Birthdays and Bacon

Oddly enough, the two go completely hand in hand!  I’m sitting here, writing to you all on the eve of my 28th birthday.  I remember a time when I thought, “Damn! 28 is SO OLD!”  Ha.  Right.  Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t know how I feel about getting closer to 30, but I feel awesome about my age.  That being said, I feel like 27 is going to be a very hard year to beat.  I discovered CrossFit, went fully Paleo, and began reclaiming my life as my own while I was 27.  I traveled, I met TONS of amazing people, I launched a blog, and I have tried my hand at selling my Paleo baked goods.  For real, 27 was pretty stellar.  So, BRING IT 28! You had better be freaking awesome, because you have some major expectations to rise up to!

On to bacon.  I can’t express enough how much I love bacon.  Hell, I have a bacon figurine that sits on my desk at school that I refer to as my “boyfriend”.  Several of my students have commented that they are bringing me bacon tomorrow as birthday gifts.  That is just weird to me….and unless it is in an unopened package, will NOT be consumed by me.  I ain’t dumb.  I love em, but I don’t trust middle schoolers with food handling or prep of ANY kind and I don’t really want to spend my birthday in the bathroom.

Couple of exciting things are going down!  The first is that I will be selling my Paleo treats at CrossFit Artis during “The Duo” event on June 29th.  Check out their page for info!  It’s going to be an AWESOME day!  Not to mention, I’ll be there, slinging treats.  What can beat that?!? Nothing.  That’s what. Not a damn thing.

Secondly, I recently bought what I like to call “almost booty shorts”.  This is HUGE for me.  I can’t even begin to describe how huge this is….I mean, I spent the better part of my life HATING my body, especially my thighs.  Let’s face it. They pretty much dominate my legs.  Anywho, I’ve apparently begun to embrace them OR I’ve quit caring what people think, because after the one ridiculously hot day this past week, I put my foot down and went out and bought some shorts!  No more WODing in capris.  It’s too freaking hot! So yeah, if you happen to be around the gym and you catch me in spandex, deal with it.  I have, and they are kind of making me feel awesome…..so if you rain on that for me, I might have to punch you square in the face! 🙂

Back to bacon.  I made this bacon egg scramble tonight to eat for breakfasts for the remainder of the week, and it was SO GOOD!  Plus, it was stupid easy to make.  I know the picture kind of sucks, but trust me, get after it!

bacon egg scramble

Bacon Breakfast Scramble

  • 8 strips bacon, diced
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 bell peppers of choice (I used a little red, orange, and yellow) diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a deep skillet, cook up your bacon pieces.  The time will vary based on the thickness of your bacon, heat of the pan, etc.  Just be careful not to burn your bacon.  That’s a most tragic event.
  2. When your bacon is crisp, remove it from the skillet, leaving the bacon fat behind in the pan. Place it on a paper towel to drain some of the grease off.
  3. Add your peppers, onions, and garlic to your skillet.  Saute the veggies in the bacon fat for 5-7 minutes over medium high heat, or until they become translucent and begin to soften.
  4. When you veggies are cooked through, add back in your bacon. Cook together for a couple of minutes.
  5. Lastly, add in your scrambled eggs and your hot sauce.  Scramble the eggs into the mixture, keeping it moving around your pan so it doesn’t burn.
  6. When your eggs have cooked through, (3-5 minutes later) taste it for salt and pepper.  Season to your liking and serve!

I am planning on topping mine with some fresh avocado and smashing on breakfast like a CHAMP!  This is going to be a birthday breakfast of champions!  Enjoy your bacon, your thighs, and your birthday! Because I’m going to enjoy the HELL out of mine! Peace, Love, and Paleo.

-Meister

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Falling Off the Wagon

vote

PSA for the day: HEY! Get active in your local government! VOTE SUCKAS!!

Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it.  We’ve ALL cheated at some point when it comes to food.  Some times turn out to be more epic fails than others, but nevertheless, slips/choices/occasions/poor judgement/saying screw it HAPPENS…..and when it happens, you find yourself in your own version of guilt-ridden hell.  For me, that included eating potato oles from a Taco John’s connected to a gas station in Mason City, Iowa, wearing my sunglasses indoors and just generally hating my life.  So let’s recap where things went awry on my mini-vacay, and most importantly, how I’m getting back ON the wagon!

Planning ahead was what saved me on the first half of this adventure.  Knowing I had a 6 hour trip ahead of me, I stocked up on quick and easy things to take in the cooler in the car.  I packed some deli meat, some plantain chips, and some grassfed beef sticks.  I also, thinking I was being smart by doing so, packed some hard cider.  The thing is, I knew I was going to want to drink, and I knew I was going to want something “beer” ish instead of wine or cocktails, so I planned for a gluten-free option.  ALL WAS WELL!  My folks were totally cool with scoping out a place for our dinner stop that would have options for me.  Have I mentioned that they are awesome?  Well they are.  I got myself a salad with plenty of meat and fresh veggies.  Managed to keep it totally paleo on evening 1 of the trip.  Kudos to me!

