Give Me All of the Food!!!

Holy.Cow.

Breastfeeding gives you the worlds biggest appetite EVER!!! I eat and then feel as though my stomach is empty. Sometimes I get tired of eating so much because my options are limited. It is insane!! I eat the biggest portions of meat, veggies and fat and am still hungry! This salad barely made a dent!!

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I am constantly hot and thirsty. The thirst hits like a tornado- fast and furious. I chug liter after liter as I feed my little one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I have been trying to cook as much as I can. I recently got a 40# box of winter banana apples which I have been trying to use up. I have made apple crisp, apple pie (recipe coming up soon!!), apple butter (recipe from Ohsheglows) and apple sauce. (I keep thinking of Bubba listing off ways to cook shrimp!).

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I have also been using the crockpot a ton since I don’t have a ton of time to use the stove or oven. I made a big batch of beef and chicken broth and tonight a fryer chicken and gravy (from the awesome Nom Nom Paleo blog).

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I also made a big batch of Spaghetti Squash Mac N Cheese- my fave!!  I also did a butternut squash chili that was quite delicious with a beef mix of liver, heart and muscle meat!!

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I have my 6 week post-partum appointment with one of the midwives on Monday. I have been thinking a lot about it since the last time I posted about my weight battle. I am still a little nervous, but have been working on giving myself permission to not worry about it right now. My main focus is on taking care of myself, feeding my baby well and loving him, taking care of my husband and loving him well and taking care of my home. I try to get to the gym three times a week to lift (because it makes me feel like one hot mama!) and walk as much as I can. I also try and move as much as I can throughout the day to increase my daily activity. I will let you know how it goes!!

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My workouts have been the same. I do an upper body day and a lower body day, while doing “abs” at home (lot’s of planks). Upper body is a lot of pushing and pulling with a barbell and lat pull down machine. Lower body is a lot of squats, deadlifts and lunges. I am amazed at how flat my butt has become and how flabby my triceps have gotten. Sometimes I worry that when I go back to work (a week from tomorrow!) that people will be skeptical of my being a personal trainer because I don’t “look” like a personal trainer. Does that make sense? I am trying not to think like that, but sometimes it is hard not to.

Anyways, I hope you don’t mind my honesty here. I have always tried to be authentic about my journey: successes, losses, triumphs and struggles. It is my hope and passion that sharing my journey will help others on theirs.

By the way, if you like my blog, please let others know about it, especially if you know someone who would be encouraged by finding healthy food recipes :) I will keep working to update my actual recipe page (as it is severely outdated!!). Thank you so much!!!

Amazing Vegan Recipes from Oh She Glows!!

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Last night, nestingpalooza was in full swing! I cleaned up the house and got my barefoot and her pregnant self into the kitchen. (Women belong in the kitchen- heck, everyone belongs in the kitchen, it’s where the food is!!) I had flagged some recipes from Angela Liddon’s of OhSheGlows new cookbook, “Oh She Glows Cookbook” that I wanted to try and have on hand for when my friend Renee flies up tomorrow. I didn’t take any pictures while I was cooking, so here are some pictures from the beautiful book which is proudly sitting on my coffee table!

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I started with making her Life Affirming Warm Nacho Dip because it just sounded so satisfying. It was a little more time consuming than I would like, but I found with all of Angela’s recipes that they require a little more work but it is ALWAYS worth it!!

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While that was cooking, I moved onto her Effortless Anytime Balsamic Dressing. That was quick and easy- assemble and shake! We will probably use it tonight on a simple salad. I love having clean, crap free ingredients food in the house. Most balsamics have added thickeners, gums, sugar and junk. This way, it’s muuuuch cheaper too!

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Then it was onto Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup! I left out the lentils, onions and garlic because I want to have this post-baby. I used a Thai Curry spice from Whole Foods which smelled uh-mazing! I got 3 quart jars out of it! Can’t wait to try it!!

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Then I made some Chili Lime Delicata squash which is always a house favorite around here! Anything with chili, lime and cilantro is a win in my book. I tried not to eat all of it- always a challenge!!

I also made some bone broth since the mornings are a little chilly and I like to have alternatives to my buttered coffee in the morning. I always feel better when I start the day with water, broth or tea rather than coffee, but I do love me some butter in it!

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Next up was a test batch of lactation cookies. There are a ton of recipes out there, but I am having a hard time finding one that has low sugar, no grains and still tastes good. This one I found from The Sprouting Seed were really good!! I used three capsules of Fenugreek (too many!) instead of brewers yeast, but next time I will stick to two. I had three for breakfast this morning :) Hey, I need power food for my walk coming up!

