Sweet Tooth? Yeah, Me Too.

I’ll be the first to admit, I have a sweet tooth. Scratch that, I have a sweet mouth. When I tell people about it, explaining that is turning into a problem, they usually just roll their eyes and say “yeah right, I’ll show you a sweet tooth.” But I am serious. I would rather forego any meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, anything for a sweet treat or some chocolate. I  don’t care how much fat, how many calories…just give it to me.

Ok, enough of the cookie monster. See what I mean? My fiance has even admitted that he thinks I am addicted to chocolate. Whenever I talk about my chocolate cravings he usually just shakes his head and tells me that there is something wrong with me.

So you are on doing this Paleo thing, you’ve weened yourself off sugar but still feel like you have an inner cookie monster who dying to come out now and then? Well lucky for you, many other Paleo-ers feel the exact same way. And lucky for me I have been able to find great paleo ways to satisfy my sweet tooth without getting a jumbo sized Caramello. (if you don’t know what a Caramello is, for goodness sakes…drop everything right now and go buy one for yourself at the gas station…oh my chocolately caramel goodness) ok…ok. Sorry. I’m back.

Anyways, like I was saying, they are great ways to stick to your eating plan and still enjoy life. This time I tried some muffins, Paleo muffins of course.

Disclaimer: just because a “sweet” is Paleo does not mean you can sit around and eat as much as you want. Moderation is the key. If you are making muffins, make mini muffins instead of regular sized to ensure that you aren’t overdoing it. A lot of these sweet recipes call for some pretty high fat/calorie content foods and if you are trying to lose weight, eating a batch of Paleo Chocolate Chip cookies is going to do more harm than good, whether or not it has gluten or diary in it. So pace yourself.

Ingredients!

I had to alter the recipe a bit due to some nut allergies in our house. So I will put the original recipe here and then in blue put my substitutions. Enjoy!

 

Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

1 1/2 cups almond flour (I used 1 cup coconut flour)

3/4 cup puree pumpkin (you can used canned, but make sure to get just plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling) (I added a bit more, about a cup)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

3 eggs

1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or honey depending on your sweet tooth

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I had no “official pumpkin pie spice so instead I made my own mixture -Makes 1 tsp

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • I didn’t have clove- but would have added 1/8 tsp clove if I had had it.

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup chopped cranberries (I used a cup of dried cranberries)

1/2 cup water- (mine were a little dry upon mixing so I added some water to moisten.

 

Adding the Coconut Flour

 

 

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix together all the ingredients except for the cranberries until smooth. Fold in the cranberries.

Spoon batter into greased muffin cups (I use coconut oil) and bake for 25 minutes. They turn out soft and cakey, but are delicious in the mornings with some coffee!

 

Adding the Crans!

Ready for the oven!

There you have it! Something a little different for your palate! Hope you enjoy! As always, Stay Active, Stay Healthy, and Smile!

 

Stay Active Even in a Blizzard


Whoa, being snowed in for seven days has been….well, interesting. It is amazing how much my motivation went out the window when you don’t have a car and you can’t leave your house without wadding through 14 inches of snow! And don’t forget people, we live in OKLAHOMA. This much snow is a record for our state. Usually we are lucky if we get 3-4 inches in one sitting here in T-Town, but 14? Sheesh. They were actually calling it The Snowcalypse of 2011! Cars were littered all over the street, buses were stuck blocking entire intersections and most grocery store shelves were completely picked clean.

Fortunately, we were able to get out one day (when the temp was above negative 6 degrees) and have a little fun. As you can see by the 10 foot tall igloo in the picture above…we had a blast. Which brings me to the theme of today. Even when the weather isn’t perfect, or cooperating at all, you are stuck inside due to a blizzard, or any other natural disaster that could be messing up your days there are always ways to stay active and keep your body going.

A few ideas to keep you active in the next Snowcalypse you encounter:

1. Shovel your driveway, and the neighbors (if they deserve it).  If you have a weight vest, even better! Strap that baby on and see how fast you can get it done.

2. Have a massive snow ball fight. It could be with your kids, neighbors, friends, whatever. Nothing gets your heart beating more than running from or chasing someone with an arsenal of snowballs. Talk about a good time.

