Monday, 12 August 2013

My Summer Project.... Time's Almost Up!!

Wow! How quickly the summer has passed me by.  At the beginning of the summer I has said to myself, and maybe some of my friends... "I am giving myself the summer to shed the last of the baby weight, if I cannot do it over the summer, then I accept it as a scar of motherhood." Well here I am, with less than 3 weeks left of my summer, and the numbers on the scale are nowhere close to my goal. ( I wanted to lose 10lbs and fit into my "skinny" jeans)
I won't  be meeting my goals in the next 3 weeks, that is just not reasonable.  Perhaps my goal was not reasonable in the first place, but it's the one I made and the one I worked towards.

So what did I do to work towards my goal?
1.   Running - I joined the Running Rooms 1/2 marathon clinic, so I have been running 2-3 times per week since April. 

2. Moksha Hot Yoga - I started doing Yoga the first week of summer.  I went once the first week, and gradually built up to going 3 times per week.  I have been attending hot yoga for 6 weeks (although I did not make it to any classes last week)

3.  Crossfit - I started back up at Crossfit.  I began the second week of summer, attending once the first week and building up to 3 times per week.  Since my 1/2 Marathon training is my priority, I have not pushed too hard with the weight training, I really need to be able to run!

4. 21 Day Sugar Detox - I attempted to do a sugar detox.  The results were amazing.  I lost 6lbs during the 2 weeks I was doing it (I have gained 4 back) LOL.  HOWEVER, it was not sustainable for me.  I was having difficulty recovering from my workouts, and was feeling very energy deficient.  My long term goal of my 1/2 marathon kicked the sugar detox to the curb. I will try again in the future.

5.  Paleo - I have continued to eat Paleo (no grains, legumes, sugar, processed food, or dairy).  Its just a lifestyle now, it really doesn't feel like work or that I am going out of my way or missing something at all.

6.  Mrs Vickies - aaaahhhhh my favorite cheat food. LOL. Yes I have given up Mrs Vikies salt and vinegar chips.

7.  Wine - another favorite cheat food.  I have not had a glass of wine all summer long, and quite honestly I do not really miss it.  I have bottle of my favorite fruit wine waiting for me to finish my race.

How did I not meet my goal doing all of the above??
1. I have gained quite a bit of muscle, and generally toned myself up

2. I have lost some inches, just not lbs...  I've toned and tightened up.... Do my skinny "goal" jeans fit yet? I have no idea.... I dont want to try them on. LOL


3.  I am at home, I get kind of bored, so I do suspect that I am doing quite a bit of boredom eating. Its hard to curb that, and kind of hard to distract myself from doing it. LOL

Can anybody else notice a change in me?
I dont think so, or not that I am aware of.  My husband just says whatever he thinks I want to hear.
 We are only at the 6 week mark, so I think I will give it just a little more time.

What's my plan from here?
I am turning my summer project into a life project.

I am returning to work in 2 1/2 weeks, what is my plan of attack? Can I keep my summer schedule going? This is what I keep asking myself day in and day out.  I want to make it work, but how can I?

The Plan
1.  Continue to eat Paleo
2.  Continue with my long runs on Sundays, and run Tuesday/Wednesdays before I pick up Avery from daycare.  I may possibly join some more running clinics. I enjoy them.

3. 6:00am Crossfit classes on Monday/Wednesday/ Friday -- I will shower and leave for work directly from working out YIKES -- although, I am thinking I could come home, shower, and be out of the door on time if I am not distracted

4. 6:30am Yoga class on Tuesday/ Thursday and a Saturday morning class (when it fits in with my husbands work schedule) -- Once again I will be showering and leaving directly for work.

5.  Once I am settled into working full-time again, and my crazy workout schedule I want to try the sugar detox again.

This is a huge commitment to make. This requires a commitment from my husband to be responsible for Avery in the mornings.  It requires a commitment from me to get up every morning. It is a commitment from me to be organized, and meal plan. It requires a mental and physical commitment.  I requires a significant financial commitment too. The commitment terrifies me, but at the same time, I cannot say no to the opportunity right in front of me.
I will try to keep up to date with my blogs, both recipes and how my "life project" is going!  Wish me luck, and why not start your own life project and join me for the ride?!?!

Wooooo!
JoJo!!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chunky Moneky Muffins

This is another creation from this morning.  Avery was up at 4:30am, so I figured we may as well make the most of it.  She was almost out of her pumpkin pancakes, so I decided to make muffins and scones.

I keep a big bag of black bananas in my fridge, always.  It was getting a little full, so I looked for something to make with bananas.  I came across the chunky monkey  muffins and thought I would give it a whirl.



The recipe calls for coconut sugar, and I substituted raw, local, honey.  Coconut sugar is not sustainable.  Once you tap a tree for coconut sugar it can no longer bear fruit.  If you are interested in more info on coconut sugar, click here. Honey is a great substitute in this recipe, and I will substitute honey where it will work.
 
