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

veggies

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

whole30

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/

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year: Goals for 2015

Happy 2015 guys!!!!

At this point, we’ve hopefully all recovered from our New Years Eve festivities. I must say, today was a bit of a slow one for me. Since I had already declared it my “off day,” I really just sank into my bed and tried not to think about the responsibilities that are slowly creeping up in light of the impeding semester.

I’ve never been one for “resolutions” as waiting until a certain date and building up a ton of stressful anticipation to embark on a life journey has never made much sense to me. Despite not feeding into the “new-year-new-you” hype, the start of a new year is a great time to reflect back on the ups and downs of the preceding year and start building a vision for the one that lies ahead. There is something very powerful about setting intentions no matter when you do it.

I thought I would take this short post to share some of my goals for 2015 with you guys. Last year, I put forth two fitness related goals: completing a half marathon and achieving my headstand in yoga. I was fortunate enough to be able to reach both of those goals, which makes me feel kinda awesome. I’m excited to think about what I’d like for myself in this new year but I’ve gone beyond the realm of fitness this year to consider changes that I would like to make in other areas of my life.

Spend Less, Enjoy More: Finding Pleasure in the Small Things  

My biggest goal going into 2015 is to take better control over my finances. I’ve always felt like the phrase “Champagne tastes, beer money” is my life in a nutshell. I love living well and unfortunately, my desire to live well has led me to spend way more than I should, especially considering the fact that I’m a grad student without a real job. :/ While I don’t at all think that there is anything wrong with wanting to live well (in fact I think there is something wrong with not wanting to live well), I do think that my desire to live well has not been holistic enough and has been too heavily focused on high-end traditional luxuries. Massages are lovely, spa pedicures are a great treat and dinner at a fancy restaurant can be an awesome gastronomic, as well as social, experience. While I love treating myself to these things, it doesn’t mean that I cannot and should not seek pleasure in simpler, less lavish indulgences. Breaking away from work to go for a walk around the lake or buying myself a bar of my favorite dark chocolate are things that I used to appreciate a lot more but because they have now become such common practice, I feel as though I have to do fancier, more expensive things in order to “treat” myself. Moving into the new year, I would like to rediscover the pleasure in the little things and in doing so, decrease my spending, better manage my finances, and take less for granted.

Minimize/Eliminate Unnecessary Stress

Over the past year, perhaps because of my developing yoga practice, I have become increasingly aware of how much stress I experience on a daily basis. Throughout the course of any given day, I find myself all worked up in a number of circumstances that just don’t warrant such a reaction. As a public-transit rider and pedestrian in Los Angeles, there is much to get up in arms about. Terrible drivers failing to give you your due respect while crossing at a light. Rushing out of the house to catch your bus and avoid waiting ridiculous amounts of time. Buses with standing room only. People walking ever so slowly in front of you when you’re hurrying to get somewhere. It can be incredibly frustrating to deal with these things on a regular basis. When I take the time to actually step back from these situations and evaluate what’s at stake, however, I realize that the stress is not worth it in most cases. Yes, it sucks if I miss the bus but it’s not the end of the world. Standing up on a bus for 30 minutes isn’t fun but I’m young and able-bodied so it’s really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme. Rather than allowing these situations to get the best of me, I’m planning to make an active effort to take control over my stress in these moments and realize that it’s not that big of a deal. Ultimately, whether I’m pissed off and stressed out or not, the world is gonna keep turning and the outcome of the situation will be the same. So I might as well not stress in the moment and deal with whatever comes with poise. I’ve been practicing taking the time to breathe before reacting to frustrating situations while I’ve been on vacation so I’m hoping that I continue to hone this skill once the semester kicks in.

Handstand

So now that my headstand happened, I’m hoping to continue building my inversion practice by working on my handstand. I have only done assisted versions so far and they’re pretty intense. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to actually be holding myself up all on my own. The amazing part is that I remember feeling this exact same way about my headstand last year and now I can pretty confidently pop my legs up over my head with ease. Practice is key to everything.

So that’s all I have at the moment. Since goal setting is something that I like to practice on both the micro- and macro- scales, I will continue to set goals – large and small- throughout the year and embrace all of the challenges, successes, and failures that might come with those intentions. Twenty fifteen is sure to be an adventure.

