Friday, March 29, 2013

Paleo Chicken Salad

Alright folks, I promised you a yummy recipe and I am keeping my word. Better late than never J

I have been Paleo strong for 5 days now!! By no means is this a personal record, but considering my eating habits for the last 5 months it is pretty damn good! Just an FYI, in this short time period my workouts and performance have improved dramatically as well.

A key staple in my weekly meals has been Paleo Chicken Salad. I cannot take credit for this delish dish. A friend at my box made it for a potluck and I fell in love with it! I love when I can get my protein and fat into one dish! As always, remember that you can add to or change up this recipe to fit your taste buds! And don’t feel that you must be Paleo to enjoy it! Good food is good food J

This recipe is for a large batch of Chicken Salad that will easily last you a week, but you can easily make a smaller batch by simply cooking less chicken.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Snackage

I LOVE snacking. I sit at a desk for most of my day and I make sure to always have yummy (mostly healthy) things in my drawer to snack on. My current addiction is Mrs. May's Natural Trio bars. I swear, they must put crack in them. They are SO GOOD! Plus, they are vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and kosher.


These bars are full of nuts and fruit and are so de-lish. I can't rave about them enough. I've only been able to find them at Costco thus far, but trust me, I'm on the lookout! 

Another favorite snack of mine is celery sticks and peanut butter. I could eat that all day everyday. 

Hummus. This used to make me cringe; the name, that is. I never even wanted to try it because I thought it was some grotesque hippy concoction made of trees and armpit hair. This is NOT the case! Hummus is soooo delectable. In fact, I am the hippy who makes it fresh at home, sans armpit hair. My two favorite flavors are Roasted Red Pepper and Spicy Jalapeno. I have yet to experiment with other types of hummus, like edamame hummus (which I guess isn't technically hummus since "hummus" means "chickpeas" in Arabic). Give me a veggie tray with some home-made hummus and I'm set.

Cutie's. The hubby and I have been eating a lot of Cutie's lately. Those little sweet orange/mandarin orange hybrids are oh-so-yummy and addicting. It's a good thing you have to take a minute to peel them, otherwise I may eat the whole bag in one sitting. 

Peanut Butter Sandwiches. When we go hiking, this is our absolute favorite thing to take along and snack on when we reach the peak of our hikes.

What keeps you going throughout the day?? What do you stash away for those times you need sustenance between meals? 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Kind of Cross-Training

Most of the time I'm a big Yoga nut, but that doesn't mean that I don't spend time moving my body in other ways.

I love love LOVE lifting weights.  I have a hard time mixing in the two (yoga and weight-lifting) because I always feel like I have to big or go home.  This might sound funny when speaking of yoga on the mat, but holding postures for longer breaths, flexing & tightening muscles and/or moving deeper into stretches beyond initial limits is actually really difficult and if I go really vigorous, it's taxing on the body to throw another workout on top of that. 

So I've been doing the every other day thing, rigorous yoga one day and a weight-lifting workout the next day.  And my weight-lifting workout typically consists of moving the whole body to create agni (fire), then focusing on legs or arms (my yoga practice is a little more evenly distributed, but even then I will push arms or legs harder at times).

I've actually fallen in love with the Oxygen Magazine sequence because it holds me accountable to my own ability to push through to the other side.

I also love that I'm moving toward failure using my own strength, not just pounding out a number of reps and sets.  Let's face it, our lives our too encumbered with numbers (weight lifted, calories, scales, etc.) so it helps release that OCD sensation of counting (or am I the only one that gets wiggy about having to count everything?!).

I've only been following this sequence for a couple of weeks now, but I can already feel the difference in my legs.  I also throw in kneeling donkey kicks too, or some Pilates-Ballet style moves that help me stretch my legs in a slower & more controlled movement.

For those of you who do several styles of working out/cross-training, how do you find balance?  Do you switch every other day? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Very Big Surprise

Wow

 After the weekend Mrs. Stefanie Bushore (formerly Lauer, our very own Monday blogger) and I have had, this post is gonna be short and sweet and very very sentimental.

I had the most wonderful weekend planning my best friend's SURPRISE WEDDING.  I REPEAT,  she had NO IDEA she was getting married.  

This was not an easy feat especially after sending out almost 200 invitations and having 180 guests there, I am SHOCKED and totally proud that WE ALL pulled it off. She had no clue...NONE. She went to crossfit only a few hours before her proposal...yea not a clue.

Oh man--her face seeing us there was priceless...and then when she found out it was her wedding day in that moment of confusion, enlightenment and pure joy I saw how much her heart filled and I know she felt how important and special she is to all of us who love her.

