Holly Jolly Week 1 Recap

If you read my previous post on the holidays, you know about the challenge I am participating in with my Crossfit box. If you didn’t, go check it out ;P

Basically it is a 6 week food tracking and working out challenge. Now, my workout regime has remained pretty consistent. I have been adding a little extra skill work at home here and there as well as doing RomWOD on a daily basis (my goal being not to miss a day). The toughest part I knew would be the food tracking…

We typically eat well but I have never been strict paleo so it has certainly been a change. But honestly, I thought it would be MUCH harder than it has been. The first couple days, the most difficult part was just figuring out how to balance everything and to make sure I was eating enough. Things that had become staples for me while I am on the go all day at work were now off limits entirely. My graze snacks, peanut and yogurt covered raisin based trail mixes, my fig bars. Those are all things that I could no longer have. So what now do I bring for snack?

I know it sounds like a horrible excuse, but the day time is the toughest for me as I am in my car and on the road 90% of the time. I have no access to heating anything up … And I am sorry but some things like brussels and peppers just do not taste good cold haha .. and I really don’t have the time to drive all over the place scoping out a strict paleo friendly place to get a meal to go. So I have had to figure out how to bring meals AND a snack or two along with me in the car and still meet all my requirements.

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To no one’s surprise, I kind of fell short during this first week. I felt good overall but at workouts I was more tired than usual and I fatigued faster. I found myself dragging my feet towards the end of WODs and I was frustrated. My coach’s first response was to go through my food journals with me and point out all the instances where I had an obvious lack of carbs. I had never realized quite how much it took in veggie intake to meet an appropriate amount of carbohydrates for your body. I knew not to compensate with too much fruit so I was watching my fruit intake but I wasn’t making up for that in up-ing my veggie intake. Yikes! So there was my first lesson learned and after hearing that I am so ready to take the reigns and get on track with ALL my foods!

One thing that helped the most over the first week, and is something that I know I would like to try to continue, has been setting up crockpot meals or making things in abundance when possible in order to provide the ability to meal prep and to have lunches ready to go. It eliminates my excuses and allows me to get all the foods I need. If you have never tried this I SERIOUSLY recommend it. It really is a complete game changer when you are trying to focus on your foods… Especially when you are trying to calculate a specific intake of foods. Which leads me to my next point…

IMG_6820Zone.

My coach’s biggest suggestion for me to ensure I am getting an adequate carb intake is to start zoning. The zone diet, in brief, lays out a prescribed number of “blocks” of food you should have for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and snack. I gives you a bit of a guideline to follow to make sure you are getting proportionate and well-balanced meals. Each meal by blocks (when done equally) is made up of 40, 30, 30 percentage of carbs to protein to fat. The biggest part of this being the carbs. I made my very first zoned breakfast this morning and HOLY VEGGIES! I was absolutely truthfully shocked by how many veggies make up a 3 block breakfast in order for me to get my prescribed carbs… I mean I could get used to this teehee…

If you are more interested in a really easy explanation of zone you can get out the article from Crossfit Journal here: http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf

I have a feeling zone is going to be one of the most interesting journeys I have taken this far in my crossfit life. I am terrified ahah and excited and so ready to share my experiences with all of you!

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My two tips taken from this first week of the Holly Jolly challenge are:

  1. Check your veggie intake! Most people DO NOT get enough vegetables. Even if you think you do, looking into it more for your body type is certainly worth the extra few minutes. Veggies will be the best way to give you energy, keep you full, and help you lose!
  2. MEAL PREP. MEAL PREP. MEAL PREP… Take one day to go grocery shopping and another to set up some crock pots, baking trays, large pots, etc. Devote half a day and just throw it all together at once and let it do its thing. It will be amazing for the rest of the week when your meals are so easy, healthy, AND delicious.

… If you have any questions or want some additional tips on zoning and meal prep, feel free to contact me (getfitwithkait@yahoo.com) for a template and assistance in setting up your first week 🙂

Also, because you guys are such an amazing audience, I figured I would share with you a few of the recipes from our first week! 😀 Enjoy 😉

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Two of the prep meals I made were my homemade chicken soup, which I have posted about a few times 🙂 – I love it THAT much – but minus the quinoa and with the addition of some more veggies to get in that carb intake. As well as this fun and SUPER EASY crockpot beef stew…

Paleo Crockpot Basic Beef Stew

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 5 celery stalks
  • 5 carrots
  • 32oz vegetable stock
  • pink himalayan salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos

Directions:

