Attempting Sauerkraut

 

 

I have decided to try my hand at sauerkraut, as I had an abundance of cabbage. I tried to follow the instructions in Practical Paleo, but who knows if I’m doing this right! It said to test it occasionally, but I’m scared to! It’s looking pretty funky, and I hope this experience doesn’t turn me off all sauerkraut. I did wipe that surprisingly cool looking mild from the top of the water. Maybe I will taste test them tomorrow.If I don’t check back in… be worried!

Any suggestions/tips are very welcome! ūüôā

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21DSD – Week 1

Week 1 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox was a success! Overall I have felt a huge improvement in my energy level, which was my main goal to begin with. I usually hit a wall mid-afternoon in the office, always looking for a 3pm pick me up of coffee, tea or treat. This week I have actually had abundant energy. Dare I say, too much for the office! I am finding it hard to stay sitting at my desk. I will have to talk to HR about getting one of those treadmill desks. I foresee some liability issues, but I will argue that it can’t be worse than the long term effects of sitting all day has on our health. They won’t care. At the very least, I would go for an exercise ball chair. Bounce my way through the afternoon energy rush. ANYWAYS – here are some of my accomplishments(ish) from the week:

Asian Meatballs & Slaw

I was smart (one day this week) and pre-made my dinner for the following night. I had more important things to do, like puppy smothering! So I had no time for stove slavin’. I was very excited for this meal because it had an asian flair. I love me some asian food, but I have no idea how to recreate the flavours on my own.

Side Note: In the 21 Day Sugar Detox book, Diane outlines some suggestions for eating out at restaurants. For Italian, Mexican, Indian and basically any other option she has a ‘Avoid This’ and ‘Enjoy This’ section. That is, except for Chinese, which is just one big AVOID. Boo – sneaky Chinese food, hiding sugar in my beloved entrees. I’m coming for you when this detox is over!¬†

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VOILA – Asian Slaw & Lamb Meatballs. LAMB. I have a bias toward this meat… My Dad has had a sheep farm for my entire life. And although I didn’t spend much time with them because, well, they stink. They were always in plain view from my back window, or out on the grass being all natural lawn mowers. They are very cute (from a distance) especially those frolicking, hoppy babies! I was never fed lamb growing up though because my Dad personally does not like the taste. The most I have ever had are bites off of friend’s and coworker’s plates at restaurants. I have a tiny coworker who likes to order the largest dish on the menu, a caveman style lamb shank, osso bucco. So needless to say, creating and eating this dish was an experience for me!

Honestly, the lamb was not my favourite. The smell right out of the oven got me, as well as the greasiness. That’s not to say I didn’t eat it (I did.) or that I won’t try it again (I will.) I’m sure it will grow on me. I can force myself to eat (almost) anything in the name of health. Maybe the taste will grow on me? I mean I thought wine was gross when I first started drinking it… silly me!

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Shepherd’s Pie

This next dish would make my mother proud. I would say this is a classic of hers. (Right behind frozen chicken fingers! Love ya Mom x). It is Sheperd’s Pie with a paleo twist. Instead of mashed potatoes that top is mashed cauliflower (PRETEND TO BE SURPRISED FOR ME!) Common, it looks pretty legit does it not?! I loved this dish. I also think it would freeze well. If I could have saved some leftovers I would have tried. The meat portion had the veggies cooked and mixed right in there, but more importantly, it had bacon. Enough said.

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Side Note: Mashed cauliflower just became a whole lot easier with the purchase of real steamer basket (not the bamboo tower I was using previously) and my best kitchen purchase, the food processor. Seriously, I put off buying one for so long because what can it do that my blender can’t? The answer is everything, and better! It puts my blender to shame, and saves my entire kitchen from falling victim to a cauliflower tornado aftermath.¬†

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Pad Thai

Amongst the recipes I made this week was the “Shrimp Pad Thai” that looks nothing like pad thai… I have a noodle spirilizer that makes my noodles look like that (below) instead of like this. It is what it is, and I could not figure out how to turn my squash into long noodles, so I ended up with this fish flake looking substance. I don’t know if this would satisfy my craving for the dish, but it was still delicious! Feed me some fish flakes.

Side Note: I have a fairly serious addiction to nut butters. This recipe called for almond butter, which I usually cannot keep within reach of my double dipped spoon straight to mouth wielding hand. It was a struggle. I barely saved enough to make this recipe. I have learned to buy from bulk barn, where I can get only as much as I need in hopes of keeping myself away from the crack like substance that is nut butter. Is there a Nut Butters Anonymous meeting I can go to?