The day couldn't have been more perfect. Every moment was amazing...every tear...every kiss...every fill of the wine glass from the amazing winery where it was held. I am told I was a major part in this day (yes I am very humble and I always think I could have done so much more), helping with all the little details, pouring my heart into making my best friends day perfect and special and EXACTLY what she would have ever wanted as if she planned it all herself...and guess what that's exactly what I did with the help of some pretty amazing people.
You know who you are.


What I've learned during this journey is that if you put your heart into anything and everything you do, it becomes extraordinary moments you enjoy.  And when those moments are paired with someone you love more than words, that love will come back to you tenfold. Throughout these years (we've known each other since we were just little girls!), Stefanie and I have become more than friends--we have become two people who love and support each other through every mountain valley, hill, and plateau. I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would have such an amazing best friend. Shoot, I never in a million years thought this was possible...... sometimes dreams do come true and I am so glad it happened to such a beautiful soul who deserves it more than she knows.
(yes Stefanie you deserve every bit of it)

Tonight my cup runnith over, and my best friend became a wife to the man she's always loved. If that isn't a love story, I don't know what is! Congratulations Ryan and Stefanie Bushore, I love you guys <3

Monday, March 25, 2013

Surprise! You're getting married today!

On Saturday morning, I woke up thinking I was going to a wine tasting in Temecula with a bunch of lawyers from Chicago. A friend of my boyfriend, who was in town for the weekend, had invited us to Wien's Family Cellars to partake in an extravagant 14 course meal and pairings. Knowing that they were wine connoisseurs, I didn't think much of it.

I had planned to go check out my friend Heather's CrossFit gym in the morning and then head to the wine tasting afterwards. I had a horrible migraine, so I decided to not do the WOD, but my boyfriend Ryan still did. After working out, we headed home to get ready and were out the door by 1:30pm. I was driving and was soon frustrated by the traffic as Siri said we would be over 20 minutes late for the party. Ryan had been texting his friend "Adam" the entire drive, giving him updates on when we would be arriving and finding out exactly where we needed to go when we got to the winery.

The moment I saw the ring!
We got out of the car and headed in through a side gate, when Ryan pulled me up to a stage that overlooked the vineyard, where he said we should take our normal selfie picture as it would probably be dark when we were done with the tasting.  This was a common occurrence for us and the majority of our pictures are self taken.

We posed and he extended the camera in front of us and there was a HUGE ring on his finger.  He asked if I wanted to upgrade the one that I already had.  In the commotion, he recalls asking me to marry him, but I don't remember!  It's all a blur.

STILL thinking that I was wine tasting with "Adam", we headed into the cellar room where some of my close friends and family were.  Ryan pointed to a dress hanging from a wine barrel and told me that my wedding was at 5:30pm, so I better go get ready!  He handed me a glass of champagne, told me how much he loved me and then rushed me to the bridal suite to get ready. (All of this coming from a guy that said he would NEVER get married)

This amazing man thought of EVERYTHING!  I had three dresses to choose from, shoes galore, jewelry, a hair stylist, a make-up artist, you name it and it was pretty much waiting for me. As the night progressed, I kept finding out little tidbits of information, like the fact that my mom and best friend Andrea had been conspiring with him for nearly a year and my dear friend Heather who played it up and asked if I wanted to go to lunch after CrossFit or the fact that she wouldn't give me wardrobe advice for the wine tasting because she wasn't invited!!!!

When it was time to walk down the aisle, I was greeted by 180 of my closest family and friends, ALL who started cheering when I walked up.  Taken aback by their support, I started crying for the millionth time of the day and headed towards my soon to be husband!

The ceremony was perfect, Ryan telling me how sorry he was for keeping this all from me and how our relationship is starting off with lies and deceit; but also how much he loves me and the only way he could truly express his love was by doing the one thing that he has always said he would never do!  All I could say was what an AMAZING gift this was and how I am floored that someone loves me this much to surprise me with a wedding!

The rest of the night was us trying to say hi to everyone, dancing, hilarious speeches, awesome food and fabulous beer, wine and champagne! It was a night that I will always remember and tear up every time I think about it!

My life is forever changed.  I can't tell you how much I love this man!
 
So many people worked hard to make my day perfect, from the beautiful decorations and rustic romantic ambiance that Andrea some how found the time to make, the amazing cupcakes from Cakes by Marian, the countless hours John put in for the invitations, beautiful bouquets made by Bertha Owen, the friendships that have been created with Christine Pierce at Wiens, Christi for the fabulous chocolate chip cookies, Tony for being our emcee for the night, Phil for standing up in front of everyone and marrying us, Evan, Rob, Kristina and my Mom for being such an amazing support system and helping with everything...I'm sure that I am missing so many and I'm sorry!

