Salad Remix…yaaaah!

Happy Monday y’all!  I hope that this post finds you in good spirits 🙂

I’m going to keep it short, sweet, and simple today.  The hubs is heading out of town for a few days so I have lots to prepare in advance of his departure. 

The recipe I am going to share with you follows with the theme of my post…short and simple.  It is actually one I created on my own that remixes a classic and throws in a bit of a more recent favorite.

Spinach and Prosciutto Salad

Spinach
1 Slice of Applegate Farms Prosciutto
2.5 oz ground beef
12g sunflower seeds
5g Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

I have been eating a lot of salads lately…like seriously a lot.  For the past 4 weeks, I’ve had a salad for lunch every day and there have been plenty of times that I have had salads for other meals as well.  It stands to reason that one can only have so many salads before growing tired of them.  In order to prevent this from happening, I have been trying to get creative with what I put on my salad greens.  I have been taking the approach that any main course meal item can EASILY be turned into a salad just by putting in on a bed of greens :). Fact. 

This week, I switched my salad protein as well as my salad green just to break the “same old boring” salad routine.  I chose to go with spinach as the base, and a combination of ground beef and pork as the protein.  In fact, I actually just used some of the leftover bacon meatloaf as my “ground beef”.  I totally have to confess that this was on accident though.  I got so wrapped up with cooking yesterday I forgot to prep my salad protein, but now that I discovered this I will be cooking up some ground beef using the same exact seasonings as in the meatloaf. 

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One note on the proteins…prosciutto can be a big no-no when you are working on cleaning up your diet.  That being said, I have found that the Applegate farms brand is actually very clean.  The only three ingredients are pork, salt, and pepper.  The animals used for making their products are humanely raised and slaughtered, which makes me happy knowing that my food is coming from happy animals.   

This kind of brings up another topic – I used to be vegetarian before finding paleo (and while we are at it, I do NOT by any means consider myself paleo pure – my diet is more real foods based but certainly not 100% paleo).  Going from vegetarian to paleo is kind of a big transition, to say the least.  But one day it hit me that eating real food was really important to me, as a vegetarian it was very hard to get the recommended protein without having to have some kind of processed protein, generally in the form of soy.  Around the same time I had found CrossFit and was introduced to this “new” style of eating.  After switching to a more paleo diet, I found that I felt better, I slept better, I didn’t have problems with my sinuses, I had more energy, and I was just overall more alert.  Since making that transition, I have refined what works best for my body.  It is by no means a completed process but I enjoy the experimentation part.  Especially experimenting with new recipes 🙂

Eating animals is something I have come to terms with so long as I know that the animal had a healthy and happy life.  I guess I could describe it as almost spiritual (here I go with the hippie stuff again)…I think of it in terms of how the Native Americans viewed the meat they killed to feed the tribe.   I know that an animal’s life was sacrificed so that I could live my life and for that I am thankful.  I pay my respects to the life of that animal and I am grateful for what it provided for my family and I.

So much for being short :).  Try the salad, you can thank me later.

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It’s here!

It’s finally Sunday!! I can officially say that for the first time in my life. Well, I take that back. Sundays aren’t bad, it just means that its back to the grind tomorrow.

Sundays are usually kind of hectic around here. It’s last minute cleaning/laundry day, hair cut day, the hubs’ wanna be sleep-in day, and meal prep day. There is a lot going on for such a short time period. Not that Sundays are shorter than any other day of the week but it kind of seems like it. Speaking of, wouldn’t that be weird if everyday was a different length?

Well, I guess I’ve kept you all in suspense long enough! It’s time for the weekly meal plan :). Oh man, is it a good one. You know what I have noticed over the past two weeks…there are actually a lot of things I have noticed but, I digress. I have noticed that the more excited I am about my meal plan, the more likely I am to stick to it. I have found some really great sources that I have been taking advantage of when compiling these menus. The recipes are wonderful, they are quick, and they are REAL. I seriously have had very little desire to go out and eat lately because I know that none of the food that I would get at a restaurant would taste as good or be as satisfying as what I would make at home. Plus, cooking at home is tons of fun! So throw on some tunes, grab some pots and pans, and practice your galactic dance-off moves while you get your food ready for the week! I swear it will be the most enjoyable cooking experience you’ve ever had.20130303-081835.jpg
I generally like to stick to the same approach with the mid-week lunches being the same for convenience. I threw in a couple of homemade snack items this week as well. I have heard rave reviews about the morning glory muffins over at paleomg’s website, so I went with those this week. Thank you, Court, I’ll let you know how they turn out 🙂

I also tried out her apple cinnamon muffin recipe for the hubs…
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…and her avocado pudding recipe…
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…both of which have been amazing!

