Tag Archives: paleo

Breakfast Casserole

This is quick, easy, and delicious! (That’s what she said).  It takes a bit of prep and then I cut it into 6 big pieces and its breakfast for a week.  And it has all the tasty breakfast foods in one dish.

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Ingredient List:
3 big sweet potatoes
a bag of frozen peppers and onions
big bag of fresh spinach
1 package of bacon
1 lb of breakfast ground sausage
12 eggs

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Peel and chop your sweet potatoes into chunks and steam them until the are cooked.  While those are steaming cook your sausage in a pan.  Chop up the bacon and then cook it after you take the sausage out.  Keep all the fat in the pan.

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Then cook the spinach down in the fat from the meat.

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Cook the peppers and onions in the same pan after you remove the spinach.  Then start layering in the pan.  Potatoes on the bottom.  Cover them up with the sausage then the bacon.  Take your cooked spinach and add it on top.  Then add the peppers and onions.  Next, take your dozen eggs and beat them in a bowl and pour over the top.

Bake the whole thing in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Let it cool a little and cut it into 6ths (or 8ths whatever floats your boat).  Grab a fork and enjoy!

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Meal Planning + baby

I am lucky that Anthony eats pretty much everything.  He goes through spurts where he won’t eat certain things (this week its chicken) but mostly he eats anything and everything.  Thankfully, this makes meal planning pretty easy.  He eats what I eat.  I am back to meal planning consistently as of this week.  Someone does get a little impatient when he is not swiftly being fed (don’t mind the photo bombing cat).image2

For breakfast most days we do eggs and some meat.  Anthony has his at the gym (mostly because it entertains him).  I make him 2 eggs in a little circle and cut it like pizza (triangles) and he happily eats that in his stroller.  I also bring him lots of little snacks (fine motor skills, yo!); things like dried fruit, raisins, and plain chex (gluten free not paleo).  Then he has a bottle.  Can you say piggy?!  I do bacon and eggs and a protein shake when I get home.

Lunches now that it is just the two of us are often left overs from the night before, or sliced deli meat and avocado and fruit, or anything we have on hand.  Seriously, we do TONS of left overs.  When you make a whole meal and its a 10 month old and yourself it rarely gets finished.  This also makes lunch easy peasy.  Little man also loves him some uncured, all natural beef hot dogs.  He INHALES them.  Good kid food, still decent for him.

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Dinners, I typically plan to make 4 different dinners during the week.  On Wednesdays we still do family dinner and have mexican (fajitas, just the meat, veggies, guac, and pico); Anthony usually has a shredded chicken taco and sliced avocado, or he inhales off my plate.  We do left overs on the “non-fresh” nights.  No point in wasting food.  Here is what this week looked like dinner wise.

Sunday: 5 ingredient spaghetti squash pizza from paleomg.com (I added diced chicken for more protein).  This was also lunch most of the week.

Monday: Grilled chicken, cauliflower rice, and steamed veggies.

Tuesday: left overs

Wednesday: family dinner

Thursday: Seared scallops, sweet potato, veggies

Friday: Tilapia, veggies, sweet potatoes

Saturday: BBQ grilled pork loin and veggies

Sunday: more leftovers

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Since, I am trying to get food ready, entertain the baby, and keep the house in show ready condition we are living the simple life.  Going back to the basics is never a bad thing.  And really, Anthony doesn’t mind leftovers at all!  He is also seriously digging seafood these days.  Good news when we get up to Boston the seafood is sooooo much better!

As far as snacks go we do lots of fresh fruit, sometimes veggies, protein shakes (paleo protein, almond milk, frozen fruit), raisins, trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, whatever you please; I make a big bag and we have it all week), sliced avocado, sometimes a paleo treat like cookies or something.  Again, simple is good.  Things that I can throw in little containers is amazing incase we need to vacate the house quickly.

What are your go to meals?  What are the complex ones you love and are worth the time?  Next week I may get a little crazy early in the week but we will see.

