I’m A Slacker….

Yes I know, I haven’t posted in quite a while. But I assure you it’s not because I’m gorging on all sorts of unhealthy junk and I don’t want to share what I’ve been eating. Nope, I haven’t been eating much of anything these days. Since my trip to the ER, three visits to the gastroenterologist, and colonoscopy I have fasted for two days, eaten 1 decent meal, and gotten zero answers about all of this stomach trouble I’m having. While I’ve lost a solid 6 pounds, I’m steadily gaining it back with each solid meal that I eat. I actually had a really difficult time figuring out what to eat before I even had to fast for two days. Three days before a colonoscopy you can’t have raw veggies, nuts, or any fruit containing seeds–aka basically everything I eat. I found it humorous that while most americans with their burgers and fries could eat normally with no issue, I was struggling to find things to eat. Needless to say, paleo and colon prep do not pair well. I was trying to find ways around the rules. “Kale chips aren’t raw…so I can eat that right?” Unfortunately I’m still waiting on the biopsy so I won’t know what’s going on for about another week. What has all of this meant for my half marathon training? Uh, yeah about that…Having severe stomach pain, little or nothing to eat, and being on heavy meds has made it pretty much impossible to train. I’m slowly easing back in though. I did some weights and circuits yesterday and did an easy 4 mile run today. It’s going to be interesting to see how the 10 miler goes on the 10th but I still plan to run it.

The good news out of all of this, is that cleansing my system sort of gave me a fresh start, and with only 20 days until I hit the beach, I think I’m going to start a Whole30 20. For those of you who don’t know what a Whole30 is, here’s a great summary: http://whole30.com/step-two/. I’ve seen a lot of sample meal plans and as long as you take the time to plan and prepare it seems pretty simple. I know my sweet tooth will probably rear it’s ugly head a few times during it, but I already swore off sweets until vacation anyway. I have prepped most of my meals for the week and they are compliant, so as long as I don’t snack off track I should be off to a good start!

Have you ever done a Whole 30? What did you discover about food allergies or aches and pains?

Day 48: Happy Easter!

easter

I apologize for my lack of posts these past few days. I ended up in the ER on Thursday with severe abdominal pain and have been pretty much non-functional since. I’m scheduled for the specialist to get in there and figure out what’s been going on on Friday, so until then I’m just taking it day by day. Not going to lie, I’m pretty pissed how badly this is setting back my half training, and I have no idea how I’ll run the 10 miler in two weeks. I did, however, manage to prepare a fantastic (mostly) Paleo easter brunch! Eating it on the other hand proved to be a bigger challenge than preparing it…

Enough gloom and doom though because I hope everyone is enjoying a Jesus, family, and food filled day! Our brunch consisted of:

Bacon, spinach, mushroom, sun-dried tomato, & goat cheese frittata

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This frittata was a hit and so easy to make! The cast iron skillet makes it simple to prepare and beautiful to present. I had looked up tons of paleo frittata recipes, but all of them I either wanted to add or subtract something so I ended up with my own creation (obviously, since anyone who reads regularly has noticed that I put this combo in like everything–especially my egg scrambles). I got some nitrate/nitrite free bacon from The Fresh Market and sautéed the whole pack in the skillet, then set aside and poured all but a little of the fat off. Sauteed the mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomato and then poured 10 whisked eggs over it (The number of eggs you use will depend on how big your pan is). Cook on the stove until the edges are set and then top with goat cheese and basil and broil until the top is fluffy and cooked. This was so good and easy I think I may just start making these at the beginning of the week and reheating for breakfast instead of chopping and scrambling every morning!

A crepe bar (I made special paleo crepes for myself, everyone else ate regular). Complete with nutella, strawberries, and bananas this was tied for favorite dish with the frittata! The recipe for the crepes is in my earlier post and these can be used for anything from crepes to fish tacos or just as simple lunch wraps! Looking forward to using my leftovers for lunches this week.

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Sweet potato “hashies” (hashbrowns) –stolen from Whole Family Strong

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Proscuitto wrapped asparagus

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Omg these were so easy and delicious! I just took two spears of asparagus and wrapped with thinly sliced proscuitto and broiled for about 8 minutes and they were perfecttt. Did I mention I hate asparagus?

Deviled eggs (I didn’t eat-not paleo mayo)

Chocolate covered strawberries NOM

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I used the dark chocolate dip from The Fresh Market so that makes it okay right? :p

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Day 44: We’ll Try Again and We’ll Fail Again Because that’s what Progress Looks Like

meredith progress So I’ve been a little obsessed with Grey’s lately (hello 9 seasons on Netflix).

