Taking Sleep Seriously

In this crazy crazy world that we live in, many of us take our sleep for granted. While there is a ton of discussion about eating well and being physically active, less attention is given to the importance of sleep for living a holistically healthy lifestyle. I have always been about my sleep. The whole idea of sleep deprivation never even crossed my mind until I went to college and witnessed countless students slaving away over their laptops into the wee hours of the morning. Even in this environment, I refused to compromise my sleep and accepted my identity as the “square” who left the library by 10. While I generally have no qualms about leaving the party early in order to get my 7-8 hours, I have recently begun to think more about the quality of the sleep that I’m getting in addition to the quantity. Seven to eight hours each night is absolutely awesome but if you’re tossing and turning for 2-3 of those hours, it is likely that you’ll wake up still feeling unrested. Last year, I began taking steps to enhance the quality of my sleep by modifying my bedtime routine. Here are some of the things that I’ve found to be helpful.

Powering Down Electronics 30 Minutes Before Bed

This one is the one that most of us probably struggle with the most. I can generally turn my phone ringer off and be okay not staring at it before bed but convincing myself that there is something other than watching Netflix that I could be doing before bed is hard even on a good day. What I’ve found to be most effective for staying away from all of my screens before bed has been implementing a solid routine of 20-30 minutes that calms me down before bed and takes my mind off of all of the wonderfully enticing things that I could be doing on the internet. The following items are some suggestions for things that you could do to occupy yourself for 30 minutes without technology.

Set the Mood

Taking the time to set a bedtime mood goes a long way. It’s amazing how manipulating your environment in small ways can help prepare you for a better night’s rest. Put together a soothing playlist or turn on pandora to the “yoga” station and just mellow out. I also recommend lighting an incense or scented candle and making yourself a nice mug of herbal tea.

Tidy Your Space

I find it quite soothing to tidy my room a bit before bed. It’s amazing how much just 10 minutes of cleaning can do. I love waking up to a clean space so it’s not uncommon for me to put on my Smooth Grooves Playlist and fold and put away the bundles of clean laundry that inevitably end up closing in on my space.

Prepare for the Next Day

One really productive use of your technology-free time before bed is preparing for the coming day. This is usually when I put together my lunch, choose my outfit, pack my workout clothes, etc. Not only does it keep you from looking at screens, it also makes your mornings much smoother.

Yoga

I’ve found that working through some gentle flows really helps me relax both my body and my mind before getting to bed. It’s a great opportunity to reflect back on your day and work out the stresses that may have manifested in your body. It’s also a moment to begin contemplating your intentions for the next day. Stick to flows that aren’t super intense as the goal is to calm yourself rather than get your energy flowing. A few down dogs later, you’ll be ready for the ultimate savasana. Well…hopefully not “ultimate.” But a nice long (hopefully 8 hours!) savasana nonetheless.

Read a book…an actual book (or an old-school electronic reader with no backlight)

As a grad student I’m always whining about how I never have time to read for pleasure anymore. I have a few physical books lying around for beach-vacation purposes and a fair amount of books that I’ve purchased on Kindle that I haven’t started (or starting and only got 6% of the way through). Taking 30 minutes to read a bit of pleasure reading before bed has been a great way to let my mind wind down and to do something that it’s hard to make time for during other parts of the day. If you’re into food (and why shouldn’t you be), this could also be a great time to flip through cookbooks for ideas and meal planning. Beware not to do this if you’re prone to bedtime snacking. haha

Pamper Yourself

Most of us have some kind of bedtime routine that includes face-washing, teeth-brushing etc., which we come to see as a chore. Lately, I’ve been really indulging in this, allowing myself to take pleasure in being able to take care of myself in these ways. Instead of a utilitarian face-wash, I been giving my face a nice 3-5 minutes massage. My roommate is convinced that this is the secret to aging gracefully. I also take a nice warm shower, during which I do some deep breathing and gentle self-massage. It’s amazing how relaxing the simple things can be.  

