Day 8 and Other Miscellaney

It’s Day 8 of the challenge, and I’m happy to say I’m down 2 pounds.  Who knows if it’s the diet or if it’s hormones.  Hormones are such a wild card.  Either way, I’m taking it!

It’s been a positive experience so far.  Using PaleoTrack has helped me become more aware of eating for nutrition instead of soley based on taste/convenience.  I’ve realized that unless I eat A LOT of greens (especially kale), it’s really hard to meet the RDA for minerals.  And unless I eat salmon regularly, my omega 6 to omega 3 ratios are waaay out of wack.  And, holy cow!  I can’t believe how many carbs are in grapes!!

Why the random grape comment, you ask?  Let me tell you.  We ran the Bix 7 (a local, hilly, 7-mile road race with about 18,000 participants) on Saturday.  This is the 3rd year we’ve done this quintessential Quad Cities event.  In the past 2 years, we’ve celebrated our efforts with beers at Great River Brewery and then pizza at Harris.  No such celebration this year!! Instead, after the race, I made my way through the throngs of people scarfing down the free Little Debbies, Twinkies, Cheetos, granola bars, and Michelob Ultra to the one tent waaaaay in the back that was handing out grapes.  I met up with the Timmy Tee there, who finished about 15 minutes before me, and had a couple of handfuls of grapes – about 1.5 cups, I think.  Guess how many carbs that is.  Guess!  You’ll never guess – it’s 41!!  When you are trying to stay below 100 for a whole day, that is troublesome!!  Oh, well, at least I did a 7 mile, SUPER HOT, super hilly, super crowded road race to compensate for the stupid sugary grapes.

After the race, we collected our phones from the car and then went back into the fray.  Since beer and pizza is off limits until August 9th, I filled my craving for something special by going to Red Band Coffee and getting a huge decaf (no heavy cream this time:().  While there we ran into a couple of friends and proceeded to chat for the next 90 minutes while Tim and our friend had a couple of beers at Great River.  In retrospect, perhaps standing for 90 minutes after running 7 miles was not a wise choice.

Oh man, I was soooo sore after that stupid run!  It took me 2 minutes longer this year than last year.  What is eerie is that Tim dropped 2 minutes from his time.  At the triathlon, I gained 8 minutes, and he lost 8 minutes.  Yin and yang, mange, yin and yang.  Anyway, all day long our knees were killing us – super achey.  I finally remembered to use the foam roller on my IT bands, and BAM, I was back in business.  They need to have stack and stacks of foam rollers at the end of these races.

Today to limber up our limbs we took what was supposed to be an easy bike ride.  However, we encountered a wiley wind that made our trip home quite the workout.  Even though it was more exercise than I wanted or needed, I’m really glad we went out. The weather today is super odd – it feels like a fall day by the ocean instead of an Iowan mid-summer Sunday.  I love it.  We have all the windows open and occasionally gusts are lifting up every sheet of paper in the house while also cooling down our hot kitchen.

Yes, it’s July, and I’ve been baking!  I have been craving a paleo treat since I’m not really supposed to have one.  :)  Plus, I found this recipe on the CivilizedCaveman site:  Pumpkin Cinnamon Muffins with Pumpkin Frosting.  Also, we are doing a wellness challenge at work, and I wanted to bring in a healthy-ish treat to encourage my team.  Well, I messed up the recipe from the get-go. I put the coconut milk in the fridge overnight as instructed, but instead of just scooping out the solidified milk, I mixed up the whole can and used some of that for the frosting.  There is no way that concoction is ever going to be frosting consistency.  But I tried a little bit of it out of curiosity.  OMG.  It tastes just like eggnog.  It’s deeeeelicious!!  Tim agrees and says it would probably be bonkers good with some rum.  Now I just need to figure out how to keep it good until I can have rum again…

And the muffins?  Well, I do believe I have underbaked them.  Tim and I just split one (watching those carbs, you know), and it is waaaay too mushy.  I’ll need to put them back in the oven and firm them up a bit.  Right now the oven is occupied with a chicken that promises (by the delightful smells wafting out of the oven) to be ultra tasty, so we’ll have to wait a bit.  Hopefully they will turn out OK.  Trying new recipes can be so frustrating!!  But how else can you find new, good stuff to make?

