Monday, June 6, 2016

Paleo Challenge Ready!

Mr. and I are hosting a 30 day paleo challenge kicking off June 8th-July 8th.  If you are interested in joining our challenge send me an email to  We are hosting another challenge for several reasons.
1.  We need accountability in a big way!  Keeping you accountable will help keep us accountable. We're going to walk through this with you side by side every step of the way.
2.  We want you to have a chance at changing your life.  Mike and I's life has forever been changed following the Paleo Lifestyle.  We do these challenges because we want to pass on what we've            learned and to help others heal their bodies through food.
3.  We personally have been on a paleo roller coaster for way too long.  We're ready to get back at it and share with others this lifestyle again.

Yesterday we hosted a Facebook Live event for our paleo challengers. You can find it on my Facebook page: Food is a Drug #Paleo.  It was interesting to say the least.  So much to say so little time and for some reason I was a bundle of nerves.  We plan on hosting these once a week through the challenge. There were so many additional things I wanted to say, I thought it would be better in a blog post.

Paleo Challenge Ready!

1.  Meal Plan
The first thing I did was meal plan for the week.  This seems easy enough but it does take a minute to take a peek at your families schedule, what's on sale, and bring it all together.  We generally use Emeals for meal planning but don't always use 100% of what they offer for the week. I also know it's important to think through what I want for lunch too.  After dinner we almost always have leftovers but as the boys get older that's not always 100% guarantee.  I have 3 lbs of burger thawing for dinner tonight.  That was the only way I knew I'd have leftovers for tomorrows lunch. I post our meal plan on the refrigerator so my family knows what to expect.  I then make my grocery list for the week.

2.  Clean it out
I started with my refrigerator.  Luckily, I had time and made it a priority on Saturday morning to work on getting paleo ready.  So this time I took everything out and cleaned all the shelves and drawers so that we could start fresh.  I only put things back in the refrigerator that were paleo friendly or that my kids would consume in the next 30 days.  Then I moved on to my pantry which was for the most part ready to go.  Just a little reorganization wiping down shelves and it was ready to go.  When we did our first paleo challenge I also took things like canola oil, vegetable oil, sugar, flour, etc and put it in the back of a cabinet I don't use often.  Once we adopted the lifestyle long term, I gave it away to a friend.  When your kitchen is organized and ready to go following this lifestyle is easier.

3.  Paleo Shopping
With my grocery list on hand, I headed to the grocery store.  I've come a long way in paleo grocery shopping.  I remember in the beginning my shopping trips took me entirely too long.  Some of that is because I didn't know where to find things and another part is I needed to look up what some fruits and vegetables looked like.  Pre paleo I had never bought leeks, parsnips, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, bok choy, etc.  I would literally be standing in the produce section googling pictures of things on my list.

4.  Washing and prepping
I think this part is so important.  I've heard many times from people that they found the prep and even cooking things ahead a time a valuable lesson for the paleo journey.  Sometimes Mr. and I will refer to this as a cooking WOD (workout of they day).  This weekend I washed all my fruits and put them in bowls at eye level.  With my kids being home all summer, my goal is when they reach into the fridge it's easy to pull out a snack so they don't go on the hunt for junk or something unhealthy.  Mr. also grilled a family package of chicken thighs for us to have for lunch and snacks this week.

5. Condiments ready
We also spend our cooking WOD time getting condiments ready.  Paleo mayo was made for our burger bar tonight but we've also been know to whip up a batch of  paleo ketchup or barbeque sauce as we are getting ready for the week.

6.  Grab and go breakfast
Since you'll likely kick off your paleo challenge with breakfast, it's my experience that you make this as easy as possible.  There are lots of great paleo egg casseroles just a google search away.  Some of our challengers will make egg mixture in muffin tins so they can pre package them for the week.  It makes getting out the door and kicking off your challenge easier if you aren't used to eating a hot breakfast.

7. Lunch ready
After we're done with dinner every night and are cleaning up I package our leftovers for lunch the next day.  In the morning, the process getting out the door is simpler because we can just grab our leftovers for lunch and head out the door.  We have some challengers that make soup or paleo pizza casserole and they eat that for lunch all week.  I like this idea because they use their cooking prep time to prepare, cook, and package their lunches for the upcoming week.

8. Dinner Prep the night before.
As time allows, I like to do as much dinner prep as I can the night before.  Sometimes that just mean getting the meat out of the freezer to thaw.  Other times, I'm able to cut up veggies or precook meat.  Whatever I can do to make the process simpler for the evening meal, I do.

There's a common theme in these 8 steps to being Paleo challenge ready and it's planning!  Planning and prepping is key to a successful paleo challenge.  Now go get yourself ready.  We kick off in 2 days!  Food is a drug #Paleo

Monday, November 16, 2015

Challenged Again...