To all those that were there to share my day, THANK YOU!  You have no idea how honored I feel that you would all show up in hopes that I said yes!

To the love of my life, THANK YOU.  I can't tell you how much this really means to me and how I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you!

P.S.  Paybacks are a bitch!  I love you!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rah Rah Sis Boom Bah!!!


What up people!!  I’m a tad behind in pretty much EVERYTHING this week.  As my Great Grandma K would say, “Such is life.”

I have a yummy little recipe to share with you all; unfortunately it will have to wait until next week.  Trust me it’s worth it! 

Now with that lil teaser out of the way, I’d like to share a quick thought: 

All you CrossFitters out there know that the Open is over half way done now. Only 2 workouts remain before the ever exciting Regionals kick off.  I just gotta say that the energy in the box is typically high, but when you add in the anticipation of the Open, the whole thing JUST HITS ANOTHER LEVEL.  Tonight I had the pleasure of cheering on many of my CrossFit peeps and watch them destroy their performances from last year.  Although, I have no illusions of even making top 3000, I get so excited watching my girls who absolutely will be making a huge mark this year.  I truly feel that this camaraderie is what makes us work harder, build confidence, and keep us wanting more! 

I just want to say that no matter what your workout of choice is, think of it as more than just a physical activity. Think of it as therapy for your mind, body and spirit!  Find a person or people who will push you and commend you on all your accomplishments, big or small and keep them close.

We all need cheerleaders and we need to BE cheerleaders!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Share The Road, PLEASE!

I really meant to say "dammit" in place of "please" but I'm going to try and keep a Zen attitude during this post.

I am a runner. I may run slow and I may not run very far, but I feel I have earned this title. A lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally, all of them) have gone into the making of said runner status. But I'll be dammed if getting up at 4:00 a.m. (a few days, even earlier) just to run before work, doesn't earn me the runner's badge!

Since my husband and I have taken up running, we've experienced a few bottom feeders, if you will.

*Let me preface this by saying we usually run in our neighborhood. You know, 25 miles an hour/stop signs everywhere kind of thing.

Case in point:

One morning the hubby and I were out for our run. It was 5:00 am, still dark outside and barely any traffic. We came to an entrance to one of the subdivisions within our community. We are part way into the street and a car rolls up to the stop sign. He looked right at us, and then failed to STOP at the aforementioned stop sign. Hub was a little behind me and he ran behind the car, while I was already in front of it. This guy almost HIT me, with his car. I'd say in that war, car would probably win. Luckily, I barely scraped by, with my life intact. I know I run slow, but running me over would cause you a lot more problems than the two extra seconds you'll have to wait for me to pass. SHARE THE ROAD, PLEASE!

One beautiful, sunny afternoon I went out for a run around our neighborhood. The main road that runs through it is a giant, two mile loop. There are sidewalks on the inside and outside of the loop. I was running the outer loop. I'm running in the middle of the sidewalk and ahead, I see a lady on a bicycle riding towards me. I move over to one side, as to make room for both of us to pass (there is plenty of room for this). The lady on the bike stays smack-dab in the middle of the sidewalk. As we approach each other, I'm thinking, Surely she will move over. Right? She's going to move over. She already saw me move to one side. Now it's her turn. We get right up to each other and the lady DOESN'T MOVE! I literally had to jump out of the way, into the rocks, at the last minute to avoid a collision.  Bike lady didn't even blink an eye. Immediately after the incident she says aloud, "You're on the wrong side of the road!" and rides on by. WHAT?!?! Seriously?? SHARE THE ROAD, PLEASE!

I know, I know, ultimately it's my responsibility. And I am very cautious while I'm out and very aware of my surroundings. There is only so much I have control over, however. I know there are bad seeds out there, and I'm not judging everyone based off of them. Most of the people I pass are very pleasant and even say, "Hello"! It becomes a problem though, when it goes beyond rude people and becomes a possibly dangerous situation. It's a gorgeous time in Arizona right now and there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy it.

**End Rant**

Now get out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Roll Call: My Fave Fit Femme Figures

 
In setting some new goals for myself, I found myself drawing inspiration from some personal She-roes I have filed  in what I call my Goddess Rolodex (don't worry, this is different than a binder full of women).  The Goddess Rolodex is  a catalogue of inspirational women from which I draw inspiration.  The three women here have been in my Goddess Rolodex since the early millennial years and they certainly won't be leaving.





