Aside

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.

Status

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!

Status

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!

 

 

Monday Meals: Good Week

This will be the last “Monday Meals” but don’t worry, I’ll still be sharing all of our eats with you!  Monday through Thursday will be a recap of meals and exercise for that day.  Those posts will go up at the end of the day. Fridays will be rotating topics that include recipes and the weekend will be time off for play!

I really want to get this blog back to it’s roots, which is about living a healthy and active lifestyle by focusing on real whole foods and doing things we love.

Plus these Monday posts were just getting way too long and can’t contain all of the deliciousness!

New schedule starts tomorrow so look for that post at the end of the day.

Alright so let’s recap last week!

BREAKFAST:

Peaches and granola

PEACHES!  They have finally started showing up at the farmer’s markets and I am stoked!  Colorado peaches are amazing and their season is very short.  If you see them, grab them while you can!

Peaches with a little sprinkle of grain free granola.  This breakfast rocked, it was sweet from the peaches and the granola helped keep me full for several hours.

Scrambled eggs and sausage

This was a second breakfast.  I had a big bowl of peaches one morning (with no granola) but once we got back from our big walk with the dogs, I was starving!  So I made a potato-less hash.  Scrambled eggs, sliced up chicken sausage, and peppers and onions.  Totally hit the spot!

Kale and sausage

A huge bowl of sauteed kale with kielbasa and shredded carrots.  Cooked up in some ghee and seasoned with Flavor God’s Spicy Everything blend.

Protein + greens are a favorite next to soup!

Kale rice bowl

Leftover rice that I cooked up in some lard with a little tomato paste and seasoned with chili powder.  Then I added in some kale and cooked everything until the kale wilted down and cooked through.

Not as hardy as sausage but still very satisfying and would make a great post workout breakfast.

Granola and bacon

Poor man’s breakfast this past weekend.  We ran out of eggs!  It was tragic.  So this was some bacon, sliced cantaloupe, and granola.  Some almond milk got splashed on the granola as well.  It was good but would have been better with eggs!

Bacon and scone

More bacon and cantaloupe!  The bacon was from a local butcher that they cure and smoke in-house.  Grain free scones topped with cherry jelly.  I pitted the cherries and added them to a blender with cup of water.  I blended for a minute until the cherries broke down a little.  A little bit of sugar was added to the mixture.  In a sauce pan the mixture simmered until it reduced by half.  Once it cools it thickens up a little bit and now you’ve got a quick jelly.

And a fauxmosa to wash everything down.  OJ + Seltzer = fauxmosa  Tasty!  Plus you can add fresh lime juice or mango juice to give it a little extra kick.

LUNCH:

Kale salad, smoked salmon

Kale salad with cucumbers and carrot.  A quick balsamic dressing on top.  Allow the dressing to mix with the kale a few minutes before serving.  Helps to break down the kale and pull out some of the bitterness.  Smoked salmon on the side!

Egg, carrots, beans, guacamole

Really random lunch.  A fried egg, leftover baked beans, sliced carrot, and guacamole for dipping.

DINNER:

Cheeseburger and fries

Cheeseburger on a gluten-free bun, coleslaw, and oven fries.  I nixed the bun, I didn’t like it. It had a weird texture to it and was spongy.  Ew.  So I ate my burger bunless which I prefer!

burger, slaw, beans

Burgers take two! Leftovers with the addition of baked beans.  Both Scott and I can handle beans without it causing any distress on our digestive system (to be blunt, beans don’t give us gas) so we eat them from time to time.

pork tacos and veggie casserole

A really monotone and unappealing picture, I know!  Pulled pork tacos with a cauliflower veggie mix.  The pork butt was cooked in a slow cooker with a can of diced tomatoes, 1/2C water, with sliced green pepper and onion.  Once the pork was done, I pulled it out and shredded the meat.  I blended all of the liquid and veggies together to create the sauce. Everything was seasoned with salt and chili powder.

Served on a white flour tortilla that I ended up not eating.  It was making me feel too full too quickly, so I tossed it and ate the pork with some guacamole.