The muffins get 3/3 stars! Woooo!!  Avery ate them, my husband ate them, and of course I did too.  There is rarely a recipe I make that I dont like. LOL

Ingredients

  1. ½ cup coconut flour
  2. ½ cup tapioca flour
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. ½ cup butter, melted
  5. ½ cup coconut sugar I used 1/2 cup of honey
  6. 1 cup mashed bananas, from ~2 medium bananas my bananas looked small so I used 2 1/2
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract just wing it ;-)
  8. 4 eggs
  9. ½ cup chocolate chips - or maybe a few extra - we use the mini chips
  10. ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, tapioca flour, and baking soda. I just mix them in my measuring cup.  No point messing up extra dishes
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, bananas, vanilla extract, and eggs. I used my kitcheaid
  4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Divide batter among the lined muffin cups.
  6. Bake until the muffins have puffed and the edges have slightly browned, about 20-25 minutes. I baked them probably closer to 25 minutes
 Original recipe from:http://www.health-bent.com/treats/paleo-banana-nut-chocolate-chip-muffins

Hope you enjoy!

Happy Baking!!

JoJo!! 

Almond Berry Scones

It's been a long time, and I have some catching up to do!!  Its not that I have not been baking and trying out new recipes, I have just been super lazy and not written about them, and shared them!  So here I am, back on track.  

I made these scones this morning, and I have to say, I was skeptical.  I have an absolutely amazing scone recipe (pre-paleo) that is always very very popular.  I didn't want to be disappointed.  When I made the batter, it looked like goop, but I have to say, they baked up quite nicely.  (I have already eaten 3, so they must be tasty ;-) LOL) I added a lot more frozen fruit than the recipe called for, a few of my scones we soggy, but just as tasty.  I think my frozen strawberries were just too big.

Look at me getting all fancy with my China plate for pictures ;-) LOL

The recipe so far only has 1/3 stars.  My husband won't eat them because of the fruit, and I have not bothered giving them to Avery so far :-0

Super easy recipe, not a lot of ingredients, and cooking time is quick (although I broiled mine at the end for a few extra minutes to brown the tops)

Ingredients:
  1. 2.5 cups of almond flour
  2. 1/2 tsp sea salt - one of the ingredients I never measure
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 4 tablespoons honey or other natural sweetener or 4 dates, pureed I used honey
  5. 1/3 cup melted butter or ghee I used butter, scones = butter
  6. 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries I probably used over a cup, but I like lots of fruit
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet with butter or coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until combined. Add melted butter, and honey.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in berries.
  6. Drop ¼ cup of dough onto the baking sheet, shape into triangle shapes. this was a little messy
  7. Bake 15 minutes.
Ta Da! Your scones are done! super simple!  I am looking forward to my coffee and scone tomorrow morning... oh wait, I Crossfit in the morning.  I will have my coffee and scone for lunch!!

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did, and you can go without eating 3 by noon ;-)

Happy Baking!

JoJo!!
 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

BBQ Chicken Meatza!!

I'm posting this recipe tonight as a special request.  I have been posting pictures of my Meatza on FB... and the recipe is in demand!  Well one faithful follower wants it, that's more than enough reason to share it.  OH YEAH! and Meatza ROCKS!!

The Deluxe Meatza

I shared the Paleo Pizza, then I thought I would make a true Paleo Pizza, a Meatza.  I found the recipe on Pinterest of course, and got busy right away.  The first time I made it, I made it by the books... the second time I made it, I made the deluxe edition! LOL  I changed the seasoning in the crust, added a bunch more toppings, way better looking pizza.

The first Meatza was good.  It calls for Thyme in the crust, wasn't my favorite flavor.  I switched it up this time for my special smokey seasoning (If you remind me, I will share it -- or you can get it from Practical Paleo)

The Family Review 2/3 Stars!!  I LOVED it.  My Husband really enjoyed it although he did not get to eat much (he asked me to please save him some of the deluxe). Avery, well I did not even bother giving her any.  Why waste a good Meatza!! LOL

So here is the original recipe, my comments in red and the additions to create the deluxe is in GREEN

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. organic ground chicken - I used ground turkey - I used .76KG
1 egg
1 tsp. each of dried oregano, dried thyme, and garlic powder - I didn't have oregano - I used my smokey seasoning and garlic powder (no measurements)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional) I skipped this - we didn't have any
1/4 c. Barbecue Sauce- Home made BBQ Sauce
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced - I only had a white onion so that's what I used
1 roasted red pepper, cut into slices
goat cheese, crumbled We skipped the goat cheese and used coarsely shredded parmesan
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1 package of bacon - minus the pieces Avery and I ate
1 pot of sliced brown mushrooms 
3 BBQ chicken thighs (skin removed) - I BBQ'ed mine (in sauce) while I was cooking the crust

