Day 16 & 17: Pot O Sauce

I’ve had mostly leftovers since Sunday, but I cooked up a big pot o spaghetti sauce today. I make what is pretty much my family’s recipe and dump it over some roast spaghetti squash. I don’t feel like talking about what I ate for the last two days, so here’s a recipe for spaghetti sauce instead (more or less. . .remember, I don’t really believe in measurements):

1lb ground meat (I used turkey this time, but bison is probably my favorite)
1/2 – 1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 packages of mushrooms (I used organic baby bellas)

2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 28oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1-2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1-2 tsp basil (fresh is best)
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat with the onion and garlic and some salt and pepper. Just as you finish, mix in the tomato paste. Sautee the mushrooms in some coconut oil or ghee, then toss everything in a crock pot and cook on low all day. If you use fresh basil, wait until before you use the sauce to stir it in. Roast up a spaghetti squash. 350 degrees or so – just poke holes in it and put the whole dang thing in the oven. When a fork goes into the squash very easily, it’s done. When the squash starts to cool off, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then scoop out the cooked “spaghetti” and plop on your sauce. DELISH.


Day 15: Paleo Champ

I went to sign a lease on a sweet new house this afternoon, so I had a goal of fixing all three meals for the day before 2pm. . .and hey nonny nonny, I did! After a nap, I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning my apartment.

I got up at about 9 and started in on some meat muffins and paleo tomato bisque. I used ground pork, garam masala, and curry powder in the meat muffins, for a sort of Indian variation. This is the second time I’ve made these meat muffins. They are honestly kind of a pain because I tend to make a mess with them, but they are great to pack for breakfast, and I stuck a few in the freezer for later. I’m trying to stock up on freezer food since I’ll be moving soon and certainly won’t feel like cooking every night.

Enough Spinach for Popeye

Meat Muffins Have Enough Spinach for Popeye

I ran down to the co-op as the meat muffins finished so I could get my groceries for the week, then immediately put a chicken in the oven. As usual, I followed this recipe, but I have found that I prefer an orange inside the chicken instead of a lemon. Then I just throw in whatever veggies I have around; today it was red onion, green onion, and carrots.  I order this “poultry mix” of herbs from Green Bean that I really like. I think it’s just rosemary, sage, and thyme. I also roasted some buttercup squash and Brussels sprouts. I let the chicken rest while I ran out to sign my lease. I think resting the chicken until it starts to cool leaves it nice and juicy.

I made dinner before my chicken and roast veggies were even done for lunch. Spicy beef has become a new staple in my paleo repertoire because it’s spicy AND easy. Plus: sunshine sauce! Sometimes I use lettuce cups and make a mess of myself, and sometimes I just give up and make a salad, then dump the meat and sunshine sauce on top. Either way is good. Today we ate it in cups with some red bell pepper, and I swept up all the meat I dropped later when I cleaned.

Eight hours of sleep, plus a nap and my fish oil, plus a lot of food stocked up in my fridge and freezer AND a clean apartment leaves me with my full points and feeling mighty accomplished for the weekend.

Days 13 & 14: Mental Health Day

After a full day of working out, working, and volunteering, on Friday (Day 13) I felt like sleeping in this morning. So I did.  Then I roasted beets, started some chicken broth, and headed to brunch. The beets went in some borscht this evening. I’ve now got some nice broth and several containers of emergency borscht chillin’ in the freezer. Tomorrow I have big plans to cook three large meals and get a head start on the week. Food in the freezer means I won’t have to take another mental health day for a while.

Day 12: I Forgot My Bra, But I Got Pancakes

Sometimes, no matter how much planning and prep go into your day, it just doesn’t turn out as planned. I forgot my sports bra today and couldn’t get to my Olympic lifting workout. Since I had planned on viewing a duplex this evening I didn’t really have time to do a replacement workout. So I made pancakes. YES!

I had some leftover seaweed salad with raw tuna, so I ate that with carrots and almond butter and some coffee.

I had leftover dinner for lunch. Bison burger with bacon, shiitakes, roast broccolini, and fried plantains.

Remember that crock pot full of ribs I prepped last night? They were all hot and ready to go when I got home, along with some parsnips I had yetiman roast up this afternoon. Since I didn’t make it to my Oly class, I had enough extra time to make pancakes. Savory, delicious, coconut pancakes! Just what I had been looking for to sop up rib drippins.

