evening plans with the guys!  The boys gobbled this up too!


After dinner and clean up the boys and I settled in to watch a movie as a storm was getting ready to roll through and that's when our evening drastically changed.  The pictures I had taken that evening were too dark so I will share these with your from the next morning.




When the tree landed it pulled the wires out of our house and started smoking.  Without Mr. at home I was a little bit panicked as smoke and sparks were seen behind our house and at the pole.  Luckily, with the help of Mr. and my dad we were able to get the electric company to the house pretty quickly.  The bad news was that we wouldn't have power that evening.

My grandmother recently purchased a new home and is slowly moving into it.  Lucky for us we were able to pack up a few essentials and head there for the night so we would at least have air conditioning.  Mr. had promised the boys he would take them squirrel hunting the next morning and so here is a quick shot of them before they headed out the door Sunday morning.

My parents live a couple of houses down from the house we stayed in and my dad called when he had breakfast ready so I could stay on track!  My dad was rocking the parent gene this weekend!


After breakfast he and I headed to my house with a chain saw to begin working on this:

Mr. and the boys came soon after and neighborhood boys came to help as well!  We got it all cut down and cleaned up within about 2 hours.  Team work!

I have to admit that I don't do well with curve balls.  This was definitely one of them.  Luckily I had plenty of Paleo food leftover in the refrigerator so after the tree was done we packed up what we had and headed back to my grandma's new house to break in her new appliances.  No one went hungry ;)



It had been a long day already but we still didn't have electricity to Mr. and my dad went back to our house to start working on it.  The boys were scheduled to practice ball that afternoon and because of the heat and their lack of sleep from the storm, I had them lay down for "quiet time" aka a nap.  

By the time we got back from ball our electric was restored PTL!  Huge thanks to everyone who lended a hand!

My first 5K is next weekend and even though I was exhausted I knew I needed to get a run in.  Grant and I opted to run to my parents house for dinner (1.5 miles).  We were a sticky hot mess when we got there but I was so proud of him he ran all the way!  My mom and dad are in the midst of this Paleo Challenge too and she has been 100% supporter of our Paleo lifestyle.  So like every Sunday for the past 1 year plus we had another fantastic Paleo meal!  


Paleo tortillas are a life saver!  They make me feel normal. After dinner Mr. said that if a person didn't know they were eating a Paleo Meal that he didn't think they would be able to tell a difference.  I'm blessed to have such a wonderful supportive family...Period!

So after this crazy weekend...it feels normal and less stressful to be back at work during one of my busier times of year.  I feel a little brain dead today but was able to get my workout in this morning and started on Day 8 of Paleo 30 Day Challenge!  Food is a Drug #Paleo!
















Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 4/30 DayPaleo Challenge

Day 4 of the 30 Day Strict Paleo Challenge and I am getting pushed out of my comfort zone.  Our trainers will be offering extra points when completing tasks throughout this partner challenge.  Last night our first task was shared.  Run/walk 3 miles timed and post a picture of your time.  Why does this push me out?  Two reasons 1.  I don't time my runs.  2.  Sharing a timed run publicly will be hard!  I know I can run 3 miles so that's not the problem.  I also know that I run very slow.  I like my pace though...and guess I will suck it up and get it done.  My goal is to do it tomorrow morning after the kids are off to school as Friday is my day off.  

I've been perfect thus far on day 4 of my challenge.  I started off with breakfast:


Then had this yummy snack this morning:


Got to eat yummy leftovers for lunch:


I was so hungry at lunch!  I had quite a bit of food.  I opted for no snack this afternoon.

Made this healthy refreshing dinner before heading out:
Grilled Tilapia, Zucchini Casserole, and Fresh slice of tomato
Tonight we had tickets to a minor league ball game.  So I packed some healthy nuts to keep me on track for the night while the kids munch of thier ball park snack.  


I really do think that good planning is 80% of the reason why we've had so much success following the Paleo lifestyle.  A little work on my part leads to staying on track with no cheating.  4 days in and I already feel success.  I haven't weighed myself since the start but I have a feeling there is a lower number to be seen already!  Food is a Drug #Paleo!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Day 3/30 Day Paleo Challenge + Paleo Crockpot Peach Infused Pork Shoulder!

Last night my run was almost more of a walk than a run.  My first 1.5 again when fine...but I started noticing knee pain and walk/jogged the other 1.5.  I iced when I got home.  This morning when I did a squate to get a pan out of the cabinet, I realized that it was a good decision to walk/jog the rest.  It's really pretty tight!