Establish a Routine and Take Pleasure in It

No matter what your routine looks like, make sure you’re actively calming yourself before getting to bed. There is nothing worse than getting into bed only to find that you have tons of thoughts running through your head or tons of energy pulsing through your muscles. Take the time to breathe, to soothe yourself however you see fit, and get ready to take it all the benefits of a great night’s sleep.

 

Useful Links:

Pop Sugar – Sleep Tips

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Sleep-Tips-33284467

In Sonnet’s Kitchen – How to Get a Better Sleep

http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/how-to-get-better-sleep/

In Sonnet’s Kitchen – How to Create a Bedtime Routine

http://www.insonnetskitchen.com

Whole30 Journal Week 4

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Monday

8-9am // gym workout ( HIIT Training)

9:30am // Lamb Stew, ½ avocado, roasted sweet potatoes

3pm // chicken stew with apricots and almonds

8-9pm // Sculpt yoga

9:30pm // Beef kofte, side salad with artichokes and olives

 

Tuesday

8-9 // gym workout (25 min. machine cardio, few tabata strength rounds)

9:30am // lamb stew, roasted sweet potatoes, apple

2pm // leftover chicken stew with apricots and almonds

6:30-7:45pm // Flow yoga

8:30pm // —

 

Wednesday

6-7:30am // 2.5 mile run to Sculpt yoga

8am // plantain chips

9am // 2 egg scramble with spinach, 2 Applegate Organic beef hot dogs, ½ avocado, more plantain chips with tahini

3pm // lamb stew, ½ avocado, broccoli, plantain chips

8:30pm // (Not hungry, did too much snacking out of boredom) 1 Applegate hot dog, plantain chips (I can’t have these in the house anymore), parsnip fries, ½ apple, pumpkin seeds

 

Thursday

10:30-11:45am // Sweat yoga

1pm // 2 eggs scramble with onions and cherry tomatoes, side of roasted sweet potatoes, and 2 homemade sausage

7pm // Cod piccata, tomato and spinach salad, Caramelized Onion Soup

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Friday

6:30am // Breakfast scramble with 2 eggs, ground beef, cherry tomatoes, olives, and spinach, ½ avocado

12:15pm // Lamb Stuffed Bell Pepper, steamed broccoli with ghee, 1/2 avocado, small Fuji Apple

5:15-6:15 // Flow yoga

6:30pm // 2 egg scramble with Applegate Organics hot dogs, ½ avocado

Midnight // 2 slices bacon, pumpkin seeds, leftover caramelized onion soup

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Saturday

8:50-10:45am // 5.3 mile run to “Chill” yoga

12:00pm // roasted sweet potatoes, Applegate hot dog (to refuel post workout and hold me over for bigger lunch)

1:00pm // Butter chicken over mint cauliflower rice

7:00pm // Cod piccata, salad with olives and tomatoes, caramelized onion soup

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Sunday

9:30am // 2 scrambled eggs, broccoli,

11:30-1:30 // 2.5 mile run to yoga

2pm // Brunch at Restaurant // Steak and scrambled eggs with side of breakfast potatoes

6:30pm // Sardines, roasted brussel sprouts, ½ avocado, over greens and drizzled with olive oil

Whole30 Journal Week 3

IMG_5096Whole30 Week 3! Can’t believe it’s been 21 days!

 

Monday

7:00am // Bit of spaghetti pizza pie

8:45-9:30 // Gym workout

10am // chicken and olive tagine, japanese sweet potatoes

3pm // spaghetti pizza pie, 2 scrambled eggs with spinach, ½ sliced banana with coconut milk

8pm-9pm // Sculpt Yoga

9:30pm // salmon, warm sweet potato, red onion and spinach salad with tahini dressing, plus more tahini and dried apricots (I couldn’t resist)

 

Tuesday

8:30am // 2 scrambled eggs with leftover chili from Practical Paleo, and a side of steamed broccoli  

12:45-1:30 easy 30 minute walk around the track followed by a few yoga flows in the grass and some handstand practice. It’s such a lovely day! Had to take advantage of the sun!

