Writer’s Block


Why is it that whenever you actually have a bit of time to write, you can’t think of anything to write about?  All day long I get these random thoughts and ideas for things I want to get on paper, but then, I stand at my computer, and…blankness. I stare at my nails, contemplating removing the polish.  I think about doing homework.  I think about sleeping. I think about doing dishes. I think about doing anything but staring at a blank computer screen.  So I just start typing and see what comes out.

I haven’t written for TWO weeks!  It’s not because I’ve been lazy, I swears!  I went to Florida for 6 days for work.  While on the trip I got to go to the Magic Kingdom.  It was an interesting experience, and I’m glad did it once, but once is enough!  The older I get and the better I get to know myself, the more I realize that waiting in line for a train to take you to a park where you can wait in line to get in, where you can wait in line to sit in a car and look at electronic creations move and sing and dance is not really my cup of tea.  For the time and money, I would much rather be walking, hiking, biking, or lazing in some natural space with trees or oceans or mountains.  But, again, I’m glad I’ve done it once so I won’t always wonder, “how much better would my life be right now if I had gone to The Magic Kingdom?”  Now I know.

I’ve also started the edX Science of Happiness class.  It’s a very interesting class and very well done. I’ve already learned tons of good stuff :

  1. Happiness is found in freedom from desire (Stoicism, anyone?).
  2. The pursuit of happiness can entail struggle, sacrifice and pain. In fact those experiences are necessary to be happy.  Yin and yang.
  3. The more positive experiences you have, the more open you are – you physically SEE more things.  You see the bigger picture and are more creative.  Happiness biologically changes you.
  4. If you think happy thoughts before a test you do better on the test.
  5. People replace 1% of their cells each day.  Every 3 months we replace 100% of our cells.  It takes about 3 months to form a new habit.  ????
  6. We get used to things that make us happy (hedonistic adaptation). My MacBook will not keep me happy forever.  :(
  7. Sources of happiness:  exercise, sleep, sense of achievement, social connection & kindness (aka I need more good friends).
  8. Touch is super important to happiness and health.  Our culture deprives us of this.  I need to move to Puerto Rico.
  9. Behaviors that indicate divorce: contempt, criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness.
  10. Behaviors that help relationships:  humor, gratitude, forgiveness, disclosure (accept the emotions of others instead of pushing back).

And that’s just from the 1st two weeks.  I’m already a week behind and not likely to catch up anytime soon.  I’m not going to sweat it, though. I will learn what I will learn.  It’s a fantastic, very interesting class though.  It should be required learning for every human being.  :)

Yoga is going well too.  I signed up for a 30 day yoga challenge at http://www.DoYouYoga.com.  It helps me do a little bit of yoga every day (10-15 minutes).  Plus, the instructor, Erin, is super fun and pretty.  Pretty people keep you coming back!  I’ve also been to several classes at Indigo Wellness with several different teachers. It’s very interesting to see all the different teaching styles.  I read somewhere (probably on http://www.mindbodygreen.com or http://www.doyouyoga.com) that you should write after every yoga class to help you get more out of it.  I’ve yet to do that – always in a rush to get home, I guess. But I see the value in it.  At each class I learn something, whether it be a new pose, or a style/method I liked or didn’t like.  Writing these impressions would help me remember them.

And on to the final topic I usually cover in my posts – food.  I ate a bunch and drank a bunch in Florida that I should not have eaten or drunken.  I’m trying to get back on track this week.  I tried this new recipe:  Sweet Potato & Leek Omelet.  I have bad, bad luck with omelets, so I made this into a scramble and served it with bacon and kale chips for supper. It was deeeeeelicious.  I’ll definitely make this again.

And that’s my update for now.  Sorry it’s a little incoherent and scattered, but that’s life right now!  Hope you are having a fabulous day!!

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mourning Summer


We had an absolutely beautiful summer here in Iowa this year.  Some would say we didn’t have hot enough weather, but those some are retarded. It was gorgeous most of the time.  While we didn’t take a normal, long summer vacation, we did get to spend tons of time outside biking, running, and relaxing.

