Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your New Fast Food

The crazy of being a single mom with two jobs and three teenagers is in full swing!  If you find yourself in similar circumstances, let me suggest two very fast meals to put on the table in 30 minutes or less (depending on how adept you are at working under pressure).

Pork Salad
shredded lettuce
pulled pork (we had pork roast on Sunday, remember?)
fresh cilantro
limes
tomatoes (we have both red and yellow)


Paleo Thai "Noodles"
2 chicken breasts, cut up
kosher salt
cumin
sesame seeds
1/4 c. creamy almond butter
juice from one large orange
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
shredded zucchini
1 green onion, chopped
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

Stir fry chicken with salt, cumin and sesame seeds while setting a pot of water to boil.  Remove chicken from pan and turn down the heat to low.  Drop the shredded zucchini in the boiling water, turn off the heat and let it sit while you make the sauce.  In the warm chicken pan, stir together almond butter, orange juice, balsamic vinegar and garlic.  Stir over low heat until smooth.  Drain zucchini.

Serve by making a bed of zucchini, the place chicken and orange pieces on top, drizzle sauce.  Garnish with green onion.

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And I must say, you are a quiet bunch, my dear readers.  Feel free to comment anytime!  I'd love to hear your input!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What about breakfast?

I remember, when I started my first Paleo challenge, wondering what I would eat for breakfast.  I mean, a person can't eat eggs every blessed morning, can she?

The truth is, we do eat (and drink) a lot of eggs.  However!  You don't have to forgo your old breakfast of cereal/oatmeal/pancakes/whatever to instead have dinner for breakfast each day.  Yes, there are Paleo pancakes (try these or these) that are delicious and completely grain free.  And we've been known to shred up a carrot or two and cook 'em up like hashbrowns.  For a delicious, non-traditional breakfast that still has a very happy mouth-feel, try shredding up veggies and stir fry them with some of the meat from last night's dinner, or slice up a sausage (there are sugar-free varieties, check the label!) and throw that in.  For example:

This morning's breakfast
There was a bit of bacon fat left in the pan after Ballerina made her breakfast, and I wanted to use it.  So I started with some onion.  Then I sliced up a stalk of celery.  Hmmmm...what else is in the fridge?  Ah!  The leftover grilled carrots.  On top of that I sprinkled a little bit of minced jalapeno, then threw in some of the pulled pork from last night.  That's half a pear you see sliced up next to it.  I also ate the last of the grape tomatoes (there were only four left).  Excellent breakfast -- in fact, I would have made it into an omelet, but I thought I should show you an egg-free meal this morning.

Okay, now it's your turn.  I know I have readers, my stats tell me so.  What are you eating for breakfast?  What ideas can you share?

*edit -- Oh!  I almost forgot to mention!  I totally crushed my wod this morning!  Eleven months ago I did the following at the track:


10 rounds
100m sprint
10 pushups


My time then was 24 minutes.  Today I did it in 12!!!  Go me!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So...potatoes?

Busy weekend.  And I did make interesting food on Friday...I just didn't blog about it.  But now I will!

My good friend Peef came over on Friday and we made coconut-encrusted tilapia with peach-tomato salsa, guacamole in sweet peppers, and mixed green salad.  The peach-tomato salsa is good on fish, but I like it best on pork chops.

Sorry for the fuzzy cell phone pic.
 Saturday I decided to throw a bunch of things on the grill.  I have a charcoal grill, which probably would have worked fine, but I asked my good friend Lo if I could please use her fancy shmancy gas grill, and she said yes.  Unfortunately, I'm not an expert when it comes to grilling stuff.  That's really Superman's territory.  Still, the zucchini and the sausages turned out perfect.  The grilled carrots were a bit undercooked, and so was the onion (but I could tell they would have been marvelous if they'd been done properly).