2:00 pm // chicken olive tagine, Japanese sweet potatoes, particularly delicious apple

5:15-6:15 Flow yoga

7pm // —

 

Wednesday

6-7:30pm 2.5 mile run to Sculpt yoga

7:45pm // plantain chips (to hold me over while grocery shopping)

9am // 2 eggs scrambled with sweet potatoes, onions, spinach, garlic, 3 slices of bacon, ½ avocado

3pm // leftover spaghetti squash pie, ½ avocado

Lots of snackage (dried fruit, nuts, tahini, coconut milk over bananas, etc.)

8pm // (Restaurant) Asparagus spears, parsnip fries, poached salmon salad, duck liver pate

Notes: Lots of snacking today! I have dried fruit and tahini left over from recipes that I made last week and I can’t help but marry the two. Going to try to make a conscious effort not to give into sugar so much tomorrow.  

 

Thursday

8:45am // leftover chicken olive tagine with cauliflower rice and toasted slivered almonds

12:00-1pm // Spinning at Flywheel (with Nellie!)

1:30pm // (Restaurant) Grilled salmon, brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes

6:30-7:30pm // Chill yoga

8pm // —

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Friday

6:00am // Last bits of sweet lamb stew, 2 scrambled eggs, avocado

1:30pm // (Restaurant) 2 poached eggs, salmon, fruit

6:30-9pm Yoga (double session)

9:30pm // last of spaghetti pizza pie

 

Saturday

8:30-9:30am // 6-mile run

10am // 3 slices of bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, ½ pan drilled plantain, ½ avocado

5pm // lamb stew (different one from earlier in the week!), cauliflower rice, sweet potato and carrot fries

8pm // Way too much of this delicious soup (http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/10/24/golden-cauliflower-soup/) + snacking. The weekends are my downfall.

 

Sunday

8:30am // A little golden cauliflower soup with toasted almonds, few bites of lamb stew, ½ banana with coconut milk

9:45-10:45am // Sweat yoga followed by Chill yoga (double session)

1pm // leftover chicken olive tagine, fried plantains, ½ avocado, yams and spinach

Random snacking while meal prepping for the week (i.e. some beets, some carrots, etc.)

7:00pm // Tahini salmon salad over greens

 

So this week, I’ve slipped a bit back into my snacking. Nuts be the death of me. Obviously, ODing on nuts is better than a lot of other things but I’m trying to get out of the habit of mindless eating, which is what generally happens with me and nuts. I have dried fruit and nuts in the cabinet for particular recipes but I can’t help but overindulge on the leftovers. I’m trying to reset a little in this final nine days. I won’t be buying any seeds or nuts during this week’s TJ’s trip. We’ll see how it goes.

Cookbook Review: Mediterranean Paleo Cooking + Slow-cooker Sweet Lamb Stew

IMG_5105IMG_5094So those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I’m obsessed with this book. I got it right when it came out at the end of October and was fortunate enough to get my copy signed by the authors at their book-signing in San Francisco. It was great to hear Nabil, Caitlin, and Diane speak about the process of creating a cookbook and more generally about living the paleo life. They’re such inspirations and I absolutely adore their recipes!

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Of the recipes that I’ve tried, “Siva’s Meatball and Cauliflower” and the “Moussaka” are hands down my favorites. Simple ingredients and spices but so much deliciousness.

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This post has literally been drafted since back in October when I got the book but because of the crazy life that I live, I’m only now getting around to posting it. I can’t tell you how many of the recipes I’ve featured on my instagram at this point but I think I’m doing a great job at working my way through it. There are some things, mainly sweet things, that I’m excited to get into once I’m done with my Whole30 but there are a ton of dishes that are Whole30 compliant and nothing short of delicious that have been keeping my busy (note the insane number of post-its sticking out of the top). One such recipe this Sweet Lamb Stew. I don’t know what’s not to love about this recipe. Delicious tender lamb combined with the naturally sweet flavors of dried fruit, cooked down into a thick stew. Yum!

The cookbook provides a non-slow-cooker version of this recipe but since I haven’t tried it this way, I’m only posting the slow-cooker version. Plus, I’m obsessed with my crockpot so naturally, I want to show it some blog love.

