Advertisements

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

Advertisements

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.

 

20140616-135027-49827270.jpg

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.

20140614-214625-78385069.jpg

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 :]

20140614-214622-78382013.jpg

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.

 

20140614-214852-78532665.jpg

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.

20140503-181834.jpg

paleo brownies!

20140503-181848.jpg

baking made easy

20140503-182013.jpg

Chicken, bacon and tomato wraps with low sodium bacon

Story of my life

20140503-182021.jpg

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

 

Equipment

Large knife

Veggie peeler

 

Directions

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

 

Notes

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.

 

 

 

 

20140503-170546.jpg

 

 


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 :]

 

20140420-102611.jpg

Pitted Dates

20140420-102617.jpg

Post-crockpot to bowl picture

20140420-102623.jpg

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.

 

20140416-224211.jpg

yay batter!

20140416-224217.jpg

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 :]


I made another one of the recipes on my 50 for 2014 list the other night. This one I found on Pinterest, but it’s from another WordPress blogger, Enjoying Healthy Foods.

The blogger, Lindsay, is a wife and mother and a lover of food. Her blog shares her experiences with food, the good, the bad and the flops! You can find the recipe for coconut flour pizza crust here on her site.

Here are some pictures from my pizza making adventure.

20140414-221918.jpg

I used canned coconut milk, instead of the carton kind. They’re very different in how they mix and cook.

20140414-221924.jpg

Coconut milk and eggs

20140414-221932.jpg

crust baking in the oven

20140414-221938.jpg

Pre-cooked toppings

20140414-221945.jpg

Post- cooked toppings

 

I put tomatoes and cheese on my pizza because I was being a little lazy. I really want to make this again and make a buffalo chicken pizza or my favorite Hawaiian with extra pineapple :]

Notes

The crust is sweeter than normal pizza crust, but it fits perfectly with tomato sauce and it’s not overly noticeable. I probably should’ve cooked my crust a little longer than I did because it wouldn’t have been as soft, but I don’t mind eating my finger foods with forks if necessary :]

While it doesn’t completely replace pizza, this is a great alternative that I recommend to anyone who likes to play with healthy alternatives.


I thought this posted last night, my Internet is clearly a little slow :[ So this is two posts in one!

This weekend was busy and relaxing at the same time. After roughly 7 loads of laundry on Saturday and a short run, food prep was calling my name. Strawberries were super cheap, so I couldn’t pass them up.

20140413-133124.jpg

Look at these babies!

Back to my short run. I met a girl at my job the other week and we started talking about running. She ran cross country in high school, and since starting college she’s run off and on. We decided we should run together because while she’s a solid 5’11”, she runs at my pace. We were aiming for 3 loops at the park, which would be around 2.25 miles, but we cleared a solid 2 laps running, then walked a lap. Here’s what our run looked like.

20140413-133151.jpg

For me, this was a little slower than the week before, but I did two laps instead of 1.25 laps. Longer distance = slower time, so I don’t wear myself out. I’m going to try to do this loop this week and go for 3 laps.

20140413-133131.jpg

Happily, my Larabars came in Friday, but I didn’t open them until Saturday. I was so excited when they arrived, that I showed everyone at work. I also made a new fruit bar recipe; this time using unsweetened chocolate, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut and sunflower seed butter. FREAKING DELICIOUS!

I also made paleo buffalo chicken tenders with coconut flour and Frank’s Red Hot. I definitely miss Ranch dressing, but these were great without it.

20140413-133138.jpg

After reflecting on my weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s so much easier be clean on the weekends than it is during the week. So for the next 21 days, I’m doing a squeaky clean paleo kick. This will get me back on track, help me debloat, get my crazy in check and hopefully shed some inches in the process :]

 


 

Today was the first day of my kick start and I did great. I have confidence that this 21 day challenge will be easier than the 30 day challenge I did when I first started paleo. Breakfast was banana and egg pancakes with walnuts and 20 ounces of unsweetened iced chamomile tea. I had some raw veggies and fruit throughout the day and lunch was ground turkey and baked zucchini- seriously, best idea I had all Sunday night. I also brought one of my homemade fruit bars. Sunflower butter and 100% cacao- AMAZING!

