I had my first coffee in over a week this morning – a delicious cup of organic espresso with coconut milk. It was yummy, but MAN! was my heart RACING after about a half hour! Crazy! I’d never noticed the effects of caffeine before. I put it to use during my workout, but not sure I actually like the feeling anymore…Anyone else give up coffee and glad you did – or could never IMAGINE life without it?
I’ve found sugar in some pretty crazy places: sausages, soup broth and even salsa. But the other day I realized the Italian seasoning I grabbed while in a hurry at the grocery store is full of the stuff! I’m actually a little embarrassed to show you the bottle because I usually do a better job of label reading, but really…it’s Italian seasoning – I figured it’s going to contain rosemary, marjoram and oregano – you know, the usual suspects. Guess again! Try salt as the number one ingredient (egads!) and all sorts of crap like cornstarch, yeast extract and sunflower oil. Ugh! Never again…
In the meantime, Sugar, if you’re listening, please stop hiding in these stupid places. And food manufacturers, please stop pumping your products full of this crap.
Oh, and for the record, I’ve since started making my own broths and salsa – guess I can do the same with the spice mix!
Where’s the craziest place YOU’VE found hidden sugar?
Hard to believe, but we’re at Day 30 of the Whole 30 Challenge. Was it challenging? Oh yeah. Rewarding? Absolutely. And honestly, now that it’s over not much will change. We’ll probably turn down a glass of red wine, I’m definitely having a coconut bliss bar and Dave will likely tear into a bag of rice chips, but then really, we’ll be back to Whole 30 eating.
This whole experience was really an introduction to eating primal for us – and we love it. Neither of us have any intention to reverting back to old ways of eating. We’ve learned a lot about our cravings and what they mean. We’ve organized our food shopping and prep to minimize time in the kitchen. We’ve come up with a gaggle on new most-loved recipes and we feel better than ever physically. Will we never indulge again? Of course not. We’re human and we love food. But our attitudes have definitely changed.
I knew this for certain when I moved the stove out the other day to sweep behind it. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you what I found – a Christmas cookie. And not a home-baked, so good your eyes roll back in your head, to-die-for cookie. Just some store bought processed piece of white flour and sugar junk. It made me realize that while there may be cookies in my future, they won’t be this kind. If I am going to put something in my mouth I know full well won’t support my health and fitness goals, it damn well better be the most delicious, decadent, divine version of whatever it is. It better nourish my soul and my senses if it’s not going to nourish my health. And for me, I think that’s the biggest reward of all, coming to this new place of thinking about my diet.
Now where’s my corkscrew…?
What says Sunday Dinner better than a roast chicken? Black cardamon is the secret that gives this recipe a nice smoky barbecue flavor, while the liberal rubbing with coconut oil crisps the skin up nicely. Since it’s an organic chicken raised without hormones or antibiotics, I feel good about eating the skin. It’s when your protein is commercially raised you want to steer clear of the fatty stuff. If you’ve never cooked with black cardamon before you’re in for a treat. It lends a lovely smoky, almost bacon-type flavor to your dishes. Awesome in meatballs, burgers, chicken fingers and all sorts of things. Hope you enjoy!
Spice Rubbed Roast Chicken & Veg
- 4 – 5 large carrots
- 2 large onions
- 3-4 large cloves garlic
- coconut oil
- garlic powder
- chilli powder
- black pepper
- black cardamom
- Preheat oven to 425
- Chop vegetables and put in bottom of roasting pan
- Pre-mix spices in a small bowl
- Wash & pat dry bird
- Rub chicken with coconut oil, inside, outside and under the skin, coating generously
- Pour spice mix over, inside and under the skin of the chicken; rub in well
- Place bird breast side down in over, uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes
- When nicely golden, flip bird over
- Roast for another 25 – 35 minutes until legs wiggle easily and internal temp reaches safe range (180)
- Let cool before slicing
If you’ve ever felt like a pain in the ass for asking too many questions at a restaurant, you’ll relate to this hilarious clip from the new IFC show Portlandia.
It’s been a few days since we’ve posted. No, we haven’t been stuck at the bottom of a pint of hagan daz. Truth is, thanks to bulk cooking and a handful of reliable high-yield dishes, our daily meals are down to a sweet science – which is good since both our schedules have kicked up into the decidedly hectic range. But now that we have B, L & D under control, what about pre and post workout nutrition? Well as it turns out, this is an area where the Whole 30 approach flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
In traditional body-building circles, pre-workout meals are mainly complex carb, often from grain or fruits, plus a little protein. Think cottage cheese and fruit, a whole grain muffin or oatmeal and egg whites.
