Archive for the ‘ Tulsa ’ Category

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.

5 Tips for Eating Paleo on a Budget

So one of my biggest problems/aversions to Paleo is the significant cost increase in all of my food. Before Paleo I could go to the grocery store and for just me, spend around $50 and get a great week’s worth of meals. When I first began this I was shocked at the money I was spending at the store, every week, not including the small trips to the store to pick up extras for dinner here and there. I couldn’t believe that eating healthy, although great for your body was so bad for your bank account, and I don’t even buy all of my food at the local Whole Foods! I couldn’t imagine how bad that would be for my budget, especially when things such as avocados are about $3 a piece! NO thank you. 

 I know there are a ton of Paleo-ers out there who buy gobs of grass-fed beef, snack only on organic fruits and veggies, and I applaud you. That is great. However, my budget and lifestyle does not allow me such luxuries. So, as clean and as “organic” as I can get it has to fit into a tight budget. And although I am not an expert on saving money or paleo for that matter, I thought I would give a few tips that have helped me during this challenge.

1. Buy veggies and fruits in season. This is the first and most important tip. As you all know fruits and veggies make up about 70% of our diet which means it makes up about 70% of the money we spend. So a good way to stay eating great fruits and veggies is to eat what is in season. When I began this a few months ago apples were in full bloom meaning that I could buy a pound of apples at times for about a $1.00. I would stock up on apples and forgo something like strawberries which looked delicious but would have costed me about $3.50 for a small carton (think about 15 strawberries). Those strawberries would have been gone in a day but for $2 I could have apples all week. Buying fruit in season can also be a bit boring. I am sure after about three weeks of apples I was done, but it is a great excuse to get creative! Instead of just slicing up an apple, I would dice it and put it in salads, or slice long thin strips and bake them for some delicious apple chips sprinkled with cinnamon. Now, fast forward to today, I can go to the store and get a carton of strawberries for around $1. So buying in season will save you money while still allowing you to buy great produce.

2. Always look for the sale. This seems quite elementary, but can save you a ton of money at the register. Think about it in the same light as you do ‘buying in season”. I can tell you that there are some weeks when I am craving some bell peppers, but not the green ones, those beautiful big red, yellow, and orange ones. Oh my,  I can just sit around and think of all the ways I would like to use those in my meals. And then, bubble burst when I arrive at the store to see each pepper is running about $2.00 each. Excuse me?!? No, thank you. But believe me, one of those days I know I will go and look and they will be on sale for about $.80 each and then you better believe I am stocking up. Sales make a huge difference in your bottom line so look for the produce with the big red sale sticker and you should reap the benefits.

3. Plan out your meals ahead of time. Besides saving you time during the week, especially in the mornings, this can also be a big help at the grocery store. Planning out your meals, specifically dinner, can help you stay within your budget and eliminates extra food you might throw into your basket. I know I am guilty of having an impromptu grocery store night and showing up without a game plan. I tend to walk around the store trying to devise meals as I go, buying way more than I need, because maybe one day I can make this…or I should get these because I might make this one night. And yet, it never fails, I either do not get enough ingredients to cook what I was thinking in my head, or the food just goes to waste because I have gotten more than I can eat. Sigh, money wasted. So, before you even think about going to the store, plan out your food and what you will need for each meal and stick to it. Don’t buy that extra eggplant for $2.95 because you think one night you could grill it. Believe me, 9 times out of 10 you won’t.

4. Buy meat in bulk to last the week. I tend to find that my meat selection is usually the highest price on my ticket. Although it only makes up about 25% of my grocery shopping, it is still quite a large chunk of change. To offset the high price of meat I try to look for the bulk size packs of meat. Instead of buying a small amount of chicken for $6 that will feed me for that night’s dinner, I will get the bulk pack for $2 or $3 more and it will last me the week, for multiple meals. Instead of buying one filet of salmon, I try to find the halibut or tilapia that comes with 3 or 4 filets. I then can cook one that night for dinner and put the rest in a ziplock bag for a quick meal later on in the week.

5. Plan out your grocery shopping night and try out a few stores if necessary. . This last tip sort of wraps up 1-4. A night of grocery shopping, although tedious and usually unpleasant, should be scheduled into your weekly activities so you can get the most out of it. I find that some nights I may have to try a few different stores to get everything that I need. A sale at one grocery store, may not be at another. Therefore I might buy a few sale items here and then slide on over to the other neighborhood market where I know the veggies are regularly cheaper. Don’t force yourself to get everything done in one spot, you will spend more money than you have to. Your meal plan for the week will help out in this situation. You can highlight the foods for one location and underline the ones you can get cheaper at another location. If you know you can only get your brand of cashew butter at Whole Foods, put that stop on your list as well. Being prepared and knowing your local markets will help. Get online and look up the sales for the store that week, and hey they might even have a coupon or two!

I hope that these quick five down and dirty tips help you feel more confident about eating Paleo on a budget. Sticking to these has really helped me keep my Paleo foods within a range that I feel comfortable in and can afford. So happy shopping!

Sunday Funday

Well it is here again, Monday Morning. This Monday was particularly depressing considering this weekend was such a great time. For one, I had fabulous friends in town from St. Louis which was amazing and also because I got a lot done! Nothing feels better than to be able to check things off of your list.

Sunday began with a few tears and sad waves as I wished my friends a safe drive back. St. Louis is about 6 hours away from Tulsa, so I knew they had a drive ahead of them, and I had a very busy day. It began with some breakfast…which might have been at 12 pm in the afternoon, but hey, It’s Sunday, right?? So I whipped out a banana, one egg, a scoop of cashew butter and a tablespoon of almond meal and made up some DELICIOUS Sunday Paleo Pancakes. it is so easy:

Paleo Pancakes

1 egg

1 banana

1 scoop of cashew butter

1 tablespoon of almond meal or flaxseed meal

Place all ingredients into a food processor and mix well. If you don’t have a food processor, just mash-up the banana with a fork. Then add your egg and stir up. Lastly put in your cashew butter and almond meal and with a bit of elbow grease, it becomes a nice thick batter.

Now, spray your pan with some Pam and put on a medium heat. Scoop a spoonful of batter into the pan and let cook like a normal Pancake. Flip when the pancake has set and you have a nice brown bottom.

A few tips: if your heat it too high the bottom will burn before the pancake is set enough to flip. Also, these are not normal Pancakes so they aren’t going to flip as easily. I would just scoop and turn as fast as you can to avoid getting that batter all over your pan. The more you do the better you get at this.

I eat these plain because they are amazing. No syrup needed. And they are great to eat cold later on in the day or even the next day. I frequently make a larger batch and save them. So good and very easy.

After that I met the other amazing ladies I Crossfit with at Turkey Mountain and ran the trail. This was my first time to Turkey Mountain and I was pumped. I have always heard it is a great workout…with a very windy, rocky, narrow and intense trail up the Mountain. (For those of you who live around a real mountain, Turkey is more of a slight hill. But here in Tulsa it is about as good as your going to get and I will take it!) Boy was it a workout! I tracked our progress and the trail we chose was about 4.2 miles and it tough! A few of us had some spills but it felt amazing. 

About 3 miles into the run we hit a steep and rocky part. As I was climbing I kept thinking how hard it was and that it would easier to just walk. But my motivation kicked it up a notch when I began to think about how good it feels to accomplish a challenge with such a great group of women. You know every other person with you is breathing heavy, legs burning, and sweating profusely but you are all in it together. Knowing that you aren’t suffering alone kept me motivated to keep going even if I wanted to give up, or slow down or walk. It always helps to be with others! And then, shocked out of my nostalgia, I almost tripped over  a rock and reminded myself to focus on where I was going.. Whoops.  That will teach me to have inspirational musings while on a Mountain.

Another great thing that was done this weekend was our front flower bed. Now, I will say, I by NO means did most of this work. That was thankfully done by a few of our amazing guy friends. BUT I did help out with the planting of the flowers. It felt great to get my hands dirty. Gardening, although not one of my passions, is very therapeutic. I hope after this summer my thumb will be a bit more green. Probably not a grass green shade, but a touch of green, like mint green…

Here is a before and after: 

Garden beforeGarden AfterGarden during

Farmer’s Market and Weekend Activities

Hooray!! The Tulsa Farmers Market is officially open and guess what?? Walking distance from my house. That my friends, is very exciting. Now, on Saturday mornings I can roll out of bed a little bit early and walk down the block to pick some amazing food up before Crossfit at 10 am. Sounds wonderful and exactly what I did this weekend. I was very happy to get a grass fed chuck roast and a few basil plants. I keep wanting to make pesto, but buying herbs from the store is ridiculously expensive. So for $4.00 I was able to get two plants. Now I just have to plant them! And if you love pesto like I do, here is a great recipe for some Pesto Chicken Roll ups. AND a great site for easy Paleo Meals…

Feed Me Paleo- Pesto Stuffed Chicken

DELICIOUS. I have made this dish twice, the first time I rolled the chicken up and the second time I just brushed the pesto on. Both very good, but the second was was a bit easier and way less messy.