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Train Wreck…

I won’t lie I have been eating like a horse…and not a good way!  Not counting macros, not even a little bit paleo, etc.  I have not been consistent at the gym.  2 weeks into the new lifting program my shoulder got sore, I kept working out, then it wouldn’t go over head.  My knee is jacked up for no particular reason (I suspect 4 months of nursing with my legs crossed under me) and I can’t squat well.  I have gained weight; by no means my biggest but not my smallest.  I am out of shape, I feel like crap, and that is reflective of my choices.  I’ve also started a new job and spent some good time on the road, which means I haven’t planned correctly and eaten whatever.

That is pretty much how I feel.  However, tomorrow is back to paleo.  I am hopeful that I have my supply and supplements regulated enough for breastfeeding that we should be ok, so fingers crossed.  Dairy has got to go.  Gluten has got to go.  I am hoping to go 100% paleo, but I can’t mess with my supply for it.  My backup plan is a bit of gluten free bread.  I am going to keep my macros at 40% carbs and make sure I get every bit of them in through veggies and fruit.

I also have to get my happy ass back to the gym consistently, because do you know what is easy?  Excuses are easy.  I can’t always go first thing in the morning anymore with my new work schedule.  Little man no longer sleeps as much, or through dropping weights so its 98% impossible to be there alone with him and actually WOD.  By 445 when others at the gym to help me I am exhausted or still at work.  I am committing to at least 4 days a week at this point.  If that means I need to drag my ass out of bed at 630 in the morning and go when the little dude is still asleep then so be it.  And I HATE the morning.

I will be tracking EVERYTHING on MFP; feel free to follow me over there if you want to see what I am eating.

In other news I’ve taken a new job, still in sales and so far its rocking’ my sox!  The little man is still little but finally made his way into the 1st percentile for weight at his 4 month appointment.  He weighed in at a big 12lbs.  The doc isn’t worried.  He is thriving overall and is fabulous!  He has the busiest schedule of any 4.5 month old I’ve met (read: we rotate who is watching him since hubs and I are both self employed these days).  Its like a jig-saw puzzle of who is going to have him when.  Don’t fret we’ve made him a google calendar.  Thankfully, we have the most amazing nanny in all of the land!

We’ve also started giving him baby food.  All paleo.  All homemade.  He is still getting 6 feedings a day of breast milk, and 2 feedings a day of baby food.  So far he has had sweet potato, chicken, and avocado.  Tomorrow we are going to give butternut squash a whirl.  This week also holds carrots and spinach!  We are mixing everything with olive oil to add some extra fat (problems I wish I had!).  Ill do a whole post on baby food paleo style!  He is pretty excited about it!

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And some extra cuteness just to hold you over.
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He has made best friends with Lady who is his protector!  She is the most tolerant dog ever.  A keeps yanking on her and she just sits with him patiently.

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Thats what I’ve got for now!  Posts coming this week on baby food, and an update on eating by the end of the week!  Since little man is now going down for the night around 930/10 I have until midnight (when I pump) to do whatever I want!  I am hoping to channel lots of that here, into food prep, and some relax time!

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Back to the Basics

I often get asked things about how I eat and paleo.  My sister has decided to make the jump to the paleo lifestyle and I am helping her set up for a 6 weeks strict challenge.  There is TONS of information out on the internet — some which is amazing and some which is total crap.  I composed this email for her regarding quick tips and tricks and thought it may be helpful to share here.  I’ve got her doing paleo with a 40/30/30 break on carbs, fat, protein with a little swing room with carbs and protein.

My sister has always been a streaky “dieter” and very much comes from the low cal/low fat train of though.  This essentially boils down to chemicals and no consistency long term; we all know this is about “can’t” which makes you want even more.  Did I mention she also started crossfit after being here to see the baby and me taking her.