But now it’s over.  It’s Fall. I love Fall, but it means winter is coming. It means I’ll lose my tan. It means I’ll become vitamin D deficient. It means that I’ll be coooooold.  It means summer is over.  But, to be philosophical about it, there is no sense in resisting the inevitable. I’m just going to embrace it. I may end up actually going to a tanning bed, but winter will not beat me this year.

ANYWAY, it’s been an eventful week or so cooking-wise here.  I tried lots of new recipes – some good, some bad, and I will tell you all about them forthwith post haste.

Broiled Zucchini:  An excellent friend of mine at work, Lisa,  gave me loads of zucchini and acorn squash. I attempted to use some in this recipe.  I don’t know if I sliced the zucchini too thinly or what, but I burned most of these by over-baking them for like a minute or two.  In my opinion there are easier and more fool-proof ways to eat zucchini!

Fermented Gingered Carrots: Ever since my foray into water kefir, I’ve been getting more interested in fermenting.  I ran across this recipe in my RSS feed, and for some reason it sounded really good to me. I tried it, and it did turn out tasty! It’s mighty salty, but we think it would be good mixed in with other stuff – like in a coleslaw or potato salad.  It was super easy to make, too.

Beet Kvass: Since the carrots turned out so good, I thought I would try another fermented veggie – beets!  This looked absolutely beautiful in the jar. It was the most perfect shade of red I have ever seen.  However, when I took off the coffee filter covering, there was a layer of grey scum over the top.  It didn’t look too dangerous, but to be on the safe side we pitched it and decided to make it again, this time using an airlock cover.  After pitching it, we did some research and found out that the mold is harmless and can be skimmed off.  :(  Bummer!  At least we will know for next time. I have another  batch brewing (this time with the airlock to be safe).  We’ll see how it turns out.

And here are two recipes that I’ve made before but that are sooooo good, they deserve another mention.

Lemon Basil Cookies: We had our annual “Wellness Week” at work this week, and that means we have a “healthy” potluck. Since most people are confounded by that restriction, they end up bringing fruit. :)  I made these cookies and Chunky Monkey muffins to help people see that gluten-free treats can be super tasty.  They were a HUGE hit. I had 5 requests for the recipe, and several more people commented on how good they were.  Tim said they taste like gourmet cookies.  My green basil is flowering (much to the delight of our local bumble bees), so I used purple basil that my mom gave me that was planted later in the season. These turned out sooo good. Tim and I also broke down and bought a real zester.  I cannot believe how much easier it makes zesting.  It makes me wonder how much better my life would be if I caved and spent $30 for an immersion blender…

Meat Sauce: I can’t link to this recipe because it’s not listed for free online. I got it from the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  It’s a combination of ground meat, celtic sea salt, garlic, tomato, and basil.  I made it and put it over butternut squash. It was soooooo tasty, and it made the kitchen smell delicious.  We reheated the leftovers and ate them with two over-easy eggs on top.  Super delicious.

And there you go. I didn’t do much meal planning this week because we still had a bunch of groceries in the house come Sunday.  And thanks to Lisa, I have a tons of safe starches on hand, and thanks to my free spending at the Farmer’s Market last Saturday, we have tons of ground meat on hand.  And with those two things, you can make tons of quick and easy meals.  Which is a very good thing because Tim has been crazy busy at work (working 12 hour days), and I’ve been busy trying to ramp up my yoga practice so that I don’t look like an inexperienced fool when I start yoga teacher training in January!  I’m trying to get in 5 days of yoga (2 classes at Indigo and the rest at home using YouTube videos like this one), 2 days of weights, and 2 days of running.  I’m running out of time though!!  I also signed up for 2 edX classes (Science of Happiness and Behavioral Medicine: The Key to Better Health), both of which I am super interested in, but have yet to find the time to actually DO!

Tim and I discussed this predicament and decided we need to quit our jobs so we have the appropriate amount of time to pursue our hobbies and interests.  If any of my readers are wealthy and want to become patrons, let me know!!!

