I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’ve had a big project in the works, which is why I’ve been largely absent from this blog for a while. I’m working on developing some healthy baking mixes. They’re wheat-free, chemical-free and preservative-free.
I was having a conversation this weekend about healthy home cooked meals and how they can help you lose weight, and the topic of taking a home cooked lunch to work versus using one of those pre-cooked frozen meals came up. Preparing meals every day takes time, preparation and work, while buying the pre-cooked frozen meals are convenient.
Feeling a bit emotional tonight as I write this, so if you’re just interested in the recipe feel free to scroll down. You won’t hurt my feelings. You know the phrase, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Normally I dislike quippy stuff like this, but this one seems to be true. The Universe is doing its best to kill me, but I don’t think it realized I was such a tough bitch. I may be in the middle of a game of Whack-a-Mole (playing the part of the mole), but dammit, the Universe Will. Not. Win.
I had an ephiphany the other day. We’ve been all about voting with our dollars and purchasing sustainably farmed food. I found a California farmer who sells their chickens at Sprouts. Oddly enough, all of the local chicken farmers have been shut down because their equipment isn’t up to par. Sure, I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I suspect the big corporations are to blame. Anyway, I think the regular price for a whole chicken is $3.99 per pound, but they were on sale for $2.99. That made a $20 chicken come down to about $15. Much more better, right?
The term “free range” when describing chickens should be taken with a grain of salt. This term is not regulated by the federal government (not that that means anything), but basically anyone can slap a label of “all natural,” “free range,” or “grass fed” on a package without having to prove much. You really need to do your research. I found a company out of California that made claims of “free range” whose chickens are sold at Sprouts. It was more per pound, and after being duped by another company that has law suits filed against it for making false free range claims, I decided to do a little research before forking out the extra dough.
I’ve heard Paleo described as many things: radical, trendy, even dangerous. Frankly, I don’t see it. It’s radical to eat whole, healthy foods? It’s trendy to eat fruits, vegetables and meats that come from farm to table and bypass the factories? It’s dangerous to eat foods that make us more healthy instead of stuffing ourselves with chemicals made to look like a food? Well, if that’s the case, then sign me up for radical, trendy and dangerous.
I’ve made my fair share of Tilapia throughout the years. I mean, how can you beat paying $10 for a giant package of frozen fish filets? When I was counting macros, I loved tilapia because it came in around 100 calories per 4 ounce portion. A dieter’s dream, for sure. Since I stopped caring about that stuff, tilapia sort of became my go-to, get-dinner-on-the-table-super-quick meal.
I’m sure you’ve all been there… you buy something that sounds yummy at the grocery store but by the time you get home you have so many other tasty things to choose from that you just never get around to using it. That was the case with me and some apples. My son will eat them if they’re super fresh and crisp (so basically for about 3 days after bringing them home). These poor little apples sat in our veggie basket on the counter for over a week, and they were so sad you could almost see the tears welling up in their little eyes.
A week or so ago I was vacationing in Lava Hot Springs, Idaho when my girlfriend brought up doing a Ragnar. Their team was down two runners, which meant they’d all be running extra legs if they couldn’t get more participants. I used to be a runner. I ran track in high school. After I lost all my weight I loved getting outside and running in the Spring and Fall. Unfortunately I am not a fast runner, so the idea of doing anything more intense than a 5K, frankly, scared the living sh*t out of me.
When it gets close to Grocery Shopping Day, you’re sometimes forced to get a little creative with the meals you’re putting together. Even when I’m not attempting a Whole30 (and I’ll be honest, I haven’t made it through a full 30 days with full compliance yet), I still try to make as many of my meals as Whole30 compliant as possible. The biggest challenge I face is with vegetables. Not because it’s a problem for me, but because my family just isn’t hugely fond of lots of different veggies. So I compromise by adding potatoes at least a few times per week. I don’t know that this dish was a huge hit with my meat-and-potatoes guys, but I enjoyed it. And I roasted all the potatoes we had left in the house to go with it.
I got some of the coolest toys for Christmas. I can’t even decide which one is my favorite. I got a really sharp knife set, which makes cooking so much easier, and a Veggetti. I’ve wanted a spiralizer for a while, and now that I have one, I pretty much look for any excuse to use it. That probably means my family is going to get sick of zoodles and sweet potatoes in the very near future.
I’m telling you, every year around this time I end up completely off my game because I just feel lousy. I miss the sunshine. I miss hiking. I miss camping. I miss running outside. I guess you could say I am totally not a snow bunny. I kind of learned to ski last year (does going down the mountain on your back with skis in the air count as skiing?), but that only helped a little. I still miss my friend the sun.
Can I just say, I am so glad Christmas is over. It’s not that I dislike Christmas – when I was a kid it was absolutely my favorite time of year. I loved the peaceful, white blanket of snow that would cover my back yard, riding around in the car looking for Christmas light displays, and the magic of Christmas Eve after we opened our first Christmas present (always pajamas) and pretended to sleep, all the while listening for the jingle bells indicating Santa had arrived.
After a day like Sunday, I’m pretty sure the Paleo Police had a warrant out for my arrest. It was not a good day. In fact, I think I need to complete a Whole30 just to undo the damage done by my terrible food choices. I had a high-carb, low protein breakfast followed by nothing but snacking during the football game. The Broncos won, of course, so that makes me happy. But I felt pretty icky by the time dinner rolled around.
Let’s be honest – unless you’re doing a Whole30 or you really believe in the Paleo Police, you’re probably going to have pancakes from time to time. Whether they’re pancakes made from sweet potatoes, bananas and eggs, or a Paleo-ified version of a traditional pancake made from nut flour, there are times when a stack of pancakes just sounds too good to pass up. Personally I only make them every couple of months, but when I do, I want a good fruit topping instead of sticky maple syrup. That’s just me.
When I was kid, my dad would occasionally make Cornish Hens for dinner. It was such a treat, because we got one of these cute little “chickens” all to ourselves. I think they’re technically a two-serving bird, but it meant we each got a leg and a thigh – the parts we usually fought over. As an adult I’ve made Cornish Hens a few times. I’ve put stuffing in them before, but I prefer to stuff the cavity with onions for flavor.
If you eat Paleo, like ever, you’ve probably tried several different versions of a breakfast hash. I think it’s the cornerstone of a Paleo-eater’s breakfast. In my opinion, it’s the simplest way to get veggies in the morning. Like many people, I struggle with eating breakfast first thing. I have two reasons: one, I just can’t stomach food first thing, and two, it’s too early for veggies. The Whole30 people say if you can’t eat within an hour of waking, you should forego your coffee until you can. No deal. I’ll eat – but it ain’t happening until later. And I ain’t going without my coffee. So, I guess with that being said, I’m really not following the Whole30 program. I figure, though, it’s better to get a healthy breakfast two hours after waking than just to say, “This program isn’t for me,” and give up.
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