After about four hours of cooking and cleaning, I realized that my hips and feet were suuuper sore. I definitely overdid it with all of the walking, swimming and standing and had a harder time falling asleep because of the achiness. I am not complaining too much though, since the aches only started this week.

Ok, I’m off to go for my walk on Powell Butte! Have a wonderful Thursday!!!

P.S. My hubs, who worked a 13 hour day, brought ME home flowers!!! What an incredible man I am married to! I love you, Tim!
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My Top 4 Favorite Blogs

Exciting news!! A few weeks ago, I did a podcast interview with Tony Frederico from Paleo Magazine!! It is up and ready for your listening pleasure. I have not listened to it because I am super self-conscious! So, you’ll have to listen and tell me what you think! Check it out here!

I love blogs! There is something so fun about seeing what other people create or how they workout or how they live. I love spending time being inspired by blogs! Here are some of my absolute faves:

1) Ohsheglows

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Angela does an absolutely amazing job at making vegan food easy to prepare and look decadently beautiful! Some of my faves are her roasted butternut squash, kale salad and roasted brussels sprouts. Her blog is definitely the first one I look at! I am super jealous of her camera and lenses!

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2) UrbanPoser

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Jenni’s story is amazing! She has overcome so many obstacles to be where she is today! Way to go girl! She also has mad food photography skills that I covet. I love so many of her recipes but my faves are her bacon chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake balls and cheddar pumpkin chive coconut flour biscuits. She makes eating Paleo super fun and delicious!

3) PaleOMG

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Guilty pleasure. Juli is hilarious. And she swears which is really entertaining. She comes up with some of the weirdest combos of Paleo foods. She is always mixing it up which is fun. I love her blueberry chai muffins! They are to die for!!

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4) AgainstAllGrain

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Again, with the mad photography skills! Danielle is a chef in San Fran who creates these gorgeous and easy to duplicate Paleo dishes that are perfect for anyone!! I love her creativity and desire to be as “clean as possible”. She is a little more “gourmet” than some others which is fun to try out seeing as how I am kind of a simpleton when it comes to food. I love her pumpkin spice cookies!!

So, if you haven’t checked these ladies out yet, you have to do it!! Seriously, your life will never be the same!!

What blogs do you read??

Smokey Sweet Potato Burgers with Garlic Cream Sauce

I really love following blogs. I don’t follow very many even though there are TONS that are amazing. My faves are Ohsheglows, Paleomg, PaleoinPDX, How Sweet it is, KatieDid and Bare Midriff. I get tons of ideas from these awesome ladies which keep making food fun and tasty!!

How Sweet It Is basically is a blog for food porn, which is good/bad. Good, because I get great ideas. Bad, because I want to make every single thing on there even though they are not Paleo. Sigh…

But, her latest post on these burgers had me running to the kitchen to try them out. With a few modifications, they turned out AMAZING!!!

Smokey Sweet Potato Burgers with Garlic Cream Sauce

Adapted from How Sweet it Is

Ingredients:

2 cups coarsely mashed sweet potatoes (or yams), about 2 large potatoes

2 bulbs of roasted garlic
1 cup cannellini benas (rinsed and drained if canned) (I left this out)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (subbed for almond flour)
1/3 cup oat flour (or all-purpose, wheat, etc( I omitted this as well)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, sliced
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream (Make sure its full fat)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (I left this out too)
extra salt and pepper for seasoning yogurt/cream

4 whole wheat buns

Directions:

Pierce potatoes (I used 2 large) all over with a fork and place on a paper towel, setting in the microwave. Microwave for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove, slice in half and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh.

In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add in sweet potato and mash together, then add in spices, salt and pepper, minced garlic, egg, panko and flour. Mix together until combined, then place bowl in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This helps form them into patties, but as a warning they are still somewhat messy.

While mixture is chilling, combine yogurt/sour cream with 2 bulbs (squeezed out) of roasted garlic cloves, maple syrup and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth then set aside until ready to use.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove mixture from fridge and form into 4 equal patties, then place in the skillet once hot. Since the mixture can be wet and messy, do not move until they are fully cooked and golden on one side! This takes about 5-6 minutes. Then, add more oil if needed (this really helps cook them) and flip burgers very gently. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Toast buns if desired.

Assemble by topping burgers with roasted garlic cream and avocado! Tim was even a huge fan!!!

I just left off the bun and drizzled a little more of the garlic sauce. Yummy!!!

What blogs do you love to read?

4 Awesome Ways to Sneak in Avocado

There is nothing better in this life than a fresh bowl of homemade guacamole, in my opinion. I love avocados!! They are so creamy and delicious!! They make my heart happy (too bad my waistline doesn’t feel the same!) Avocados are pretty much natures candy.

