Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Back at it!

The holidays are rough, aren't they?  All the traditional foods -- steeped in sentiment and sugar.  I actually did pretty well not gluttonizing over the rolls and breads, but the chocolate...

I'm a school teacher.  I receive a lot of chocolate at Christmas from my students (this will repeat on Valentine's Day, and again on Teacher Appreciation Day).  I know I don't *have* to eat it but it's so delicious.

About 18 months ago, I was exactly where I wanted to be in my fitness goals.  I was crushing it at the gym, earning PRs consistently, and I was at my leanest.  It was great!  Unfortunately, bad habits started creeping in to our diets as our schedules changed up.  We found it necessary to give up our 5 am WOD, trying hard to fit it into another place in the schedule.  I hit the gym most days after school, but Superman was already in the middle of his schedule with clients by then.  And there were times I was way too worn out by the afternoon to tackle a workout.  Hello, weight gain and muscle loss.

I've been feeling for a while that it's time to make a change, to return to our healthy habits that kept us happiest and strongest and leanest.  I know what to eat, and I know I can't fib to myself about that.  We're going to reclaim our 5 am WOD.  It means we'll need to plan smarter.  But I'm tired of feeling sluggish.  I want my clothes to fit again.  When you're short, a gain of 5 pounds means your clothes are tight.  10 pounds means they downright don't fit anymore.  I know better than to expect the weight to "just fall off", like so many schemes and gimmicks claim.  Today, I'm rebooting.  The new journey begins now.

Today's breakfast:
Fried egg and turkey sausage over zucchini, topped with spinach and basil, with a side of fresh blueberries.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fresh Uova in Purgatory!

Some time ago, I posted a review and link to NomNom Paleo's delicious "Uova in Purgatory".

This morning, I found myself craving it, but I had no mushrooms, no sausage, and no spaghetti sauce.  I did have some other fresh ingredients, though, so I made some substitutions.  It is now cooling on the table while I write this.

Fresh Uova in Purgatory
1 t. coconut oil
60 g. onion, finely diced (that's about 1/4 an onion)
60 g. crookneck squash, finely diced
3 oz. cooked chicken, finely diced
1 roma tomato (3 oz.), finely diced
fennel seeds
red pepper flakes
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion and squash in coconut oil.  Add chicken and tomato.  Sprinkle fennel seeds and red pepper flakes to taste.  Stir and cook until tomatoes soften.  Divide into two 4-oz. ramekins.  Make a well in the center of each and crack an egg into it.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

If you're weighing and measuring your macros, here's the breakdown:

15.6 g. fat
12.4 g. carb
30 g. protein

The other dish is a Plum Rhubarb Compote.  It's an adaptation of a non-Paleo Plum Rhubarb Crisp that is all the rage at every gathering to which I've brought it.

Plum Rhubarb Compote
2.5 oz frozen plums
.5 oz frozen chopped rhubarb
.4 oz frozen lemon juice
1/2 t. arrowroot flour

Heat plums, rhubarb and lemon juice in microwave.  Stir in arrowroot flour, and sprinkle on cinnamon, and Splenda to taste.  Stir thoroughly and reheat if necessary.

.3 g fat
11.3 g carb
.7 g protein

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pumpkin Curry


I've been away so long.  Now that I'm teaching school, my time is all gobbled up.  Big things are happening here at Superman-and-Ms.Julie's house.  We've just sent Actress off to college (majoring in Theatre Education, of course), making us the parents of THREE college students.  Ballerina is getting married at the end of the year, and Valedictorian recently returned from an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Big things.

Years ago, when I first met Superman, he introduced me to an Indian dish from a local restaurant that he LOVES.  I examined it.  I tasted it.  I tried to duplicate it -- and missed.

Last night, I finally concocted an arrangement of ingredients that proved to be a winner!  It only took four years of marriage, people.

Pumpkin Curry
1 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 c. water
1/3 c. unsweetened dried coconut (but if I had fresh, I'd use about 7-8 ounces freshly grated)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 T. sunflower butter
1 T. coconut oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 VERY HOT red chili (split in half lengthwise)
1/3 c. coconut milk
salt to taste
1/2 c. cooked, diced chicken (more, if you're in the mood for it)
cooked quinoa (or steamed grated cauliflower, or rice if you prefer)
assorted chopped veggies of your choice (celery, peas, onions, bell peppers, carrots, etc.)

Combine butternut squash, curry powder, chili powder, and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes or until tender.

Grind half the coconut in a spice mill with the cumin.  Stir in remaining coconut.  Stir into butternut mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In a small, nonstick frying pan, melt the sunflower butter with the coconut oil over low heat.  Add mustard seeds and the red chili half.  Stir and cook over high heat 1-2 minutes, then pour over curry mixture.  Season with salt to taste.

I removed the pepper, because it was blazingly hot for me.  To serve, scoop some quinoa/cauliflower/rice into the bottom of a bowl, then ladle the curry mixture over it.  Stir in chopped vegetables (as many as you like!), and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Paleo White Chicken Chili

White chili.  Without beans.  I figured, how hard could it be?

I combined white veggies like cauliflower and parsnip with a bit of butternut squash for it's creamy quality.

The first step is to make a creamy base for the chili.  To do this, I pulsed a large head of cauliflower in the food processor, then reserved out two cups to add in later for texture.   After the base ingredients were simmered and tender, they got pureed and returned to the pot.  Then I dropped in the remaining ingredients and gave them a few minutes of stove time.