Oh, speaking of screwing stuff up – you remember the water kefir grains that I thought I killed?  They are alive and well!!  I took the advice of the super helpful staff at Cultures for Health and put them in spring water mixed with sucanat sugar.  The first batch was very lackluster, but they are slowing regaining their vigor.  I have two batches of the second ferment going right now.  It’s turning out fizzy and not sweet at all.  We love the flavor.  So much cheaper than buying kombucha!!  It’s helping to ease my transition into alcohol -ree evenings.  It is so boring to come home and just drink water all night!!  Drinking a cup of fizzy water kefir is an event!  Weeeeoooo!

And that’s my update for the week.  Some successes.  Some failures. Yin and yang, mange, yin and yang.


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Day 5 of 21 Day Challenge Reboot

As I mentioned, two of my coworkers and I are doing the 21 Day Challenge together.  My friend want to lose some weight and get healthier, and I want to reboot myself.  My 80/20 has been slip, slip, slipping, and I’ve added about 3 lbs as a result.  I want to get back to my fighting weight so my clothes fit better.

So far the challenge is going pretty well!  My friends have lost 8 lbs and 5 lbs, respectively. I’ve lost ZERO pounds.  I’m super happy for my friends – they say they have been sleeping better, and they enjoy not being miserable and bloated after every meal.  I think that feeling so much better after just a few days of eating differently has really opened their eyes.  They are full of questions and good meal ideas and helpful websites!

One of the sites they found is Paleotrack.  It’s kind of like MyFitnessPal, but it’s tailored more for the paleo client.  For example, it doesn’t encourage you to eat more carbs and less fat. It also doesn’t tell me I will weigh 2 more pounds in a week if I continue to eat this way. :P  The site also provides the vitamin/mineral/macro nutrient ratios for your foods. It’s very helpful information.  My friends especially like the way the site rates how closely your eating habits fall within the primal/paleo spectrum.  If you do well, you get “Strict Primal!” written in green on your journal page.  It also tells you if you are sugar free/grain free/legume free.  The colors are incentivizing.  And yes, I do believe that’s a word.  We all want to be GREEN!

The site is so cool that I emailed the site creator, who quickly responded with a thanks for using his site and some encouragement for our primal quest.  We also briefly discussed how quickly the 80/20 rule can get you into trouble.  Hearing that from another primal enthusiast has really made me consider how I will eat, once this challenge is over.  I think I’ll need to restrict my “cheats” to just one evening a week; otherwise, I just start to fall of the cliff.

I still feel a little off the cliff, actually, even though I’ve been eating pretty clean since Sunday.  I’ve avoided grains and cheese overall, but it’s been an odd week in that I’ve done some work traveling, and we’ve had company, two things that mean I’ve eaten out every day this week for at least one meal.  While I try to get quality food (salads, burger w/ no bun, etc.), you never know what chemicals are put into/onto the food, or what fillers are added.  I’m wondering if that’s why I haven’t lost any poundage yet.  Or, as Tim says, since I have such a small percentage to use, and I already ate PRETTY well, the weight won’t come off that fast for me.

I’ll keep at it for a few more weeks, until the challenge is over.  I’ll see how I feel, not just how much weight I lose, and move forward with a game plan at that point.

That’s my update so far.  Wish us all luck!  I’m doing the Bix 7 (a local 7 mile hilly run) on Saturday, and I don’t get any beer afterwards.  WAAAAAAHHHHH!  Oh, and after this run, I’m going to focus more on walking/weights/sprints and see if not doing long runs at a high heart rates helps get me back in my old shape.

Good luck with your ventures this week!

