Tag Archives: recipes

Paleo Diet: “What do you eat?!”

13 Mar

For Lent, I decided to try the Paleo Diet and am blogging about my experiences with it.  With a few weeks under my belt, I finally have stabilized my weight and have a good grasp on what foods to eat, and how much of each food works for me.  I have incorporated this all successfully into my daily routine and now Paleo is second nature to me!

A question I have been getting from a lot of people is this: What the heck do you eat?!  As I stated in my first blog post, I have given up all dairy, legumes and grains.  What does that leave me with?  Well, I am eating a lot of lean animal protein, healthy fats, and a ton of fruits and veggies. 

PROTEIN

Things like chicken breast, grass- fed beef, fish and eggs are the main sources of my protein.  I have omitted my post-workout protein shake and now simply have some real food after I exercise, if I am feeling hungry.  I make sure to take in plenty of protein to keep myself satiated during the day.

HEALTHY FATS

In the absence of any carbohydrates from grains, my body requires healthy fats to burn as fuel.  I include a fat source with every meal.  Nuts, nut butters, avocado, olive oil and almond flour are my primary sources of fat.  This is, in addition, to any fat I get through my meat intake.  Generally, I eat very lean beef and chicken, so the fat source isn’t significant.  I have been using olive oil, primarily, but have read a lot about coconut oil.  I think this week I will buy some and try cooking with it in lieu of olive oil. [Olive oil goes rancid above 400 degrees Farenheit, so I want to try to save olive oil for room temp use, such as salad dressing].

VEGGIES AND FRUITS

I eat an enormous amount of vegetables and a considerable amount of fruit.  Since I prepare my food each Sunday for the week, I often will prepare a tray or two of roasted veg to have for the week.  Broccoli, asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, and even sweet potato.  [The sweet potato was one of those foods that I decided for myself would stay in my diet.  Some folks choose to omit them when on Paleo.  It’s whatever works best for each individual!]  I also love to sautee kale, baby bella mushrooms & shallots with a bit of oil and white wine on the stove top. 

Salads have always been a staple in my diet, and they continue to be with the Paleo diet.  I jam-pack my salad with things like: baby spinach, tomato, carrots, mushroom, red pepper, avocado, walnuts, chicken, tuna, salmon, etc.  I have made my own dressing out of olive oil, balsamic vinegar & lotsa spices!!!

As for the fruit- I have found that the decision to include or exclude fruit on the Paleo diet is very specific to the individual and her/his goals.  After doing a lot of research and reading from trusted sources, I decided to incorporate fruit into my diet.  This is mainly because I am not trying to drop a considerable amount of body fat and because I am engaging in intense exercise frequently.  Eating a moderate amount of fruit allows my body to get the natural sugars it needs to produce the energy my workouts require.  For other folks who may not be as active and who may be trying to lose body fat, the strategy would be different.  They would limit their fruit intake or omit it altogether.

CAFFEINE/ALCOHOL

These two topics were up for debate and personal “tailoring” in many of the articles, blogs, and websites I’ve visited.  I decided that it is not reasonable to cut out 100% of my caffeine intake but I have made strides in reducing it significantly.  I have 2 cups of coffee in the morning with some almond milk, and try to stick to decaf herbal tea for the rest of the day.  In the event I need a caffeine boost mid-day, I opt with caffeinated tea rather than coffee.  I am also limiting my alcohol intake to red wine or Tequila, and am allowing myself to drink on a limited basis.  This is for many reasons- the Paleo diet and triathlon training among them. 

These decisions were made by me, for me, with consideration given to my lifestyle, schedule, and realm of what I could expect of myself.  I know it is different for many folks, but for me this feels like a good happy medium.

PALEO RECIPES

Through talking with other folks on Paleo and reading blogs/websites, I have come across some Paleo-friendly recipes for treats that have been both yummy and satisfying!