This weekend was interesting to say the least. For one, Saturday included a fundraiser for an alternative high school in Tulsa called Street School. Our friend was on the board and got four of us to go as KISS for their Hardest Rocker Contest. Let me just tell you, I worked on sewing these costumes for about 4 weeks and boy did it pay off. I think we looked great and ended up winning! That was a blast. Here’s a little pic of the costumes.

And, despite the alcohol indulgence, I was able to eat strict Paleo. We ordered food before the fundraiser, which included grilled chicken, no bun or cheese and a side salad. I also brought some cashew/cranberries with me. This helped curve my appetite so I didn’t have to eat the appetizer buffet. So I stayed clear, although some women next to us were eating what looked to be “heaven on a plate” desert and I had to avert my eyes. Sigh. I wonder when my sweet tooth will cease to whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

Saturday-

Breakfast- turkey lunch meat, avocado, larabar

Lunch- eggs, strawberries, a turkey sausage patty

Dinner- grilled chicken, tomato, side salad with cucumbers and tomatoes

Sunday-

Snacked all day- cashews/cranberries, banana, turkey lunch meat

Dinner- flank steak (YUM) broccoli/cauliflower, strawberries for desert

“Take me out to the Ball Game”

Ok, so yesterday was great and all. The day continued smoothly and the weather was so nice I actually got in a run down by the river. I. love. spring. Anyways. The hard part didn’t come until the evening. All of my friends and I were invited to the new baseball stadium that Tulsa built downtown. I would just like to say a few things. One, I love baseball. Being from St. Louis and all it is pretty much bred into your bones. Every single St. Louisian loves baseball and loves the Cardinals. Now, imagine my excitement when I found out that Tulsa was going to build an actually ball park for our AA team, The Tulsa Drillers. Woo hoo, you just made my day. So that was really awesome for me and the city as a whole. I will be looking forward to many many more baseball games in my future. That was the good news. The bad news was that my friend’s parents rented the entire Tiki Deck at the new stadium for us to enjoy the first game. Great, but not so great. This Tiki Deck came equiped with a spread of dinner and drinks. Yikes. I guarantee that no one thought to make this dinner Paleo Friendly. So, knowing that this night would be hard on my eating style I prepared myself. I made sure I had a bag of cashews and cranberries and I also cut up an apple for easy accessibility. I figured that at the very least they would have burgers and I could have one sans bun/cheese/and everything else that is great on a burger. Which meant I didn’t have to worry about protein. Good. I was set.

Just a side note: I will be the first one to say, with all of this Paleo business and everything I am giving up there is one thing that just won’t be going away and that is alcohol. Again, being from St. Louis it is rather hard not to grow up drinking copious amounts of beer with Anheuser Bush being right down the street. Now throw in the fact that I am Italian and wine was pretty much served with every meal since I was old enough to hold my own bottle and you can pretty much see that cutting out alcohol was just a step farther than I was willing to take this whole deal. But I am making adjustments. I am attempting to not drink any beer and if I am going to indulge then it will be with wine or hard liquor. And when I do decide to drink I will make sure that I have a plethora of Paleo snacks handy so I am not tempted to cheat. Unfortunately my friends are not joining me in this challenge so they find no problem with ordering pizza or fast food at 2:00 in the morning. Good for them, bad for me.

Once we got to the game and I was able to soak in everything that is great about baseball, it was on to the buffet. I looked at the spread, and thanking my lucky stars, I noticed that they had plain grilled chicken breasts at the end of the line. Hallelujah. Unfortunately I had to pass up other delicious things like macaroni and cheese, chips and dips, etc. So I grabbed a chicken breast and went to have my meal. The game was fun, and I ended up staying on track which was a small victory for me. I can’t say the same about the poor Drillers, the ended up losing 0-7. Oh well, maybe next time.

Breakfast- “No-atmeal” and a small turkey patty

Lunch- Mixed greens, sunflower seeds, lemon dressing, tuna, an apple w/ cashew butter

Dinner- chicken breast, cashews/cranberries