            The first Fitness & Figure competitor that I came across that inspired me to begin pushing my fitness to another level.  I felt a connection to her elongated frame; even though I only stand at 5’6”, my limbs are long and can sometimes appear too lanky when I thin out too much.  Maggie Diubaldo’s lean, lithe & STRONG figure is the perfect example of how women can still look and feel feminine with a muscular and toned physique.










            Insanely fit and dedicated.  Her story reveals that as an adult, she weighed over 230 lbs. Nearing age 50, she decided she was done with it and began incorporating clean-eating (it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle) and body-building principles for sheer health.  Tosca Reno then went on to compete and won many competitions.  She became the CEO of Oxygen FitnessMagazine, of which I have been a dutiful subscriber since 2005! 








            The first Yogi I encountered that made me go, “Wow!”  Her figure (and that luxurious hair!) is not only physically stunning, but her heart is a stunner, too!  Seane Corne participates in an organization called Off the Mat, Into the World which uses yoga to power and inspire change and activism in communities around the globe.








These are just a few of the AMAZING women who inspire me.  Who is in your Goddess Rolodex and why?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Chicken, Bacon and Jalapeños...need I say more?

Because I wanted Jalapeño Poppers, here is a wonderful recipe I made up this weekend and I NEEDED them to be healthy.  You're welcome.

Here is what you will need to make 8 poppers:

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  • 2 Chicken breasts marinated in your choice of marinade (I let mine sit in Italian dressing overnight.) 
  • 8 Jalapeños washed and seeded (I cut the tops off and cut in half on one side leaving the other side attached so they are easy to stuff.) 
  • 1 package of Bacon of your choice (I use maple smoked bacon yummy!! Center cut is a healthier option.) 
  • Garlic powder 
  • 4 triangles of Laughing Cow Original Cheese spread (Optional, but really makes it so good. You can also mix it with some goat cheese to give the poppers some creamy faux-cream cheese.)

Directions:
After the chicken was done marinating, I ground it up in my food processor. I fully cooked the chicken in a pan, adding the garlic powder for seasoning.  You can add other spices as well, but you do not have to add salt; the bacon makes this recipe salty enough! Next, I cleaned and seeded my jalapeños and used half a triangle of the Laughing Cow Cheese (yes...I realize that is not paleo lol, but I wanted a little but of a treat!) and spread the cheese on one side of the jalapeño. Then, I filled up the remaining space in the jalapeño with my cooked ground chicken and wrapped them in bacon.  Because I used huge jalapeños,  I wrapped them with two bacon slices each and secured the bacon with toothpicks.  I cooked these in a tray on my Rotisserie which is my FAVORITE thing in the world, but you can also cook these in the oven at 375 to 400 until the bacon is done. Or even smoke them....oh yum! And that's it! Amazing Jalapeño poppers with tons of protein! So yummy and easy, Enjoy, friends!

Pictured: The poppers in my Rotisserie, then the poppers when finished!




WODing with 36DDD's

So as I said in my post last week, I got my breasts done about 6 months ago. I have to say, I absolutely LOVE my new girls! They are perky and bouncy, which is great in almost any occasion except for working out.

The first few times I went to CrossFit, I wore two sports bras to WOD in. This was a challenge in itself to get them both on, however they were so tight and constricting that I thought I was going to pass out. I had to majorly modify my WOD as I got dizzy from the vice grips I had around my chest.

Searching for a sports bra that fits my new girls and providing enough support, as well as preventing them from giving me a black eye has proven a challenge.
Juno by Moving Comfort
Glamorise Maximum Control
So far I've found two that work well in high impact exercise. The first is Juno by Moving Comfort. I ordered this in a 36DD as they don't have a DDD version. It runs a little tight through the band and is snug. It takes a little getting use to putting the thing on and you might work up a sweat from doing so.

The other is Glamorise maximum control adjustable bra. The Glamorise bra is my favorite of the two. It isn't difficult to put on and has great control. It's kind of two bras in one as it has a second panel in the front of the bra that you can adjust depending on your impact level. I've kept mine at the highest and it works great.

Neither of these bras are the prettiest, but that's why I have cute tank tops to cover them up. They both do the job well and hold my 36DDD's in place. Now, eyeliner will be the only thing black around my eyes.

Retail Therapy

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to shop.  Like many of you, shopping for me is retail therapy.

retail therapy (noun): an addictive high similar to the one experiences while smoking crack cocaine, but as a result of a purchase, often in the form of clothing, jewelry, or other wearable items, and intensely magnified when said items are on sale.  (Example: Macy's is having a 20% off sale and I'm stressed; time for some retail therapy! YOLO!)

My weakness is usually jeans (Hudsons) and shoes, but I've found two new addictions that help me look better and feel better about myself - Workout Clothing and Lingerie!