The result?  Delicious.

Some basic ingredients: garlic, cauliflower, diced butternut

Paleo White Chicken Chili

The base:
1 large cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor, divided (reserve 2 c. for 2nd half)
1 parsnip, peeled and pulsed
2 c. cubed butternut squash
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. water
1/4 c. white wine
1 T. minced garlic

Combine base ingredients in a large pot.  Simmer until butternut is tender.  Puree mixture and return to the pot.

The rest:
1 1/2 pounds chicken, cooked and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 4-oz can chopped green chiles
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
2 c. pulsed cauliflower (reserved from above)
salt and pepper to taste

avocados, tomatoes, cilantro

While the base is simmering, cook chicken and dice.

Add remaining ingredients to pureed base.  Add water if a thinner soup is desired.  Simmer until onions are translucent.  Adjust seasonings as desired.

Lovely garnish.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Make Your Own PVC Pipe Train Whistle

Today's post is has nothing to do with nutrition or exercise.  I am the Wolf Den Leader in our Cub Scout pack.  This week we will be earning the Music Belt Loop and Pin.  For Pin requirement #1,  I will be having our den make their own train whistles.

Here are the materials you will need:

3 lengths of 1/2" pvc pipe (12.2 cm, 15.3 cm, 17.2 cm)
3 end caps
3 sections of 5/8" dowel, cut to 1 1/2"
2  90° elbows
2 small pieces of pvc pipe, just over 1" long
1 T connector

Total cost:  approximately $3/whistle

Here are the pieces, laid out before assembly.

After cutting the lengths of pvc pipe, make a notch at the top.  I connected the elbow to the pipe, then drew a line below the edge of the elbow for the top of the notch.  I cut these with a hacksaw, but my awesome Superman used the chopsaw to speed up the process, since I had to make twelve of these.

After making the notch, you will need to cut down one side of each of the dowel pieces.  I used a utility knife.  If I'd had a way to plane down one side of the dowel before cutting it, that would have saved time.  This was absolutely the most time consuming part of the project.

Each T connector needs a hole in the center.  This is where you blow into it.  After drilling the hole, I slightly carved down the edges, but it turns out that extra step isn't necessary.

 To connect the T to the elbow pieces, insert the small sections of pvc pipe into each side of the T.  The rest of the assembly is very easy.  Just put every together as pictured above.  Blow into the hole and enjoy your train whistle!

A very satisfying project!  I think the cub scouts will be excited!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Uova in Purgatorio (Eggs in Purgatory)

Thanks to Michelle Tam (Nom Nom Paleo), I've discovered the goodness that is Eggs in Purgatory.  She graciously shares her recipe here:

Uova in Purgatorio

How did I not know about these before?  I substituted ground beef plus my seasonings for homemade sausage for the Italian pork sausage.  Also, since I was testing it out just for myself, I made the whole thing except for the egg, then ladled some of the meat sauce into a microwave safe mug.  I cracked an egg into that, covered it with a microwave-safe plate, then zapped it for 2 minutes on 50% power (cook until the egg is done to your preference).

The test was successful.  I am now motivated to buy ramekins.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

7,3, ADHD and Therapy

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. –Steve Jobs
Family of seven, Three full time jobs… well, one full time job, full time school and nearly a full time schedule at a Therapy Clinic, an ADHD mind and a midlife career change to Marriage & Family Therapy.  Wow you might be thinking, “a therapist with ADHD”, yah, never a dull moment in therapy. I love what I do, love my family. My life if full of adventure, twist and turns and I am honored to take this journey with my best friend and partner, my wife. 

Over a year ago I posted “Fitting in Again: A guest post”. With the idea I would track and post my path back to a healthy, fit life amid a crazy and demanding schedule. Shortly after that post on November 11, 2012 I got a promotion at work. The promotion was a great opportunity but unknowingly my life was about to become unbelievably more difficult. It wasn’t unusual for me to work 70 hour weeks and get home at 3am. This was in addition to my school schedule. It was taking a toll on me physically and mentally. It had to stop. I need to take back control of my life again. 

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

Honestly, there were times I felt like it didn’t matter anymore. I wanted to accept the idea that being healthy and fit isn’t possible while being a responsible parent, employee and student. It’s either or, right? I was close to giving in multiple times. Ahh… I would argue with myself,  I’ll just wait till I am out of school, in my new career, when the kids are older, when I am retired! Seriously! These thoughts went through my head. But I have a feeling I am not alone, many of you know what it’s like to do everything right with little or NO results and often even experiencing negative results. It’s madding, I get it, I understand. But I know it’s possible and had to dive deep to find that motivation, drive and know how.
Recently I have been following a new favorite fitness guru online, Kristy Jo Hunt of Body Buddies. There is a lot of fitness fluff, fickle, fiasco and foolishness out there but she is fantastic, fun, fascinating and fit! I am not one for daily positive affirmations but her genuineness, sincerity and knowledge make her daily comments more than quotes of the day, but powerful reminders of your individual power and worth. So go check her stuff out but don’t forget to come back too. Her posts were an additional reminder that it is possible to be healthy and fit even in a busy life. I also believe that the OTHER equally important things in life don’t have to be sacrificed to accomplish a healthy, fit life style.

Hopefully, my experiences as a husband, father, student, crossfitter, psychotherapist dealing with everyday challenges helps motivate and provide solutions to your obstacles to finding a healthier, happier and fit life. What are the most difficult challenges you face in obtaining your goals?