Slow-cooker Sweet Lamb Stew
Serves 6
Sweet and savory lamb stew
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C dried prunes
  2. 1/2 C dried apricots
  3. 2 1/2 lb. lamb stew meat (I used a lamb neck roast. I didn't cut it up beforehand, just let it slow cook until it was tender and falling off the bone)
  4. 1 medium white onion, diced (or sliced, depending on preference)
  5. 3 sticks cinnamon
  6. 6 C broth (I used chicken but the original recipe calls for beef)
  7. 1 T grated orange zest
  8. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint, for garnish
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Turn broiler on to high.
  2. Rub lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. Broil lamb until brown (about 5 minutes on each side)*
  4. Place browned lamb into slow cooker and cover with remaining ingredients, except the parsley.
  5. Let the slow-cooker work its magic.
  6. When the meat it tender to your liking, serve with parsley sprinkles.
  7. I recommend serving over mashed potatoes or cauliflower. Play around with the herbs in these dishes. Roasted garlic and mint cauliflower rice/mash is delicious!
Notes
  1. *If using smaller cut pieces, you can brown lamb in a large skillet over high heat instead of in the broiler.
Adapted from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking
Adapted from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/

Whole30 Journal Week 2

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Here’s what I ate for week 2 of this thing. The blank spots are meals I forgot to write down. :/ I did remember to take more pictures this week though!

 

Monday

Snack // 7:30am // ½ banana

Workout // 8-8:30am // 4 mile run

Meal 1 // 9am // sweet potato, mushroom breakfast scramble

Snack // 1pm // orange, few almonds

Activity // 2-3pm // Post study sess walk/hike in Griffith

Meal 2 // 3pm // 5 mini Czech meatballs, sauerkraut, collard greens, plantain chips, ½ avocado

Workout // 8-9pm // Sculpt Yoga (It’s MLK day so I kinda took advantage and got in a lot of physical activity. Sue me)

Meal 3 // 9:30pm // jerk salmon bowl with cauliflower rice, roasted garlic, plantain chips, ½ avocado

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Tuesday

Snack

Workout // 8-9am // 45 minute lifting + bodyweight cardio (tabata)

Meal 1 // 9:30am // lamb curry sweet potato chili, warm broccoli salad

Meal 2 // 2:30pm // leftover czech meatballs, avocado, apple

Workout // 6:30-7:30 // Flow yoga

Meal 3 // Salmon with homemade pesto over cauliflower rice with side of steamed broccoli with ghee

 

Wednesday

Workout // 6-7:30 // 3 mile run to Sculpt yoga

Snack // plantain chips

Meal 1 // 8:30am // 2 eggs scrambled in ghee with mushrooms and dill, 2 homemade chicken sausage, sweet potato and carrot fries

Meal 2 // 2:30pm // Restaurant: Cobb salad without dressing, side of brussel sprouts with bacon

Meal 3 // leftover korean short ribs (pictured), sweet potato and carrot fries, plantain chips with tahini, 2 dried apricots

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Thursday

Meal 1 // 2 egg scramble with Applegate Organic hot dogs, mushrooms, and dill (pictured), parsnip fries

Meal 2 // Chicken and Olive Tagine from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking

Meal 3 // —

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Friday

10:15- 10:45am // Quick lower body lifting workout

11:30am // Sweet Lamb Stew, ½ apple, mashed sweet potatoes and parsnips

2:30pm // —

6:30pm – 7:30pm // Sweat yoga

8pm // —
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Saturday

8:00am // 2 eggs scrambled with ghee, spinach, and mushrooms, leftover short ribs

10:30-12:00 // 2.25 mile run to Sweat yoga

2:30pm // Sweet Lamb Stew, Fried plantains, avocado  

6:00pm // Butternut squash chili

 

Sunday

7:30am // 2 eggs scrambled with ghee and spinach

9:45-10:45 SWEAT Yoga

1:00pm // Spaghetti squash pie from PALEOMG, avocado

4:30-7 Double Flow and Restorative Yoga Session

8:15pm // Butternut squash chili, sweet potato and carrot fries, homemade decaf latte with coconut milk

Sweet Potato Dill Breakfast Scramble

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Those of you who know me, know that I have a weird relationship with eggs. I’m sure it’s come up in some capacity on the blog but I thought I would make sense to discuss it seeing as how I’m posting an egg-focused recipe. 