California Avocados are a fresh, natural, wholesome part of a healthful diet.  They’re irresistibly rich in flavor and, avocados also provide vital nutrients and phytochemicals.  Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Avocados naturally contain many of these vitamins.

    • MONOUNSATURATED FATS (3g per serving) – Helps to lower blood cholesterol if used in place of saturated fats.
    • VITAMIN K (6.3 mcg/8% DV per serving) – Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. It is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies indicate that it helps in maintaining strong bones in the elderly.
    • FOLATE (27 mcg/6% DV per serving) – Promotes healthy cell and tissue development.  This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy.  Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.
    • POTASSIUM (152 mg/4% DV per serving) – In the body, potassium is classified as an electrolyte.  Potassium is a very important mineral to the human body.  It has various roles in metabolism and body functions and is essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs:  It assists in the regulation of the acid-base balance; assists in protein synthesis from amino acids and in carbohydrate metabolism; and, it is necessary for the building of muscle and for normal body growth.
    • VITAMIN E (.590 mg/4% DV per serving) – A fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant that protects the body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals.  Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs.  They are believed to play a role in certain conditions associated with aging.  Vitamin E is important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body use vitamin K.  At lower levels, vitamin E may help protect the heart.  Vitamin E also plays a role in healthy skin and hair.
    • LUTEIN (81 mcg) – A carotenoid (a natural pigment) that may be associated with a lower risk of eye diseases. Lutein is an important antioxidant that may help your eyes stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin. It provides nutritional support to your eyes and skin and has been linked to promoting healthy eyes through reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older.
    • MAGNESIUM (9.0 mg/2% DV per serving) –An essential mineral for human nutrition.  Magnesium in the body serves several important functions:  Contraction and relaxation of muscles; Function of certain enzymes in the body; Production and transport of energy; and Production of Protein.
    • VITAMIN C (2.6 mg/4% DV per serving) –A water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development.  Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants.  Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.  It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
  • VITAMIN B6 (0.086 mg/4% DV per serving) –A water-soluble vitamin.  Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water.  The body cannot store them.  That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.  Vitamin B6 helps the immune system produce antibodies.  Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases.  Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells.  The body uses it to help break down proteins.  The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

That’s quite a bit of nutrients! No wonder I like it so much!!

Here are some awesome ways you can add more delicious avocado into your diet:

1) Frozen for smoothies! Avocados are nearly undetectable in smoothies and give it a creaminess similar to a milkshake! I cut mine, then freeze them in Tupperware to add to a smoothie whenever I need that little creamy boost.

2) Mix it in your meat!! One of my most favorite dished is ground turkey, avocado and mustard (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!). You can also do this with ground beef too!

3) Creamy Avocado Pasta!! My girl Angela @ Ohsheglows makes this incredible avocado sauce for pasta! It’s amazing!!!

4) Use it as an oil re-placer in baking!! Avocado makes brownies and cupcakes moist and delicious!! TGIPaleo has this great recipe for avocados in brownies!

I hope you can find some great ways to sneak this heart healthy fat into your diet!!

How do you like to eat avocados??

Do you have a favorite recipes using them??

A Butt Kicking Hike and Link Love!!!

So, this past Friday, I got to g on my first hike of the season!! I decided to do a shorter one since I was just coming back. I weighted down my new Camelbak backpacking pack and hit the trail. I decided to do Hamilton Mountain on the Washington side of the Gorge. It is about 6.5 miles round trip. A school bus of kids pulled in behind me, so I hit the trail without warming up.

An hour and 15 minutes later I was at the summit. It was a gorgeous day and the views were breathtaking, as usual.

 

If you have never hiked in the Columbia Gorge, you are missing out!!

It took me a good 2 hours to get down, ambling as I went. I wasn’t in a hurry to descend, so I took my time.

The next morning, I could not move!! I cannot believe how incredibly sore I was! All the more reason to go out and do it again, right??? I am hoping to squeeze in as many hikes as I can this summer.

Anyways, totally unrelated……

I love reading blogs! There are sooo many wonderful bloggers out there! Today, I want to give a little shout out to the bloggers I like the most:

Juli at PaleOMG

Katie at KatieDid

Katherine at KatsHealthCorner

Angela at OhSheGlows

Lori at WhatRunsLori

Laura at AgainstTheGrain

Jenna at Paleo Project

Mee at MeeEatPaleo

Mark at MarksDailyApple

Sarah at EverydayPaleo

Heather at HeatherEatsAlmondButter

What are some of your favorite blogs?

 What’s your favorite place to hike??

Tasty Tuesday

So, healthy food success- Tim asked for Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Crackers today!!

 

 I was more than happy to oblige and we polished off half a batch in minutes :0) I think these would pair well with Selena’s Walnut Hummus or Erica’s Artichoke Spinach Dip!!

