Category Archives: daily eats

The most important step

The most important step of all is the first step.

Even if you take it a thousand times? Let’s hope so.

Days 1 and 2 went well. I’m not having nearly the cravings I was when I did this last time. But I’m also allowing myself extra carbs since I’m still BF. Takes food to make food.

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This was day 1. 

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 7 raspberries, 3 slices bacon

Lunch: chicken quinoa and kale from costco. I am in love.

Second lunch: Salmon avocado salad

Snacks: all the almonds, 10 raspberries, salmon avocado salad, almond milk, blueberries

Dinner: broccoli, green bean almondine, zuchinni, roasted pork

Day two went according to plan as well. My five month old is teething again so I took a picture of absolutely nothing and just tried to hang on for the ride.

At the beginning of day 3, I weighed 5.3 lbs less than day 1.

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Salmon Avocado Salad

I love Costco. Far too much. So much that I can walk out with a year’s worth of laundry detergent, four electric tooth brushes, and 15 cans of wild chunk salmon, and feel successful.

My dad also loves Costco.

We went together…my pantry will never be the same…nor will my marriage.

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Fifteen cans of Salmon is a lot of salmon – especially if you’ve never actually eaten canned salmon. Feeling less successful now. Questioning life decisions. Dark places, friends.

After moving said cans out of the way in the pantry 20 million times, I decided it was time to pee or get off the pot. Enter Salmon Avocado Salad.

SALMON AVOCADO SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 6 oz. can Salmon
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon
  • 1 Tbsp mayonaise

DIRECTIONS: Toss everything together and gobble down.

Now I need to go to Costco for more avocados.

And probably 90 pairs of white socks.

Nutrition Facts: 3 Servings, 204 calories, 14 g fat, 7 g carbs, 14 g protein.

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DAY 14: ZUCCHINI “CHIPS”

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This was suggested to me by a friend when I described my need for chips, so I thought we’d try it. After ditching zucchini noodles for spaghetti squash, I didn’t have a plan for the leftover veggies anyway. The chips were tasty, but didn’t cook evenly. (It didn’t stop me from pounding a whole squash.) I’d suggest a double walled cooking sheet sprayed with non stick instead of a broiling pan, and I think you’d have better luck.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 zucchini, large
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 T olive oil (lower fat alternative, EVOO cooking spray)
  • salt pepper to taste
  • parmesan if your non-paleo

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick.
  2. Thinly slice zucchini, 1/8 inch is fine. If you have a mandolin slicer, that would be best. I don’t so I had some odd shaped ones. Its most important for them to all be the same thickness rather than the same shape.
  3. Toss slices in oil (or spray them).
  4. Coat with seasonings.
  5. Arrange on baking sheet in single layer with no overlap to avoid soggy chips.
  6. Roast for 15 mins on top rack of oven until sides are brown and start to crisp.
  7. Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet to cool.

The hubs even ate these which is rare for such an undressed vegetable. The kick from the red pepper was bliss.

Yesterdays eats:

DAY13

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DAY 13: BOLOGNESE SAUCE

ali“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. That is when I start counting, because then it really counts. That’s what makes you a champion.”

-Muhammad Ali

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Getting back in the saddle isn’t fun, ever. But, its allot easier when you don’t sweat losing falling off the horse. Making it only 1/2 way to my 30 days of clean eating then taking a 9 day haitus subsisting on bourbon and bread product alone probably constitutes killing the poor horse. Not to mention, the scale is back to its favorite spot. 158…159.8 (I lie). God, OK 160.5, what are you, a polygraph?

Anyway, I think its important to set high goals, even at the risk of not meeting them. Growth, for me, starts when I get uncomfortable. The hubs’ nickname for me is literally creature-of-comfort, so its obviously not something I like to do. Give me a snuggie and House of Cards and you have my loyalty forever.

Being a snuggie-clad, house wife, however, is below post-office employee on my list of desirable professions. So at the cost of not being perfect, I’m going to keep my goals high and push for 90% of awesome and challenging instead of 100% of decent and comfortable.