3. Attempt some new recipes you wouldn’t have time for regularly. I found myself stuck inside with a lot of extra time on my hands, what better way to spend the day then trying that new Paleo Pumpkin Cranberry recipe I have been eyeing (pictures/post to come)

4. Do a few WODs in your house. Not all workouts need weights, you can do a great workout with nothing but your body. Try: 10 rounds – 10 burpees (click here to see how a burpee is done) and 20 sit-ups. Time yourself and see how fast you can get it done.

5. Rocky it up! Pile on the clothes and try for a neighborhood 5K. (make sure you have some nice sweat pants for your attire to really get you in the mood.

So there you have it. 5 fun ways to stay active when the weather tries to keep you in. Check back soon because I will be posting my the results of my Snowy Paleo Muffins!

Cheers!

Stay Active, Stay Healthy, Stay Warm, and smile!

The Struggle to Stay Balanced

I am very happy to announce a new blog that I am excited and honored to be a part of: Hot Dish Health! A few of the ladies past and present that were/are a part of Crossfit Jenks decided to get together and write about something we are constantly talk about: staying and eating healthy. We found ourselves talking about food and nutrition 24/7. Every time we saw each other we would bring up new things we learned, recipes we tried, or lament about what we “accidentally” ate that weekend. We found that most of us were in a struggling battle to find balance between eating healthy and becoming obsessed.

Finally one day our Hot Dish Nicole decided that if we were all feeling the same way about food, how many other people in the world were having the same daily struggle? Enter: Hot Dish Health, a forum to talk about those struggles, get feedback from loyal readers like you and a place to start the conversation that no one wants to have but we all obsess over. So I hope you can find some useful information in both of these blogs, Healthy Living in the 918 and Hot Dish Health. Hopefully one post or another will speak to you, give you inspiration or just a much-needed laugh.

So enjoy! Stay active, stay healthy and smile!

Holy Jicama! | Hot Dish Health.

Plan, Plan, Plan…Did I mention, Plan?

If you don’t plan, your planning to fail …

Harsh, I know. I wish I could tell you that this was just some tough love, some kind of psychology intended to piss you off enough to prove me wrong, but it’s true people. If you do not plan you will not succeed. Paleo is hard. No, after the first week of withdrawals and the second week of cravings it is not hard to stick to. What is difficult about this lifestyle change stems from the universe’s inability to understand and therefore aid in your success.

The first time around doing the challenge this was the very first and most important thing that I learned. If your meals aren’t planned out, if you don’t have a contingency plan you will struggle. Paleo is hard to stick to after a 12 hour work day, getting kids to bed, walking the dog, whatever. When you are driving home you start to think about what you can grab for dinner and a flash hits your brain, you have nothing in the fridge but a cucumber and some grape seed oil. Panic ensues. You’re starving, the grocery store is 5 miles in the other direction and it is 10 pm at night. We tend to struggle because in times like these there is no easy fix, no fast food restaurant that you can order something and after some alterations still get a good paleo meal.

You must plan. Spend Sunday planning your meals and making them. If you prepare your food on Sunday then you have nothing to worry in the week when work keeps you late because “Dinner’s Already Ready!” Rejoice! No frantic nights of chomping on a cucumber, no skimping or skipping meals because there is nothing ready. Plan for success and you will find sticking to this lifestyle change is a breeze.

Ok, on to a quick and easy idea. One very frequent and easy meal I like to make for us is Stuffed Peppers! Unfortunately a lot of times beautiful bell peppers (like the red, orange, and yellow ones) are really expensive and I always need at least 4 because my fiance can eat a substantial amount of food. Plus, if you want to have some leftovers for lunch the next day, it’s always good to make a few extras (plan ahead). So luckily for me when I went to the grocery store this week the good peppers were on sale! Hooray! So I stocked up and made them for dinner.

Stuffed Peppers (makes about 4 peppers)

4 bell peppers

1 pound meat (I use ground turkey,    but lean grass-fed beef will work too)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon oregano

Black Pepper to taste.

*NOTE- I have cooked this two ways, one browning the meat first and the second stuffing it raw and letting it cook in the pepper. Both ways are good and acceptable but produce two different results. Try both for yourself, my fiance likes when I stuff the meat in the peppers raw and let it cook in the oven that way the turkey cooks together. If you brown it first and cut into the cooked pepper the meat is usually in crumbles making it harder to eat. But it is up to you! Let me know which way you like better!

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut a circle around the stem of the pepper and pull out the core w/ seeds. Rinse each one with water to make sure all seeds are out.

