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Tweaking The Streak

We are smack in the middle of the third week of the #30DayStreak!  At the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  If you’ve been following along on my instagram then you know that there are some days where I’m doing something other than running.  At the beginning of this challenge my goal was to run for the 30 days.

While doing this challenge I’ve realized that running and I need to breakup for a while.  Currently I do not enjoy running.  I dread it.  Without this challenge, I think that I would have kept plugging along trying to run and then bitching about it.

Instead of doing that, I’m focusing on things that I do enjoy and that I want to do.

Avery and Penny on a hike

Like taking hikes with my dogs.  We take our longest walk on Tuesday mornings because that’s when we meet up with our walking group.  It’s a 2 – 3 mile hike (depending on the heat) and it’s awesome.  Fantastic views and very peaceful.  The rest of the week we take smaller hikes 1 – 1.5 miles.  I would rather hike with the dogs instead of just walking around our neighborhood.  Hikes are calming and very relaxing.  The dogs and I enjoy hikes way more than neighborhood strolls.

Poudre Trail

I recently purchased a bike and have fallen in love with biking.  I cannot wait to get on my bike and go for a ride.  I’m pretty sure this is going to replace running for me, at least for the time being.  Biking deserves its own post so I will be sharing my thoughts on biking and my transition next week.

For the remainder of the streak, my focus is no longer on running.  Now my goal is to get outside as much as possible and to move my body mindfully everyday.  Whether it’s a hike with my dogs or a bike ride, I want to be out embracing the day.

How has the streak been going for you?

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Dog Gone Good Cuisine by Gayle Pruitt

Penny and Avery hikingI’m really picky about what food and treats my dogs get.  I read all ingredient lists on treats with the same scrutiny as if I was going to be eating it. There’s no kibble in this house, my dogs get real foods to eat.  I’ve been doing this for years.  Avery and Penny are my second and third dogs that I’ve successfully switched over to a real foods diet.

In total, I’ve been feeding dogs this way for over 10 years.  I geek out over dog nutrition and I’ll gladly talk with you about it and offer advice if you ask.  Not only am I a believer in eating real foods for myself but it also applies to my dogs.

So when I was approached to review the Dog Gone Good Cuisine cookbook by Gayle Pruitt, I jumped at the chance.  I don’t home-cook for my dogs much, they are on a more raw based diet.  However, I’m always learning and reading about dog nutrition and viewed this book as a resource.

If you’re new to a real foods diet for dogs and are thinking of making the switch, this would be a great book to help ease you down that path.  It offers a lot of homemade dishes that you can feed your dog and that you can also eat.

This cookbook also provides information about what foods and spices are OK for dogs, along with what kitchen equipment you will be using.  It prepares you for cooking for your dog without making this seem like an overwhelming or difficult task (because it isn’t).

Another thing that won me over about this cookbook is that all the dogs pictured are rescue dogs.  All my dogs are rescue dogs so I have soft spot when it comes to providing second chances to our canine companions.

I decided to go with a veggie recipe from the cookbook for my two punks.

Tarragon Carrots

Carrots and Zucchini with Tarragon
Reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press
© Gayle Pruitt

  • 1TBSP Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 3 Medium Carrots, washed, peeled, and sliced into thin carrot sticks
  • 2 Zucchini, washed and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
  • 1tsp Dried Tarragon

Melt the butter or coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the zucchini and cook for 1 minute.  Remove the vegetables from the skillet, sprinkle with tarragon, and serve.

I didn’t have any zucchini but I had these great baby carrots that I picked up at the local farmer’s market.  They worked great for this recipe. Avery and Penny both love carrots and this was definitely a winner for them!

If you’re thinking about cooking for your dogs or are at least interested in learning more, check out this cookbook!  Plus you’ll get to see some great pictures of rescue dogs!

 

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this cookbook for review.  All opinions are my own.

 

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Kicking Off Week Two

We are starting the second week of the #30DayStreak!  I am feeling very good about this streak and think it’s just what I need to get back on track.

I did miss running on Day 7.  Last Friday, Scott and I were out and we think we ate some bad food.  Eep!  The next day we weren’t feeling so good, Scott having it worse because he ate more of the food than I did.  Saturday I was able to go out with Penny for a walk but Sunday I needed to take a break.

I didn’t miss Monday though! I’m feeling much better so I was able to head out for a run.  The run was horrible, my shins kept cramping up so it was more walking than running.  BAH!  But I got out and completed it, which is the point of this challenge.