FOR CRUST:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I cooked it out on the BBQ 
  2. Combine the ground chicken, egg, and spices in a large mixing bowl.  Combine with your hands.
  3. On an olive-oiled (coconut oiled) baking sheet, spread chicken mixture evenly, about 1/2″ thick.  Place in preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until set and golden brown.
FOR TOPPINGS: 
  1. Spread BBQ sauce evenly on crust, about 1/2″-1″ from the edge.  Add sliced red onions, roasted red pepper slices, and crumbled goat cheese.
  2. Cook your bacon, then set aside and cook the mushrooms in the remaining bacon fat
  3. slice / shred the chicken
  4. Layer the pizza... sauce, onions, peppers, chicken, bacon, cilantro, mushrooms, and cheese 
  5. Place under broiler for 4-5 minutes or until goat cheese is melted.  Remove and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro. I cooked my cilantro in the pizza
  6. Slice and serve!
I got the recipe from: http://laqfitness.com/paleo-bbq-chicken-pizza/ my version is way better though

Tonight I served my pizza with avocado and roasted red pepper salsa!

mmmmmm.....mmmmm.....mmmmmm ENJOY!!

JoJo!!


Paleo BBQ Sauce

Its summer, and what do you do in the summer??  You BBQ!!  What's a BBQ without BBQ sauce?!?!  I found a few recipes for sauce, but I like things that are easy, so this is the recipe that I tried first. Luckily for us, we liked it, and I just made a fresh batch!! Its not the kind of BBQ sauce that you would want to use as a dipping sauce, but after it has been on the grill its delicious!! I suppose you could try cooking it first if you wanted it as a dipping sauce...



How did the family like it?  Avery has not eaten anything I have made her in the sauce so far, but that is not much of a surprise.  My husband, he likes it!  He is quite happy to have his chicken thighs/wings dunked in BBQ sauce and thrown on the grill.  It was great on my BBQ chicken Meastza, and I have even used it on some grilled eggplant!! Yum Yum!

I think the next time I make it I am going to experiment with the spice blends a little.  I quite fancy a Chipotle BBQ sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce – no sugar added - I used a giant can of crushed tomatoes and just guessed what 15oz would be
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste – no sugar added - we get 5.5 oz cans here in Canada, or at least the stuff I bought was
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce - you can use coconut aminos, OR my soy replacement
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika - I used smoked paprika, and I am very generous
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsulfered molasses
  • 3 tablespoons honey - use raw honey - we like Grandma Bee's (you can buy it at the St Albert Farmers market, or Save on Foods) Grandma Bees Honey
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and mix well using a whisk.
  2. Use as you would any other bbq sauce!
I got the recipe from: http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-bbq-sauce/
I told you it was easy!!  LOL. It makes quite a lot of sauce, so be sure to start saving your empty jars!

Happy BBQ'ing

JoJo!!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

21DSD: Change of Pace

So I am throwing in the towel... sort of...  I am going to keep some aspects of the detox going, but I am also adding some things back into my diet.

This has been a really hard decision for me to make... I am not a quitter, I don't just give up on things, but I do think it is for the best... LONG TERM.



So WHY am I giving up?
I need to think long term.  I have spent the past 3 months training to run the Edmonton Marathon in August. (That's a big commitment).  Since I have started the sugar detox my runs have suffered, and I am struggling to recover from my workouts.  Yesterday I ate a lot more "carbs" (meaning almond flour, sweet potato, fruit) than I was supposed to, and this morning.... well I had a good run.  On top of that I was able to double up and do a Hot Yoga workout. I didn't need a nap today, managed Avery, and even took her for a bike ride!  I really want to race well, so I think I need to make the commitment to my race, not the sugar detox.

I'm not feeling all the "positives" that are supposed to come along with the detox.  Granted I don't crave the sweets as much as I used to, and I am not chugging bottles of wine on a bad day.  BUT, I am not feeling a new found energy.  I have been tired and groggy.  I have been needing naps and feeling very lazy!!  Not what I signed up for!!

What am I giving up? What am I keeping?
I'm not giving up 100% on the detox.  I will continue to eat the Paleo way I have been eating.  I will also not be jumping back into the wine.  I will stick to one fruit serving a day, but it will be a fruit of my choice.  If I have the urge for something sweet (chocolate) then I will eat some more fruit.  I am not going to avoid sweet potatoes on the days I am not working out. I will incorporate them into every meal, just not as the bulk of my vegetable servings.  I will avoid eating foods with added sugar (even if it is a natural sweetener such as raw honey or pure maple syrup); however, if I want one of my delicious muffins before a workout, then I will have one. I'm allowed treats :-)  I will continue to avoid dairy.  I have given up sour cream and liquid whipping cream in my coffee, and I can say I don't miss them too much!! I now use guacamole (homemade) and unsweetened almond milk.

I know I was hoping to lose weight, and some more inches from the middle, but that will come with time and hard work.  My goal was by the end of the summer, and I still have 6 weeks to get that done!!  So stay tuned for my updates on my progress, and more exciting new recipes!!

