Soaking up the Summer! Roadtrips, Snack Food, and Insecurities!

Ok, so I know over and over again I have apologized at length about neglecting this bad boy.  Well, I’m done apologizing.  I realize I’ve taken quite the break from posting on here, but I’ve been very UNapologetically enjoying my summer and living life to the fullest!  I’m taking advantage of the precious few days/weeks that I have left before I go back to school and there’s nothing to feel sorry about in that!  If that irks you, meh, get over it!

As I sit here typing, I am waiting anxiously for morning to come so that I can embark on my roadtrip to Texas!  Some may think that it’s absolutely ludicrous to spend multiple hours in the car alone….I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT!  Sometimes it’s all dark and stormy for me to be alone in my own head on the open road, but I am in desperate need of this time to sort some stuff out!  Admittedly, I am really pretty apprehensive about being out of my own kitchen and my gym for almost two weeks.  But what the hell.  Life is about embracing the fear and giving it hell, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself at least!  Plus, I prepped some snacks for the road and packed ALL of my workout clothes as well as my jump rope and a kettle bell.  So really, I see that as preparing myself for success!

Before I get to food, I just need to say that my 10 year high school reunion was last weekend.  It was about as good as I expected it would be.  The hardest part of it for me was that I was THAT girl.  You know, the one that a ton of people had to second guess as to who it was.  I posted this picture on facebook on the morning of my reunion:

10 year change

The left side was taken on the morning of my high school graduation in May 2003 and the pic on the right was taken the morning of my 10 year reunion (July 2013).  It kind of set me back a bit looking at the comparison.  First, I guess I hadn’t realized I was that big by the end of high school, and secondly, I realized that I actually got quite a bit bigger before I started losing weight.  Anyway, this comparison photo was shared among several people and I got a ton of really positive comments on it.  Many of them somehow involving the word “inspiration”.  I have to admit that that particular word makes me really awkward.  I want my various passions to inspire people.  I want to inspire my students and those around me to continue their own education on whatever topics fascinate them.  I want my actions, purpose, and interactions with others to inspire those around to treat people better.  Yeah, I lost weight….a LOT of it.  And yes, I have done a complete 180 with my life, my choices, my social circles, my desires, and my needs.  To say that I’m humbled by people calling me an inspiration would be inadequate.  I don’t know, I’m probably just insecure.

Ok enough head case ranting.  I made some BOMB Banana Bread Granola for my trip tomorrow! Not gonna lie, the cooking time is gonna be a bit sketchy because my power went out towards the end of baking….so you might have to play around with the timing.  But the flavor is OUT OF CONTROL!! I swear, it tastes just like banana bread.

banana bread granola

Banana Bread Granola

  • 1.5 cups mixed nuts of choice, roughly chopped (I used pecans and cashews…it’s what I had on hand!)
  • 10-12 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 smallish very ripe bananas (I’m talking brown and spotty on the peel….that means they are SUPER sweet!)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat up your oven to 325 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are almost pureed smooth.
  3. Add in your melted coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt. Mix well to combine.
  4. Stir in your nuts, coconut, and dates….making sure you coat all dry ingredients well.  The dates will probably clump up together, just try to break them up as much as possible.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out your granola mixture onto the baking sheet.  Make sure it is in an even layer, and spread pretty thinly., no more than 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Bake for 40 ish minutes, stirring the mixture halfway through.  You want to bake until the granola starts to brown a bit and has dried out some.
  7. Remove from the oven and LET IT COOL!!  It is the cooling that makes it all “crispy” and granola like!  Due to the “wet” nature of this mix, it may never crisp up completely.  But I found that I really kind of like the chewy texture of mine!
  8. Once it has cooled completely, I stored mine in an airtight container in the fridge.

Such a sweet and delicious paleo treat!  Can’t wait to smash on this in the car!!!  With that, realize it may be a bit until I post another full out entry, BUT be sure to follow me on FaceBook and I will be sure to post tasty food pics of what I’m smashing on during my travels! And while you’re at it, check yourself….be an inspiration for someone.  Do it! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

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Salmon Patties for a Crazy Weekend

As I type this, there are 5 dozen freshly baked Paleo chocolate chunk cookies sitting on my counter….straight from the oven.  My mouth is literally watering and all I can think about is the smell of those damn cookies!  But on the upside, I haven’t had ANY of them…..so I’m sticking to my Whole30!  Boom.  Those broads at the baby shower tomorrow better eat every single last one of those cookies…..otherwise I’m giving them away.  There is NO way they are coming back into my house!  I’m not sure I could resist any longer….

This weekend was completely insane.  Yesterday was packed full of a great “mystery” workout, a fabulous nutrition seminar, some lunch with a rockin’ crew, then a wedding with a group of people I haven’t seen in WAY too long!  Today, I was up entirely too early and hit the ground running!  For real, I don’t know what it is lately, but I have been sleeping FANTASTICALLY!!  I’m chocking it up to the PurePharma Magnesium/Zinc supplement I started taking.  That shit is legit.  I’m kind of in love with it.  So I was a powerhouse today in terms of getting stuff done.  I cleaned my house, planned meals, mowed the lawn, had dinner at my parents’ house, went grocery shopping, and baked those damned cookies.  I’m tired just re-reading that.  Ugh.

On top of everything, it was abso-freaking-lutely GORGEOUS this weekend!  I opened up my entire house, I wore shorts and flip flops, and I got a little bit of color from mowing the lawn.  Heck yes.  FINALLY! It just better stay this way.  Or I’m going to become a stupid sullen teenager over it.  So yes.  Epic weather, epic weekend, less than epic post.  Sorry friends.

I made these salmon patties a while back and they were pretty awesome.  I got a little worried because they were kind of crumbly before they cooked, but they held together beautifully! Not to mention they were pretty delicious!  Anyways, I made another batch of them to snack on throughout the weekend because I knew it was gonna be crazy, and they got me through like a charm!

salmon patties

I topped mine with some of my homemade red sauce and served them up with some roasted veggies!

Salmon Patties

  • 2 cans salmon drained, get the higher quality stuff without a bunch of extra junk in it (I know it looks totally gross in the can…..just deal with it quickly and break it up, you can do it!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10-15 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure you incorporate everything well.
  2. In a deep skillet, melt down 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
  3. Form your mixture into patties.  I got 8 out of mine.  You want them to be a little on the thicker side, about 1/2 inch thick so that they don’t fall apart.  When forming your patties, be sure they are tightly packed…..or they will crumble!
  4. Saute your salmon patties in the coconut oil until they get a nice brown crust.  It’s about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Plate them up and enjoy!

You can eat these hot, cold, or anywhere in between!  In fact, I ate them all three ways this weekend!  Just make sure you store your leftovers in the fridge!  Here’s to continuing with high productivity and finishing out the first 30 days of my Cancun Challenge strong!!!  Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

You’re a Jerk! I know….

Yeah, it’s true.  I’m kind of a jerk sometimes.  For instance, I just put a status blast out on Facebook to tell people to save the date for our 10 year high school reunion….so that they have time to plan!  I just happened to also mention that I have gotten exponentially hotter since high school, and everyone just wants to show up to judge the shit out of each other.  It’s true, no sense in denying it.  That’s really all reunions are about in today’s world thanks to the great power that is social media.  I mean, honestly, I’ve kept in touch with people I’ve wanted to, I’ve creeped on people I’m curious about, and I’ve completely forgotten that some people even existed until they pop up in my list of “friend suggestions”.  The idea of a “traditional” reunion is just silly.  So we are renting out a bar/club for the evening, charging a reasonable cover, and having a good ol’ dance party with plenty of alcohol.  Yep, that seems about right.

Speaking of dancing, I’ve been completely obsessed with club/dance/electronica lately.  It’s totally bizarre.  That’s what’s been pumping in my car and on my Pandora at home….I don’t know what’s WRONG with me!?!  Perhaps this is my way of rebelling against winter and pretending that warmer weather is actually going to show up again someday?  I can hope.  Whatever, anyway, I’ve been pumping some pretty hard beats so I’ve been feeling really upbeat the past couple of days….to the point where I played some stuff in my classroom and a student just looked at me and said “Is this white people club music?!?”  Yeah, that opened an ENTIRE can of worms on the topic of race and music.  Have I mentioned that I love middle schoolers?  I’m being 100% serious with no sarcasm involved.  I mean, where else can you have a legitimate conversation about the role of race in music?  We all geeked out, got totally into it, and I’m pretty sure we all came out on the other side I bit more in touch with our own cultural biases.  Good stuff, folks.  Good stuff.

Ok, onto food.  One of the MAJOR things I miss since going paleo is beef jerky.  Like HARDCORE.  The stuff you can find that is readily available is pumped full of so much trash that it shouldn’t even be called BEEF jerky, it should be called Meat-like Chemical Jerky.  Gross.  Not to mention, the good stuff is so outrageously expensive that I would feel guilty about smashing on an entire package.  So….I created my own!  It’s kind of a labor of love, but trust me, it’s worth it!!!

beef jerky

This pic makes it look totally gross.  I promise, it’s delicious!!

Paleo Beef Jerky

  • 1 pound sirloin, or top round, or a filet….whatever cut of beef you get, you want it to be a leaner cut or trim most of the fat off (also, toss it in the freezer 30-40 minutes before you want to slice it up)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce (recipe for a Paleo version below!)
  1. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice your partially frozen beef.  You want to shoot for consistent, thin slices (think 1/8th of an inch).  You can choose to go with or against the grain, it doesn’t really matter but it will affect how the jerky chews when it is done.  Test out both and see which you prefer!
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a gallon sized ziploc bag.
  3. Add the sliced beef to the bag.
  4. Remove as much of the air as possible, zip the bag, and toss the meat around to coat it fully.
  5. Marinate in the fridge overnight.  I put mine in a glass baking dish, JUST in case the bag leaked.  You want to make sure you flip the bag over a couple of times during the marinating process.  I would marinate NO LESS than about 8 hours.  So it does require some planning 🙂
  6. After marinating, place the beef on foil lined baking sheets.  You can place them pretty close together as they will shrink up as they cook.
  7. Place baking sheets in a preheated oven set to 175 degrees. Bake for 3 hours.
  8. Flip slices over and cook for another 1-2 hours, or until beef is almost completely dried out, but can bend without snapping into pieces.
  9. STUFF your FACE!!  Seriously, I had to ration this out into small portions.  I plowed through it REALLY quickly….and am already planning when I’m making my next batch!
  10. If you manage to have leftovers, store them in the fridge…..preferably near the back where they are out of your sight line so they are not eaten immediately.

Ok, so regular Worcestershire Sauce is chock FULL of garbage……so here is a tasty Paleo version!

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or GF soy sauce if you are cool with using soy….)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground/dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan.  Slowly bring to a boil and the reduce heat.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cool and store in the fridge!  Or once it’s cooled….use it to make delicious jerky! Boom.

Alright y’all.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Make a double batch of this stuff.  Trust me.  You WILL thank me later.  Enjoy snack time! Peace, Love, and Paleo.

-Meister