I have been eating super clean and paleo lately and my stomach problems have been relentlessly hindering any sort of progress so I am going to the doc soon to figure this ish out. Yesterday I had my all veggie egg scramble, salmon salad for lunch, and grilled chicken with green beans for dinner. Today I started the day with egg whites, smoked salmon, and strawberries. Mid-day I snacked on some celery and almond butter, had a very late lunch of a Kale Lemonade juice from earth fare and a plain turkey burger, and dinner was hard boiled eggs and a few slices of steak. I’ve been surprised at how easy it’s been to keep things really simple without getting too bored or wanting to get off track. I haven’t faced too much temptation, but my boss did take me to lunch at an awesome mexican restaurant and I chose the salmon salad (I even had them omit the corn, beans, and cheese & put dressing on the side so it was literally just salmon and greens) and it wasn’t even a difficult decision. I know change takes time and I’m not expecting abs overnight, but I have just been miserable lately with how my stomach looks, and the way I feel is not normal so hopefully going to the specialist will clear that up so I can start to see some progress.

On the bright side, I scored some major deals on spring clothes today (if it would ever get warm).

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Easter Romper anyone?

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I’m so thankful for Campus Kitchen. Leading my shift every week really brings me so much joy. Today we had an awesome group of girls who were super efficient so we finished up faster than ever and still made a ton of food! Salmon, egg casserole, roasted sweet potatoes, greens, and fruit salad–the seniors we feed eat almost as good as me! On days that we feed them that is; there is a reason they are our clients. When I first started out doing deliveries, it really disturbed me that most of our “hungry” clients were obese. How could someone be obese and hungry at the same time? Unhealthy foods are the cheapest foods available–and I think that’s a serious issue. Why isn’t eating what our bodies are designed to eat economically friendly? Why does the government pay the corn and wheat industries to mass produce so that processed versions are in everything the average american eats? It absolutely disgusts me how hard it is to eat healthy, when I tell people I’m on paleo they are legitimately baffled and wonder what I even eat/how much it costs. And they are right, it shouldn’t be expensive to eat correctly, it shouldn’t cost extra to eat locally grown foods, and we certainly shouldn’t be charged more to buy foods free of chemicals they shouldn’t have contained in the first place. The system is so wrong, and that’s something I want to change. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but that’s my ultimate goal one day. I hope that if I do nothing else with this blog, I educate someone enough to get them motivated to demand change to this failing food system of ours.

Day 42: Because who likes to wear pants?

pants

So I guess you could say I had as good of a Monday as anyone could have, minus the rain (except I’m sure my sinuses are probably rejoicing). I prepped everything the night before so that I could relax and sip my coffee juice in the morning. Yesterday I accomplished my 8 mile run like I said I would, but I was 11 seconds off my usual 6-8 mile pace and I know exactly why. My mom made pancakes, and since I was overly tired and we were out of eggs, I gave in and ate them…big mistake. Okay, so I know I could have turned them down, but I am one of those weirdos that HAS to have breakfast food before I can have any other kind of food, and since we were out of eggs and egg whites, and we don’t keep cereal around the house, I basically had no other options. Trust me, I won’t be making that mistake again anytime soon. At about the 5 mile mark I was doubled over in pain, my stomach was distended to the point of looking very pregnant, and I was sobbing every time my feet hit the ground. The only reason I continued to run instead of stopping was because I had to get back to my car somehow and I wanted to get there asap. I literally had no idea I would have such a terrible adverse reaction, all from what I used to consider my favorite breakfast. All the more reason to keep with paleo. Be on the lookout later this week for a post all about Grain Pain.

So due to my lesson learned through severe pain, it was very easy for me to stay on track today. Plus I really cannot stress the importance of preparing ahead of time if you’re busy like me. It makes it so you have no room for excuses, and you won’t be as likely to fail because you gave into a craving due to hanger (anger caused by excessive hunger). I prepped all my veggies and put them in a bag so that I could make a quick juice in the morning–kale, celery, cucumber, apple, parsley. I think next time I’ll add another apple or something to give it a little more flavor because this was not my best juice (my favorite is this one). The juice tided me over for a while, but like I said, I am such a breakfast person. I packed a greek yogurt and some homemade Apple Pie Paleo Granola I made yesterday and grabbed it out when I got hungry. This granola turned out sooo good, and I haven’t liked any of the paleo “granola”s I’ve tried in the past. Here’s the recipe, I added some hemp hearts (I bought them to be used by themselves as paleo granola and was sorely disappointed) and chia seeds. It’s so good I was eating handfuls of it by itself.