The veggie casserole was a head of cauliflower pulsed in a food processor until it resembled rice.  I sauteed that in a huge skillet with onions, peppers, carrot and corn.  Once everything was cooked, I added two eggs to the mixture and some shredded cheddar.  Everything was seasoned with chili powder and then I cooked it all again in a casserole dish till it was bubbly.

It looked like a mess but it was tasty!  We had this two nights in a row.

Mussels

Second favorite meal of the week, mussels!  I purchased these at my local Whole Foods.  With a ton of butter (seriously, like 6 tablespoons), I sauteed up some onion, jalapeno, and lots of garlic.  That all got seasoned with Lemon Garlic Lovers Flavor God seasoning.  Then I added the mussels and a bottle of wheat beer.  Put a lid on it and let that simmer until the mussels opened.  Maybe 5 minutes tops.  I sprinkled on some chopped cherry tomatoes and we dug in!

This was a lot of mussels and was plenty for both Scott and I to share.  There’s a misconception that seafood and things like mussels are expensive but they are not.

A pound of mussels (which was way over 2 dozen mussels) cost me $6.99 and that fed two people as a main meal.  That’s pretty budget friendly!

Ribeye and twice baked potato

Favorite meal of the week, ribeye steak with a twice baked potato.  So good!  And gigantic!  I did not eat the entire steak, there’s plenty of leftovers.  The steaks were seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lover’s and I seared each side of the steaks and placed them on a baking sheet.  The steaks finished cooking in the oven.  It only took a couple of minutes since ribeyes are best at medium.

The potatoes were super simple, no fuss twice baked potatoes. Baked potatoes with the insides scooped out.  To that was added sour cream, cheddar, horseradish, and some green onion.  Stuffed and baked again until cooked through and bubbling.

Great eats this week plus utilizing leftovers as much as possible.  Minimal meal planning for this week because Scott and I have some big plans for the weekend!

Supplies:

Flavor God seasonings

Bacon and steaks from The Boar and Bull

Mussels from Whole Foods

Pork and eggs from Jodar Farms

Stand By Me

Me and ScottRedEnvelope recently contacted me about their “Thank Your Rock” program.  It’s dedicated to thanking someone in your life that has always stood beside you and been a great support system.  It’s about showing them how much you appreciate them being there for you. They asked if I would share my story and help spread the word about their program.

A strong support system is extremely important.  These are the people that build you up and help you achieve your goal.  They root for you, they give you cookies when shit hits the fan (or bourbon, the best kind give you bourbon), they are your go-to people when you need advice or a kick in the pants.

In order for us to achieve anything in life we do need to have that support system.  It doesn’t have to be a huge group of people, it just needs to be folks that you know are on your side 100%.

My rock is most definitely my husband, Scott.  While that might sound cliche, it’s the truth.  He’s been by my side for 16 years encouraging me and supporting me through a lot of things.  We’ve been through a great deal together, both happy and sad.  We always come out stronger in the end and it’s because of him that we are able to live the life we want verses the life we have to live.

I show him my gratitude and appreciation every single day in multiple ways.  One of the biggest things that I do for him is to make sure that he has great food to eat.

Yeah, maybe that sounds a little 50′s housewiveish, but there’s a difference between wanting to do something and being expected to do it. Scott has no expectations and he doesn’t assume anything.  He’s awesome that way.

I do this because I can.  Because I’m good at it and because I love cooking.  But I also know that he greatly appreciates having a homemade meal.  He takes care of so much around the house that this is one thing he doesn’t have to worry about.

So yes, he’s my rock.  My main support system, the person I turn to for advice, and the person who can make me laugh like no other.

Who is your rock and support system in your life?  This can be anyone in your life that helps to build you up and inspire you. If you share your story on social media or on your blog, use the hashtag #redgift and tag @RedEnvelope so that they can follow along as well!

 

Disclaimer: This is not an ad. RedEnvelope contacted me and asked me to share this story.

Monday Meals: Utilizing What’s On Hand

It’s a fresh start to a new week!  Last week was much better than the previous one, the only time we dined out was on Sunday while we were in Boulder.

I don’t have pictures of that food because it was nothing special.  Next time I’m in Boulder, I’m hitting up the fancier farm to table joints! Lesson learned, don’t waste time at brew pubs because they don’t have any good food to offer.

There was a lot of leftovers this past week and utilizing what I had in the fridge and pantry.