Paleo Muffins
3 eggs
1 cup of pumpkin puree
2 cups of almond flour
1 tsp of baking power
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 cup of honey
1 tbsp of allspice

Mix all ingredients without the eggs first, then mix in eggs and put in muffin tray.
350 for 20-30 min depending on your oven.   Top with nut butter, or enjoy with a piece of fruit.

“Oatmeal” Minus the Oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
1 whole egg & 2 egg whites

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (add more if desired)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk together egg whites and almond milk and then stir in walnuts, ground flax, banana, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; blend well.
In a medium saucepan, warm the mixture on the stove, stirring frequently, until the “oatmeal” reaches the desired consistency; this should only take a few minutes.
Top with berries, nut butter, seeds, or whatever you choose!

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New Recipe!! Mexican Stew

31 Jan

If you’ve ever read my blog (or met me for 5 minutes), you’ll know that I LOVE to cook yummy, delicious, healthy recipes.  And you’ll also know that I’m always looking for new things to try, as well as encouraging my Lucky13’ers to share recipes amongst our ever-growing “family”. 

One of my dedicated Beacon Hill Athletic Club Bootcampers passed along this recipe, which I thought I’d share with you all (Thank you Amelia!!).  This particular recipe is great because it can be cooked in a crock pot [read: minimal chance to screw it up!! AND minimal work involved]

 It sounds delish and I can’t wait to try it!

slow cooker

Easy for a crock pot….  It’s one of my signatures.  If you aren’t really into cooking, you really can’t screw up a crock pot. 
Mexican Stew
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can kidney beans  
2 cans diced tomatoes  (with chiles if you want or jalapenos) 
1 large onion diced
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup of tomato sauce
2 pieces of chicken breast
Mix all ingredients in the crock pot except the chicken.  Place the two chicken breasts on top.  Cook for 6-7 hours on low.  Take the chicken out of the crock pot and shred with a fork.  Mix the chicken into the stew.  Cook for one more hour.  The time depends on the crock pot, so just keep an eye on it. 

 

Protein packed yummy lunch

9 Nov

This is one of my favorite meals….today I had it for lunch, but I’ve often had it as breakfast!  Heck, it could be dinner too!  To the rest of the world, this meal could be classified as an omelette, but I feel as though it makes this yummy dish sound so hum-drum and plain.   I don’t have a name for it (any suggestions?!?!) but here is the version I made today….

I started by chopping and sauteing organic baby spinach, organic red bell pepper, organic basil & cherry tomatoes

Next I added some chopped asparagus (left over from the other day), 4 egg whites, and Italian Seasoning

I cooked it and broke it up into pieces (okay, I tried to flip it, and it broke!)

I plated it and topped it with slices of fresh avocado & a little more Italian Seasoning

It was quite a delish lunch…. Best of all, you can play around with which veggies you add!  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Need some MOTIVATION???

2 Nov

Motivation.  What does it really mean? It is a word that is often used by trainers, teachers, coaches, and parents, amongst others to describe the act of stimulating someone to act in a certain way.  In my world, the word motivation refers to providing people with a reason to live their lives as BEST they can by making healthy choices.  I provide my clients (as well as friends and family) with reasons to eat whole, nutritious foods & stay active and fit through exercise.  I provide them with statistics, knowledge, exercise programs, recipes, stories, encouragement, and other resources so that they may learn and make their decisions.  It is my passion and my job to provide all of these things on a daily basis so that my clients may live their BEST lives possible.

But let me tell you, it is not always easy to keep a person motivated (including myself…I am a human, and am completely fallible regardless of my job).  Motivation is easily done when a situation is optimal; there are no true obstacles, the risk is minimal and the sacrifice is almost null.  When things get a little sticky, maintaining a solid level of motivation becomes MUCH more challenging.  But it is precisely at this critical time when motivation is key.  This is where I have found that the reasons, or MOTIVES, (get it MOTIVation??) for each person make all of the difference in the world.  Working toward a goal for another person’s satisfaction will never be a successful journey.  Sacrificing time, energy, and money to meet the goals that someone else believes to be important will produce one thing: resentment.  As a motivator, I realize the importance of digging into the core of each client’s being, finding what makes them “tick”, learning why they have chosen their goals, and personalizing my encouragement to make it meaningful for each person.

