Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brunch Today - Chicken Fried "Rice" & Basic Salad Dressing Recipe

Good Morning! I hope everyone is starting their weekend off right and doing something you enjoy.  This morning Roma(in photo) and I went for 3 mile run around the neighborhood.  I wanted to do crossfit this morning, but my body is entirely way to sore from the insane workout we did yesterday. Taking tomorrow as a rest day, but back at it again on Monday.  Can't wait!

Today I am making Chicken Fried "Rice" for brunch.  I got the recipe the other day from my crossfit SL website.  It sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a whirl. I am planning to add some carrots into the mix too.  Hope you enjoy! =D

I did the cauliflower a little different from the recipe below.  I washed and pulled the cauliflowers from the staulk.  Once that was completed I tossed into the food processor to chop it enough to look like rice.  Becareful not to chop it to much or it might get mushy.  I added garlic & carrots in addition to my dish with a little cayenne pepper, sea salt, chili powder, chipotle chile pepper to spice it up.  These items aren't necessary. Definitely a healthy yummy alternative to eating Chicken Fried Rice with cauliflower rice. Trust me you won't miss the rice!

Chicken Fried "Rice"

Tonight we are having a few friends over for a bbq.  The plan is to bbq a London Broil from our CSA Tara Firma Farms out in Petaluma.  Grill asparagus and toss with a little truffle oil(If you haven't realized I really love truffles).  Lastly a fresh garden salad from our garden out back - consisting of English cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, carrots & onions w/ my homemade dressing recipe.




Basic Salad Dressing Recipe:

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 Cloves Fresh Minced Garlic or 1 Shallot Minced
1 tsp Italian Seasonings(These are dried herbs we bring back from Italy - Mainly consists of red pepper, basil, oregano, parsley)
1/2 Tsp Nutritional Yeast(Optional) - Adds a Zesty/Cheese Type flavor.

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a jar and shake.  The longer it has to sit the more flavorful it becomes for the salad.  Anything you don't use can be stored in the fridge for later consumption.  Enjoy!!



Let's GO ND! GO Fighting IRISH!

-Chrissy

Friday, September 23, 2011

Organic Strawberries - Talk about misleading!

http://www.baycitizen.org/food/story/organic-strawberries-not-so-much/1/


Crossfit workout this morning consisted of the following.  I completed it in 28:31 while using 10lb dumbell weights with the squats.

10 Rounds for Time:
10 Ring Rows
10 Push Ups
10 DB  Squat Clean

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week of 9/18 - Eating Paleo & my trip to Chicago...

Today is Thursday, September 22nd -  Day 17 of being paleo. My official start date was Monday, September 5th.  I went to a birthday party on the 10th, and worked through all of the urges to eat foods that I am trying to avoid to become healthier inside & out.  Believe me the urges to avoid the amazing gourmet cheeses(truffle Gouda - amazing truffles inside of my favorite type of cheese) that my aunt had put out was SUPER tough.  Saturday, September 17th we hosted a pizza party at our house and I ended up making myself a paleo pizza made from almond flour.  It turned out really good and I didn't feel deprived while everyone around me was eating delicious homemade thin crust pizzas made in our brick oven outside.  I woke up Sunday morning feeling great that I had accomplished such a hard thing and around this time I realized my headaches, heartburn, and rash that I frequently get on my forearms was almost completely gone.  Hmm coincidence? I think not.  Definitely caused from sort of food intolerance or allergy, my best guess is gluten.  I left that same day for a business trip to Chicago and did great most of the time and felt breakfast & lunch were the easiest at eating paleo on the road.  My breakfasts mainly consisted of eggs with bacon or ham, fruit, tea w/ lemon, and water.  Lunches consisted of mainly fresh salads, avocado, grilled chicken or shrimp.  I found my main challenge came with dinner on Monday & Tuesday night.  I ended up giving into my weakness and allowed myself to have a couple of my friend's truffle french fries (That damn truffle smell got the best of me!  As you can see from above I have an extreme fondness for truffles and not the chocolate kind.) on Monday night, and Tuesday night I allowed myself to try the Wisconsin fried cheese curds (this is something I have never tried before) that were ordered for our table.  They tasted great, but the stomach aches that came with it weren't really worth the cheat from eating paleo the past 2 weeks.  I decided to blog my experience so that I could put this in writing and commit to myself for 30 days straight without cheating.  My official 30 days will start on Friday, September 23rd and go until Friday, October 28th.  I am still tossing around the idea of not drinking during this time as well...it's tough because I enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner on the weekends from time to time.  I will report back on this decision tomorrow.  ;)

Over the past 3 weeks I have incorporated crossfit into my workouts and started to absolutely love it.  I have seen amazing changes in my arms & stomach.  I am HOOKED!  My workout regime consists of working out 3 days on 1 day off.  I try and do crossfit 2 of the days on the 3 day cycle with the other workout being a 3-5 mile run or a 30 mile bike ride outside.  This method of working out has really worked for me and I look forward to seeing the changes in my body over the coming months.  My arms have toned up insanely quick, and I am starting to see abs..I haven't seen something like that on myself in years. I have always had a toned body from running long distances for so many years, but I have never felt this fit & strong.  One of the main motivating factors for me to start crossfit was to really get into the best shape and feel strong doing it.