For dinner I tried a new recipe- I’ll post it tomorrow!- Coconut Flour Pizza Crust. It was so easy to make and while it had a sweet taste, it’s a great alternative to real pizza. I need put just tomatoes on this one, and I need to figure out more toppings to use. I had been considering buffalo chicken pizza, but got a little lazy this evening. Maybe that’s a possibility for next time.

I went to the gym to lift pretty late, so late that I went to the gym on campus instead of my gym (mine closes at 9). I was reminded why I don’t workout where my students do… awkward. But I got a good workout in, nice and sweaty. The heat is still on from the winter even though it’s warming up, so I was extra sweaty tonight, but I felt like it was easier to workout. It was easy to stretch and I feel pretty good about waking up tomorrow. :]

Well, I’m heading to bed and binge watching Netflix I’m predictable. Hopefully day two goes just as smoothly.

 

20140414-225028.jpg

20140414-225035.jpg

Chocolate sunflower butter and coconut fruit bar

20140414-225043.jpg

Coconut Flour Pizza


Today was a great day and definitely one for the books.

I had the best weekend I’ve had in a long time, and I woke up happy this morning; not something I can say about every morning. But today I was genuinely happy and smiley when I got up this morning.

With my new found energy, and a few texts from friends, I pushed my butt out of bed and got my to-do list started. Between laundry and watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix (new obsession!), I got my first outdoor run in. I COMPLETELY KILLED IT!

 

 

20140406-150748.jpg

Outdoor shoes #whitewontlast

My mile was 1:40 fast than I typically run indoors on the treadmill. My lungs definitely paid the price after a mile. My breathing is very different than when I run inside, so I need to work on that; my pace was pretty steady throughout the run so I have hope that I can get my breathing under control.

20140406-150758.jpg

 

 

After my run, I stopped by the grocery store and picked up two Larabars: Apple Pie and Cherry Pie. They didn’t have any other flavors, but I know there are a lot of other places that sell them so this was good for today. Larabars are pretty clean fruit bars. They’re all made with less than 9 ingredients and all ingredients are whole foods such as almonds, dates, apples, cinnamon, etc. They’re gluten free, soy free, dairy free, vegan… I can pronounce all the ingredients and that made me pretty happy.

I tried the Apple Pie bar today and it was awesome! I can’t wait to try the Cherry Pie bar tomorrow… regardless I need to get my hands on more of these bars.

20140406-150806.jpg

This morning I asked if any of you had heard of Larabars and what you thought about them. Greta at Fueled by Fresh not only confirmed that these were a great bar, but she shared a recipe for a homemade bar that she uses. So after my trip to the grocery store, I stopped at the Mediterranean Market by my house to pick up pitted dates.

20140406-223408.jpg

 

I picked up two different things: whole pitted dates and pitted date paste. The second is basically pitted dates already thrown into a food processor. I figured might as well get both and see what works best. For tonight’s bars I used the paste and it was pretty darn easy. I added sliced almonds,shredded coconut, coconut oil and dark chocolate chips to the paste in a food processor. After it was mixed, I kneaded it a bit more and formed it into a square on wax paper and put it into the fridge for the night. It really can’t be screwed up is super simple.

20140406-220842.jpg

After all the sticky mess was cleaned up I got down to business: dinner and snack for tomorrow.

20140406-220826.jpg

Thanks to Ashley Jara for the genius idea to use an ice cream scoop to get all the seeds out!

Up first: Spaghetti squash for tomorrow’s snack.

 

20140406-220833.jpg

Tonight’s dinner: Guacamole burger salad with raw onion and tomatoes.

Three loads of laundry, two loads of dishes and 10 episodes of Friday Night Lights later, I’m in bed under the covers still smiling, wishing this weekend would never end.

marilyn monroe quote | Tumblr

❤ Cristina