Today was pork roast day.  I slipped the roast into the crockpot last night (well, okay, at 2 am this morning).  The side dish is thanks to the generous neighbor who owns the wonderful garden, who is nice enough to bring free food to us.  You may be looking at the glorious fluffy white concoction on my plate and asking, "Hey!  Aren't those potatoes?!"  Yes, I realize red potatoes are a starch, and technically that's a no-no for Paleo eaters.  But we do eat other root veggies, and besides, when you're a frugal single mom, you don't say no to free food on Paleo principle.  You say yes, thank you, and you eat it up, giving thanks to God that you're so well provided for.  *end short sermon*

Besides, I'm not going to get into the whole "Grok wouldn't have eaten that" debate.  I'm not embracing Paleo so that I can re-enact the Paleolithic era.  I'm doing it so that I can be a healthy woman.  My best understanding is that variety is the best choice I can make for my family, and that reducing our carb load (grains, sugars - in all their seductive forms, legumes, dairy, starches) is going to be the most helpful to our weight and to our organs.


Actress gasped and said, "We're having potatoes??!?"  It made her night.  I dressed them up Paleo-style, of course.  After they were boiled tender, I mashed them with fresh garlic, full-fat coconut milk, and a dab of bacon grease.  Ballerina and I were careful to just take a modest portion of the starchy root.

And that condiment masquerading as BBQ sauce atop my pulled pork?  Pureed apricots.

I've been "resting"...which means I haven't done a wod since Thursday, but I took ballet class on Friday, was up and down a step stool all morning Saturday banishing dust and cobwebs, and I rode my bike to church today.  Tomorrow I'll be back at the rec center, throwing weights around.  I'm determined to crush my workouts this week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Best Chicken Stir Fry


Not even kidding -- this is the best stir fry I've ever made.  I wish I'd made twice as much.  This is what I did:

The Best Chicken Stir Fry
3 chicken breasts, cut up (Double it.  Trust me.)
olive oil
kosher salt
cumin
curry powder
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 broccoli crown, broken into florets (slice up the stalks)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head cabbage, sliced into "noodles"

Drizzle olive oil in large frying pan and begin to heat.  Place cut up chicken in frying pan, sprinkle with kosher salt, cumin and curry powder.  Stir fry until cooked through.  Set aside and cover.

Drizzle more oil in pan, throw in the carrots, celery, broccoli, onion and garlic.  Stir fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender and broccoli turns bright green.  Set aside and cover.

Drizzle more oil in pan, dump cabbage shreds in.  Cook without stirring, covered, until bottom layer is golden, then stir so it doesn't burn.  Cover and heat until cabbage is crisp-tender.  Turn off heat but leave covered while you set the table and cut up some fruit.

Layer cabbage, then veggies, then chicken.  Feel free to sprinkle shredded coconut and/or sesame seeds.  Serve alongside a portion of fruit.

------
So remember my conundrum from last night?  I shouldn't have spent a single moment worrying about it.  When I arrived at the rec center this morning, I simply asked at the front desk if I could bring a barbell out to the track.  The nice girl smiled and said of course, as long as I bring it back.

I was planning to do front squats today, but my back muscles were really hurting last night.  I had to take advil just to get to sleep.  After discussing it with Superman, he said he wanted me to do back squats instead, to force me to keep good posture.  Better to alter the workout a bit than to damage my back because I don't have a coach watching me, making sure I'm using correct technique.

Warmup:
40 leg lifts on the roman chair
stretch
practice back squats 65#
carry 45# bar out to the track (about 100 meters)

Wod:
5 rounds
400 m run
15 back squats 45#
Time -- 16:00

Buy out:
Carry 45# bar back inside (about 100 meters)
2 sets of 5 back squats 95#

A class of PE students came out to the track in the middle of my wod.  The teacher was instructing them on the rules of sharing the track as I came around the bend, and she was standing right next to my bar.  She moved herself and her slightly clueless students out of my path.  I panted "thanks," crouched down and grabbed the bar, and started my back squats.  Shortly afterward, the students set off on their required 400 meters.  There were kids who couldn't even keep running for one entire lap.  That's just sad.

Tomorrow my workout is ballet class, and dinner is leftovers.  If I end up fixing anything interesting, I'll let you know, otherwise expect a post on Saturday!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sadly, the rec center is my "box".