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Catch Up Weekend and Primal Challenge Reboot

The Timimimy Tee had to work all this weekend driving bus for the John Deere Classic.  That meant that I had the opportunity to catch up on some long outstanding chores.  Basically we haven’t been home for a full weekend since before the triathlon, so things were starting to pile up.  So what did I do, you ask?  Well, here, let me tell you: I went to the Farmer’s Market, Aldis, HyVee, took several long walks, vacuumed and dusted the whole upstairs, vacuumed most of the basement and moved Lucent’s litter box so that we don’t constantly have to walk over litter particles to get to the washer and dryer and workout area, attempted to rehab my water kefir grains by putting them in a sucanat/spring water solution, sprouted and roasted almonds, cut up all the veggies from the Farmer’s Market, weeded our front garden bed, did 3 weeks of meal planning for the primal challenge (more to come on that below), returned a long overdue email, finished a humongous crocheted blanket for a friend, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand…RELAXED.  On Sunday afternoon I sat outside and read for probably 3 hours. I got a little bit of a sunburn, but it was so beautiful out there that I couldn’t bring myself to go inside.

OK.  Now for some details.  First of all, I’m kind of excited about Aldis!  I stopped on a whim, hoping they would have spring water for the kefir and for the sauerkraut Tim is going to make.  They only had individually wrapped bottled water (which seems odd for a discount store!), but I found some other great deals.  Avocados were only 79 cents (1/2 the HyVee price), Rainier cherries were only 2.99.  They had nitrate-free bacon for 3.89 and mineral water for 1.49.  I’m so jazzed!!

And on the kefir grains.  So, yeah, I though for sure I had killed them. I got a couple of good, fizzy batches out of them, and then they just stopped working.  They didn’t smell like kefir (didn’t smell like anything, in point of fact).  I emailed Cultures for Health, and they sent me back some great tips.  They recommended using sucanat (unrefined cane sugar that still has minerals left in it) and all spring water.  Previously I was usually Domino sugar and just boiling our Brita-filtered water to remove the chlorine.  Evidently the rest of the chemicals in tap water are harmful to the grains as well.  I had also ran out of mineral drops, so I had stopped using those too.  The person who emailed me said you CAN resurrect the grains, so I’m giving it the old college try.

And, finally, the Primal Challenge.  A couple of workmates and I are going to embark on the 21 Day Total Body Transformation on July 20th.  My friends want to lose some weight, and I want to lose about 3 pounds and do a reset to get closer to 90/10 instead of 70/30 .  I spent an hour Saturday culling through my recipes.  I put together 3 weeks of meal plans (containing mostly just general ideas for breakfast and lunch, and then 4 distinct recipes w/ sides for supper), along with copies of the associated recipes.  I also pulled out additional recipes for them to use, if they don’t like my suggestions.  I reordered the 21 Day Total Body Transformation.  I lent it to my brother probably 2 years ago and haven’t seen it since.  I’m so glad I bought it again. It’s a very concise, helpful guide to the primal lifestyle and contains reminders that I really needed to read again.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how this turns out!!

That’s the weekend, now its back to work and back to training for the Bix 7, which is NEXT WEEKEND.  ACCK!!


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Minneapolis Mosey

Teeeem and I spent last Thursday to Saturday in Minneapolis.  We put the bikes on the rack and took off at 6AM on Thursday morning.  After dealing with some funky directions around the 35/94 interchange, we made it to within site of our hotel only to be stymied in our arrival by multiple light rail trains.  The streetlight gods wanted us to spend our entire vacation waiting for a green arrow onto SE Washington Ave.  We foiled their plans, however, and eventually made it to the hotel.  We unloaded, pulled up some bike maps on Google Maps, and headed out for a late lunch at the The Lowbrow.  This should have been a fairly straightforward ride, but we did not account for the difficulties in following directions such as “Turn left.  Turn left” at unspecified streets/pathways.  We spent about 15 hungry, frustrated minutes doing circles around the bridge we knew we needed to go over before we found the little secret bike on ramp.

Once over the bridge we were more or less able to find our way to the restaurant.  Beer never tasted so good.  :)  We had a super excellent lunch at The Lowbrow and then hopped on the bikes again and headed to Lake Calhoun.  We biked around a couple of the lakes, stopping at The Tin Fish for a walleye taco and some water.  We strolled around the Uptown area, buying a pair of socks for me (sockless feet in Sperrys on a humid Mineapolis day is not a good idea).  We ducked into a Surf shop and found a bike map, which helped us immensely for the rest of the weekend.