TURKEY BOLOGNESE SAUCE (recipe)

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Matt and I have really been enjoying this bolognese sauce. I want to eat it out of the tupperware with nothing else. Cold. Does three minutes in the microwave seem like eternity to anyone else? We tried the sauce over zucchini noodles the first day and then over spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash was the clear winner. Check out the Paleo Newbie for for full recipe. I used  Jennie-O’s sweet onion turkey sausage and doubled the red pepper flakes.

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On that note, do you know how easy it is to make spaghetti squash? Another vegetable, on a long list I’m sure, that I have been making completely wrong. Here’s how simple:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. [or 400 if you’re me and refuse to use another setting for anything]
  2. Poke holes in the WHOLE spaghetti squash with a paring knife. 10-15 is plenty.
  3. Roast for 30-45 minutes. Its done when you can press on it and make a dent.
  4. Cut open (easily).
  5. Remove seeds/pulp from middle with kitchen shears.
  6. Pull meet from rind with fork.
  7. Cry a little over your burned fingers.

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Below are my eats for Day 13.

DAY13

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DAY 12: PALEO STIR FRY

STEAK STIR FRY WITH CAULIFLOWER RICE

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Thank you, @nakedsoles, for twisting my social media arm and forcing me to give cauliflower rice a try again. Let’s get real, I’ll do anything you want me to (exceptsharenewclothes. itsalittlesisterthing). All jest aside, I have been making this rice substitute wrong forever…or since the one time I tried it and lost faith in vegetables for 6 years. The key is roasting it. Don’t steam it, you’ll hate your life and eat chicken nuggets to recover. All the nuggets. Don’t rush. Recovery takes time. Roasting gives it a firmer exterior and an al-dente interior which is a perfect rice imitation.

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CAULIFLOWER RICE (original recipe)

  • 1 Head Cauliflower
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 F.
  2. Remove cauliflower florets and place in vitamix/blender/food processor. Pulse until finely chopped (~1 cm).
  3. Place on pan and coat in cooking spray. Shake pan a little and spread it all out.
  4. Roast for 15-20 mins or until some “rice” is brown.

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STEAK STIR FRY (paleo friendly)

Once you get your rice going, you can move on to the easy part. Frying up your veggies. I never use the same veggies for stir fry, so feel free to get creative or use leftovers. Some interesting additions could be asparagus, watered chestnuts, bamboo shoots, leek, or even chopped cabbage.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped (big pieces)
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 c mushrooms (whatever kind. I had baby bellas)
  • 1 c chopped carrots
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 1 T mirin
  • 2 T teriaki
  • 1/2 lb sirloin steak, seasoned salt + pepper
  • 1 recipe cauliflower rice
  • 2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat coconut oil over med/high heat, saute garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add onion, saute 2-3 mins.
  3. Add broccoli, saute 3 mins, add remaining veggies, sesame seeds, and mirin.
  4. Grill sirloin to medium rare ~2.5 mins/side. Remove from heat. (veggies still going). Rest 4-6 mins.
  5. Scramble two eggs, set aside.
  6. Chop steak to 1 in cubes. Should look delicious.
  7. Add teriaki to veggies and toss. Remove from heat, add steak.
  8. Mix scrambled eggs with cauliflower rice.
  9. Top egg/rice mixture with vegetables and steak.

imagesSIDEBAR: Buy your groceries on Wednesday! I’m a Sunday grocery shopper. Me and the rest of Northern Virginia. We all go to Wegman’s at 4:00 on Sunday and proceed to showcase the best of our East Coast personalities (#typeA, noonemovesheretowait, bitchthatsmysalmon. whobringskidstothegauntlet). If you had asked me to shop for groceries on Wed three months ago, I would have laughed in your face. Its not what I do. My week follows a strict formula. Sunday = groceries/meal prep. Monday-Fri = try to make it. Sat = drink. Now, I’d have to apologize to your imaginary and wise face. I’m a convert. We didn’t use up last week’s groceries until Tuesday because of our trip, which left me with a weekday run. Everything was SO CHEAP. Everything. Like 66% retail cheap. I bought so much meat because the deals were too good to pass up. Organic? Yes please. Lamb? Sure, why not? Two Cornish hens? My blog be flossin. \endsoapbox

Below are my eats for DAY 12. Stay tuned for the bolognese sauce recipe. I promise, its worth the wait.