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Double Unders

I have made it my mission to master the double under. Let it be known I am not the best skipper to begin with, so I somewhat expected to be covered in whip marks. For anyone who is unfamiliar, a double under is when the rope rotates twice per jump, fast hands! As I struggle to get one DU under my belt, a girl directly behind me in the fitness studio whips out 59 consecutive no problem. I turned and gawked with my jaw on the ground I’m sure. She had no tips for me except, “it’s like riding a bike, once you get it, you have it for life.” She was nice (or cruel – still indecided) enough to lend me her wire weapon of skipping rope. Seriously this thing is scary! (Anyone seen The Counselor? That wire strangling weapon is all I could think of…. Death by skipping rope). Anyways, though I did get some violent whips with the welts to prove it, I landed 5 consecutive! #gettingthere
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21DSD – Day 4

Day 4 –¬†Back to work today, but first it was arm day. For most of my exercises I first did a set of 3×10 Time Under Tension (which means 1 second concentric and 3 second eccentric – slowww) of as heavy weight as possible, followed by the same exercise 3×15 with a 15 second timed rest between sets (a lighter weight this time – trust me it will need to be). My muscles were on FIRE! It was beautiful. If you are getting bored of your routine, I highly suggest you throw some of these sets in there. You are definitely going to feel it the next day!
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Over the past day, I have been in the process of making my first batch of home made bone broth. It was pretty simple, just put some bones, water, salt and apple cider vinegar in a crock pot for 8-24 hours. The hardest part of the process was the storage/clean up! You have to scoop out these bones and other questionable bits, and then strain the broth through a fine strainer. This stuff is surprisingly gelatinous, as my counters can attest to! They were covered in this goo. You see, my strainer is very small, and my crock pot big… we had some casualties along the way. Also everything this stuff came in contact with had a film of greasy slim. I hope that does not put you off the stuff! The benefits definitely out weight the clean up process. Here are some taken from MindBodyGreen:

1. It heals a leaky gut. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients.
2. Fights infections such as colds and flu.  A study published in the journal Chest shows eating chicken soup during a respiratory infection reduces the number of white blood cells, which are the cells that cause flu and cold symptoms.
3. Reduces joint pain and inflammation.  The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.
4. Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails.  The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.
5. Helps with bone formation, growth and repair.  The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair.
6. Saves you money.  Homemade bone broth is cheaper and healthier than store bought.
7. Super easy to make.  All you need is a crockpot. Throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and it cooks while you sleep.
8. Healthier than buying supplements.  Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.
9. Fights inflammation.  Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
10. Promotes sleep and calms the mind.  The amino acid glycine found in bone broth can be very calming.

– – –

Dinner Time 
I shuffled around the menu this week because I had to cook my mussels (eik!) up before they went bad. I have now come to realize why Daine suggested this Paella dish for day 7 (Sunday dinner). This recipe was extensive! Not something you just want to whip up after getting home from work. I left out the clams and shrimp, because I’m on a budget and 4 different meats for 1 meal is a little excessive for solo dining! I am still overly proud of these ‘firsts’ for me 1. having made my own broth. 2. making my own sausage. 3. cooking mussels. 4. using saffron. 5. making caulirice without it ending up covering the entire kitchen (thank you food processor).
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These lil’ fellas scared the crap out of me for some reason. I was poking and prodding at the them like they were going to jump out and bites me. I survived, reassuring myself with “mussels for muscles, mussels for muscles” repeated aloud.

Putting this dish together was a lot of work, you weren’t sitting around waiting for it to finish cooking that’s for sure. It was timed beautifully though! Everything came together flawlessly. The mussels were surprisingly (coming from the seafood noob) the easiest part to cook! Steam ’em for a few minutes and that’s it.
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I just googled pictures of what Paella is supposed to look like… Mine is definitely lacking style points, but I thiiink it would still be recognized as the traditional dish?! #closeenough¬†and better for you!¬†

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After making this feast, I had some time to spare so I pre-made tomorrow nights dinner since I have plans and won’t have much time after work. I am already looking forward to eating it (HINT: It’s asian inspired – my fave!) Day 4 down the hatch! Lata playas.