So go out and try those 🙂

Okay so, one last recipe I have to share with you. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve really been diggin’ Juli’s blog. Seriously, can’t get enough…I even have some recipes in mind to try out next week. I mean they are all just so good and so easy to make. Anyway, point of my rant…I tried her recipe for bacon meatloaf last night…not only did it taste amazing BUT it was super easy to make and made enough to last a few days (all positives in my book). In the interest of full transparency, we even made the BBQ sauce. Best BBQ sauce I’ve ever made.

Check these bad boys out…you can find the recipe here
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Sorry the image is kind of sucky, it was night time and the lighting was bad…here was the full dinner plate 🙂
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Enjoy!

Hope you all have a fabulous week that involves good food and lots of CrossFit 🙂

R-E-S-P-E-C-T…

…find out what it means to me”…come on, you know you want to sing along like Aretha :).

In case you didn’t get it…I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what respect means to me (and what it should mean to you, just kidding that’s for you to decide).  IMHO (in my honest opinion), respect can come in a variety of forms and I would argue that you cannot get respect without first giving respect, in fact you don’t really “get” respect at all…you earn it. 

But how does one go about “giving/earning respect”? 

Earning respect starts with learning to respect yourself and your own efforts.  Once you have developed a strong sense of self-respect you become self-disciplined.  Self-discipline leads (whether consciously or subconsciously) to an abundance of healthy practices.  I’m not just talking about healthy in terms of eating well and exercising, but I’m also talking in terms of limiting stress, helping others, being reliable, a positive influence, and a friend.  Self-disciplined people don’t make excuses for themselves and they always strive to give 100% of themselves to everything that they do.  Additionally, they know when to ask for help and when to say no.  Learning to say ‘no’ is, arguably, one of the hardest things that anyone is tasked with learning but it can provide significant benefits in regards to living more of a stress free life.  Not to mention, learning to say ‘no’ can help you become a more reliable person in the sense that you won’t be making promises you can’t keep. 

Once you master the art of self-discipline, as well as the art of self-respect, you begin sending those vibes out into the world.  I’m not trying to get all hippie-dippie on you (as Diane and Liz, from Balanced Bites, would say) but I truly believe that you get out of this world, what you put into it.  Send good vibes out, get good vibes back.  Send out reliability, honesty, openness, and compassion…get all those things in return.  Quite often, choosing to do this isn’t always the easy choice to make, but in the long run, it is the choice that will make you a respectable person.

And that my friends, is my spiel on respect. 

My wish for you this week, is to think of ways you can improve your own self-respect and self-discipline.  Is there a particular task you have been wanting to accomplish but you haven’t made the time to get around to it?  Is there a friend that has been asking  for your time but you keep putting it off because you are too busy?  If so, go out and make it happen over the next week.  I promise that you’ll feel a lot better that you did!

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PaleOMG

It’s Monday, most of the world hates Monday. I, on the other hand appreciate Monday’s. Monday’s are a new beginning for me, a fresh start to the week ahead. It’s often very stabilizing after a hectic weekend. It’s also my weigh-in day (this can go one of two ways). I am working on using the number on the scale as feedback for the previous week so that I know what I did well and where I can improve, it tends to make it a more positive experience. This week I have some room for improvement, but in all honesty I saw it coming. Good news, I didn’t gain weight 🙂

So today is recipe/resource day and man do I have a good one for you!

Blackberry Glazed Pork Chops

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These guys were amazing! We used thin boneless pork chop for our recipe and we cooked them on the grill skillet inside. Minor modifications. The only things I would change for next time would be cooking them on the actual grill, using bone-in thick cut chops, and cooking the glaze down a little longer than we did.

I’ve mentioned Juli’s website a few times in the past few days. She’s got a great blog and tons of recipes! She’s even coming out with her first cookbook soon :). I know a lot of you are starting a 30-day paleo challenge this week, so mosey on over to her site and check it out! You won’t be disappointed, promise!

Have a fantastic week and good luck to all of you challengers!!