This week I’m planning on spending more time in the kitchen.  I have a checklist of items that I want to get made (like stock) and I really need a kitchen day.  I haven’t had a chance to spend any significant time in the kitchen lately and it’s stressing me out.

We were busy all weekend so I also didn’t get a chance to prep for this week.  I feel a little bit behind but I think that I can catch up easily!

Let’s look as last week’s good eats!

BREAKFAST:

scrambed eggs and ham

Scrambled eggs and two slices of ham.  The ham is applegate farms and I heated it up in a skillet first then made the scrambled eggs.

sweet potato hash and fried eggs

Sweet potato hash with fried eggs.  One large sweet potato, shredded, with chopped peppers and onion.  Cooked in a skillet in a little lard until everything was cooked through.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

grain free granola and blueberries

Fresh grain free granola with fresh blueberries.  I splashed on a little vanilla almond milk after the photo was taken.  I’m playing around with the recipe for the granola and using eggs in the mix as a binder so that the granola clumps up a little more.  So far it’s working but I’m still tweaking with the recipe.

baby kale and sausage

Sauteed baby kale with andouille sausage.  I used a whole package of andouille (4 links), sliced and cooked in a skillet in a little lard.  Then added in a whole 1/2 pound container of baby kale, and let that wilt and cook down.

I seasoned it with new Flavor God seasonings.  These season blends are legit!  They are handmade fresh when ordered and taste fantastic.  They are 5oz containers and for freshly made seasonings the price is spot on.  (not affiliate links).  For this dish I used the Spicy Everything Seasoning.

fried green tomatoes and fried egg

I spotted some green tomatoes at the farmer’s market this past week and immediately knew what I would be having for breakfast.  Fried green tomatoes along with a fried egg.

The tomatoes were fried in lard and I used a blend of tapioca starch and coconut flour for the coating.  Also seasoned with Flavor God’s Spicy Everything blend.

Eggs, kale, sausage

Fried eggs with leftover kale and sausage.  This breakfast was perfect fuel to deal with the crowds in Boulder!

DINNER:

veggie soup

Leftover soup that I added some diced tomatoes to for a little flavor boost.  We also had the last remaining portions for lunch one day as well.  I didn’t want to toss the last little bit and it was past the time of being able to freeze it for later.  It definitely was on it’s last leg but made for a nice quick lunch.

Salad with pulled chicken

Mixed greens salad topped with leftover chicken.  This salad was huge and so filling!  I love having gigantic salads for meals.

hot dogs and kraut

Grass fed hotdogs (Applegate Farms) topped with kraut, a side of green beans, and some onion rings.  The onion rings were premade and about as clean as you’re going to get for packaged food.  The hotdogs were amazing!  Not normally much of a hot dog fan but these really hit the spot.

hot dog salad

The next day I had the leftovers on a salad!  A little kraut, tomatoes, and I made a spicy brown mustard dressing to go on top.  It was perfect and now I think this should be on a menu somewhere.  Seriously, people would buy the hell out of a hot dog salad to go with their beer!

pork chop and corn

Looks boring but tasted delicious!  A pork chop seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers (look I just got the seasonings last week but expect to see more of it because they are delicious) and cooked in a little lard in a cast iron skillet.  Along with fresh corn on the cob with a little grass-fed butter.

bacon corn slaw

We were out of salad stuff and I had no desire to run to the grocery store close to the weekend.  So I looked in the fridge and saw there was some cabbage that needed used up.  I made a quick slaw with purple cabbage, shredded carrot, corn cut off the cob, and some bacon.  A dijon dressing on top and I added some avocado as well.

So good that I’m definitely making the slaw again this week!

slaw and snack plate

Leftover slaw with some Applegate Farm’s pepperoni and prosciutto on the side along with a little sharp cheddar cheese.

I totally inhaled that slaw too!

Since we have been eating better for several weeks now my body has caught up with the new routine.  I’ve been hungry in the afternoons for a little lunch so I’ll be adding in lunch to the Monday Meals post.

Supplies:

All pork, chicken, and eggs from Jodar Farms.

Some veggies from the farmer’s market.

Applegate products from Whole Foods.

