Lazy Sunday Lunch/and last nights supper

  

Jax gave me a cold this week. He’s already bounced back but I’m still a little run down. So we’ve been eating what’s easy. Today Rob had the day off so he grilled all the chicken in our fridge, and a steak for himself. We’ll eat some of the chicken today and have some easy protein for later in the week. When I have to buy groceries in a hurry I buy easy meats we can use in a variety of ways. While he was grilling I diced some bell pepper, cuccumber, green onion, red onion, tomato, and the last of the strawberries I found in the fridge. We threw together quick salads and it was a great. 

Last night we had brisket. I found it on sale at our butcher shop. Cooked it in the crockpot with some seasoning and about a cup of coffee 

 I cooked some new new potatoes and beans on the side. Canned beans are another “not paleo” food we eat on occasion. It was really nice to have an easy supper at the end of a busy week. We tend to be pretty repetitive salads in the summer soups in the winter. How do you stay out of a food rut? 

Berries and Cream Breakfast 

I went to visit some family over the weekend and made a stop at Trader Joe’s. While I was there I stocked up on a few of my favorite items. My sweet friend Blair had just told me about how she uses coconut cream and then I saw this:

  
So I bought a few cans, let one chill in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning open it, scoop out cream off the top into a small mixing bowl. (I used the thickest part of the cream but I’ll save the rest of the can for coffee creamer.) Next I add in a tiny drizzle of local honey. 

  
I love local honey! I’m considering getting bees of my own 🐝

Then I use a hand mixer on med speed for 3-4 minutes until it has the consistency of cool whip. 

Then just add some berries and enjoy!  

 
There was pleanty left over so I’ll be enjoying this a few times this week! Perfect summer paleo treat! 

  
Here is the essential “part of a complete breakfast” photo. But it’s pretty filling on its own. Enjoy!

Berry Basil Vodka 

  A few times a year I make a batch of infused liquor. This time I started with some cheap vodka. (Purchased at Sam’s) the best way to turn cheap vodka into top shelf Vodka is putting it through a charcole filter (that’s what most water filters use just read the label) filter it a few times and it will get much smoother. Then it’s time to infuse. For this batch I poured my liquor into a large jar with an airtight seal. 

 I decided to use strawberries when I saw these babies at the store they were so fresh the whole store smelled like strawberries.

 I added several cups of cut up strawberries and a handful of crushed Basil, and the juice of one lime. Then leave it alone for 2 weeks, giving it a shake every few days.

 Then it’s time to filter. Pull out your fruit and leaves with a slotted spoon. Next I pour it through a metal mesh filter a few times to pull out things like strawberry seeds and debris from the basil. Then I filter it through a coffee filter a few more times. 

  
Here’s the finished product! Yum! 

Wellness tea. #disgusting

Well today I woke up with that feeling. You know the one, I went to bed a healthy person and I woke up feeling like the creature that hosted Tales from the Crypt. 

Luckily it’s the last day of my weekend so I dedicated the day to recovering. Jackson of course is being the most active baby who ever lived, naturally.

Rob and I make a wellness tea when this happens full of immunity boosting ingredients. In fact sometimes he makes it just because he likes it. (I don’t get it)

Let me be frank. It’s disgusting. I react to this drink the way a cat does to a swimming pool. But gosh darn it if it doesn’t work. Or maybe it’s just the idea that it works but it seems to help the body aches and sore throat and I always sleep soundly after drinking it. 

So drink at your own risk, today’s cup included:

-One coffee mug of organic chicken broth 

-about a tablespoon of local honey

-several shakes of cayenne pepper

-lemon juice

-and about a clove of minced garlic

Heated through, hold your nose and get it down. 😁😝😑

It also helps to think if this as a “broth” and not a “tea” I guess savory drinks just aren’t my thing but here’s hoping for a better tomorrow! 



(I made zero effort to “pretty up” this picture. I think this is gross, so the picture gets to be gross too.)

Be well.

Chopped Salad 

So I’ve never been a big salad eater. I always find myself foraging through lettuce to look for the “good stuff” enter the chopped salad. (Spoiler it’s all good stuff!) 

I knew heading back to work and trying to resist all the tasty breakroom treats would be a challenge, so I wanted to pack really good lunches. I’m also breastfeeding so I want to pack as many nutrients into each meal as possible. But, I have an 8 week old baby so I do not have a lot of food prep time. 

Chopped salad has been a real winner. 

Today during Jackson’s nap (30 min) I was able to clean my kitchen and chop enough veg for 8 lunch size tubs of this salad.

 (Plus enough veggies for tacos that will be dinner tonight!👇)



Boom grab and go veg for lunch.