21DSD – Day 3

Day 3 – I had the day off today, but still managed to get to the gym by 8 – not on purpose. Killed some legs and booty, here is my workout:

5 min. bike warm up + hip mobility stretches
Narrow Squats on the Smith machine (3×10)
Reverse Hack Sqaut – all the way to the bottom! (3×8)
Single leg, leg press… legs. (3×8)
Leg Extensions (10 toes in, 10 toes out x3)
Weighted step ups – high! (5 each leg alternating, and then 5 no weight x3)
Barbell walking lunges (20×3)
Walk it off for 10! & stretch.

After my post workout sweet tater, it was some leisurely meal making for breakfast. Following my meal plan (with some swap outs) it was time for some Green Apple Turkey Breakfast Sausages. I think this sugar detox may be working because those apples tasted mighty sweet in my little patties. De-lish!

rawpatty

Mmmm I loved the semi-crispy outsides! This will be a repeat recipe for sure. So simple. I figured out with the second batch that it is best to cook the first side with a lid on though, helps them get cooked through the middle faster. I was happy to just chop up (and not peel) some carrots as a side. #nomorebabycarrotsmeatapplepatty 

For lunch I had some left over salmon. Yuck. That stuff does not reheat well. I still ate it of course. This afternoon I took my parent’s dog for a walk and forgot the poop bags. Where does this guy decide to do his doo? In the drive way of the only guy that is out on the street checking his mail. Wonderful. I had to run back to my car and scrounge for some scrap of plastic to scoop that poop. In the end, my mitten was contaminated and subsequently burned.

brons

Meet Bronson. I was a bad sister and forgot to fully dress him. He was missing his purple parka and BOOTS. I didn’t know he even owned boots. He seemed to have survived, and i’d have to say he pranced a little prouder without all that feminine swag.¬†

On to dinner… Can we please have a moment of silence for how beautiful beets are?! Before they’re cut up their quite hideous, but underneath they have such a beautiful design of rich reds. I’m going to put a beet wall in my house.

rawbeets

With the plethora of spices I have overflowing my cupboard, I still seemed to be missing all of the ones required for this dish. Apparently I only buy the obscure spices… Instead of the suggested blend I used¬†garam masala which I think paired wonderfully with these Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs. My fear of bones is coming to an end after these sexy thighs… My god, so moist and delicious! What was I doing living off of dried out chicken boobies?! They take a while to cook, but I have found that without all of this sugar in my system I’m not getting as hangry (hunger+ angry), because my blood sugar is not crashing! It’s a great feeling. I can actually patiently wait for dinner to be done without snacking the whole time leaving no room for the actual meal. Day 3… I’ve seen the light!

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21DSD – Day 2

Day 2 – I am most definitely a morning person, which I feel is rare, at least for someone my age. I cannot sleep in, but I also have trouble staying up late. Unless of course something super fun is going on – then count me in! Upon waking up in the morning, I like to immediately hit the gym. This means no time is spent procrastinating, or finding excused not to go. Get out the door before you even wake up and realize what’s going on! I don’t eat before I workout because I like to train in a fasted state. Having not eaten since 7-ish the night before, my body is in prime fat burning mode, and going for a workout accelerates that fat burning. Here is an article about Intermittent Fasting by www.leangains.com. Personally, I feel way better training fasted as opposed to fed, but the BCAAs are key!

After I get home from my workout, I have some baked (last night) sweet potato with butter – SO GOOD! Then I make myself some breakfast. I love having the leftovers available for breakfast – so convenient! Today was a lot of leftovers, until this masterpiece of a dinner I made below. But first…¬†

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Ok, is it just me or is this jar dumb? How are you supposed to get these suckers out without dumping all the juice out as well? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Also, when I got to the cash I though these capers had gone bad. Lots of funky looking white stuff on them, but they were all like that. SO, hopefully that is normal, because I bought and ate them. 

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A messy kitchen is not something you often see around this household… The sight of this gives me anxiety! My kitchen essentials: handy-dandy iPad for recipe reference, tinfoil makes clean up a breeze, silicone oven mitt, and of course tea towels to wave down the smoke detector way too often. P.S. Check out my bag o’ bones (Game of Thrones anyones?!) lurking in the corner. Dealing with those babies tomorrow.¬†

The finished result was a beautiful little platter! Broiled salmon with olive and caper tapenade, garlic lemon steamed spinach, cherry tomatoes, and sauerkraut. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cooked salmon, and this is the first time I have tried broiling it. I must say, pretty damn delicious! I loved the lemon juice & zest.