Place the peppers into a baking dish

Mix all spices into the meat with your hands and make sure it is good and mixed.

If you want, brown the meat in a skillet and when it is finished put on a plate of paper towels and absorb the extra grease.

Take meat mixture (whether cooked or not) and stuff each pepper.

Place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes and enjoy!

I serve these with a little salsa verde and they are delish! Enjoy!

What’s Your Unicorn?

courtesy of stock.xing

We’ve all heard people talk about it. Whispers among the elite, touching around the subject in hushed voices, as if keeping the secret only among the chosen. It is almost as if it is this elusive unicorn, a beautiful beast which presents itself only rarely when you least expect it. But when a person finally spots one, the experience is euphoric, unearthly and life changing. You feel on top of the world and as if something special happened to you and you want the whole world to know about your experience.

But what if you are the one who hasn’t ever seen this symbol of all things glorious? It kind of sucks, doesn’t it? You slog though your experiences waiting for it, and no matter what you do, it doesn’t come. That is exactly how I felt about this elusive thing called, “runner’s high” . Before and during the early stages of Crossfit I ran, a lot. I wasn’t a high mileage runner by any means, but I put my fair share under my feet, and even trained and completed a half marathon. Yes, I know, everyone who has run a marathon or 30 are rolling their eyes at my novice status, and that’s fine with me. I was a dancer my entire life and running was something we just didn’t do, so the fact that I even had a propensity to run in the slightest was more than I could have ever hoped for (and besides, it’s about your overall fitness, not everyone else’s right?) I digress.

So a lot of runs and a half marathon later I still hadn’t seen the unicorn. I ran, and most of the time it hurt. My mind was in my feet and I couldn’t get out of it. I thought about every grueling step, every creek, every groan and most times it ended with that last mile counting every step until it was over. Each time brought new gains, and new pains and I just couldn’t find that moment when your mind goes blank, everything gets quiet and you just run.

Now, fast forward a year and about 300 hundred WODs later and I have finally found my unicorn. The reason for this post is not to get geeked out on what a “runner’s high” is (although if you want the scientific facts about the endorphins in your body releasing when your neurotransmitters fire out pain past your threshold then click HERE.) But I just want to get into the mental state of that runner’s high, or as I like to call it Workout High. See, I could run 8 miles a day and not feel once ounce of euphoria, but give me one, really intense WOD, long or short, metcon or oly lifts, whatever, and I swear I walk away flying high on those beautiful workout clouds.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. We are about half way through the month when resolutions start getting harder to keep, excuses and busy lives start to give you reasons why you can’t keep those goals. Now is the time to dig deeper and find your unicorn. Dig deeper, push yourself harder in your workout and give yourself the ability and chance to feel that amazing greatness that comes when you push past that wall or make gains you never thought possible.  My unicorn comes to me when I finish a WOD. Yours might be after a really hard spin class, a long swim or bike ride. Whatever it is, find it and I promise that feeling will get you to keep your resolutions. That’s the moment that will help you keep your goals and the drive to constantly come back for more.

Now you know the secret, you are part of that elite circle. What are you waiting for 3…2…1… Go!

Who You Callin’ Cutie?

Hello friends! Week one of my New Year Paleo Program is over and I have to say I have had much success! Although I have been fairly hungry all week (I think withdrawals from my holiday eating), I have been doing great staying on track. Plus I have become addicted to a great citrus fruit that is in season right now, Cuties! Oh I love them. They are just the perfect snack, portable, delicious, and super easy to peel! I grab a couple for snack and I am set!

Another reason that this go around is a bit easier is because my fiance decided to jump onto the Paleo Bandwagon with me! The first time around when I went through the 6 week Paleo Challenge last spring, I was all by myself. Just me, myself and I, which made it quite a bit harder. Don’t get me wrong, he eats pretty healthy normally, but I still had too easy access to many of my favorite things like cereal, granola, cheese, etc. It was hard when I was in a crunch and had absolutely nothing to eat in the fridge to resist pouring myself a very easy and very satisfying bowl of cereal. But I resisted, made it through the challenge, felt and looked great!

This time I don’t have to worry about any of that stuff. The great thing about him doing this with me is the fact that he is so dedicated. When he decides he is going to try something, he definitely isn’t one to quit. So having a Paleo buddy to eat with has been great! We spend most of our evenings in the kitchen together, cooking, talking  sharing our days, making turkey sausage or hard boiling eggs for the next day. Whenever I have a craving for something nonpaleo he keeps me on track. It is great!

