Friday, May 17, 2013

Food Coma, Meet Food Baby...

If you don't hear from me for the next month or so, don't worry. I'm just in a sugar coma from the amazing red velvet cupcake I had for breakfast. (Yes, I said breakfast. Don't judge me!) It's a coworker's birthday, so we have fruit (I had some of that too) and cupcakes to celebrate, and red velvet is my downfall. I need for PaleOMG or Civilized Caveman or someone to come up with a red velvet creation that won't make me feel like crap within 30 seconds.

Thankfully, we're already planning on grilling tonight, so for dinner we'll have steak and grilled vegetables, and for dessert, grilled pineapple. A nice Paleo way to end my day that started off so horribly.

In other news, I've made those Greek-style lamb meatballs again, and since I actually had lemons to zest and oregano in the house, they tasted a million times better this time. I also took a blogger's advice and brought guacamole to work with me as a dipping sauce for vegetables. I like carrots well enough on their own, but add avocado to just about anything and I'm an even happier camper.

I bought prosciutto at the grocery store earlier this week and I'm looking forward to incorporating it into some salad recipes, but then I found this recipe for breakfast cups and I can't wait to give it a shot!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

I completely forgot to weigh in this morning, so I don't really have an official update to give you this week, except holy smokes, Batman! When you cheat for a few meals sporadically, your body sure does let you know.

My baby sister graduated on Friday night with her Masters in Art Education, and I don't think there is a prouder big sister on the planet right now! She absolutely amazes me in everything she does. She is intelligent, hard-working, kind, compassionate, hilarious, and fiercely loyal. Congratulations, Leah!

In other news, my husband and I are still raising money to help offset costs for our mission trip to Jamaica this summer, and appreciate your prayers and any financial support you feel led to contribute. You can make donations here. Thanks for thinking of us!

In getting ready for the mission trip, even though our countdown is still two months out, I'm starting to consider snacks that I can make ahead of time and pack in our luggage to keep me mostly-Paleo while we're there. I'm not sure what meals will be prepared for us, I just know that I don't have any control over them, so it's important to make sure that I'll be able to supplement with food that's not going to wreck my system completely. Any snack ideas that will keep well in a suitcase? (i.e. not kale chips!)

I tried making apple chips last week, and while they were tasty, they didn't exactly bake evenly and some ended up super-caramelized (aka burnt) and others were mostly raw and chewy. I'll try a redo soon. I also made avocado chocolate chip ice cream on Cinco de Mayo as my nod to festivities. It was fairly neutral--I tasted the coconut milk more than the avocado, so probably not worth making again, but oh well. I've also made mocha coffee ice cream and it was delicious, so that makes up for the avocado falling flat on its face. I'm pretty sure I've eaten more ice cream since going Paleo than I did in the last 3 years combined, but at least it's healthy-ish!

Avocado Chocolate Chip ice cream

Other recipe attempts (and several excellent results) lately have been fried bananas, chicken coated in nutritional yeast, Greek-style meatballs, and dill pickles. Each time I've taste-tested the pickles so far, I've been disappointed, and now that I'm reading the recipe more closely, it's probably because I forgot the "put it in the fridge" step. Good thing I bought lots of cucumber and can try again!

Chicken tossed in nutritional yeast served with sautéed zucchini and boiled carrots.
Frying the bananas--the final result picture looked boring, so I'm not including it.
Greek-style meatballs, served with stewed tomatoes and sweet potato fries (we cheated and used frozen instead of wrestling with an actual sweet potato).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

Considering that I cheated quite a bit last week, and especially Saturday night at a wonderful homebrewing party, I think it's pretty impressive that I still lost a little over a pound this week. Like I've said before, weight loss isn't my primary motivation for going Paleo, but it's a great way to measure my success. Of course, the fact that my face has broken out like a 13-year-old after having dairy is also a pretty good indicator.

Since getting back on track, I've had salads (thank you very much, SaladWorks, for making delicious and healthy salads), chicken and apple sausage, lots of grapefruit, and carrots galore. I finally went grocery shopping again Monday night, so the fridge is restocked with yummy treats waiting for good recipes and the time to make them.

Monday for dinner we had pistachio crusted chicken strips with a strawberry rhubarb sauce, and it was pretty epic. The sauce had more heat than I like and not enough for Adam, but that's one of the dangers of marrying a man born in Louisiana. I also made banana chocolate ice cream, recipe made up fairly on the fly, and it ended up being very banana-y and chunky, which wasn't exactly my intention, but still delicious. I also started some pickles based on this recipe, and I'm a little nervous but very excited to see how they turn out.

I'm back at the library again tonight, so I'll be brainstorming quick dinner ideas all day long. Any suggestions?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day Fifty-Six

So I'm still not back to fully Paleo, having been treated to several Administrative Professionals Week appreciation lunches, which inevitably end up being sandwiches and desserts entirely too appetizing-looking to pass up. Sure, I could take off the bread and eat very small amounts of very thinly sliced lunch meats, but that wouldn't fill me up at all. Thankfully, we also had a fruit and veggie tray at my office to celebrate one of the partners' birthday, so that helped with between meal snacking.

On a completely different note, I've been listening to A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin for the last month and a half while I'm in the car, and I'm still not even halfway through it. I read it when it came out (July 2011), but listening to it has brought a whole new depth of understanding of the plot and characters' stories. Now, several times through the series (A Song of Ice and Fire, but the HBO series is known as "A Game of Thrones" [really the title of the first book]), I've gotten frustrated at the characters that GRRM kills off (or fake-kills, in some instances). Every time, I'm reminded of a scene from The Princess Bride (the movie; I don't think it's in the book quite like it is in the movie).

It's the scene where Fezzik and Inigo find Westley in the Pit of Despair, dead by Count Rugen's machine/Prince Humperdink's hand. The grandson, whose grandfather is reading him the book, interrupts the story to have this interaction:

Grandson: Wait, what did Fezzik mean "He's dead"? I mean, he didn't mean dead. Westley's only faking. Right?
Grandfather: You want me to read this or not?
Grandson: Who gets Humperdinck?
Grandfather: I don't understand.
Grandson: Who kills Prince Humperdinck? At the end. Somebody's got to do it. Is it Inigo, who?
Grandfather: Nobody. Nobody kills him. He lives.
Grandson: You mean he wins? Jesus, Grandpa, what did you read me this thing for?

(transcript thanks to )

The line that runs through my head, every single time one of the good guys gets killed off, is "Jesus, Grandpa, what did you read me this thing for?!" Every time, I want to call the person who got me hooked on GRRM (and The Princess Bride, incidentally) and yell that through the phone. And then I want to call GRRM and yell at him, wondering when the 6th book (The Winds of Winter) will finally be done and published and I can find out what happens to the characters I love so much.

Anyway, this weekend will be another bad weekend, as I'm going to a homebrew party Saturday night and cleaning out my cabinets and pantry of all of my Tastefully Simple products that are so not Paleo, and definitely enjoying them while I can.

Maybe next week I'll get back on track... I feel like I went on "vacation diet," and like that usually turns out, am having a lot of trouble getting off of it, despite the side effects that I'm suffering through.

Lastly, I am going on a mission trip this summer to Jamaica and am raising funds to help offset the total cost. My husband is also going, and while we've raised roughly 50% of the total amount, we would still appreciate any donations. Please consider donating to the general fund that will be split evenly between all of the participants. You can donate here and we greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Massive backslide!

I had a really bad weekend. I mean really bad. Thursday I had an amazing bacon egg and cheese sandwich and homefries. Friday we drove up to Pittsburgh (only a 5 hour drive... only?) for the Braves game and stopped at McDonald's on the way (yes, everyone cringe). Then I had pizza for dinner at the ballpark, but made up for it (kind of?) with cinnamon roasted pecans.

Saturday was equally terrible because we ate at Waffle House. Side note: did you know that Georgia has the most Waffle Houses by a huge margin? Back to the point, you can get healthy things to eat at Waffle House. You can get salad, steak, grilled chicken... did I? Of course not. I got bacon, scrambled eggs (so far, so good) and hash browns scattered and covered (cheese).

I've tried to be good since to make up for that massive backslide over the weekend, including Panera's "Hidden Menu" roasted turkey Mediterranean salad, pistachios, Paleo donuts (probably not healthy if you eat the entire batch, but whatever), and fruit/veggies.