Never hesitate, always go for it!

I’m going to share a secret.  I have an insane addiction to green tea, not just any green tea but Honest Tea’s – Just Green Tea.  Love the stuff.  The underside of the lid has these little 6-word phrases submitted by people who drink it and the last bottle had one that really inspired me so I have been trying all week to figure out how to work it into my blog.  It dawned on me to use it as my title when I sat down to write this post 🙂

So I had a week full of workouts capped with the longest run I have done since last summer.  Not going to lie, I was a bit apprehensive about the run when I woke up this morning…it was below freezing, flurries were falling, I had never run with this group before, and I haven’t run over two-miles in several months.  Sounds like a boat load of excuses, huh?  I think I have Wade Mazingo to thank for getting me out the door this morning, he was the one that submitted the six word memoir to honest tea that become the title of this post, just in case you were wondering.

The run actually ended great, it was a little hairy in the middle but I learned a lot about myself on that run today.  Running brings a level of peace to my mind that I didn’t realize how much I missed until I experienced it again today.  We had to tackle a mountain today, quite literally, and not once but three times.  Prior to meeting this mountain for the first time, we had a crash course in tackling the “hills” on a run.  You know – people around here have a skewed perception of flat- and that really hit home today.  Anyway, so back to the crash course.  We were informed that the hill is not going to move, and if you try to attack it, the hill will win.  Every time.  So there are a few strategies to employ when facing a hill during a run.  I’m going to stop right there and run with this…

If you think about what those last few sentences really mean, you realized that a hill, while at face value may seem daunting and insurmountable, is a static object.  Something that is static never grows or changes.  You, however, as a person are dynamic.  You can adapt, bend, learn, and improve…just to name a few things.  When you put a dynamic object up against a static object, the first time the static object may win BUT the dynamic object can take that experience and learn from it, then use it to their advantage.  You see that static object lays all it’s cards out on the table in the first go-around.  The next time it’s presented, you know all that it has to offer, which means you can modify your approach so that you can overcome.  Today’s hill workout reminded me of the importance of being prepared for various obstacles that we may face in our life and more importantly the fact that just because something was difficult the first time, doesn’t mean it’s impossible and it certainly doesn’t mean you should quit.  The hill may have won the battle today, but I now know what to expect the next time I face that hill (and yes there will be a next time) and you better believe that it is only a matter of time before I own it.  I urge you all to take this into consideration next time you face a challenging situation 🙂

So now that I have given you a little insight into my head…time to share the menu.  You’ll have to excuse the picture-less post today.  I don’t have the image of my menu so I’m going to have to list it out.  I also don’t have last weeks recap, but I can tell you that things didn’t go quite according to plan.  I learned that I need to have more protein rich snacks in my diet or else I get really hungry and make poor decisions.  This weeks menu accounts for that (think back to the last few paragraphs on being dynamic) and I have to tell you, I am super excited about the food I’m going to be eating this week.

So here goes:

Breakfast:
Maple Blueberry Bacon Carnitas

Lunch:
Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad (similar to last weeks lunch, but I baked the chicken with blackberry glaze, cinnamon, and honey)

Sunday
Dinner: Blackberry glazed pork chops and caramelized onion and sweet potato stuffing

Monday/Tuesday
Dinner: Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Broccoli on Monday and Brussel Sprouts on Tuesday

Wednesday/Thursday
Dinner:  Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs with Broccoli

Friday
Dinner: Chicken Bacon Alfredo

Saturday
Dinner: Mexican Burgers

So the goals for the week are to be more mindful about timing my meals and making sure that I get enough protein to sustain the amount of physical activity I am doing.  Also, to make sure that I don’t overeat after a workout.  I also want to take a picture of every meal that I eat so that I can share all of these yummy meals with you 🙂

The majority of the recipes that I am making this week come from PaleOMG’s website.  Check it out, she’s awesome and has a great sense of humor!

Alright y’all that’s enough from me, enjoy the rest of your Sunday!  Eat well, live happy!

🙂

Another great morning WOD…

Who said that eating clean had to be boring…I just made the most delicious afternoon snack that included some grilled chicken, walnuts, goat cheese, and honey.  Yea imagine that, uhhhh-mazing.  You know, that’s one of the best things about eating clean, finding new ways to use/combine the same ingredients you’ve been consuming your entire life. 