So, enough about me. Back to my week! This week was great for renewed inspiration and some great new dishes. I tried to take pictures of a lot of my food so you would have some sort of idea what I was making. So disclaimer, the light in my kitchen is very yellow, therefore casting a yellow-ish tinge to all of my food. I wish I had time to take the photos into Photoshop and make them beautiful like some of the other websites I loyally subscribe to. Alas, I am super busy so what you see is what you get.

Easy Paleo Breakfast Ok, I am a huge proponent for a quick and easy breakfast. I need something I can grab and go without spending an hour prepping something. So Sunday I made some delicious homemade turkey sausage, which is so easy because I can make up a pound of turkey into about 7 sausages and pop them in the fridge until I need them that week. Then in the morning, I reheat them in the microwave, scramble some eggs, and Viola!

Paleo Salad with Cuties!

I am in desperate need of changing up my salads. I needed a new salad that would put the ordinary boring salad to shame. You know the one; lettuce, oil, lemon juice, blah. This time I made a great salad adding a few new ingredients and tossing it with a delicious semi sweet dressing. The salad included baby arugula, cutie slices, dried cranberries and dressing.

Semi-Sweet Salad Dressing (disclaimer I know vinegar isn’t technically Paleo, but eating salads without some kind of dressing is almost unbearable for me, so I had a bit of red wine vinegar. You can easily take the vinegar out and use lemon juice.)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon organic honey

2 teaspoon stone ground mustard

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

Whisk first 3 ingredients together. Continue whisking and drizzle grape seed oil in. Mix thoroughly and add black pepper to taste.

So, here are just a couple of my meals last week. Stay tuned and I will post some of the dinners we had as well. Hope everyone out there subscribing to the Paleo diet is having great success!

Stay active, stay healthy, and smile!

Stereotypical New Year’s Title

The New Year is here and like every year, each and every tweet and blog post asks, “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” When confronted with this question on the screen I usually turn and hide. I don’t even want to think of resolutions because typically resolutions are the exact things that you DON’T keep in the New Year. Sorry to be Pessimistic Patsy but statistically most people do not keep their resolutions past week 2, and even less after a month.

So what are we to do? Say screw it all to any type of resolution that may help us be better, stronger, healthier, smarter  in 2011? No, absolutely not. But when you are making your resolutions think really hard before you set them out. And try to remember these three things:

1. Don’t give yourself too much to do in 2011. Try to focus on one or two resolutions that are manageable and that you could attain at any time in the year, not just the first. There are many grandiose ideas I have for 2011. I want to be fluent in Spanish, I want to do a 100 m handstand walk, I want to eat clean 100% of the time. I want to quilt. Sheesh, I have a lot to do and when I start to look at this long list of resolutions or what I call “wants” for 2011 I start to have a panic attack. How the hell can I possibly attain all of these things starting January 1st. So what did I do? I took a big step back and went over my list, forcing myself to pick one thing I can commit to, only one. Yes, I would love to promise myself that I will do everything on this list and if I can do that, great for me. In all actuality, the new year will hit and I will be so busy with everything else that most of this stuff won’t ever get wings to get off the ground. So my one New Year’s Resolution: Paleo. That’s it.

2. Grab your friends and get going together. Many people say they can hold themselves accountable, and maybe they can. I myself find that I am a lot more accountable when others are relying on me to follow through. So what better way to start the new year than finding a few friends that want to share your goal. This could be eating healthy, working out more, learning spanish, training your dogs, whatever! Just grab some friends and keep each other accountable. Plus, usually this stuff is a lot more fun when you aren’t doing it alone!

3. Don’t hate yourself if you fall back a few steps. January 1st is arbitrary. Yes, it is the beginning of a new year, and a great platform to start new things, but who decided that this is the only day of the year when you can start a program to make yourself better? Exactly, no one. Janaury 10th is just as great of a day as January 1st, and February 20th is good too. So if you decide January 1st holds too much pressure to get your butt into gear then give yourself a week to get started. The main idea is that you start, and if you fall off the wagon just make sure you brush yourself off and get back on, immediately. Don’t focus on the fall focus on the future goal and most of all make sure you are having fun.

Happy New Year everyone! 2010 was a great year, here’s to making 2011 even better!

Cheers to a bigger, better, stronger, healthier You!

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