Hope your not too disappointed in my decision!!!

JoJo!!

OMG!! Paleo Pizza!!

Yes, that's right, PIZZA!!  Avery LOVES pizza, so I have to give this one a try.  I love pizza too, but because of the silly 21DSD I was not supposed to be eating anything of that nature.  Screw it, I tasted the crust of Avery's pizza and I loved it.  It was absolutely delicious.  It tasted like a focacia bread to me. Yum Yum Yum.  Avery seemed to enjoy it too. She ate about as much of the crust as she would a regular pizza, so in my books its a winner!!



I know Tapioca flour and arrowroot flour are "questionably" Paleo, but everyone needs a treat once in a while and this seems like a much better option.  Since my goal for Avery is just gluten free, I think we did good.

The crust is super easy to make.  They are not joking when the said that it would be a runny batter rather than a dough either!  It does firm up into a bread formation though, so don't worry (and you bake it a bit before you top it).  It is a pan style crust, so you could try to make a thinner crust I suppose.


I personally think it would be just good as a bread... or garlic bread.  Who needs pizza all the time?!?! Well maybe some of us do ;-)

Ingredients

2 cups almond flour 1 cup arrowroot powder (or tapioca flour) I bought both flours, but I am pretty sure I used tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. oregano - I didn't have any oregano, so I used dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk - unsweetened almond milk in our house


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a round pizza pan (no holes) or cookie sheet.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add eggs and almond milk to the dry ingredients. Mix well. (The batter will be runny–not like typical pizza dough.)
  4. Use a spatula to spread batter onto greased pan. The thinner you spread it, the quicker it will cook (duh) I sprayed my pizza dish with coconut oil - wonder if my stoneware would have worked?!?!
  5. Bake crust in preheated oven 8-12 minutes. If it’s really thick you may need to continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes. The crust was kind of thick for me, so I baked it 12+ minutes
  6. Remove crust from oven and top with sauce and desired toppings.
  7. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Recipe from Unrefined Kitchen

Let me know how it goes for you, and if you enjoy it!!

PIZZA!!

JoJo!!

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Reinvention of Shepherds Pie - Paleo Style

This morning I took some ground turkey, sweet potatoes, and bacon out of the freezer. I had no plans for what I was going to do until later in the day I became inspired to make shepherds pie.  I think it must have had something to do with all the carrot rounds I had been making!


Of course it is not a traditional Shepherds Pie.  I used ground turkey instead of lamb, didn't use a layer of carrots, and didn't use mashed potatoes!!  Not much of a shepherds pie. lol.  My layers include ground turkey in a tomato sauce (with bacon and hidden shredded cauliflower), shredded zucchini and carrot, and sweet potato/pumpkin mash.  I hid the cauliflower in the meat sauce because I am hoping my husband and Avery at least eat the meat sauce. LOL.  I made Aver some individual sized pies and skipped the veggie layer... baby steps!!





Ingredients:

  1. Ground Turkey -- I just used a prepacked chunk, I have no idea what it weighed
  2. Bacon -- use as little or as much as you like. I cooked the whole pack, but Ave and I ate at least 1/2 of it ;-)
  3. Sundried Tomatoes -- use as many as you like. I love them so I use lots (probably 3 forkfulls) I buy mine pre-shredded at Costco
  4. 1 can diced tomatoes -- I used a medium sized can
  5. 1 can tomato paste
  6. shredded cauliflower -- this you can use as little or as much as you want. I wanted it subtle, so I probably used 1/4 cauliflower head
  7. shredded zucchini, and carrot -- I just used up whatever was in my fridge and I used all I had
  8. 2 sweet potatoes
  9. pureed pumpkin -- I used leftover canned pumpkin.  Just make sure its not sweetened
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Roast sweet potatoes until soft -- I cooked one in the microwave from frozen.
  2. Remove skins and mash.  
  3. Add equal amounts of pumpkin and mix well.
  4. Add cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside mash.
  5. In a large skillet, cook up the bacon. Crumble/chop the bacon and set aside. Try not to eat it all!
  6. throw your shredded zucchini and carrots in remaining bacon fat and cook - place in a bowl and set aside.
  7. cook the cauliflower in remaining bacon grease - place in a bowl and set aside I needed a little more fat, so I tossed in a little extra bacon grease (we keep ours stored)
  8. add ground turkey and sundried tomatoes into skillet and brown turkey I kept chopping mine up to avoid big chunks
  9. add the bacon, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and mix well
  10. add cooked cauliflower to the mix
  11. Begin layering your dish (oven safe). I used pyrex dishes Meat mixture, veggies, mash.
  12. place in the oven and bake at 350 until sauce bubbles- 15-20 min, and broil for 10 minutes to brown the mash
 My recipe intructions are not written as beautifully as most blogs, but you get the point! LOL

I hope you enjoy it....

Happy Eating!!

JoJo!!



