I’m back!

July was insane. ISR lessons for the kid, business planning and prepping to open a gym for the adults, and lots of family and friends get togethers. I’m back though and what better way to make up for my absence than with a GREAT easy paleo recipe for Honey lime sesame chicken with a warm Asian slaw!

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I came up with this in the moment so I really didn’t measure anything just mixed and tasted until it was good.

Slaw:
3/4 head of cabbage sliced thin
3-4 carrots grated
1 1/2 Tbls sesame seeds
Sauté in skillet with sesame oil and a little bacon fat (can leave out the bacon fat)
Add salt and sprinkle in sesame seeds and toss/stirring often (I over cooked mine a bit I wanted my cabbage to stay a little brighter but it was still crunchy) I’d say 5-10 mins. Add dressing and stir and toss to warm dressing.
Dressing:
2 heaping scoops of almond butter
1-2 Tbls of sesame oil
1-2 Tbls of apple cider vinegar
1-2 Tbls of fresh lime juice
1-2 table spoons of sesame seeds
Whisk everything in a bowl taste it before you pour over slaw. Adjust flavors as needed.
Serve warm or cold.

Chicken:
Package of chicken thighs (skin on)
Salt and pepper
Sesame oil
Honey (local raw is best)
Limes
Preheat oven to 375
Season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper
Heat oven safe skillet on stove top burner and add 1-2 Tbls of oil to pan (enough to coat and then a little more).
Once oil is hot place chicken thighs skin side down in oil. Fry 5-8 mins in the oil. Once you have a great brown color on the skin and it’s crisping up flip over to skin side up. Fry another 5-8 mins.
Drizzle each thigh with a little honey and put the skillet in the over to finish off cooking for about 20-25 mins.
Once out of the oven drizzle a little more honey and squeeze some fresh lime juice on top.
ENJOY!

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Our first stomach flu!

So my little one came down with the flu late Monday night. She was puking through the early morning and such a little trooper. When she woke up for the day she was hungry and thirsty. We sipped some water and ate thin slices of banana. It’s really hard to tell a 2 1/2 year old that she can’t have any other food. I found myself sneaking food like an inmate because she always wants to eat what I am eating. So what do you feed your little one when they have the stomach flu. Every Doc will tell you the B.R.A.T diet. Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. We don’t keep bread in the house and we eat rice about once a week. Good thing I had left over rice in the fridge.

I was feeling a little queasy myself and really wanted some toast. It really is a curse that we have a local bakery at the top of our street that makes fresh bread every morning. Lucy and I walked up to the bakery and I got a loaf of the multi grain bread…eek! I had them toast one piece for Lucy on the way home and I have learned that this little chick likes just plain bread not toast.
So far she was keeping things down. Small sips of water, little bites of bread and thin slices of banana. I know the bread is not paleo but it seems to be the only thing she wants to eat.

I knew she would have a hard time when we sat down to dinner and she couldn’t have any of the roast chicken and veggies. I opted to make her some homemade applesauce. WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN MAKING THIS SINCE SHE WAS AN INFANT. It was so easy and so incredibly good. My husband came down with the bug on Wednesday and he got to take part in the applesauce goodness.
I came down with a rendition of the nasty bug yesterday and just can’t seem to get right. Just made some mashed potatoes and I’m feeling a little better. Here’s hoping that we have sent this bug packing!

Here is the recipe for the applesauce for those that want to give it a go!

Applesauce:
* 5-6 baby apples
* 3/4 cup of water
* 2 Tbls of raw honey
* Cinnamon (to taste, I like a lot)

1. Peel and core the apples, cut into cubes.
2. Place in a sauce pot and combine with the water, honey, and cinnamon.
3. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
4. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until apples are fork tender.
5. Using an emersion blender or potato masher crush the apples to desired consistency.
6. Place in a bowl and put in the fridge until cool.

I Have No Self Control! This is my confession.

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If I have learned anything over the last three weeks its that I cannot trust myself around crappy food. If I am around the food it will eventually find it’s way into my mouth. I mentioned in a previous post that I needed to learn to say “no” more often and just because I am “on vacation” doesn’t mean my eating habits have to be on vacation as well. I can talk a good game but when it comes down to it, I just suck at self control. So what I have learned is that I cannot be around crappy, unhealthy food. But seriously, how realistic is that. There are 600,000 “food” options here in America. The majority of which is CRAP?