Minneapolis is both a GREAT place to bike and a super FRUSTRATING place to bike.  There are a ton of bike lanes everywhere, and several cross-town bike-only trails.  However, Tim and I kept running into construction.  A few times I was concerned that we were going to inadvertently bike onto the interstate!  We also had difficulties finding the entry points to some of the bike trails.  We biked to a Twins game on Saturday, using city streets.  After looking at the map, we noticed that there is a bike trail that goes right to the stadium; however, when we tried to find it after the game, it was impossible!  We asked some fellow cyclists, a transit worker, and a transit cop, and all they could say was, “Well, it’s around here somewhere!”  We finally headed out, only to see the trail bracketed by a chain link fence to our right.  We kept taking right turns, attempting to get on the trail, only to encounter the fence.  After traveling 6 blocks or so, we finally found an entry point, thanks to a helpful cyclist.  Very frustrating!

But despite the challenges of biking in a unfamiliar city, we had a great time.  The game was super fun, the weather was beautiful, and Tim and I enjoyed spending time together.

Usually we travel to Minneapolis via Cedar Falls/Mason City.  However, this time we took 52 home and stopped in Decorah, IA.  We had a pint at Toppling Goliath brewery, some delicious BBQ, and then enjoyed the beautiful drive home through the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi.

In summary, if you want to take a little weekend trip to Minneapolis, take your bikes (EVERYONE bikes there), find a bike map ASAP, visit the lakes, eat the The Lowbrow and go home through Decorah.  Oh and see the outdoor sculpture gardens at The Walker Art Museum.  We didn’t make it there this trip, but that garden is a must see!

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Farmer’s Market Binge

My little brother was in town last week, so I took him to our local farmer’s market on Saturday.  He lives in NYC, so he went a little hog wild at the sight of so much inexpensive produce.  Unfortunately, he had to fly home 2 days after the market, so we were left with a lot of unusual produce to consume.

For example, Benny bought a whole bag of garlic scapes, which I have neither seen nor used before.  They are pretty little things, but I had no idea what to do with them, so of course I googled it. I found this recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto.   I had no pistachios or Parmesan, so I left out the Parmesan completely and subbed walnuts for the pistachios.  The resulting pesto was bright green, super peppery, and delicious!  At least I thought so.  I put some on a cracker and gave it to Tim to try, and he made the most unpleasantly surprised face I have ever seen on an adult.  He did NOT like it one bit!

I, on the other hand, have eaten it with every meal this week.  I had it on pork chops, hamburgers, hot dogs, and I mixed it with my pork chop/broccoli/mustard green stir fry.  I absolutely love it.  Go try some!

In other news, I’m trying my hand at continuous brew bone broth.  We’ve been soaking Lucent’s food in bone broth so that the food is softer for him and so he gets some extra nutrients.  We’re going through the broth pretty fast, so I’m keeping a pot of it going in the crockpot.  We’ll see how this turns out.

I also think I killed my water kefir grains again.  I see no bubbles, and the kefir smells just like juice – absolutely no kefir-y funkiness going on.  I think that the kefir grains were doing so well they were multiplying, and I didn’t account for their increased numbers and ended up starving them to death.  I thought it was supposed to be EASY to make water kefir!  I think I might order some milk kefir grains instead and try my hand at that.  Dairy tends to give me troubles, even fermented dairy like yogurt & kefir.  However, I was listening to a recent Chris Kresser podcast about how to eat probiotics if you don’t handle them well, and I learned that you can gradually add them into your diet.  I’m going to try to do that with full fat grass-fed yogurt and see how it goes.  My stomach as been feeling out of whack for the past few months, and I’m grasping at straws!

So there you have it, go try some garlic scape pesto and mourn for my dead kefir grains!


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Summer Foods

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve been going totally off the rails since Saturday.  One hour and 56 minutes of straight exercise does NOT create a caloric deficit equal to beer + ribs + pizza + Chubby Hubby + jalapeno poppers/onion rings/fried mushrooms + nachos + several (and I do mean several) chocolate coconut bars.