  1. Layer stew meat (chopped into chunks) in bottom of crockpot.
  2. Season lightly with pink salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix tomato paste and coconut aminos until paste is lighter and spreadable.
  4. Spread mixture evenly across top of meat and sprinkle minced ginger on top.
  5. Chop onions, celery, and carrots into medium sized chunks.
  6. Layer veggies across top of meat in pot.
  7. Fill crockpot with vegetable stock until it is covering meat and all veggies.
  8. Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

Now even though meal prep recipes are amazing and simple and perfect, of course there are nights or times you might want something a little more fun. For that I offer you this INSANELY good and quick clam recipe we indulged in…

Super Simple Clams and Zoodles

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 tbsp Kerry Gold butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lb fresh clams
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. Peel zucchini with julienne peeler to create long strips of zucchini, resembling noodles, and put aside in a paper towel lined bowl.
  2. Rinse and scrub fresh clams to ensure clean and rid of any sand.
  3. In a deep pan, heat butter and olive oil with garlic until there is an aroma.
  4. Add clams to pan and sprinkle red pepper flakes and oregano on top.
  5. Cover and cook just until clams open.
  6. Remove paper towel from zucchini bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
  7. Add clams on top of zucchini and pour butter mixture over the top.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy.

And for when you have the uncontrollable sweet tooth, I whipped up a real simple, satisfying, and still following the guidelines of STRICT paleo apple dessert…

Simple Paleo Baked Apples

  • Servings: 1 per apple
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 small chunk Kerry Gold
  • 1/2 tablespoon raw coconut crystals
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice off tops of apple and core them (This can be done by cutting a circle incision about 1/4 inch deep and scoop out the middle; ensuring to rid the apple of all seeds.)
  3. Chop up the tops of apple and place aside for later.
  4. Place small tab of butter, coconut crystals, and 1 tsp cinnamon in the now empty middle of the apple.
  5. Wrap in foil and bake for 20-25 mins.
  6. Unwrap apples and add apple chunks into the middle.
  7. Sprinkle with nutmeg and remaining cinnamon.
  8. Bake for an additional 10 mins.

… who says you have to break a good strict diet in order to enjoy some fun things in life :p 😉

If you want some other great recipes, you can check out a few of the ones we also used this week below…

http://paleomg.com/shrimp-and-jalapeno-sweet-potato-biscuits/

http://www.paleonewbie.com/paleo-avocado-cilantro-lime-sauce/

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My Ultimate Comfort Food

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It is definitely that time of year where we start wanting more of those foods that warm your tummy, your kitchens, and your hearts… Exceeeept …Those foods tend to come with the addition of a little something around the waist as well. Somehow comfort food became an equivalent to heavy food. WHAT?! Comfort food is just meant to be exactly that… something that brings us comfort. It should be something we can eat with a huge smile on our faces. It shouldn’t be something we feel guilty about eating, break our typical diet to have, or makes our stomach uncomfortable.

With that said, one of my absolute favorite comfort foods from the time I was a small child until now is chicken noodle soup 🙂 MMMMM it warms my soul just thinking about it. Now as a kid there was nothing that quite compared to Campbell’s chicken and stars or traditional chicken noodle… As an adult however, I now have actually very little desire to consumer Campbell’s soup. Like at all.

What I DO have the desire for is MY OWN homemade chicken noodle soup 😀

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Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • shredded chicken
  • 32 oz organic chicken broth
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 cup petite peas
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 green onions
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • one bay leaf
  • black pepper and crushed red pepper (for dashes)

Directions:

  1. Chop carrots, celery, spinach, and green onions.
  2. Add all chicken broth, veggies, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, water, and bay leaf to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, low to a simmer and begin to add shredded chicken.
  4. After adding all shredded chicken, allow to simmer 5 minutes; stirring frequently.
  5. Sprinkle a dash of black ground pepper and crushed red pepper.
  6. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and veggies are soft.
  7. Devour

To be honest, this was my first try at making homemade chicken soup on my own and HOLY MACKEREL I was so shocked and impressed with how perfect and amazing it came out. I can definitely say that this will be come a staple in my house. It was quick, easy, delicious, and nutritious! Win win … win win win

And what would a fall comfort food night be without some homemade pumpkin bread to go along with the soup, right? 😉  I tried my hand at the gluten-free, nut-free recipe from Danielle Walker and lemme tell you… A+ 

Plus it brought to my attention some real lacking kitchen supplies… Like a loaf pan haha. Hence the cake shaped pumpkin “brea” 😉 

http://againstallgrain.com/2013/10/01/gluten-free-pumpkin-bread/

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Sometimes, you just need an already tried and tested recipe to go off of because you just want it to come out perfect and because experimenting with one recipe was enough for the night haha.