Fried egg with brussel sprouts

Breakfast was delicious.  Sautéed brussel sprouts with onion and crispy prosciutto.  The sprouts were boiled first for about 5 minutes.  Onions were sautéed in a little olive oil and butter, then the sprouts were added in. Everything was seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and garlic lovers by Flavor God.  Sprinkled in the prosciutto at the end and topped with fried egg.

Liquid lunch today (rare that we do this but breakfast was on the late side) was a smoothie.  I don’t have a picture because I was too busy drinking it but it contained:

  • 2.5C Water
  • 1C Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2C Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Huge Handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 Frozen Bananas

Blend!  This wasn’t a super thick smoothie but it did the trick and it made enough for Scott and I each to have two servings.

Porkchop with roasted parsnip mash

Dinner was pork chops with parsnip puree.  This time I roasted the parsnips first with half an onion and a clove of garlic.  All drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt.  Roasted at 400 for about 20 minutes until softened and slightly browned.  Everything got blended up with some milk and butter in the food processor.  It was really good but very rich and sweet.  A little too sweet, it definitely needed something to help break that sweetness a bit.  Not sure what thought, a recipe I’m going to have to play around with a bit more.

The pork chop was seasoned with Flavor God’s Everything Seasoning and seared on each side in a cast iron skillet in a little lard.  Then I added a splash of stock and finished the chops in a 400 degree oven.  Simple dinner but so satisfying!

How’s the streaking and eats going for you this week?

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A Little Streaking, A Little Indulging

Today is Day 4 of the #30DayStreak!  How are you all doing with your streaking?  Scott has jumped on board and decided to go streaking too!

So far things are going well but definitely challenging. I will admit that starting running again from square one is much different than the first time I did it.

Now I’m sore!

Six years ago when I first started running, my shins hurt for the first week but otherwise running wasn’t a big deal. My main issue was endurance and working to build that up.  Now not only do I have to build endurance, my muscles need to get used to running again AND I have to work towards tolerating exercise at elevation.

My quads and my groin muscles are sore after running.  Running is so much harder now.

DAMN IT.

Aside from that, streaking is going well.  Please know, I’m not complaining, more just talking out loud about the changes I’m experiencing.

Eats have been spot on this week as well with a little indulging that I’ll address in a minute.

BREAKFAST

breakfast sandwich

Monster breakfast sandwich and it was amazing!

  • 365 Organic Whole Grain Bread
  • 1/2 Smashed Avocado
  • 1 Egg
  • Prosciutto
  • Cheddar
  • Onion
  • Lettuce

Filling and delicious!

peaches and yogurt

Sliced peaches with coconut Noosa and some dried coconut flakes on top.  Perfection!  There is nothing like Colorado peaches.  The coconut Noosa was fantastic! I wasn’t sure what to expect but it totally delivered.  Slightly sweet shredded coconut blended perfectly with the yogurt.

 

LUNCH

Salmon salad

I made a quick salmon salad with canned salmon and homemade mayo.  It was super simple with some green onion, celery, and seasoned with lemon pepper.  I planned on having this as a wrap but the lettuce wasn’t playing nicely so it got chopped up and I placed the salmon on top.

Along with some carrots and a cucumber and tomato salad.  That salad was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper then drizzled with balsamic and olive oil.

DINNER

 

Roast chicken and roasted root veggies

I planned a roast dinner for Tuesday which worked to my advantage because I was so tired and feeling a bit run down that I didn’t have much motivation to do anything.

Roast dinners means everything goes in the oven till it’s done! Minimal prep and very little clean up makes life easier.

Whole roast chicken seasoned with a little lemon pepper seasoning from Simply Organic and Flavor God, roasted until done.

Along with some roasted potatoes and carrots, seasoned the same way.  I also made a quick gravy out of the pan drippings.  It was such a comforting and perfect meal, totally hit the spot.

Pasta and garlic bread

Scott and I had what we refer to as A Big Bang Night.  We love this show and I will sit down and watch it every chance I get.  TBS has little mini-marathons almost every evening.

If the Big Bang crew is having a special evening, entertaining someone, or having guests over, they usually are eating spaghetti.  That seems to be their go-to fancy meal and honestly it always looks delicious.  And I don’t even like pasta that much!

Last night we decided to indulge and have a Big Bang themed night.  We had pasta with garlic bread and red wine. There was cheesecake for dessert, that we didn’t get to but will be eating tonight!  And of course we watched the show while sipping the wine.

I had a little too much red wine but eh, it happens.  It was a fun evening and an awesome way for us to relax and feel like we were indulging a bit.

Everyone is going to have a different idea of what indulging means.  I’m sure pasta and wine isn’t a big deal to others as it is to us.