Day 2 was AMAZING!  I watched my cousin Jamie graduate and got to enjoy the many festivities that went with that!  Food wise, I was a mess from the minute the day started.  The ONLY breakfast options even remotely OK for me to eat at the hotel were these egg omelet things that had cheese in them. I made them work.  Lunch ended up being super late, and eaten at a Chipotle….so that got me a bit closer to my paleo love.  Loaded up on meat and veggies and guac!  Then I proceeded to begin my descent into stupidity.  I started drinking cider.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  However, they were SUPER delicious!  Soooo delicious in fact, I chose to drink the ENTIRE sampler pack. Again, I’m an idiot.

crispin sampler

Yeah, those are each 22 oz. bottles.  I’m stupid sometimes.

Needless to say, the shit storm just continued from there.  Ate very little dinner because it was catered in Italian and I knew I didn’t want to touch pasta or it would be a disaster.  Little did I know, I was headed for disaster anyway!

So the cousins, the brother, and I decided to go out and enjoy some nightlife.  We were all very responsible and got a ride both ways.  Ain’t nobody got time for drunk driving.  NOT OK!  We ended up at a piano bar, had a GREAT time, and just had a fantastically silly evening.  It’s honestly been way too long since we’ve done that!  Although, I did realize I can no longer hang with 22 year olds.  It hurts too much.  I’ve moved well beyond that point in my life.

Fast forward to the next morning, and I was SICK!  I mean, super sick.  The revisiting your meals, sleeping on the bathroom floor, praying to God and swearing that you will never drink again, SICK! Needless to say, I was a disaster.  But again, since my Mom is awesome, she just kept saying, “I’ll come back in an hour and see if you are good to go yet!”  Oh yeah, this was also Mother’s Day, so I’m a complete A-Hole.  At some point, I asked my brother if he could perform an exorcism.  No luck there. So I loaded my sorry ass in the car, took some meds, drank a CRAP ton of water, and passed out in the back of the car……4 hours after our original departure time. About an hour later we pull into the aforementioned Taco John’s, my brother alerts me to the fact that I look like “a hot mess” and I proceed to smash on potato oles and a Diet Dr. Pepper.  Fixed my hangover RIGHT UP! But contributed to the continued feeling of grossness in my belly.

So, after all of this ridiculous rambling about my own stupidity, it has to be said that I at least know that I can ALWAYS come back to the paleo way.  Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve eaten as cleanly as possible. Loading up on lots of quality proteins and veggies in order to set my body straight.  Here are just a few delicious things I’ve made:

grill night

Little brother grilled the SHIT out of some steaks, asparagus, and zucchini! So good!

broiled salmon

Broiled salmon over a salad….eaten outside! Mostly because it’s too freaking hot in my house to eat inside…

So see!  Falls happen.  Hardcore.  It’s never too late and you are never too far gone to get back after it.  You are worth it, and your guts will be happy when you do! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Teacher Appreciation and Pepper Steak

appreciation

This is one of the most awesomely crafted phrases I have EVER had a student write about me.  LOVE this kid, and his way with words!

Not sure if you knew this, but apparently this week is all about appreciating folks like teachers and nurses.  It’s been a pretty great week, albeit completely crazy.  I feel like I’ve done nothing but look at my computer screen and work on paperwork and files, BUT about the time I start feeling like garbage about it, I get something like that pic above.  Faith restored.  Honestly, middle schoolers are the freaking greatest. Hands down.  They warm my heart.

You know what DOESN’T warm my heart?  The sound of my bank account screaming for mercy…..which it is doing a LOT of lately.  No joke.  Thank the good Lord I’m going out of town with my parents this weekend, or I’m not sure how I would eat.  Mostly likely I’d live off of homemade almond butter and canned tomatoes, because that’s all that is in my house.  Oh! And almond flour…..lots and LOTS of almond flour.  So if all else fails, I’m gonna be living on trash.  Great.  Naturally, what do I do when I have no money?  Buy concert tickets, DUH!!!  No but seriously, I put a pair on tickets on my credit card tonight.  I didn’t even blink an eye.  It needed to happen.  I mean, it’s to see She & Him.  They are pretty much amazing, and it’s at an outdoor venue….double win.  And the ultimate grand prize?  Tilly & the Wall is opening.  They may be my favorite band.  EVER.  EVAAAAAAAAAR!  So see?  I really had no choice.  Eh, that’s what credit cards are for, right?

I’m going out of town again tomorrow afternoon.  Driving up to Minneapolis again, but this time with the family.  We are all heading up for my cousin’s graduation.  It’s gonna be a blast.  I just love that city so much…..swoon! The kicker is that since Mother’s Day is on Sunday, I need to figure out how to make a 6 hour car ride home AMAZING for my mom.  Pretty sure it’s going to include a lot of leaving her alone……or singing to ridiculous musicals in the car, and giving handmade cards (because that’s all I can afford….).  Hell, I might even get crazy and write some EPIC Mom haiku’s for recitation on the car ride! I’m getting excited just thinking about it.