Growing up, I never ate eggs. I just wasn’t into them. I would try some of my mom’s every now and then just to see if my taste-buds had changed their minds but that was never the case. As I became more food conscious and started seeking protein sources, the health benefits of eating eggs started jumping out at me. They were often a part of the post-workout meals of my favorite fitness bloggers and generally the main ingredients of the healthiest options on brunch menus. About a year ago, I opened myself up to egg whites. I would buy them in the little carton, season the hell out of them, and eat them along with the other components of my breakfast. I got into it and started adding veggies to change it up and mask the flavor (I soon came to realize that egg whites have no flavor, haha).

After deciding to stick with the paleo principles of eating after giving it a try last spring, I began to rethink my attitude towards eggs, particularly the yolk. Yolk is weird. Let’s face it. Whether you hate it or love it, it’s weird. Aside from finding yolks to be odd in nature, I was also under the belief that they weren’t all that good for me. While egg whites are hailed for their high protein/low fat profile, egg yolks are often negatively associated with cholesterol. After doing a bit of research, however, I came to realize that egg yolks, like other nutritious components of food (i.e. fat) had been wrongfully vilified. Eating foods with cholesterol doesn’t give you the condition that we know as “high cholesterol.” Furthermore, egg yolks contain so many more important vitamins and minerals, none of which are found in the whites alone. Who kind of health food nerd would I be to miss out on something so nutritious?

 

Dill Sweet Potato Breakfast Scramble
Serves 1
Simple delicious breakfast scramble
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Ingredients
  1. 1 TBL cooking fat of choice
  2. 1/4 lb ground meat of choice (optional)
  3. 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. crimini mushrooms, chopped
  6. 1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into small dice
  7. salt and pepper, to taste
  8. About 1/2 tsp dried dill, divided (I didn't actually measure this so play around with it)
Instructions
  1. Heat cooking fat in non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. If using meat, add meat to the pan and brown (cook until no pink is visible). You may want to add some fat to the pan depending on the fat content of the meat that you're using.
  3. Once meat is browned, remove meat from pan and place in a bowl on the side. Leave some of the meat juices in the pan if you're into that (I am).
  4. If necessary, add more cooking fat. Add chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add sweet potatoes to skillet along with salt, pepper, and 1/4 tsp of dried dill and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  6. If using meat, add meat back into the pan and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
  7. Combine eggs, salt, pepper, and remaining dill in a bowl and scramble with a fork.
  8. Move the contents towards the edges of the skillet, forming an empty space in the middle of the pan.
  9. Add the scrambled egg in the empty space that you've created, allow to sit for 1 minute and then scramble in with other ingredients. You should also simply cook the egg by itself and place it on top or on the side of the cooked veggies. It's yum either way.
  10. Drizzle with lemon juice if that's your thing.
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/

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Whole30 Journal Week 1

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Alright! So I’m officially a week into my Whole30. I’ve been doing my best to write down the things that I’ve been eating as well as the time that I eat them. I’ve also noted the time and nature of my workouts (i.e. lifting, yoga, running, etc.). I’m hoping that this will give you guys a sense of what meals are like on Whole30 as well as how I time meals around workouts and how long these meals keep me satiated. I’ve also included some notes of how I was feeling/what I was thinking etc.

 

Monday

Meal 1 //8am // breakfast scramble with one egg, apple, butternut squash and sausage

Workout // 10-11am // Lifting and bodyweight cardio

Meal 2 // 11:30am // Leftover cauliflower and meatballs and baked sweet potato

Meal 3 // 4:30pm // Sardines, avocado, and beets in a bowl

Snack // 6pm // apple, butternut squash and sausage bake

Workout // 8-9pm // Sculpt yoga (high-intensity yoga)

Meal 4 // 9:30pm // One egg scrambled with swiss chard and leftover beef roast

I ended up feeling super hunger in the middle of the day (hence the 4:30 and 6pm meals). I don’t think my breakfast and post workout meals were hearty enough. I think I’ll try eating a larger breakfast and/or lunch tomorrow and see if I feel satiated until dinner.

