Wednesday, May 8, 2013

i didn't feel the tingle...

Today was the first day I tried the liquid version of Green Pastures Cod Liver Fish Oil/Butter Blend. say that three times fast! I previously tried the capsules, which had no smell or taste, but they are mighty expensive. So I decided to give this a go. Here are some tips on what to do and NOT to do:

1. Do not smell this stuff. Even with the cinnamon added, its not a pretty smell. 
2. Do not taste it. You will not want to if you ignored my advice on  #1 anyway. 
3. Do put it in the refrigerator at least over night so it gets solid. This way you can take a knife and measure it out, then bite it into your mouth so it forms a little ball (its wax like in substance) and is easy to swallow with a little bit of water. You can barely taste it this way....which is how you want it according to the Amazon reviews I read. 
4. Do not expect a tingle. I didn't really taste anything, much less a tingle. But I think I prefer that over the thought of whatever fish oil actually tastes like... (and yes, I really can't believe I am eating this stuff either!).

Anyway, lets hope I reap some health benefits because I plan to do Murph on 5/24/13. This is a crossfit workout in honor of fallen soldiers and all proceeds go to various charities that assist military & military families. Murph was apparently a hard ass in the gym. The workout is Run 1 mile (with a 20lb vest. or not if you are me :)), 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, Run 1 mile. Last year I did 1 mile, 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, 150 squats and ran 1/2 mile. So this year my goal is merely to finish! I will probably do this as 20 rounds of "Cindy" (5/10/15). Honestly just writing about this is making me tired. AND THEN I signed up to do a 5k the very next weekend (which may seem extremely easy after Murph. or its the worst idea I've ever had) before I partake in some Summerfest festivities! Or I may end up in the hospital. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Veg out

Last night I made a version of "Summers End Bake," even though technically its early spring. What can I say.... I am excited for the summer veggies to come in! I got the original recipe from Health-Bent, which is an awesome website if you haven't visited before! I made a few variations and thought of a few more post-consumption....

(teapot not required. sorry my photography is kind of crap)
What you'll need:

1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage
1/2 lb 90/10 grass fed beef
1 eggplant
2 pints cherry tomatoes
fresh mozzarella
fresh basil, chopped
salt & pepper

I cut the tomatoes in half and placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzled some EVOO and salt & pepper. Same with eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick. You probably want to drizzle a little extra on the eggplant because it dries out in the oven. I baked at 300 for about 25 minutes. 

While that's baking, I browned the meats and sliced up some fresh mozzarella. Once the veggies were done, I layered the meat, eggplant, tomatoes, cheese and basil (in that order) like I would lasagna (about two layers). Then I cooked for about 10 minutes at 375. I think next time, I will leave the cheese cold and place on dish after baking. Or if you prefer it all hot, I would recommend using shredded mozzarella for better melting consistency. But overall, this was REALLY yummy and super easy! And a nice colorful way to start off the warmer months :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

weekend in review

I love a spring weekend with lots of sunshine & cool breezes! It was amazingly lovely in Atlanta this wishing I had spent more time outside. Saturday I spent an enormous amount of time cleaning and doing laundry instead of going to the Sweetwater or Dogwood festivals in town. Man, I'm getting old. But my reward was pretty sweet...a 90 minute massage (courtesy of my students) and dinner with Mary in the burbs :) We went to Muss & Turners in Smyrna. Delicious! My friend is currently doing a sugar/carb free diet, so we wanted to eat somewhere we could both enjoy. This place had a lot of delicious options! Favorite was definitely our appetizers-deviled eggs with duck prosciutto. I have to say I was afraid of duck prosciutto but quickly got over that. This. Was. A. Mazing.