I hope you have a great Saturday night, and thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Liver Bomb


As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, by using http://www.paleotrack.com to track my food intake, I’ve realized that it’s really hard to get the RDA of minerals.  In an attempt to rectify this (without having to take 10 different pills each morning), I’m trying to incorporate more liver in our diet.  I ground up a pound of chicken liver in the food processor, and every time I made a ground-meat dish this week, I added in 1-3 tablespoons of liquefied liver.  It looked pretty gross, but you can’t really taste it.  I didn’t use up all the ground liver this way, so I spooned the remainder into ice cube trays and froze it.  This way I can add a cube or two to meat as I cook it.

The vendor at the Farmer’s Market sells the liver in 2 lb batches, so I used the other pound to make Deli Chopped Liver.  First of all, handling liver is pretty disgusting. It’s red, bloody, and looks like huge leeches.  Secondly, it took about 4 days for the liver and onion smell to get out of the house.  Thirdly, the resulting product was just OK.  I only ate an appreciable amount the evening I came home from having a couple of drinks with some friends.  Deli Chopped Liver is the kind of thing that just doesn’t really sound good until you’ve lowered your natural defenses with some alcohol.  Fourthly, I took some up to my parents’ so that my Dad, who likes and will try everything, could try it.  He did not like the looks of it AT ALL.  It is a pretty unappetizing shade of tan, admittedly.  But, trooper that he is, he tried it.  He did not like the taste of it AT ALL either.  He made some weird, “hewwww hoooooo” coughing noise when he ate it.  Consequently, due to the aforementioned reasons, I will never make this recipe ever again. I will just continue to grind up the liver and sneak it into meat dishes. You are forewarned now, if you ever come to my house for hamburgers or meatloaf.

I tried another recipe this week that turned out disappointing: Cauliflower Muffin Bites.  This recipe sounded really good, and I almost always like recipes from http://www.marksdailyapple.com, but neither Tim nor I were fans of this one.  First of all, it created a ton of dirty dishes – food processor bowl and blade, glass mixing bowl, muffin pan, towel for wringing out the excess water, etc.  And the resulting product did not have a ton of flavor; it was pretty bland.  It wasn’t worth the effort, IMHO.  This morning, however, I broke up 4 of the muffins and sauteed them in some bacon grease with more salt & pepper, and some cinnamon.  We ate it with scrambled eggs doused with hot sauce.  That was pretty tasty.

I tried another new recipe that was a roaring success:  Southwestern Frittata.  I printed this recipe out ages ago but just never got around to trying it.  The recipe seemed so simple and basic – how could it be THAT great?  Well, I finally tried it this week, and Tim and I absolutely LOVED it!!  It is super easy to make, uses ingredients I almost always have on hand, and it makes A LOT.  We got at least 3 meals out of this.  This will definitely go into our regular rotation.

And there’s my recipe update for the week.  We did good eating at home this week, but for some reason we still have a lot of food in the fridge!  I think I might be able to get by without a major grocery store trip until mid next week.  Oh!  At the Farmer’s Market I picked up some really nice-looking beets.  I’m going to try my hand at Beet Kvass.  I’m excited to see how it turns out.  My water kefir is doing amazing (I’ll write another post on that later), so I think my fermenting luck has turned.

Hope you have a great Sunday.  It’s 75 and sunny here in Iowa.  Tim and I have tons of plans for relaxing today (biking and sitting outside by a fire).  I can’t wait. :)

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Scones!


Scones.  Yum.  My friend, Marta, and I LOVE Panera scones, especially the ones with that powdered sugar glaze.  They are all sorts of delicious.  Unfortunately they are not at all paleo.  Consequently, I was forced to make paleo scones for work today.

I tried this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Scones.  My workmates thought it turned out tasty, and I agree in general.  I think I overbaked them, however.  Since they are made with almond flour, they are dark to start with, so it’s very difficult to tell when they are “golden brown.”  Usually when I make paleo desserts I end up under baking them, so I erred the other way and cooked these too long.  BUT they turned out good enough that I’ve eaten 4 of them since last night.  Granted, they are pretty small if you make 16 slices, but still. :)  I would definitely make these again, but next time I might add some raisins. I would also like to experiment with making homemade whipped cream.  I think that would be fabulous on top of these scones.

But, as with all paleo desserts, I can’t make them often. I end up eating too much of them.  And today was a day for overeating – lots of scones, Himalayan dark chocolate salted almonds, and Reese’s Pumpkins.  Oh boy.