 

Tuesday

Meal 1 // 8:30am // salmon fillet and two eggs scrambled in ghee, ½ avocado, sauerkraut drizzled with olive oil

Meal 2 // 1:00pm // leftover beef roast, sauteed swiss chard, ½ avocado, small apple

Workout // 6:30-7:45 // Flow yoga

Meal 3 // 8:30 // mashed sweet potato with ghee, steam sauteed red cabbage, 2 scrambled eggs, ½ avocado, 2 fresh apricots

Felt great after breakfast. It was a hearty meal but I didn’t at all feel lethargic.

Should of had a snack before yoga. Got a little hungry once I got on the mat. Would have liked to feel stronger throughout class.

Felt satiated with dinner though not as full as usual. Had apricots, which weren’t too sweet, as a dessert. No intense sugar cravings.

 

Wednesday

Pre-run snack // 5:45am // Half banana

Workout // 6-7:30am // 3 mile run to 1-hour yoga sculpt class

Meal 1 // 8:30am // ½ banana with tahini, 2 scrambled eggs, 2 homemade chicken sausage (¼ lb ground chicken), baked sweet potatoes and carrots drizzled with tahini

Meal 2 // 2:30pm // leftover beef roast, sauteed swiss chard, ½ avocado, honeydew melon

Meal 3 // 6:45pm // 2 chicken sausage, steam/sauteed cabbage in ghee, mashed carrots with drizzled tahini

Snack // 11:30pm // small bits of leftover beef roast, few bites of apple with tahini

I wasn’t necessarily hungry at the time that I ate meal 3 but I was heading out to a concert and knew I would get hungry before I made it back home. I had been standing for about 4 hours straight and so I thought I should have a snack before going to bed as not to get hungry in the middle of the night.

 

Thursday

Meal 1 // 9:15am // Salmon and egg scramble and ½ avocado

Workout // 10:15-11:45 // Sweat yoga

Meal 2 // I honestly forgot to write it down and now I don’t remember (oops) I think it was probably eggs and leftovers

Meal 3 // 8:30pm // Restaurant – brussel sprouts with bacon, shrimp cocktail, bunless burger with bacon over salad greens

 

Friday

Meal 1 // 6am // small portion ginger orange chicken, ½ avocado

Snack // 10:30am // ½

Workout // 10:45-12pm // lifting

Meal 2 // 1:30pm // ginger orange chicken (http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/?p=1017) topped with sesame seeds, green onions and cashews over cauli-rice, sweet potato fries

Meal 3 // 6:30pm // random bowl of applegate organic hotdog, steam sauteed cabbage, 2 scrambled eggs and ½ avocado

I had a large dinner and didn’t get much rest last night so I just had a small breakfast. I did get a bit hungry right before my workout so I had a bite of my protein bar to get my through the workout.

 

Saturday

Meal 1 // 7:30am // lamb curry chili, ½ avocado

Workout // 9:45-12:30 // 4 mile run to Ruyon canyon for hiking

Meal 2 // 1:30pm // random bowl of 2 applegate organic hot dogs, 2 scrambled eggs, and cabbage , carrot and sweet potato fries with tahini

Snack // 5:45 // ½ banana with tahini and cashews

Meal 3 // 7:30pm // Czech meatballs (Well Fed cookbook) over cauli-rice ½ of banana, warmed with cinnamon

 

Sunday

Meal 1 // 10:30am // 2 homemade chicken sausage, 2 scrambled eggs, steamed broccoli with ghee

Meal 2 // 2:30pm //  ½ avocado, 3 leftover czech meatballs, carrot fries with tahini  

Workout // 4:30- 7 double yoga session (Flow followed by Restore)

Meal 3 // Slow Cooked Korean Short Ribs

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Ginger Orange Chicken

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Hello hello!

