Carrot Cake Smoothie

CarrotCakeSmoothie1Whoa!  You just heard from me yesterday!  Crazy, I know.  Give me a break folks, I’m a mom of three small kids, not in school yet so I’m doing what I can.  Come August when I ship the twins off to Kindergarten you might get sick of me.  Might…

Anywho…I wanted to get this Carrot Cake Smoothie posted for you.  I’m totally loving it right now.  Probably because I have an abundance of carrots and I’m able to use them quickly in this smoothie.  I told you, I’m not made of money so we waste nothing.  That’s another piece of advice I have.  In my opinion, if you’re throwing away food, you have too much money.  Just sayin.  Try the smoothie, it’s obviously cold but it seems warm and cozy.  Makes perfect sense!

My offspring enjoying the Texas snow.  A warm bath and hot chocolate followed.  Mad Mom points there I tell ya!

My offspring enjoying the Texas snow. A warm bath and hot chocolate followed. Mad Mom points there I tell ya!

In revealing my deep dark secrets yesterday I totally forgot to mention the crazy mess we have going on here.  By the way, thank ya’ll for the awesome support yesterday!  You guys rock!!  Anyway, by crazy mess I mean ice and snow.  We are Texans, we do not handle that well.  Runner’s either.  I’ll run in pretty much anything, but ice under my feet is where I draw the line.  Remember that girl who busted her butt on the news last year talking about how she likes to run on the ice.  Yeah, not here.  Because of the weather I got three good rest days.  Turns out it’s what I needed.  I’ve had a nagging hamstring/glute that keeps misbehaving.  It seems to be better.  All of the eating and sitting on my butt helped.

So the weather let up long enough this morning to head to Crossfit at 5am.  Dang I’m still so weak from the marathon.  I am, however, trying!  It seems to be getting a little better.  Here was the Wod:

Strenth:
-Bench Press, 3×5@60%

WOD
10 Rounds:
-15 Goblet Squats, 70/53#
-50m Shuttle Sprint

The workout sucked but the company was good!

The workout sucked but the company was good!

Yes, that is squatting 150 times with a 53 pound kettle bell.  Ah it sucked!  I did it though.  That’s heavier than my kids!  Don’t you think I didn’t complain, but I finished.  Tomorrow 10 miles as long as the roads are clear.  Back at it folks.

Carrot Cake Smoothie
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  2. 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  3. 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp. almond butter
  5. 1 tsp. maple syrup
  6. 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  7. 1/2 banana
  8. 2 handfuls ice
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Blend until incorporated well.
  3. If smoothie is too thick adjust by adding a small amount of coconut milk or water.
  4. Enjoy!
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

The Real Reason Why I Stick with Paleo

apple

I’m getting real today folks.

Alright I’ve had my little baby blog for a while, you guys are getting to know me better.  You know all about my running life, Crossfit shenanigans, you see what I like to eat and you know we started this whole venture because the bearded husband was diagnosed with diabetes.  Well, I need to fess up.  I need to tell you the real reason why I take my diet so seriously.

I have Psoriasis, scalp psoriasis specifically.   It is actually an autoimmune disorder.  Thankfully in the realm of autoimmune stuff, psoriasis was all I was blessed with.  However, it has always been my deep, dark secret.  I’ve had it as far back as I can remember.  It has literally been one of my life missions to hide it.  The medicines to treat it are harsh, some of them suppress your immune system.  Most of the ones I’ve tried are just disgusting.

Then…Matt and I started down our Paleo adventure.  It took me TWO YEARS to realize my diet had an affect on my Psoriasis!  It took I don’t know how many times of sticking with the diet and everything would clear up, then falling off the wagon and my skin would inflame to realize what was going on.  Of ALL of the dermatologist and even rheumatologist I’ve been to NOT ONE of them ever suggested my diet could affect my skin.  Crazy.