I find myself starting week #3 of a 6 week challenge.  I am going to be totally honest and say that I love challenges!  I love challenges because I tend to be competitive.  Plus it gives me more purpose on my journey.  This challenge has been pretty gentle.  That is until today.  Someone took away my red wine and I already miss it.  I don't even drink it very often.

Our first week we started by journaling.  I've been tracking my sleep, food, water, and movement.  This has been good for me in keeping me accountable to what I put in my mouth.

Our second week we committed to 3x per week of exercise.  To be honest it was a great motivating factor when I wanted to hit snooze on the alarm last Wednesday.  I love getting my workouts in during the early mornings but I sure don't like getting out of bed for them.

This week we've cut sugar.  (duhn, duhn, duhn)  For me this won't be any where near the first time.  Sugar for the most part is out for me already.  I will miss that glass of wine or three of red wine the most.

I personally like the feeling of change.  I feel better eating healthy and being on track than I do when I veer off.  Why I let myself juggle this I'm still not 100% sure.


Friday, August 14, 2015

Great Day Live Meals

We had an fantastic morning at GDL!  Here's the recipes to what we brought along this morning.

Breakfast cups:
1 lb of sausage or chorizo (your choice)
1/2 onion
12 eggs
1 sweet potato
Spinach (optional)-I used a handful.
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp Siracha
Salt & pepper to taste
 Directions:  Preheat oven to 375. Cook sausage and onion until browned.  In a bowl scramble 12 eggs and add onion powder, garlic powder, Siracha, and salt & pepper.  Add cooked sausage and onion.  Mix ingredients.  Use ice cream scoop to add egg mixture to coconut oil coated muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Turkey-Apple-Bacon Wraps with honey mustard with/Mint Honeydew Melon Salad:
1-12 oz pkg nitrate free bacon
1/4 cup Organic Mayo (or homemade Paleo Mayo)
2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp raw Honey
3/4 lb sliced roasted turkey
1 apple, thinly sliced
Directions: Cook bacon, in batches, in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Combine mayo, mustard, honey.  Stack turkey slices in 8 piles on a flat work surface.  Top turkey evenly with honey mustard, bacon, and apple slices.  Roll up and secure with toothpicks.

Melon Salad:
2 cups Honeydew Melon Salad
1/4 cup torn fresh mint
2 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp raw honey
Directions: Combine melon, mint, lemon juice, and honey; toss to coat.

Make a Rainbow after school snack:
Choose fruits in a rainbow of colors and add to skewer.  Today we chose strawberries, cantelope,  honeydew, blueberries, and grapes.

Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Chuck Roast
2 1/2 lb boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 3/4 cup Organic chicken broth
Directions: Rub roast all over with chili powder, salt and pepper.  Place onion in bottom of slow cooker.  Place chuck roast over onion. Pour orange juice and broth around roast.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until roast is very tender.

Jicama, Peach, and Avocado Salad
1 large jicama, peeled and shredded
2 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped
1 jalepano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
1 ripe avocado
Directions: Combine jicama, peaches, jalapeƱo, lime juice, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl; toss well to combine.  Chill salad.  Stir in avocado just before serving.

Our favorite producer Holly!

Thanks for having us again Great Day Live!  Check back often for more recipes and progress as we continue to embrace our Paleo Lifestyle and follow us on FB: Food Is a Drug #Paleo.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Personal Paleo Challenge Day# 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

I'm over here plugging along still on Day #8 of my 90 day Paleo journey.

We've had a busy weekend and beginning of the week.

I got to cheer my favorite Triathlete on during his 1st Olympic Trialthlon this weekend:

I got to cheer on my to favorite 5th graders all the way to their first day of school.

I got to help my favorite 3 year old niece celebrate her Frozen Birthday.

Plus I got to meal plan and shop for the week for my own first week back to school.  Using emeals has cut the time I spend meal planning down by hours.  I simply go to my phone and use the emeals app to pull up the menu and grocery list for the week.  I am in love with a new feature on the emeals app.  I'm not the biggest fan of cooking seafood at home especially indoors during the winter.  So the new feature allows me to replace it with one of my favorites from prior weeks AND updates my shopping list reflecting the change!

So far so good.  I've been able to eat well but not perfect these last few days.

When we picked up Mr's packet for his race the next day we headed to Texas Roadhouse.  This is my favorite Paleo meal out.  Salad, prime rib and sweet potato.  It hit the spot that evening.

I picked up a sale slab of Spare Ribs on my shopping venture and used my new Instant Pot for the 3rd time.  I can't wait to continue to use it more and more but for now I've got the ribs down pat!

I found this lunch meat at Aldi's a couple of weeks ago and have bought it for the boys lunches and have even packed it for myself a time or two.  Uncured Black Forest Ham!