The email:

“When grocery shopping/determining if food is paleo ask yourself the following:

1. Can I say all the ingredients?  If no then put it back.
2. Are there more then 5 ingredients? If yes put it back.
3. Does it grow and can it be eaten right from the plant? (Wheat grows but has to be processed before eating; squash grows and wont make you sick to eat it raw).
4. Did it have a face before being packaged? If it did then you can eat it.  Turkey slices came from the turkey which has a face; Tofurkey did not.
5.  If you can’t figure it out this way see the chart I sent you.
Stop with the low fat/fat free stuff.  Anything that says this was chemically enhanced to be that way.
You don’t want any chemicals.  No dairy, gluten, sugar (cane sugar, sucrose, cane juice, any other code the packaging uses to hide sugar)
EAT!  EAT EAT EAT!  Hit your calories every day.  Be more worried about going over some vs being under.  Keep your calories coming from the percent they should be (30% fat, 30-35% protein, 35-40% carbs).  When in doubt eat more.
DRINK!  DRINK DRINK DRINK!  There is no such thing as too much water.  If you need some extra flavor in there add in fruit, mint leaves, etc.  Do not use sweeteners, those stupid packets, etc.  You need a MINIMUM of 8 – 8oz glasses of water a day but shoot for double that.
Meal planning is important.  I used to do a spread sheet every week; write down every lunch and dinner then shop for the ingredients.  Pick up extras for snacks.  I did bacon and eggs every day for breakfast so I always got that.
Once you get comfortable make some new things — try them even if you “don’t like them”.  Look up paleo recipes online.  Make sure they are paleo — run the ingredients through the questions; just because its on the web doesn’t mean its right people put crap up all the time and call it paleo and it isn’t.
Ways to bump up carbs: veggies, fruits, lara bars (this generally wont be your problem)
Ways to bump up protein: meat (eat 4oz of left overs), deli meat for a snack, hard boiled eggs for a snack, left overs from dinner make for good snacks, every meal should have 8oz of protein (except breakfast if you don’t want to eat meat then — eggs and bacon will do, do not just do a lara bar and call it breakfast), every snack should have at least 4oz of protein.  Throw back a protein shake after you workout.  Protein shakes are NOT meal replacements.
Ways to bump up fats: avocado (its the bomb diggity try to like it, also a great add to salads), hard boiled eggs, almond butter, nuts (NOT peanuts).
This should give you the gist.  Read the interwebs but be cautious of what is out there — anyone can write a blog.  I could write that double chocolate cake is paleo it doesn’t mean it is.”
Once she has her 6 weeks under her belt we will work on desserts, and tasty treats and things that are still paleo.  (She reads this so my cover is blown and she’s going to ask before that I know she is.)
Lots of this information can be found in the about section in here or by scoping some old posts.  I am back using MFP officially to track things and hopefully keep the breast feeding journey on the right track while working to get some of those muscles back.  I am also thinking of adding a lifting plan; I am planning to use Cataylst Athletics 12 week program which can be found here.  I need to remax everything because they are way down so that is on the list for this week.  Fingers crossed little man cooperates and lets me lift and WOD like a beast.
Also here is my 40 week pic and 2 weeks postpartum.  I don’t know how it has already been 2 months.
And my goal to get back to my after picture:

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Paleo & Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is hard work you guys!  Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this hard.  I got super lucky and had a good pregnancy, and a good labor and delivery, and generally a really good baby.  I guess you can’t go 4 for 4.  Maybe because I wasn’t mentally prepared for it to be this exhausting; maybe because I never in a million years thought I would have supply issues, that Baby R would have sucking issues, or that eating strict paleo would cause a supply tank that took me 6 weeks to recover from.  However, it is something that was really important for me to try and do.  I have not been willing to quit because it got hard (although there have been hours, days, and weeks when I’ve sat here thinking how much easier formula would be).  Personally, I believe its the best stuff I can give Baby R so thats what I choose to do.  Again, this doesn’t mean that giving your baby formula is bad; I firmly think everyone gets to make that decision for themselves.