M&T Deviled Eggs

Sunday I forced myself to go to crossfit. Although Sundays are usually super low key, I walked in to find my trainer with 3 super fit crossfitters from CF Atlanta. Um, only slightly terrifying. These dudes were pumping out muscle ups and butterfly pull ups like it was nothing. So of course I'm thinking how embarrassing it will be to compete with them in the WOD. But wait- then it turns out that they were just there practicing in the open gym and in fact I would be working out alone. With them watching. Fab. For skill I worked on doubleunders. These suckers still elude me. For those who are lucky enough not to know what I'm talking about, this is when you jump rope with two rope pulls per one jump. White girls can't jump. Or coordinate. So this is still a work in progress (without the progress). The WOD was 3 Rounds for Time: 400m run, 20 ring rows, 20 kettle bell slashers. The good news is, with no prescription weights on the kettle balls and no one to compete with, I win! by default! but who cares!

Celebrated post workout with a mini marathon of Nurse Jackie (so addicting. no pun intended) and dinner with Lara and her lovely parents. We sat out in the sun and had a glass of wine, then her parents made us dinner and took into account all of my crazy food requirements :) They are the best! We had chicken & veggies on the grill, salad with avocado, tomato, pine nuts and homemade dressing, and dark chocolate covered pomegranite seeds & fresh strawberries. And we all four enjoyed it! Slowly convincing everyone to eat like us :) 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Post-wod Protein Shakes

At my gym post workout, most of the dudes fill up their blender bottles with water and shake up a protein shake like its required (note those same guys don't stretch, but I digress...). So even though I don't really know everything about why I should drink one, like everything crossfit, I just did what everyone else was doing :) Jk. Well sort of. I know that that you are supposed to eat post-workout and drink lots of fluids to help your muscles heal. Check out this site for more educated info on that topic. I've tried out a couple protein shakes.... and they definitely do fill you up after a hard workout. They also make a great quick, filling breakfast. Unfortunately, I do not know of a paleo or Whole30 approved protein powder, but I think Pure Whey Protein comes in pretty close.

I've tried both the chocolate and vanilla and they are both tasty. Pure comes from grass-fed, free range animals, and is soy and gluten free. It does contain dairy & small amounts of sugar and stevia. Post-wod, I use 1 scoop + 4 oz So Delicious Coconut Milk (unsweetened) + 4 oz water. For breakfast, I like to add a banana & 4-5 frozen strawberries + 4 oz coconut milk....yum! Makes me not miss yogurt so much! This is the brand they sell at my gym, but you can also get it online at Amazon and the like. 

Whole Foods Whey Protein (chocolate): this tastes pretty decent; however, it does not dissolve very well and is not gluten free so I stopped using it. 

Publix Organic Protein (vanilla): I'd stay away from store brand protein shakes. This one was not delicious, gluten-filled and did not dissolve. 

As for the blender bottles.....I see these things everywhere now! They have them at Whole Foods and Target, in all kinds of shapes, sizes & colors. The benefit of this water bottle is it comes w/ a little blender ball to mix your shake if you are on the go.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Parrish paleo hunting


Oh New Orleans. How you cause a girl to cheat. Finally a pretty awesome destination for a mock trial competition .... and since I was traveling with 4 boys ages 23-25, I was fairly certain there'd be some trouble in the Big Easy. Beignets. Fried gator. Fried everything for that matter. I have been twice before and never really got the Bourbon Street experience....well now I have. Drinks at Pat O's, singing your heart out at the piano bar, live jazz, and lots of day drinking. So needless to say I got a tad derailed (though that was mostly booze related... I'm fairly certain The Grenade and The Shark Attack are not paleo friendly :), but I did manage to find some caveman approved food while on the road.

First meal: oysters. Now I am not really a seafood girl. Too bad because I guess oysters sans crackers would totally be legit. But man, I cannot get over that texture. Ick. But at least I can say I tried. Which for me, is pretty daring.

Breakfast was definitely easiest. Omelet, bacon, sausage & fruit. Mimosa at least quasi-compliant :). Then for lunch, I went to a place called City Greens. Now really wishing we had one in Atlanta. This place is awesome- salads anyway you want them. I got the Spinach Club, with avocado, bacon, egg, tomatoes & onion on a bed of spinach. They also had a bevvy of Kombucha drinks, which I was in desperate need of as I am certain I did some damage to my gut whilst on Bourbon Street for 10 straight hours the day before.