Both of these items are usually crazy expensive, resulting in only a few purchase over a year and only when one doesn't fit or it's been washed so many times it needs to go in the trash.  Two websites  I found let you FILL your closet and dresser drawers with the latest styles WITHOUT putting a major dent in your wallet!

First up we have Ellie, a website dedicated to the cutest workout clothing I have come across.  From bright bold colors, to crazy prints; anything you wear from them is a fashion statement!  The great thing about Ellie is they have a subscription based program called The Fit Fashionista Club.

What this entails is:
  • You can choose any two pieces each month for only $49.95. No matter if you want two tops, or two bottoms or a combination of both. 
  • Free shipping on all orders, no matter how often you order per month.  This means you can order other items at regular price and still get free shipping (and free returns if necessary)
  • Priority access to the month's collection.  Club members see the collection before non-members.
  • Exclusive access to limited edition pieces, Flash Sales, exclusive discounts and other, members-only events. 
  • If you don't like any of the pieces in the collection, you can skip the month at no charge.
For a limited time, you can use the promo code WELCOME20 or BFF20 for 20% off your first order!

For the lingerie, I've found AdoreMe  This site has a wide selection of sexy lingerie pieces that fit like a glove! There's all kinds of styles, from bras and panties, sleepwear, corsets and they even have swim suits in the summer! I absolutely LOVE that they have collections dedicated to those that are larger on top! (This means you, DD, E, F, FF, & G!!!)

AdoreMe has a VIP program that works similar to Ellie's:
  • Get a personalized showroom on the 1st of each month.  You’ll receive a seasonal selection of lingerie handpicked by their stylists to fit your fashion
  • Any lingerie set is only $39.95! You can purchase any style on AdoreMe for $39.95 (save up to 50% OFF retail) 
  • Every 6th Set is Free! Get a free set each time you reach 5 purchases, anytime you buy! (no need to buy 5 items at once).
  • Always Free shipping and Free exchanges!
  • Skip ANY month free of charge
For under $100 a month, you could have the clothes to work out in and the lingerie to look hot in...WAY less than any of those fancy specialty stores!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Cake Bomb Cupcakes

Although this blog is for fitness and living the healthiest of lifestyles, sometimes we have slip-ups which I put in the category of MADNESS. This post is one of those slip-ups that I can't help but share. Being that it is St. Patrick's Day, I thought it was fitting to post this today.

 I have an absolute weakness for sweets; cakes, pies, cookies... You name it and I usually won't hesitate to have a serving--and sometimes seconds! I was invited to a party today and needed to bring some kind of dessert. My first thought was my friend Bonnie of Owl Have a Cupcake. Unfortunately she wasn't making her yummy cupcakes for the holiday so I had to come up with something on my own. The ultimate of St. Patty's Day desserts...Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.

For those who don't know, an Irish Car Bomb is a wonderful Alcoholic Beverage consisting of Guinness, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream. You pour two shots, one of the whiskey and the other of the Bailey's. You then add the whiskey to the Guinness and then quickly pour the Baileys in and CHUG! You HAVE to drink it fast as the Baileys will curdle in the beer AND YOU DON'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN! It's deliciously smooth and tasty and will leave you wondering why you have never had it before.

With ALL that being said, I scoured the Internet for the best recipes and found this one for the cupcakes from The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen's blog. The cupcakes turned out light and fluffy and so yummy! I combined the cupcake recipe with a modified recipe from The Brown-eyed Baker for Chocolate Whiskey Ganache (I added MORE whiskey). I modified my grandmothers Butter cream Icing recipe to include Baileys.

I'm not a baker, but love to try and recreate what the Pros make, and I think I came pretty close to perfection on these!

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I have to say, these really did turn out FANTASTIC, and I think they will become a staple for any St. Patrick's Day celebration!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Paleo Style Chicken Parm...minus the parm

So, as you will quickly learn, I strive to stay on the Paleo wagon, but I am weak.  Sometimes there is just no replacement for some good ol’ chips and salsa. (Ya feel me?)

However, I do try my best, one meal at a time.  I have basically gone through my typical dinners and  tweaked them to fit into the Paleo guidelines.  I created a little library of easy-to-make Paleo dishes that most of my household enjoys. 

Last night's Paleo style chicken parm is exactly that.  The only thing I really had to change was the coating on the chicken.  No more bread crumbs.  Now, I know, I know… "But Melissa, you can use almond flour to coat your chicken”.  First off, I already eat a good amount of nuts throughout the day (hahaha funny) so I don’t really need more. Second, I just do not like the taste of the almond flour as a coating.  And that is that.

Also, I measure nothing!  Sorry.  I’m sort of a free spirit when it comes to cooking. 