Weigh-in Wednesday will definitely be interesting tomorrow, and I'm sure will jump-start a "holy crap, I have to start being good again," as if the fact that my face has broken out like I'm back to being a 13 year old isn't enough of a warning sign.

Once again I've loaded my Pinterest board with lots of delicious foods, and haven't made any of them due to sheer laziness. Since I'm not working at the library tonight, maybe I'll go grocery shopping and pre-prep some meals for the rest of the week.

Here's to re-starting!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Tease

Well, spring has been a bit of a tease this year. Last week I was in sleeveless shirts (maybe I was turning my space heater on at work, but I do that in the middle of summer too), and this week I'm back to sweaters.

However, we had a beautiful weekend, and my husband got out the grill I gave him for his birthday and we had steak and grilled squash and zucchini and sweet potatoes, and it was delicious! Grilling Season is probably my favorite season of the year, and it's so easy to eat Paleo when you're throwing real meat and vegetables (and fruit for dessert) on the grill!

I also made Paleo mint chocolate chip ice cream using the ice cream machine I picked up at our church's Rummage Sale this year ($4!), so it was a very nice treat without the inevitable stomachache that follows a "oh, one bite of ice cream won't kill me" slip-up. We were out of spinach, so mine wasn't nearly as green as the picture, and I used half the amount of peppermint extract that the recipe calls for. I definitely didn't get a picture of the ice cream because I ate it way too fast.

Yesterday for lunch we had Bacon Avocado Cups, and ohmygoodness, bacon makes everything wonderful, and I already adore avocado, so this meal was a win! I also did apple omelets because when I told Adam what we were having for lunch, he looked at me and said, "What else?"

I go back to work at the library this week, so I'm back to the "half hour to prep and eat" dinner evenings, which is always interesting. Yay for quick easy salads! I think I'll bake lots of bacon tonight and make sure that I have avocados on hand to do the bacon avocado cups again. It's hard to go wrong!

I also got to take lots of naps this weekend, which on my "favorite things to do" falls directly behind "reading." (Don't worry, spending time with my husband and our dogs is higher up on the list than either of them.)

Probably the best part of the weekend though was that the Braves swept the Nationals! It's so exciting to see my team have a strong start to the season. Though the Nationals' announcers were fond of saying "a sweep in April and a sweep in September are two very different things" and "there's a lot of baseball yet to play," it was fun to hear them stumble over Andrelton Simmons' and Maholm's names. Bless their hearts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, I weighed in this morning, and as expected, I have gained back a few of the pounds I lost in my post-op lack of appetite. It also doesn't help that any time there's chocolate to be had, I'm having it. Not to mention the ridiculous amounts of sangria I've consumed lately...

More importantly, my Mama was in town this last weekend, and we had a smorgasboard of delicious Paleo yumminess (and sangria). Friday night we made turkey spinach meatballs (I know the recipe calls for basil, but whatever) and roasted asparagus.

Saturday for breakfast we had the green apple smoothie that I fell in love with last week. For lunch, we had barbeque at my church's Annual Rummage Sale, and while it may not have been strictly Paleo, it was still delicious! Dinner, we made avocado stuffed burgers and bacon-wrapped sweet potato bites.


For dessert, we tried these donuts, and it was an interesting venture. The donuts themselves kind of fell apart (Mama and I came up with several reasons why, so hopefully my second batch is easier to eat), but the chocolate frosting on top was so good that I finished it off with a spoon and spatula.

Rather like Heather Armstrong over at dooce®, anytime it's avocado season, I snatch up a million of them at the grocery store and put avocado on everything. I tried frying avocado, because what Southern girl wouldn't, and it was rather an epic fail, but tasty. I'm going to have to work on refining my fry technique, because I think it was user error rather than the recipe falling short. Rather than let the rest of the avocado go to waste, I tossed it in nutritional yeast and baked it.

Yesterday for dinner, Adam and I decided on "breakfast for dinner" and I baked maple bacon and made cinnamon apple scrambled eggs--it wasn't pretty, but it was tasty!

I've gone a bit crazy recently pinning delicious-looking Paleo recipes that I just have to try, like the banana chai smoothie and crab cakes on my Paleo Pinterest board, so if you're looking for ideas, hop on over there and make yourself a grocery list!