Final Chili of the Season


It’s March. It should be warmish and sunny. Instead it’s been cold and cloudy.  We actually had snow on Monday.  Ridiculous.  To counteract the dreariness of this month, I tried out a new recipe:  Paleo Crockpot Chili.  It’s AMAZING!!  I think this is one of my favorite crockpot recipes ever.  The chili is super thick and very spicy.  I didn’t have any tomato paste or stewed tomatoes, so I used 3 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes.  Also instead of a fresh jalapeño, I used the jalapeño slices that Tim fermented last summer. Muy bueno. Make this chili post haste.

I also tried another new recipe this week:  Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie.  This one was pretty tasty as well.  My only complaint with this recipe is that is takes a loooong time to make. You have to bake the spaghetti squash, and then you have to mix the spaghetti squash with the meat and veggies and bake it for another hour.  So next time I make this, I would cook the spaghetti squash the night before. I would also add more spices, as my version turned out a little bland.  Overall this recipe is a keeper though.

So why I am cooking so much, you ask?  Well, I will answer you.  Tim and I went to Denver and Boulder last week, so we ate out 3 meals a day for 6 days.  We ate a lot of super delicious food, but I was really looking forward to eating at home again – so much cheaper, and you actually know what you are eating.

So, Colorado. I love her.  I want to move there.  It was so beautiful.  Everywhere you turn there are nice people, gorgeous mountains, paleo restaurants, and excellent breweries.  Denver and Boulder are both super bike friendly too. It’s like Tim and Heather heaven.

So, what did we do?  We rode the Cog Railway to the (almost) top of Pikes Peak.  We couldn’t go all the way to the top because it was blocked by a 75 foot wall of ice.  The views at 12K feet were super beautiful though. We also met some really interesting guys who work for the US Wheelchair Basketball Team.  Let’s see.  We did 2 trail runs, hiked the Flat Irons, rode our bikes up a mountain 2,000 feet and froze our faces off on the coast down, hiked on Mt. Falcon and saw the ruins of an old mansion on the mountain top, took advantage of the local breweries (Oskar Blues, Left Hand, Avery), and got some amazing paleo food at Blooming Beets and Cuban food at Cuba Cuba.  And we watched cable in the hotel room.  We don’t have cable at home, so whenever we travel we take advantage – Jaws and Seinfeld re-runs filled our sleepy evenings.  Even when we are on vacation we tend to wake up insanely early, so we are pretty beat by 8PM.  We are some wild and crazy folk.

And that’s our trip in a paragraph. It was totally awesome.  We’ll definitely go back for another visit.

And that’s my update. I know it’s been a super long time since I’ve written, but my excuse is the same as always – busy busy busy. I had YTT again last weekend.  I absolutely love it.  I’m still not 100% sure I will ever teach, but the YTT program is totally worth the time and money investment.  I am learning so much. We learned about pre-natal yoga and yin yoga on Saturday.  Yin yoga, if you don’t know, is a form of yoga where you hold certain poses for 3-5 minutes each.  They get pretty intense in that time period. I was wicked sore on Sunday. I found it very calming though.  There is a yin class at Indigo on Sundays, and I think I’m going to go. It’s a great way to get your ligaments and tendons stretched out.

Sunday we did A LOT of yoga. I learned 2 new arm balances – firefly and side crow.  I really like arm balances although they scare me.  I’m afraid of landing on my face and knocking all my teeth out.  We also had some more beginners come to class on Sunday so we could teach them poses.  Timmy Tee came and did awesomely!!  I taught the class wide legged forward bend.  Tim said I did good. It was definitely less scary than the first time we taught a pose.  We don’t have class again for month, but I have a TON of practicing and reading and practice teaching to do!  If anyone wants some one-on-one lessons, let me know!!  And you have to give me constructive criticism back.

Speaking of being busy, I really need to take a sabbatical from watching TV!  I have too many books to read, walks to take, yoga to do. I don’t have TIME to watch TV, but when I get home from work in the evenings, it’s so much easier to sit down and watch a hilarious Archer than to pull out my mat and start practicing. I just need to form the new habit.