Sabrina

Homemade Dairy-free Peppermint Hot Chocolate

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I love me some chocolate. It’s not at all a secret. I’m also a big fan of warm beverages. And while I sincerely enjoy my mugs of green tea and herbal fusions, sometimes I just want something warm, chocolatey, and creamy as I wind down on a nice cool evening. Nothing satisfies this desire like a cup of hot cocoa. I can’t remember the last time that I actually bought a box of packaged hot cocoa mix, however. As I’ve traipsing through my health journey, packaged hot chocolate fell by the wayside due to its high sugar content and sometimes questionable ingredients list (corn syrup, really?). Since going paleo and falling head over heels in love with coconut milk, hot cocoa has come back into my life full force and better than ever.

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Also bringing light into my life these days are Trader Joe’s Honey Mints. One of my favorite paleo bloggers, Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites, introduced me (and everyone else who follows her on Instagram) to these guys a while back and I’ve been hooked ever since. I don’t allow myself to buy them every time I go to TJs because I lack self-control when it comes to all things chocolate but I love having them around for a quick hit of unrefined sugar on days that need a little extra jazz. They’re pretty much as “clean” as a sugary treat can be as they only have three ingredients: chocolate liquor, honey, and peppermint oil. Can’t go wrong with that combo. One night, while making my post-dinner cocoa, I was feeling a little crazy and decided to drop one of these guys into the pot instead of my usual bit of honey. I’ve pretty much been winning ever since then.

So this recipe is dairy-free and “paleo-friendly” as it uses a coconut milk base. I’m pretty positive that you could sub dairy-milk or another kind of non-dairy milk, such as almond, for the coconut milk and still be pleased, however. If anything, you might want to add a little more honey or an extra honey mint depending on the sweetness of the milk you use.

Dairy-Free Mint Hot Chocolate
Serves 1
Minty, creamy, chocolately goodness
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
4 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 C full-fat coconut milk or cream (I prefer the thickness of cream)
  2. 1 T high-quality unsweetened cocoa or cocao powder (I've used both)
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 Trader Joe's Honey Mint*
Instructions
  1. Put the coconut milk/cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Once the milk begins to get warm and loosen up, add cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Use a whisk to combine until cocoa powder is fully dissolved.
  3. Drop honey mint into pot, allow to warm for about a minute and then use whisk to break down and mix into the other ingredients.
  4. Continue to whisk until the mint is fully broken down.
  5. Sip away into bliss.
Notes
  1. If you don't have TJ's honey mints, any other chocolate mint would probably work fine. Alternatively, you could also add 2-3 tsp of honey and peppermint extract in replacement of the mint.
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/

 

Four Quick Tips for Staying on Track During the Holidays

Hey guys,

It feels like forever since I’ve updated. The last time I posted, I was finishing up the semester and getting into finals. At this point, I’ve turned in my final papers and finished grading my student’s final exams. I flew into Chicago last Tuesday and am finally catching my breath. Now that things have calmed down a bit, I’m doing my best to get my body back on track after a couple of weeks of stressing and stress-eating. Since I know how real the struggle to stay healthy can be during this time of year, I thought I’d share a few quick tips that might be helpful for those of us who are aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. Stay Active.

For a lot of us, a vacation might mean taking a break from working out. Workouts often get lumped in with school, work, and all of the other things that we are “obligated” to do and so when we’re on vacation from school or work, it’s tempting to take a break from exercising as well. It’s so important to remain active during the holidays, however. Considering all the (likely unhealthy) foods you’ll be consuming and the more sedimentary life you might be leading while on vacation, you should still make it a priority to be active. That being said, it doesn’t mean that your workouts need to look like they do when you’re going through your normal routine. Take advantage of your laxed holiday schedule by taking some classes that you’re usually too busy to take or going with friends or family members with whom you don’t normally get to spend time. It’s also a great opportunity to try something new, just for fun, to see if you’d like to incorporate it into your fitness routine for the new year. If you’re traveling, grab a groupon or livingsocial deal and check out a gym/fitness studio in a different city. No matter what it looks like, make sure to keep the momentum going somehow so that it’s not terrible when you have to go back to real life in a couple of weeks.