Kombucha Wonder Drink vs. GT's Synergy: I tried KWD, the pear/ginger version. It was decent, but had some additives like cane syrup. I have tried GTs in Hibiscus and Pomegranite. GTs is all natural and I like both flavors.... so I think I will stick with this brand. Kombucha, for those who haven't tried it, is a fermented drink - so lots of probiotics. And in comparison to using a regular probiotic supplement, this stuff gets your system moving pretty quickly if you catch my drift. I usually drink one over 2-3 days. Nice alternative to water AND healthy bacteria for your gut. 

Now I'm home and back to detox city for me!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Who is this girl?

Do you ever have those moments where you just do not recognize yourself? Hopefully it is in a good way.... but either way, I definitely have been having moments where I'm like, "really, when did I become this girl?" In college, I'm pretty sure my water intake was completely derived from diet coke & light beer. Now I do not drink either.... well not every day all day anyway. I take vitamins. Lost of them. I have been crossfitting for 1 year, which has to be the longest I've committed to a work out routine. Today I got up at 5:45 AM. Voluntarily. I'm slightly worried I will turn into my Dad who gets up at 5 or some other ungodly hour and is all kinds of useful in the morning.... I am typically more prone to hitting the snooze button at least ten times (sorry neighbors) and then speeding through a 30 minute shower/makeup/dress routine. But today I don't know, I was just up. Perhaps its because I was exhausted after last night's workout which included 150 full situps (don't make me laugh today or my abs may collapse) and went to bed at 10:30. Who knows. So I got up, made some coffee, watched some ID discovery & made breakfast & some snacks for later.

Exclusive! Never seen before! Cooked breakfast in my kitchen before 7AM!

Eggs with tomatoes & avocado and left over kale for Bfast. Then for snacks  for later I grabbed some Well Fed Chicken and veggies and whipped up some quick & easy guacamole. Paleo snacking can be hard. I find myself binging on nuts, which is not awesome for my thighs. So I usually mix in some veggies with sunbutter or almond butter, or guacamole. Usually I like to use minced garlic and red onion, but I didn't have onion and frankly I was too lazy for mincing this AM.... but here's the recipe for the easiest guac ever:

Easy Guacamole

1/3 cup chopped red onion
Couple of cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic
sea salt

Slice your avocado and pop out the pit. I usually cut a crosshatch design with my knife and then scoop out w/ a spoon. Using a fork, mash up your avocado & then add chopped veg, garlic, salt & pepper to taste. Eh voila! C'est fini!


In case you are interested, here are the vitamins/supplements that I am into with some brief, very unscientific reasonings behind taking them.

Multi vitamin: Nature made soft gels. The soft gels are easier to digest & do not hurt the tummy.

B complex: Nature made soft gels. B vitamins are supposed to be good for "turning food into

Fermented Cod liver fish oil: Green Pastures soft gel. Ok. This was the biggest splurge of the bunch. There are many benefits to fish oil, like the omega3 intake, but in addition it boosts your immune system and is good for your skin. I have had dry skin on the back of my arms for as long as I can remember and its clearing up. I read a lot of reviews about this brand and they all seem to be accurate. Worth the splurge. Note- I will probably have to break down and try the actual oil because of the cost (pills are way more pricey). Most of the reviews I read said buy the flavored ones if you can. I'll let you know when I do.

L-Glutamine: This was a recommendation from my naturopath uncle for muscle recovery.

Echinacea I work at a courthouse people. That has to be right up there with airports and hospitals on the germ scale. I need immune support, obvs.

Probiotic So I have taken these for a while because of my digestive issues. I cannot really
tell if my change in food habits alone has helped or if these played a role too. So I just keep taking them. Ringing endorsement, eh? These are supposed to help with digestion and cleansing your gut.