Sunday, 14 July 2013

21DSD: The Proof is in NOT Eating The Pudding....

Yes! You heard me right, the proof is in not eating the pudding?  What does this mean?!?!  It means that I have cut out sugars and made some pretty significant changes! In the first 6 days I lost 5 pounds, 2.75 inches off my belly, 0.5 inches from my hips, and 1.8 inches from my love handles.  I would say that is success!!  The nice part is, the last time I weighed myself, I had maintained the weight loss!! I will weigh in again tomorrow, and take my week 2 measurements.



Has this been easy?  Yes and No.

What Has Been Easy?
- Surprisingly -- not drinking wine.  The have been some tough days with Avery where I would not have minded a glass, but not big deal
- Not eating sweet potatoes.  I have introduced so many other great foods/veggies, that I have not really missed them as much as I thought I would
- not eating all the fruit.  I have not even had my daily dose of fruit, there have been days that I have not eaten any fruit

What Has Been Difficult?
-the energy levels.  I have not felt an uplift in my energy.  In fact, I feel more tired than I ever did before the detox.  Granted I am working out more, but I sitll feel the detox is effecting it.
- work out recovery.  I am finding it much more difficult to recover from my workouts.  My muscles seem to be sore much longer than usual.
- I cant run!!  My runs have really been suffering.  I am sucking wind badly. Doesnt seem like I have enough glycogen stores to get through a 16km run!  I did read somewhere that it really takes 3-6 weeks to become fat adjusted and to stop depending on carbs.

How Do I Feel?
Like CRAP!  LOL.  I am tired and frustrated.  I thought this was supposed to decrease the fatigue, but I feel like it has increased.  I am frustrated because my workouts, specifically my runs are suffering.  I dont want to give up on the challenge, but I really expected better results (energy wise)

On a positive note, I feel great about the weight loss and the size changes. That is one of my big reasons for doing this.  I also feel good about myself for sticking to it. I'm pretty proud of myself for that one.  I am excited for my next weigh in and my next set of measurements.  I am really hoping to see some more progress. I dont expect to have lost another 5lbs and 3 inches, but I would like to see a little change.

Have I Cheated?
Sort of.  I made Avery some gluten free pizza, it used almond flour and tapioca flour.  I did taste the crust, it was DELICIOUS!!  I can not find anywhere in the 21DSD in the manuel that tapioca flour is off limits, but is is questionably paleo, so I would assume its not safe, but OH WELL!! At least now I know now what I want for my treat day when I am done the detox!!!

SORRY I HAVE NOT BEEN UPDATING!! I have been so tired by the end of the day, that I just want to go to sleep, so I do!!

Until next time!!

JoJo!!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

21DSD: Day 3, 4 & 5

Well I missed updating you on thew past few days, so I thought I would catch up, (although a little prematurely for today, but I'm confident I will stick with it today).

So far so good! I am sticking to the plan!  I think I am kind of in the swing of things now, so it really doesn't seem too bad.  I have to stop myself from finishing Avery's breakfast (paleo fruit/nut muffins and fruit), and I have to stop myself from licking my fingers when making Avery's food, but otherwise I seem to be doing well!!  

MIND OVER MATTER.  THE RESULTS ARE IMPORTANT TO ME, AND THE PROCESS OF GETTING THOSE RESULTS IS MAKING ME STRONGER!!



What Am I eating?
Breakfast - is usually a left over scramble (meaning dinners left overs are thrown into some scrambled eggs, or if I'm working out in the morning it is a 1/2 green tipped banana and a muffin.

Lunch - if I worked out I have my left over scramble for lunch. If I am running in the evening I like to have some protien and veggies for lunch (i need a dinner meal), if I have no plans I enjoy a salad

Dinner - this varies depending on how much time I have.  If there are left overs, I eat those.  Or I make some combination of protein and veggies.  Last night I made chicken burgers (ground chicken, ginger, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes) with a portobello mushroom bun, and pan-fried veggies (beets, zucchini, onion and parsnip)

How Am I Feeling?
It's really hard for me to say.  I just got off the antibiotics, I'm not feeling sick anymore, although I have an awful sore throat.

I ran 15km today, and felt much better than I have been on my runs over the last few weeks.  With that said, I crashed towards the end of the run.  Did I crash because I need to eat when I am running, I need to adjust to the diet a little more, or am I not ready to run that far, that fast?  I started biking, and yoga, is that why my legs are tired, or am I missing something I need in my diet?

Something I think I am dealing with is the sugar withdrawl.  I am getting headaches.  Lots of headaches. Not a fun side effect at all, but I does tell me that I was probably eating too much sugar, because my body has become dependent on it. I was a sugar addict!!

Anyways, that's really it for now.  I am going to tough out these headaches, try to get a little more sleep, and make sure I am drinking enough water!!