2. Acknowledge Your Non-Negotiables.

I’m pretty sure that everyone has that holiday dish that they wait all year for. For me, it’s this dessert that my grandmother makes, known to my family as “butter rolls.” And yes, it is as delicious and decadent as you might gather from it’s title. Butter rolls are far from healthy and are not paleo by any stretch of the imagination but I love them. They remind me of my childhood, holidays passed, and everything that is great about life. My granny is the only person who makes them and I only get them once a year, so you better believe that I will be having my fair share when she pops them out of the oven. Because I have the butter rolls in mind, however, I can use them to keep me away from some of the other things that might be tempting but aren’t really worth it. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t have more than one indulgence but it’s to say that acknowledging and anticipated the things that we “must have” at this time of year puts us in a better position to determine the things that we can do without.

3. Be Mindful.

The holidays can easily be seen as a “free pass” on living healthily and in some ways it is. I thoroughly believe in embracing holidays as such and using them to take a necessarily break from some of the stresses of everyday life. Just because you’ve given yourself a holiday free pass, however, doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything. As I tried to get across in the preceding point, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of your favorite holiday goodies, but you also shouldn’t mindlessly consume things just for the sake of it being the holidays either. Mindfulness is key to everything that we do and it’s important to let it guide you, even during the yuletide season.

4. Be gracious to Yourself.

This is probably the most important of all of these tips. No matter what ends up happening during the holidays – no matter how many pies you eat or how few miles you run – don’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to try something different. No matter what, just proceed with dignity and the wisdom that you acquired through the successes and failures of the day before.

 

Happy Holidays everyone!

GWHG

Poblano Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

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I posted a photo of this recipe on Instagram last week and the people were lovin it. I must say, as far as my extremely amateur i-Phone food photography goes, it was one of my better shots. When I posted the photo, it was a sincere reaction to the yumminess of this dish. I had a spaghetti squash and a ground beef hanging out in the kitchen so naturally, it occurred to me to make a sauce of some sort. I had tried a few different bolognese recipes at that point, but I’d yet to find one that really stuck with me. I had this recipe pinned from a while back so I thought it might be a fine time to give it a go.

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The original recipe wasn’t completely paleo-friendly but it was easy enough to modify. I was extremely pleased with the flavors. The poblano does something absolutely wonderful. I will definitely have to play around with those guys more in future dishes. Hope you guys enjoy this one as much as I do.

Poblano Bolognese
Serves 3
Flavorful beef bolognese with poblano peppers
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
1 hr 40 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  2. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or cooking fat of choice)
  5. 1 pound ground beef chuck
  6. 1 TBL white wine vinegar
  7. 1 cup beef stock
  8. 1 14-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, undrained
  9. 3 bay leaves
  10. 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  11. 3 sprigs thyme
  12. Salt and pepper, to taste
  13. 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  14. 1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
  15. ½ cup full fat coconut cream
  16. 1 TBL butter
Instructions
  1. Place carrots, onions, and celery in a food processor and pulse until vegetable are shredded into small pieces (or to your liking). Transfer processed veggies to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet. Once fat is hot, add beef and brown until fat is rendered (you shouldn't be able to see any pink!). Transfer meat to a bowl and dispose of any remaining fat.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking fat in the skillet and cook veggies until they've softened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add white wine vinegar and beef stock to the pan and let it continue to cook until liquid is reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
  5. Add the cooked beef back into the pan along with tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper.*
  6. Reduce hear to a simmer and let cook, covered but with the lid slightly ajar, for about 1 hour until the sauce thickens.
  7. While the sauce is cooking, prepare your pasta of choice. If using spaghetti squash, preheat the over to 400 degrees F, cut it in half lengthwise, rub insides with fat of choice (I used coconut oil) and bake facedown on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes (depending on size). Let it cool until it's no longer to hot to handle and then use a fork to scrape up squash strings.
  8. When sauce is nearly done, heat butter in a separate pan. Add garlic and saute for 30-40 seconds. Add poblano pepper and saute until slightly blistered, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add cooked garlic and peppers to the sauce along with the coconut cream.
  10. Thoroughly mix in cream and allow sauce to cook over low heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  11. Depending on your preferences, you can either mix pasta in with the sauce or put the pasta on a plate and spoon sauce over it.** Either way it's deliciousness.
  12. If you're a cheese person, shredded parm is a must!
Notes
  1. *Be mindful of the amount of salt in the broth that you use when adding additional salt to the sauce. Don't want to overdue it!
  2. **The original recipes from Tasting Table gives suggests using fettuccine if using actual pasta. See the link to this recipe for specific instructions on how to cook and serve pasta.
Adapted from Tasting Table
Adapted from Tasting Table
Girl With the Hipster Glasses http://girlwiththehipsterglasses.com/