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Todays highlights include: 1. My mother making Practical Paleo’s Blueberry Lemon Muffins… the real treat was, she LOVED them! Woo hoo! She will come around to this paleo idea in no time. I did not get to try one sadly, because there was a bit of “grade B” maple syrup. Which apparently just means the real stuff, but grade b does not make it sound good. 2. I bought my first slow cooker. It has a timer, oh la la! 3. Discovery of the deliciousness of unflavoured BCAAs. 4. Got a wicked custom made table for my ‘home office’ from my parents, at which I am currently typing. Now, onto day 3…

Unfalvoured BCAA

Unfalvoured BCAA all the way! I like it way better than the super sweet artificial shiz I used to drink. I think this stuff tastes slightly like potato chips. Plus I got a couple of new water bottles. I have realized that I drink the most water out of a clear water bottle with a straw (i.e. A sippy cup).

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21DSD – Day 1

So first off, I’ll admit this isn’t technically day 1 for me… I was basically eating sugar free during my two week trip to BC. This is day one of following the 21DSD Meal Plan! So if I don’t seem to be going through the usual struggles – that may be why. The 21DSD has three different levels, depending on your current diet. I decided to go with level 3 because, well… go big or go home! Also, I was already basically grain & dairy free. You can find all of the meal plans and recipes in the book 21-Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar & Carb Cravings,¬†or a Diane has a lot of recipes on her site Balanced Bites, scroll down to¬†21 Day Sugar Detox Approved Recipes.¬†

Meal 1 РDay 1 was a little labour intensive, especially since I wait to eat until after I bust my butt at the gym in the morning. Luckily I pre cooked the chicken boobies the night before. I was very satisfied with this meal, and the muffins were mega tasty! Honestly way better than I thought they were going to be. Check out my super cute silicone baking cups Рso handy! A tea party caveman style. 

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I am running on west coast time still, so woke up a little later, went to the gym a little later (fasted), and then made this extravagant (yes, for me) breakfast. So it ended up being brunch. I was satisfied until dinner time, with only a little snack of Kombucha and Savi Seeds (6g of Omega-3 + 9g of Protein = great snack!)

Meal 2 – Day 1 was a nightmare. I never grew up eating fish. I had a fried up piece of haddock drowning in glorious deep friend batter maybe twice during my childhood. Other than that, nada! Since becoming a mature young adult (you best believe it!) I have grown a taste for the sea creatures. I enjoy ordering seafood at restaurants, but still fear making my own. I dabbled in a little frozen fish, and canned tuna, but this was my first experience with canned salmon.

Seriously. This can should come with a warning! There were freakin’ bones in there!! Teeny tiny ones, that I had to anally go through and pick out one by one. I should have got a picture of my hands. Those tiny bend bones… Are you supposed to eat those?! The recipe said nothing about them. Can you buy canned salmon without these little buggers? Plus the skin! My lawwwd. I fear for the can of sardines in my cupboard… This surly can’t be how you’re supposed to do it. If anyone has any suggestions – feel free to pass them right along!¬†

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All said and done, I survived. Snapping tiny creature bones will haunt my dreams (a very real fear of mine), but for now… I enjoy a tasty little salmon salad. For this recipe I had to make my own mayonnaise to avoid the canola oil laden white stuff that is available in the grocery store. The recipe called for macadamia nut oil. Apparently everybody was making their own mayo, since Whole Foods was completely sold out. (P.S. I have also heard that macadamia nut oil is good for your skin – 2 in 1 mayo face mask anyone?) I made due with coconut oil. I think this was a mistake. The damn stuff congealed when I set it in the fridge for a minute. I don’t think anyone would mistake my lumpy, yellowing semi solid for mayo. Better luck next time!¬†And the final result:

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Some Salmon Salad Tacos. I drowned them in extra lemon juice because a taco just isn’t a taco unless something is running down the side of your hand and wrist. (Shh, they are nothing even close to tacos, but a girl can dream mkay?!)