So this recipe post will be quick as I have lots of work to get to now that the semester has gotten started. I posted a photo of this dish on the social media and I got a lot of people asking for it so I thought I’d get it typed up for the blog. It’s super simple, as any slow-cooker recipe should be. It’s a modification of the Ginger Orange Chicken found in the Against All Grains cookbook. I ended up making changes in order to make it Whole30 compatible and because I didn’t have some of the ingredients that the original recipe called for on hand. Enjoy this!

 

Slow-Cooker Ginger Orange
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  2. 3 TBS coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you use it)
  3. Orange juice from one medium orange (about 2-3 TBL)
  4. 2 TBL tomato paste
  5. 1 TBL toasted sesame oil
  6. 2 cloves garlic
  7. 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  8. ½ tsp sea salt
  9. ¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes (depending on your tastes)
  10. ⅛ tsp cracked black pepper
  11. garnish: sesame seeds (optional)
  12. garnish: sliced green onions (optional)
  13. garnish: raw cashews (optional)
Instructions
  1. Throw the chicken into the slow cooker.
  2. Put the coconut aminos (or soy sauce), orange juice, tomato paste, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, red pepper flakes, and pepper into a bowl and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture over chicken and mix to evenly coat.
  4. Turn slow cooker on low and allow to cook for 4-5 hours.
  5. Spoon over rice of your choice (I made cauli-rice) and top with garnishes or your choice. **
Notes
  1. *I suggest making a larger batch of this for leftovers. This dish is tastier the next day after the flavors set into the chicken even more.
  2. **The original recipe calls for you to spoon the juices from around the chicken into a pan and heat it until it reduces and thickens. I did this the second time that I ate it and it was a nice change in texture.
Adapted from Against All Grains Cookbook
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/

 

An Introduction to Whole30

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Hey guys and Happy New Year!

I’m finally back in LA and slowly coming to terms with the reality that the semester is starting. I had been avoiding emails for the past three weeks and I’ve recently gathered the strength to answer most of them. The semester will be in full swing starting on Monday so I’m trying to use this time to get everything in order so that things get off to a smooth start. Grocery shopping, house cleaning, etc. As my vacation officially ends and I embark upon this semester, I have decided that it would be nice to give my body a bit of a reset as well. Starting Monday, I will begin a Whole30.

Some of you might be familiar with this but for those of you who aren’t, I’ll try my best to break it down for you. Whole30 is a program developed by authors Melissa and Dallas Hartwig that is designed to reset and heal the body from damage that may have been caused by eating foods that irritate the gut. Over my break, I had the pleasure of listening to the audible version (I refused to actually read anything over break as I know that my school reading will come flooding in soon enough) of their book It Starts with Food and I highly highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning more about how food affects your mental and physical health and thus, your overall well-being. It truly is a great read and/or listen that is useful for anyone – paleo or not-paleo. In addition to discussing the sciency stuff behind the effects that certain foods have on the body, the Hartwigs provide testimonials from their patients that give life to the physiological stuff. The extent to which our food choices impact our lives is incredible.

Falling in line with the science and testimonials that they present, Dallas and Melissa designed the Whole30 program as a way for individuals to heal their bodies and in the process learn more about the foods that they can and cannot tolerate.

So what exactly does the Whole 30 entail?

The official details of the Whole30 can be found on the Whole30 website (http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/) but I will sum it up for you guys here. The Whole30 calls for 30 days of super “clean” eating. What do I mean by “clean?” Clean means eliminating all food groups that potentially irritate the gut and promote unhealthiness. This includes gluten, grains, dairy, processed foods, refined sugar, and alcohol.

What can you eat while on the Whole30?

The Whole30 emphasizes eating real food. Getting away from the industrialized foods that have come to make up the majority of the Western diet, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds make up the bulk of what one consumes while on the Whole30. For those who engage in a certain level of physical activity, nutrient-dense starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and  On the restricted list are grains (both those containing and not containing gluten), legumes, refined and unrefined added sugar (fruit is okay), processed foods that include chemicals such as carrageenan, MSG, and sulfates, dairy (ghee is an exception because lactose has been removed), and alcohol. Perhaps the most interesting and beneficial Whole30 restriction is that of “healthy” versions of baked goods, junk foods, and treats. I will talk more about this below.