In the last 5 yrs I have slowly started to gain 10-15bs with 23-27% body fat with me topping out around 129-130lbs on my 5'4 frame on 9/5 when I weighed myself before starting to eat Paleo.  I know this doesn't seem like much to some, but I have always been a person that weighed around 115-120lbs with 15-20% body fat most of my adult life. These fluctuations in my weight lately have definitely messed with my confidence and self esteem.  I decided it was time to make changes to see the person I know I could be.  It was time to get healthy from the inside out, and that is what lead me into researching more about eating paleo and crossfit.  One of my friend's Diane that I met while attending Bauman College for my nutrition certification started eating paleo & doing crossfit and saw amazing results inside & out.  She continues this way of life and lives & breathes it.  My friend Rob has been doing crossfit for a few years, and has always tried to get me into the gym and try it with him.  I am still not sure why I kept fighting the urge to do it, knowing how much I love it now.  Since starting to eat paleo on 9/5 I weighed myself a few times, and so far as of today I have lost 2lbs and my body fat % has went down 2-3%.

Speaking of crossfit it's almost time for me to head over for the 5:30 class and get my workout on at Crossfit San Leandro!!  Tonight's dinner is an experiment of Pork Scallopini(from Tara Firma Farms), Carrots(from our garden), onion, garlic, marsala, white wine, olive oil, italian seasonings, sea salt, lemon pepper slow cooked in our crock pot.  I hope it turns out great, photos to come later if it turns out good.

Update 9/22 - 6:42pm - Just got back from crossfit and these workouts never seize to amaze me!  Today consisted of running warm ups, overhead press squats(I think that's the name), and Wall Ball Burpees(I used a 14lb ball) & squats - doing them in 6 rounds of 6,5,4,3,2,1 repetitions.  The WOD (workout of the day) for the day was 4 Sets Max - Handstand Push Ups  Then: 400m "sprint" x 3.  Today was the first time I have ever tried handstand push ups.  I have to admit I was a little scared/nervous to allow myself to flip upside down like I was doing a cartwheel into the wall into a handstand.  My partner whom has done these before said not to look at the wall when I go into the flip but to focus on where my hands are going and I'll pop up.  As soon as she mentioned that I was up and into the handstand holding it for a bit and finally up again and starting to go down into a partial push up.  I can't wait to try these again they were fun once I got over the fear of falling on my face.  Once we completed the handstand push ups were outside ready to do our 3 rounds of 400m sprints.  My first round was 1:27, 2nd Round 1:36, and 3rd Round was 1:37.  After each round I thought I was gonna lose my stomach...maybe that was due to flipping my stomach over in the handstand push ups & drinking water just before? Who knows..either way I got through it and can't wait to get back at it again tomorrow before work.

Off to make some sweet potato medallions to accompany the pork scallopini crock pot experiment in the photo below tonight.  I took this photo from my iphone..so it's not the best quality and doesn't do the veggies justice the 3 multi color carrots are so beautiful!  Edy was talking about wanting to use the pork scallopini from our farm to make pork marsala without the flour for us.  I wasn't super keen on it since the last time we made this cut of meat it was a bit chewy for me.  This idea popped into my head knowing that slow cooking meats typically makes them more tender & enjoyable.  It smells absolutely delicious! I can't wait for dinner tonight!



Recipe: Pork Scallopini & Carrots via CrockPot w/ Baked Sweet Potato Medallions

Ingredients:
1lb Pork or Pork Scallopini - Mine was Tara Firma Farms - Pasture Raised Pork
5 Carrots - Organic from my garden out back - Chopped
1 Yellow Onion - Chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic - Chopped
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasonings
1/2 tsp sea salt
5 grinds of lemon pepper
1/2 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Utensils Needed:

Meat Tenderizer Tool
Cutting Board
Knife
Crockpot
Measuring Cups(optional)
Measuring Spoons(optional)

Directions:

  1. This step is optional but I tenderized the meat with our meat tenderizer to ensure it wasn't going to be chewy once it cooked in the crockpot.
  2. Place all ingredients above as mentioned into crockpot, cover, and turn on for 5-7 hrs on High or Medium heat.
  3. Enjoy!