Now I am off to the drycleaner and to shock my office by arriving well before 9 AM. Hope you all have a great day! Everyone pray I do not crash at my desk around 3 pm......

Sunday, March 31, 2013


I feel like once you buy a big bag of kale, you've got to commit to making a number of dishes with this voluminous super food. This week I made a couple of basic kale salads, creamed kale, and then attempted my own kale chip. I was in a seriously snacky mood today and needed something crispy & quick..... so I looked at a couple chip recipes and decided to venture out on my own...

Kale Chips

1 1/2 tbsp melted ghee
4 cups kale, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Kitchen items: parchment paper; baking sheet; bowl

Preheat oven to 350. Melt the ghee and let cool; then add to kale and massage the leaves until they are all covered. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, place the kale on the sheet as flat as you can (it doesnt really get that flat...). Bake for about 11 minutes. Immediately add old bay (or other seasoning). I put mine on a drying rack for a few minutes and then ate them all promptly!

And then for Easter dinner...

Well Fed Chicken with Kale, Cranberries & Sweet Potato

Paleo for dummies

Getting started is hard. Most of you know I did this slowly over the past year and then went whole hog in January for the Whole30. Originally, it was because after hearing 15 years of tummy complaints, college bff Heather suggested I give up gluten. HOLY LIFE CHANGE. And interestingly enough, now she is trying Paleo after her doc suggested it as a healthier eating option :) So that inspired me to share a few of the things that made this transition a bit easier for me.... b/c one year ago when I joined crossfit and heard about the paleo crazy, I thought there was no way on the planet I could give up pasta. But apparently, I can, I did, and I don't think I'll go back (although when it Italy....)

These are my go-to cookbooks. Not only do they have yummy recipes, most contain tips on meal planning, eating out, exercise, or general health (science-y stuff) information.

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan- this is a basics book. How to prep for the week; how much to buy; how to cook ahead to virtually make anything during the week (she calls them "hot plates"- basically mixing up pre cooked veg + meat + spices).

Paleo Comfort Food by Julie & Charles Mayfield. I live in the south now... and let me tell you, a girl gets used to southern soul food. This cookbook has really good paleo-fied recipes of some favorites like fried chicken, creamed spinach, and a couple dessert recipes!

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo- this is a cliffs notes version of It Starts With Food; basically a nutrition 101 (for science idiots like me, its understandable). And I haven't tried a recipe I didn't like. Yet.

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso- my first purchase. Exercise 101 (especially for the crossfitters) and paleo basics. Some of the recipes are hit or miss, but a lot of good info in here.

Kitchen Basics

Pantry items I can't live without: coconut oil, sea salt, honey, coconut aminos (good sub for soy!), ghee, EVOO, coconut cream (TJs brand).

Cooking utensils I can't live without: food processor (mine just broke...argh.), measuring cups (courtesy of Leigh I have like 800 measurement options), measuring spoons, spatula, tongs.

Wish list: XL wooden cutting board (I got one for Xmas but still waiting on sister to send....)
Better knives/sharpener

Hints to survive that first month:

Make yourself some treats. Paleomg's granola or a paleo-fied muffin will definitely do the trick when you need something sweet or crunchy or just something that feels indulgent. In the beginning, I found it easier to ween myself off my old diet by including some treats.

MAKE YOUR FOOD ON SUNDAY. Or whatever day works, but plan ahead. You will hate yourself if you don't (believe me, you will dive headfirst into cheating if you do not have good choices on hand. that or you will get extremely sick of eating eggs for dinner b/c its the fastest thing you've got going in your fridge).

When I started, I let myself eat without limits (counting calories, etc). No need to be feeling the burden of tracking your food and restricting it!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This week in food and a thought going forward

Here is what I will be eating this week.... AND in record prep time: only 1h15m!! Now to eating & sunday night tv.