So why Whole30?

The Whole30 is not a fad diet intended to make you lose weight (though many do). The Whole30 is a month long healing detox that empowers you by giving you the opportunity to learn how different foods affect your body and mind. One of the most powerful aspects of It Starts with Food are the sections where the Hartwigs address the mental and emotional dimensions of food consumption. One reason that “healthy” versions of baked goods, sweets, and other junk foods are prohibited while on the Whole30 is because eating these things, even if made with more nutritious ingredients, still contributes to an unhealthy relationship with food. A cookie made with almond flour, local raw honey, and dairy-free chocolate chips is still a cookie. While it is unreasonable to never eat these things again, the Whole30 gives you the power to decide when you would like to indulge and the restraint to not overindulge when you do.

What am I personally hoping to achieve from Whole30ing?

As most of you know, I did a trial run with paleo in April and decided to stick with it. I’m still 100% happy with my choice as the changes that I’ve made to my diet have made notable differences in my life and overall health. Though I’m already paleo, there are still ways in which I am looking to improve my health and better my relationship with food. I still struggle with sugar cravings, particularly at night after dinner. While I’m not at all opposed to dessert, I sometimes feel like the cravings get the best of me and I end up consuming way too much sugar right before bed. Listening to It Starts with Food made me realize that by physically and mentally resetting myself, I can do away with this aggressive need for sugar. Furthermore, since going paleo, I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) making recipes that mimic foods that are unhealthy or not-paleo-approved. Recreating foods that are traditionally full of gluten and sugar using paleo-improved ingredients takes you away from the foundational principle of paleo, which is eating real food. Since I was away from home for the past three weeks, and thus, away from all of my fancy ingredients (my mother didn’t even know that things like almond flour and coconut aminos existed until I brought it to her attention), I used my vacation to get back to the basics of eating well. High quality meat and veggies seasoned and cooked well. Not only did it save me time in the kitchen, it also saved me money and allowed me to hone my culinary skills by exploring flavor with simple ingredients and spices.

From Monday, January 12, 2015 – Wednesday, February 11, 2014 I will be Whole30ing and journaling about it on the blog. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me and share it all with you guys. I’m a little nervous…

Have any of you guys ever Whole30ed or thought about Whole30ing?

Baked Garlic and Thyme Parsnip Fries

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One of my friends recently brought it to my attention that I go through foodie phases. I tend to find different foods and really latch on them at particular moments. Some of these things are new and exciting to explore and other are old faithfuls that I’ve taken a break from. Right now, I happen to be really into parsnips.

I can’t even recall the first time that I had a parsnip but I believe it was fairly recently, as I definitely didn’t grow up with them on my plate. These delicious root veggie is great in the winter veggie as it’s a bit heartier than its cousin, the carrot, yet not as starchy as other root veggies such as potatoes. They also have a weird slight sweetness to them that really makes them stand out amongst the crowd.

Before becoming obsessed with eating my parsnips in fry form, I often enjoyed them as part of a root vegetable mash with sweet potatoes, carrots, and a little bit of coconut milk for creaminess. If you find yourself with extra parsnips after making this recipe, I highly recommend playing around with this combo!

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Baked Garlic and Thyme Parsnip Fries
Serves 1
A fun way to eat winter veggies
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into fry shapes*
  2. 1/2 TBL ghee, melted (I prefer ghee with these but you could substitute for other cooking fat)
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  6. 1/4 tsp ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 410 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place raw parsnip fries on top.
  3. Drizzle fries with melted ghee and then sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and thyme.
  4. Use you hands to evenly coat fries in ghee and spices.
  5. Place fries in over for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven, toss fries with spatula (try to make sure the browned sides are now up), and return to oven.
  7. Cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, checking in every few minutes to make sure the smaller pieces don't burn.
  8. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cumin.
  9. Nom.
Notes
  1. *I, unfortunately, don't have a kitchen scale so just use you judgement about the size of the parsnips. If they are a little larger or smaller than the ones I used, it won't make a huge difference at all.
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/