Flavor God seasonings

Upcoming Week:

The goal is to not eat out at all this week and looking at our schedule for the upcoming week this should be an achievable goal.

I feel like the Monday Meals posts are getting a tad long so I might break it up into smaller posts through out the week.  I’m still toying around with that idea.  Also please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover!  Pantry staples or grocery shopping tips for example.  I’ll be sure to make a post on it and let you know when it’s up!

Have a great week everyone and get those meal plans together!

 

Lemon pepper shrimp zoodles

Monday Meals: Too Much Take Out

We had a lot of takeout this week and it was a little disappointing.  Both the food and the fact that we ordered out so much.  By Sunday I told Scott that I was done with eating out unless it’s really special and we make it count.

Meaning it’s got to be a restaurant that we know serves quality food and it’s worth the effort and the money to eat there.

Why spend money on crappy food?  This is what I was asking myself by the end of the week.

Most of us probably need to ask ourselves that more often.  Crappy food does nothing for us.  It doesn’t nourish us, it causes havoc on our digestion, and we pay money for that.

That’s just silliness.

This past week also made me realize that my body is over crap food.  When I eat it, my body reacts right away, like, “Ugh why are you doing this to me? We were eating so well and it was soooo good!  This is horrible.”

I usually end up eating an apple or something to try and make my body feel better.

This week the goal is to only eat out once or twice.  Most likely that will be on Sunday because we are traveling down to Boulder for the day. Boulder has more variety of options for food and I’m excited to see what all is available to us!

On to eats!

BREAKFAST:

Sauteed fresh corn and cabbage

Veggie bowl!  I cut the corn kernels off of the cob and sauteed that in ghee with some chopped purple cabbage, shredded carrot, and some chopped onion.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder.  Very yummy and colorful breakfast!

Sweet potato and chicken sausage

I prepped some sweet potatoes for the week.  I peeled and chopped two very large sweet potatoes, tossed them in a little olive oil and roasted them at 400 until they were just shy from being tender.  Then I used them for breakfasts for the rest of the week.

This sweet potato bowl has roasted red pepper chicken sausage.  Everything was heated up in a skillet in a little lard and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Having the pre-roasted sweet potatoes on hand makes things so much faster and easier to create breakfast during the week.

Scrambled eggs, sweet potato, bacon

Lots of scrambled eggs, more sweet potatoes, and a few slices of bacon.  Easy and filling!

Fried chicken and nectarine slices

Probably the saddest breakfast!  A large piece of fried chicken and some nectarine slices.  I had some leftover fried chicken in the freezer that needed used up.  I didn’t eat the coating, it’s tasty but a little too heavy.   This was the end of the week and I was running out of foods!

Plantain griddle cakes

I had some plantains that needed used up as they were getting a little too ripe.  I tried my hand at making some pancakes with them.  I’m on the right track with the batter, I just need to tweak it a little bit more.

Having these for breakfast, while delicious, my body needs a little bit more in the mornings.  Protein and fiber from veggies or fruit.  This didn’t fill me up for long and by noon I wanted to gnaw my arm off.

grain free ham and cheese handpie

Ham and swiss hand pies with grain free crust.  I need to work on this a bit more to get the crust right so that it isn’t quite so dense and can be rolled out.

There is a French bakery here that makes the most amazing ham and cheese croissants.  I tried to make clean eats version but it still needs a lot of work!  Also, I’m not at all saying that this compares to French pastries in anyway because it doesn’t.  I wanted to experiment and see if I could make a hand pie turnover thing.  Close but not quite there!

DINNER:

Takeout Pho

Last week I mentioned that we were going to have pho for dinner and we did.  It was so yummy!  I get the chicken pho with chicken broth.  The chicken is a little on the sketchy side so I try to avoid it and load up with onions and bean sprouts instead.  It was delicous!