But with indulging, the point is to still make it count.  My philosophy is always make sure it’s the best that you can get. Meaning, if you want fries, don’t wast calories on fast food fries, seek out some damn good handcut fries with sea salt. Not only will they taste better but it will be better for you which means you can still feel good about eating it.

For our Big Bang Night, the pasta was whole grain spinach spaghetti, the bread was from Whole Foods and I made a garlic butter spread for it using grassfed butter.  I made the sauce and added local sausage.  The parmesan cheese was freshly grated.

We indulged but it I made sure that what we ate still mattered.  That we weren’t just eating empty calories but something we could still feel good about.

That’s how I approach indulging and “treats”.  Nothing is off limits because I don’t really believe in restriction but I do try to always eat the best possible that I can get.

Tonight it’s leftover roast chicken and veggies for dinner!  Thank goodness for leftovers, they make life so much easier.

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September: Go Streaking

Penny and I running

As most of you know, I have been struggling to get back into running since moving to beautiful Colorado.  The altitude is hard for me to adjust to and that makes running a big challenge.  I need to change this because I hate not working out and feeling like a lazy jerk.

It’s going to take baby steps but in order to get my ass in gear I’ve decided to do a running streak for the month of September.  Distance and pace aren’t important, just that I run everyday for 30 days.

I’ll probably bitch about it and it’s going to most certainly be a challenge. But I can do anything for 30 days, right? Earlier this year I did a diet challenge and that got me back on track so logic tells me this should help.  I will be instagramming this challenge and posting a picture after each run, using the hashtag #30DayStreak.

I would love to have some friends join me! Are you looking to make a habit change as well?  Maybe you want to start doing morning workouts or perhaps you want to bike more?  Whatever your goal is, I encourage you to streak for it! Challenges are better when we can all support one another.

So are you in? Let me know what you will be doing for 30 days and where we can follow along!

Streaking starts on September 1st, which is next Monday!  So soak it all up this holiday weekend because we start first thing on Monday!

Here’s to streaking!  I hope you’ll join me!

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Midweek Checkin

 

Pepperoni Pesto PizzaYesterday I was having A DAY.  My site was having issues connecting to the server which meant that anything I wrote wasn’t getting saved.  I couldn’t upload pictures either.

This on top of how much I’m starting to hate my iPhone and I’d had it.  I shut everything off and watched SVU until it was dinner time.  Then I made us a pizza, had a gin drink and called it a night.

The pizza was an all white flour crust (yesterday was not a day for a whole wheat crust) with a kale and sundried tomato pesto.  Topped with cheese, pepperoni (Applegate Farms) and banana peppers.

I had leftovers of the pesto and that’s what inspired me to make the pizza.

Earlier in the day for lunch we had the pesto on some noodles.

Squash noodles with pesto and chicken

Yellow squash noodles with the pesto and leftover shredded chicken.  The pesto is this recipe with some marinaded sundried tomatoes added in for extra flavor.

Last week I did awful with meal planning and prepping.  I had two events to attend and there is a definite correlation with us going out and then grabbing something to eat on the way home.

This week, while I desperately need to go to the grocery store, I have been better about planning and prepping.  I’m going to hit the grocery store today, hopefully it won’t be too slammed with people stocking up for Labor Day.

Tomorrow is going to be spent cooking and prepping for the weekend so we have plenty of stuff to see us through.

How has your week been going?  How are you doing with your meal planning and prepping?

 

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Leo: Fitness Intelligence

I love fitness tracking devices.  Since last Christmas I have been using the Fitbit Flex.  While I do like the program, lately it has left me feeling a bit frustrated.

It has trouble charging and then it won’t stay charged for very long.  It also isn’t very accurate, as long as your hand is moving, it counts that as steps.

Basically I could just wave my hand to bump up my stats.

Currently I am looking for something better.  A replacement that is going to be a little bit more accurate and actually work towards helping make me a better athlete.

I was approached by a company called Leo Fitness Intelligence to take a look at their new device and talk about it a bit.

Promoting crowdfunding projects is not something I normally do.  However I was very impressed with this device and the amount of things that it does blew me away.

Leo Fitness Band

It’s a band that is worn around the leg while you work out.  It monitors all of the signals that your body is putting out while you are exercising and compiles that into real time data that is easy to understand.

It helps you train better and can help you reduce the risk of injury by monitoring how you move.

Muscle Intensity

 

This works no matter what exercise you are doing, everything from biking to kickboxing.  Most fitness devices only monitor things like walking or running, big impact exercises.  This can help with a wider range of activities.

The amount of information this device puts out blows all other fitness trackers out of the water.

