Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fuel : Garden Season - Beets!

The day after i processed all the kale (kale chips, but i also blanched and froze two bags full and made kale and beef for dinner, which was yummy, kind of like a healthier hamburger helper), i decided to tackle the beets.

I already had borscht and i thought instead of making more, why not just process them so that i can do whatever i want with them  later on?

I love roasted beets with my roasted pork or beef, and they are delicious just as a side dish.

My friend Zoe used to make beetroot pickles and i remembered she told me all i needed to do was to peel and slice beets and put them in vinegar.

So, first i cut off the beet greens, chopped them up to eatable size, blanched and froze those.

Then, i washed off the beetroots, and let them cook in the boiling water for 25 minutes, till they were nice and cooked.

The children loved the "bloody" looking water in the sink afterwards!

I drained them, and sliced them up.

The little ones i peeled (just by rubbing with my fingers, the peels slid off easily), sliced, and put into two little pint jars with cider vinegar for easy beet pickles.

The bigger ones i cut off the tops and sliced in coins for roasting or soups later on, and filled four bags full.

Then i was hungry, so i opened one of the bags, slathered the beets in sour cream and fresh dill (also thanks to Shawnelle!) and had lunch...


Monday, August 27, 2012

Workout : Dumbbell Complex (The Bear)

He told me how to do it wrong last time.

This is *really* how you do The Bear :)

First, the easy version.

I used 15lb dumbbells

5 sets of this:

hang clean :

push press
push press

Repeat five times without putting the weights down at all.

So, you'll do 25 hang cleans, 50 squats, 50 push presses.

And you will feel much tiredness, and probably lay on the floor after you stretch it out afterwards.  (Coach T says stretching is all in the mind, and useless - but my poor body says if i don't stretch, i just hurt nonstop all the time!)

Coach T's version of The Bear

He used a barbell with 135 lbs

5 sets of

hang clean
front squat
military press
back squat
military press

Repeat five times without putting the weights down at all.

Workout music supplied by the Songza app on the ipad :) hooked up to computer speakers we stole from the kids' computer...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fuel : Garden Season - Kale chips!

My friend, Shawnelle, brought over a few children to play with mine, and a whole lot of produce.

I felt rich!  Fresh goat's milk, goat cheese, herbs, and a huge bag  of kale and another of beets.

I had just made and canned 11 quarts of borscht (mmm....), so i was thinking of things to do with beets, and what on earth to do with all that kale?

But, we have found a winner recipe!

And best of all, paleo friendly :)

For months/years people have told me about kale chips.  Finally, a chance to try it out.  I decided to try two methods and have a taste test with the littles.

First, to prepare the kale - wash the huge leaves free of caterpillars and their eggs.  Then, using a sharp knife, cut out the tough inner vein.  Then, tear them into roughly potato chip size pieces.

After they were all torn up and clean, i put a few handfuls in a big ziploc bag, poured in some olive oil, and gave them a nice massage through the bag, getting oil all over them.

Then, i took them out of the bag one by one and spread them on a cookie sheet (being careful to spread them out flat) or a dehydrator tray.  Sprinkled with coarse salt, and some batches with table salt (table salt was much less salty).

Then, i put the cookie sheets in the oven at 300 degrees, and the dehydrator sheets into the dehydrator at top temperature.

The oven baked kale chips were ready after about 20 minutes or so - they got a little golden and were completely dry and crumbled to tasty dust as we crunched on them.

 In paleo eating, i often crave something crispy and this fit the bill.  I also have a history of kidney stones, and these are full of oxalic acid, so when i eat them, i have to be careful to drink a lot of water!

The dehydrated chips came out the next morning, and they were surprisingly still beautifully green.  Crispy, yes, but some of them were still chewy.  Probably if we had left them in the dehydrator a little longer, they would get just as crispy.  They did have far more "kale" taste than the other chips, which i thought was a plus.