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Serendipitous Recipe Failure – Take 2


I wrote this post last night (or at least a version of this post), but the internet, WordPress, or my laptop decided to mess with me, and the post disappeared into the ether.  It did not put me in an amicable state for sleeping.  I’m trying to not let things get to me as much (“Let It Go, Heather,” is my internal mantra), but I have to say, that annoyed the hell out of me. It’s so much easier to be serene when you don’t have PMS.

ANYWAY, I had two recipe reviews that I wanted to share with you.

I wanted to try my hand at these Homemade Fruit Snacks.  Who doesn’t need a little grass-fed gelatin in their diet??  I knew I was off to a rough start when I hit Step 6, and had no paste form.  It was pure liquid, not paste at all. I dumped the liquid, assuming I had mis-measured and started anew, only to achieve the same results.  I went ahead and added the remaining ingredients and put the batch in the fridge over night, hoping for some refrigerator magic to happen.

I was sorely disappointed.  It was all still just pure liquid.  No gellin’ whatsoever going on.  Instead of tossing all these expensive ingredients (grass-fed gelatin, frozen berries, raw honey), I poured the contents of the dish into two 12 oz Ball jars and put them in the fridge.  Last night when I got home from yoga, I had a delicious sorbet waiting for me!  I scooched a home-made coozie on the jar so my digits wouldn’t freeze and went at it with a fork, slicing off chunks of sweet berry mixture.  It is pretty damn tasty, and Tim agrees.  I want to get some of these cute, small Ball jars.  I think they would be perfect for little desserts like this and also for freezing pesto.  I have a HUGE basil plant that I need to strip for pesto.

The other recipe I made was this Cauliflower Rice recipe.  I’ve written about this recipe before. It’s super delicious and easy as is, but this time I got a little experimental.  I added some onions, green onion, garlic, and tomatoes.  I cooked the batch in our Nesco, so that I wouldn’t have to turn on the oven (it’s super hot here in Iowa right now).  I had to stir it frequently so that the rice on the edges wouldn’t burn.  It turned out super tasty!!  It tasted like Spanish rice. I love cauliflower. It’s so versatile.  Those cruciferous veggies are the bomb.

And that’s my update. I have a few new recipes on the agenda to try this week, so I’ll have another update soon.

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Salmon Burgers and ICE CREAM!!


I’ve tried two new recipes of note this week.

Berry Pancake – This is a recipe from Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals.  It has intrigued me ever since I bought the cookbook 2 years ago, but I just now took the plunge and made it for breakfast on Sunday.  Basically you  heat up berries with copious amounts of butter.  Then you whip up some egg whites and fold in the whisked egg yolks.  You pour this eggy batter on top of the hot berries and bake the whole mess.  When it’s done, you flip the pan upside down, with a plate over it (no small feat when you are cooking with a 40 ton cast iron pan), and voila!  Berry Pancake!  I have to say, this is not my favorite recipe.  I think I should have used only non-seedy berries.  The egg crust/souffle turned out really tasty however.  I think I’m going to try this recipe again, but make it more savory instead of sweet – saute some broccoli with garlic and add the egg crust to that.

Asian Salmon Burger with Homemade Pickled Ginger – If you like salmon and/or ginger AT ALL, make this recipe post haste.  It is deeeelicious.  I could easily eat all 6 of these burgers by myself; they are THAT tasty.  I did have to make a few substitutions/alterations, however.  First of all, I ran out of honey, so I used maple syrup in the pickled ginger.  I also only had about 1/2 a cup of rice vinegar, so I topped off the cup with white wine vinegar.  Also, fresh salmon is prohibitively expensive (and last time we bought fresh salmon at HyVee it smelled reallly fishy), so we used the frozen keta fillets from Target (on sale for $9.99 right now).  I ran short on shitake mushrooms, so I rounded out the dozen with some baby bellas.  Oh, and lastly, I have no coconut aminos (I can’t find them anywhere in the QC!), so I used tamari instead.

We paired the burgers with a green salad and some leftover homemade mayo I made for chipotle coleslaw a few days ago.  Wow – everything turned out super good.  We LOVED the pickled ginger.  I can’t believe it’s that easy to make.