I also declared victory for dinner by having some steamed asparagus with marinara and vegan cheese sauce from Ohsheglows (sprinkled with some feta, of course. No it does not defeat the purpose of vegan cheese sauce;0)

For dessert, here is my big plan: 1 Tablespoon almond butter (ok, maybe 2, it’s been a long day) mixed with some Truvia and some unsweetened shredded coconut with unsweetened dark chocolate to dip! Heaven!!! How do I know this will taste good? I may or may not have had it for dessert this afternoon (my lunch was a pathetically small amount of lettuce wraps).

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I looove almond butter!!

I also got a little surprise in the mail today….

Business shirts!!! I am so excited to sport my biz! You can find out more about Healthy Foods to You by checking out the website!

I have also decided that it is time for me to leave Cascade Athletic Clubs and pursue HFTY full-time. This is an exciting and scary leap of faith but one that I feel very confident in making. So many of you have shown such amazing support and I greatly appreciate every vote of confidence.

So, stay tuned to see what new offerings will be popping up in the next few weeks    ;0)

Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Crackers

One of the things that I love is crackers. Graham crackers, Wheat Thins, Cheeze-Its, Ak-Mak crackers, Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Crackers….you name it, I love them. However, many of the ingredients in crackers are straight up toxic! Take a look at the label from Reduced Fat Wheat Thins….

What about Cheeze-Its?

Or Graham Crackers?

Is that Trans fat that I see hiding in there (partially hydrogenated)?? The label says 0 grams of trans fat, even though it is in the product.

This is where you become a smarter consumer and spend the time reading the labels on the food that you buy. You can’t trust food producers to be honest, healthy and trustworthy- they are about the bottom line- Money. If they sneak in addictive ingredients like sugar and corn, you will come back for more. That’s why I gave up crackers and chips and all of the garbage. Even “healthy” chips like Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Crackers have Corn as their first ingredient right along with evaporated cane juice (ie: sugar)!!

So last night, when Tim busted out his crackers, I decided to make my own. I found this amazing recipe for Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Crackers!! They turned out delicious! I even ended up sharing them with Tim! We ate them before I could snap any pics, so I am borrowing pictures from my friends over at Food Renegade.

Grain Free Rosemary Garlic Crackers

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups almond flour/meal (I ground up my own almonds)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, dried rosemary
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter or olive oil (I used Earth Balance)

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter/spray baking sheet

2. In a medium-sized bowl stir together almond meal, sea salt, garlic powder, and dried rosemary.

3. In a small bowl beat eggs. Whisk in butter or olive oil. Mix well.

4. Pour wet ingredients into dry. Mix well with a fork. Knead a few times in the bowl until dough comes together well. Form the dough into a circle.

5. Liberally butter a baking sheet. Place the dough circle on the cookie sheet and press the dough into the buttered baking sheet, working from the center out. Keep working to spread the dough as thin and evenly as possible. Make peace with the fact that it will not be perfectly even and then finish as well as possible.

6. Once you are satisfied with the job use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares. Then use a fork to poke each cracker twice.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Place on a cooling rack. If your dough wasn’t perfectly thin (and that’s pretty likely) remove the outer (thinner, browner) crackers and place the crackers in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or until crisp and firm. (Mine took more like 25 minutes, fyi)

 

I also used a marinara sauce for dipping! I used Ohsheglows Easy Cheese Sauce to give it a cheesier taste. Delicious!!!

Most Amazing Spinach Dip

Today was a slow day at work, only 2 clients. It was nice to be able to catch up on some paperwork and cleaning. While I was scrubbing the ellipticals, I was thinking about spending some serious time in the kitchen when I got home. And that, my friends is what I did!

But first I had to stop and take some pics of the flowers in my front yard!

I made delicious Apple Spice Donuts (adapted from Ohsheglows) which I made in my heart shaped brownie pans. I made a yogurt glaze to top it off and decorated with sprinkles! They were really delicious- nice and light with a subtle apple spice flavor.

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Next up was a party for our friend Tim Haskins birthday. I made my favorite spinach dip to take over. I usually cut up veggies to go with it, but today I went with Wheat Thins. I think I ate most of it! Here’s the recipe:

Most Amazing Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

Knorr Vegetable Dip mix

4 oz can water chestnuts

1 package frozen chopped spinach, drained and dried

2.5 c. non/low fat plain yogurt (I looove using Nancy’sLow Fat  Organic Plain yogurt)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least an hour. Serve with chips, crackers, veggies, pita chips- whatever your little heart desires!

Oh, and check out what came in the mail today!!!

Happy Weekend!

Kim and Tim!