When we got home from the hospital my plan was to give it 10-14 days and then get right back on strict paleo.  Gotta drop that baby weight and get my butt back in shape…well that plan went in the tank around day 18.  Baby R was born at 7lbs 9oz and dropped to 6lbs 15oz by day 3.  He gained weight VERY slowly (read an ounce or two a week; our best week was 4.4 ounces).  It took me a month to get him back to birth weight.  At his 3 week weight check the peditrician we were seeing came into the room and said “He’s not a birth weight.  You need to breast feed him then give him 1-2oz of formula after each feeding…its the only way to fix this.”.  I sat there and cried.  I am not a crier.  I was devastated.  Clearly, I was failing as a mom and couldn’t feed my child.  How could this be the only option?  This was on a Tuesday.

After I pulled my shit back together, I was able to think clearly (on Wednesday).  I picked up the phone and called the Lactation Department at the hospital I delivered.  Of course they didn’t have an appointment for 6 days.  The LC (lactation consultant) spent 45 minutes on the phone with me.  We talked about food (and suspect that the quick diet change and how strict I was being probably decreased my supply), we talked about how often he was eating (I was letting him sleep stretches at night because he didn’t complain about being hungry), and devised a plan.

I added back complex carbs (my major pregnancy craving).  If my choice was eat strict paleo OR breast feed Baby R I would eat all the bagels and once things got on track figure out a plan.  The hubs was like its a great excuse to eat whatever.  When I went to the LC the following week DS was back to birth weight (at almost a month).  This was progress, slow progress but progress.  We re-evaluated the plan again.  I rented a hospital grade pump.  I was going to feed him, pump the “left overs” and bottle feed them back to him (supplementing but with breastmilk not formula).  I was also going to power pump once a day (in crossfit terms 3 rounds of 10 min pump, 10 min break).  I was going to make this work.  Well in 2 days he gained 2 ounces.  We were now seeing his actual pediatrician who is beyond amazing.  He asked what we were doing and I told him I went AMA on the formula plan and he looked at me and said “Good for you”.

Baby R in this past week has gained 7.2 ounces.  When we did his weigh in at the  LC I did a happy dance; they did a happy dance; it was dance central.  The other thing we changed…I took my 6 week old baby to a chiropractor.  They are wonderful.  and it has totally changed how effectively he is sucking.  They do not adjust babies like they do adults.  Its very light pressure and babies will naturally move to adjust themselves.  Its actually quite cool, and Baby R loves it.

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As far as paleo goes — after this past week at the LC we’ve decided I can slowly start incorporating it back in.  SLOWLY is the key here so that if my supply starts to decrease we can see what does it.  I am going to keep the slow rolled oats, white potatoes, gluten free bread, etc in for a bit.  I am cleaning up everything else for now.  Re-taking out occasional cheese, bagels, gluten, sugar, most processed.  Its going to be a slow road back and rushing it clearly didn’t help things.

I am also back at the gym.  I started lifting again this week.  My lifts suck!  My endurance is in the tank.  My hip flexibility is down the drain.  I have to keep reminding myself that I grew another human for 9 months, then gave birth to him.  I was WOD’ing pretty light from 6 months on.  I took 3.5 full weeks off.  Its going to take time.  I need to get my diet under control.  No straight sleep isn’t conducive for good workouts.  I need to be patient with myself.

It took me 9 months to gain the weight…its going to take me 9 to get it off.  Remember this no matter where you are in your journey and no matter what your goals are.  Time and patience are critical to any change.

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Massive Food Prep

As you can imagine with a baby due in just 2.5 weeks (when did that happen?!) there is lots to be done.  We are knocking things off the check list slowly but surely.  In no capacity have I eaten perfect or anything like it throughout this pregnancy.  Baby R seems to seriously hate meat (except bacon he is down for that).  He does dig a protein shake, bagels, eggs, and rootbeer .  The docs say my weight gain at this point is perfect but there were some struggles the first half to put on enough.  I am sitting steady at 22lbs gained.  I am sure some of that is fat and not muscle like it used to be but it is what it is.  Goal here: healthy baby.

Anywho, with all that being said my plan is to get back on the strict paleo train ASAP after baby comes.  I’d love to be back around 170 4-6 weeks post-partum when I am cleared to start lifting an things again.  I have some very smart mom friends who have said the first 7-10 days will be a massive blur and you will be in survival mode.  Ya know, the don’t know what day it is, can’t tell your ass from your elbow kind of survival mode.  So I’m going to go ahead and call that week a wash.

