Sunday, May 4, 2014

Faces of Insanity.

My last post had my first Selfie, day 1 of Insanity, Plyometric Cardio Circuit. Let's see what the rest of the days have done to me, shall we?

April 15:

April 16:

April 17:

April 18:

April 19 - Rest Day 

April 20 (are those shoulders getting more defined?? Thank you, moving pushups)

April 21 - Rest Day

April 22:

April 23:

April 24 (determined):

April 25 (no idea why I'm looking so happy!):

April 26:

April 27: Rest day (and by rest day, it means still a long hike with Jackson)

April 28 (I was NOT feeling it, but pushed "play" and dug deep):

April 29 - Hannah was sick, doctor appointment, stressful workday = no insanity :(

April 30:

May 1 (I think I'm loving it, in my sick, sick way):

May 2 (Did I say I was loving it???):

May 3 (Fighting off a cold, but pushing play anyway):

I think this cold is getting the best of me, and today (May 4) will be a rest day, but perhaps a bonus pic instead? Here's a full shot a couple weeks in. NO WHERE *NEAR* where I need to be, but really going to push myself for the next 6 weeks.


I have clearly failed at keeping up with posting all of my food escapades. I have a million pictures and recipes I need to get posted and this will be coming. BUT, for the past 16 or so days, and for the next 44... My main focus is.... INSANITY. I have finally bit the bullet, so to speak, and am knee deep in Shaun T's Insanity. My back is kinda sore, my knees are kinda sore, it hurts to do most things, and I am loving it. I have been taking pictures of myself each day as I finish, and going forward, I plan to post on a more daily basis.

Thoughts so far? No way would I have even gotten to day 16 before if I hadn't been doing Crossfit. And not because Crossfit got me fit (it did), but because it made me mentally strong. I had never been mentally strong when it came to physical activity before (that's a whole other post), but I am now. When Shaun T yells at me to DIG DEEPER, I DIG DEEPER!!! SSSSSSGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Here's a pic of me the first day in, 4/14/14.

And yes, I have a post-workout face pic for every day of the workout so far. I think in my next post, I'll get you all caught up and then post a new one each day. I also took full body shots, but not quite sure those are something I want to share... yet. Anyway, this was Plyometric Cardio Circuit, and it kicked my ass.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My own master tonic

The internets have been ablaze lately with recipes for "master tonics" that help with colds, flus, and general malaise. After a recent trip to Chuck E. Cheese, I suddenly found myself in need of something. Since I'm still nursing, all the usual over the counter drugs are a no-go, so I started looking into natural options.

After reading different recipes, I ended up with the concoction below - which is mostly just what I already had on hand. Next time, I would use fresh ginger of course, and maybe add some hot pepper/cayenne, which I totally forgot about until now. But seriously, I took this as a big shot and it basically took my sore throat away instantly. I had those vague body aches too and it suddenly felt like I drank a large coffee and was ready to go go go. I'm going to work on perfecting the recipe and actually getting a picture of it next time - I got too excited this time around and just downed it. I used:

2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered)
1-2 tablespoons of local raw honey
Half a large meyer lemon
1 teaspoon ground organic ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric

I swirled it all together in a jar with lid and downed it. Magic.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bone Broth (again)

I can't find enough words to convey my love for bone broth. I started making varieties of it earlier this year, around February. That was when I had committed myself to losing the baby weight (and then some), while not breaking the tiny sad very small figurative bank. So while looking at low carb, cost saving recipes, I started reading about saving your chicken bones to make stock. Great. I tried it once and realized right away that I liked the broth more than the poor roast chicken itself. So I started reading more about it and realized what a miracle this stuff is. Since the first batch of chicken bone broth, I've branched out into Beef bones and like those more - for one, they have more surface area for marrow and other good stuff, and also, grassfed beef bones are easier for me to find and cook for a low price than pastured chicken bones. Finally, my dog Jackson loves him some bone chewin' and cooked chicked bones just won't do.

I'm still playing around with my recipe, but I've been in love with the way I do it below. I drink a bowl pretty much every day or at least 5 times a week. It keeps me feeling full, gives me energy... I basically feel like I'm drinking liquid gold. I'll finish up this post with a link or two to other postings that get way more specific about all the benefits, and really, they are numerous and amazing.

My broth in jars:

Are they not amazing? With the amount I was able to jar here, it cost me roughly 35-40 cents a bowl. Here's what I do:

I buy about 2.5 to 4 pounds of grassfed beef bones. If you're in the Bay Area, Berkeley Bowl has great ones, so does Farmer Joe's. If you're not worried about them being grassfed, any asian store should have them, and my local safeway usually carries some as well. I also buy a meaty shank or two for flavor, so:

2.5 to 4 pounds grassfed beef bones
1-2 large shanks with marrow bone
1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

That's it.

I put the above in my crockpot, cover with a couple inches of water (making sure it's not filled ALL the way to the brim), and turn it on low for 20 hours. That's the maximum setting on my crock. What do I do when that 20 hours is up? I set it for 10 more, sometimes 15 more. I haven't done 40 hours yet, but I've done a lot of reading about people going up to 72 hours. Sometimes, after hour 20, I take out my shanks, pick out the marrow, and eat it like a savage in the dark, hunched over my crockpot. Don't judge.

Once I'm done with the low cook, I remove the bones, pick off more meat and marrow and make my dog happy. I let the broth cool and then pour it into jars like in the picture above. After letting it cool on the counter, I refridgerate them over night. The next day, a hard layer of fat will have formed on the top of each jar. I remove that fat and save it to cook my greens and veggies in, but that's for another post. I leave the fat layer on in each jar until I'm ready to get to it - and I think that helps it keep longer.

Anyway, that's it. Once I have it in the jars, the uses are endless. It can be used as a stock/broth the way you'd use any store bought stuff. It's GREAT for making homemade pho (another post coming shortly) or french onion soup in particular, if you ask me.

I often remove the fat layer, pour it into a giant bowl, add salt, pepper, a tiny bit more of the vinegar to taste, heat it up, and drink it. Every day. I really do feel like I'm drinking some magic fountain of youth health potion. At the very worst, I'm drinking awesome meat soup every day.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Taco Salad

I have to say, the grassfed part of Paleo has been a challenge. Not because it's not plentiful here in the Bay Area, but because it's expensive and we don't have money to spare (who does?). Needless to say, we've been having a LOT of meals made up of grassfed ground beef--which I can score for about 5/pound at Farmer Joe's. But after a multitude of dinners of burgers and sliders (not that I'm complaining), I've started trying to get creative. Cue dinner the other night: Taco Salad! (Triumphant music plays)

1 head butter/gem lettuce
@ 1 pound ground beef
Beef seasonings: chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, minced garlic
1 can green peppers
1 avocado
1 small cucumber
1 cup organic salsa (I like Costco's -- no additives, just tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.)
A couple ounces shredded cheddar for the hubby's salad -- no cheese for me this time

I sauteed the beef for a few minutes with the seasonings above and let cool to just above room temperature. After that, it's just chopping and assembling the other ingredients. 

I tossed this with my default homemade dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar. It was a huge hit and very filling. I think you could also add corn, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and a lime dressing if you were so inclined.

Chicken Drumsticks and Kale

This has been another goto for us with Paleo, since it's extremely affordable and delicious and good for you. A pack of chicken legs is under 3 dollars for about 6 legs, and if you buy in bulk it's even less. Kale is in season and I can find a giant bunch at my farmer's market or Farmer Joe's nearby for a couple bucks (or less).

6 chicken drumsticks
Olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika

1 large bunch kale, olive oil, salt, pepper
A few garlic cloves, to taste

For my chicken, I just preheat my over to 400 and lay the chicken legs out in a baking dish. I coat them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika and pop them in there for about an hour until they're done. They come out crispy on the outside, moist inside, and delicious.

For the kale, I take my garlic and slice it thinly, then sautee in olive oil until it's soft. I just toss the kale on top of that and sautee until it's soft enough for me-- just a few minutes. I add homemade chicken stock if I feel like it's getting dry. The sauteed garlic in oil really makes this dish though.

Avocado Egg

I think I'm overdue for more actual food and cooking posts here. I'm still "doing" Paleo. But I hate saying I'm "doing" it or "on" it because at this point, it's really just my lifestyle, which is eating whole and unprocessed food. Yes, all wheat products are processed. Anyway, here is a picture of an avocado with an egg baked inside:

I just sliced and avocado in half, removed the pit, and then cracked an egg into each one. Next time, I think I would use the smallest egg possible since these ran over a little bit. I think I would also doctor it with some hot sauce and garlic too, but we were so overcome with our avocado egg, we didn't add much:

1 large avocado
1 small egg
Salt, pepper
Shredded cheese for the husband

Crack the egg into each avocado, salt and pepper it to taste, adding cheese if that's your thing.
Bake until the egg is cooked to your liking at 350 degrees. I think ours took about 15-20 minutes.

We loved these for breakfast, and now pretty much all I want to do is find ways to stuff avocados and places to crack eggs into.