Have a great night!!

Ciao,
Chrissy

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vegetable Hash w/ Shredded Chuck Roast and Eggs - Brunch Today

Got in my morning crossfit workout at Crossfit SL today...talk about pure insanity for 15 min.   As much as the workout kicked my a**, I loved the challenge in it.  You can check it out at Crossfit WOD.  I love getting the workout done in the morning, but I always have such a hard time 1- getting out of bed for it, 2-not eating before the workout.  I am sure it will get easier each time I start going on the weekends in the morning.  


Fight Gone Bad!"
1 Round = 5 min, 1 min at each station as many reps as possible

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20/14(ladies) pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 25kg(ladies)(Reps)
Box Jump, 20" box (Reps)
Push-press, 25kg(ladies) (Reps)
Row (Calories)

My total reps for the entire workout was 163.  I can't wait to see how much faster or stronger I get at this one next time around.


Today's brunch I am making a new recipe today taken directly from Mark's Daily Apple.  I used Chuck Roast from Tara Firma Farms, the local CSA that my husband and I buy our meats from every 2 weeks. I slow cooked it in the crock pot a day before so it was ready to go as this recipe has a few steps.  Check it out on the link - Mark's Daily Apple above.   This recipe can be made vegetarian by omitting the meat from the dish. 


Tonight we are having a few people over to hang out and make pizzas in our outdoor brick oven.  This will be a true test for me as I am not eating grains/gluten/dairy right now.  I am on the hunt right now for a paleo friendly pizza recipe for myself tonight.  


Have a great weekend!!


-Chrissy

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Banana & Strawberry Pudding

Are you craving something sweet & yummy?  Look no further! This will definitely hit the spot.  Kids & Adults will love it!

This recipe was inspired from a recipe on The Venus Cave.  Both are dairy free and delicious recipes! 

Ingredients:
  • 4 Ripe Organic Bananas
  • 6-8 Organic Strawberries
  • 6 Tablespoons cold full fat organic coconut milk(from a can)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cacao Powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • Coconut Flakes(optional)
Directions:

In a food processor, blender or vitamix blend bananas & strawberries on a low-medium setting until smooth.  Add coconut milk & cacao powder, small handful of coconut flakes(optional) until completely mixed together and smooth in a pudding consistency.  Serves 2-4.

Put in a bowl & enjoy!


Can be made ahead of time and chilled until you are ready to enjoy!!

- Chrissy

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sausage, Peppers & Southern Greens over mashed "Polenta" cauliflower

Dinner Tonight!

Rosemary Fig & Nut Crisps

Tonight I decided to do a little expirment after going to my friend's house on Saturday night and not being able to consume my favorite Raincoat Rosemary Pecan Raisin Crisps.  I didn't have any raisins on hand so I experimented a little bit and used dried figs.  This recipe was inspired from a recipe I tried on Sunday from Jen's Gone Paloe at http://jensgonepaleo.blogspot.com/2010/01/paleo-chips-and-avocado-salsa.html . 

Ingredients:
5-6 Dried Figs - Diced finely
1 handful of Walnuts - Diced Finely
1 handful of Pecans - Diced Finely
1/4 C Sesame Seeds
1/2 C Blanched Almond Flour
1/2 C Ground Flax Seeds
1/4 C Ground Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 C Ground Sesame Seeds
1/2 C Filtered or Distilled Water
3-4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt (Or any type of finely granulated sea salt)
1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
Fresh ground Black Pepper - To Taste

Utensils Needed:
Oven or Toaster Oven
Medium or Large Mixing Bowl
Baking Pan
Parchment/Wax Paper
Spatula or Spoon
Rolling Pin
Metal Cooling Rack

Directions:

- Turn oven onto 375
- Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
-Add olive oil & water - mix with hands or spatula until everything is mixed up evenly
-Cut Parchment paper to fit inside the baking pan
-Cut an extra piece set aside
-Make the dough into small sized balls as shown in the photo below and place 2-3 inches apart on your baking sheet.

-Take the extra piece of parchment paper and hand pat the balls super thin, or use a rolling pin if you prefer as shown in photo.

-Place into the oven for 10 min and check and rotate the pan in the oven
-Place in oven again for an additional 2-5 min
-Remove from oven and put on the cookie rack to cool.

-Store in an airtight dry container for up to 5-7 days.

Makes 20 Crisps

These turned out delicious!! I can't wait to share them tomorrow with some friends at work.  I am not eating dairy right now, but I think they would be delicious with a triple cream brie, blue or gorgonzola cheese.  Honey would be delicious on them as well.  At some point I will try this recipe in my dehydrator to see how the crisps turn out.