Motivating from this very individualized standpoint makes it much less likely that a person will give up when the going gets tough.  Instead of walking away as soon as they face difficulty, they will be reminded WHY they signed up for the challenge in the first place.  They will pause and remember the MOTIVE from within that has kept them at this journey day after day.  And they will find the strength, courage, and will to endure even the most formidable challenge because they know the end result is of their own choosing.

So, you see, the key to motivation is that in its most effective form, it comes from within.  Those outside sources- teachers, trainers, coaches, parents, friends, quotes, blogs, songs- are only helpers at delivering the message.  Think about who you consider to be the Top 5 motivators in your own life…. do they know you? Are they aware of your goals, your dreams, and the reasons behind them?  Chances are, they do.  Continue to let them be a reflection of your bravest self, and lean on them as a reminder that you never have to do anything alone.  But most importantly understand that their words, actions, support, and motivation will be most successful when you accept them as the support to your own fire within.

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

4 Oct

A simple, easy-to-prepare crock pot meal that can be made for almost any amount of people.  This is the basic recipe but you always can add your own touch.  When I have time, I bake my own corn bread as an accompaniment!

I started with 4 All-Natural Chicken Breasts

 I used Fresh Salsa from Trader Joe’s .  When choosing Salsa, make sure to read the ingredient list.  If there’s much more besides veggies and spices, don’t buy it.  Use something FRESH, or better yet- make your own!

The salsa looked SO yummy that I just had to try it.  It was delish on a rice cracker as well as in the meal!

I bought frozen roasted corn but any type of frozen corn will do!

After washing & cleaning the chicken, I placed it in the bottom of the crock pot

Then I added all the salsa on top of the chicken

I covered it up and set the Crock Pot on Low to cook for 8 hours.  [this will differentiate depending on how much time you have, and the settings on your slow cooker. I like it to cook for at least 6 hours]
 
 
With 1.5 hours left to cook, I added one can of organic black beans
 
 
And also added the bag of frozen corn
 
When it was done cooking, I removed the chicken from the pot, shredded it, and added it back in.  I mixed it with the rest of the ingredients and served it as shown!
 
It was a very delicious dinner that served 4 people, plus 2 servings of leftovers!  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Super Tabouli

15 Sep

Who’s hungry???  Try out this cool new twist on traditional Tabouli made  by one of my favorite chefs in the world- Chef Mike.  Mike is very creative and has cooked/baked some great stuff for me, which has all been delicious!  This week I got to try his “Super Tabouli” which uses quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat.  This would be a great substitution for those with Celiac Disease, as quinoa is gluten-free!  I really enjoyed the quinoa instead of the bulgur, and most certainly give it two thumbs up.  As a Lebanese girl who has tried MANY tabouli recipes, I can safely say this is one of the best yet!  This versatile dish is great in place of a salad, as a side dish, or as a main meal served with a bit of grilled chicken!  Try it out and let me (and Chef Mike) know what you think by posting a response below!

Chef Mike’s Super Tabouli

-Two finely chopped large bushels of Curly Parsley
– Handful of chopped basil leaves
-One small chopped red onion
-Three large ripe tomatoes, I used a red, orange and some multi red green mutant from Whole Foods
– Finely Chopped garlic to preference. I chopped up three or four cloves
– I used 3 ripe lemons. Used an old school juicer
– One cup of cooked then cooled Quinoa
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Extra virgin olive oil to preference. I usual just pour it in till I like what I see

FEED Me!

