Tuesday WOD 1/28/14

Tuesday was an excellent day in my household. James and I woke up, had coffee, and got an awesome workout in. Our WOD was Marguerita : For time- 50 reps of Burpee/Push-up/Jumping-Jack/Sit-up/Handstand. It was a cat and mouse type workout, in that one of us would speed up, and the other would try and catch up and get ahead of the other person. We ended up both completing it in 20:14, and man am I sore! I’ve posted a video below so you can see what just 1 rep looks like.

For lunch, I made almond-crusted tilapia with sweet potato fries and a spinach salad. Nothing too crazy there. 28 days of paleo: completed! 🙂

Wednesday 01/22/14

Quick recap:

Breakfast: 2 bananas, 1 hard boiled egg,  1 pumpkin dark chocolate chunk muffin

Lunch: Salad with mixed greens, walnuts, cranberries, and sugar snap peas + 1 sweet potato + 3 scrambled eggs

Snacks: mixed nuts, 1 apple, 1 pumpkin dark chocolate chunk muffin

Dinner: Slow cooker chicken tacos and almond flour chips with salsa from Against all Grain cookbook with plantain chips (recipe by California Cave Girl Kindra). This dinner was seriously so delicious, I plan on having leftovers every day for the next week!

I wanted to go on a run, but ran out of day light (and in all honesty, wasn’t feeling too motivated to work out today. I need to get back on it, this was my second day off in a row!)

Price check, please!

Today, I felt a strong urge to delve into some research on nutrient density and the omega 6:omega 3 ratio ideal. So, with my morning cup of coffee in hand, I went straight to Google to answer my questions. I wound up on Chris Kresser’s website (of course) and began reading about omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, how to balance them, and the best food sources to reach the optimal balance (to read the complete article, click here).

The basic conclusion I reached from reading the article (and a few other related articles on his site), is that I need to up my salmon intake. At a recent Costco visit, my boyfriend and I bought a ton of tilapia, believing this would be a good source of omega 3 EPA and DHA. My research this morning showed that tilapia actually has higher amounts of Omega 6 than Omega 3, virtually making this effort to up Omega 3s in our diet pointless. So, I decided the best way to reach a balance in our diets between these fatty acid chains is to up our salmon intake.

It’s no secret that salmon can get pricey, even when buying in bulk. Through a bit of research, I’ve determined that for us, the health benefits of eating wild Alaskan canned salmon is much better than not having salmon in our diets at all. So, I began calling grocery stores for price checks on canned salmon to determine the best place to buy it.

By far, the cheapest place I found to purchase canned salmon is at Trader Joe’s (the price they gave me is $3.79 for 14.7oz can). This is compared to the horrendous price at Whole Foods of $6.99 for 6oz. No thanks!

Next, I began calling grocery stores about organ meat. I’ve heard a lot of great things about organ meat (especially liver) from a variety of sources, including The Paleo View podcast and Chris Kresser’s website once again. Organ meats are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and it is highly encouraged that everyone consume them at least a few times per week. I would have them ground and mix it in with other ground meat to make burgers or pasta sauce, so neither my boyfriend nor I would even notice they were there.

The best prices I found for organ meats are as follows:

The Nugget Market (a local grocery store): $1.59/lb Beef Heart

Whole Foods: Pasture raised beef liver- $4.99/lb ; free range chicken liver- $3.69/lb.

I’m going to do a bit of pre-grocery shop planning this week to figure out the best menu plan and grocery list for us. I plan on doing some research on the most nutrient dense produce and their peak seasons, as well as scour the local ads for sales on meat and seafood. Salmon will definitely be on the shopping list!

Organ Meat

 

 

Tuesday 01/21/14

Today, I was extremely productive. It was awesome.

I began my day as usual, with a cup of coffee. But before I had my coffee, I did a number of things: made the bed, got a load of laundry going, and unloaded the dishwasher. BAM. Productive from the moment I woke up. I should have known that this was a good sign!

After coffee and breakfast (breakfast: 2 bananas + 2 eggs), I decided to get a little crafty and create a menu board. I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now so that I can display in my kitchen a week’s worth of upcoming meals. Today was the day I made it happen. BANG! Another item checked off my list.

My menu board in a frame, so I can use a dry-erase marker to write in my meals!