Anyway, today is a new day, and I look forward to putting this backslide behind me and getting rid of my volleyball tummy.  I made some bone broth yesterday, and I have some sprouted almonds roasting in the oven.  We ordered another hog, which is going to the butcher today.  We’ve learned some lessons from our prior experiences. We are getting a lot more ground pork instead of smoked hams, for one.  We’ve also requested the bones (for bone broth), and we’re not getting any sausage since we don’t know what exactly they put in that (msg??).  It’s easy enough to turn ground pork into sausage with the addition of a few spices.

My brother’s girlfriend just sent us a new book that will come in super handy too -Good Meat.  It has a ton of helpful information on how to have the pig butchered, as well as recipes on how to cook the pastured pork.  Plus, it’s just a beautiful book, at least if you are into food pictures.  :)

Before going on the bad-food binge, I did make a great primal recipe: Better Than Fried Chicken with Coconut Aminos Dipping Sauce.  This was a very easy recipe to make, and the results were super delicious!  The skin was crispy, and the flavor was sweet, almost teriyaki-like.  I still have not found a place to buy coconut aminos locally though, and on Amazon, the shipping (it’s not available through a prime seller) is more than the aminos!  Since I don’t have aminos, I used tamari instead.  It has soy in it though.  :(  The result was still delicious, if not 100% paleo.  We couldn’t eat all of it, so we put the leftovers in the fridge.  The skin lost its crispness (as disclosed in the recipe), but the chicken flavor was awesome cold.

In the midst of binge week, I also tried a non-paleo recipe:  Perfect Summer Basil Burger.  We have SEVEN basil plants growing, 4 different varieties. I pulled leaves from each of them to make the Perfect Basil Sauce.  We also used fresh mozzarella instead of shredded.  To make the recipe slightly healthier, we used olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and we skipped the grated parm.  I also made homemade mayo with olive oil.  The results were DELICIOUS!!  I LOVE that basil sauce.  Next time to make it more primal-friendly I will use greek yogurt instead of sour cream, but I think that’s the only change I would make.

And that’s my update.  It’s Friday.  I am off work.  We’re planning on a nice, long bike ride on a sunny day.  Life is good.  Have a fabulous weekend!!

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Tri Bye

It’s Thursday, June 19th. The triathlon was Saturday, June 14th, so obviously I survived.  It was touch and go there for a while, however.  I was actually really stoked at the start of the race.  Tim and I did a little practice swim in West Lake about 10 minutes before the start time, and I was in the zone – happy, confident, breathing perfectly well in the chilly 6:45 AM water.  But.  Then we got out of the water and situated ourselves in line – Tim towards the front, and me towards the back.  It took probably 10+ minutes for me to reach the front the line, during which time I shivered, and shivered, and shivered, feeling my confidence ebb with each shake of my chilly self.  I remembered last year, however, and how I let nerves get to me and how I was able to force myself to get it together and figured I’d probably be alright.  This year was different, however.

With my first plunge into the water, my breathing was off.  No matter what I did, I could not get my rhythm.  I would take a breath on my right side, put my face in the water to take a stroke and immediately inhale.  I swear I ended up doggy paddling almost the whole thing.  It was exhausting and so disappointing!!

But I made it back to shore and on to my bike for a calming, albeit rather windy, sun-infused ride.  On the ride I noticed that my jaw had pretty much clamped shut, so I had to squeeze Gu Chomps in through my front snaggle teeth (they come in handy sometimes).

By the time the ride was over, I was feeling much better and had a pretty solid run.  I was encouraged by other runners and the volunteers.  One runner complimented my pace.  I was really buoyed by the comment and by another human being using precious energy to help me out!

Overall I added 8 minutes to last year’s time.  The swim took about 3 minutes longer (it felt like a lot more!!), the bike took about 5 minutes longer, and the run was a few seconds shorter.  I was surprised at the longer bike ride, but I think it was because of the wind.  I probably presented a broader plane to the wind, too, because the whole time I was just shaking my head in disappointment at the swim!