BUT this post isn’t about wonderful recipes, save that one for tomorrow, this post is about the wonderful experience we had at Everhard CrossFit this morning. The morning started with an endurance seminar that we are taking part it.  The seminar focuses on the many aspects of being an endurance athlete, one of the main things we are learning is proper and efficient running form.  Let me tell you, running with proper form, makes all the difference in the world (imagine that).  Also as a part of the seminar this morning, we had some one on one time working on kipping form.  I have been trying for WEEKS now to get to the green band and I FINALLY made it today.  It’s amazing what your body can do if you just let it.  Hopefully I’ll soon be doing them unassisted :).  I don’t think it will be too much longer, I feel I am pretty close strength wise, it’s just getting the form down so that I can be as efficient as possible 🙂

After the seminar wrapped up, we had some down time before beginning the WOD.  Saturday’s are always special, for several reasons.  The WOD is a partner workout plus it is open to the public, which means that we have the opportunity to spread the benefits of CrossFit out into the community.  Today’s workout was a 20 Min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) with teams of four.  We each had to cycle through a set of 10 sit ups, 10 push ups, 10 over the shoulder med ball cleans, 10 air squats, and then a group 400 meter run.  No one could move on to the next exercise until everyone had finished all 10 and then the group had to run the entire 400 meters together before the next round could begin.

Having a partner WOD like the one listed above really helps build camaraderie.  You learn to function together as a team by picking each other up and working through everything together.  Honestly, that’s one of the best things about CrossFit, the fact that everyone does the same workout at the same time.  Everyone shares a common, sometimes painful, experience together which allows them to relate to one another.  When two people can relate to one another a bond develops.  This bond strengthens and grows over time and before you know it you have life long friendships.  So think about that next time you see one of my posts about being at the box.  If you have the opportunity to take advantage of such a wonderful experience, especially if it’s FREE, don’t let it pass you up!!  You’ll be missing out on so much more than just a workout!

Be Your Own Best Friend

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There is a concept in psychology known as flow. It is a mental state that occurs during activity when a person is fully engaged in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment of that activity.  If you ask any athlete they often describe this feeling as being “in the zone”.

I have been involved in sports my entire life and I have been fortunate to experience flow on several occasions.  While in this state, I know there is activity going on around me but my main focus is on the task at hand.  After the event/task, I can’t recall a single detail about what happened around me but I can tell you in explicit detail EVERYTHING you want to know about the activity, what I felt and what I did.

Let me give you an example.  For our WOD (workout of the day – for the non-crossfitters out there) yesterday we were asked to perform as many rounds as we could of 7 power cleans at a weight of 95# or less for the ladies (my weight was 75#), 2 box laps carrying a 40# bag, and 2 box laps carrying 70# worth of kettle bells.  Going into the WOD, I knew it was going to be challenging (they all are) but I told myself, just do it.  Well, I got to the 2nd box lap carrying the kettle bells (in the first round) and my forearms started burning.  It was at this point that I knew the WOD could go one of two ways…I could either let my thoughts get the best of me and drag me down or I could push the self-doubt out of my head and get through the workout.  I chose the second option and reminded myself to “just do it”, I would argue it was at this point that I entered “the zone”.  I began to focus on my breathing, counting out the reps, and just putting one foot in front of the other until the buzzer rang indicating that 10 minutes were up.  My legs were burning, my arms were burning, and my heart was pounding but I just kept doing it by breathing and putting one foot in front of the other.  I can’t tell you about anything else that was going on around me other than the voice of my friend Kirsten telling me to “keep going, don’t stop” every time I passed her.  I used those four words as my mantra to block my own self-doubt and maintain my flow throughout the work out.

If I have learned one thing about performing (in any aspect of life, not just athletically), it’s the fact that it is 90% mental.  Once you fully understand how powerful your thoughts are, you can begin to understand why it is so important to take control of them and not let your own negative voices of fear and self-doubt get in the way of your ability to do great things.  If you spend your life telling yourself that you can’t do something or that you’ll never be good at it, you’re right.  You won’t.  BUT if you tell yourself that you will do something and that you will be good at it, you are also right.