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Anywho!  In preparation for this I have put together about 3-4 weeks of freezer meals that are 100% paleo.  They are prepped, labeled, and in the deep freezer.  I did a trip to SAMs club and a trip to the local grocery store and then sorted everything by produce, meat, and other across my counters so I could find things quickly.   Overall, it was about 8 hours of prep work but totally worth it.

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Poor hubs came out and was like “did you buy the whole grocery store?!”  I am also figuring we will do lots of grilling when the baby comes because its North Carolina in the early summer and that is perfect grilling weather.  So here is the list of what I made (I stole lots from pintrest, random blogs, etc.).  If there was a non-paleo thing in a recipe I really wanted I either left it out or changed it up a big.  I also hate the flavor of apple juice so anything that called for that I used orange instead.  Same difference right?

 Cilantro Chicken – http://savegreenbeinggreen.blogspot.com/2014/08/make-it-monday-slow-cooker-cilantro.html

Shrimp Creole (I double this and used frozen shrimp — was just getting re-frozen) – http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/slow-cooker-shrimp-creole/

Pineapple Pulled Pork – http://www.mommypotamus.com/slow-cooker-pineapple-pulled-pork/

Apple Glazed Meatballs (I used ground turkey and doubled this up too; they smelled amazing) – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/paleo-apple-glazed-turkey-meatballs/

Chicken & Kale Soup (I cooked it all up, let it cool, and put it in a giant freezer bag.  Note to self: don’t leave bag sitting without closing it soup will go everywhere) – http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/chicken-and-kale-soup/

Mango Chicken – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/paleo-marinated-mango-chicken/

Shredded Chicken and veggies – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/paleo-shredded-chicken-with-summer-veggies/

Tomato & Squash Soup with Chicken – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/paleo-tomato-and-butternut-squash-soup/

Sundried Tomato Burgers (I again used ground turkey and doubled this up because burgers in the summer!) – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/paleo-sun-dried-tomato-and-spinach-burgers/

 Thai Chicken – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/slow-cooker-paleo-thai-chicken/

Pineapple Chicken Salsa Bake – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/pineapple-salsa-chicken-bake/

Garlic Herb Rubbed Pork Chop – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/garlic-herb-crusted-pork-tenderloin/

Apple Cherry Pork Loin (also a double) – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/slow-cooker-apple-cherry-pork-loin/

Mexican Pork & Sweet Potato Stew – https://onceamonthmeals.com/recipes/mexican-pork-and-sweet-potato-stew/

Those were the recipes I pulled off line.  I did buy huge pork loins so anything that called for chops I just cut them myself.  I counted up how much pre-cooked chicken I would need and cooked it all up in the oven with a little salt and pepper.  Then I pretty much knocked them out into bags 1 at a time.  I used 2 cutting boards one for meat and one for veggies, this cut down on some of the mess.  Every bag was labeled with cooking instructions.

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After that clearly I kept cooking.  I pre-did 4 giant bags of meat sauce.  All I did for that was cook up  4 lbs of ground sausage and then mix it with paleo spaghetti sauce.  When I go to use these I will likely just throw a big ol’ spaghetti squash in the crock pot with a cup of water for 4 hours on high, cut it open, deseed, and shred it.  Easy and takes 5 minutes of work now.

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I also picked up 2 whole chickens at the store.  These will land in my crock pot or oven at some point with any random seasonings I grab.  Again easy peasy!  And I take the left over chicken and make chicken salad!  So 2 chickens gets me 2 full dinners and a few days of lunches.

I cut down some of the pork loins into 3lb pieces.  I will make BBQ with them.  Again, throw in crockpot with some liquid (chicken broth, wine, beer, water, whatever works), a little salt and pepper and cook on low for 6 hours.  Shred apart with 2 forks and dumb BBQ sauce over them.  I do make my own BBQ sauce and can it a few times a year so we have tons of it!  Super handy.