I am really liking that these recipes suggest making enough for left overs. I don’t often have leftovers, and it is a nice change to not have to whip something up from scratch at every meal. Who woulda thunk? All in all, I would say day 1 was a success! Sugar’s got nothin’ on this girl.¬†

I’m Feeling Paleo

I’m back! I’ve taken a little break… I tried macro tracking for a while, then became a hermit as a result. Counting every last gram did not work for me. (Well it worked physically, but not so much emotionally.) Personally, I find that tracking/counting macros/calories led me to have an unhealthy relationship with food. I got back to my regular clean intuitive eating probably around Nov/Dec. All was going swimmingly, until my first all inclusive vacation… Oh, em, gee. I regret nothing!¬†

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I decided to forgo thinking about anything to do with nutrition or macros or calories. It was glorious! Basically, it was 3 course meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. I was still gluten free, but aside from that everything was free game. Surprisingly, I felt amazing! This really showed me that stress plays a huge role in your digestive function. Now if I could only live on a beach, stress free for the rest of my life! Since that isn’t going to happen (any time soon anyways :P)… It is back to real life.

I came back with a ridiculous sugar addiction. I NEEDED that shiz! After I ate anything, I craved something sweet like a crack addiction feinding for a hit. I was home for a week before I was off to BC for 2 weeks on business, living out of hotels, my suitcase and a rental car. 

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(MY BC TRIP: A. Not entirely stoked to go on this trip… I knew the long drives ahead of me. B. Healthy airport eats, YYZ is stepping up it’s game – nice to see! C. Dominican gains, the booty appreciated my crazy carb load. D. Hotel life does not = Vacation mode. Still hitting the (usually empty) gym. E. I do actually ‘work bitch’. Back alley lingerie dealings. F. Hello obliques! These were a nice surprise. G. Crazy snow, crazy cold, crazy avalanche highways. H. Ferry rides were a nice change from the miles and miles of driving.)

In the end, I put 5500 Kms on my rental car, met a lot of really great customers for the first time, and spent hours upon hours on my podcast app. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE PODCASTS?! What an awesome way to pass the time. I highly recommend. They made my crazy drives, dare I say it, enjoyable! 

I started with Latest in Paleo¬†which led me to Balanced Bites hosted by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolf. I was in love! Although I was already basically eating Paleo just by default, I didn’t really understand what it was all about until I listened to Daine and Liz for hours on end. Their natural conversation made it so much easier for me to understand. After listening to a few episodes I bought Daine’s book Practical Paleo and the 21 Day Sugar Detox. (As well as Liz’s Skintervention Guide, but we will get to that later!) I love to try new things, and honestly, the way Liz and Diane talk about nutrition, food, and health just makes sense to me. Although, like I said, already basically ate Paleo, I didn’t understand why to avoid certain foods, our body’s need for nutrients, or the need for high quality fats. As a result, I have decided to put myself through Diane’s 21DSD. I plan on letting you know how it goes! I am going to attempt to follow the meal plan to push myself to try foods that I otherwise would never try. HERE WE GO!¬†

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Chocolate Protein Bread

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I like to have a ‘treat’ as my PWO fuel because it helps push me through my workout knowing that something delicious is waiting for me at the end! I love how by using all the same ingredients in a different way you can get a totally different result. I just acquired a new loaf pan, so a protein bread was a must. This was my very first attempt, and it turned out great – Chocolate Protein Bread. The apple sauce and coconut oil combo keep this bread so moist. The chocolate flavour wasnt overpowering because I used vanilla protein & 100% cocoa powder. I’m sure the flavor combo can easily be changed up. I’ll be sure to try a new one next time because I am definitely making this fella again!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c Oats
  • 2 Scoops About Time Whey Protein (I used Birthday Cake, only because I didn’t have chocolate)
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 3 T Cacao Powder (100%)
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 5.5 oz Apple Sauce (Unsweetened)
  • 1 T Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 c Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
  • Sweetener (I used stevia, both powdered and liquid)

Instructions:

  1. I used whole oats, but you can grind them up for a smoother texture in your bread.
  2. Combine oats, protein, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  3. Add in liquid ingredients. Be sure to melt coconut oil ahead of time.
  4. Add sweetener to your preference.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean in the middle.
  6. Slice into 8 pieces & eat at LEAST 1 while still warm!

The macros on this bad boy are amazing (calculated here per slice). I had a lot of macros to finish this day, so I ended up eating 4 – topped with sunflower seed butter! UH-MAZING! Drooling just thinking about it…

MACROS: 99 Calories ‚ÄĒ 2.7 g Fat ‚ÄĒ 9.4 g Carbs ‚ÄĒ 9.5 Protein

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