Also, I was not paying attention while riding my bike on Friday and ended up flying head first off my bike when my brother turned in front of me.  I landed on my shoulder, elbow, hip and ankle.  I didn’t feel as if anything was broken – all my limbs moved as they should, so I got back on the bike, and we all headed downtown for supper at Front Street.  On Tri morning, I still felt pretty good, just a little scraped up.  But come Sunday?  Ouch!  It hurt to laugh and to breathe.  I had some ART done on Tuesday, though, and now I am back almost to normal.  The only evidence of the crash is a thick scab on my elbow that I really, really, really want to pick off but Tim won’t let me.  So I’m calling the 8 minutes the bike crash differential.  :)

All that being said, I’m glad I did it again, but I’m even more glad it’s over!  As of right now, I REALLY don’t want to do it again.  I just really do not enjoy the swimming experience and the costs associated with it.  It is really fun to do a race like this with family, however, so I’ll have to see where everyone else lands on this.  If the whole family wants to do it again next year, I will consider it.  But I plan to find a really amazing bike or running race and tempt everyone with that instead!


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And Here’s to Trying Something New

It’s been another busy week here at the Longoria homestead.  I tried no new recipes this week – we just ate grilled food and veggies all week long.  I LOVE summer.  It’s so much easier!!

How did we fill our evenings if we weren’t cooking elaborate meals, you may ask?  Well, we swam again at Annie Wittenmeyer one evening.  I’m super relieved to say that this swim went MUCH better than the first.  My breathing remained under control, I was actually able to swim somewhat straight, and I finally started to actually enjoy swimming outside and seeing the beautiful blue sky and white clouds each time I took a breath.

We also did something we’ve never done before.  We joined a group ride at a local bicycle shop, Healthy Habits.  We met up with a group of 5 other people and rode north up Devil’s Glen and then headed out east on Forest Grove.  We biked through Pleasant Valley, past Argo, past the Davenport Country Club, and then back to Healthy Habits.  It was a stunningly beautiful ride with lots of hills and lots of interesting conversation.  We met 3 other triathletes as well as another couple devoted to cycling.  After the ride we retired to Governors for supper and got to know the other riders even better.

As a result of the evening and getting out of our comfort zone, we now know about some beautiful bicycle-friendly roads, we found out about 2 good restaurants in the QC, and we met some potential training partners.  Even though I ended up staying up an hour past my bedtime, it was so worth it.  Tim and I had a great time.

We also did some running and another new ride this weekend.  We rode out west to Wisconsin, but instead of heading south  like we usually do, we headed north and biked all the way to I-80.  It was another pretty ride, but my legs were toast for some reason.  They were toast all weekend, in point of fact.  When we went out to jog this morning I found I didn’t have the strength for it in my hamstrings, so instead I walked and did sprints.  I’m hoping they return to normal soon because the triathlon is SATURDAY!!

I also finished a book this weekend – The Year of Magical Thinking.  This book has appeared on so many “must read” lists, that I finally figured that I must read it!  But, I have to say, while I’m not disappointed that I did read it, I was not a huge fan of the book.  The author repeats several phrases throughout the book (“I shall not live two days,” “I love you more than one more day,” “You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends”), and for some reason it annoyed me.  I also had a hard time identifying with her and her lifestyle.  Her and her husband, both writers, traveled all over the world and had houses and pools in beautiful places everywhere.  For some reason, I got hung up on that and couldn’t focus on the author’s exploration of grief.  Maybe it’s jealousy?  Impatience with trying to see life through eyes very foreign to my own?  I’m not sure.

And that was our week.  This week my brothers come in to town, and I am super excited about seeing them again.  I’m super excited about getting this tri behind us as well.  :)

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Brick #2 (aka why I’m exhausted)

Saturday we did our second brick to prepare for the triathlon on 6/14.  We biked 16 miles along the Duck Creek Bike Path, and then we ran 3.1 miles in Crow Creek Park.  The bike ride was pretty easy-peasy, but the running, Oh Boy!  My legs felt like lead for about the first mile, and I had to walk up the first big hill (it’s called The Incinerator for a reason).  Tim encouraged me though, and we powered through for the full run.  We spent the rest of the weekend taking it fairly easy, trying to give our bodies a rest.