I also pre-did 2 full meals of “Mexican Chicken”.  This is just uncooked chicken breast and salsa.  Defrost, throw in crockpot on low for 5 hours.  I usually make this with some cauliflower rice and serve.

I bought a few packs of italian sausage and a few bags of frozen peppers and onions.  Quick and easy!  I also got a few packs of burger patties to throw on the grill.

It was a lot of prep work but it will be worth it when my brain stops working and dinner is already pretty much done.  It will require me to remember to take the food out to defrost.  I also figure we will have family and things visiting and those all turn into grill nights.  Any of the stuff above I will serve with some veggies (probably steam fresh) and maybe some sweet potato.

I did pre-load everything into excel.  Then made my grocery list from that.  It probably took me 2 hours or so and it was done.  I did this sitting in front of the tv watching the DVR one night.  I also made the grocery list in excel so I could sort alphabetically by item and as each recipe called for something I just went to it if it was already on there and increased the amount.

That my friends is some serious meal planning!  Coming soon: birth plan plans, nursery remodel, WOD update, and a few other things I have planned all which hopefully will get done pre-baby!

To hold you over here is a sneak peak at one maternity picture shot from the weekend.

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Slacker status!

Put me down for slacker status!  I don’t know how its already been 2 months.  Can I blame that I’ve been busy growing this human?  I’ve got a bunch of random updates for ya!

Lets start with the important stuff.  Crossfit!  I am still crossfitting.  I’ve scaled some weights but generally carrying on as usual at 25 weeks.  My times are definitely slower (see diet update below), and there are days when I get super frustrated because my body won’t do things it used to.  Honestly, squats have been my biggest issue.  I’ve got some pelvic soreness and I am way forward thanks to gravity (and boobs that have shown up).  Pull ups have also gotten real tough.  I am doing them as skill work and using a thin band for WODs.  I am also still coaching my regular 5 days a week and lots of our people are gearing up for a competition in January.  It’ll be my first year not competing there since I started crossfit…that will be for next year.

Diet — well there is train wrecks and that is the best descriptor of what I can say it is.  Pregnancy and paleo have not gotten along well.  The baby seems to HATE meat.  Read: I eat it, it hits my stomach, it comes right back.  The later in the day the worse it is.  I’m very guilt of hitting some of my old pre-paleo favs…complex carbs, mostly in the form of bagels.  I am trying to cut that crap out again now; better late then never right?!  And let me tell you me, the strictness of the paleo around this place once baby is here will challenge that of the rules of a nun in Catholic school.  Anywho, we will be cleaning things up around here.  I can also say when the crash and burn has happened its been pretty gluten free still so at least I can get some food in me.  I am up about 12-15lbs total which is pretty good at 25 weeks.  So I will take that and continue to combat the love handles brought to you by diet.  This again proves its 90% in the kitchen and 10% in the gym.

Baby – is a boy!  His name will be Anthony.  I can’t believe 25 weeks have already gone by and there are just 15 weeks to go!  Overall I’ve been lucky and have had a pretty easy pregnancy.  I generally feel good (minus acid reflux and some pelvic pressure).  Our amazingly generous families purchased all the big stuff we need for Christmas (nursery furniture, pack n’ play, stroller, car seat, etc.).  My house now looks like Babies R Us threw up in here.  We have started the nursery and I can’t wait to post update pictures.  We are doing lots from scratch and it is coming along nicely.

Goals – I am not a big one for resolutions, mostly because I think they are crap.  But I’ve set a few goals for 2015.
1.  Clean up our diets around here effective now!  Go back to strict paleo after baby is here.
2.  Get back in the gym (if all goes well) in 4-6 weeks after he arrives.
3.  Have a healthy baby boy! (The most important).
4.  Compete again in October and have dropped all the baby weight by then.
5.  Learn to ask for help when I need it especially after Anthony is here.
6. Update here more (isn’t this always on my list?).  The goal is once a week at least.

What are your resolutions/goals for 2015? Are you competing anytime soon?  Doing the open?  Tell me whats up!

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