Day12

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DAY 9: PERFECT SKILLET FILLET

One of the drawbacks of living in/around a major city is the cost of real-estate. Hence why our two-dog household resides on the second floor and why Miss Molly Moose may or may not use the balcony like a rest stop from time to time. I’m assuming its not the birds. Unless you’re my landlord. Its definitely the birds.

Its a good thing you're so cute. Otherwise, I'd make earmuffs out of you.

Its a good thing you’re so cute. Otherwise, I’d make earmuffs out of you.

The drawbacks, other than an insane neighbor, include a “no personal grill” policy which is equivalent to castration in the eyes of the hubs. For the first few months, we basically did without steak.

PERFECT SKILLET STEAK

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After the “d” word [divorceforyousingles] was thrown around a few times, we realized we needed to grow as individuals and find a way around our steak problem. Thus began the 8 month endeavor of figuring out how to cook the perfect medium rare hunk of meat on a skillet. #firstworldproblems

The key is pepper. Lots of pepper. All the pepper. For some reason, without something to separate the meat from the skillet and create a crust, the heat is too much and shrinks the contact area of the meat while cooking. Then there’s not great surface area to cook evenly. I’m an engineer. Heat is my thang.

Secondary to pepper is a good cut of steak. Pictured are 2.5-3″ thick fillets, but I use the same process for flank steak [4 min/side]. So start by peppering the fuck out of the top and bottom of the steak.

If you love yourself, wrap it in bacon. You can’t go wrong.

Now you’re ready to start cooking. Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, per steak, over med-high in a THICK BOTTOMED, non-stick skillet. This isn’t something you want to do in your $4 walmart non-stick. What do you live in a trailer? Caphalon, ladies and gents.

Enter steak. Leave it ~5-6 min/side. Seriously, don’t touch at it. Don’t look at it. Leave it. Turn on the fan too because its going to burn your eyes as the pepper crusts. If your eyes are open, which they shouldn’t be. Stop looking at it. Steak is about trust.

After 5.5 mins, flip it, throw a pat of butter on top and repeat. At the 11 min mark pull it. Then repeat the 5 min no touching process on a plate, aka resting. Serve with some cab. While, I recommend this black cherry and mocha variety, you may want to ask some one classier.

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DAY 8 : SHRIMP ZUCCHINI PASTA

SHRIMP ZUCCHINI PASTA

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1lb raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1/4-1/2 green pepper, diced
  • yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 cup banana peppers (or slightly less depending on your taste)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • parsley
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Julienne zucchini to make noodles, set aside. (I use one of these.)
  2. Skillet fry the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery in 1 tsp oil.
  3. Add mushrooms until they release their liquid, ~5 min.
  4. Add tomatoes and banana peppers, cook 2 min.
  5. Add tomato sauce, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, cook additional 3-5 min.
  6. Saute 1 tsp garlic in remaining oil, add shrimp and pepper. Cook until done ~ 3 min/side, pink, and opaque.
  7. Steam zucchini “noodles” for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat immediately. Drain and pat “noodles” dry.
  8. Layer zucchini with sauce and top with shrimp.

This was thrown together with our leftovers from the week, but turned out fresh and tangy tasting. Matt enjoyed it. I’m a little ODed on shrimp for the time being.

Below are my eats for the day. I didn’t measure dinner, but went over the 1/3 cup of rice. I think I gobbled down a whole cup before Matt caught me. #cantbetrusted

DAY8

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DAY 6: CHILDHOOD AND FLINSTONES PUSH UPS

I was a child of the 90’s. I was present for a bit of the 80’s, but my awkward, define-yourself-as-a-person years occupied most of the 90’s. I vividly remember roller-blading around my neighborhood, seductively (I thought) licking my flinstone’s push-up, in training bra and high-waisted jorts, gel pen clad legs screaming “I ❤ DH,” and white crop top that proudly sparkled “WHATEVER” at the poor oncoming traffic. While I’ve since ditched gel pens and jorts, and replaced the hope of marrying DH (mostly, firstcrushneverdies) with the actual hubs, some things stick around.