And that’s why I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not doing triathlons any more.  I just think that this amount of exercise is too stressful for my body.  All day long on Saturday my stomach was messed up, and since I wasn’t eating anything out of the ordinary, I’m pinning it on the exercise.  Also, these triathlons get to be expensive, primarily due to the swimming portion.  It necessitates a gym membership and for me, at least, a wet-suit rental.  We did swim for free tonight in Lake G, but as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch.  Lake G is the quintessential redneck “watering hole.”  It was full of scantily clad, scantily toothed, heavily tattooed folk drinking lots o’ beer and Gatorade.  It’s quite the scene, and not in a good way.

Despite the training schedule, I did try a few new recipes this week.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli – This broccoli is deeeeeelicious!  So good, in point of fact, that I grew impatient with Tim not eating his while he was chatting and ate the rest of his serving off his plate.  I love roasted veggies.  Tim is a big steamed veggie fan, but I think his tastes are wrong on this one.  Roasted (doused in olive oil and garlic) is the only way to go.

Sweet Potato Chips – This recipe turned out OK.  They were tasty, but I had a hard time getting them to be crispy, which is an essential feature of “chips.”   I baked them for about 10 minutes longer than the recipe said, but still only a few burnt-looking ones got crispy.  Any thoughts on what I am doing wrong?

Coriander And Cumin-Rubbed Pork Chops – This was another recipe that I found in the free Allrecipes magazine that appeared in my mail box.  This recipe is a definite keeper – it produced a very tender, juicy, flavorful pork chop.  Speaking of which, we’re going to have to order another pig so that we can make more tasty, tender, juicy, flavorful pork chops.

Pumpkin Kiss Cookies – I’ve been wanting to try these for awhile and finally got around to it on Sunday.  I was making Tim chocolate chip cookies, so I knew I would have to make a treat for me too; otherwise, I would eat all the damn cookies.  These turned out just OK.  I should have followed the recipe more closely and used 2 teaspoons of batter per cookie.  Instead I used my normal cookie scoop, which is probably closer to 2 T.  The cookies ended up super moist and spongy.  I like the flavor, but the texture doesn’t do it for me.  Next time I will make them smaller, and I bet they will turn out perfectly.

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Makin Bacon

It’s Memorial Day, which calls for something special on the breakfast table in the Longoria household. Typically breakfast consists of steel cut oats for Tim and eggs and veggies for me.  But today we had PANCAKES! and JALAPENO BACON!

I’ve tried at least 5 paleo pancake recipes and have yet to fall in love with any of them.  They always get burnt on the outside and mushy on the inside.  The flavor is usually OK, but the presentation is absolutely horrid.  Today’s venture was no different. I tried these protein pancakes from  I didn’t have the protein powder she recommended, so I used our Trader Joe’s hemp protein powder.  Which is dark green.  Yep – I made dark green pancakes for breakfast.  They were actually pretty tasty. I still had the same issue with them not cooking right, but I think that’s more my fault than the recipe’s fault.

We also tried some new bacon from HyVee (we were forced to because they were out of our normal bacon).  It’s jalapeno bacon!  Since my stove top was full of pans of pancakes and scramby eggs, I decided to try the whole baking bacon thing again.  We tried it once, and the bacon didn’t get crispy, but I keep hearing people say how awesome it is, so I figured I would give it another go. I followed the instructions here.  It turned out PERFECT and oh so easy.  You put the bacon on a foil-lined sheet and cook it for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  It turned out crispy, delicious, and very jalapenoey.  If you take a look at my Instagram feed to the right, you can see a pic of the bacon and pancakes.

And now breakfast is done, Tim is doing the dishes, and I’m trying to figure out what all from the list of things I want to get done today I can actually do:  put down mulch, plant garlic and dill, clean the house, do the laundry, plan meals & go grocery shopping, do a 3 mile run, work on a watercolor painting for the bedroom, watch some of the Criterium, update the checkbook, take a bath, lay in the sun, and I’m sure I am forgetting something.  I need every weekend to be a 3-day weekend!!

Posted in Gardening, Health & Fitness, Paleo | Tagged , , | 2 Comments