So my wish for you this Wednesday is that you be your own best friend.  I wish that you learn how powerful your thoughts are and that you use that to your advantage instead of your disadvantage.  I wish that you see yourself as strong and capable of overcoming anything thrown your direction.  I wish that you see how amazing of an individual you truly are.  I wish that you could see yourself as I see you.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday 🙂

Meal Planning Week 1- Take 2

Hey Everyone!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  Ours went well, we got a lot of work done and even got to spend some time with good friends!

As many of you know, I am working on getting the blog going again.  It may be a little rocky at first while I am working out scheduling issues but I’m going to do my best.  That being said there are a couple things I wanted to share with all of you today.  Well actually three things, first I’ll start with the most exciting news…I started weighing everything I eat (in an effort to watch my portions) and last week I lost 6.4 lbs doing so!  Crazy, but exciting!!  Second, part of my master plan is to share my weekly meal plans with you all.  Not only do I plan on sharing my proposed plans, but I will also share with you what I actually ate during the week and try to do a pretty detailed analysis as to why I may have varied and what I could have done better.  Third, I have a wonderful recipe that I want to share with everyone today as well 🙂

So let’s get started, but first…some coffee :).  Speaking of coffee, I have been drinking it a lot more than usual lately, not really because I feel that I need it but I just enjoy it so much, especially on mornings when the temps are in the single digits!

Okay – Meal Planning 🙂

My husband and I are very busy people.  We both work full time, take care of my grandmother, have two wonderful dogs, three kitties, and we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by making wise decision regarding what we eat and exercising at least 3-4 times a week.  With the majority of our time being taken up by other priorities we have to have a plan in place for our weekly meals to stay sane.  We have found that having a meal plan takes the thinking about food out of the equation during the week.  Often times, when you are in a pinch and have to think about what you have around to eat you are either A) likely to get stressed out because you have to spend time out of your already busy schedule planning a meal and then cooking it or B) you are like to just throw your hands up in the air and go out to grab a bite to eat, which for me generally ends poorly for my diet as well as my wallet.

Disclaimer: I am by no means saying that you should NEVER go out to eat but schedule those meals into your plan and your stomach and wallet will be a whole heck-of-a lot happier.

I think society as a whole has gotten to the point where too much time is being spent out at restaurants because it is convenient and the majority of restaurants load your food with preservative after preservative and it really slows down your system and generally just makes you feel like blah.  Not to mention, food is something that should be shared with the family.Not just eating a meal around the table but the whole process.  Starting with where the meal comes from (and I’m not talking about the grocery store , I’m talking about the grassroots here people), to the preparation of the meal, to sharing it together.  It is somewhat of a sacred ritual that creates a family bond and I think we have just gotten so far removed from spending time with family that it is just sad.  Okay – off the soap box now.

So here is this week’s meal plan:

Weekly Meal Plan 1

(sorry the image isn’t the greatest, I’ll work on that for y’all)

At first glance, it may look a bit redundant but we get our variety at dinner.  I have found that since we both work full-time jobs it is quicker and easier to have the same lunch and breakfast every day during the week.  I promise you that it doesn’t get boring because as you’ll see, the weekly lunch menu changes (breakfast pretty much stays the same because it is less prep work on Sunday, but occasionally we’ll have a frittata or quiche to munch on for breakfast during the week).  Oh another thing I want to note about this, you may be wondering why I write down the meal even if it is the same thing every day… it’s called accountability.  If I have it written down on paper, it is like a contract that I have agreed to and therefore I can’t change it.  If it’s not written down, it’s a free for all.

So about that recipe I promised you…and yes I have pictures 🙂 This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods.  It serves 12 and for those of you weight watchers out there, it weighs in at 6 points plus per serving.

Crustless Quiche

Ingredients

12 large eggs
½ cup almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup spinach, rinsed
½ cup red bell peppers, diced small
½ cup green bell peppers, diced small
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

 Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs together until slightly foamy.  Stir in almond flour and baking powder.
  3. In a large sauté pan, melt butter, then add in onions and spinach, cooking until onions are translucent.  Mix in the peppers and any other vegetables of your choosing.
  4. Stir the veggie/butter mixture into the eggs, and pour the contents into a 9 inch X 13 inch baking dish and top with pepper.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

 The result:

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We put some bacon on top of the quiche during it’s last 20 minutes of cooking and man, that really made this dish.  So enjoy!  This slices nicely, stores well, and is a quick grab and re-heat meal to have on hand during the hustle and bustle of life during the week.