I had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning and that wasn’t so delicious. It turned sweet and a little strange. I’m going to stick with a smaller portion next time we order out.

takeout fried rice

I also got some fried rice which was actually amazing.  It was full of flavor and not in the slightest way greasy. Now I know they used a less desirable oil to cook this in but for a treat I was pleased with it.

grain free pizza

 

This was my big kitchen fail of the week. I attempted to make a quick grain-free pizza.  I’m not sure what happened but the crust turned out awful.  It smelled and tasted like cooked shrimp.  EW  I added baking soda and vinegar to this dough hoping to get a little more rise but I think that might have been the issue.  Those two things didn’t react well with the other ingredients and so we had a very horrible tasting pizza.  Ugh.

takeout pizza

We tried to remedy that with takeout pizza which also wasn’t the best.  We tried a new pizza joint in town that was rumored to have great gluten-free crusts.  After researching, I learned that it’s a pre-made crust (from a company in Loveland but still, not house made) and is frozen.  It’s smaller in size and costs $3 more.

For my money I would be getting a frozen pizza crust that isn’t even the same size as a regular pizza AND it costs more than the regular pizza.

Sorry but I’m not that dedicated to the cause.

Gluten doesn’t give me digestion distress, it only causes me to be a little bloaty and feel sluggish.  These are things I actually can live with if the pizza is worth it.

This pizza is not worth it.  We got the regular crust and just were not impressed with the pizza overall.

Chicken and mashed potatoes

Roast chicken (sort of) and mashed potatoes and turnips.  I learned a lot from this meal.

1. You can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker and it won’t take nearly as long as you think.  This chicken was ready in about 5 hours.  Sure the skin won’t be crispy but the chicken is tender and has a more intense chicken flavor to it.

2. My body hates turnips.  As soon as I ate them my stomach bloated up like an inflated balloon, and I was gassy the rest of the night.  TMI? You’ll live.

I haven’t had a reaction like that to a vegetable before so that was definitely an interesting experience!  But no more turnips, ugh.

Lemon pepper shrimp zoodles

Ham and cheese hand pies were not enough so I made us something else for lunch. I had a craving for seafood so I busted out the shrimp.

Spiralized three yellow squash.  Roasted some chopped tomatoes at 400 degrees.  Coated some shrimp with olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning and roasted those at 400 until done.  About 10 minutes.  Caramelized some onions in some ghee, added the squash noodles, more ghee and lemon pepper seasoning.  At the end I added the tomatoes and topped everything with the roasted shrimp.

Delicious and totally what my body needed!

Chicken soup

I used the leftover chicken and broth from the earlier in the week to make soup.  Broth chicken, shredded carrots, chopped onions, celery, and potatoes all went into the slow cooker and cooked all day long.

It was comforting and tasty way to end the week!

 

Despite all the take out, this was a great week!  I experimented in the kitchen, sure there was a huge fail, but shit happens.  I learned that I can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker which is perfect for when I don’t want to heat up the whole kitchen.  I discovered that turnips hate me and not to ever make shrimp pizza again.

This week I’m busting out the meal plan and making sure everything is ready to go!

 

 

Fitness Friday: Up and At ‘Em

Scott and Andrea running I am choosing to focus on the positive of this past week. I only ran twice but I did get up three times at 6am to start my day.

This is HUGE.  I’ve been struggling with getting back into an early morning routine.  Even though I love early mornings and morning workouts, it’s been a challenge to get back into the habit.  Of course I blame poor eating for that.  The more crappy I eat, the more I just want to stay in bed in the mornings.

Duh.

I worked hard this week to make sure that I got to bed early and was able to get up early.  Adopting that habit again isn’t easy but the more I do it, the easier it becomes.  In order for a new behavior to become habit, it has to be done consistently for 14 days.  I’m working on making morning routines the new habit.

This past week, I made sure I got to bed early with plenty of time to read and relax.  Most nights it was lights out by 9:30.  I felt amazing when I did that and I’m looking forward to more of those evenings.

Scott said that he wanted to start running again.  We seem to go through this cycle of him running for a bit and then phasing out.  This time I hope he sticks with it!  He’s been getting up in the mornings with me and we have been running first thing.  Even though I have always viewed morning runs as “me time”, it’s nice to have company.  It motivates me a little more to get up and get moving.

And yes we are still at a mile.  But with sleeping habits changing and eating habits changing, I see us being able to up the mileage very soon.

Did you get a chance to move this week?

Cilantro, lime, green onions

On Clean Eating and Accepting Change

collardsWhen I started this blog 6 years ago, my idea of clean eats did not mean eating animal protein at every meal every day. Clean eats certainly didn’t mean eating collards for breakfast.