It’s pretty amazing!

Please go to their website to learn more about the Leo Fitness Intelligence.

The more people using this device the better the device becomes.  It learns from everyone and then takes that data to help make you a better athlete.  No other device does that.

They need support to get this moving.  There is even a Thank You program!  If you refer 3 friends who contribute to the campaign you can get a Leo for FREE.  That’s right.  They want everyone to have a chance to use Leo so they created a program to reward you for sharing with your friends.

Here’s a link to the Thank You program.

I love the idea of this fitness tracker!  If this sounds like something you would like as well, follow the links (not affiliates) and check out Leo.  I think that you will be impressed!  They have 7 days left on their campaign so make sure to head over and donate.  Don’t forget to check out their Thank You program as well so you can get your Leo for FREE!

 

Disclaimer: Leo Fitness Intelligence contacted me and asked me to share about their device.  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Going Reduced Grain

Hey all!  How is everyone’s week going so far?  Our meals have been a little off schedule but so far everything is running smoothly.  I feel much more centered than last week.  I don’t feel like I’m constantly behind trying to catch up!

Meal planning unfortunately did not happen as I would have liked but we’ve still been on track with our eats!

BREAKFAST

Steak and peppers on grain free waffles

Grain free waffles using Brittany Angell’s recipe.  I heated up some peppers and onions in a skillet and added in some leftover steak, sliced thin.   Placed on top of a waffle with a slice of swiss, which then was put in the toaster over so the cheese could melt.  Perfect breakfast sandwich and a great way to use up leftover steak!

scrambled eggs and toast

Scrambled eggs seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers and two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with lots of grassfed butter.

Grains! Yikes!  I’ll get to that in a minute, be patient.

DINNER

Pork taco and a side salad

Pork tacos and a simple side salad.  Ground pork cooked in a skillet with some peppers and onions.  Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and chili powder (however much you like but easy on the salt).  Then I added in a few heaping spoonfuls of salsa and let the whole mixture simmer until the salsa reduced and thickened up.  Topped with chopped tomato and sour cream.

Salad was mixed greens with cucumber and carrot.  Very easy! I love having salads with meals because it’s quick to assemble and a great way to get in some raw veggie action.

Salmon and green beans

Sockeye salmon with red peppers and capers with a side of green beans with prosciutto and almonds.

For the salmon, in a sautee pan I heated up the peppers and capers in some ghee until the peppers softened a bit.  Then I added in the salmon and sprinkled that with some Flavor God’s lemon garlic seasoning.  I added in a touch of chicken stock, brought to a simmer and covered.  All of that simmering until the salmon was cooked through.  Remove and top with the peppers and capers.

The green beans were prepped ahead of time.  They were blanched and just waiting in the fridge to be used.  I sauteed them up in a skillet with some ghee.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Right before serving I tossed them with some almonds, crispy prosciutto (heated and prepped before heating the beans), and sprinkled on some parm.

Looks fancy but it’s really simple to put together and no fussy ingredients!

SNACK

Banana ice cream with pecans

A little bit indulgent but much needed!  This was banana ice cream with bourbon butter pecans on top.

Banana ice cream is one of the easiest things to make.  All you do is put frozen bananas in a food processor with a little liquid (cream or almond milk for example) and blend until smooth and creamy.  That’s the basic concept and then you can flavor it or sweeten it a bit more.

For this version I added in some bourbon, vanilla almond milk, and vanilla extract.  Blended until smooth.

For the pecans, I sautéed them in a skillet with lots of butter.  After about 4 minutes I added in a small splash of bourbon.  Once done, I tossed the pecans with some cinnamon and coconut sugar.  I let them cool and sprinkled on top of the ice cream.

Delicious!

We have been on the clean eating and grain free train for several months at this point.  We have learned a lot during just these few months and one of the things we realized is that grain-free and gluten-free items do not work for us.  In fact, those types of things, like the grain free waffles above, do not sit well with our digestive system.

Every time we eat something like that, both of us are running for the bathroom immediately after eating.  Tummies rumbling, bloating, and hitting the bathroom multiple times for hours afterwards.

Not fun.

Clearly those kinds of items are not working for us.  So with that, instead of being grain-free we are reducing grains. Most grains don’t give us any kind of digestive distress, not like the grain-free items do.  So while we won’t be seeking out sandwiches daily or big bowls of pasta, if we feel like a pancake we’re going to eat it.

Don’t be surprised when you see some whole grain items pop back up in our eats!

