Finding the balance of physical and mental health through adventures and fitness

Tag Archives: paleo

I eat breakfast every morning and when my boyfriend visits, I try to make breakfast a little interesting. While I’m prepping breakfasts can be boring, but we manage to spice them up from time to time. Over Christmas, I was surfing Pinterest looking for ideas when I decided to see if there were any recipes that were lower carb and higher protein. I came across a pin for Flourless Peanut Butter Mini Blender Muffins.

The recipe was pretty easy and was made in a blender! You can’t go wrong when a recipe is that easy. I did change up the recipe a little bit, but not too much.

First, since I’m in prep I weigh everything, that includes the banana in this recipe. I also used Nuts ‘N More Toffee Crunch protein peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter. Lastly, I counted out the chocolate chips used in each muffin.  Everything else was exactly the same as the recipe I found. I got 6 perfect muffins out of this batch.

Each muffin was 1/4 cup of  batter and the macros were:

Calories: 217

Fat: 10.8g

Carbs: 20.2g

Fiber: 4.3g

Protein: 10.9g

What I learned from this recipe is that it’s ok to use a hand mixer. A lot of my peanut butter fell to the bottom of the blender and I had to hand mix it in. That was a pain. These were super tasty and great to have with my egg whites. They make a good snack during the day too.

These made the boy pretty darn happy and anything that he also likes makes it easier for me to get through prep without extra cooking :]

Do you have a muffin recipe that you “go to” or like to change up sometimes?


❤ Cristina


Today was the last day off of my 5-day weekend, but I have Friday off, so it’s still a short work week for me! Anyway, there was a lot of different seafood items on sale this week at the store, including wild caught haddock fillets. They’re frozen and fit perfectly in my freezer. They were also buy one get one, I may have bought 6 bags…

I’ve had haddock a few times when I was living in New York… thank you fish fry fundraisers, but that’s the only time I’ve had it. I’ve never cooked it and I typically don’t make stops in the seafood section of my local grocer. This was down right ballsy of me. So this is what I came up with.

Baked Haddock with Basil Pesto.



All I did was rinse the fillets once I took them out of the serving size packets and rubbed 2 tablespoons of Classico Basil Pesto. It’s made with olive oil so I didn’t have to grease the baking sheet. I cooked them at 350 for 18 minutes.

I was surprised that there wasn’t a smell with the haddock when I was cooking it. It tasted great too. Not too fishy and I think it tasted better baked than deep fried. I LOVE deep fried food, so that’s saying something. I’m really glad I stocked up too because this will be a staple along with chicken and ground turkey in my journey to lose fat, gain muscle and become a bikini competitor. It’s also completely paleo!

Do you have any recipe ideas for fish that you like to make?


❤ Cristina

This is the post where I state my goals for the next 16 weeks, but I know they will slightly change so here are my goals for right now (bikini competition is 20 weeks out).

  1. Use My Fitness Pal daily to track my carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios
  2. Work out 6 times a week and make it a priority
  3. Use weights more, and get over my fear of the weight room
  4. Take weekly photos to track progress, these will be Monday’s
  5. Weekly weigh-ins to track weight loss, these will be Monday’s
  6. Weekly measurements to track inches lost, these will also be on Monday’s
  7. Lose at least 10 pounds in the first month

So now that my goals are laid out pretty clearly, here’s where I’m starting.

Weight: 174 (according to my doctor last Monday, June 9, 2014)

Bust: 35″

Waist: 31.5″

Hips: 41.5″

I definitely gained back some of the weight I lost post tonsillectomy, but I’ve maintained a size 10, so I’m not complaining- completely. I have 16 weeks to get my butt in gear and become bikini competition ready.


I’ve changed my eating schedule to 6 times a day:

Breakfast- 7/8 am (depending on the day)

Snack- 10/11 am

Lunch- 1/2 pm

Dinner- 4/5 pm

Snack- 7/8 pm

Second Dinner- 10/11 pm


Here’s an example of what I’m eating. This is from today’s menu.

Breakfast: 2 corn tortillas, 2 eggs, steamed broccoli

Post workout snack: paleo protein shake with almond/coconut milk blend unsweetened

Lunch: Chicken breast with brown rice and basil pesto sauce

Snack: plain Greek Yogurt with Bear Naked granola and honey

Dinner: Gluten Free chicken sausage and Brussels sprouts, no salt added ketchup

Second dinner: Beef plain, small apple, 1 cup of watermelon

88 ounces of water/liquid


The ratios I’m trying to hit are 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat. This breaks down to 256 grams of protein, 256 grams of carbohydrates and 57 grams of fat. My ratios were close with 40% protein, 31% carbohydrates and 29% fat, but I was no where near the grams needed. When I put my goals into My Fitness Pal it calculates what you need, but I know this first week will be the week I get used to eating differently. I’m still eating gluten free and as clean as possible like the paleo diet, but I’m incorporating some grains such as brown rice, quinoa and steel cut oats. Immy suggested rice cakes for low fat snack that can help add carbohydrates to my intake. She also said not to worry too much if my fat ratios are a little higher; especially if the fats are healthy fats from foods like avocado.

This is going to take some getting used to. Here are some pictures from today.

I made Brussels sprouts for the first time. I steamed them and that’s it. I wanted to make sure that I liked the taste and the texture. They remind me of cabbage, kinda. I had them with my chicken sausage, so they had some ketchup on them, which was pretty good.