Comfort food does not have to ruin your lifestyle or diet in order to be comforting. Comfort food simply has to be the type of thing that you want to share with everyone you love… So here I am, sharing with all you wonderful people 🙂

ENJOY!

Recipe Recap: A Fall Festive Weekend

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It has been a FULL ON pumpkin-y, halloween-y weekend in this house! We are in full swing of celebrating the flavors of this season and I am beyond in love. 🙂

If you haven’t already seen, fall is my favorite season. I am absolutely that stereotypical fall girl who consumes pumpkin everything … AND I LOVE IT haha ;P  One of the best parts of that is making my own pumpkin themed delights. So, as per our newly established traditions, this weekend was our “fall festivity” weekend. It is our 2nd annual fall weekend and both have including, pumpkin carving, pumpkin cider sipping, and the experimentation with fun new recipes. Luckily for you, this year also includes me re-capping those recipes here for you 😉

BUT FIRST…. Can we just talk about my pumpkin. I know I know. But I am in love with Nightmare Before Christmas and I always see pictures of my pumpkins. Except, I am not really artistically gifted. This year I decided … what the heck! … I’m gonna go for it. Didn’t turn out half bad if I do sayso myself 🙂

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Okay now onto the food….

Last fall, I messed around with a recipe for butternut squash sauce. My family had gotten pumpkin ravioli from someone probably almost a year early and had no idea what to do with them. My mom complained that this would be a squash on squash meal and wasn’t too thrilled with the sauce idea…. Then I made… Yeaaahhh she loved it. I was myself truly impressed with how delicious the sauce had come out and I knew this was one for the archives. This year, I found pumpkin ravioli at Trader Joe’s and decided to re-create this masterpiece for the boyfriend and I.

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Needless to say, he also LOVED it. The recipe made enough for us to have on our ravioli and some to save for another time. Warning: it is on the thicker side; which we both like. If you want a thinner sauce, add water (or broth) as you reheat.

Also last fall, was the first Halloween my boyfriend and I spent together. Since we were living long distance, the weekend I was able to come visit was the weekend we deemed our “fall weekend” (and so began the tradition). Part of that weekend was carving pumpkins with a bottle of red wine. We decided that would be the cornerstone and the staple in our fall weekend tradition. However, this year I decided to one up the red wine and utilize that sparking pumpkin cider he found last year. I don’t typically post the promotion of alcohol consumption but this was a special weekend and this is a pretty fun occasion fitting drink. I’m gonna call it…

Pumpkin Cider Sangria

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I cut up a full large peach into small cubes and cut a lemon into thing slices.

Fill two wine glasses with two slices of lemon and a handful of peach cubes. (Adding ice if desired)

Using a lighter red wine, I used a pinot noir, fill glasses almost halfway with wine.

Top off with sparking pumpkin apple cider.

Enjoy 🙂

To close out the night, we bought cookie cutters in the shape of a coffin and a frankenstein head. Last year we made a halloween themed gingerbread house. However, it was made with a pre-done kit we bought at Trader Joes. This year, when my boyfriend came home with the cookie cutters a couple weeks ago, I knew they’d be a perfect replacement for the gingerbread house. So I experimented a bit with a fantastic new gingerbread cookie recipe.

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(Not the most artistically sound representation of Frankenstein, I know… But the cookie itself was delicious at least haha)

Up next, I will also be messing around with a paleo pumpkin bread recipe that I will post for all you lovely fit foodies as soon as it is perfected 🙂

Fall is a time to be enjoyed. Get out and take in the sunshine before it gets bitter cold. Embrace all the flavors and fun food finds. It is truly a remarkably fun time to be had by all!

Humpday Giveaway! … Go Nuttzo

HAAAPPPY HUMPDAY 😀

Over the past month, if you follow my IG account, you have seen posts of this awesome new nut butter I am head over heels for. I serendipitously (that’s my favorite word by the way heehee) discovered my new favorite nut butter at the Tri Rock Expo before my race on Labor Day. I was standing in line waiting to pick up my race packet when my nut-allergic boyfriend pointed out the table giving away nut butter samples and said I should go try… I get to eat ALLLL THE NUT BUTTERS since he can’t. No complaints there 😉 … I had never heard of Nuttzo before but the name made me smile and I figured; its nut butter. I can’t taste bad right?