I have over indulged this entire vacation. From the crazy yummy tamales to the chocolate covered almonds, fruit, pizza, ice cream, more than one chai tea a day, and lets not talk about In N Out Burger (Are you kidding me, SO GOOD). Thank goodness my husband has been coming up with fun work outs to do otherwise I would come back from this trip in the same shape I started before my reset in March.

What’s my point? You know yourself better than anyone on this planet. I know my husband can decide that he isn’t going to eat something and be done with it. He wont give it another thought. I know I will tell myself a thousand times not to eat something. I will try to convince myself that I don’t want it, I don’t need it. I know I will eventually cave! Knowing this about myself helps me fight the good fight. I know that I cannot go back to having the unhealthy food in the house under the guise that I will just have a little from time to time. I know I cannot avoid crappy food outside of my home, its everywhere you look, but I do know that if I keep a clean pantry and fridge I am ahead of the game!

I cannot pretend that I have the same will power as my husband. When I do, I feel as if I am in a constant battle with food and that is NO WAY to go about your day to day. Clean out the fridge and the pantry and the fight goes away! You shouldn’t fight with your food, unless you are getting it off the bone our out of it’s shell. When you start fighting with yourself or feeling guilt over food you need to take a step back and figure out why you feel that way. IF you are like me it’s probably because you want to make the good choices but fail from time to time. Set yourself up for success. Set yourself up to win! Don’t punish yourself for the missteps, learn from them and do better next time. That is the lesson I am taking with me from this trip. Know myself and set myself up to win! I am more successful when I surround myself with the BEST options and will crash and burn if I don’t.

A full day of play and clean eating!

We are in our third and last week here in sunny CA and yesterday was a full day of play. We planned a day trip into Santa Barbara. I made a picnic lunch for us the night before.

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I made a bunch of Trader Joe’s chicken sausages and sliced them into bite sized pieces, sliced up some peppers, grabbed some apples, grabbed a bag of cashews and almonds, and popped some organic popcorn kernels. Filled up some water bottles with water and we were all set for a day at the beach.

Ryan and I did talk about the business a bit but I have to say that the majority of the day was spent having fun. Seeing some sites, playing in the water and the sand and taking a nice drive back to Ojai.

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I knew that when we got home the last thing I would want to do is cook. So I made sure I wouldn’t have to by planning ahead for dinner and made one of the family favorites, avocado tuna salad, a few nights a head of time. I did need to cook some black beans (they go perfectly with the cilantro lime rice left over from the night before) but that takes very little prep time and they just simmer on the stove top for a while. I also had a workout I needed to do before dinner. Here is a tip on how to get all this done and not waist any time.
I turned the oven on to 375, prepped the black beans and got them going on the stove. I changed into my workout clothes and by the time that was all done the oven was up to temp and all I needed to do was put the avocado tuna salad in the oven and then turn the oven off. By doing this the dish will warm up without over cooking. I can leave it in the oven warming up while I was doing my work out and the beans were simmering away. By the time I was done with my workout all I needed to do was put the pieces of dinner together for a yummy dish.

By planning a head you really do save yourself from making bad choices! We could have easily grabbed take out or pizza on the way home but we knew we had a clean and super tasty meal waiting for us.

It was a great day filled with good fun and good food and too much sun!

Not your Moms tuna salad!

Warm avocado tuna salad with sautéed green beans:

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This is a recipe I found years ago, I can’t recall where I found it and I can’t recall what all went into the original recipe so here is my version.

Warm Avocado Tuna Salad:
2 ripe avocados
3 cans of tuna in water(trader joes brand solid white albacore is the best with no soy added) drained
4 cloves of garlic minced
8 sun dried tomatoes chopped (in olive oil) read the labels people and find clean ones
Salt and pepper to taste
4 portabella mushroom caps

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. Slice avocados in half, remove seed and scoop out of skin. Mash the avocado in a medium side bowl.
2. Add minced garlic, chopped sun dried tomatoes, tuna, and salt and pepper. Mix everything together until combined.
3. Wipe down the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel. Place mushroom caps on a cookie sheet so the underside of the cap is facing up.
4. Scoop tuna salad into/on top of the mushroom cap. Evenly distribute amongst all four caps.
5. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes until heated thru and mushroom cap has softened.
* optional for a primal twist – use a microplane and grate some Pecorino Romano on top when it comes out of the oven.