Whole 30/primal pre-workout meals on the other hands are smaller snack size combinations of protein with a little fat. Think sardines in olive oil or chicken with avocado. Choose easy digesting foods and allow enough time so you’re not working out while you’re still digesting.
Post workout, old-schoolers will tell you to get an easily absorbed protein and a quick sugar into your body after training – and most do it via a protein and fruit or juice “recovery shake”. The idea being that quick absorbing simple sugars help shuttle protein into your muscles.
The “new school” approach agrees on protein, but differs when it comes to fruit and simple sugars. Instead, the Whole 30 Success Guide recommends eating a meal size portion of easily digesting protein and a fist size portion of a carb-dense vegetable like yams within 15 – 30 minutes of training. They say relying on fruit as your primary carb source post workout is a mistake because fructose is processed exclusively in the liver, which means the “fuel tanks” in your liver get filled before the “fuel tanks” in your hungry muscles.
I’m going to be honest, as important as Dave and I both know pre and post workout nutrition is, we sometimes find it a challenge to get these meals in. For one, I find my paleo meals fill me up and I’m not hungry for another meal before my workout. Poor excuse, but there it is. Our workouts also falls within an hour or so of a regular meal, so that last meal essentially becomes our “pre-workout” fare. On the other side of the coin, we also sometimes launch right into another regular meal post workout and miss the benefits of getting that extra nutrition to our hungry muscles right away. To be clear, your post w/o meal is a ‘bonus’ meal. You should still be eating your next regularly scheduled meal 60 to 90 minutes afterwards.
We know it’s a challenge to schedule these meals; we struggle sometimes too, but we still can’t emphasize enough how important it it to optimize your training. If you’re working out hard, and you should be, it just makes sense to get the most out of it.
What’s your strategy for pre and post workout fueling?
Here’s what we managed to get done & checked off the list today:
- kale chips
- beef & venison stew
- meat lover’s egg bake
- delicious citrus salad dressing
- cucumber salad
- tomato salsa
- chicken broth
- whipped butternut squash
- clean berries
- cut & marinate chicken
By the time the end was in sight, I realized we really didn’t have food ready for tonight, so I whipped together an impromptu omelet (would you call that I brinner?) with pan fried Portobello mushrooms and spinach, topped with the salsa I just put together, side of coriander spiced butternut squash and wedge of purple yams. Yum.
Of all the things we made, I’m particularly excited about the salad dressing, not only because it tastes absolutely delightful, but also because I used Carlson’s Orange Flavored Cod Liver Oil, which makes it a Double Agent: part condiment – part nutritional super-hero. I love double duty foods.
Delicious Citrus (“Super-hero”) Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup Carlson’s orange flavored cod liver oil
- Place the ACV and spices in a food processor and blend;
- Drizzle in the oil slowly while the blender is going;
- Adjust spices to taste; and
- Pour those yummy Omega 3’s all over your salad completely guilt-free!
It’s Saturday, so that means grocery shopping at our house. Before embarking on this Whole 30 Challenge, we often found ourselves stopping by the grocery store 4 or 5 times per week. Sometimes more. Thanks to some necessary planning head however, we’ve now got it down to one big shop per week, plus a trip to the butcher.
Before we left the house today, I used my white board to create a list of what I want to cook for the next week, looked at what I needed, compared it to what we already had on hand and made my list accordingly. Here’s what it looked like:
|Day||Item to Make||Ingredients I have||Ingredients I need|
|Sunday||Stew||Beef, venison, onions, garlic, rutabaga, carrots, yams, broth, spices||Turnips, parsnips|
|Salsa||Tomatoes, green peppers, onions, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste||Jalapeno pepper|
|Salads||Grapefruit, peppers, carrots||Lettuce, fennel, peas, cabbage|
|Egg Casserole||Eggs, portobello mushrooms, spinach, turkey sausage, ground turkey|
|Dressing||Apple cider vinegar, walnut oil, Dijon, spices||Apples, avocado|
|Kale chips||Olive oil||Kale|
|Tuesday||Chicken fingers||Chicken breast, coconut, coconut milk, spices|
|Cucumber salad||Cucumbers, ACV||Light olive oil (to make fresh batch of mayo)|
|Wednesday||Sheppard’s pie||Carrots, broth, coconut flour, spices||Cauliflower, *ground beef, beans, peas|
|Egg Casserole||*ground beef|
there you go, the last column became our grocery list for today and the table itself goes on the fridge for easy refernce when cooking. Handy, since I rarely follow recipes.