Ok. I’m done for real this time. Hope you are having a great evening and are being more productive than me tonight. :)

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The Awesomest Winter Boots Ever


Yes, yes, yes. I know it’s been forever since I’ve written here. Life has just been unusually busy lately, what with the new responsibilities at work, a visit from my little bro, and yoga teacher training.  Oh, and with catching up on Star Trek The Next Generation.

Speaking of “new responsibilities at work” – when I got my raise I tried to leash in my innate American need to spend all my extra money. I decided to buy just two things as a congratulatory gift to myself:

1.  I wanted a pair of winter boots that I could wear outside in the snow and wet.  I wanted them to have a flat sole (no heel), and I wanted the sole to have good traction. I also wanted the boots to be easy to get on and off.  My current boot selection was not conducive to exercising outside in the cold months.  My Frye Engineer soles were too firm, so I just slip and slide on ice.  My Born knee-high boots had a good sole, but they are dress boots – meant to be worn on the outside of tights/skinny jeans. They look pretty silly with running pants tucked into them, and since they are knee-high, they are pretty heavy for long walks.

After a lot of research I discovered the Merrell Haven Duo Waterproof boots.  They seemed like just the ticket. I put them on my Amazon Wish List, hoping the price would go down (a tactic that has worked for me in the past). Instead, they sold out!  And they kept selling out! When my size in Brown finally showed up again, I ordered them immediately.  They were about 1/2 a size smaller than I wanted, but I really liked how comfortable and pretty they were, so I ordered the next 1/2 size up.  They didn’t have brown anymore in that size (sold out EVERYWHERE!), so I ordered “Goose,” which is like a brownish grey.

I have to say, I LOVE these boots!!  They are super comfortable, especially with a thick pair of these socks.  My feet stay toasty warm, the soles grip the snow, the boots are very light, and they fit comfortably under my workout pants. The side zip makes them super easy to get off and on.  They are perfect for winter walks.  I wish I would have bought them at the beginning of the winter, so I would have gotten outside more.  If you are looking for great winter boots, check them out.  Maybe you can find them at an end-of-season sale; although, if you have to pay full price for them, they are totally worth it.  They are the winter equivalent of my Merrell Barefoot running shoes – perfect!

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2.  My other gift to myself was the Field Canvas Tote Bag from L.L. Bean.  I needed a bag that would fit my huge stack of books that I need to bring to YTT.  It also needed to fit 2 bottles of water, snacks, pens & pencils, handkerchiefs, notebooks, and a binder.  I searched all over the internet, and even considered those expensive Filson-type bags for $300. Nothing met my needs. I wanted something with straps that fit over the shoulder, a cross-body strap, lots of pockets, and I wanted it to be attractive.  This bag fits all of those requirements.  The outside is beautiful dark-blue, rugged canvas, and the inside is soft flannel. It fits all of my YTT gear, but it also works great for a change-of-clothes bag. It scales up and down, is what I’m trying to say.

I know that yoga is all about teaching your mind to be happy with what it has (and relieving it from the constant stress of wanting, wanting, wanting), but these 2 purchases really made my life better!  I’m trying to do less mindless spending by picking out items that are made with great quality and that will serve me well for years.  That being said, I’m hoping that as I continue studying and practicing yoga, I can get my mind to the place where it doesn’t constantly crave that one “perfect” item for every problem.  Eventually I will learn to make do with what I have and to be happy that I have it.  I’m still learning though.  We watched Yoga Is in YTT yesterday, and one of the teachers interviewed in it said something that I found very encouraging. He said that humans are super malleable – you can change yourself at any time.  The really good can go really bad, but the really bad can go really good. I’m somewhere in the middle, so there is still hope for me to become really good!

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Red Food, Magic Tea, and Rendering


It’s been a busy couple of weeks, which is why I again have been so lax in posting!  It’s ridiculous, I know.  And I apologize.  Now that that is out of the way, let’s get started.