Speaking of Moms, mine is pretty awesome.  She was at the grocery store and noticed that they had grassfed beef….so she bought me some.  How sweet is that?  I mean, I think that’s pretty freaking adorable.  So this pepper steak is completely owed to her because she purchased the meat.  Love ya Ma!

peppersteak

Pepper Steak Stir Fry

  • 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 medium green peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium to large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound-ish beef, I used strip steak, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  1. In a deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil.  When skillet is hot, add beef strips and season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Stir fry until the beef is browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove beef from the pan.
  2. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan drippings.  When melted, add in your peppers and onions.  Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and cook until all veggies are beginning to soften and brown a bit on the edges.
  4. While veggies are cooking, in a small bowl (or a measuring cup) combine the remaining ingredients to make your sauce. Top it off with water to create 1 cup total of liquid.
  5. Add back in the beef to the skillet and combine well with the veggies.  Pour the sauce over the mixture and let simmer on medium until the sauce begins to thicken and coats all of the meat and veggies.  Depending on how high your heat is, this could take about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Bowl it up and smash!!

You could also serve this over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.  Any way you serve it, it’s gonna be delicious!  I suppose I should go think about packing for my trip and getting things all ready to go for another weekend away. Wishing everyone a great weekend, and don’t forget to love on your Mom! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Apologies, Insanity, and Crockpot Cooking

Holy CRAP!  So it’s been over a week since I’ve been on here…..my apologies.  For real, I feel like kind of a dick about it.  My life went from super calm and peaceful with seemingly TONS of down time to COMPLETELY FREAKING INSANE in the course of a couple of days.  I’ve just been all over the place, putting out fires left and right, and pretty much going into survival mode.

Couple of things to keep y’all updated and give you a taste of what I’m dealing with:

  1. Mexico is a NO go.  Which totally sucks.  Ultimately it was a money thing.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do, but while public education pays the bills, it doesn’t always allow for extra expenses…..like a trip to Mexico when the cost of an all-inclusive resort was grossly out of your price range.
  2. Subsequently, due to lack of Mexico trip and lack of funds…..the “Cancun Challenge” is also no longer going.  I am still committed to rocking the paleo way, but I’m allowing myself a drink or two at special occasions as well as a bit of natural sugar every once in a while.  That being said, MINIMAL cheats, again only for special occasions, and still never any gluten.
  3. The end of the school year is rapidly approaching.  As I sit here typing this, I have 14 days with students left.  In that 14 days, we have 2 fieldtrips, final exams, 6 parent meetings, final reports to write on 10 of my students, OH! and I have to find time in there to clean and pack up my classroom.
  4. Toss a couple of roadtrips to Minneapolis in there and I’m quickly becoming an over-scheduled crazy person.

Speaking of roadtrips, I escaped to Minneapolis this past weekend and it was glorious.  I hung out with some of my nearest and dearest guy friends, and had an amazing weekend full of epic deep conversation, excellent food, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, wearing sweatpants, and consuming mass amounts of hard cider and playing on playground equipment.  It was maybe one of the greatest weekends in a very long time!  Here are just a couple of pics from the weekend…..both food related of course.

   paleofail    cincofeast

Those Strongbows were purchased purely because they were the only cider available in a tallboy can….and that pic on the right is the EPIC Cinco feast we made.  It’s all topped off by some freaking delicious bacon avocado pico deliciousness that the boys and I just made up on the spot.  Out. Of. Control.  Did I mention I love those boys?  Because I do…..mostly because we got to cook together, drink together, and they indulge silly ideas like bacon avocado pico, microwaving avocados, and swinging on swings with a drink in your hand.  That’s friendship.  We also made sure to music bomb the bar we hung out in with plenty of Rick Astley, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Miley Cyrus.  Yeah, we’re those guys.

Enough rambling….on to food!  I am going to apologize in advance for this picture, because it looks really gross.  I promise, it’s so ridiculously good though.  I just suck at taking pics.  Not to mention this is SUPER easy.  I prepped it at night and let it cook overnight so it was ready in the morning.  Boom.  Instant lunches ready to go!

chickenpicatta

Crockpot Chicken Picatta

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
  • Juice of 3-4 lemons
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ghee (or grassfed butter if that’s your thing!)
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large pieces
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons capers, plus some of the liquid from the jar…about 1 tablespoon
  1. In the bottom of your crockpot, put your onions and garlic.
  2. Layer your raw chicken in on top next. Season it with some salt and pepper, to your tastes. (You could put your chicken in frozen, just add about 2 hours onto your cooking time).
  3. On top of your chicken, add your capers, lemon juice, and chunk up your ghee and make sure you evenly distribute it.  It’ll help it melt more evenly.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours.  If you are going to go longer than 6 hours, I would add in some additional liquid.  Probably 1/2 cup – 1 cup of chicken stock.
  5. Serve it up with some spaghetti squash and enjoy a buttery delicious CRAZY STUPID EASY meal!

There it is folks!  I promise to try to get on here more than once a week.  That’s just rude on my part, and I apologize for being a dick like that.  In the mean time, cheers to good friendships, good food, and letting out your inner kid! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister