|October 15, 2013||Posted by Sarah under Food, Paleo, Recipes|
I’m getting bored with what I’m eating on this paleo challenge. There are only so many times one can eat carnitas or grilled chicken before the pizza cravings start back up again. And yes, I have been indulging a
lot bit lately, so I need to get a more creative with my meals to keep me on track and away from cupcakes.
On Sunday when I opened my freezer to see what I could defrost for dinner, I saw Italian sausage and chicken breasts. Now my old go to recipe for Italian sausage is a delicious sausage soup, but it includes lots of orzo…not paleo. Plus it has a tomato base that always gives me crazy heartburn. So what to make? I started scouring my favorite paleo recipe sites but didn’t find anything appealing overly appealing. I then Googled “sausage stew” to see what would come up and saw a recipe for a chicken and sausage stew on the Food Network website. I didn’t love the recipe and knew I could create with something better using the basic idea. So here’s what I came up with:
Looks good right?!? And let me tell you…it WAS! Seriously, I surprised myself. I’m calling this a “stew” because it has the makings of a good hearty stew, but it’s still on the lighter side. It’s full of chicken, sausage, carrots, onions, kale, tomatoes…YUM! And the best part is that it was super easy to make…perfect for the cold months ahead!
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 large carrots
- 1 onion
- 1 t dried thyme
- 1 t dried oregano
- 2 T coconut flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 14 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
- 6 cups kale
- Kosher salt
- 1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and season with salt & pepper
- 2. Heat olive oil in a large pot
- 3. Add chicken and sausage to pot and cook through, 8-10 minutes
- 4. Remove meat with a slotted spoons
- 5. Add carrots, onions, thyme, oregano, salt & pepper to the reserved fat in the pan and cook until onions are translucent, 8-10 minutes
- 6. Add meat back to the pot and coat mixture with coconut flour
- 7. Add stock and tomatoes, cover and bring to a boil.
- 8. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes
- 9. Remove lid and continue cooking for 15 minutes
- 10. Add kale and cook for another 15 minutes
- 11. EAT
This dish would be great with chicken thighs for a heartier flavor and go nuts with the veggies…the more the better! I made some roasted sweet potatoes to go along with this and that was the perfect side. Get creative and let me know what you try!
|October 9, 2013||Posted by Sarah under CrossFit, Fitness, Food, Health & Wellness, Paleo, Paleo Challenge, Running|
Well week 3 was VERY different from the first 2 weeks. I started off the week great and ended it up in flames with a beer in one hand and banana fritter in the other. If you’re gonna go down, do it right!
Let’s start with the positives….exercise. Early in the week, I got 2 PRs that I was really psyched about! The first was a 5# increase to my dead lift. I didn’t quite make it to my goal of 230# because my back was feeling tight and we had 70 lighter dead lifts later in the WOD. But I’ll take that 225# with pride! I also increased my strict shoulder press PR by 4# to 74#. Being the girl who never had any upper body strength…that’s a big deal!
Then later in the week I headed down to Walt Disney World for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend. Not only did I run 10 miles and get this awesome medal:
But I did a TON of walking around the parks! Not only is Disney always a super fun vacation, but it’s great exercise. Check out my FitBit stats:
Both Saturday and Sunday include the 10-Miler since the race started at 10:00 pm, but subtract that and you have around 18 miles of walking in 3 days! It’s a great way to burn off all of the not so good for you food that you consume while there, which leads me to the negatives for the week…the food & drink.
Serious Paleo Challenge FAIL. I knew this was going to happen since this trip was booked before I started the challenge, but I really fell off the deep end. Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is going on right now and it is my most favorite time of year. How can you go wrong with strolling around World Showcase sampling food and drinks from all over the world?!?! So I did just that, I ate and I drank, then ate and drank some more. And you know what? I really have NO guilt about it. I had so much fun that I am ok with a few days off track. RAD Living is all about balance and I would’ve been miserable if I didn’t enjoy myself with my friends. So I had a blast and we’re moving on…
However this weekend has put me in a bad spot for the challenge. I’m now only doing 17% better than the rest of the participants, compared to an already not very impressive 39% last week…yikes!
Basically all I can do is just get back on track this week and do my best. It’s a new week! At some point I have to get in WOD 5, which is a combination of power snatches, kettlebell swings, ring rows and box jumps….should be interesting.
|October 1, 2013||Posted by Sarah under CrossFit, Paleo, Paleo Challenge|
Week 2…not a big fan of week 2. The lack of energy I experienced in week 1 carried through into last week and actually got worse. Towards the end of the week I was actually getting light-headed and my vision was getting blurry. That made me a little nervous. I also found myself to be VERY hungry.
So after 5 days of strict Paleo, I decided to throw caution to the wind on Friday and listen to my body. I ate bread, a small amount of cheese, potatoes and had a few cocktails…I basically stuffed my face and I felt GREAT! I’m not really sure what that means, but all I know is that it helped.
When the challenge started, our coach asked us to monitor our calories for a few days and look at our macronutrient consumption. What’s a macronutrient you ask? Well they are the 3 main sources of food that provide energy: protein, carbohydrates and fat. The percentage of each macronutrient you consume depends on your body type and your weight. Here is more information on how to calculate all of this that he posted on the CFM blog:
Body Type description and macronutrient estimates:
Ectomorphic – Naturally thin and skinny limbs -(thyroid dominant, fast metabolic rate, high carb. tolerance) – protein: 25%, Carbohydrate – 55, Fat – 20%
Mesomorphic – Naturally muscular and athletic build -(testosterone dominant, moderate carbohydrate tolerance). Protein – 30%, Carbohydrate – 40%, Fat – 30%
Endomorphic – Naturally broad and thick – (Insulin dominant, slow metabolic rate, low carb. tolerance) – Protein – 35%, Carbohydrate – 25%, Fat – 40%
Determining Caloric needs:
To determine calorie needs, match your activity level and goals to the below information. This will lead you to the right equation for your goals. Once you found the equation, multiply your bodyweight in pounds by the given multiplier. This will yield you your daily caloric estimate:
An example of how this works:
140 lb., moderately active woman interested in fat loss would begin by taking in between 1680 (140 lb x 12) and 1960 (140 lb x 14) cal/day.
Sedentary (minimal exercise – 2x/week) fat loss = 10-12, weight maintenance = 12-14
Moderately active (3-4 x a week), fat loss = 12-14, weight maintenance = 14-16
Very Active (5-7x a week), fat loss = 14 – 16, weight maintenance = 16-18
Once you determine your proper caloric intake use the first chart above to determine your body type and the proper macronutrient split. Then calculate your proper split for proteins, carbs., and fats for the day.
Ok so according to this I’m Endomorphic and I need to consume 2,300 – 2,700 calories per day for fat loss. That’s A LOT of calories!! When I recorded my calories for the first few days, I was only coming in around 1,900, but that felt like it was more than enough. I guess not when you consider the amount of exercise I’ve been doing. Sounds like it’s time to get eating!
I’m going to keep trying my best at this diet, but if my body tells me it needs something I’m going to eat what I feel is necessary. I’ve already dropped to only being in the top 39% when it comes to diet in the challenge, so clearly I have no aspirations of winning 😉
Now, let’s move on to the workouts! I actually really enjoyed WODs 3 & 4 compared to the suck fests that were WODs 1 & 2.
WOD 3 – The Hang Power Clean Sprint (Level II)
Time Limit: 5 minutes
- Descending ladder of hang power cleans, 65# (10-8-6-4-2)
- Ascending ladder of shuttle sprints in 10m increments (20m-40m-60m-80m-100m)
The rep sequence begins with 10 cleans and a 20m sprint, proceeding through the ladders until complete.
A 5 minute time cap? That’s not a lot of time at all! Level III had 95# cleans, which I could’ve done but not quickly so I opted for Level II. I was pretty confident that I could finish in under 5 at 65#. And I did! I moved through this WOD fairly easily banging out the first 2 sets of cleans and the shorter runs. By the 6 reps of cleans, the bar started feeling heavy but I kept it steady. I think the worst part was the last 100m run. I felt like I was moving in slow motion as my quads were starting to burn out. In the end, I finished in 4:25 and was VERY happy with that!
WOD 4 – The TT2B Chipper (Level II)
Time Limit: 10 minutes
- 50 Thrusters, 45#
- 50 Ab Mat Sit-Ups
The athlete must complete all 50 Thrusters before moving on to the next movement.
This WOD is called TT2B because Level III has Toes to Bar instead of the the Ab Mat Sit-Ups. I can barely get one T2B, which is why I opted for Level II.
Before the WOD, I warmed up with the class and did the first part of the workout which was overhead squats and 1 1/4 front squats. I hit a new overhead squat PR at 85# and warmed up my legs with some 95# front squats. Now bring on those thrusters. 45# is pretty light for me, but I still wasn’t sure how long 50 of them would take. I was shocked that I did 20 in about the first 45 seconds…whoa! My problem with thrusters is that my wrists start to hurt after a while, even when I where wraps. So after the initial 20, I had to take a break every 10 reps and shake my wrists out. I ended up finishing all 50 in 3:30…not bad!
Besides making me a little dizzy from all the up and down, Ab Mat sit-ups are no big deal and I got through all 50 of those at a steady pace. My final time was 5:42 and I was VERY happy with that. Like I said, I really didn’t know what to expect and I was concerned I might not finish within the 10 minute cap…clearly that was no big deal.
Last night, I made these great Turkey Curry Meatballs for dinner to start the week off right…YUM! After 2 cheat days this past weekend, I’m back on track for the rest of the week until Friday when I head to Walt Disney World for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler and to indulge in the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. All bets are off there!
So goals for this week are to eat more, eat smart and work hard. It’s a testing week and I’m hoping for a new dead lift PR tonight…let’s go for 230#!!
|September 24, 2013||Posted by Sarah under CrossFit, Fitness, Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Paleo, Paleo Challenge|
One down, seven to go. I have to say that I’m not finding the switch to the Paleo diet all that difficult since I’ve been trying to eat clean since July. However I would allow myself a few cheats on the weekends along with cocktails, so this time it’s definitely much more strict. I was actually very proud of myself when B and I went out for lunch on Sunday and I ordered a burger with no bun and no cheese and substituted a salad for fries. That’s will power right there!
It was actually pretty good! I might have missed the sweet potato fries a bit, but I’ll live. For the challenge we only have to record if our meals were CLEAN or CHEAT. That’s pretty easy! Here the run down of Week 1:
- Monday – Clean
- Tuesday – Cheat meal for B’s birthday dinner
- Wednesday – Clean
- Thursday – Clean
- Friday – Clean
- Saturday – Cheat meal for our anniversary dinner, plus numerous cocktails that evening
- Sunday – Clean
Ok not too bad for the first week considering all of the celebrations. My goal this week is to get all the way through without one cheat. I know Friday is going to prove to be hard for this since I generally like to unwind after a long week at work, but I’m going to try my hardest. Meal planning has been the key to making this work for me. On Sunday I grilled up a big batch of chicken and today I have more carnitas in the slow cooker…I really can’t get enough of those! I also plan on making some Curry Turkey Meatballs later this week.
As for noticeable changes, I haven’t seen many. But the two things that are standing out the most are my improved sleep and my lack of energy. Sleep has been great and I’m definitely going into a deeper sleep than I have in quite some time. Waking up feeling resting is really nice, but I do need to get MORE sleep. Closer to 8 hours would be ideal.
The lack of energy I’m experiencing is frustrating, but apparently it’s normal for the first few weeks of the challenge. I had a horrible WOD yesterday and just felt an overall sense of weakness. Not fun. I still have one more challenge WOD to do this week (read the recap of the 1st two here) and hopefully I will feel a bit better to bang out a good time. This one is The Hang Power Clean Sprint, a 5 minute time cap consisting of:
- Descending ladder of hang power cleans (10-8-6-4-2)
- Ascending ladder of shuttle sprints in 10m increments (20m-40m-60m-80m-100m)
I will once again be doing Level II, which is 65# for the cleans. I’m just hoping I can get all this done in 5 minutes…I’m pretty sure I can.
So far the challenge has been really fun and it’s been great to have a great support group at the gym. For some reason it is easier to do these things when you’re not alone, plus there are other out there to hold you accountable. Bring it Week 2…I’m ready!
|September 19, 2013||Posted by Sarah under Food, Paleo, Paleo Challenge, Recipes|
I think I might have a slight pork obsession, especially when it’s slow roasted, tender and covered in guacamole. I recently had some delicious carnitas while in Disneyland at Tortilla Jo’s and I have been dreaming about them ever since. So imagine my excitement when I came across this recipe for Slow Cooker Carnitas from Paleo Foodie Kitchen.
Knowing that I was starting the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge this week, I scoured the web over the weekend looking for easy, high-volume recipes that I could eat all week so I wasn’t tempted to eat bad things. I have to admit I’m a bit scared of my slow cooker because I always think I’m going to come home to my house burned to the ground and my cats wandering around outside aimlessly, but it really makes some of the BEST meals!
This recipe was so easy to throw together in the morning before work and I can’t even begin to tell you about the delicious smell in the house when I got home! Let’s dive in!
I sliced the onions, crushed the garlic, defrosted my stock and combined all the spices the night before so all I had to do in the morning was pour everything in the cooker.
I turned the pork around in the liquid a bit to coat it, popped the lid on and set the cooker to low for 8 hours. I told the cats to keep an eye on it and went to work. About 10 hours later, I returned to this:
Oh man! That thing really shrunk, huh? I removed the pork and it basically just started falling apart. I took 2 forks and was able to simply shred it apart.
I strained the liquid through a fat separator (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets!) and poured out all of the porky goodness.
If I wasn’t so hungry, I would’ve reduced this down a bit to make a thicker sauce, but that didn’t happen. But it is still in my fridge waiting to be reduced 😉
For accompaniments, I chopped up some tomatoes, onions and cilantro and quartered some limes to squeeze on top. I also made a quick guacamole of smashed avocado and lime juice.
This is SO DAMN GOOD! If I keep finding great recipes like this, I should have no problem sticking to this Paleo Challenge!
What is your favorite slow cooker recipe? Are you scared to use yours?