Still Detoxing,
JoJo!!
JoJo 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Carrot Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This morning I wanted something small that I could eat before yoga.  I knew I wanted my apple between yoga and IMS, so I ended up just having coffee.  I had pinned this recipe, and bought the carrots yesterday.  While Avery was sleeping I got busy in the kitchen!

Pretty easy recipe.  Just a pain in the butt to peel all the carrots and shred them.  Granted I used my food processor to shred the carrots, but I hate cleaning the thing. lol.

The big question, how do the muffins taste?  I wasn't thrilled.  I didn't cook them long enough (although I cooked them much longer than the 35-45 min suggested), so they were still kind of wet/soggy in the middle.  I think they could use a little bit more coconut flour.  They could certainly use a lot more of the pumpkin spice too.  As usual, I complain about the eggy taste in lots of the paleo muffins/baked goods.  It is usually with coconut flour. I suppose you could try almond flour an just increase the amount of flour....

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (can be canned or fresh, if fresh, cook, cook and strain excess water from your pumpkin before using it in this recipe) I used canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup butter, clarified butter/ghee, or coconut oil, melted I used coconut oil - i think you could use a little less than 1/2 a cup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 mashed banana (use green-tipped/under ripe for the 21DSD) my banana was completely green
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 cups shredded carrots (approximately 4 large carrots)
  • optional: 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (not-safe for 21DSD!)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Whisk the eggs, pumpkin, butter or coconut oil, pure vanilla extract, and banana together in a large mixing bowl. I pureed my banana in my mini food processor
  • Sift in the coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice and stir until well combined. 
  • Gently fold in the carrots and optional raisins or cranberries. (Remember, no dried fruit if you are making these for the 21DSD, sorry!) I obviously skipped this step
  • In a muffin tin, scoop 1/4 cup of the batter into each lined muffin cup (natural parchment muffin papers work best for lining whereas standard papers may  easily stick!). I used regular muffin papers.  Mine did NOT stick at all.  If anything the papers dont stay on.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. I baked mine (in a convection oven) for more than 40 minutes and they were still not cook through.
Like I said, I did not love these muffins.  I think they would be way better with raisins in them, and more spice mix.  Regardless, I will still eat them!! LOL

Original Recipe http://balancedbites.com/2012/10/easy-recipe-carrot-pumpkin-spice-muffins.html

Happy Baking,

JoJo! 

21DSD: Day 2 - officially

Well well well.... it's officially day 2 and I did not cave! WOO HOO!!! Yay me!!  Only 19 more days to go, I have this in the bag!


This is one of my goals, this is why I am doing the 21DSD.  I always feel the need to snack on muffins, fruit, and eat chocolate in the evening.  When it is around I eat it, when it isn't - I complain. LOL.  Not that muffins, chocolate, or fruit are bad, I just want to decrease the % it takes up of my diet.  Having gestational diabetes while pregnant with Avery also puts me at high risk for developing diabetes later in life (my Grandma has it so it is in the family).  If I can be proactive, and manage my health with my diet I would much prefer to do so.  (While pregnant I managed the gestational diabetes with diet and some walking.  I was able to do it successfully.)

How was my day?
Pretty good!  I started the morning out with a coffee (with unsweetened almond milk) and headed out to do some hot yoga at Moksha. I have forgotten how challenging hot yoga can be.  I have not practiced in 3 years.  I was soaking wet when I finished, and a little exhausted, but I got to eat the best thing ever when I was finished....
Ok, so maybe it wasn't the best thing ever, it was a little tart... BUT, it was crunchy, juicy and fruit!! I treated myself to a round of IMS then headed home.  I napped when Avery napped, cleaned house, made muffins (sugar free ones!!) and made dinner.  It was a great day!!

What did I eat?
Breakfast - coffee, followed later by a green apple
Lunch - veggie scramble with spicy ketchup (homemade and sugar free)
Dinner - Chipotle chicken with tomatoes, lime and garden fresh cilantro served on shredded veggies with homemade guacamole

Snacks - I taste tested a muffin (21DSD approved), 8oz of coconut water
Carrot Pumpkin Spice Muffins


How Do I Feel?
Hard to say really.  I feel good, but I had a good nap, and did some great yoga.  Took my last round of antibiotics this evening too.  I think by next week I should be able to provide a better judgement on how this is working out for me.  I am starting to feel a little more hydrated, that could be the omission of the wine....

Anyways, That's it for the night, I'm trying to get Avery to bed!!

Night Night!

JoJo!!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

21DSD: Day 1 - Part 2

So here I am at the end of day 1-part two (yes, I had to repeat day 1).  Anyways, here I am back on the wagon and ready to succeed!!  I have a goal in mind, and I am pretty determined to reach that goal.  I am ready to make a change!!!


I am allowed a green apple, or a green-tipped banana every day, so today I stocked up.  It will be a great quick breakfast before and early morning workout.  

Speaking of working out, I really suck!!  OMG.  I have not had a good run in over 2 weeks.  So very frustrating.  I'm no longer sick, so I just don't get it.  I am still on antibiotics, so my body is still in fight mode I suppose.  I also need to get more sleep, but who has time for that?