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*

Last night we had this along with some roasted asparagus…yummy! But you can pair it with any veggie your heart desires.

This is a super easy main dish that you can bust out in about 20 minutes if you are in a rush (like I usually am).  Or you can totally make it ahead of time and have it in the fridge ready to go when you are…which is what I do when I’m an organized working mommy. If you’ve got a little extra time, putting this over some spaghetti squash would be amazing. If you are a seafood person you can also toss in some shrimp right before you put the dish in the ovenJ

As always, this is just a guideline, just something to give you ideas.  Tweak it to fit your taste buds.  If you already make a great tomato sauce, then use that.  Hell, share it with me!! 

Melissa

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Recipe of Animal Parts, From Your Favorite Veganess

Just when you think I'll zig, I'LL ZAG. Then, when you think I'll zag, I WILL zag, just to keep you on your toes for the next time I ZIG!

This is an excellent recipe for you paleo freaks.

Don't be scared. Just trust me. Vegan is new(ish) to our lifestyle, it's been roughly 9 months. Prior to our lifestyle switch, the hubby was a mean-green-grillin'-machine (and master of his art) and animal meat was a part of every meal! I love to cook and I've made many a-meals during my married life.

Suffice it to say, I do happen to know a thing or two about recipes of the meat variety. So, if you know what's good for you, I would make this recipe, NOW! Or maybe tomorrow, since it's a slow-cooker. Unless you eat vegan/vegetarian, in which case you can pass this along to your fellow carnivores.

This is super easy, you just toss everything in the crockpot and turn it on! I prefer to brown the roast on all sides first, but that's time consuming and not really necessary.


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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing

Although it's not my day to post, I found this unique recipe from Eat Clean and Diet and had to share! I can't wait to try it.  I think it will be sweet and tangy and will add amazing flavor to any salad!

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Tantrum Yoga


I have developed a habit of meditating every morning right after I wake up.  Most times, I roll out of bed first to pee, but immediately come back to the warmest spot in the house (my bed) and sit meditation for at least ten minutes. I observe what Buddhists refer to as monkey-mind, or what I like to call, the pendulum swing between monkeys sleeping  and monkeys going full-blown dookie-throwing ape-shit.   

Because I didn’t sit meditation on this particular morning, I just *knew* my day would just be brilliant. 

I sped through a bunch of errands in the morning as I anticipated two phone calls, which never came.  I had not set up phone dates with either of these people, but because of recent contact with them in which I solicited my services, I (or rather, Ego) naturally assumed that I would be tied up with getting those projects going.

Of course: no phone call came.

In my irritation at them not recognizing the opportunity that I am (Ego speaking loudly here), and not JUMPING to snatch me up, I hastily threw together a heavily processed lunch involving a high count of sugars/simple carbs.  I topped it off with a huge mug of coffee to wash it down.

I blew off my to-do list (no one was going to tell Ego what to do) and restlessly worked on various projects for a couple of hours with jittery A.D.D. strength when remembered I hadn’t worked out yet. 

Ugh

Treadmill? Weights? Ugh.  No--that all involved with counting reps, sets, and repeating moves over and over again.  I did NOT want to count. (Yes, I really didn’t lift weights/run for that reason.)

I grabbed my yoga mat and stared at it for a whole minute.

Ugh.

The last thing I wanted to do was to stop or slow down.  I had to keep going, keep moving.  For me, yoga right would be like driving a Porsche (Ego here again) at 220 mph into brick wall deceptively camoflauged to look like feathersHow the hell was I going to move in slow motion and focus on my in-breath/out-breath? 

Naturally, my dogs sensed my mood, woke from their naps and followed my lead, but felt compelled to vocalize their ape-shit thoughts.  Here, let me translate their conversation : 

Mom! Mom! Juno won't play with me!
 
No, look at that hot bitch outside walking their human! Aye mami!  Let me get a sniff of that!

Oh look, half a ball.  Let’s toss it on Mom’s mat!
  
No, I’d rather copulate with myself ! Noisily!


Hey look! A bird!


I want to pee!


I want to talk!


Loud noises!


I want to talk AND pee!

(Believe it or not, I’m still a dog lover.) 
(I also want to apologize for how this font turns my exclamation points into lower case Ls.)  
I let my wily canines out, rolled out my mat,  and said, “I HATE YOU.”  I meant it.  My mat said nothing in return.

What followed was a violent barrage of quick asanas.  There was no hold-this-pose-for-three-breaths.  Instead, it was a furious dance of anger.  Plank was held by pissed-off balled fists instead of flattened palms.  Jumping my feet forward to move into Chair pose felt like a stomping into a person's chest.  When I moved into Warrior I, I fought the urge to raise only my middle fingers to the sky.