6 pieces is a serving

This morning I tried a new class. It’s called Intense Toning and was it ever. There’s no cardio at all, which is great because I wasn’t looking for cardio. The class works all the muscle groups and incorporates body weight, free weights and weighted bars. The instructor was pretty awesome and I will have to take this class again, just not next Saturday… It’s race day :]


This evening had to work my part-time job  and I was curious about how much we burn by walking around the store, either helping customers, straightening or because there’s nothing to do. In 4 hours and 24 minutes I burned over 700 calories. The average person burned 70-85 calories an hour while watching TV. So I definitely think of this as exercise.

20140614-214623-78383283.jpgLastly, Day 40 of 100 Happy Days: my planner. This thing keeps me organized and I know it’ll be my best friend over the next 16 weeks.



Are you getting ready for the new week? Do you have summer goals?

❤ Cristina

It’s only Saturday and I already feel like this weekend has been super productive. Not only did I clean the WHOLE apartment last night and clean 4 loads of laundry, today I cooked up a few things for the upcoming week.

I’m taking the necessary steps to prepare for a great week. Here’s the top 10 things I’ve done to keep myself sane.

1. Clean clothes are necessary and my papasan is cleaned out :]

2. I made paleo brownies (mix from Trader Joe’s) so I have a fun dessert this upcoming week to have with my lunches.

3. I booked my spot for the group training class at my gym for Wednesday. There were only 2 spots left last night, I’m so pumped that I got one of them!

4. I went for a run yesterday and it sucked, but it reminded me of why I constantly push myself. You’re not going to be successful every time, but the failures will make you try harder.

5. I love bacon, but I remembered why I don’t cook it often. The windows have been open ALL day. Still, it was amazing with my breakfast and my dinner tonight :]

6. Staying hydrated keeps me happy. I know this sounds funny, but I drink a lot more fluids when I’m home than when I’m away from my house. My energy levels are typically higher and my skin looks clearer. I’ve been best friends with my pitcher of unsweetened ice tea today.

7. I have a Netflix binge watching problem.

8. I went through my closet and posted a bunch of dress clothes on eBay and put a bunch in a box for donation. Size 8 here I come!

9. Making decisions that push you outside of your comfort zone isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you need to learn how to face those kinds of choices. Here’s to developing better relationships, with myself and others.

10. I’m going to late night happy hour with my friend Molly, bring on the sushi.


paleo brownies!


baking made easy


Chicken, bacon and tomato wraps with low sodium bacon

Story of my life


Vanilla coconut milk ice cream with sunflower butter and bananas. #almostpaleo


I have a weakness for French fries and I will admit I have been know to sit at the bar at Red Robin and get bottomless fries. I usually max out at 3 helpings for fries with honey mustard when it’s been a bad day. This recipe is a great alternative to the deep fried goodness of the white potato.

Sweet potatoes are dynamic and can be made into a bunch of things. Sometimes I like them made up sweet and mashed and sometimes I like them salty.

What you’ll need

1 large sweet potato

Olive oil

Sea salt



Large knife

Veggie peeler



1. Preheat oven to 350

2. Peel potato and rinse

3. Cut potato in half, then quarter, then slice into fry-size pieces

4. Toss potato pieces in a little olive oil in a bowl until coated lightly

5. Dump potatoes onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt

6. Bake for 15 minutes



A large potato makes enough for two people. Depending on your oven and if the temperature is off, you may need to keep them in longer or less.








A few weeks ago I started making my own fruit bars and I had bought both pitted date paste and whole pitted dates from a local international market. I haven’t used the whole pitted dates until last night. I had no idea what to make with them other than the bars.

Thanks to Pinterest, I found a crockpot recipe that calls for pitted dates, apples, and pecans as the main ingredients. Turns out, it’s from a blog on blogspot called Feeding Ger Sasser. You can get the recipe I used here. There’s no special name for it, but it tastes pretty special :]



Pitted Dates


Post-crockpot to bowl picture


Breakfast in bed on Easter morning


Some notes. I could’ve cooked this a little longer, my apples are a little crunchy still, but it’s still really good. Maybe adding a little water to the mixture might have helped break the apples down a little more.

This made for a great breakfast this morning, while I watched Hop. I don’t celebrate Easter so I plan on relaxing and working around the apartment today and I have a ribeye pulled from the freezer for dinner tonight :] Bring on the wine!

I hope everyone has a great day with family and friends!

❤ Cristina

Two recipes from my 50 in 2014 list in one week; it’s definitely been a busy week and one where change is welcome! I found this recipe as a pin on Pinterest, but turns out the blog is also a WordPress blog called Pop an Egg on It.

The blogger, Katy, is a mother and has a passion of cooking. She’s battled a lot of eating issues and stomach issues. She discovered paleo and has lost weight and become healthier as a whole person. Her blog is mostly if not all paleo recipes and I can’t wait to try others because this one rocked!

Katy’s breakfast muffins remind me of making paleo pancakes with eggs and a banana when I was prepping them, but with some oil, coconut, honey and almond meal these are so far from the banana bread smelling pancakes.

This batch made 8, which is what Katy said it would make.



yay batter!


post oven- yes the unwrap one was eaten :]


They came out fluffy and light. Typically, I think almond meal can be a little chewy and sometimes dense, but these were just like cupcakes. I had set the oven for 350 since I was making other things, and I have never been more happy that I have an oven temperature gauge because the oven was heated to 450!

This little guys only needed 10 minutes and they were done. I can’t win with my oven, not at all.

I have no idea what a serving would be, but it’s safe to say eating one with something else would be a good call. It wouldn’t be hard to eat them all. Katy’s post even suggests mixing in other things like chocolate chips or blueberries to make them interesting. I’ll have to make a variation next time :]