So after that super healthy, nutrient-dense, primal meal, we are going out for…….

ICE CREAM!!!

I can’t help it.  My hormones are demanding some creamy, sweet Whiteys, and I’m powerless to deny them.

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo | Tagged , | Leave a comment

It is done.


The 21-Day Challenge officially ended yesterday.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I rocked the challenge up until the point I didn’t.  :)  However, as far as I am concerned, the challenge got me to where I wanted to go, namely, I’m back down to a weight where my clothes fit me comfortably, and my faith in the value of eating clean, whole, non-dairy, non-gluten foods has been restored.  Tracking my intake for 3 weeks helped me realize how easy it is to eat too many carbs if you allow yourself to go off-plan even just once/day.  To keep myself feeling good, I’m going to have to restrict the splurges to once or twice a week instead of once or twice a day.  Tracking my intake has also made me more aware of eating for nutrition instead of convenience or tastiness.  Overall, I consider the challenge a win!  I think my coworkers would consider it a win too.  They have both lost several pounds and are jazzed that they can eat without being bloated after every single meal.

I listened to Chris Kresser’s podcast recently, and he mentioned that he is working on a 14-day reset plan.  I’m anxious to check that out.  I think next time I’m ready for a clean-up, I will do that one.  Fourteen days of perfection sounds quite a bit easier than 21!  Plus I think it’s good to mix things up a bit to keep your body surprised.

My coworker had a celebratory supper last night, to commemorate the end of the challenge.  She made 2 different kinds of brisket, stuffed mushrooms, and a  cucumber, onion, and tomato salad.  Her boyfriend made some rum punch that knocked me out after 2 small glasses.  My contribution to the party (besides my hilarious wit and insightful observations) were these two dishes:

Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies – These are SUPER tasty.  However.  Well, they turned out bright green for some reason.  Yeah.  Maybe it’s the sweet potatoes??  For the mix-ins I used 1 cup of shredded coconut, 1/2 cup of walnuts and 1/2 cup raisins.  I didn’t have any pumpkin pie spice, so I mixed 1.5 t of cinnamon, .5 t of nutmeg, .25 t of cloves, and .5 t of ginger.  They definitely LOOK a little weird, but they taste really good.  Oh!  And I didn’t have any almond butter, so I used sunbutter.  You want to be careful to not overeat these, however.  I put the recipe in PaleoTrack, and one cookie (I got 18 out of my batch) is 194 calories, with 12 grams of carbs.

Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad – This recipe was very simple, and it turned out very light and tasty.  Tim suggested adding tomatoes, which I think is a great idea.

During the challenge I have been avoiding regular coffee.  There are a  few reasons for this.  Tim has stopped drinking coffee because the caffeine freaks him out, so I was the only one drinking coffee in the morning.  The coffee accouterments take up A LOT of room on the counter, which seems ridiculous for one person who drinks coffee.  Also, I’m more sensitive to caffeine than I used to be, and I wasn’t sure how the caffeine was affecting my adrenals.  So, I decided to take a break from it. I found out that while I love green tea, I really miss coffee.  When we stayed with our relatives over Christmas, they had this Aeropress, which they LOVE.  It’s very compact, easy-to-use, and it makes excellent coffee.  So I ordered one from Amazon and picked up a bag of decaf beans from our favorite coffee place, Red Band.

I have to say, I LOVE this little thing.  Tim and I have been drinking all sort of decaf and half-caf coffee all weekend.  Today I made a decaf and mixed it with about 1/4 cup of hot coconut milk to make a paleo latte.  It was incredibly delicious.

And….that’s about all my news.  I have to go blow-dry my hair while it’s the perfect level of crispiness (fellow curly-haired folk will understand what I mean).  Adios!

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gross Looking Food that is Great for You (aka Indian Delhi Saag)


That title just kind of gave away my whole post.