We had zucchini "noodles" and bolognese sauce again tonight.  And once again, it was delicious.  I used a combination of red tomatoes from my garden and yellow tomatoes my neighbor gave me, and served it all alongside spinach salad and pear slices.

Now that school has started, we're in frantic-busy mode most of the time.  We get up early to pray together before the girls leave for school, then I go hit my wod at the rec center.  In the evenings, I get home from work and focus solely on making dinner while the girls plow through their homework.  By the end of the day, I'm completely wiped out.  Some Saturday, I really need to make a humongous batch of bolognese and divide it and put it in the freezer.  My goal during this challenge isn't necessarily to come up with new stuff every night.  I just need to fix delicious stuff every night.

Pre-pre-workout warmup:  Jump in the car.  Turn the key.  Get frustrated because it won't start.  Call Superman.  Jumpstart the car with on-the-phone assistance.  Drive to the auto parts store.  Buy a new battery.  Watch the manager install it.  (I was totally prepared to put the new battery in myself, but the manager was on the job before I could tell him to stop.  Meh, I thought, let him get his hands dirty.)  Jump in the car.  Go to the rec center.

Pre-workout warmup:  Run hard for 800 meters, then immediately to the roman chair for 30 leg lifts. 

WOD:
4 rounds
15 SDHP 65#
7 jerk 65#

Finished in 12:22.  Then I went home and mowed the lawn, staked the tomatoes, and drilled new holes in the garden box dripline.  And somehow, got my hands really dirty.  I guess I should have put that battery in myself after all.

So, tomorrow.  The wod I want to do is a combination of running and overhead squats.  I have a conundrum.  Will the rec center allow me to take a barbell out to the track?  Also, since school has started (and the rec center uses the high school's track), will I get in the way of PE classes?  Or, do I keep the bar in the weight room, but increase my time because I'll have to start up a treadmill for the running portions every round?  Or do I substitute running with jumproping again?  Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pork Chops with Peach-Tomato Salsa

Let's get right to the food, shall we?  I found this recipe while browsing through Meal of the Day on foodee.com, and had to try it out.

 Pork Chops With Peach-Tomato Salsa
inspired by this recipe from everydaypaleo.com

3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 fresh lime, juiced
4 (3/4- to 1-inch-thick) boneless pork chops

2 peaches
1 fresh lime, juiced
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile
several fresh basil leaves, chopped
a couple sprinkles dried mint
2 tablespoons red-wine or cider vinegar


Combine minced garlic, olive oil, and lime juice in a gallon-size ziploc bag.  Add pork chops, marinate in the fridge for an hour or two.


Preheat oven to 450.  Drizzle a little olive oil in a glass baking dish.  Place pork chops side by side in the baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes on each side (or until it starts to brown on top).


Toss chopped peaches with lime juice in a medium bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, herbs, and vinegar. Let stand while pork bakes.  Serve chops with salsa.

The sweetness from the peaches balances out the spicy from the jalapeño very nicely.  We served this alongside roasted asparagus and cantaloupe.

Today's WOD:

3 rounds
40 double unders
30 box jumps
20 DB swings 50#
Time - 18:43

The prescribed wod was 5 rounds, but I modified it when I realized it would probably kill me.  My rec center doesn't have a box for jumps, but it does have metal benches for people to sit and wait for a racquetball court.  I pulled one of those close to the entrance of the weight room (a converted racquetball court) so that I could step out and do my jumps.  The DB swings were hard -- partly because 50# is heavy for me, and partly because a dumbbell is not a kettlebell.  You can't grip it the same way.  There was one other person in the weight room today.  He was not a creep, but he did watch me yell my way through my last two sets of DB swings as he finished his bench presses.  I can't blame him.  I was a sight to see (and hear).  When I was done, he asked me how many rounds I did, and said it looked like I was keeping up a great pace.

After my workout, I came home and dove into my yardwork.  That Farmer's Walk from yesterday totally affected my skills with tree pruning today.  Very little grip ability.  And my forearms were spent!  I had a devil of a time pruning the boxwoods with the shears.  