My rec league team lost our volleyball game last night but not without a fight and only by 2 pts in the 3rd set.  It was a bummer BUT I took on my word "Shine" and held my ground in an unexpected way.  There was a lady that made a comment to me when we were shaking hands after the first match.  I didn't appreciate the other teams sportsmanship through years of playing them.  I normally don't say anything.  I'm a keep my mouth shut kind of person.  After the game was over I confronted the lady and suggested that she not ever talk to me like that again.  For many of you this wouldn't be a big deal but for me it was a moment that I stood up for myself.  Of course afterwards I fretted about my words and shaky words all night.  In the end it felt good to be me and SHINE!

This morning was a busy morning!  I was the host of our bi monthly staff meeting.  Hosting comes with an expectation of some sort of food.  I put together my favorite Paleo egg casserole and sliced a melon and grapes and viola.  Our staff loves the casserole and always gets rave reviews.  I used it this morning for my snack because Mr. had already made me breakfast.  (I just love him.)

Breakfast:

Morning "snack":

Leftovers for lunch:

Afternoon Snack:

In addition to making a casserole this morning, I also got dinner in the crockpot.  I am excited to share this recipe with you!  I must say, I've never had peaches in my crockpot before!  The best part for me of dinner was the salad!  Maybe because I've been cutting back on fruit and it had apples and blueberries in it!


Emeals Slow Cooker Peach-Infused Pork

Ingredients: 2 Tbsp coconut oil, 3 lb bone in pork shoulder, trimmed, 2 Tbsp Almond Flour, 1 large onion chopped, 4 cloves minced garlic, 2 peaches sliced, 1/2 cup organic chicken broth, 2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:  Melt oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork should with flour; add pork to hot skillet.  Brown on all sides (about 8 min total)  Transfer pork to 5 or 6 quart slow cooker.  Add onion, garlic peaches, broth, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours or until pork is tender.  **Because I am doing the paleo challenge this month I opted out of the almond flour and just put the pork in the crockpot without almond flour or searing.

Blueberry-Apple Spinach Salad

Ingredients:  1/2 cup sliced almonds, 1 (10 oz) bag baby spinach, 1 cup blueberries, 1 apple finely chopped, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:  Preheat oven to 325.  Place almonds on a small baking sheet; toast 5 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned.  Combine spinach, blueberries, apple and almonds in a serving bowl.  Whisk together vinegar, and mustard; slowly whisk in olive oil.  Pour dressing over spinach mixture and toss to coat.

Definitely looking forward to my leftovers tomorrow!  

I did the light workout tonight at the box.  It was so crowded!  Just thinking of the Crossfit potential in our community is inspiring!  Food is a Drug # Paleo!




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day 2/30 Paleo Challenge with a Paleo Crockpot Recipe Share

I forgot to take my vitamins this morning :(  Somewhere in the rush of packing lunches, eating breakfast, and prepping dinner I forgot to grab them.  Taking them at noon for some reason feels different for me than taking them right around breakfast time!

No workout for me this a.m.  I turned off the alarm clock after a short mental struggle.  I do plan on running again this evening and tomorrow morning.  My run last night wasn't pretty but I managed.  My pace is super slow and I am not sure how to be quicker and still be able to breath.  I assume it's just a combination of practice and work.  My first 1.5 miles was pretty decent but then I had to put in both ear buds and concentrate.  I developed a cramp in my side and in my back but instead of stopping to walk I just slowed my pace.  Will I ever be able to go longer distances?

So this morning I got to sleep in a bit and had this for breakfast:

I packed this for my morning snack:

Warmed up last nights leftovers for lunch:

Then I had this for an afternoon snack:

Dinner was put in the crock pot before I left for work:
Emeals Dinner Recipe Share Below

Slow-Cooker Beef Roast with Mushrooms
(Disclaimer: Due to the Paleo Challenge I opted not to brown the roast with almond flour)

Ingredients: 3 lb beef chuck roast, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 cup of almond flour, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, 1 large onion chopped, 1 1/2 cups celery chopped, 1 (16oz) package of sliced mushrooms, 1 cup organic chicken broth, 3 Tbsp coconut aminos soy-free sauce, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:  Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper; dredge in almond flour.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef, and cook 3 minutes per side or until browned.  Transfer beef to a 5 or 6 quart slow cook; top with onion, celery and mushrooms.  In a small bowl, stir together broth, coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar.  Pour over vegetables in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or until roast is tender.