I was thinking about the Whole30 this weekend... and the thing is, that is soooo January. I completed the 30 days, sugar/dairy/alcohol/legume/gluten free and definitely did see some changes. Especially with my energy levels. And although I'd like to lose some lbs and decrease my % in that water tank next month.... I think I might take these 30 days to proactively work on moderation. I am still going to eat paleo, but maybe on a saturday I can eat a paleo-fied muffin, or have a glass of wine. I am going to New Orleans in 2 weeks, and Italy later this year....and so really, I think moderation is what I need to work on. So I'm giving myself a pass, at least once a week, to indulge in something not Whole30 but not wholly terrible for me. This has to be the key to sorting out how this works in real life, right? like actually doing it in real life... ah maturity....eventually I will have you totally under my belt!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Girls night in!

Tonight my friend Mary and I cooked up a mean, 100% paleo compliant dinner & dessert for a cozy saturday night in!

I decided to mix some of my faves together and this is what we came up with: Everyday Paleo Sundried Tomato Meatballs over Pesto Spaghetti Squash with a side of Creamed Kale. The tablescape is not nearly as good as the food was! We used a different take on the pesto- a pine nut/walnut mix (1/4 cup v. 1 cup) and nixed the sundried tomatoes in the pesto. For the kale- just heat up some kale in a little coconut oil and garlic. Once it starts to wilt, add a teaspoon or two or coconut oil and add desired spices (we used a blend of cinnamon, cloves, chili powder, salt- I had this middle eastern mix on hand; its probably just as delicious w/ sea salt & pepper!). Then add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and some toasted pine nuts.

And for dessert.... berries with my coconut creamer and decaf organic french roast! Feeling so grown up (read: super old) with a healthy, caffeine free meal :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 2: On Struggle

Part of me feels like I should have skipped crossfit last night.... I couldn't get up to my 89% front squat, and at 85% it was still pretty sketchy on rep 3. Not exactly the kick start I wanted after learning my body fat % (poor to fair....apparently in that order!) and my benchmark wod that left me breathless. Literally. How did everyone else do??

In better, actually BEST NEWS EVER! I booked my flight to Italy w/ my bff from high school Laurie! So in honor of that incredibly fattening & financially sketchy decision, here's what I'll be eating for dinner tonight:

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti- super easy/lazy version

1 spaghetti squash
1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes
1 lb beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
cumin, garlic powder, salt/pepper to taste
basil to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cut around the spaghetti squash w/ a small/paring knife first; then take larger knife and slice open (sooo much easier this way). Place in baking dish w/ about an inch of water. Bake 40 minutes or until outside of squash is tender.

Meanwhile at the stove.... heat up some coconut oil and add your onions until translucent. Add meat, garlic and spices. Cook until browned and then add the can of tomatoes until they are heated through. Then scoop out the squash with a fork and add sauce. E si รจ fatto la sua facile! (and yes I had to look that up. I know 0.0 words in Italian).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Whole30 Approved Coffee Creamer

Here is my recipe for Coconut cream, which can be used for coffee or with some berries for dessert...yum!

1 can TJ's Coconut Cream (you can use milk too but the cream gets thicker)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Put your can of cream in the fridge over night. Open from the bottom and pour out the liquid. Scoop out the cream and mix with hand mixer (using the whisk option works best) until it forms a whipped cream-like consistency. Mix in vanilla & cinnamon. I keep mine in the fridge for about a week. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Cleaning!

So today begins my second attempt at the Whole30. Except this time, I am getting a body fat test done (T-7 hours until I face the bathing suit....scary) and have the support of my fellow crossfitters joining in on the fun. I thought it might be nice for us to have a place to share recipes or discuss sore muscles or you know, be held accountable for following through (that's directed at me, not you obvs). 

In addition to clean eating, I'm also going to commit to at least 5 workouts a week which must include at least 6 miles of running. Although I love my Crossfit box, I have GOT to start running again. I just do not think my thighs will respond to anything else. boo.

So here's to us being better than yesterday! :)