How do I stay Paleo during this busy time?  PLANNING!!!  I pack snacks with me wherever I go so I know I won't be hungry before my next meal.  I use emeals for my dinner plans and adjust the menu based on our activity level that night.  When I come home from the grocery I chop up celery and carrots for snacks during the week.  This week I made 2 extra meals that didn't get cooked last week and that has ensured us plenty of leftovers.

For back to school planning emeals is perfect.  I've recently been able to review the lunch plan and again I'm in love.  Great stuff that I can either make quickly at home during my lunch break and non cook options that I can pack for the boys and I the night before.  Emeals has been one of the easiest back to school decisions I've made.  Emeals helps Mr. and I take the stress out of meal planning, shopping and prep.

I've been keeping my activity level up during my Personal Paleo Challenge too.  Since I workout in the morning it's helped keep the boys on a better schedule as we head back to school.  Their football season starts tomorrow...then the fun really begins!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Personal Challenge Day #3

What I love best today about my personal 90 day challenge?
-  I can eat fruit and not worry.  When I am in challenges against others, my competitiveness comes out and I want to loose the most weight I can.  Often times I will cut out fruit all together.  Since I am only competing against myself, fruit is on my table; in moderation of course!
-  I can experiment.  Dr. Windley taught me something at our last paleo challenge.  The more you eat, the more weight you will loose.  Backup...what?!?  So I tried it out because the scale hadn't budged for a week.  Viola!  He was right!  So this time I'm trying to make sure that I eat a lot throughout the day.  I am trying to not limit my snacks.

Yesterday (Day #3) I had a bit more fruit than I usually eat.  But no worries....this is a long chipper.  90 days.  The fruit I had today won't matter tomorrow if I fall off the wagon because I need something sweet.  Besides...fruit was part of my dinner meal plan and that never happens!

Breakfast:  I had trouble with my alarm this a.m. and so no jog for me but did start with this yummy beeakfast! 2 eggs, 1 slice of bacon, 1/2 avocado.

Lunch was a combination of leftovers.  A chicken thigh, chicken leg, and the end of the Cauli-Rice.  I realized I was feeling guilty about eating the Cauli-Rice and I had to stop and think why.  I determined I was thinking of it like mashed potatoes instead of a good for you vegetable.  I need to get away from that habit!  Cauli-Rice is good for you!

The boys and I spent the afternoon at the pool.  We came back starving.  Looking through the fridge I settled on leftover taco meat and celery.  It hit the spot and curved my appetite quickly!

Dinner was so awesomely yummy!  Make sure you "like" Food is a Drug #Paleo because I shared the dressing recipe for the arugula -watermelon salad there.  It was a great combo of oil, vinegar, mustard, and orange juice.  The area I live in is known for producing great sweet beautiful watermelon.  If I owned a restaurant this would definitely be a seasonal salad.  The protein was a pesto chicken that cooked in the crock pot all day.  I'm not a pesto person but gave it a try and it was so good!

Day #3 chalked up as a success after a night snack of apple and fresh almond butter!  Food is a Drug.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Personal Paleo Challenge Day #2

You know Day #2 wasn't too bad.  I was busy at work so I made sure I packed a snack.  Exercise was good...well after I got the work done.  I never regret exercising after its over.  This morning I was all set to go for a jog but failed to turn my dead phone back on after I plugged it in.  So much for an alarm.

I didn't get a picture of my lunch but I enjoyed a great bunless burger and side salad during my lunch meeting.

Dinner was awesome!  Italian broccoli with salmon.  I'm not a salmon lover but when it was on the menu this week I decided it was too good for me to pass over.  It turned out really good.  It had a tomato, capers, basil sauce over it.  The tomatoes and basil were from our garden.  I marked it as a saved make again meal!...and to think I might have passed it over.

Everyday...Food is a wise about what medicine you put in your body!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Paleo Challenge Day #1

Day #1 went well.  I was able to get to the store and get my weeks worth of food and snacks.  When I got home I had some leftovers and did prep work before starting on dinner.  It felt like a crazy fast paced day.  I got my exercise in yesterday too.  An early morning workout, a walk, and pacing Mr with a bike while he jogged.  A big increase in water had me in the restroom more than I had planned.

This was the food I ate on my first day.  I had 1/2 a Larabar on the way to workout.  When I came home I had eggs, bacon, and a side of tomato fresh from the garden.  Lunch was leftover chicken thighs and Cauli-Rice.  Dinner was marinated grilled chicken thighs with a grilled side of zucchini, red pepper and okra.  I had a snack after my bike ride of apple, celery with almond butter.  

Again it feels so good to eat healthy I mentally struggle with why I feel like cheats are worth it.