 I usually dress them with olive oil and vinegar the morning I take them to work, sometimes I add hard boiled eggs or deli meat depending on how much protien I’m wanting. 

Today’s mix included:

1 cuccumber

1/2 a large zucchini

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 bunch of green onions

1 box cherry tomatoes

1 handful of cilantro

Salt and pepper

Dice it all small and toss it. The key to making it last all week is by limiting the amount if water heavy veg and not adding dressing until the day of. Red onion is great in this too but can get a little intense after a few days. 



Use what you have.

20130902-100841.jpg

We’re in the process of a major move at my job. Which means I’ve been working a little extra on weekends. This weekend was going to be crazy busy for Rob and I, and he is helping out big time with the cooking. Last night he made some amazing chili, which made some awesome leftovers for breakfast. I had a small portion with a fried egg on top. Total time investment about 7 minutes. Now I’m fueled for the long day ahead of me. Use your leftovers.

How to make a grocery list.

20130901-203230.jpg

Grocery day!

Rob thought we should post about how we approach our grocery shopping. So since today is grocery shopping day here is the list I made today:20130901-201253.jpg

I kind of geek out about my list making. There are a few steps.

First we look at our schedules. We know we are more successful eating paleo when we are intentional. So success starts with the grocery list. First we look at what days are we working late, what nights are going to be busy, what nights are we not going to have energy to cook.

Rob and I also share cooking responsibility. Usually whomever gets off work first makes dinner but on the days we both work late we work together and try to make dinners that don’t take long to prep.

From there, we make a meal plan. I try to plan for 6 dinners, with enough leftovers for lunches, plus some fruit eggs and meats for breakfast. I’m ready for fall foods, so we are eating a lot of hearty soups and sweet potatoes this week. Yum!

I write the meal plan on the grocery list, because it comes in handy as a reference in case I need to make changes. -Sometimes something unexpected will be on sale or something we didn’t think of will be in season. Here is this week’s menu:20130901-202054.jpg

From there I break the list into 4 categories. I do this to avoid cross crossing the grocery store. Here is my breakdown:

Fresh– everything found in the produce section
Protein- chicken, fish, beef, salted meats, and eggs
Specialty-anything found in the “health mart” section of our grocer or anything we get from a separate store, like our butcher
Other– this can be dog food, household items like light bulbs and toothpaste, or just general pantry items like chicken broth

When I make my list I start with the menu and go dish by dish writting everything I need for that dish under the corresponding heading.

Then we add the odds and ends we need to for around the house. Any snacks we want etc.

The last thing I do is estimate how much each section will cost. We don’t buy many exotic ingredients and I can usually guess within $10 how much the total will be. Which is handy for our budget (and maybe a chance to win the showcase showdown.)

We shop the same way we make the list, section by section, totaling up our purchases as we go. That way there aren’t any surprises when we check out.

It takes a little bit of time. It usually takes about 20 minutes to do this planning. But 20 minutes on my day off means I can feed my body and my family quality fuel. Success doesn’t happen on accident. Plan for it, plan for the busy days, and ask for help when you need it. It’s the best choice you can make for your family.

Fish and Chips

20130828-215850.jpgA lot of people have been asking me about my fish recipe lately. Pescetarians have said to me, “I’m interested in Paleo, but I still don’t want to eat red meat. What can I do?” Well if you’ve been reading our blog, you know that we use a wide range of proteins, including beef, pork, and a variety of poultry. And fish!

Tonight we were both just tired. We’ve been working long hot days, and we’re broke, and we wanted something easy to cook. So we thought we’d throw some foil packets on the grill. We had a couple of lemon-pepper cod fillets we bought from the grocers, so we decided to cook those with some potatoes and onions.

I got out some heavy aluminum foil and brushed it with roll butter and sprinkled salt, pepper, and cayenne on it. Then I sliced a lemon and made two little stacks on the foil of lemon slice/fish fillets/lemon slice.

While I was preparing that, she put a rustic chop on a bag of variety garden potatoes and a red onion. I prepared another piece of foil the same way, butter/salt/pepper/cayenne, and we put the potatoes and onion on the foil with some minced garlic and a few small pieces of butter.

We wrapped up the foil and I started the grill. I let it heat up, then I put it on the lowest setting with the two foil packets on the top shelf and set a timer for ten minutes. When it went off, I flipped the two packets and let them cook for another seven minutes before pulling them off.