So how did my food go today? GOOD!!  I stayed on track.  

Breakfast - Veggie scramble with spicy ketchup (homemade and sugar free)

Lunch - salad with left over turkey burger and a balsamic vinegar dressing (homemade from the 21DSD recipe section)

Snack - macadamia nuts

Dinner - chicken and leftovers from yesterday's dinner

The Big Question: How am I feeling??
Terrible - well at least when I am running.  It's hard to say if I feel any better or worse.  So many factors to think about.  I do think that I need to increase my protein intake to compensate for the decrease in the carbohydrates.  I also think i need to start eating dinner for lunch (at least on run days).

OH!!  I also had 1/2 a stick of gum today.  I know it has sugar or some fake sugar, but it is only 1/2 a stick, and only when I am running.  I really hope that is not a rule breaker!!

I must go to bed, yoga and IMS in the morning!!

JoJo!!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

21DSD: Day One - part 1

Well it is day one of my sugar detox, and I did pretty good... until there was a lonely glass of wine left in the refrigerator.  I couldn't leave it there to go bad.  After much though and consideration, and some discussion with my husband, I decided to drink it.  It was a HOT HOT HOT day, and nothing seemed to soothe the palate like a iced glass of wine.  Its really not a good excuse, but its the only one I have.  

Now the wine is out of the house, I think I am much more likely to succeed.  It really doesn't seem all that bad, Ive been looking at the dessert options and they look wonderful!!  I'm already ahead of the game because I do not have to cut out wheat, grains etc.  I don't eat sugar, but I do enjoy dark chocolate, honey and fruit!!  I love the food I eat.  I love experimenting with food.  I just love food!!

Today I was proactive to ensure my success (although I failed miserably today).  I had sweet potatoes and didnt know what to do with them.  I know I can only eat 1/2 cup at a time, so what do you do with the rest of the potato?  Well I peeled my giant (seriously giant) sweet potato and tossed it in the food processor.  I made up bags of 1/2 cups of sweet potato.  I also made up bags of shredded zucchini and carrots just for convenience (meaning I only have to clean the food processor once)  Today I also discovered that you can freeze raw sweet potatoes.  I was going to do this with my shredded potato anyways, so I don't know why I didn't connect the dots myself. LOL. Anyways, I tossed the whole sweet potatoes I had left over in the freezer!!  Genius!




So the big questions is.... WHAT DID I EAT TODAY??

Breakfast - carrot and zucchini scrambled eggs topped with homemade guacamole


Lunch - Green Salad with tomatoes, homemade turkey burger bites, homemade guacamole, chopped macadamia nuts, and balsamic vinegarette



Dinner - Zuchinni, Carrot, Spaghetti Squash (what I call chow mein) with sundried tomatoes, portobello mushroom, and homemade turkey burger bites, homemade (sugarfree) spicy ketchup shrimp, homemade guacamole 




Basically all different variations of the same ingredients, but they were all delicious.  I was just using left overs creatively.

So what was once a 21 Day Sugar Detox, has not turned into 22.  Everytime I fail, I start over and add a day.... my own sort of punishment I suppose.

Wish me better luck for tomorrow!!

JoJo!!

Monday, 1 July 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox

I kept seeing the posts on my FB via Just Eat Real Food for the 21 day sugar detox, and I was intrigued. I checked out their FB page, and it took me to somewhere else.  Then it asked me several questions (my answers in red)... DO YOU HAVE??
  1. Sugar cravings or carb cravings YES! I always want chocolate and sweets!
  2. Energy spikes and dips throughout the day YES! I dont often give into the dips, but I sure feel them.
  3. fatigue, lethargy, depression or anxiety YES! I feel fatigue, (not really lethargy or depression) but I do have a lot of anxiety
  4. brain fog, cloudy thinking, trouble concentrating YES! I have way too much brain fog and I often have difficulty concentrating
  5. hunger that goes from mild to intense very quickly I'm not sure I really allow myself to be hungry very often, but when I'm hungry, I'm starving!
Since I answered YES! to most of the questions, I figure it may be a good thing for me to try.  Its only 21 days, and I can do anything for 21 days right?!?!  (sounds like what I said when I started by eat by design 30 day challenge)

I got suckered in and bought the book/ebook for $24. (I thought I would be able to share it, but they have made sure that you cannot) It was a quick read, I really just skimmed the information.  Most of what they were talking about I already knew from all the Paleo books I have read, and wheat belly.  Lots of similar information/facts.  What I really wanted were the yes/no food lists, recipes, and a list of benefits.