20 Apr

Last week, I talked about nutrition in general and the dangers of fueling your body with too much, too little, or the wrong types of food.  You can read last week\’s post about the importance of putting proper foods into your body.  As promised, this week I will share my favorite recipes, meals,  and “go-to” snacks for the busy moments on the run….it’ll be a laundry list of What Ieat.  I will also say a bit about How I eat and the benefits I get from it.

I have developed a habit of eating several small “meals” throughout the day, which occur every 3ish hours.  This helps to keep me from getting overly hungry, and helps to keep my metabolism at a steady level.  I prevent over eating and gorging on food as much as possible, because I don’t let myself get to the point where I’m starving and reach for whatever might be in front of me.   I spend a LOT of my time outside the house, so my meals require a lot of planning….and a LOT of tupperware!  I find this to be helpful because it gives me the opportunity to include all important nutrients into my food as I prepare and pack them.  I’m also sure to measure out the proper serving amounts rather than pick endlessly from a bag or box.  I am sure to include the proper amounts of  Protein, healthy Fats, and Carbs  into my daily menu.

I also make sure to drink a LOT of water.  Because I exercise very regularly, I drink the better part of a gallon of water per day.  I encourage you to drink as much water as possible so that you stay completely hydrated.  Often times, we mistake thirst for hunger, and we eat when we should be having a nice tall glass of cold H2O!

So, WHAT is it that I eat?! Well here’s a laundry list of some of my favorite meals… things I buy every time I hit the grocery store, and things I make sure are a part of my day.  I mix and match, but below I’ve combined things into “meals”.   Feel free to get creative and change it up.

Breakfast

– 3 Egg whites with 2 slices Ezekiel sprouted bread.  1 tbsp almond butter, sliced banana, and 1 cup berries

– Oatmeal (NOT the kind with all sorts of added sugar…get the plain oats) with 1/4 cup crushed walnuts or pecans, and 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries

– The Breakfast Cookie which is one of my most FAVORITE new discoveries.  I found this easy recipe from a fellow blogger and have been hooked ever since.  There’s room for variety here, and its great!

– Chobani fat free Greek yoghurt with 1 cup berries, and 1/4 cup Kashi (you can substitute Grape Nuts)

Lunch

– Hummus on whole wheat bread w/mixed greens, sliced avocado, tomato, cucumber, and red peppers.

– Sliced grilled chicken with lettuce, tomato, sliced avocado, and 1 slice of swiss cheese on a Flax Wrap.

– Mixed green salad with sliced strawberries, 1/4 cup walnuts, 1 serving crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and Balsamic dressing.

Dinner

– Grilled salmon with balsamic glaze, butternut squash, and spinach.

– Stir fry…you can get creative here, add in what you want. my favorite mix: red/green peppers, onion, mushrooms, summer squash, zucchini, black beans, tofu, broccoli, cherry tomatoes.   Serve on top of whole wheat quinoa

– Grilled chicken breast w/cumin and other assorted spices, asparagus, and baked sweet potato “fries”

– My ALL TIME favorite dinner…a HUGE salad.  If a salad is going to be “it” for dinner, its gotta include enough nutrients to constitute a meal. My favorite combo is:  Mixed Greens, tomato, cucumbers, red peppers, broccoli florets, 1/2 of a small avocado, mushrooms, 1/4 cup soy nuts or edamame, 1/4 cup of dried cranberries or raisins. Finish it with a tbsp of Balsamic Dressing.

Snacks

-1/4 cup raw unsalted almonds

– apple (pink lady is my fav)

– baby carrots, sliced cukes, and sliced mushrooms w/ 2 tbsp hummus

– single serve Chobani greek yoghurt w/1tbsp ground flax seed

– 1 serving Popchips [they are my favorite treat. every flavor is delish!!]

– 1 cup mixed berries

– banana w/1tbsp almond butter

How about you?? What are Your favorite recipes/meals/foods??  How do You eat so that you stay being your BEST?!