1. I made a super tasty recipe yesterday:  Roasted Root Vegetable with Sausage.  This turned out amazingly tasty!  I used the tallow that I rendered (more to come on that later) to roast the veggies.  We ate it for supper yesterday, breakfast/lunch today, and for supper tonight. For tonight I cooked two over-easy eggs and put that on top.  Awesome.  This recipe is super easy, makes a ton, and has loads of stuff that is good for you in it.  And it’s red.  The beets make everything red.  Including your poop.

2.  One of the girls in my YTT program gave me a Jun scoby.  Jun is a fermented beverage, made with green tea and honey.  It’s called the “champagne” of kombuchas. It’s very easy to make, as long as you have the scoby.  You bring water to 165 degrees, brew 2 teaspoons of green tea in it for 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup of honey, and let the mixture come to room temp.  Then you add the scoby (which looks like an alien life form).  Three days later, you have Jun!  You can also do a second ferment, which makes the Jun less sweet and more fizzy. It’s a very delicate flavor.  From what I’ve read, Jun is very mystical/magical.  Some people who brew it meditate with their Jun and also play music for it.  I don’t go that far, but I do tell people not to say anything bad about the Jun within the Jun’s hearing.

3. Tallow!  We received several pounds of beef fat from the 1/8 of a cow we bought, so I tried my hand at rendering it, using this recipe.  It turned out fantastic!  It smells slightly beefy, but not overpowering at all.  When in liquid form, it’s a very bright yellow color, but it cools to a milky cream color.  I’ve given 2 jars of it away already and am already 1/2 way through my remaining 3rd jar, so I’m going to have to go on a rendering spree this weekend.

4.  Porridge!  Sometimes a hot, oatmeally type breakfast just sounds super tasty. So I decided to try this recipe.  It turned out very delicious, but I’m not planning on making it again.  It’s pretty carb heavy, for one thing (it has a banana, apple, and raisins in it). Also, with all the nuts, it’s a pretty expensive breakfast.  It made a ton, but due to how carb-heavy it is, it’s not something I would want to eat for breakfast several days in a row.  I keep reading articles that emphasize that you should eat carbs at night for better hormone balance, better sleep, and better body comp.  If I did make this again, I would make it for supper, not breakfast.

5.  And lastly, a quick update on my yoga-ing.  I’ve been going to a hot yoga class at 5:30 AM, and much to my surprise, I LOVE it!  It gives me a ton of energy for the day, and it’s so nice to know that I don’t have to worry about working out when I get off work. My hard work is already done for the day!  It’s also much easier for me to control my schedule at 5:30 AM than it is later in the day, so I’ve actually been able to make it to a yoga class 3 times a week!  I can’t believe what a big difference that makes in my abilities.  I felt so much stronger and more focused in my class on Saturday, after going to class Wednesday and Friday.  The only down side is, once my free classes run out (we get a year’s worth of free classes as part of the YTT program), I’m going to have to sign up for the $100 monthly plan at my studio, so I can keep up with practicing!!

And that’s my update!  That’s a lot to throw out there, but I’m behind on writing for 2015.  I gotta catch up!

Hope you are having a fabulous February so far. :)

 

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YTT and Miscellaneous Update


I know it’s been ages since I’ve written anything.  This is a function of two things:

1. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). I’ve been through two weekend sessions so far.  The class started in January and ends in June.  We meet Saturdays 12-6 and Sundays 9-3 once or twice per month.  The first class was seriously awesome, albeit seriously exhausting.  We learned A TON.  We learned about chanting, anatomy, pranayama (breathing exercises) yoga philosophy, yoga history, the 8 limbs of yoga (asanas are just one small part), etc.  We also spent lots of time practicing asanas and learning how to adjust our fellow students.

The second class (this weekend) covered a lot of the same general topics, but the specifics were different.  We spent time this weekend learning about the major joints in the body, and then we spent several hours learning more about specific postures and how to modify them and adjust them.  We did a lot of work with shoulder stand, double pigeon, side angle stretch, and several others that I can’t even remember.  Then we spent about 3 hours today covering yoga philosophy in more detail.