Time for me to go wind down after an awesome WOD tonight.  Hope you all had a great Monday!  Until next time 🙂

Making a comeback

Hey Everyone! It’s been a while since we last spoke but I’ve had a few requests lately to get my blog up an going again, so I figure it’s time for a comeback.

Last time we spoke, I was in the middle of making some changes to the blog…I have a few more coming, lets just leave it at that. Okay – ill give you a hint, there will be some shifting around of my themed posts. There that’s it 🙂

So to catch you up to speed, we just celebrated the hubby’s 27th birthday at the lake cabin.

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The drive in was a bit snowy, but the cabin looked so pretty in the snow!

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It was nice and relaxing, plus we got to see the family :).

There was even a really nice sunset one evening we got to enjoy, from inside of course…

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We did a TON of cooking while we were there! Probably the most favorite meal of the trip was the birthday boy’s birthday dinner so lets dive on in to the meal and all of its glory!

Birthday Dinner
Bacon wrapped filet mignon
Roasted Potatoes
Sautéed Brussel Sprouts
100% Homemade Ice Cream Cake

The meal itself was actually fairly easy, it was the cake that took some planning 🙂  I actually combined three recipes on my own to make this one, and I’m quite proud of it too!

We purchased all of our food ahead of time and took it with us so that we could eat as cleanly as possible. Lets be realistic though, it was vacation so we did away from the meal plan a bit (paid the price too 😦 ).

So about those steaks. Be sure to get out your grill skillet for these! But lets not get too ahead of ourselves because we need to get the potatoes going, so preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed potatoes in a bowl drizzle with olive oil, the sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley. Once they are good and coated throw them on a baking sheet and place in oven for 45 min.

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Okay back to the steaks. Get your grill skillet cranked up pretty high because the first step in the process is to sear the outside of them, once this has been completed you’ll want to wrap your bacon around them and secure with a toothpick, then pop them in the oven until the desired internal temperature is reached.  We prefer ours just over Medium Rare so we cooked it to 140 degrees.

The brussel sprouts were sautéed in butter, but I think for next time I’d like to try it in bacon grease.  I cut this in half, chopped up an onion, and threw in some garlic until the sprouts softened.  Easy, peasy.

The end result looked something like this:

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Like I said, this was relatively easy compared to the cake, not that the cake was hard by any means but it just took some time to prep.

I used three recipes for this cake two of which were from the food lovers primal palate website, chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and a slightly modified version of their dark chocolate cake.  For the chocolate cake, I did not use a dark cocoa powder, hazelnut frosting, or chocolate ganache.  The cookie dough ice cream requires that you make the chocolate chip cookie dough ahead of time but it freezes well!  I do have to forewarn you that this recipe is amazing and it will be really hard to keep it around long (you can eat it straight up because it has no raw eggs), so plan accordingly 🙂

So for the icing I made some of my coco loco whip.  This is a super easy recipe that is so versatile you wouldn’t even believe.  To date, I have used this as an icing, a fruit dip, and a snack.  I have also made three variations of it by adding pumpkin, as well as  almond butter in with and have future plans for about three more variations.  So here’s the recipe…

Coco Loco Whip
1 can of full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1/2 cap full of pure vanilla extract
raw honey (optional – add to desired sweetness)

Once the can of milk has been chilled over night remove the solids from the can and put into a mixing bowl, add the vanilla extract, and the desired amount of honey (I usually add 1-2 tablespoons) and then whip it with a hand/stand mixer until it looks like you could scoop a dollop (2-4 minutes). That’s it!

Okay so now for the final assembly…I took one of the 9 in cake circles and placed it in the freezer (after it had cooled) for about 20 minutes, I then took the ice cream out and let it soften just until it was easy to spread.  Once it had softened I took out the frozen cake placed the ice cream on top and then placed the other 9 in cake circle on top of it.  I had to work VERY quickly because the ice cream was already soft,  and this was a very messy process!  So once it was all assembled I put it back in the freezer and did not ice it until right before it was served.

Here’s the final product 🙂

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Yum yum!