The beef I’ll get at the butcher on Tuesdays (when it’s freshest) and the fish I’ll buy fresh on the way home that night, but otherwise we’ve managed to pare our shopping trips from shopping 4 – 5 times per week, with cooking and cleaning every night, to shopping once a week, cooking 4 and having a full 3 nights out of the kitchen, while still having a fridge full of tasty Whole 30 approved meals whenever we’re hungry. We think it’s brilliant. You can use the framework of our plan. Fill in your favorite dishes and customize your own menu plan and grocery list.
Do you have time-saving tips to help make eating healthy easier? We’d love to hear them!
A few days ago a friend sent a facebook message asking if we knew of any good site with good clean-eating recipes. Do we?!?!
Now while my friend is looking to clean up her diet by eliminating processed foods and white stuff – a good start to be sure, she’s still eating grains. Now that Dave and I are 100% paleo, all of our favorite sites are too, but I told her to go ahead and add in whole grains to any of the dishes she finds on these sites …unless of course she follows up on some of the other resources I suggested and realizes she might be better without them. Her call, of course. 😉
One of my FAVE sites is theclothesmakethegirl.com, the site’s author Melissa just come out with a cookbook, Well Fed (which I am currently coveting and will probably order) – though her site is also full of free recipes. She writes like the Dickens (pun intended) and her posts are always fun to read. I’ve made her Czech meatballs and home made mayo, which is funny because neither of us really liked mayo before but making your own makes you feel like a kitchen DIVA and allows you to make tasty sauces, cole slaw and cucumber salad etc.
I also love The Food Lovers Primal Palate, Their paleo coconut pancakes are great – though not Whole30 approved, so don’t even THINK about it if you’re following along with us on the challenge. That’s having SWYPO (Sex you’re your Pants On) and “paleofying” is strictly off-limits.
Another source I often go to is marksdailyapple.com, by Mark Sissons. He’s the author of The Primal Blueprint, the first book that turned us on to eating primal/paleo by explaining how grains block the absorption of many nutrients and cause inflammation and how the body runs better as a fat burner than a sugar burner. Type whatever you’re looking for into the search bar and tonnes of recipe options pop up. Note though that his site is Primal as opposed to Paleo so you’ll find recipes using dairy, sweetners and a few other things not allowed on the Whole30.
I also suggested she check out delightfultastebuds.com by Jos. She was actually the first person who introduced me to the paleo diet by mentioning it on the Bodyrock.tv community. She blogs about her own diet and shares easy, wholesome recipes. I mentioned to my friend her Oven Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers were to-die-for and just thinking about them made me want them so I whipped up a batch for dinner. (Side note: after devouring a nice plate-full I wondered if I’d made a slip and had “Sex With My Pants On”, but when I asked Melissa on on the Whole 30 facebook page, she said only if I had a serious KFC addiction and was filling the void. Hate KFC, so we’re clear.)
I also suggest nomnompaleo.com. The site’s author swears like a trucker, so be warned if you have virgin ears – or eyes, I guess. But she’s funny as hell and does a great job of marketing herself. Plus she has a tonne of great recipes on offer.
There’s also a couple of sites that do a round-up of healthy recipes from across the webiverse, thefoodee.com and chowstalker.com. It’s like searching dozens of sights at once, while getting a snapshot of the of the latest offerings in one place.
Since my friend was looking to reset her metabolism, I also suggested she check out The Whole30.
So yeah, we’ve got resources – and we’re happy to share! Check out these fine folks and let us know what you think or share YOUR favorite links below!
We love our one-dish meals. This is one of the “everything but the kitchen sink” dishes that came together effortlessly and turned out incredible.
If you remember our weekly cooking plan I shared in a previous post, you’ll know we didn’t have kitchen duties last night, but I found myself peering into the fridge wondering how I could jazz up the left over meat I’d pulled off a roast chicken from the night before. I don’t know about you guys, but plain salad topped with plain chicken meat is a little too much like “diet food” for our tastes.
So I decided to check the produce drawers and see what I could throw together. I added some broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peppers, fennel and green apples, then mixed up a dressing of home made mayo, lemon juice, cumin, basil and a good glug of Carlson’s yummy orange flavored cod liver oil. The result? An incredibly nutritious, fresh-tasty one-dish meal that satisfies the body, the eyes and the belly. Brilliant! …If I do say so myself! 😉
You can do the same with whatever you find in your produce drawers. I’ve also replicated this idea with canned salmon or tuna. Be creative and give it a try the next time your fridge contents are making you snore. And be sure to share the results. You never know what kind of masterpiece is just sitting there, waiting to be created.