So why am I doing this?  
1.  I want to curb those cravings for chocolate and paleo treats and muffins
2.  I want to improve my absorption of nutrients and protein (especially with my exercise plans)
3.  I want to LOSE (never to be found again) the last 10 vanity pounds
4.  I want to challenge myself
5.  I want more energy
6.  I want to feel better
7.  I dont want my legs to feel like dead weights when I am running, I want to improve my runs

What can I eat?
Basically everything I usually eat.... chicken, fish, eggs, assortment of veggies etc. I can still enjoy small amounts of coconut water, and a green apple or green tipped banana every once in a while.  If I exercise intensely I can have 1/2 cup of sweet potato

What can I NOT eat?
Sugar.  Sugar. Sugar.  Yep. that's it.  Sugar in all forms, natural or processed. For me the biggest issues will be no wine, fruit, dried fruit, honey, and limited sweet potatoes.  

What will be my biggest challenge?
Quite honestly, I think limited sweet potatoes.  I love them and eat them 1-3x/day, and I eat as much as I want.  I think the fruit will be a challenge too.  I love helping Avery with her snacks. LOL.  The wine, yep, that will be hard, but not as bad as the fruit and sweet potatoes.

  

I know this will be challenging, but that is part of the reason I am doing it.  My husband is on board to help me stay strong, and push me through.  I will share my success and struggles via the madhouse, and hopefully convince some readers to join me on my journey!!



Wish me Luck!!

JoJo!!


PS: All pictures from the 21 day detox are from google. i did not print.scan.share.etc.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Bacon Guacamole Stuffed Burgers!

Even more deliciousness!!  How does it keep just getting better and better?!?!  This recipe is super easy because you are already a pro at the bacon guacamole, so now you just need to stuff some burgers with it!

Nobody in my house ate this other than me, so you just have to take my word for it that its delicious.  I was worried about heating up guacamole.  I thought it would brown or just go funny, but it stayed just as delicious as it was before it went in the burger!

Super easy, the original recipe is for pork, but I used ground turkey and added some lime juice to the meat.  Maybe next time I will throw some of my homegrown cilantro in the meat.



Ingredients:
  • 1 lb pork sausage links, removed from casings (I used ground turkey)
  • 1/3 batch of bacon guacamole, about 4 oz,  

Directions:
  1. Measure your pork/turkey into 8 evenly sized portions. This is so much easier with a kitchen scale!Who the heck has a kitchen scale?!?!  I just make my best guess.
  2. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and flatten your portions of pork into thin patties.I hate parchment paper, but I do use it for things like this
  3. Spoon 1 oz of bacon guacamole (from your 4 oz container) onto 4 of the burger patties, spreading it evenly, but leaving a gap all around the edges. (i just scooped it on until it looked full enough) 
  4. Next, lay one of the remaining thin patties on top of each guacamole-topped patties. Pinch the edges to seal the two patties together, use the edge of your palms to make sure the patties are round, then flatten the tops gently. (if you dont pinch the sides your burger patties will seperate, still tastes just as good though)
  5. Cook thoroughly on the stovetop or the grill, approximately 5 - 6 minutes per side. (we bbq'ed ours, not sure on the time.  use your best judgement)


 Original recipe is from Paleo Parents, but I got it from: http://meatified.com/stuffed-bacon-guacamole-burger/

Hope you enjoy!  Happy BBQ-ing!

JoJo!!

Bacon Guacamole

Yes, you read that correctly!  Bacon Guacamole!! What could make guacamole taste better?!?!  Bacon of course!!  Everything tastes better with bacon!!  I have seen recipes for bacon guacamole, but not really looked at them in detail until i saw the recipe for bacon guacamole stuffed burgers (recipe to follow), well i just had to give it a try! I was also super duper excited about all of the fresh cilantro I was growing in my garden, I had to do something with it!

Sneak peak at the burgers!


Super easy recipe, only 5 ingredients! (although I add 6).  My husband likes avocados, but doesn't like guacamole.  He didn't mind the bacon guacamole.  I absolutely loved it.  I made a double batch today!! I'm very excited!

Ingredients:
  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon, depending on size (always go for more bacon!)
  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 1/2 or to taste (I used the whole lime)
  • 1 tbl finely chopped fresh cilantro (I used quite a bit more)
  • 5 green onions, chopped 
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat a flat bottomed pan over the stove at medium heat and begin to fry bacon until crisp, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. While bacon is frying, cut the avocados, then remove and discard the pits. Use a spoon to scrape out the avocado flesh into a bowl. Use a fork to gently mash the avocado, leaving chunks of whole avocado. I find it easier to chop with a knife initially and then mash with a fork.  If I start with a fork the avocado just slides around
  3. Squeeze the lime juice into the bowl and add the cilantro. Add the green onions & stir the guacamole together.
  4. When the bacon is done, remove to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess grease. When cool enough to handle, chop the bacon into crumbles and stir into the guacamole.
  5. At this point I throw in some salt to taste too

Yummy Yummy Yummy Yummy!  I love guacamole.  I am quite confident it would be good without the bacon.

Original Recipe is from Paleo Parents, but I got it from:  http://meatified.com/stuffed-bacon-guacamole-burger/

Enjoy!!

JoJo!!