Well, it does.  This little confession here is one of the reasons I started this blog.  Until now, I haven’t been brave enough to put it out there!  As more and more people learn about the way I eat they just look at me like I’m a crazy gym rat that has some kind of super will power.  So yeah, true, I love to work out a bunch and I LOVE the way I feel when I’m being a good Paleo peep.  It’s also true that Matt and I both lost a bunch of weight because of the Paleo diet.  My real, daily motivation is my skin.  One “cheat” meal necessarily won’t hurt me I guess, but two will.  If I go a whole weekend or on vacation and just eat whatever I want it sets me back months.  Months of back to hiding my skin problem and not to mention significant hair loss.  Awesome right?

I know most of you reading this do not have the same problem I do.  I’m putting this out there so you know the significance your diet can have on your health.  My autoimmune condition is about 98% controlled by what I put in my mouth.  Seriously.

Regardless of if you believe in the Paleo diet, we are not designed to eat fast foods and processed, packaged chemicals.  If you have something, anything, ailing you, look at your diet to see if there is room for change.  Like I said, for me just eating well sometimes or most of the time does not fix it.  I have to eat right all of the time.  However, I would not trade the way I feel or the way my skin is controlled for all of the junk food in the world.  It’s just not worth it.

Eek!  I put my deep dark secret on the internet!  This is a big day for me!  Maybe I was able to help someone, maybe not.  Either way, stop looking at me like a crazy gym rat!

Baked Salmon with Wilted Spinach and Garlic Butter Salsa

 

GarlicButterSalmon1Now isn’t that fancy looking?  Fancy tasting too.  I’ve been posting desserts lately, but really this is more up my alley.  There’s lots of butter in it.  I like butter.  Mmm actually the “topping” part can go on anything.  Try it out and let me know.

So I’m kind of in a mood today.  Not a bad mood at all, a goofy one.  I’ve been laying a little low this week fighting a hamstring that is misbehaving.  Well, I was able to run 5 good miles this morning and that makes me very happy…or goofy.  Whatever.  I’m currently sitting on a heating pad and eating a piece of dark chocolate.  Not a bad place to be in life. 

So there is something that has really been bothering me that I need to get out in the open.  You Pinterest folks and Facebook folks have been posting these (probably accurate) articles about not using two spaces after a period.  Well, I’m old school and I like it!  I tried to stop at first (which I couldn’t), then I decided I’m standing my ground.  So there.SpaceSpaceGet used to my typewriter style writing.  At least brownies come with my deal.

TyTrack

That’s Fur Ball there in the green talking while he should have been planking.

Anyway, I’m so excited!  My little Ty tried his first track practice last night.  He loved it!  He is so little compared to all of the other kids.  He is also very little on that big track.  His size is small but his personality is definitely not.  Oh my, he talked to Coach the whole time.  He also has been insisting that everyone call him Fur Ball lately.  The people at track were no exception.  My little darling already has a nickname on his first day.  He could have picked a little tougher one in my opinion.  I tried to talk him into changing it to Fire Ball to no avail.   He’s not even hairy.  He says his super powers are shooting Fur Balls.  Whatever kid.  At least he’s fast!  And I’m a loser mom, that’s the best picture I got.  My bearded husband is super happy to have two runners in the house as well.

Tomorrow is Crossfit for me and then Saturday 10 miles for my long run.  After that, I’m helping head up a Couch 2 5K program.  It should be lots of fun.  I am loving to see the improvement in the new runners I’ve had contact with lately.  Man, they inspire me!

Alright, if I get off of here now I have time to watch a little Parenthood before I have to pick the kids up.  See ya!

Baked Salmon with Wilted Spinach and Garlic Butter Salsa
Yields 4
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For the Salmon
  1. 1 wild caught salmon plank cut into 4oz sections
  2. 1tsp Olive Oil
  3. 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  4. Salt and Pepper
For the Topping
  1. 5 or 6 grape tomatoes quartered
  2. 1 jalapeno diced small (seeds and ribs removed for milder flavor)
  3. 1/2 onion diced small
  4. 1/4 orange or red bell pepper diced small
  5. 1 garlic clove minced
  6. 1 tsp olive oil or avocado oil
  7. 4 tbsp. butter
  8. 3 cups of spinach
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Line salmon pieces on a baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
  3. Bake for about 8 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  4. In the meantime heat olive oil or avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add in all chopped veggies except for the spinach.
  6. Sautee veggies until tender, stirring frequently.
  7. When veggies are tender add the 4 tbsp. of butter and salt and pepper.
  8. When butter has melted and all ingredients are incorporated transfer salsa to a small bowl to set aside.
  9. In the same skillet add the 3 cups of spinach and 1 tbsp. of the garlic butter salsa.
  10. Toss spinach with mixture until wilted to your preference.
  11. Plate salmon then top with spinach.
  12. Lastly top with garlic butter salsa.
  13. Enjoy!
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

 

 

Greatest Day and Let’s Talk About Calories…Fun!

TablecollageLook at this beauty!  My bearded husband MADE this!  I’m so excited!  It’s taken him forever.  He planed, sanded, glued, sawed, sanded and sanded some more to make my dining room table.  He put the finishing touches on it yesterday and we were able to sit at the new table and have steaks last night.  Now my dining room does not look like a skating rink littered with Legos.  So cool!!

LunchPailcroppedAlso, yesterday I was given the “Hardwork” box in the running club.  This was such an honor, especially considering how many hardworking, passionate individuals I run with daily.  It’s basically a symbol that is presented weekly to someone who is putting in the work.  Here’s a little quote from Coach:

“What if you give it your all, do the little things, be positive all times and never doubt yourself, uplift others, be a model for your kids/family, and praise God daily? I can guarantee you that your life will change.”

I mean seriously, yesterday was a great day!!  Now, this weekend I get to pick someone to pass this on to.  The pressure!  I only have about 100 people I could think of that are showing up everyday and putting in the work.  Oh man…

Now, a little late, but as promised I told you I want to talk about calories.  Fun right?!  If you read some of the Paleo books or do a little research into the Paleo world a lot of the smart folks say you do not have to count calories.  The idea is that you eat good food your body needs and your appetite will be satisfied.  That is true for a lot of people.  I, on the other hand, I think I was born with two stomachs or something because I can out eat just about anyone I know.  Add an endurance sport on top of that and it’s a little ridiculous. 

In my PERSONAL opinion, I do a little better with my diet when I’m counting calories (to a certain extent) and watching my macros.  That means I pay attention to carbs, protein, fat and sodium.  From time to time, I log my food on My Fitness Pal for a few weeks to see where I stand.  Truly, I try to stay within a certain calorie range only because it keeps my portions in check.  Boy, do they need some checks.  It’s good for me to see in black and white that an ounce or two of almonds are really great.  A Costco bag of almonds in one sitting is not so great.  Get it?  I would NEVER turn to a “low calorie” processed food to cut calories.  I would however, stuff a few less bananas in my face when I see what they are doing to my carb count for the day.

Man, I got a little serious today!  I told you I’m just trying to answer a few questions that I get from time to time.  Secretly, I’m also intrigued by nutrition.  It’s so complicated but so important. 

Well, I’m headed to Crossfit this afternoon so I need to run to get all of my chores done before I can leave the house.  Then track tomorrow!  Fun stuff!

Do you count calories?

Anyone else have an appetite like me? 

Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats

CrunchyPruneTreats1I’ve been eyeballing the toasted coconut chips at Costco and trying to decide if they are worth $10.  Well, they are, and I made something yummy with them.  These little Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats are great.  Maybe they are not the prettiest food in the world but they are sweet, salty and chewy.  They also took 10 minutes to make.  One quick disclaimer, we all know why moms give babies prune juice.  Don’t eat 10 at once.  If you do, don’t plan on going out for a run anyway.

Toasted Coconut Chips.  Sweet and yummy.

Toasted Coconut Chips. Sweet and yummy.

Today is a rest day for me.  I ran on Saturday and Sunday then Monday we did 400 sprint intervals in Crossfit.  So I decided to sleep in this morning.  I’ve been talking about it on Facebook some, but I’m digging not being on a training plan right now.  I’m not running less, just running with a little more freedom.  Having some fun with it and stepping out of my comfort zone a little.  My primary goal right now is getting faster.  I’m also still waiting on my buddy with the broke leg to come back.

So in other big news, it’s Valentines week…gag.  You’ve probably discovered I’m not the cool mom that makes cool stuff for VDay.  Nope.  The kids write their names on those little store bought cards.  Then we stick pencils in them.  Hey, that’s what I did as a kid and I turned out just fine.  Right?  Right.  Now the baby is digging through the candy bags and eating way too much candy.  First world problems. 

So anyway, I told you guys I was going to continue to answer questions.  I am.  I want to talk about Paleo and calorie counting.  I have a lot of my own thoughts on it.  I also feel like you folks are more interested in the recipes when I post one, so this is my little teaser.  Probably tomorrow or the next day I’ll give you my thoughts on sticking to the Paleo lifestyle but also paying attention to the numbers.

Do you go all out for Valentines Day?

Let me know when you try the treats!

Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats
Prune halves, dipped in chocolate, topped with sea salt and toasted coconut chips. Sweet, salty and chewy.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbls unrefined coconut oil
  2. 3 tsp 100% cocoa powder
  3. 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 14-16 pitted prunes, halved
  5. 1/8 cup toasted coconut chips, chopped into small pieces
  6. Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. In a small saucepan melt coconut oil, chocolate and vanilla. Stir until incorporated.
  3. Using a toothpick dip a few prunes into the chocolate mixture and set on wax paper.
  4. Before the chocolate dries top with a small pinch of sea salt and a few pieces of the coconut chips.
  5. When all prunes are dipped and topped use a spoon to drizzle remaining chocolate over the top of all of the prunes.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Melt in Your Mouth Brownies

 

MeltinYourMouthBrownies1

As promised The Baker’s brownie recipe.  They are so yummy.  My kids loved them and that is always the test.  Even Paleo treats don’t get by them unless they are good.  The ingredients are simple as well.  Take them to a potluck or whatever and no one will know the difference.  Probably be good with some walnuts too.

This week I’m officially back to the grind.  My arms pits are so sore I can barely put my hair in a pony tail.  Dang Crossfit!  I said I would go back 100% after the race and I have.  I had no idea how far back I set myself from taking it easy there during marathon training.  Well, now I know.  Like I predicted, he’s not letting me be a wimp.  In a few months I’ll be a beast again…haha…was I ever a beast?  Hmmm??

 I told you before the race I was going to change things up a little.  One thing I want to do is make sure I am answering questions that you guys are asking me.  Probably the most popular question is “How do you have time to make this food?”  Well, I am blessed to be a stay at home mom so I do have that going for me.  However, I do not have ample amounts of time to spend on food.  I’m going to be completely honest with you.  TO EAT HEALTHY YOU HAVE TO COOK.  It’s that simple.  Whether it be Paleo or another type of healthy eating you have to prepare it in your own kitchen.  Sure, you can find Paleo food in restaurants but typically it’s so high in sodium it’s crazy.  Makes my shins burn.  It takes planning to get meals on the table.  Spend an extra few minutes thinking about what you are going to make and do some prep work.  It will get easier if you make it a priority.

ChopWizardcollageOne simple tool I have to speed things up a bit is the Vidalia Chop Wizard.  The Baker bought it for me for my birthday and I love it.  I chop an insane amount of veggies and it makes the process way faster.  It does take up room in the dishwasher but worth it in my opinion.  By the way, I’m telling you this because I like it.  They are not paying me to endorse it.  I wish I knew how to get companies to do that!  Anyway, chop veggies for your salad for the week and move on.  You get the drift.

Keep the questions coming!

Melt in Your Mouth Brownies
Yields 24
Delicious Paleo brownie
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup + 2 tsp coconut flour
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 1 Tbs baking powder
  4. ¾ cup coconut sugar
  5. 12 ozs Enjoy Life chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  6. 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  7. 2 Tbs coconut milk
  8. 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  9. 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix together coconut flour, salt, and powder in small bowl and set aside
  3. In a sauce pan, combine butter, coconut milk, and coconut sugar under low to medium heat stir occasionally
  4. Cook until mixture just starts to boil and remove from heat.
  5. Add 1 cup of the dark chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  6. Transfer chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl.
  7. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each one.
  8. Gradually stir in flour mixture then fold in remaining chocolate chips.
  9. Spread in a 8 x 12 pan and bake for 30 min
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

NOLA! Part Deux…

NolaCrossingFinishCroppedNola continued!  Let’s see, where did I leave off?  Oh yeah.  Best. Day. Ever. huh?  So you see that picture here?  The smile dropped off about mile 16.  That’s a holy cow, it’s hot, this is a log way to run, let me cry a little to feel better kind of face.  I last saw my family at mile 15.5.  At that point we were all starting to feel it.  I know that because I can’t post the pictures because my running buddies would kill me.  They are not pretty.  Mom handed out cutie halves like I pro and I thought they were going to save the day.  Ha!

I’m going to put it all out there folks.  If you know me, you know that my stomach does not always gel with distance running.  I ate only my own food before the race but that did not seem to matter.  I did not feel right on race day.  I took two Pepto at mile 5 and two Immodium at 13.  Yep, you guessed it.  At mile 21 none of that medicine had helped.  I won’t go into detail obviously but I was DERAILED.  I had to leave a couple of buddies because I couldn’t spend too much time without a porta potty in sight.  What a lovely couple of miles that was.  Hey, I was running for sure and crying a little.  Thankfully I got to a water station and took as much water in as I possibly could.  That did the trick!!  At that point I knew I was going to make it.  THANK GOD!

The end of the course got me mentally I believe.  It was a long out and back with no access for spectators.  Our little group started spreading out as well.  So it was quiet and lonely.  One huge thing I haven’t mentioned is my friend Heather was given the gift of a bible verse for every mile from one of her friends.  Since she was with us, she read them aloud.  It was awesome.  At the beginning it was fun to hear.  As the race went on it became a life line.  Well, during my little episode I lost Heather.  I repeated “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13 about a zillion times.

Then the coolest thing happened.  At about mile 23.5 I was walking and sniffling some and this tall blond girl came up beside me and said “No more of this.  You have a two mile warm up left.  You are running with me.”  So I started running with her.  We talked some.  Her name was Gabrielle and she was from Canada.  At one point my foot was hurting and I told her I needed to walk for a second.  She told me, “No way, your foot is not broken, keep running.”  That’s what I did, then amazingly I saw Heather just up ahead!!  I told Gabrielle that was my friend so she said, “Then go catch her!”  I told Gabrielle she was an angel and left her behind.  I caught Heather just before mile 25, just in time to hear the verse!  Then we finished together.

Heather and I at the finish line.

Heather and I at the finish line.

Here’s the thing.  I’m tearing up as I type this.  I couldn’t find Gabrielle after the race to thank her.  I believe she was an angel sent to help me.  Yes, she was a real person, I was not that delirious.  But her name was even Gabrielle!  My sister said maybe Taylor sent her to tell me to suck it up.  Whatever happened, she was there and at that moment she was everything I needed.  If anyone knows her, please thank her for me.

As Heather and I finished the last mile we saw our good friend Shirley and Coach who were there cheering us on.  Then so many at the finish.  It means so much to see the friendly faces.  So much.  We came in at 4:49:21.  I am proud of that.  That last 5 miles were one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I will take what I learned from this race and apply it to another one some day.  Also, all of my buddies did awesome as well.  Including Lisa, with her fractured leg!

I love this picture.  It shows how awesome my bearded husband is.

I love this picture. It shows how awesome my bearded husband is.

After the finish I cried with the hubby for a little while then I celebrated with my family and running buddies.MeafterFinishNola ended up still being one of the best days of my life.  We trained very hard for this one race.  Even though I did not quite make my goal I’m proud of the accomplishment and it gives me something more to work toward.  I learned that God does give me strength (and Canadian angels), I have the best running buddies on the planet, the best support and I do love this sport.

MeAfterNolaCollageIf you think for one second I stayed true to Paleo during my last 24 hours in New Orleans you are dearly mistaken.  I ate and enjoyed the city!  Today I stepped on the scale and you’ll be glad to know I’m back to the real world.  Track tomorrow with scrambled eggs to follow!