Case in point – flinstone’s push ups. While I don’t want to know what made up 90% of my after-school snacks, I can only assume that like everything else in the decade, it was predominately corn starch. Not haute, not healthy, butnowimhungry. After my 4th pure barre class and a 2 mi jaunt in the woods in 6 in of snow, I wanted something sweet. I wanted push ups. It took a while to get the proportions right, but here is the final rendition of the healthified flinstones smoothie. Tell me what you think over a game of pogs.

FLINSTONES PUSH UP SMOOTHIE

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tangerines
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. water

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place ingredients, ice first, in high powered blender.
  2. Blend on med/high for 10-12 seconds. Tamper ice down if needed.
  3. Drink and reminisce while watching Clueless.

Below are my eats for the day. Progress update and week one review tomorrow!

DAY6

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DAY 4: BRUSSEL SPROUTS

What is your least favorite childhood food? The one you remember performing theatrical gagging to at the dinner table to communicate to your soulless parents that your body was simply biologically incompatible with that food. Mine was brussel sprouts (or peas, or spinach, or iceberg lettuce, take your pick. iwaspicky. nowonderigotfat.). Whether it was bad cooking or just general childhood stubbornness that caused the aversion, there are too many benefits to reacquainting with our childhood culinary adversaries not to try.

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So brussel sprouts. Aside from being polly-pocket sized cabbages and looking freaking adorable, there are many health benefits to consuming these baby bad boys. For one, heat treatment, aka cooking, doesn’t alter their detoxifying properties (much)! [1] Meaning, all of those raw foodies can suck it because it doesn’t matter when it comes to brussels. Second, they are a good source of protein for a veggie. One cup has only 38 calories and 3 grams of protein. [2] The eating regime I’m following is all about protein and if you want to know why…ask someone smarter…or just trust me, it works. They also have loads of antioxidants, vitamin C, blahblahblahimbored. Steam them for max fiber benefits (but an icky taste), or toss them in olive oil with some sea salt and pepper and roast for 10 minutes on 350 F and dig in.

crane medicineSIDEBAR: For me, the coolest part of Crane Medicine’s article was when he said, “Virtually no-carb foods, like meat and eggs, while low on the glycemic index, measure high on the insulin index. They don’t spike blood sugar, but they do raise insulin levels.”

If you need more reasons to variegate your veggie intake, read on, young philomath, read on. I absolutely adore TED talks. Here is one of my favorites and a big motivation for getting creative and branching out with your veggies. Dr. Terry Wahls presents how to properly fuel your body using lessons she learned at the subcellular level. I sat a Barnes and Nobel two weeks ago and devoured half her new book on fueling your body to overcome autoimmune disorders. She used nutrition to overcome MS and free her from a wheelchair. Crazy!

Below are my stats for the day. FYI – three days in a row of PB is too much. I decided in the first 5 minutes to really push myself and immediately got a cramp in my shoulder. Nothing says beastmode like having to put down your two pound weights.

Also, feast your eyes on my lunch and try not to envy.

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DAY4

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DAY 3: PALEO SKILLET SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE

Do this. Do it today. Bathe in it. This is last night’s dinner recipe. Yesterday, the hubs g-chatted me about 20 recipes for shrimp (subtle much?) so guess what we had for dinner. This was a gem amidst a lot of food that was too hard to modify to fit my plan.

PALEO SKILLET SHRIMP AND SAUSAGE

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Head over to the Paleo Newbie for the full recipe. If you are doing low fat, lowering salt, or limiting AI foods, you can make these adjustments: 1 tsp old bay, 1/2 tsp coconut oil, 3 oz. lf turkey kielbasa, no salt added, increase pepper, no red pepper flakes. I would also nix the chicken broth. It was a weird addition and the dish doesn’t need it.

Here are my eats for the day. It wasn’t ideal, but I made it through day 3. I’ve had a killer headache for a few days and am missing my best friend advil like crazy.

DAY3

We met friends for dinner to watch the Virginia game at Hooters. I knew it was going to be a challenge to find something doable on the menu. I opted for the garden salad, no cheese, no croutons, no dressing, with grilled chicken and buffalo sauce on the side. Not bad.

Pure Barre class two was killer.

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