I’m a little freaked out by the fact that a lot of the reading and self-exploration I have been doing over the past 3 years is all tornadoing together and striking the same spot.  From varied bloggers I follow, I’ve been introduced to the philosophy of stoicism and Eckhart Tolle’s works.  The subjects/books really resonated with me, and now as I learn more about yoga philosophy (something I knew NOTHING  about when I signed up for YTT), I realize that stoicism and The Power of Now are both just reiterations of this yoga philosophy that is thousands of years old.  Not to get mystical, but it seems as if the various currents of my life are all drawing me down the same path.  It’s a comforting feeling – receiving confirmation that you are moving in the right direction.

Anyway, I could write reams and reams about what I’ve learned at YTT, but I don’t want to bore you to death, so I’ll move on to my second excuse for being vacant on hlodecello.

2.  I’ve been participating in a 21-Day Primal Challenge with several friends.  I set up a Facebook Group for us to all communicate. It’s been working really well, but it means that I share my recipes and meal ideas on there instead of here.

Oh, and a 3rd thing. I got a promotion at work, which means I’m managing our programmers.  They are all awesome people who I love to work with, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around managing people for the first time. I want to do a good job, even though from what I’ve read, that’s almost impossible when you first start out.  But I’ve been putting a lot of mental energy and time into figuring that whole situation out.

So that’s why I’ve been silent lately. Once the challenge is over, I will write more.

Take care, and have an excellent Sunday evening. ;)

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Casserole to Warm the Heart


Yesterday was a rainy/snowy/blowy/inclement kind of day.  I had a burst of energy in the morning during which I wrote a blog post, and then I was pretty much done for the day. I believed I started watching Gilmore Girls and crocheting by noon or so.  My mood soon descended to match my low activity level, and I was glad to go to bed and hopefully wake up in a better place.

And I think I did!  I started this morning by making some updates on our Primal Challenge Facebook page, I did a 60 minute super tough Yogaglo video, made Paleo Banana Bowls for breakfast, and took a shower.  Oh, and I planned some tasty meals for the week.  This is my last week before the Challenge starts, but I’m trying not to totally go off the rails.  We are doing a Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge at work, where we try not to gain weight over the holidays.  The weigh-out is on Friday, and I need to lose about 2 lbs by then!  People who do not gain weight are eligible to win a massage or a $200 personal trainer package. I want to win both!! :)

Wow – I got sidetracked already.  What I meant to write about is that since yesterday was so grey, I decided to make a hearty casserole to comfort our souls.  I found this on Paleomg.com’s 10 list of recipes:  Paleo Pumpkin Cream Chicken Casserole.  It was so good, and also very easy to make!  The only adjustment I would recommend is to cut the chicken breast into small pieces.  One-inch squares are too big to eat.  This was super tasty.

And that’s it for today!  We have some errands to do, and I’m hoping to get outside and take a walk in the snow before it gets dark.  Hope you have an excellent, fruitful Sunday.

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An auspicious start to 2015.


Two very nice things happened to me yesterday that lead me to believe that 2015 is going to be a most excellent year.

1.  My hair has been annoying me lately.  As fellow curly girls know, it’s very difficult to find someone who understands the fickle temperaments of curly hair.  It has a mind of its own and is horribly inconsistent. Some sections can be quite curly while other sections on the very same head are only just a little wavy.  I went 1.5 years without a haircut – partially to let it grow out, and partially because I just couldn’t find anyone who really understood my hair.  Well, my ends were getting so nappy that I was cutting them off instead of trying to comb through them, so I went ahead and got it cut.  And…I lost all my length and was back to where I started 1.5 years ago.

Well, several years ago when Tim and I went to Minneapolis, I got my hair cut by a Deva-trained stylist.  It was the best haircut I ever had, and it looked great for at least a year.  But, I couldn’t drive 5 hours every time I needed a hair cut, so I eventually went back to a local person and ended up making do.  However, I started researching Deva stylists again and found one in Mount Pleasant, IA, of all places!  Since I took Friday off work, I figured it was a good day to try her out.  Her name is Martha, and she owns Aurora Salon.