Curry Chicken Salad

Curry Chicken Salad

The first time I had a curry chicken salad was at a Whole Foods in North Carolina.  It kind of blew my mind.  It was my first experience with anything “curry” and was a whole new flavor sensation to me.  I immediately wanted to recreate it and I have finally succeeded!

It’s an easy recipe and the amounts can be adjusted to however much chicken you have.  There are always leftovers when I roast a chicken and this is my go-to recipe to transform those leftovers into something tasty.

I’m going to provide rough estimates for the amounts I use for leftovers but definitely play around with this recipe to fit your tastes and for how much you want to make.

Andrea’s Curry Chicken Salad

  • 1 Large Chicken Breast, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2C Raisins
  • 3/4C Mayo
  • 1TBSP Curry Powder (I like Simply Organic)

In large bowl combine all ingredients.  Make sure to mix well so the mayo and curry covers everything.  It can be served immediately but is best when left to sit for an hour or more.

Eat it on a sandwich, in a wrap, on top of a salad!  Or just out of the bowl, like I sometimes do. A little different than your standard chicken salad, curry brings some warmth while that little bit of raisin keeps things sweet.   It’s great for lunch during the week or for dinner on a hot summer day.  Heck, or even breakfast! No judging here.

Have fun, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

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Back on Track

After a weekend away in Denver, I was looking forward to cooking at home and eating some good food.  We had good eats while we traveled but I still got off track a little bit and didn’t eat as well as I would have liked.

We usually only had two meals and I realized that three works for me now.  Even if “lunch” is on the small side.  A little something to keep me going.

I also realized that when traveling, fresh fruit and produce seem to take a backseat.  Not because I didn’t want it but because it’s not offered up as much in restaurants.

I find this very interesting!

Lack of freshness definitely caught up to me and made me feel a little on the blah side.  I was ready to be in my kitchen eating some real foods.

BREAKFAST

Kale and bean soupFirst day back, I needed soup ASAP.  Full of greens and homemade broth to welcome me back and get my body back in balance.

It also had white beans and I chopped up some leftover smoked sausage and turkey we had from dinner the previous day.  Full of veggies, this soup hit the spot!

bananas and grain free granola

A little lighter the next day, some bananas with grain free granola.  With a splash of almond milk after the picture was taken.

Fried eggs with avocado salad

Today was a little bit more hardy, friend eggs with an avocado side salad.  The eggs were fried in ghee and sprinkled with a little garlic powder and chili powder.

The side salad is simply some chopped romaine, chopped avocado, and then I topped that with a little bit of salsa after the picture was taken.

LUNCH

Salad and hotdogs

Easy salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, and carrot.  A side of grass-fed hotdogs that I topped with spicy mustard.

Unpictured is leftover spaghetti squash and a smoothie.  Pretty basic but the smoothie was delicious!  Almond milk + spinach + 2 frozen bananas + 1/3C pumpkin puree   Creamy and smooth, sort of like pumpkin ice cream.

DINNER

Shrimp Sushi

Sushi!  We have not had homemade sushi in ages.  I couldn’t get the rice to turn out.  It took me a while but I finally figured out how to successfully make sushi rice at altitude!

Normally sushi rice is a 1:1 ratio when cooking.  However in the mountains it’s 1.5:1  So 1.5 cups water for 1 cup rice.  I made 2 cups of rice and used 3 cups of water.  It worked! Perfectly cooked and sticky sushi rice!

The filling is shredded carrot, cucumber, avocado and roasted shrimp.  The shrimp was roasted at 400 for about 5 minutes.  It was seasoned with soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.  So good!

Spaghetti squash and tomato sauce

Spaghetti squash with some tomato sauce.  The tomato sauce had Italian sausage and garlic chicken sausage added to it.  I have to confess that I hate spaghetti squash.  I decided to give it another chance and realized that I was right and I cannot stand it.

It’s mushy, stringy, and the strings have an odd rough texture to them.

I gave it another shot and I find it repulsive.  Blech!  No more spaghetti squash for me thanks!

smoked salmon snack plateI wasn’t terribly hungry for a full meal but I did want something to nibble on.  I put together a snack plate featuring:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Cucumbers
  • Cheddar Cheese (though I didn’t have any)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Red Apple

I made a quick sauce for the smoked salmon as well:

  • Sour Cream
  • Horseradish
  • Capers
  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Whole Grain Mustard

A little salmon on a cucumber with a drizzle of sauce was perfection in a bite.  This snack plate was exactly what I was looking for, full of fresh foods!  I definitely needed those crunchy fruits and veggies.

Because we were away, I didn’t have time to meal plan or prep for the week.  I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up all week long.  Thankfully it’s almost the weekend and I can be prepared for next week!