So I have a couple more recipes that we made while on the trip, but I think I’ll save those for later this week 🙂

Until then here are a couple pictures that I took from around the lake town

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I’ll be working this week to get the blog back to normal…until then, enjoy 🙂

Weekly Meal Plan and Resource Round Up Week 3

It’s hard to believe that this is the third week for a meal plan and resource round-up! I feel like I just started making these changes yesterday. I suppose the saying, time flies when you’re having fun really is true 🙂

I think my holiday schedule is finally catching up with me. I’ve been doing a lot of running around and not doing a lot of recovery and I’m guessing that it’s the main reason that I feel like I could go to sleep right now and sleep all night. In fact, even though I’m a little behind on the posts I’m probably going to keep tonight’s short and then mosey on up to bed (mind you, it’s only 7:20 pm here).

So lets get started! I’m gonna shed a little insight. When I first start meal planning the plan looks a bit different than the final prepared version I present in my posts. I have actually been creating plans this way for years because I find is very easy for me to create a shopping list and even order my shopping list based on the layout of the store. I promise y’all I do not have OCD (well maybe a little) but I just find it’s a lot easier to stay on budget that way and some of the stores I shop at are not exactly designed to handle the large volume of people that shop there so naviagating them can be a challenge.

I create the meal plan and shopping lists on my phone and just erase the items as I plop them in my cart. I find that doing it this way serves several beneficial purposes:

1. It keeps the budget in check
2. I am RARELY without my phone, therefore, chances of forgetting the list at home are significantly less which then increases the chances of number 1 (above).
3. I feel as though I am doing society a favor by saving a tree and therefore making the air cleaner and easier to breathe. Everyone enjoys breathing, right? That’s what I thought.

So here is the “first draft” (Courtney – that’s a shout out to you and all of your kick @$$ work on the thesis):

Meal Plan Week 3

So at first glance you are probably like what the heck? But let me decode it for you. Let me also just tackle the elephant in the room…there are OBVIOUSLY several items on this list that are not paleo-friendly. I live in a house with two other people who do not exclusively eat paleo. I cannot force anyone to do anything and to that extent, when you have survived 87 years eating hot dogs and cereal…who am I to stop you now?

Now that THAT is cleared up lets get on to the decoding. I usually start with dinners. Dinners are typically always paleo (yes, even where it says potatoes…that means sweet potatoes). I generally list the protein then the side and then in parenthesis the amount of meals it needs to last. So take the slow-cooked ham for example. The ham is obviously the protein and the (3) indicates it needs to last three meals…the three sides are going to be greens/sauteed cabbage/potatoes. If we have a soup, like the first one listed (Chicken Tortilla-less Soup) I’ll just list the name and the number of meals. Lunch and Breakfast generally stay the same throughout the week so they aren’t really as detailed as the dinner section. I also don’t list items that I have on-hand. For example, my snacks during the week usually consist of some type of nut or nut butter. This week I had plenty on hand so I didn’t put it on the meal plan to prevent from over purchasing and going off budget.

There. Now you know my secrets 🙂

So where do I get some of these yummy recipes from? Obivously, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I have been relying HEAVILY on my Paleo Comfort Foods (click the link if I have conviced you to buy it, it’ll take you right to it on Amazon) cookbook. After thanksgiving, I have cooked a large majority of the recipes in there and while I do love them dearly, I wanted to get another paleo cookbook to begin branching out. The hubs and I work opposite schedule so using the slow cooker is great for us because we don’t have to take too much time out of our crazy schedule to have a wonderful nutrious meal. This past weekend we did a little shopping and I happened to pick up a few new Paleo books:

Paleo Books

The three recipes we are having for dinner this week just so happen to be from the new slow cooker cookbook.

With all this chat you’d think that I’m planning on using one of the new books as a featured resource. Well guess what, I’m not. I’m actually planning on telling you about this WONDERFUL website that I stumbled upon a couple weeks ago. It’s called The Food Lovers Kitchen (previously The Food Lovers Primal Palate) and is located here. I first heard about this website on the podcast I have been listening to (Balanced Bites). When I got to the website I was nothing short of amazed with all that it had to offer. They even have an AWESOME App, myKitchen (for your iPhone or Andriod) that allows you to select recipes and will generate a customized shopping list for you! The best part about the website (or perhaps the owners of the website) is that I emailed them to ask permission to share my love of their blog on my blog and they responded within an hour saying they would be more than willing to let me do that! Oh – they have a cookbook too 🙂 it’s on my Christmas List!

Well, I think I am going to call it quits there! Go check out the new resource, you won’t be disappointed.

Stay happy (and healthy), my friends 🙂

Ashley