Veggies for breakfast? Unless it’s part of an omelet, then veggies were not an appropriate breakfast food.  Home fries and hash browns don’t count as veggies.  And you can only have omelets on the weekends because they are a treat.  You shouldn’t eat eggs more than once a week, twice at most, right?

I had a lot of restrictions and misconceptions about food and I didn’t even know it.  Not until I did a clean eats challenge did it even occur to me that my thinking about food and eating were skewed.

Earlier this year I did a clean eats challenge for 30 days.  I made up my own guidelines, a little from Whole 30 and a little from Unprocessed Month.  The results were interesting.

Basically I went Paleo-ish for 30 days.  I hate putting a label on diets and ways of eating but our society does that.  So if I have to label it, then it was Paleo with an ish attached to it.  I fully admit that I was curious about the lifestyle and how I would feel with that style of eating.

When I first stumbled across the Paleo lifestyle and Paleo blogs, I had some conflicting views.  The foundation was sound but I was seeing things like pancakes made with 10 eggs and 3 tablespoons of coconut flour.

That made no sense to me.  That’s basically just some eggs, so why not eat the eggs and skip the “pancake” part.  This is what threw me off and made me scoff at the whole concept.

But I came back to the Paleo blogs as a reference for starting my recent clean eats challenge, because what those bloggers were eating fit my fundamental beliefs:  Eat real food.

That makes it super simplistic but at the core that is what the diet comes down to.

Going Paleo-ish for a while made me realize how much distress my body was in and how much it was craving whole nutrient foods. Suddenly I was eating eggs like it was my job and having soup for breakfast.

 

Potato, sausage, and kale soup.

Finally my body felt at peace and nourished.  I was feeling way more satisfied than I had ever felt before.  More deeply satisfied than when I was “healthy” and eating bowls of oatmeal everyday for breakfast.

As soon as the challenge stopped, I slipped back to old habits and I immediately felt like crap.

I could tell my body was craving more nourishment and was not pleased when that nourishment went away.

If you would have told me 4 years ago that I would be adopting a Paleo-like lifestyle (besides lifting heavy things, I’d rather run or punch something), I would have laughed at you and walked away thinking you were full of the crazy.

The thing is our bodies are constantly changing as we mature and with those changes our  bodies’ needs also change.  We have to be aware of what our bodies want so that we can provide it those things. Sometimes those needs conflict with our philosophies about food and food sources.  Sometimes those needs conflict with everything we’ve been told by “health professionals”.

We have to come to terms with that in some way because denying our body what it needs can lead to problems down the road. My definition of clean eats has certainly changed over the years and is vastly different from when I started this blog.

My idea of what meals should consist of is the polar opposite of how I used to think.

It wasn’t until I did that challenge that I realized how crappy I  was treating myself.   How much my body was lacking proper nourishment.

Now I’m on the path to recovery and healing my body and it feels good.  I’m back in the kitchen and making awesome meals.  I’m inspired again to create, nourish, and nurture.  That’s what started this blog and I’m so happy to be back in that space again.

I wouldn’t be on this road to healing if I wasn’t willing to accept change and toss aside old beliefs and habits.

I’ll be sharing a lot more about this change and thoughts and reflections on it.  Perhaps you’re starting a new chapter in your life as well.  If so, feel free to share!  I’m all about support and we can do this together.

Monday Meals: Anniversary Week

How did everyone do with eats last week?  Surprisingly our eats weren’t too bad!  It was our anniversary week so we did indulge a bit but nothing crazy.  This week though I’m ready to get back on track and eat well throughout the week.

We are having pho tonight for dinner and I couldn’t be more excited! It was supposed to be our last celebratory meal for the weekend, grabbing some takeout on Sunday while we snugged on the couch and watched Pacific Rim (Save yourself, don’t watch that movie. Really bad and cheesy.).  Then we learned that they were closed on Sunday.

GASP!

Pho Blocked.

So we are having it this evening.  And while it probably doesn’t fall into the clean eats category, I have to say it isn’t a horrible choice.  It’s better than pizza for sure!

Speaking of pizza, there’s a new place here that is doing wood fired gluten free pizza and very curious to try their pizza.  Not grain-free dough but eh, sometimes we have to live a little.