Somewhere in my yoga tantrum, I stopped thinking about my anger. I can’t say that I stopped feeling it, because the rate of my movement through my free-style sequence would say otherwise and I can still feel the agni (fire) burning through me while writing this.  But that violent, bitter edge is off.

I know I could have gone hard with weights or pushed it on the treadmill, but somehow my body knew that the fight was me-against-me (that is, the collective “I” against that one pushy sector, Ego) and that I needed to take it to the mat.

Do I feel like skipping on the playground and planting flowers right now? No.  But I certainly don’t feel like shoving kids off the jungle gym & ripping bulbs from the ground.  Tomorrow, I won't hastily throw a sugary lunch together and I certainly won’t forgo my morning centering practice.  But if I ever do, at least I know where I can get free 24-hour access to a boxing ring.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What did you eat tonight?

Hi it's me again...since it's Tuesday and it's MY blog day I want to share what I ate tonight :) Recipe will be posted soon as soon as I have accurate measurements of ingredients...yes I kinda just throw stuff together. :)
So tonight I ate Cashew Nut Chicken and Raw Cabbage..yummmmm! So good!

Meditation exercises Via Connie

So the Fabulous Connie, our Wednesday blogger shared this with me and I'm going to start doing them and I think you should too. They are 15 minute meditations for your health lead by Deepak Chopra. Too cool not to share, let us know what you think. the link below will take you to the sign in page and you can just sign in with facebook (easy) or create a log in.
Happy Tuesday Everyone :)
http://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/LoginPage.aspx?BookId=178

Lemon Cranberry Paleo Bread



This recipe is Amazing from Against All Grain.....Below are a few changes I made. Enjoy

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SWEAT…..My Guilty Pleasure


When I was fat, miserable, and completely unhealthy, I used to sweat just walking, and I didn’t walk enough. I despised sweat. It was so GROSS, ewwwww. Today, though I have a new guilty pleasure: I desire sweat. Sweat and I have fallen in love…..and this is how I got there.

When I first started to work out at almost 250 pounds after my second child was born, I was my own worst enemy. I would work out and eat well one day and then have a bad day (eat some pizza rolls and ice cream) and let the ONE bad day turn into BAD YEARS. At about 26 years old I was told that if I didn't lose the weight I would be diabetic by thirty.

This is where the MAGIC happened. 

I committed myself to working out and eating healthier. I didn't want the quick fix anymore, I didn't cry when I exercised. I became a machine, I became strong, I became patient, and I lost 100 pounds. It only took me FIVE long years, (yup no Biggest Loser fast fixes in the real world folks) but I did it!

I didn't give up. I didn't let one bad day turn into shame, guilt and fat in which made me HATE myself. Sure I still have bad days, I’m not perfect. I recently gained back a few pounds, I hope its muscle but I’m sure it was the blue cheese fries and bread I recently indulged on in San Diego. The biggest difference is NOW when I have those days of imperfection, whether it is in my nutrition, physical triumphs or fails, or life in general I know anything worth while has to involve SWEAT. I sweat often, and I sweat proud.

Work Hard Ladies and Gentlemen, make every minute of your exercise count. Become a sweat machine. 

(Image courtesy of Fitness World on Facebook.)

 

Here are a few benefits of sweating it OUT:


1. Sweat is your body's natural way of removing toxins- Sweating helps remove toxins and disease from the system. Up to 30% of the body's waste is removed through sweat. In many countries, at the first sign of illness, a dry sauna is often the first step towards avoiding or reducing symptoms... a good sweat has the power to stop a cold in its tracks.

2. Sweating can improve cardiovascular health- When your body heats up and starts to sweat, you breathe faster and the heart works harder to improve circulation in order to return your body to a normal temperature. Regularly working up a good sweat can have long-term benefits for these reasons; your heart is a muscle, so you know it's getting a workout when you sweat.

3. Sweating helps you lose weight faster- Exercise is a key component in weight loss. Aside from all the physical benefits, as the body heats up through exercise, water-soluble fat leaves the body in the form of sweat. We've all heard people talk about "burning calories" and"melting off pounds"... little do they realize that really is what's taking place!

4. Sweating can beautify your skin- As sweat moves out of the body through the skin, it unclogs pores, and this in turn can help clear up acne and other skin conditions. Heavy sweating, when done regularly, can help to slow down the early signs of skin damage and aging.