Apple Pie Paleo Granola
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
7 medjool dates, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the nuts/dates/shredded coconut to a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts, add spices and pulse again. In a bowl whisk together the wet ingredients, then place in food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine. Evenly distribute the granola on the baking sheet, bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. (Keep an eye on it, the edges will burn)

Lunch was a grilled chicken breast and a sweet potato. I snacked on an apple and some almond butter mid-afternoon, and then took an indoor training/weights day due to the rain. Solid two hours of arms, back, and ab work. Dinner was shrimp skewers and broccoli kale slaw 🙂

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Day 40: Catching Up

Well, it’s been a few days since I last posted. My new job has been keeping me busy, but I’m happy about that. Busy is exactly how I like to be. Anyway, I have been keeping it simple with meals as promised. Tuesday’s dinner was a hit that was super simple to prepare. I was just throwing together what I had laying around, and it turned out phenomenal! I love when simple things turn out great. This will definitely be making frequent appearances. I marinated some chicken in dijon mustard, maple syrup, and red wine vinegar, tossed it in the oven for about 35 minutes and topped it with rosemary. Then I took some butternut squash I had already chopped and frozen (trust me–pre-cut butternut squash is a gift from GOD. Those things are evil. If you haven’t worked out for the day go chop a butternut squash.) sautéed in a little butter and olive oil, added some chile powder and pepper and then set aside. Then I sautéed some kale until it was tender and then added the butternut squash back in.

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So simple, but awesome. Wednesday I just snacked throughout the day and never actually ate a real meal. Thursday was a tad more structured, with grilled cobia and broccoli for dinner. PMS hit hard so I whipped up a batch of paleo zucchini brownies–bad idea. It’s going to be hard not to make these all the time now cause HOLY COW they are so good.

Paleo Zucchini Brownies
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup organic honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Pop in the oven at 350 for 350 minutes and you have heaven in a pan!

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I actually went out on my lunch break yesterday, and I want to give props to Panera for their new hidden menu cause it’s amazingly healthy. I had previously gotten the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl, and it was pretty good, but then I found that they have a Power Mediterranean Chicken salad, which includes bacon, so of course I went for the bacon. Clocking in at only 360 calories but with 35 grams of protein, I was very impressed not only by how this pretty salad looked but how great it made me feel.

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Dinner was an old favorite: stir fry. I pretty much just use the kitchen sink for these–zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onions, bell peppers, chicken. Then I threw some coconut aminos, almond butter, and sesame oil into the food processor for sauce and voila easy dinner. I honestly don’t miss the rice I used to eat with it.

Tonight’s dinner was KILLER (not to brag). Whole Foods had scallops on sale so I scooped some up and wrapped them in the bacon I got from the local food co-op. Pan sautee to perfection and you have seafood heaven. I had some swiss chard so I browsed recipes and came across Nom Nom Paleo’s Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Porkitos. So it may not be brownies, but this was HOLY COW delicious too! Can’t get someone you’re feeding to eat their veggies? Try this. Because the scallops were wrapped in bacon I decided against adding the Porkitos (even though I had Proscuitto–new obsession); it was still amazing. The toasted pine nuts added such a richness of flavor and the golden raisins gave it just the right twang of sweetness, plus it was super easy and quick to prepare. Thank goodness I got large packs of the pine nuts and raisins because I will be making this again soon (probs tomorrow).

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20140412-224113.jpg(Trust me I had more than 3 of those babies)

My training was a little off this week, so I attempted to make up for it today with a 5 mile all-uphill run followed by an hour and a half of weights. I’m tired haha. In between the run and the weights I had a beautiful smoothie with 1 banana, blueberries, raspberries, spinach, Trader Joe’s Organic Hemp protein, and a little bit of coconut water so this helped me get through it all.

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Tomorrow I’m planning on checking off the 8 mile run my training plan tells me I have to complete. I’m hoping by writing it here that means I have to do it right?

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I’m obsessed with my new pink running tights–TJ Maxx $12, such a steal

So I have a question for all my runners: do you like to do your runs in the morning first thing, or later in the day? With my new schedule I’m stuck with either waking up hella early or waiting to the afternoon where I’m equally as tired but I also have a full stomach to get in the way.

Day 35: When you don’t know, just go!