But the children all voted for the oven baked.  I think we will end up making both, as the dehydrated kale chips are likely more nutritious.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Workout : Buns o' Steel

Coach T asked me what exercises i wanted to do.  As if i know!  That's why he's the coach.

But i told him i wanted buns of steel :) and he promises i will feel this workout tomorrow every time i sit down!


This means, three sets - the first will have 21 reps of each exercises
The second will have 15 of each exercise.  And the last set will have nine reps of each  exercise.

Coach T's exercises were:
~Ring pullups (video)
~hanging knees to elbows (KTE) (video)
~handstand pushups (video)

My exercises were:
~low bar squats (video)
~jumps (video)
~pushups (video)

Here's a website with info on ladies squatting that might encourage/help, too! (****warning**** bad language)


Friday, August 17, 2012

Fuel : Burrito-ful salad

I don't have a picture for this one, but you can check out Mucho Burrito's website for an idea of where i'm going with this.

Scroll down to the salad bowl.

Now, imagine no bowl!

This is something we had this week, and then we made our own :)

Coach T did a wonderful pork roast, and then shredded it in the crockpot.    With greek dressing, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce,  and tzatziki on the side (should have added feta cheese, too!), it makes a hugely satisfying, very paleo feast!

AND the children love the kind of meals where they get to choose what ingredients they eat and in what proportion.

I noticed three plates where everything was carefully sectioned off :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Workout : life, interrupts!

Well, i broke through the weight loss plateau and lost one.  more.  pound.

Bad news is, it happened after i missed a workout for, like, the fourth time.


Coach T has been doing heavy lifting at the Multiplex (where they have more weight than we do here) - which is cool, but it means he is less than motivated to work  out with me!

We'll be back, soon...

I do wonder, about Gary Taubes' theory - he says if you want to lose weight, don't work out - bcz it increases not only your caloric needs, but also your appetite.

Maybe he's right.

Anyway, i wanna lose weight, but i also want to get strong and healthy.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Workout : Rowing combination

Tonight's workout:

4 sets of

Row 500m
20 pull ups
20 crunches

Instead of pull ups, I do bodyweight rows.  Which I've mentioned here.  (All of those exercises are links to videos that show proper form!)  And instead of crunches, tonight i did TTapp's "Putting Organs in  Place" followed by "Half Frog Sequence".

It's funny - i felt so fat Saturday - went shopping and most things looked depressing on me.  But once i just put on my shorts and shoes and got down to the workout, my *body* felt happier :).

Try it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fuel : Coach T's Coconut Curry

Once summer is over, I'll be doing most of the cooking again.  Coach is a principal,  and has the summer off, and loves cooking, which equals easy street for me, kitchen wise.

And I am so grateful he likes cooking so much *and* loves nutrition and fitness.  I sure wouldn't be making as much of an effort to lose those baby pounds if i didn't have him on my side and in the kitchen :)

Here is our dinner tonight - sweet potatoes on the side, and Coach's famous coconut curry.

Coach T's Coconut  Curry

8-10 chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk
lots of curry powder
garlic and onion
salt, pepper

chop up chicken breasts, fry in olive oil with spices.  Once browned, add coconut milk.  Season to taste, and let simmer till cooked through.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Workout : Ladders

Today's workout was a ladder.

What this means, is that we do a descending (or ascending) number of repetitions (reps) of an exercise.

Coach T chose kettlebell snatches, and abs.

So for my workout, i needed an 8 kg kettlebell, and space to do my crunches.

The kettlebell snatches were one handed.

So, you pick up the kettlebell and swing it (jump to get momentum!) up as far as you can extend your arm, then back down to the floor.

We did ten of these, then ten crunches
Then nine snatches, nine crunches
down to one, and one.

We didn't time ourselves, but Wyatt beat his mom and dad by a LONG shot (he used a 25 lb barbell, and Coach T used a big fat kettlebell - 50 lb?)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Workout : Inspiration!