5. Sweating helps to relieve stress- Endorphins are chemicals that are released by the body in certain situations such as stress, fear or pain. When you sweat from exercise, endorphins are released. This helps to not only give you that "second wind" or “runners high” to power through your workout, but it also helps to brighten your mood and lower stress levels. Passive sweating (such as from sitting in a steam room) can also be very therapeutic and has been associated with reduced levels of stress.



Monday, March 11, 2013

The Skinny, Horny, Happy Drug

Lets face it, we're all getting older and things have changed with our bodies; some things for the good and some that we want to replace with the former version. I don't have the same energy as I did ten years ago--that perky 23-year-old is just a faded memory and I wish I still had that same sex drive!

Many of my friends, who are also in their early to mid thirties, still have the same libido that they did while in college. I, on the other hand, feel like an old maid that would rather sleep than get busy under the sheets. The big question here is WHY have I lost the desire to get it on??   And better still...WHAT can be done to change things??

I've made changes to my lifestyle since my libido started to decline. I'm exercising more and have become Paleo; I've even changed my body (breast augmentation) to eliminate some flaws and, now, I feel better naked. However none of this seems to be working, so I turned to my doctor to see if she could help.

After discussing all of my medical issues, we decided to get my blood work done and check my thyroid levels. Everything came back normal (except for low vitamin D levels so I guess I need to get outside more!) which still leaves me with an underlying issue.  For this, my doctor prescribed Wellbutrin. This drug is an antidepressant that has some unique side effects, weight loss and increased sex drive. Woohoo!! It is known by some in the pharmaceutical industry as "the skinny, horny, happy drug".

As with all drugs, I suggest you discuss with your doc what is best for you. As for me, I'm ALL for it! Besides the interesting side effects, the main purpose of this prescription is to help regulate your mood, ease anxiety, and possibly help with fatigue issues.

I  started taking it on Friday when my doc personally called me with the results of my blood work (that's a first for me). I will update in a week or two, hopefully with positive changes to my mood and libido!

So tell me ladies.. Do YOU have any experience with Wellbutrin? What were the pros and cons for you?  What were some of your side effects and well, Did it make you Horny baby?

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's not a Diet, it's a Lifestyle!

We HATE the word diet, as a diet to most people is only a temporary change . . . We encourage you to change your lifestyle, as it is a change in your mindset, not just a change in what you eat!  This IS the way WE live.

We will have many delicious Paleo, Primal, Vegan and Vegetarian inspired recipes to share in the coming months. We all have different likes and dislikes that we will incorporate to give you the best possible nutrition for whatever fitness lifestyle you lead. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

He said what??

So, for my first post I had a sort of light-hearted, funny, out-of-left field kinda topic.  I changed my mind and, instead, I'm just going to share something sweet my 11-year-old said this afternoon.

As we were leaving his school, I commented on how dark and nasty the sky was.  Out of nowhere, he responds, 
"You know, Mom, we have to go through the dark and cold to get to the light."  (Mind you, my son is bright and he often says things that you may not normally hear an 11-year-old boy say, nevertheless this comment made me stop and smile.)

Now, I'm sure he meant it in the literal sense regarding the weather, but the way he said it... his tone was just very sweet.  I'm not sure where (or even if) he has heard that saying elsewhere before, but somehow it came unexpectedly and at just the right time.  I have had a few things on my mind lately (nothing dramatic) but what he said made me stop, think and smile. 

I suppose it's advice we all can use at some point in our lives.


Hi, I'm Kat and I'm a Vegan

Ok, so I don't normally go around announcing my veganism. It's not even a "thing" to me anymore, it's just what I eat; or don't eat. But boy, when it DOES come out, people gasp.

Why is vegan such a bad word? Some people look at me like I just ate their first born. Which I wouldn't do, of course, I don't eat meat.

So let me clear a few things up:

  • No, I'm not a member of PETA. Most of my bags and some of my shoes are made of leather. (Vegan hasn't made its way to other aspects of my life *yet*.)
  • Yes, I get plenty of protein, but thanks for your concern.
  • I'm not on a diet, it's just my lifestyle.
  • I eat things such as; Chick'n & Turk'y. Tofurky was the main course at Christmas dinner.
  • I'm not a hippy but I do make some damn good homemade granola.
  • I am still on the fence about honey. Technically speaking, honey is not vegan. But, it's a wonderful, natural sweetener and still finds its way into some of my recipes.
  • If you eat meat, I don't care, won't judge you and will never try to convert you to the dark side.

Well, I guess it's out there! I'm a vegan and there's nothing you can do about it. Please don't disinvite me from your barbeques; I can and will eat the shit out of some grilled veggies!!



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Paleo Banana Bread

This recipe was hijacked from our beautiful Stefanie Lauer. And it is AMAZING! Thank you Stefanie for the great yummy recipe!

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