I was blown away at first bite! I will tell you I do not like bananas… like at all… like I tolerate them on rare occasion but they are not on my list of desired fruit… Can you guess how the samples were set up that they were giving out? Yup. Nut butter on a slice of banana. When I tell you how AMAZING this tasted… I didn’t even give thought to the fact that it was on a banana.

Now of course they were giving away samples and OF COURSE I took some. I was curious how all these other flavors would taste and truly what the difference would be between that and other traditional nut butters I have had. At the table, I tried their original peanut. Again, it was AMAZE. The samples I took back were their chocolate peanut flavor and their “power fuel”… Holy Nuts.

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I tried both on my morning toast and I grew deeper in love with every bite. The texture of it wasn’t dry or rough like many natural nut butters can be. It wasn’t overly powerful. Yet, it had the distinct nut butter taste; creamy, smooth, and perfectly nutty.

But even beyond the taste, I grew more intrigued by the actual substance and nutrition of Nuttzo. It goes so far beyond nut butter. It takes nut butter to a whole new world. Offering even more health benefits than that of a traditional almond or peanut butter.

Nuttzo uses 10 different organic nuts and seeds and combines them in these complex panels in order to offer us even more out of our nut butters. They are USDA certified organic, certified gluten-free, non-gmo, and vegan. With their “power fuel” option (crunchy, smooth, and chocolate flavor) also being paleo approved. Their “seven nut and seed” butters are all natural and contain no added sugar or oil; with their chocolate flavors clocking in with only ONE gram more sugar than their original flavors. Talk about a win there!

The 10 all organic ingredients they pull from to create these butters include: peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut, brazil nut, flax seed, sunflower seed, chia seed, pumpkin seed, and 70% dark Peruvian chocolate. The various mixes of which pack a killer superfood punch and difference you can taste and feel.

From putting these nut butters on my toast to in my protein smoothies and shakes to just eating them straight out of the jar *shame face*, I have tried these all the usual ways I would consumer my almond butter and Nuttzo comes out on top each time. Because I love you all so much and because the wonderful people over at Nuttzo are just so super kind to supply me with a great amount of product, I am going to be spreading the nutty love!

I mean what better way to help get through the week than by brightening your Wednesday with a little nut butter giveaway. Am I right?! 😉

From now until Halloween (because for me nut butters are my candy) you can

enter to win a jar of Nuttzo Original Peanut! 😀

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ENTER HERE

Also, for your nutritional interest and pleasure I have also include the nutrition facts for the 3 different options and samples that I myself have tried… Currently the chocolate power fuel is my everything haha 🙂

Power Fuel                                                              Original

nutrition-facts-powerfuel nutrition-facts-original

Chocolate

nutrition-facts-chocolate

 

PaleOH MY GIVEAWAY!

Do you eat Paleo? Have you always been dyinngggg to try it but unsure of where to begin?

Well today is your lucky day.

🙂

Buck Books, which is an online provider of discounted ebooks, is running one of the most STELLER giveaways I have ever heard of! Seriously, I am like in awe of the prizes they are offering.

The giveaway is currently running from now until March 23rd. Prizes consist of:

  • Paleo f(x) Premiere ticket

  • $200+ Amazon Gift Card

  • 10 Bestselling Cookbooks, physical copy 

  • 3 Bestselling Paleo informational books, physical copy

  • Kasandrinos Olive Oil, Lip Balm and Soap

  • Kindle Paperwhite

That adds up to over $1000 in prizes! :O

It is absolutely FREE to enter the giveaway. No purchase necessary. No commitment.

Whether you are all about the paleo lifestyle or just looking to find out more about it… or you just want a great gift card and kindle (heehee), this is a great set of prizes. So what are you waiting for?

Go WIN ALL THE PRIZES!

Aaaanddd to make it even better the are hosting a killer Paleo event with super discounted ebooks on St. Patrick’s Day (as if it wasn’t already my favorite day of the year!) …

If you enter the giveaway you will automatically receive a reminder for this Paleo event.

If for some reason you aren’t into free stuff, then you can just click HERE to check out the event.

The Paleo event is a 24 hour flash sale of 3 Paleo info books and 12 Paleo cookbooks, all starting at $0.99 !!

Some of the books available in both the giveaway and the flash sale event are some of my favorite liiikeee….

Against-All-Grain-240x300  Make-Ahead-240x300 Slim-Palate-240x300 Slow-Cooker-240x300

Where else can you get books by some of the biggest names in Paleo for LESS THAN ONE DOLLAR!

EEEKKKKK!! ❤

So head on over and check out these awesome events and use these awesome deals to get your feet wet in the paleo world or discover some fun new recipes to add to your inventory.

Trust me, you will not regret it!