I loved her!  She is a fellow curly girl (beautiful Bottecelli curls!), so on top of all the Deva Curl and Curl Artistry training she has been to, she personally knows the issues we have.  She cut my hair dry, curl-by-curl.  Before washing my hair, she asked me what I thought. I wanted a little bit more of an angle, which she happily put in for me.  Then she washed and conditioned my hair, giving me helpful tips the whole time.  Then she put in leave-in conditioner, gel, and used clips to give me some lift at the crown, and put me under a dryer for a few minutes.  She finished off the style with the Deva blowdryer, and I ended up with perfectly curly (non-frizzy) hair.  I was actually happy enough with how my hair looked to not have to go home and re-style it immediately.  Here is a bathroom selfie after I styled it this morning to give you a general idea of the cut:

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Martha charges only $45 for her curly cuts, which is literally 1/2 of what most Deva stylists charge.  She also gave me a few small clips to use in my hair.  Super sweet!  I’m hoping this cut will grow out well (I would really love to get my bangs as long as the rest of my hair), but when this cut grows out, I’ll definitely be trekking to Mt. P again.

And on to the second thing that gives me hope for 2015:

2.  I ordered this bracelet from HollaForMyMala on Etsy.  The description said it’s supposed to help calm the Monkey Mind, which I have in spades lately, and it’s also supposed to increase confidence.  The shop owner was unbelievably nice!  She sent me an email and asked for some background on why I wanted the bracelet.  I told her I’m starting Yoga Teacher Training soon and am really insecure about it (since I haven’t been practicing yoga for long).  When I got the bracelet yesterday, she included a handwritten 2-page note with encouragement (she is also a yoga teacher).  She gave me some great advice and comfort. She also gave me an extra gift – a beautiful solar quartz stone.  The bracelet and the stone come with little sheets that tell you the powers/benefits of the stone.  The bracelet is super beautiful, but unfortunately it’s  really snug.  I emailed her this morning to see if I can get it made bigger.  Here’s a pic of the mala and the stone:

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As I said, 2015 is off to a good start.  Hopefully these ladies like to drink cold beverages with warm hands because I’m sending them both a coozie as a thank you gift. :)

Hope your 2015 is off to a great start as well!

 

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A Moroccan New Year’s Eve – Get it???


Did you get my joke there?  Instead of a “Rockin'” NYE, I said a “Moroccan” NYE!  Tim has already declared 2015 the year of the bad joke after I made some comment this morning about, “If this kitchen’s Moroccan, don’t come a knockin.”

So, yes, I made a Moroccan dish last night – Moroccan-Style Lamb Meatballs, to be precise.  They turned out pretty tasty (the sauce especially) but my favorite lamb meatball recipe is still this one.  These meatballs weren’t a lot of work, per say, but they did take a sh!tload of spices – thirteen to be exact.  And when it was all said and done, you couldn’t really taste them in the end product.  The meatballs might be more flavorful today though.

That’s how we celebrated our New Year’s Eve. I found a NYE Dance Party mix on iTunes radio, and Tim and I cleaned the kitchen, cooked, cleaned the kitchen again, made a drink, watched Gilmore Girls while crocheting a scarf, made another drink, watched The Labyrinth, and then went to bed at like 11PM.  It was actually a really enjoyable night (from the perspective of two complete homebodies).  And as a bonus, I feel great today!

I tried another new recipe this week:  Oven Baked Chowder.  Although this recipe is expensive (1.5 lbs of tilapia was about $15), this one is a definite keeper.  The chowder turned out super flavorful and delicious.  Next time I make it, however, I will cook it in our dutch oven.  We ran out of room in the 8 X 11 pan.  Also, I would add a whole cup of coconut milk to make the sauce even more creamy.

How was your New Year’s Eve?  Any big plans or goals for 2015?  Tim and I discussed last night that we are going to try to reign in our eating out to only 2 times per week. It will help us save money and calories.  That’s about it for us!

Hope you are having a great January 1, 2015.  The future is now, Man!!

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PORKIN!


Ha – gotchya! This post isn’t about what you thought it was about. You pervert.

One of the benefits and drawbacks of buying a whole hog is that you have tons of pork to eat.  I love pork, but we probably eat too much of it.  We need to widen our horizons as far as meat is concerned, but it’s hard to do when you have 100 pounds of pork chilling in the freezer.