Jesus Is A Pancake. Let Him Sop You Up.

Jesus Is A Pancake. Let Him Sop You Up.

I got in my eight hours of sleep and fish oil, so daily points for that. One more workout and I get all of those points for this week, too.

The end of the week is coming. My apartment is a total disaster; I’ve got a lot of cleaning up to do around here this weekend. Sometimes things just don’t happen as planned. But sometimes you get savory pancakes.

Day 11: Your Mom Does Turkish Getups

All of this running around on top of a paleo challenge kinda has me tuckered out. Maybe that’s why I’ve got a cold. I’ve been awfully wheezy today, and that doesn’t help. Although I’m cooking this weekend, I plan on not leaving my apartment, taking naps, and sleeping in on Sunday in order to give myself a break.

Today started with a 6AM workout and ended cooking, cleaning, and prepping my food for tomorrow. It will be worth it when I get back from Olympic lifting tomorrow and there is a crock pot chock full of delicious ribs to mow down on. But that’s tomorrow. Here’s what happened today.

I grabbed a Larabar real quick on my way to CFFW this morning. Once I got to my desk, I had sammies with turkey, home made pickled asparagus and home made mayo with some curtido from Fermenti. I spiked my coffee and later a cup of coconut tea with some coconut milk. Everything tastes sweeter when you’re trying to avoid added sugar, and canned coconut milk is like a little treat in my hot morning beverages, which I needed this morning because of the whole cold thing.

I ran to Fresh Market and got some seaweed salad with raw tuna and decided I also needed a snacky. Some tiny zucchini caught my eye, and I thought they might be good raw with some salsa. I was right! I also got some unfortunately delicious and addictive freeze dried strawberries and bananas. Crunchy love in my face.

I needed a nap by the time I got home, so I laid down for 30 minutes before I started dinner. I made bison burgers with bacon, home made mayo, and hot sauce, roast broccolini (kind of like really long broccoli) with balsamic, shiitakes sauteed with garlic in ghee, and some glorious ripe plaintains fried in ghee. Holy schnikies was it good.

Dinner is Served

Dinner is Served

Today’s WOD looked like this:
3 sets:
Superman hold for 30-45 sec.
Rest 60 sec.
Turkish Get-Ups, 3 reps/arm
Rest 60 sec.
25lb kb

EMOM for 15 min:
10 KBS
5 Burpees (jump laterally over your KB)
25lb kb, completed 13 rounds

EMOM, for the uninitiated, means every minute on the minute. Always a good time. Just like your mom. I’m always stoked to have a kettlebell in my hand, so I was happy to work hard this morning with some getups and swings. I also got my eight hours of sleep and my fish oil, so I’m set to earn my challenge points for the day.

Day 10: I Got the Blahs

I felt kind of off all day today. Cold, tired, general blah-ness. I felt okay during my Olympic lifting class, but I ended up whacking myself in the neck meat and the back of the skull with the bar, so now I’ve got a headache on top of blah. Let’s get this over with so I can make sleepies.

Sammies with turkey, home make pickled asparagus, and home made mayo wrapped in collard greens, plus some curtido, an orange, and coffee with coconut milk.

Leftover butter chicken with cauliflower rice and a kombucha.

Not only was I blah, but also hungry. Carrots and almond butter in my belly.

I was starting to get a headache after class, so I didn’t want to fuss with dinner. Yetiman and I headed to Chipotle and I got a salad with carnitas, mild and hot salsa, guacamole, and lime juice. At this point, my guts also started to feel blah.

Eight hours of sleep last night and I got my fish oil, plus the following workout tonight:
Power clean + push press
-75% x2(2+1)x3 – 55lbs
-80% x2(2+1)x2 65lbs
Snatch push press + snatch balance
-70% x3+1×3 55lbs
-80% x3+1×2 65lbs
Clean pull
-95% 3×5 95lbs

Got all my points and now I’m headed to sleep to earn some more.

Days 8 & 9: Butter Chicken Has No Butter. Discuss.

I’ve been a busy little bee since I got back from my brother’s place. It’s about a four hour drive, so I spent Sunday (Day 8) in pretty constant motion, running errands on my way back into town, cooking, cleaning, laundry, the usual. I don’t actually feel like typing out what I ate, but I made some halupki stir fry because it’s easy, super tasty, filling, and I can make a whole buttload of it at once.