I’ve done some prep work already for this week.  Still trying to work out what day would best fit my schedule for a prep day.  Sundays and Mondays are super busy.  I’m kind of stuck on what day.  Maybe Friday? I can do big grocery shopping that day and then prep the rest of the day for the following week.

Let’s look at some eats!

BREAKFAST:

Sausage, chard, scramble

Sauteed chard with sausage bites and scrambled eggs.  Whenever I make sausage, I make a whole package at the same time.  We eat a portion of it that morning and the rest goes in the freezer for later.  Then it’s ready to go when I need it.  I do the same with bacon, I cook up 2 pounds of it at a time.

Not much a fan of this breakfast, the chard ended up being really slimy and just gross so I stuck with the eggs and sausage.

Sweet potato cakes, fried egg, tomato slices

Shredded sweet potato cakes!  1 large sweet potato, shredded and mixed with two eggs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder.  I cooked them up in some ghee in a skillet.  With a fried egg and two big slices of tomato on the side.  Delicious!  The sweet potato cakes were a big it, both Scott and I loved them.

Brat and collards

I prepped a huge batch of collards for the week by cooking them in the crock pot with a ham hock.  I heated up some leftover brats and paired that with the collards.  One of the best breakfasts! So filling and satisfying.

Collard soup

The next day was the rest of the collards and shredded ham hock soup!  Just added stock and some extra seasonings.  Mmmm even in summer, soup is still one of my favorite breakfasts.

Grain free chocolate donuts

Tried my hand at making some grain free chocolate donuts and they turned out really well!  I still want to play around with the recipe a bit and as soon as it’s ready I will share.  They were fluffy and full of chocolatey goodness!

Sausage, eggs, roasted potatoes

Pretty standard weekend breakfast, fried eggs, pork sausage, and some roasted potatoes.  YUM!

Fried eggs and side salad

This breakfast/brunch I loved!  Fried eggs with a side salad topped with avocado and tomato salsa.  That was easy to put together:

  • Two medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3TBSP Chopped Red Onion
  • 1 Large Avocado, chopped
  • Leftover corn on the cob, removed from the cob
  • 3TBSP Chopped Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder

Combine in a glass bowl and stir.  Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.  This was used as the salad topping and it was so fresh tasting.  Definitely a nice squeaky clean breakfast.

 

DINNER:

Steaks, mashed potatoes, side salad

Steak house dinner!  Some grass-fed NY strips with horseradish mash potatoes and a side salad.  Also some horseradish cream sauce to dip the steaks in.  I didn’t think I would eat the whole steak but I totally did, it was so good!

The mash potatoes had sour cream, butter, whole grain mustard, and horseradish in them.  This gave the dish some nice tang and spicy bite.

grilled sausages, potato salad

Our first cookout of the season!  Grilled brats and kielbasa with grilled peppers and onions and a side of potato salad.  I used homemade mayo for the potato salad.  This tasted so so good!  We definitely need to make time to grill out more often.

Ribs and slaw

Pork ribs and homemade cole slaw.  The ribs were cooked in the oven and I used a homemade bbq sauce on top.  The sauce was made for a recipe development gig so I can’t share that with you.  I can say that it incorporated beer though!

Ribs, corn, slaw

Leftovers! With some corn on the cob and some meatballs (from the same gig).  Corn is one of those grains that I’m not sure I want to give up just yet.  Rice and corn are two that I still love and they don’t seem to mess my system up too much.

Crab salad, mixed greens

Scott and I had gone out to dinner during the week to a local fish place.  I had the lobster roll sandwich (ate the insides and left the roll) and it was very fresh tasting and not heavy at all.  I decided to recreate a version of it using some leftover snow crab that I had in the freezer.  I mixed the crab with some mayo, red onion, celery, lemon juice, and old bay seasoning.  That was placed on a bed of fresh romaine with some avocado, bacon, and tomatoes added on top.

So freaking good.  I’m going to try this with smoked salmon! I think the salmon and avocado will work well together.

snack plate

Since we didn’t get pho on Sunday, we had a snack plate instead.

  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Rice crackers
  • Cheeses

It was tasty and fun to eat but it didn’t really fill the hole left by no pho.

Your turn, how was your holiday week?