I used a few pounds of it this week in a couple of new recipes:

1.  Beyond the Bite Hawaiian Pork Roast.  This recipe was very easy to make, and the flavor of the roast was delicious!  However, the cabbage got a little overcooked, so its texture and color were a little unappetizing; although, the actual taste of it was good.  Even though the recipe only calls for 3 T of ginger, the whole roast had a really nice ginger tone to it.

2. Easy Glazed Pork Chops.  This introduced me to a new way of cooking pork chops. We usually either grill them or fry them on the stove.  With this recipe, however, you cook them on the stove for 4 minutes on each side and then bake them for 6 minutes.   They end up cooked perfectly!  I would definitely make pork chops this way again, but I would not make the glaze.  Tim HATES vinegar, and this sauce was super vinegary and made the whole house smell like vinegar. I personally liked the flavor, but I won’t subject Tim to the vinegar scent again.

And today is Christmas.  Tim and I are going to head out for a run shortly, and then we’re going to play some cribbage, eat some homemade stew, draw, bake cookies, watch some Lord of the Rings, and crochet some slippers.  Sounds like a perfect Thursday in my opinion!

Oh!  And one more thing to note.  Some friends of mine and I decided to do another Primal Challenge in January. It’s kind of become a tradition at this point. I originally started the primal diet 3 years ago in January, and for the past 2 years, I have re-done the challenge to help myself get back on track and to help introduce some friends to the diet.  This year we are making it a little more official. I set up a Facebook Group here for us to communicate and encourage each other.  We are doing it 1/11 to 1/31.  If you are interested in joining up, hit me up on Facebook. I’m excited to see how it goes (and I’m excited to have a strong excuse to turn down delicious (but super unhealthy) treats at work!).

I hope you are enjoying your day off and can get outside and revel in the cold sunshine.  Thanks for reading!!

 

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Swedish meatballs, yoga pants, and crocheted slippers.


Chris Kresser links to the best recipes!  I found this recipe for Paleo Swedish Meatballs last weekend in one of his posts.  Holy cow.  These turned out sooooo delicious!  They were a lot of work for a weeknight meal, as you need to cook the meatballs in batches on the stove top until they are all done.  But they are so worth the effort.  Here are a couple of notes – I used a 2 inch scoop for the first batch of meatballs, and I had a really hard time turning them without them falling apart. I scaled down to a 1.5″ scoop after that, and those meatballs were much easier to handle, and they cooked much more evenly.  Also, I was 85% sure that the “gravy” would not turn into gravy.  It was super runny all the way up until I added the 3rd tablespoon of tapioca starch. Then, magically, it started to firm up to gravy consistency.  So rich and tasty.

For a side dish I made roasted brussel sprouts because I found some local ones at The Food Hub for 2.99/lb.  I used this recipe as a guide; however, instead of making the glaze, we poured the gravy over the cooked sprouts.  I have to say, we were not super happy with how these turned out.  They were very dry (maybe I didn’t add enough oil?).  So, when we stored the leftovers, we mixed the sprouts and the meatballs and gravy together. The sprouts marinated in that rich gravy overnight and were super moist and tasty when re-heated.

I also tried this recipe last week: Crockpot Ropa Viega with Cuban Style Rice.  This turned out OK.  Tim and I both thought the dish was a little over-spiced, and the meat didn’t turn out as tender as I hoped.  Tim ate the leftovers with white rice, however, which cut down the spice level a bit, and he said that was really good. However, this recipe did provide us with supper and enough leftovers for two more meals.

So on to my next piece of news.  For our anniversary Tim got me an amazing pair of yoga capri leggings from Onzie.  I wore them to an hour and 15 minute yoga class, and they kept me very cool (the fabric is really thin). I also wore them running, and they were very comfortable.  He got me the Prizm print.  It a cacophony of patterns, and it gives you something really interesting to look at while in downward dog. I don’t know if yoga pants are the proper dristi for yoga, but looking at them made me happy, so I think Yoga would approve.

I start my yoga teacher training class on 1/9, and I feel as if I really need at least one more pair of yoga pants for the class. Unfortunately the prints I really love at Onzie are all sold out of my size.  I’m going to keep my eye on it though.