I like to link what I learn at church on Mondays somehow to the health and fitness topic of this blog. Sometimes I come out corny, but I think this principle is pretty applicable to both. Tonight they talked about how God basically sucks at giving directions. Now you might think that’s pretty harsh, but hear me out: God intentionally gives vague directions. At one point in Genesis when He is talking to Abraham he says, “Go to the land I will show you,”….uh, what? And instead of questioning where exactly that would be, which way to go, and how far, Abraham just picked up and went. Along the way he would stop and talk to God to check and see if he was headed in the right direction, and he would build altars to worship God along his path too. See, God wasn’t focused on the direction Abraham was going, He was focused on the connection between them. Because he didn’t tell Abraham everything he needed to know, he had to trust in God, and seek HIm along the way. This is often why we feel like God doesn’t just slap us in the face with an answer when we ask, He wants a relationship with us more than anything, so to make us lean fully on Him he doesn’t reveal all of the answers; yet another reason His ultimate plan is so much greater than our own. So if you’re trying to make a big decision and you’re not seeing which direction you think God wants you to go, just go, and focus on your connection with God. This is an important lesson for everyone who only comes to God when they need something, even if they are trying to do the right thing and go where they feel God wants them. If you don’t know which way to go, just go.

In the same sense, many people over think healthy lifestyle changes. They are afraid they will look silly in the gym because they don’t know what to do. They aren’t sure what exactly they need to be eating to lose weight. If you don’t know, just go! No matter how slow you run, you are faster than the person sitting on the couch.

I was still sore from  my long run yesterday so I took a slow day today–couldn’t have been a more perfect day to train inside either because the rain just didn’t quit. Before I hit the gym I had egg whites, some smoked salmon, and a mix of cantaloupe and raspberries. So simple yet so filling!

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I did 4.0mph on the treadmill at an incline of 10 for an hour per the advice of a friend of mine, and then proceeded with another hour of weights, mainly arms, back and abs. Lunch was leftover paleo spaghetti and meatballs from last night. Dinner was fish tacos (minus the actual taco lol). I used the sashimi grade tuna I got from The Fresh Market so I was able to just sear it, and I gave it a sesame ginger crust…delish. I also made a cilantro sauce from greek yogurt, paleo mayonnaise, lime, salt & pepper. Topped it all off with some pineapple jicama kale slaw. This meal reminds me of a beautiful day on the beach, much needed after the dreary day outside.

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(The one with the tortilla I served everyone else was so much prettier than my meat/slaw lump–RIP grains)

Day 34: It Never gets Easier, You just get Stronger

Normally I take Sunday as a lazy day, but today I took it as an opportunity to complete my long run, grocery shop for the week, and organize. I start work this week so I figured I’d get everything squared away to make the week easier. It was supposed to rain, but thankfully the weather let me go through with my plans to be productive. It was perfectly chilly for my run, and I got a solid 7 miles in, negative splits all the way! I felt great except when my left foot went numb around the 4.5 mile mark…it was quite odd. It’s days like these when I love running, why can’t it always feel this great? I guess it’s like they always say,

stronger

I’m also really happy with how I ate today. My renewed paleo strictness seemed like a breeze. I had my “breakfast of champions” egg scramble (mushrooms, bell peppers, sun dried tomatoes, spinach–I nixed the goat cheese) before church. Before my run I had a banana, and after I had a smoothie with some almond milk, chocolate protein powder, and spinach. While I was at the store I decided to grab stuff to try a snack I saw on Pinterest–honeydew wrapped in prosciutto. I didn’t know what to expect, but OMG it was so good! New paleo snack fave. Dinner was paleo spaghetti and meatballs and it turned out AHmazing too! Thank goodness it made plenty of leftovers. I used spaghetti squash for the noodles. Simply cut them in half and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. The meatballs were made from the local, grass-fed beef I got yesterday from the co-op. The grass-fed beef really has such a rich flavor it doesn’t even compare to regular ground beef. I seasoned with some onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper, coconut aminos, and smoked paprika (this basically gives a bacon taste without bacon). Then I made tomato sauce from organic tomatoes, onions, garlic, fresh basil and parsley, and some oregano. All together it was comfort food crack! While it definitely filled me up, running 7 miles will give you quite the appetite so after dinner I had a few Medjool dates with almond butter, literally the most delicious healthy “dessert” ever.

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What’s your favorite paleo snack/meal? I’d love to keep experimenting with the simple stuff, just need some ideas 🙂