Now Introducing….the WORST blogger ever!!

Seriously friends.  I’m a giant jerk.  I haven’t posted in almost a month.  To be fair, a WHOLE lot of big stuff has happened in the past three weeks.  For starters, I had my birthday!  Yay.  I’m officially 28, so I guess that’s exciting?  Also, school ended for the year, which is always a chaotic time. So let’s do a little review in pics of what I’ve been doing that has kept me away from all of you lovely folks.  Ready? Go! I’ve been….clean bruises

Beating the crap out of myself at the gym everyday!  Honestly, it’s crazy how easily I bruise.

wildcat 5k 2013

Hey look!  I ran a 5k at my school!  Plus, I didn’t die AND I took 12 minutes off of my previous 5k….that means I finished in just under 33 minutes.  I’ll TAKE it!

road trip selfie

I headed down to Kansas City for a brief getaway.  It was GREAT!  Love that city and I LOVE road tripping!  Speaking of, stay tuned for plenty of talk about my “Tour of Texas” I’m doing in July!

Lastly, and possibly the most important thing I’ve been doing….

yard drinking

Enjoying the HELL out of my summer break!  For real. I’ve been enjoying deck beverages, yard beverages, patio beverages, beverages with friends, with family, and by myself!  It’s been amazing to JUST RELAX…..which I don’t allow myself to do much.  I’m pretty sure I could get used to this!

As you can see, I’ve been a busy busy girl!  I know I’ve said it before, but I am going to post more often.  I promise.  No, I really REALLY promise!  Anyways, regardless of all of the awesome going on lately, there have been a few things kind of bringing me down.  One of these is body image.  I am convinced that I will always struggle with it.  Always, no matter how old I get, no matter how confident I become, it’s always lurking….waiting to pounce at one moment of weakness.  That’s all a different post for a different day….but be prepared, because I feel like it’s going to be coming soon!

On to food.  To be quite honest, I haven’t really been cooking much exciting stuff lately.  Just sticking to the basics of a piece of grilled/roasted meat, some veggies, and some fat.  Pretty boring folks!  But the one thing I have been mildly obsessed with is stuffing sweet potatoes.  It’s SO FREAKING GOOD!  Not to mention super simple!  So I’ll give ya a two-fer on recipes tonight.  I owe you…….big time.  So here are two of my beauties!

pulled chicken sweet potato jalapeno beef sweet potato

Garlic Jalapeno Pulled Chicken

  • 3-4 whole jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise (leave all seeds and ribs IN)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (just whack them with the back of your knife)
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion (you could use fresh onion chunks, I just didn’t have any in the house!)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound of chicken (I used chicken tenders….they cook faster, but you could sub breasts or thighs….the cooking time might be a bit different)
  1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, fill with 4-6 cups of water.
  2. Put ALL ingredients OTHER THAN the chicken into the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. When the water is at a rolling boil, carefully drop your chicken in. Turn the heat back to Medium and continue to boil for about 30 minutes.
  4. To test if chicken is done, simply remove a piece of chicken and split it apart at the thickest part. If it’s not done, just toss it back into the cauldron!
  5. When chicken is cooked through, remove from the pot and allow to cool before shredding by hand.

This turned out slightly spicy and totally delicious!  Not to mention, it can be used for any number of other recipes.  In fact, I scrambled some of the leftover chicken into my eggs the next morning!  Boom.  Plus, it was damn good stuffed into a baked sweet potato and topped with fresh guacamole.

Jalapeno Lime Ground Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion (could sub fresh…about 1/2 an onion, just didn’t have any!)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. In a deep skillet, brown your ground beef.
  2. When beef is almost cooked through add in the remaining ingredients and mix together well.
  3. Turn your heat back to Medium-Low and simmer your ground beef for 8-10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Taste, and salt and pepper as needed!
  5. Stuff it in a baked sweet potato and SMASH!

Alrighty, well hopefully I’ve gone and made a bit of amends……I promise not to desert you again! Plus, there will probably be a dessert of some sort coming soon.  I will be selling baked goods at a competition being held at my gym on June 29th, so I will be a baking MACHINE in the next couple of weeks!  Lucky you 🙂 Get out there and enjoy your summer! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

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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

Operation Cancun, commence!