My framed dry-erase menu board – “Cooking is love made visible”(in my hideous handwriting!)

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Later in the day I had a lunch of sweet potato and a salad with a little bit of chicken. It was the perfect simple lunch to keep me going throughout my busy day!

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After lunch, I went continued with my tasks for a few hours until I got hungry. I had an apple and some walnuts for a snack. Then, I decided to bake! I chose to make some Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins (I adapted my recipe from PaleOMG’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe). They turned out pretty tasty! This was my first attempt at paleo baking, and I’m extremely proud of my effort. Yum! Perfect dessert to end my day. My recipe for Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins

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My recipe filled up 6 muffin tins and I had a tiny bit of batter left over. I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided to make a pancake out of it. I know it sounds weird, but it actually turned out perfectly! So tonight I made a muffin and a pancake recipe…by accident! What a delicious surprise. For my Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chunk Pancake recipe, click here!

This is not the best photo ever…sorry! I'll update photo soon

This is not the best photo ever…sorry! I’ll update photo soon

For dinner I had another sweet potato, 2 eggs, and a handful of sugar snap peas (plus 1 pancake and 2 muffins!). Today was my rest day, so I didn’t do an intense workout. I plan on doing about 30 minutes of yoga and stretching tonight before bed, because it feels like almost every muscle in my body is sore! If you try out either of my recipes, let me know! I would love to hear about it.

Until next time!

 

Day 20 – Monday 1/20/14

As I wrap up my 20th day of my paleo challenge for 2014, I can’t help but to be at least a little proud of myself. As of today, I have accomplished many things that seemed out of reach when I began working towards my goal of having a fully paleo year. I’ve tried over 10 new recipes (which is more than I did for the entire year of 2013, probably), I’ve gone longer than I ever have without consuming dairy or grains (let’s face it…I was addicted to bread and starchy carbs of all kinds…but not anymore!), and I’ve lost 7 lbs (ok, the weight loss is just a side effect. I didn’t aim to lose any weight, but I figured it was bound to happen). I’d say that 2014 is off to an excellent start, and I can’t wait to see how much more I can accomplish this year.

Today’s recap:

Breakfast: 1 egg + 1 banana + coffee

WOD: 4 rounds of run .5 mile, rest 90 seconds (times: 3:37, 3:43, 3:42, 3:37  –  total time: 14:39 for 2 miles – 7:20 avg. pace per mile) I was happy to have a day off from weight training, since nearly every muscle in my body was already sore.

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Lunch: 1/2 chicken breast + broccoli + roasted butternut squash + 1 sweet potato

Snacks: 1 apple + 1 banana + 1/2 cup mixed nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dried cherries)

Dinner: 1 sweet potato + 1/2 chicken breast (I intended on having a salad, but ate dinner while cleaning the kitchen and just completely forgot to eat it!)

Dessert: 1 cup organic peppermint tea (no sweetener) + 1.5 oz dark chocolate (yum!)

I’ve come to realize through these past 20 days that I absolutely love sweet potatoes. Like, they are now my favorite food. It’s pretty ridiculous how much I love them. I’m glad that I work out a fair amount, because that halfway justifies how many I like to eat nearly every day.

 

Weekend in Review: 01/18 – 01/19/14

This weekend was the first of the year in which I’ve settled into a routine. The fridge has been stocked, a workout schedule has been determined, and I’ve recovered from my exciting trips from the past two weeks.

Friday:

On Friday, I ate the usual paleo meals. I had some salad with chicken, and it was a rest day so no workout for me. Friday night was pretty exciting, though. My boyfriend and I went out with a group of friends in Downtown Sacramento for the night. We first went to Sapporo Grill, and I was ecstatic to find out that there was a sushi roll I could order that was paleo-approved. I ordered the Beautiful roll, which is a cucumber-wrapped roll with snow crab, daikon sprouts, tuna, salmon, and hamachi. If you are a sushi-lover in the Sacramento area attempting to eat a paleo diet, I highly recommend giving Sapporo Grill’s Beautiful roll a try…it exceeded my expectations!

Next we went to a few bars then to a club (I’m not much of a partier, so this was an abnormal Friday night for us!). I rarely drink, so just a few shots of tequila was enough for me for the night (I usually prefer beer, but sadly, beer isn’t paleo in the slightest). We danced the night away, which ended up turning into a workout in itself!

Saturday:

In the morning, we slowly got up around 9am and had our coffee. I made James some scrambled eggs for breakfast, and I had leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce (this was my breakfast two days in a row…so good!!). I then cleaned the downstairs and prepped lunch, because we had invited a few friends over for the afternoon. They are not paleo and didn’t know much about the lifestyle, so they were excited for me to cook for them so they could see what it was all about. I made bacon wrapped meatballs over roasted butternut squash from PaleOMG (but substituted ground turkey for the meatballs instead of pork, and used real onions and garlic on the squash instead of powdered) and a colorful mixed salad. I also cooked up a pot of white rice for them just in case they wanted it. The four of us demolished all the food (minus half the rice), and the meal was a big hit!

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Recipe and Image by Juli on her blog PaleOMG- http://paleomg.com

Sunday:

James and I began our Sunday morning with a quick cup of coffee followed by a 2 mile walk (round trip) with our dog Roxie to the pet store. When we got back to the house we did our workout for the day – “Cindy XXX” (which was posted to the CrossFit website last Saturday.):

Complete as much as possible in 20 minutes of:
10 Pull-ups
20 Push-ups
30 Squats
15 Pull-ups
30 Push-ups
45 Squats
20 Pull-ups
40 Push-ups
60 Squats
25 Pull-ups
50 Push-ups
75 Squats
30 Pull-ups
60 Push-ups
90 Squats

James got almost all the way through the workout before our time was up (just minus a few reps), and I made it through 56/75 squats in the progression (I did assisted pull-ups with a band, and had to switch to knee push-ups halfway through). As usual with CrossFit workouts, they are much more exhausting than one would expect just from reading the workout.

Right after our workout was finished, I made lunch: almond crusted tilapia, sweet potato fries, and a side salad. Yum! While lunch was cooking, I also cooked two chicken breasts and three sweet potatoes (I like having baked sweet potatoes on hand in the fridge for whenever I feel like I need a quick pick-me-up).

James works on Sundays so I packed him a salad (mixed greens, walnuts, chicken, Italian dressing), some beef jerky, an apple, a dried fruit and nut mix (from Costco) and some veggies.

As I write this, it is almost 4pm. I plan on doing some chores around the house and starting up a new book (James and I both have a goal to read >1 book per month).

This weekend was packed with a lot of excitement and success as far as diet and exercise go. Bring on a new week of challenges!

A Day in Review – 01/16/14

Today was day 16 on a fully-paleo diet. The day began with a nice walk to Peet’s Coffee with my boyfriend, James, and our dog, Roxie. We enjoyed our coffee outside and walked back home before sharing a cantaloupe for breakfast.

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After breakfast we did our WOD – 20 minutes AMRAP of 15 sit-ups and 21 deadlifts (I did 70lbs) and completed 7 rounds. As usual with Crossfit, the workouts sound much easier than they actually are. As I’m writing this right before bed, I can already tell I’ll be extremely sore tomorrow.

After the workout, I made a scramble with bell peppers, celery, and 5 eggs for the two of us. We quickly showered, got ready for the day, and made a trip to Costco.

We go through tons of produce very quickly so buying things in bulk is the cheapest and easiest way to go about eating Paleo. I’ve been cooking exclusively paleo meals for both James and myself. He is completely on board with it and enjoys eating anything I put in front of him (after all, the best way to a man’s heart it through his stomach). We bought chicken breasts, ground turkey, tilapia, baby spinach and mixed greens, tons of other veggies and fruit, and bags of raw almonds and walnuts.

Once we got back to the house, I put away the groceries and made lunch while James checked off a few things on his “honey-do” list. We had baked sweet potatoes with just a pinch of cinnamon, broccoli, and chicken.

After lunch we ran a few more errands and did some chores around the house. As dinner time rolled around, I began prepping the spaghetti squash. Tonight was my first time cooking it, and I’ll admit that I was a little nervous. I also made meat balls with ground turkey and spicy Italian sausage. Dinner turned out great, and this meal will probably end up appearing as a regular on future weeknight menus for us.

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Day 16 on a fully-paleo lifestyle: complete.