Arugula-Almond Salad

Ingredients: 1 (10 oz) bag baby arugula, 1 red onion thinly sliced, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp lemon pepper

Directions:  Combine Arugula, onion, and almonds in a serving bowl.  Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and lemon pepper in a bowl.  Drizzle vinaigrette over arugula salad; toss to coat.

I'm ending my evening with a rec league volleyball game and a run if the weather hold out.  I might also add...that part of our partner challenge is to share our food journals with our partner.  So get used to seeing the contents of my stomach for the next month...but to ease the pain I will share as many recipes as I can!  Food is a Drug #Paleo!

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Day Paleo Challenge...Starts today!I Emeals Kid-friendly Paleo Country Fried Steak with Carrot-Cauliflower Mash

A little over a year ago I started my initial 30 Day Strict paleo Challenge and Crossfit Seymour.  I was only committed to 30 days of both and had plans on not continuing with Crossfit and adding dairy back into the Paleo lifestyle.  I stuck it out...not cheating even once!

That first month was tough!  I missed my fizzy soda.  I could barely stay up until 8:30 p.m. I started working out at 5:30 a.m. and could barely move after most of my workouts.  I was out of sorts in so many ways!
Fast forward a year later and oh my how my life has changed!  I have a love/hate relationship with Crossfit.  I no longer miss soda.  I can usually make it until 10 p.m. despite my 5:05 a.m. alarm clock.  I am still sore but not the "oh my goodness, I am going to fall down the stairs" sore.

I am however taking another 30 Day Strict Paleo Challenge.  It's time to refocus.  I have been 90% Paleo for a full year.  This summer with the opening of one of my favorite local ice cream shops I've been having too much dairy!  Plus Mr. and I have added popcorn popped in coconut oil back in for a snack as well.  It's time for me to stop the nonsense and buckle down.  No Cheats...30 days.  I've got this.  My favorite part about this particular challenge is that it is a Partner Challenge.  I've been paired with another person from my box.  I'm excited to learn and share along side her while kicking everyone's butt that we are paired against.  It's only day 1 but I know this is going to be a great challenge with fantastic results!

So this morning I started my workout with "Helen."  3 Rounds of 400 Meter run, 35 lb kettlebell swing x 21, 12 pull ups (banded).  I've never done Helen before but felt pretty good about my results this a.m.

After my morning workout, I came home and Mr. had cooked this:
I ate this and took my vitamins which I've also slacked off on taking: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, B Complex, and a Multivitamin.  Drank 4 cups of coffee this a.m. and 2 Liters of water.

I headed out the door with this for a snack:

For lunch heated up these leftovers:

And ate this for an afternoon snack:

For Dinner:
Emeals Country Fried Steak with Carrot Cauliflower Mash
Emeals Paleo Recipe Share
Country Fried Steak
Ingredients: 6 beef cubed steak, 1 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 large onion, thinly sliced, 1 (16 oz) package sliced mushrooms, 1 (14.5 oz) can organic beef broth, 1 Tbsp Arrowroot

Directions: Sprinkle steaks with steak seasoning and salt.  Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a large deep dish skillet over medium high heat.  Brown steak, in batches 2-3 min. per side; remove from skillet and keep warm.  Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil to skillet; add sliced onion and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until onions are tender and mushrooms are browned; return cubed steaks to skillet.  Combine broth and arrowroot, stirring until smooth and blended; add to skillet.  Bring to a boil; cook for 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Carrot-Cauliflower Mash
Ingredients: 2 Tbsp Coconut oil, 3 large carrots, sliced, 1 (12 oz) bag cauliflower florets, 1 large onion chopped, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1/2 cup organic chicken broth, 3/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper.

Directions: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, cauliflower, onion and garlic and cook 5 min. or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.  Add broth.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Remove from heat.  Mash carrot mixture with a potato masher until blended.  Stir in coconut milk, salt and pepper.

Mr. and I along with our kids thoroughly enjoyed dinner tonight.  In fact, Mr. and I both are excited for our leftovers tomorrow for lunch!  

Tonight I'm headed out for a night jog with Mr.  I'm officially signed up for my first 5K at the end of the month!  Remember...eat healthy and real food because Food is a Drug #Paleo!