While we are still working out in our home gym, while the Olympics are on, we're finding inspiration watching people doing some of the same lifts we are doing.

Instead of only lifting the bar, these women can really lift! (And of course, the men are pretty good, too!)

Coach T recommends vegging out and watching - he thinks that by watching superior form and technique, we internalize better ways of lifting, and hopefully we can incorporate some of what we *see* into what we *do*.

Baby Octavia approves, as well!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fuel : Proteiny, savoury eggs in a muffin tin!

Like most things in life, the inevitable craving for carbs can fixed with the judicious application of bacon!

Coach T loves these little "muffins", which are super easy to bake and are super tasty!

We tweaked this recipe from allrecipes.com, so it's always a little different...

Bacon and Eggs in a Muffin Tin

Preheat oven to 350.
Bake bacon on a cookie sheet (this reduces the mess!) till well done but not completely crispy. 

But a little knuckle of butter inside each muffin cup.
Curl a bacon slice around the inside of the muffin cup, and break some up to make a "bottom", too.

Sprinkle a little cheddar in each muffin cup, then break an egg into each one.  Top with jalapeno bits and a little more cheddar, and any leftover bacon crumbs.

(Coach T likes to switch up what cheeses he uses, or add in onion instead of jalapeno, or red peppers, too)

Bake in preheated oven for ten to fifteen minutes.

Delicious!!!  I have frozen these so he can grab them for a quick breakfast (when he isn't doing the intermittent fasting, which i guess will be another post one of these days...) :)  But in general, they go way too quick to save.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Workout : 5, 10, 15...

Today's workout is one i kind of like.  Because it doesn't require a lot of set up or thinking.

Do five pullups
Do ten situps
Do fifteen pushups

Repeat as many times as you can in twenty minutes.

I did fifteen sets!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fuel : Dinner Guests

So, apart from working out and nursing my baby and homeschool planning, i also am geared up for  hospitality.

I know it's not a strength for me, but i think i have found a game plan that might work :)

 (Why is this important to me?  Mostly bcz the Bible says it's a big deal.  And i believe the Bible)

So - my first step is inviting over "easy" people.  I will eventually get around to lepers and orphans (i hope!)  but for right now, i need a lot of practice with people who won't judge - and luckily my life is full of just that sort :)

Secondly, i asked for help.  My friend Amanda has cooked for huge crowds and was able to give me some really practical pointers about choosing food/selection/drinks and ways to make that end of things smooth.  (Check out my other blog for deets!)

But in this blog, on this post, i thought i'd share what is working for me, paleo wise, in having guests over.  Because it just seemed like one more insurmountable  hurdle - to have people over, but serve "plain" paleo food.  No matter how good it makes me *feel* to be in ketosis, i do not feel like a paleo chef yet!  My object is to get 'er done, and make it pretty later...

So, today, we invited over a fun family after church and here is what we served (sorry, no pictures!)

Cold roast beef with a horseradish mayo and a chili aioli (and butter)



greek feta and apple salad


deli meat

cheese, sliced


mixed salted nuts

pink grapefruit pop

diet coke


and for dessert -  two kinds of pound cake, tuxedo cake, and our guests brought a pie and black forest cake as well.

This is very doable!  Instead of a bun or bagel, i used a knife and fork with my meat, and dipped it into the dips.

Salad, fruit, cheese, and nuts rounded out my plate, but there were carbs for regular folk :) and chips for the children.

Coffee and dessert for all who wanted it (but I'd rather stay paleo!)

It wasn't the fanciest ever table, but there was plenty to eat, plenty of variety, and best of all, no stress on my part about food, or what to eat, or feeling deprived *or* like a bad hostess...

I'd love to hear how other paleo mamas handle hospitality!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Workout : Complex Bears!

"It's a complex, not complex" he said.

We were up a little earlier this  morning, and i looked at him blankly.

"It's called a bear.  Here's how you do it."

Picking up two dumbbells, he did five squats in a row.
The dumbbells just hung from his hands.