Well folks, I am officially starting my “Operation Cancun” tomorrow.  It’s gonna look a WHOLE lot like a Whole90 with a few little tweaks.  First off, I’m going in on this bad boy with a friend from the gym.  She’s a GIANT motivation to me, and when she mentioned that she has not been able to finish a Whole30, I was immediately like, well that’s because you haven’t tackled it with ME as back up!  For real, they aren’t always easy, they aren’t always fun, but you learn a ton about yourself, your relationship with food, and your digestive quirks.  As weird as it sounds, it’s really enlightening.

Anyway, my Operation Cancun will look like this:

  1. I will be doing a strict Whole30 starting tomorrow.
  2. Days 31-88 (I fly out on day 89) will be completely clean on food, alcohol is another story.  I know already that there are a couple occasions that I will want to have a drink…..and I’m OK with that, it’s literally like 3 different events.
  3. On the rare occasion that I do indulge in a drink, it will be in moderation, and it will only be wine or straight Patron with some lime….no mixed up, sugared up crap.
  4. I realize that it’s not a “Whole90” if I’m drinking.  Don’t be a hater.  Deal with it.  My goals with this time around are not the same as they were when I initially did a Whole30.

So what are these goals I speak of?  Well, honestly…..I bought a bikini.  Like a legit bikini.  That hasn’t happened since I was about 6 years old.  I’m kind of freaking out about the purchase and completely regretting it…..negative self-talk has a way of creeping in.  So this time around, I’m doing this to get myself looking as awesome as possible in that bikini come beach time.  I realize how vain that is, and I’ve accepted it.  In preparation for Operation Cancun, I’ve taken “before” pics in the suit……don’t worry, they won’t be hitting the internet ANY time soon!  SOOO not ready for that!  However, there is a good chance they will be hanging in my bathroom so that they stare me in the face every morning.  I’m still debating whether I want to weigh myself or not tomorrow morning…..I honestly haven’t stepped on a scale in a couple of months, and I’m cool with that.  The data nerd in me wants a number to go off of though….we’ll see what tomorrow morning brings.

Before I jump into my recipe, the biggest tip I can give anyone wanting to do any variation of the Whole30 or to anyone getting into the Paleo life is to MEAL PLAN.  Seriously, there are a ton of great sites out there that can help with this.  Just do it!  It saves hugely on the decision making in the middle of a stressed out week, it saves money at the grocery store if you aren’t buying a ton of random crap you don’t need, and it really REALLY allows for food to be cooked and actually eaten rather than going bad and ending up in the trash.  I sit on Sunday afternoons with a notebook, a pen, and my brain….sometimes a cookbook or a food magazine and this is how I do mine:

menu planning

For real, it keeps me sane.  No technology involved….OG handwriting and chart making!

I’m giving you my breakfast recipe for the week.  I make a HUGE batch of this and then put it into containers for breakfast for the entire week.  That way it is done, and I have no excuses for not getting my breakfast in!

breakfast hash

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

  • 1 pound ground pork (or sausage if you can find it with no sugar and extra crap added)
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded (I used the food processor)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 bell peppers, I used 1 red and 1 green
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a deep, large skillet, brown your ground pork.  While it is cooking, season it with a small amount of each of your spices.  I also tossed in a small amount of ground sage.  Make sure you break the pork up while it is browning so you don’t have too big of chunks….unless that’s your thing.
  2. When the pork is browned, after 5-7 minutes, remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon.  You want to leave most of the fat in the pan.
  3. Toss in your peppers, onions, and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes or until they soften and become translucent.
  4. Add in your coconut oil.  When it is melted, top your veggies with your shredded sweet potatoes.
  5. Toss the shreds in the oil, then flatten them down into an even layer, covering the entire pan.
  6. Leave them ALONE!  You only want to stir them every 3-4 minutes.  Re-flattening them out into an even layer after each stir. You will cook your potatoes for 10-12 minutes.**
  7. When your potatoes have cooked through, become bright orange, and may even begin to crisp up and brown a bit, add back in your pork and the remainder of your spices.
  8. Stir thoroughly to combine everything and flatten into an even layer again.  Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to let flavors blend together.
  9. Plate up and serve!  I top mine with some fresh avocado and some hot sauce….it rocks!

**Time on this may vary depending on how deep your potatoes are layered in your skillet, how fine they were shredded, how soft you like your potatoes, etc. Just play with it and taste as you go!

Well, here’s to the journey I’m embarking on!  I’m somewhat scared about what I will be like when the reality of no “paleo treats” sets in…..God save us all!  Peace, love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Snowday (part 1) and a delicious Egg Bake

wine and gatsby

Yes, I realize that pic isn’t anything to do with a delicious Egg Bake, but it is how I intend to spend the remainder of my afternoon after this post! Today marks Day 1 of Snowmageddon 2K13, also known as Winter Storm Q.  Honestly, I think it’s completely ridiculous that we are naming winter storms now, but we can’t even get an epic name?  Just a freaking letter?!?  I feel cheated.  We could have had Quentin, or Quincy, or Quin, but NOOOOO, just plain old Q.  Whatever.  So far, I’m not impressed.  It’s snowing pretty decently, so we’ll see how much mayhem this entire system decides to drop on us!

Remember a couple of days ago when I said that I eat like total CRAP on snow days?  And that if I prepared ahead of time, I was much better off?  HAHA!  Yeah…..guess who still has eaten like trash so far today?!  Oh well, what the hell.  I’ve actually done better than expected.  Met up with a couple of friends for brunch at a rad little diner where I had a pretty bangin’ bacon and veggie omelet with a side of bacon, because really, can you ever have too much bacon?  I think not.  I drank about a pot and a half of coffee and just generally enjoyed their company.  It was nice to get out and DO something on a snowday, considering the pavement was bone dry until about noon when it started snowing.

After brunch I ran a couple of errands, got back home, put my pj’s back on and started playing around in the kitchen!  Which is always a fun way for me to waste my time.  I don’t want to totally spill the beans quite yet, but let’s just say that there is a freaking ridiculously delicious waffle recipe in the works and will be coming your way VERY soon!!! Feel free to curse at me, but as I sit here typing this, I’m drinking a glass of wine (at 4 in the afternoon) and I’m looking forward to hanging on the couch and doing some reading this afternoon.  I love snowdays…..so FREAKING MUCH! I’m super sophisticated, wine and Gatsby.  I get extra pretentious points today!

Anyways, onto a recipe.  I usually make some sort of large quantity breakfast dish so that I can split it into individual portions to take with me throughout the week.  I decided to go the egg bake route this week, because I have kind of burned out on sweet potato hash.  So this dish was born!  This could really be made without any additional meat of any kind, but I wanted to add some extra protein…..hence the addition of some salmon!  If you couldn’t tell, presentation wise, this dish looks really pretty.  So if you’ve got a brunch where you need to impress or entertain, bust this one out!

tomato egg bake

Sundried Tomato Basil Egg Bake with Salmon

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 10-15 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 8-10 sundried tomatoes, chopped (I used the jarred kind that are packed in olive oil)
  • 1 large tomato, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-6 oz. of smoked salmon, or 1 can pink salmon (if you are adding meat in!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
  3. Add in your onions and garlic.  Saute until they are translucent. (big word!)
  4. Add in your spinach, one handful at a time, until it wilts down.
  5. When that is finished, transfer it to the bottom of your baking dish that’s been brushed with a bit of olive oil.  I used a weird sized glass baking dish I found in my cabinet….it’s like a 6″ X 10″ that was like 2″ deep.  You could use a square glass one as well and it would work just as great….you just might have to tweak the baking time.
  6. Spread the veggie mixture evenly in the bottom of your baking dish.
  7. If you are adding salmon, evenly distribute it over the veggies at this point.
  8. Next, layer on your sundried tomatoes and chopped basil.
  9. In a bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut milk, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
  10. Pour your egg mixture over the entire dish of goodness! (Make sure you leave AT LEAST 1/2″ between the top of your eggs and the top of your baking dish, probably more if you can….otherwise you are in for overflow city.  In any case, I put a baking sheet on the rack under the dish while I’m baking it, just in case……nothing worse than cleaning an oven my friends!)
  11. Arrange your thinly sliced fresh tomatoes over the top of the dish.  Make them look all sorts of pretty!
  12. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top of your tomatoes.
  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Start checking at 30 minutes, keep baking until the middle no longer jiggles, even if that means it goes longer than 40 minutes. The time will depend on how deep your baking dish is.
  14. When finished baking, remove and let cool before you cut and serve.
  15. Enjoy!!!

This is a dish that can be enjoyed hot, cold, or room temp!  It’s delicious no matter what!  Feel free to play with additional proteins.  I just like the salmon because it really lets the tomatoes and basil shine through without overpowering them!

Time to get back to enjoying my snowday! Sending warm thoughts and food love your way!

-Meister