The good news is that next time, I'll be stronger.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pina Colada Smoothie

Remember Eric Estrada?  When I was a kid, we used to watch CHiPs on TV, and I'd kind of sick out every time he'd crack a raw egg into a glass and then just drink it.  It didn't bother my mom.  She raised chickens when she was young, and had no qualms about cracking an egg into a smoothie for us.  Except she never called them smoothies.  I don't even think that word was invented yet.  For some reason, she always called those morning shakes "eggnog" -- although it was nothing like eggnog.  *shrug*

Over the years, I became a mom and read all kinds of scary things about raw eggs.  Salmonella.  And so I wouldn't let the kids eat raw cookie dough ("yuck!  raw eggs!") and I changed any recipe I came across that had raw eggs in it.

As my kids got older, I realized I lost the battle about raw cookie dough a long time ago.  And then, recently, I suddenly changed my mind about consuming raw eggs myself.  What a convenient way to boost the protein in a smoothie!  (And in ice cream, as you may have noticed in yesterday's recipe).

So, I had some leftover pineapple from yesterday's ice cream experiment.  I had stumbled into a smoothie recipe from Elana's Pantry and felt inspired.  Seriously, this is delicious.  If you feel squeamish about raw eggs, I do believe there are pasteurized alternatives out there.  Or you could leave the eggs out and get your protein elsewhere.

Pina Colada Smoothie
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. canned coconut milk
1 c. frozen pineapple
1 T. coconut oil
1 egg
2 ice cubes

In a high speed blender, blend the water, coconut milk and pineapple.  Then add the coconut oil and egg.  Drop in the ice cubes and blend until there are no more large chunks of ice.  Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!



Today was a gym day.  I warmed up by running a bit faster than usual on the treadmill (my speed was 6.7, whatever that means.  I still haven't figured it out), then doing 30 leg lifts on the roman chair.

WOD:
3 rounds for time
Farmer's walk 50 feet, 50# (that's carrying a 50# dumbbell in one hand)
5 burpees
Farmer's walk 50 feet, 50# (holding the dumbbell in the opposite hand)
5 burpees
(4:12)

3 rounds for time
10 deadlift 115#
10 bench press 50#
(4:52)

And this evening, I attended "Hot Hula" class.  My hip flexors and quads are feeling it.  Excellent fitness day today!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pina Colada Ice Cream

I'll say it right now:  I am not a perfect parent.  I've definitely had some Bad Mom episodes.   This morning, it turns out, was one of those.

Ballerina made breakfast.  (She's also been blogging about her life as a teenage caveman.  Check it out.)  She started out making it just for herself, but it turned out there was enough for two.  She used my applesauce pancake recipe, but substituted apricot puree for the applesauce.  Then she made carrot hashbrowns (basically shredded carrots and onions, stir fried).  I cut up an avocado.  As we were getting ready to eat, Valedictorian came in and asked if there were enough for her.  Unfortunately, Ballerina hadn't planned on making breakfast for everyone.  Oops.

You can see why we'd fight over this breakfast.

There was a stormy bit of passive-aggressive discussion, in which Valedictorian said there was nothing to eat in this house, and why was it that whenever Ballerina and I wanted to make food, it was all creative and delicious, but when she looked in the fridge, she couldn't find anything?!  Ballerina stated that it was because she makes things from scratch.  This provoked questions that had an undeniably snotty edge to them, including something along the lines of well-how-am-I-supposed-to-do-that?  I stood up from the table, opened the cupboard and pulled out the Betty Crocker cookbook.

"This is a cookbook," I said.  "In it, you will find instructions for how to make food.  There are several options in this book.  Try it."  (Did you see the Bad Mom moment there?  Yep, there it was.)  Valedictorian ended up making non-paleo pancakes for herself.  And I spent the morning quietly wondering how I had failed my daughter, that she's now a college student and can't take the initiative to learn how to cook things on her own.  *sigh*

For dinner tonight, I made Rosemary Rainbow Tart and Curry Carrot Bisque.  And for dessert, a Paleo Pina Colada ice cream...



Pina Colada Ice Cream
1 c. pineapple chunks
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
1 can coconut milk

Chop pineapple and bananas in a food processor.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix until well-combined.  Add coconut milk, mix again.  Pour into ice cream maker and follow freezing instructions.  Garnish with shredded unsweetened coconut and macadamia nuts.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Folks, that's a new record!

Years ago, when I started doing Body for Life (the first diet/exercise plan I'd ever done that was successful), I remember some days thinking, "studies say that vacuuming the house counts as exercise.  Maybe today, instead of going for a run, I'll just vacuum the whole house."  And then my shoulder angel would say, "Yeah, right.  And how did that work for you before?"  And I'd acknowledge that housework had never kept me fit before, and it was no use justifying in order to slack off.

This is the main reason this blog is called "How's That Been Working For You?" -- because I am challenging myself, and any readers out there, to consider past habits and ask if going back to them is actually going to help.  After the last 30 Day Challenge, I was feeling thin and fit and happy.  All my clothes were way too loose, but that was a problem I was willing to deal with.  Unfortunately, over the last couple of months, I've allowed myself to slip back into some of my old habits:  being too busy to work out, indulging in treats.  My lean abs have hidden themselves again behind a layer of squoosh.  My loose pants are now fitting again.  Dang.

There are people in the world who never have to watch what they eat in order to stay thin.  Lucky ducks.  It's not fair, but there you have it.  Some of us will simply have to always be careful about the kind of fuel we put in our bodies, or we gain weight...and some of us gain very quickly.  Curses.  True, I know that if I treat my body well, I avoid disease and improve the quality and length of my life.  These things are very important to me.  Now that I've found Superman, I want to live a good, long time.  And I want to be able to spend that life doing active and fun things.   But don't be misled by those healthy goals.  The fact of the matter is that I want to look great...in clothes, in a swimsuit, and out of them!  I'm sad that I lost sight of that temporarily.  The good news is, I've already proved to myself that I know what to do about it!

As I was running this morning, I was hoping I would set a new PR for my mile.  I thought, I may not be the fittest 40-something you know.  I may not be the strongest or the fastest.  But I'm pushing myself, and I want to be one of the fittest women you know, no matter what the age.

After the run, I did the following wod:

3 rounds
12 body rows (I prop a sturdy broom handle between my kitchen counters and row up to it)
75 air squats
Time:  8:59

And I did set a new PR.  It's not a world record, but it's my record.  One mile in 8:20.

Road Trip!

Yesterday I took my daughters to Bodies: The Exhibition.  I've been planning this excursion for a couple months.  It's a 3 1/2 hour drive, but totally TOTALLY worth it.  Ballerina took eight pages of notes about the things she thought were amazing or cool (or wanted to ask questions about later from her Physiology teacher).  There were times when I stood staring at pieces of the exhibit, and felt tears come to my eyes at the amazing beauty of the human body -- all the way down to what's deep inside.  How can I describe it without sounding like a complete nerdy doofus?  Please, if you have an opportunity to attend the exhibit (it travels), jump at it.

So...trip food.  There's no way I was going to fill the car with Cheez-its and licorice.  This is what we took instead:

carrots, celery, cucumber, apples, plum applesauce, water bottles


Work it, apricots.
It's frustrating that all beef jerky is loaded with sugar.  Yes, I know that sugar is a preservative, and that's a great way to preserve meat and other food.  But it's a big no-no during our Paleo challenge.  So I went with pepperoni sticks, which have only a tiny amount of sugar ("less than 2% of the following ingredients").  It's on-the-road no-refrigeration-needed protein, and I wasn't sure what else to do.

We stopped at Wendy's for late lunch after the exhibit.   Ballerina and I each got Almond Berry Chicken Salads, prepared special without cheese.  Of course, the dressing is more like syrup (I think the first THREE ingredients were types of sugar), so I took a pass on that.  It was pretty good, but not really worth the six and a half bucks they charge for it (and not nearly as filling as good Paleo meals we make at home).

No workout today.  But after seeing the skeletal, muscular, circulatory, reproductive and digestive systems of the body, I'm once again motivated to make my insides absolutely beautiful!

Power Snatch

It's been a busy few days.  I apologize for my absence -- my goal is to give you something to chew on (ha!) each day of the 60 Day Challenge.  So, what I should have posted Thursday night:

Today's prescribed wod:
5 rounds for time
Run 200 meters
5 Power Snatch at 155#

Since I knew I'd need to do this one at the rec center, and that they most likely won't allow me to carry a barbell out to the track, I either needed to modify the run, or modify the lifting.  I didn't want to miss the weights, so instead I did:

5 rounds for time
100 jumprope singles
5 Power Snatch 50#

I realize 50# isn't very heavy for that movement.  While getting set up, I tried what I thought was 65# (10# plates on what I thought was a 45# bar), which I can power clean.  But I couldn't do the snatch.  There's a weak place in the middle somewhere.  This is one of the caveats of working out without a coach.  I practiced the movement with a different bar, one I knew was 45#, and felt like perhaps I knew what I was doing, watching myself in the mirror, trying to do what I've been taught.  Then I put 5# plates on the slightly smaller bar (which I weighed at the scales when I finished my workout, to find it was 40#, so my practice snatches were only 60#), and proceeded with the wod.  I called Superman when I was done, and we decided we'd better work on this movement the next time we can work out together.

I finished the wod in 10 minutes.

For dinner, I slapped everything in the oven.  Not my favorite thing to do in the heat of summer, but it made things easier.  Only Ballerina and I were home, so I coated some shrimp with coconut and threw it on the foil-lined baking sheet with some asparagus, and cooked them together.  It was tasty, but I found myself dreaming of the coconut shrimp I had in Hawaii last summer.  *drool* It was nothing like that, unfortunately.  Also, we each had half an apple, sliced up, with Cinnamon Almond Butter Apple Dip.



Cinnamon Almond Butter Apple Dip
blob of Almond Butter
drizzle of honey
sprinkle of cinnamon
some water

Stir it all together, adding just a little water at a time, until it's about the consistency of carmel dip.  We used chunky fresh almond butter, but I've also used creamy bottled almond butter, and it works out nicely either way.  It's also very tasty on celery or carrots, and probably a host of other crunchy fruits and veggies.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pasta Substitutes

Tonight I made Bolognese Sauce, and I meant for it to be served over spaghetti squash, my go-to substitution for pasta.  Unfortunately, there was no spaghetti squash to be had at the grocery store this week.  Luckily, our neighbors were so kind to drop off some rather large squash a few days ago.  Using the larger shredder attachment (have I mentioned how much I love my food processor?  Honestly, I giggle every time I use it.  Just ask Ballerina), I shredded part of an extra large zucchini and part of an extra large crookneck squash (I removed the giant seeds first), and stir fried it in some coconut oil until it was al dente (or as close to it as squash gets).  It worked!



When you crave the texture of something noodly, or need a vehicle to carry your favorite bolognese, try these alternatives:

shredded zucchini, summer squash, rutabaga, or turnip
thinly sliced cabbage (best in Asian-inspired dishes)
spaghetti squash (obviously)
bean sprouts
thinly sliced onions (perhaps better as a companion "noodle" vegetable, rather than having a plateful of onions.  I dunno, though -- Superman really loves onions)
I've read that thinly sliced eggplant, broiled first, makes great lasagne noodles

And I've just found the next kitchen toy I must buy.  This:

 

I think I shall get it for myself for my birthday, which just happens to be coming up in a few weeks.  So there.

My workout today was 75 minutes of ballet class.  And if you think that's not a workout, I dare you to come to class.  Still, it wasn't a crossfit day, and I'm missing throwing weights around.  Superman did a fantastic wod (he sent me a picture of the whiteboard), and I'm actually a little jealous:



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Slate Squats

I didn't want to skip my workout today, but I didn't have anything planned ahead of time.  So I ran.  I admit, I consider running my "cop out" workout, because it doesn't really employ those Crossfit principles of constantly varied or high intensity or functional movement.  Okay, maybe functional movement -- because it might come in handy for me to be good at running, whether it's because I'm running to catch the train or running to keep the cookies out of Superman's reach (yeah, as if I could outrun him).  Anyhow... I ran.  And I think today I ran the longest I've ever run without stopping to walk.  Go me! 

Even though I didn't do a traditional wod today, I did plenty of squats, lunges, deadlifts and carries.  I pulled weeds from my flower beds and made a trail of blue slate.  It took three hours.  I think that, plus the run, ought to count for something today.

Blue slate trail.  Don't be deceived by the thinness of the slate.  It's kind of heavy.


Dinner tonight was all about getting reacquainted with Curry Meatballs in Coconut Tomato Sauce, alongside spinach salad and fresh pears.


There's a meatball hiding in there somewhere.


I followed my own recipe with one minor change...I only used 1 lb of ground meat instead of two.  And it still worked out just fine, was delicious, cooked well (and fit in my frying pan better).  If I were making it for Superman and the boys, I would definitely use 2 lbs, but as it was, we had leftovers.

Beginning Again (Rosemary Almond Chicken)

I admit, I didn't start this challenge quite as well prepared as last time.  I've been out of town for a few weeks, and my fridge was not stocked.  Still, I didn't eat anything non-Paleo...I just didn't eat terribly well today.  Nuts, raisins, celery and almond butter, grape tomatoes.  It was a nosh day, simply because I was running around like mad trying to put things in order and balance.  I didn't even get a workout in.    But I did manage to make dinner.

Rosemary Almond Chicken
 Honestly, it could have used something...perhaps salt.  Perhaps more spices.  Perhaps some dried red peppers.  I ground up almonds and fresh rosemary, coated chicken breasts with the mixture, and cooked them in coconut oil.  Tasty.

Green Beans Angie
Now, some Paleo purists will tell you that green beans are technically a legume, and not actually Paleo.  But when you have very little food in the house, and your neighbors bring you some of the bounty from their gardens, you happily cook it up for dinner.  Thanks to Angie for this recipe.

Green Beans Angie
fresh green beans
onion
garlic
salt to taste
oil of your choice

Cut or snap the ends off the beans, set aside.  Saute the onion in the oil.  Salt the onion, then add the green beans and garlic.  Continue cooking until beans are no longer fuzzy (fresh green beans have fuzz, did you know that?), and the onions are carmelized.

We served this up with grape tomatoes from a generous neighbor.  Delicious and easy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

60 Day Challenge!

I fantasize that I'm aging in reverse.  And after lopping my long curly locks off to trade them in for a sassy short style, I get called "miss" instead of "ma'am" at the store, in the airport, at the gas station (even in my pajamas and without makeup!).  I like it.

However, the fact that I'm almost 43 years old cannot be evaded.  It's time for all those tests.  My dad died of heart failure after denying he was a diabetic for years.  My grandmother had hypoglycemia.  There is history of skin cancer in my family, and my body is a life-size dot-to-dot game.  And any faithful reader of this blog is already familiar with my intestinal struggles, which may have their own set of complications. 

So!  I will submit to the testing...the full physical, the poking/probing/prodding/squishing, the weigh-in,  the theft of my valuable blood.  Let them test my cells every which way from Sunday (or whatever that cliche is).  To ready myself for the onslaught, I will be starting a 60 Day Paleo Challenge tomorrow, August 15, 2011.  It will culminate on October 13, 2011 (which is perfect, because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and you get cute pink gifts for getting squished that month).  During those 60 days, we will be eating meat and seafood, vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds.  No sugar, no dairy, no grains, no legumes.  No kidding.

In addition to eating squeaky clean, my goal is to hit my workouts hard and be in the best shape of my life before stepping into the doctor's office.  I will be researching and inventing new recipes to keep things interesting.

The challenge is on!