And finally, the last topic of my post.  Ever since we were little, my mom has made us awesome crocheted slippers (the slippers are courtesy of Mom – the hair is courtesy of Lucent):

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Mom has shown me a couple of times how to make them, but once she is not next to me, I forget how.  So I found this YouTube video on granny squares (the slippers are basically 3 small granny squares stitched into one big granny square).  With his help and a few texts back and forth to Mom, I was able to successfully make all the pieces for a pair of slippers:

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And this is currently where I am stuck. Over the phone, Mom walked me through how to stitch the pieces together, but my first attempt ended very poorly. I was distracted by David Bowie’s hair and other things in The Labyrinth and didn’t have the pieces lined up well enough, so they didn’t connect where they should connect.  I’m going to try it one more time, and if that doesn’t work, make Mammacita sew them together for me. :)

So that’s my week in a nutshell.  Hope you are having a great Sunday and can get out and enjoy this 40 degree day.  Take some Vitamin D and eat some salmon, and you won’t even miss the sun!

 

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How to get fat on the Paleo Diet


I’ve been paleo/primal for 3 years now. I initially lost 18 lbs when I started the paleo diet, and I’ve kept it off for the past 3 years.  I’ll gain a pound or two when I start to loosen up the diet too much, but as soon as I tighten it up, my weight goes back down to my “equilibrium” weight, which is right around 131 pounds.

What are the culprits of the subtle pound creepage?  For me, it’s beer (1 beer = 1 lb), cheese, paleo snacks (Nut Thin crackers and sweet potato chips) and too many paleo baked goods.  The beer and cheese obviously will cause issues, but I think the paleo snacks and baked goods are more insidious. It’s easy to fall into the mindset that since they are “paleo-ish” they are OK to eat.  Well, and I honestly think they are OK in moderation.  It’s just that for me, I have problems with self control.  If I buy a bag of Terra sweet potato chips. I will eat them all over a couple of days – not happy until they are gone.  Same thing with paleo baked goods – when you make a batch of them, you have at least 12 treats hanging around.  12/2 = 6 treats for Tim and 6 treats for me that just HAVE to be eaten over  the course of 2-3 days.  DANGEROUS.

But we had company yesterday, so I used that as an excuse to make these Paleo Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins.  They are kind of a lot of work – the recipe prints out on 3 pages!  However, they are definitely worth it.  They taste like delicious pumpkin pie.  Two notes, however – I had to cook mine 10 minutes longer than the recipe said. I had so much batter that I had to fill the muffin cups 100% instead of 3/4, so I’m sure that’s why they took longer to cook.  Also, I could not find Five Spice Powder anywhere here in Davenport.  So I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and added some turmeric and cayenne pepper. I didn’t even taste the turmeric (but we got all those anitoxidants), but you can taste the cayenne at the back of your throat as the bite goes down the gullet. It adds some interesting dimension to the muffins.

I made another Nomnompaleo recipe yesterday:  Oven-Braised Beef Stew with Carrot, Parsnip, and Lacinato Kale.  This recipe is a tremendous amount of work – you have to cut tons of veggies and then you have to sauté everything separately before adding it to the dutch oven for roasting.  The stew turned out super delicious, however, so it’s totally worth it.

And lastly, to the detriment of my waistline, I tried out this Paleo Pancakes recipe this morning.  I’ve never had great success with paleo pancakes. They are always too thick to cook properly.  Making them is an exercise is frustration.  But sometimes you just want a pancake with lots of butter and maple syrup.  So you keep trying and hoping.  Well, Chris Kresser linked to this recipe a few weeks ago, and I’m so glad he did.  These are by far the best paleo pancakes I’ve ever had. Tim even said you can’t tell they are paleo!  They are just good pancakes – not just good “paleo” pancakes.  This was my first attempt at using plantains, and based on these pancakes, I look forward to adding more of this safe starch to my diet.

I’m excited to have found some new recipes to add to my repertoire, but now I have a fridge full of honey-sweetened muffins and delicious pancakes.  It’s dangerous.  I better do some heavy aerobic exercise to burn off all these carbs today.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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