Please come back often and let me know your thoughts on the recipe.  Enjoy!!

Live, Love, Laugh & BEE Healthy

-Chrissy

Week 2 - Paleo Eating

Saturday night I went to a friend's house for a birthday bbq, and one of the guests has celiac disease.  He has stopped eating gluten do to having so many health issues over the years.  He was self diagnosed as the test results all came back inconclusive each time.  His medical dr couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.  He decided to do tons of research on the web and realized he was celiac.  After talking with this dr and mentioning that he felt he might be celiac his Dr said you know what you probably do my wife does.  How crazy is that? His own Dr's wife has celiac but he wasn't able to diagnose the symptoms in one of his own patients.  Kinda ironic... Anyway that night I mentioned I had made a sweet potato augratin w/ chipotles and coconut milk as I was planning to forgo the cheesy potato gratin my friend made to accompany the pork, halibut & salmon she had made w/ dinner.  He said oh you should be careful I have learned the hardway that the chipotles in a can sometimes have wheat flour or corn starch in them.  I have been buying this brand of chipotles forever...and not once did I ever look at the back of the can.  I said wow I don't understand why they would add that.  He said if it's a brand from Whole Foods or another speciality store it might be okay.  I knew it was a brand that we have bought before at Safeway, Luckys, or the local market down the street from our house.  I decided to eat my sweet potatoes thinking it can't have wheat or corn in it!  I got home that night and the first thing I did was look at the back of the ingredients and I was shocked at how much crap was in this little can of chipotles.  I was also disapointed with myself for not checking the back of the can. I ALWAYS look at the back on the ingredient list to see what's being used in the product.  I have no idea why this one time I didn't check it before using it, it was a lesson learned for sure.  The next day I went to a bbq at my friend's house in the late afternoon/early evening and I made sure to bring foods that I knew I could eat free of grains, legumes, beans, dairy, starches.  After a couple of hours being at my friend's house I started getting a really bloated stomach, my joints felt achey and I was really gassy and uncomfortable.  I can't help but think that was due to eating wheat flour or corn starch the night before at dinner.  Nothing else I ate this entire weekend would have caused digestion issues.  Here is to trying my best at week #2 and avoiding grains(gluten), dairy, starches, sugar, legumes and beans.

Last night another thing I noticed that has changed on my outer body is my rash that I constantly have on my arms and back of legs is almost completely gone.  I usually have little red bumps on my arms that sometimes itch.  I can't wait to see if they are completely gone this time next week!

Have a wonderful healthy energetic week!!

What is Celiac Disease? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/

What is Gluten Intolerance? http://glutenfreenetwork.com/faqs/symptoms-treatments/gluten-intolerance-symptoms-how-do-you-know-if-gluten-is-making-you-sick/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week 1 - Paleo Eating & Cross Fit!

I recently read Robb Wolf's book The Paleo Solution it was very thought provoking.  I loved that he had been a vegetarian for so many years and encountered a lot of the same symptoms I have struggled with for the past 8-10 yrs, and probably even well before that I had digestion, leaky gut & dietary issues.  As most of you know I have been vegetarian off and on for the past 8 yrs and very into fitness & health.  When my husband and I went to Argentina back in March 2009, I was eating pasta and he was enjoying meat with these amazing chimi churis.  By the time the trip ended I had ate my first piece of red meat in a very long time.  I tried to fight the urge to eat meat for another 6 months, and finally succumbed to eating meat but only if I knew the source and where my meat was coming from.  We joined a CSA out of Petaluma and I haven't turned back.  I have had more energy these days and feel healthier but I was still having some issues with my digestion and weight.  After reading Robb's book I decided to embark on this new adventure with the help of my friend Diane with Balanced Bites.  Check out her blog/website - http://balancedbites.com/ she has been a huge inspiration in this journey for me!  I will admit this first week hasn't been super easy, but I am doing it! Last night I went to a friend's house for a birthday party and they had scalloped potatoes with cheese/dairy, and gourmet cheeses - truffle gouda.  It was such a hard thing for me to avoid eating those two things!! I am happy to say I fought the urge and today I don't feel bad for breaking my cycle of eating Paleo for 30 days without Grains, Legumes, Dairy, Beans, and Sugar.  I am very proud of myself today for fighting the urge!  Today I am bringing tuna & salmon cakes, paleo chips, and chopped salad to a bbq at a friend's house.  I don't 'want to be tempted and ruin my progression of Eating 2 BEE Healthy!

In addition to eating Paleo I started doing crossfit with my husband at our local crossfit gym..and I AM HOOKED!! =D  Check back often to hear more on my latest adventures, recipes, fitness.