Then, he cleaned them from his waist to his shoulders, five times in a row, bouncing lightly on his feet.

Then, push pressed from his shoulders to up in the air.  Bending his knees and pushing up with the strength from his legs.  Five times.

"Do that.  Five sets."

"I can do that!"  I said.  And i did.

Then i rowed 500 m on the rowing machine, and logged my workout on fitocracy.com (where i am mamazee!)

All you need for this workout is a pair of dumbbells - i used 15 lb ones - and if you don't have a rower,  just go for a run around your block :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fuel : Cheat Days

Today is Friday.

And for the past few years, Friday has been date night.  Now that we have teenagers who are willing to watch their little siblings, date night has been a break for us to get out and talk about stuff, make plans, dream a little, and just be us for an hour or two once a week.

Now, with baby Octavia added to the mix, date night necessitates the unnaturally un-ergonomic carrying of the extruded plastic carseat, and the jiggling of a sometimes semi awake darling, but otherwise life goes on.

While we try to eat clean most of the time, Friday night is usually cheat night.  We don't eat huge amounts, and neither of us is in the mode of "get all the sugar you can!", but if there's something we've been craving that week, that's when we get a Tim Horton's doughnut, a slice of poundcake, or, tonight, Fatburger :)

Cheat day helps us stick to our diet in two ways - one, as a pressure valve - you're not tempted to cheat during the week, because you know you'll be able to indulge later on, and two, it reminds you that wheat and sugar really make you tired and feel logy... :)  Reminds me why we are doing this!

So, take a cheat day every once in awhile!

Workout : Angie

This is an easy one!  Get going!  The only equipment you'll need is something to pull up on :) _ the rest is all you.  Break it into as many little sets as you need to, and add them up to one hundred of each exercise!

I'm splinting while i do the crunches- if you have a little pooch from having a baby - you may have diastasis recti- and shouldn't do traditional sit ups.

Instead, you need to splint (hold the sides of the muscle together) while doing a very very simple crunch (just lift head, not shoulders!)

(This website has great information with videos! including how to see if you have a diastasis.  Many pregnant women do get this, and it's fixable! )

And Teresa Tapp's "Putting Organs in Place" (she has generously put this in her "try Before You Buy" section of her website!)  maneuver works really well, not only before any ab work, but at random times during the day.  It works by just kind  of adjusting the organs that want to take advantage of a weak postpartum rectus abdominus muscle!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fuel : Simple, Clean Suppers

I feel a little guilty blogging about meals i didn't make (except for the chicken!).  Coach T loves cooking and is a lot less utilitarian than I am.  Still, he makes meat, a veggie, and that is it.  No breads on the side, no carbs, but still... tasty!

One simple thing we do with a lot of our veggies is roasting a la Jamie Oliver.  (Click the link for the recipe!) In one of his shows, he had a huge pan of cut up veggies and poured on a "big glug" of olive oil, tossed it all up with his hands, shook generous coarse salt and pepper on it, and threw it in the roaster with his meat.  It looked beautiful, and when we tried it out, it *tasted* wonderful, too!

So, we tend to roast veggies a lot.  Some, like the sweet potatos in the top photo surprise us with how delicious they are later on, cold.  We left the skins on, and they were delicious cold as boats in our bedtime snack.

The pork ( top photo) is just marinated and cooked in a chimichurri sauce, and the chicken (second photo) was "fancy" - Coach T asked me to mix seasoning salt with butter and lift the skin all over the chicken and stuff in the seasoned butter.  Usually i just use a lot of seasoning salt and make sure to baste but the added butter did make the meat extra tasty!  They end up tasting just like the rotisserie chickens you buy at the supermarket!

The tomato and mozzarella salad is his summer favourite, and I love it too!

Here is the recipe:

Coach T's Summer Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

6-8 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1" cubes
2-3 cups mozzarella, cut into 1" cubes
2 tsp basil
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

optional add ins: pine nuts, and feta :)