Today (Day 9) I worked, went to Jeerleading practice, and did some gnarly Ashtanga. Good thing I had butter chicken (sub coconut milk for dairy ingredients) in the crock pot, and had yetiman make some cauliflower rice. Meal planning is essential on days like this.

Seven hours of sleep last night, but I’m about to get eight tonight. Keeping up on my fish oil so at least I don’t lose points for that. Speaking of losing points, I was sad to learn that last week’s Ashtanga fest didn’t count toward my workout points. I got in only two CrossFit workouts and three are required. I was really hoping my three yoga classes would count for one workout. Alas, my score has suffered.

Day 7: Salad Made Out of Meat

I woke up this morning and drug my sister in law to yoga at 8AM. Not only had she not been  practicing regularly, but the class ended up being more challenging than I had anticipated (oh, hey revolved side angle pose). I’m pretty sure she forgave me after I cooked breakfast and lunch.

My brother was intrigued when I said “sweet potato hash” yesterday, so that’s just what I fixed for them this morning. Here’s how you do it (all measurements are approximate because I don’t actually believe in measurements):

2 tsp dried rubbed sage
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb ground pork
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Brown the pork (or whatever ground meat you like, really) with the spices. Once the meat is done, take it out of the pan and set aside. Melt some coconut oil in the pan and toss in the garlic, onion, and sweet potato. If the potatoes start to burn or brown too fast, put in a little water. Cover the pan but stir often. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, toss in the meat and stir it all together and reheat the meat. Put in a  bowl and shove in your facehole.

I had black coffee and kombucha with my breakfast, and a date coconut ball somewhere between breakfast and lunch.

I made some Thai steak salad and coconut green beans (minus the almonds, my brother is allergic and I didn’t want him to die). My sister in law kept trying to sabotage my steak salad with things like tomatoes and lettuce. I finally had to tell her “it’s a salad made of meat!” Here’s how it goes:

1-2 lbs skirt or flank steak, marinated in coconut aminos and a little coconut oil
Thai chiles (as many as you can handle…thems spicy)
2-3 handfuls of cilantro, ripped up with your hands
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 3-4 limes

Sear the steak for 6-7 minutes on each side, then cover with foil and let it rest. After the steak has cooled off, slice it thin, like you would for fajitas. Dump everything in a bowl and combine. 

Salad made out meat was a winner, and my brother liked the spicy Thai peppers.

I don’t see my brother very often and I wanted to try this barbecue place in Urbana called the Black Dog. This meal wasn’t entirely compliant. I ordered some smoked chicken, slaw (vinegar based), and a smoked sweet potato. There was some sugar in the slaw, and I did eat a little barbecue sauce. I don’t know how, but I managed not to order a beer…they had plenty of choices and I really, really wanted one. I guess it was knowing that I’d be losing at least one point on my food for the day that forced me to stick with water.

I went to bed early last night and ended up with almost 10 hours of sleep! Definitely didn’t need an alarm to wake up at 7 and get to yoga at 8. I also got in my fish oil. If the worst thing I did today was eat some slaw and barbecue sauce, I think I did okay.

Day 6: Spreading the Paleo Love

I spent today working from my brother’s house, attempting some gnarly Ashtanga yoga in a different studio, and spreading paleo love to his household.

My first meal was a little stunted. Scrambled eggs, a couple of dates, and a cup of black coffee.

This meal was frankly disappointing. I ordered a salad that came with potatoes, which I obviously had them leave off. Unfortunately, they didn’t go ahead and fill in the rest of the salad with more greens to fill in for the potatoes. Greens, asparagus, bacon, and poached egg, with vinegar and oil. I was still hungry when I was done, so I got some carrots and almond butter, some smoked turkey, a date coconut roll, and a kombucha. Weird snack, I know.

Another paleo feast! Balsamic ribs, roast beets with orange and fennel, and collard greens with garlic and crushed red pepper sauteed in coconut oil and a little veggie broth. My brother liked the meal so much that he made nummy sounds the whole time and I almost had to punch him in the throat. I’m glad he enjoyed it, though.

This evening I completed my first ever Ashtanga practice incorporating some of the intermediate series. Holy crud was it hard. Also hard: getting eight hours of sleep per night. This morning I woke up right at seven hours without an alarm. I did take my fish oil, but I continue to lose points on the challenge for sleep.