I let the foil packets sit for a few minutes to finish cooking and cool, and then we opened them up to reveal the goodies inside. Always be careful with this. There’s a lot of steam in those packets and you can burn yourself. We both like vinegar on our fish, although this fish is delicious and you can eat it just like it comes off the grill. I went with a pomegranate infused red wine vinegar, she went with mild salad vinegar. Next to that we both had big piles of potatoes and onions.

These meals were fantastic. Crazy delicious, really easy, and super filling. It probably took about forty five minutes between prep and cook time, but the prep was mostly just slice and chop, and the cooking was mostly just waiting for a timer to go off. We use a propane grill, but you could use a charcoal grill if you want, or even just cook this in your oven. It’s really just steaming, we just do it on the grill because it’s convenient for us.

We didn’t use to eat a lot of fish, but since we’ve started eating Paleo we’ve started diversifying our foods more and more and fish has become a regular part of our diet. So have a lot of new vegetables. And we’ve found we’re starting to really look forward to a lot of these foods. A lot of people think fish smell bad, but when we opened up the butcher paper tonight our first thought was “Yum!”

Give this recipe a try. There are lots of different fish you can cook like this, we just buy cod because we’re broke and it’s cheap. But it tastes great! And the potatoes are awesome! And it made plenty for us to save some for breakfast tomorrow.

We might not eat fried fish and french fries anymore, but we can still have fish and chips for dinner any time we want. You might not eat red meat, but you can still eat Paleo. Get creative. You’ll like the results. Leave a comment and let us know how this recipe works for you!

My Fitness Pal.

When I started eating Paleo, I started using My Fitness Pal again. It was really helpful in the beginning because I was eating completely different foods and I had no idea how the calories added up. Another part of the app. was monitoring my weight.

I’ve had a lot of friends adopt this lifestyle and in the beginning the comments are all the same. “Sure I feel better but when will the weight disappear?” Or “I’ve lost a few pounds but my husband/boyfriend has lost three times that!”

I know from experience, it’s really easy to live and die based on what the scale tells you each morning. You’re either a winner or a loser in 10 seconds or less. For me whatever the scale would say would determine exactly how much I should punish or treat myself for the rest of the day.

Here is a picture of my weight loss graph over the last month.20130826-100616.jpg

The trend is down but it’s not a straight line. When you’re working towards a goal, that can be so discouraging.

In the beginning I weighed myself everyday. Up a half a pound, down a pound, up two pounds, and the emotions and self talk followed accordingly.

Now that let’s look at my graph since I started Paleo.20130826-100749.jpg

Clearly the trend is down.

The big picture is what matters. It took me a while to develop a healthy relationship with my scale. I accept now that it is just a tool, and it’s job is to measure my weight not to measure my worth as a person.

I don’t weigh myself everyday. If I’m up a few pounds, I think about what I’ve been putting in my body. For most of my life I was a fat person, because I ate like a fat person. I often go back and when the scale shows I’ve gained a pound or two and review what I’ve put in my body.

Have I gone back to eating cheeseburgers and ice cream? No. Then it’s probably just the natural fluctuation that happens daily to both fat and skinny people

Then I think about other factors. Have I been under stress? Gotten enough sleep? Controlled my portions? Exercised? Usually I can point to the indicator, but sometimes not. Weight loss is more then calories in calories out there are all kinds of things that effect your body chemistry.

So don’t sweat the small stuff.
Keep drinking water, keep feeding your body nutrient dense whole foods. Get some rest. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

Hang in there in the short term, give your body a chance to change and adjust. Just because it doesn’t happen overnight doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

What I didn’t eat today…

20130821-152731.jpg

Sometimes eating paleo is more about what you don’t eat then what you eat. Where I work there is never a shortage of sugary goodness or reasons to celebrate. I’m a firm believer that you will never win the battle of will power. But so I try not to use the word “cheat” I’ve replaced it with “treat”. Where I have failed on diets in the past allowing “cheat days” with a paleo lifestyle I’m more likely to have an occasional “treat” fully enjoy it and stay on plan the rest of the day.

“Treats” are something I look forward too, eat sitting down, enjoy, savor, and they aren’t for every day.

When I walked into work this week and saw this most recent pile of chocolate and 5 lb bag of candy. My first thought was “yum!” But my second thought was “today is a little to busy for me to deal with a stomach ache I’ll have a treat another day”

The cravings that used to scream in my ears have grown silent. Because my body has adjusted to eating whole nutrient dense foods. I used to eat plate after plate of sugary goodness, but now I usually get a stomach ache. It’s harder in the beginning, but the more often it happens it gets easier to say no.

Most importantly, don’t think of yourself as a failure if you eat the cake. Focus on making the next choice a good one. If you are constantly making the next good choice, you’re going to become a healthy person, and that after all is the goal.