I figured I should try some new recipes this week since for the past 2 weeks I’ve just been recycling tried and true favorites (these were the recipes I used to the build the 21-Day Challenge meal plans for my friends).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started using PaleoTrack to track my food during the challenge.  The creator of the site wrote a post about some common diet deficiencies he’s identified using the data logged by his users.  He goes on the list foods you can/should eat to remedy the deficiencies.  My personal experience mirrors what he is seeing on a macro level.  My vitamin levels are usually great, but I really struggle to get the RDA of minerals.  This has been a very eye-opening experience for me.  You just assume that if you eat a lot of whole foods, fruits, veggies, meat, etc., you will be getting pretty much everything you need.  Nooooope.  You have to be methodical.  So I made on the recipes he suggested, Indian Delhi Saag.

I have to say, it turned out looking absolutely disgusting.  For proof look at my Instagram feed to the right.  But!  BUT!  It tasted really good!  Tim was very trepidatious about it.  He thought it smelled like a tobacco shop.  Granted, he is not a huge cumin fan, and this has 2 tsp of cumin seed and 1 tsp of ground cumin.  It’s very cuminy. It also has a lot of turmeric.  My white stove is now plastered with streaks of neon yellow.  I will be keeping this recipe in the roster fo sho.  Although, I’m going to make Tim smell my breath tomorrow morning and see if I smell super funky from all the spices.  This thing has a sh!t-ton of spices.  I’m now plumb out of coriander and turmeric.

So now we’re all loaded up on vitamins and minerals – thank you Marc of PaleoTrack!

I do not know what you *should* pair with Indian Delhi Saag, so I complicated my evening by trying another brand new recipe – this one for Poached Salmon with Green Herb Sauce.  We accidentally bought skinless frozen salmon at Target, and when Tim grilled it, it was very dry.  I though poaching it might yield better results.  It was very meh, however.  I’m not linking to the recipe because I found it in some magazine.  You’re not missing anything, believe me.  The salmon still came out dry.  I kind of doused it with the Saag, and that livened it up.

My coworker who is doing the 21-Day Challenge with me is having a primal party at her house on Saturday.  I’m still finalizing what I’m going to make – maybe a cucumber salad, kale chips, and sweet potato muffins. If you have any bonkers good paleo recipes, let me know!

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

21 Day Challenge Update with Recipe Reviews


So, hmm, The Challenge. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was derailed by a rough day at work earlier last week.  It was the kind of day that could only be fixed by happy hour drinks with the hubby.  Unfortunately, that drink pretty much broke the seal.  I didn’t fall completely off the strict primal wagon, but I may have had Cheetos and Idaho nachos and maybe another drink or two.  *Sigh*  But, today is a new day, and I’m a newly resolved Heather. I only have 5 days left, and I know I can do that.

Looking on the bright side, eating junk after eating very clean for 10 days helped me identify a few things.  1.  Alcohol, even just 1 or 2 drinks, often gives me a headache and makes me sleepy and  2.  White potatoes, while delicious, puff me up something fierce.  I was down 3 lbs, but now I’m back up 3 lbs.  Damn you, white potatoes!!! 3.  I have a problem with self-control. I can’t give in even a little or I’m a goner.

Over the past week I’ve tried a few new recipes.

Zucchini Fritters:  I subbed nutritional yeast for the parmesan.  These were tasty (even heated up the next day in the broiler), but I don’t think they were good enough for the amount of work.

Spicy Nacho Kale Chips:  We’ve been eating kale chips almost every other night, and this recipe is partially why.  These are super good, yet so easy.

Cauliflower Rice:  This is another recipe that is super good, yet super easy. Unlike this cauliflower recipe: Spicy Ginger-Lime Cauliflower Rice.  This recipe involves a lot of chopping, a lot of sauteeing in stages, and lots and lots of dirty dishes. You should see my kitchen right now.  I made it with Asian Pork Meatballs, and it was a perfect pairing.  The flavor is unusual and good, but not worth the effort, in my opinion.

And now you’re up-to-date on my food week.  As far as exercise goes, I did a sprint workout on Saturday, with 6 all-out 15 second sprints.  On Sunday I did 30 minutes of yoga, and then Tim and I tried stand-up paddle boarding for the first time.  We were on the river for an hour.  It looks so easy, but my quads are SO sore today!!

And that’s it for now!  Hope you are having a great day!

 

 

 

 

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

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.

 

Posted in Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment