Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A few recipes we are liking...

Warning: Some are Whole30 compliant, Paleo compliant, or kind of Paleo-like, but ALL are awesome!!

Fruit Smoothie
4-5 strawberries sliced
1 banana
1/3 cup fresh cut pineapple
1/4 cup blueberries
5-7 blackberries
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup almond milk or water or coconut milk
**make sure coconut or almond milk is unsweetened**
**optional: 2 scoops protein powder (no soy or whey though)

Mix with hand blender or standard blender and presto! Awesome and incredibly filling!


4 fresh avocado, pitted and mashed
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 limes, squeezed for juice 
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 rsp chili powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
A dash of black pepper for taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped for taste
**we added a tablespoon cilantro and 1 fresh tomato, diced**

Mash the avocado in a glass or ceramic bowl to the desired consistency. (DO NOT USE A METAL MIXING BOWL OR SPOON.  The acid in lime juice is reactive to metal.)  To prevent browning of the avocado immediately pour in the lime juice.  Use a wooden spoon to mix in the other ingredients.  Serve with veggies, on a salad, with fish, etc..
Squash Chili  
(From Cooking for Health and Performance, Vol. 1)     
 Time: 15 minutes prep, approx 2 hr cooking, serves 2-­4     

1  lb  ground  beef,  turkey  or  chicken   
1  Tbsp cooking fat (Olive Oil/Coconut Oil/etc...) of your choice   
1 cup diced acorn squash   
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms  
1/2 cup chopped onion   
1 clove chopped  garlic   
 1 Tbsp chili powder   
1/4 tsp cumin 

 In a medium to large pot, brown the meat in the cooking fat.  Break the meat up as you stir.   Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Reduce the heat, and simmer for two hours or more.  
Continue to stir periodically.  You may need to add water occasionally as the chili simmers, but keep in mind that you want it to be somewhat thick.  This is a great recipe to double or quadruple and have a batch of leftovers on hand. 

Yummy Chocolate Chewy Cookies
I have taken a favorite cookie recipe of mine and removed gluten, dairy, and reduced the sugar while adding a few new ingredients...SO GOOD!)

1&1/3 cups almond flour
2 cups Splenda/sugar blend
1 egg with yolk
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp almond butter
4 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce (or 2 Tbsp applesauce & 2 tsp olive oil)
3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
3/4 cup cocoa
1tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
**optional 1 cup finely chopped nuts**

Combine butter, oils, applesauce, & Splenda/sugar blend together and cream with mixer.  Add eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.  Blend well.  Fold in pepper, baking soda, salt, and cocoa to the batter & mix well.  Stir in nuts if using.  Drop teaspoon size amounts of batter on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool for only one minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack, paper towel, or wax paper to cool completely. 

The Whole 30...

As the new year approached in December I knew I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle.  I grew up being active and eating well, but like most people became a "less-than-perfect" example of healthy living in college and after...Ha-to say the least!  I have gone through all stages of the fitness cycle from eating healthy/feeling healthy/working out all the way to the opposite end of being stagnant/feeling stressed or overwhelmed constantly/eating horrible/or even barely eating.  (To clarify: when I am worried or sad it is almost impossible for me to eat. Hence me losing so much weight when Joey was deployed.  I also kept myself WAY TOO BUSY and literally forgot about food or sleep sometimes...NOT HEALTHY!!)  

So upon moving back from Italy in April, I literally gained about 12 lbs instantly from May to November...umm not cool!!  (By no means would I consider myself to have become fat or even chubby.  I am a tall woman with incredibly good genes thanks to my mom and dad, but I was not fitting into the clothes I love, feeling healthy, and started feeling incredibly insecure about my body.  Feeling insecure is something I do not tolerate and view to be very unattractive, so POOF it was the final straw for me.)  I really had not changed the amount of food I was eating at all, but of course in Italy we lived downtown walking everywhere and eating food at a leisurely pace which was made fresh everyday from whole, unprocessed ingredients.  I have now become a firm believer that being able to know ALL the ingredients in my food as well as enjoying the food and not rushing makes all the difference in the world!!  

Needless to say when I went to the doctor for a check-up in November he suggested I try the "Whole30."  I was not familiar with the Whole30 but with his brief description it sounded a lot like The Paleo Solution.  To be clear it is NOT the same thing as eating Paleo.  (you are compliant to paleo when on the Whole30, but if you are eating paleo it does not mean you are being 100% compliant with the Whole30)  To find out the guidelines go to, and click on the newest version of the plan which is Whole30 Version 5.0.   Low and behold Joey and I decided (begrudgingly) to try the Whole30 for the month of January.  I will not even pretend we were 100% perfect, but I will say we did a DANG good job at following the model of making gluten/dairy/no sugar choices.  

  In January I had started a class at my gym called STREND (strength & is based on CrossFit.  Our instructor is certified but since she is not at the "CrossFit" gym anymore with every single piece of equipment required to claim the name she just calls it STREND.  The plus is it is just for women, which is a great way for you to get acclimated to the workouts you are unfamiliar with before/or if you decide to join a true CrossFit Gym.)  Joey has been doing CrossFit for several years and joined the gym in Dahlonega in the summer.  By changing our eating habits we both experienced great results.  We have gained more energy, lost weight, performed more productive workouts, and after the 30 days ended we are still making good decisions with food.  It is a strict 30 days, but after it is over you can add things back into your diet as long as you do it slowly to see how it effects your body.  So we do eat "Paleo" now about 85% of the time...but I will never give up my wine and champagne so forget about it!

DISCLAIMER:  It really bugs me when people only talk about what they eat and their "totally awesome" workouts, so I most likely will never ever bring this subject up again (although the next post will have some recipes we found that are awesome).  I just wanted people to know about the Whole30 and how it teaches you to be aware of what you put in your body and how you can actually see and feel the results when you learn what you can and can not tolerate!