Sautéed Green Beans:
2lbs of long green beans/pole beans
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Rinse beans and remove stem tips.
2. Heat 1 1/2 Tbls of olive oil in a skillet
3. Salt and pepper beans to taste
4. Sauté beans over med heat until the beans are heated through and they turn bright green.
* you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top as well.

ENJOY! Lucy gobbled this up. It may not look pretty but it’s packed full of flavor, good fat, and a great way for kids to eat fish.
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Final 48 hours

I have two more days left on this reset. It has been a very challenging month/30 days. With potty training Lucy, toddler bed transition, the husband working 12 hour days 6 days a week, and the planning and prep for our trip to CA I cannot believe that there are just two days left. I am getting excited and nervous to take the after pictures. I’m excited because I can feel a difference in how my clothes fit and I can feel a difference with my overall health. I’m nervous because I know my results could have been better if I had made time for more cardio. I focused on my squats and push-ups and did some cardio here and there but not consistently. April will definitely have more cardio and I will post more pictures at the end of April so you can see what happens when you get moving. So even though this 30 day reset is almost over I hope you all continue to follow along.
April’s challenge will be a plank challenge and the final weeks of the push-up challenge and the crazy work outs my husband comes up with. Woohoo!

A refreshing drink of water out of a shot glass:

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I Triple Dog Dare You!

As week three of this reset ends and week four begins I find myself thinking about what “treat” I’m going to have on day 31. My husband and I did a New Years reset last year and that seemed like a piece of cake compared to this one. Even though we were living with my parents, my mom is notorious for coming back from the grocery store with items that she just “had a taste” for, and we had temptation behind the pantry door it seemed so much easier than this one.
We removed all temptation from the house. However, this month we potty trained Lucy, transitioned her to a toddler bed, my husband has been working 12 hour days 6 days a week, it’s been a very long winter and March has been so f’ing cold…I think you get the point, there was ALOT of stress this month. Stress can make sticking to a paleo/primal way of eating with no treats and no alcohol tough. But you know what – I’ve stuck to it and in this final week I’m going to do my best not to make a mental list of all the things I want to eat when the 30 day reset is over. I have already decided that on 3/31 I will enjoy a little tequila and some organic popcorn. AND THATS IT!

Instead of planning out treats I’m going to focus on all the great things that came out of this reset. When you cut out the crap you become more creative in the kitchen and I loved getting creative with food again. I also love that my skin is better (no break outs), my daily headaches are GONE, I don’t wake up in a fog in the morning, my moods have leveled out for the most part, I don’t have a constant feeling of bloat in my abdomen, my digestion is “regular” (hey we all do it and isn’t it nice when it’s not an issue), and my “monthly cycle” was not disruptive to the household (very few Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episodes).

The biggest difference I have noticed is with my toddler and tantrums. While she still has tantrums, that is just my reality for the next few years, I have noticed that I can cut her off at the pass now. Before the reset she would fight you to the death if she wasn’t getting her way no matter what approach I took with her. Now, as soon as she starts to come apart (We all know the signs. The mean face, jumping up and down, tears, and screaming) I get down to her level and tell her to collect herself and to calm down. I let her know that her behavior will not get her what she wants and as the weeks progressed she got better and better at being able to take control of the emotions she was feeling. I haven’t seen a full blown melt down in about a week or so. Some doubters will call it a fluke or have some other reason to explain it and for those people/doubters I say….I DARE YOU! I dare you to take the 30 day challenge with your kids. I am a firm believer that we are what we eat and if we eat natural clean food our bodies can be amazing machines and if we supply it with junk your machine will break down from the inside out.

If you wouldn’t willingly drink liquid drano why are you willing to drink soda? We know it’s loaded with synthetic ingredients, chemicals, artificial this and that but Americans consume this in staggering amounts. If you wouldn’t willingly eat rat poison why are you willing to eat fast food or food that was “created” with synthetic ingredients, chemicals and artificial this and that? Next time you go to the grocery store and you are checking out take a look at what you loaded into your cart. How many products have nutrition labels? Of those items with labels how many of them have more than 5 ingredients? Of those items with more than 5 ingredients, do you know what they all are? Can you pronounce them all? If not you probably shouldn’t put it in your cart or your mouth. It’s probably making you sick.

Even if you commit to one item a month that you will no longer purchase or consume is a step in the right direction.
Being a Clevelander I find this closing statement appropriate…..

I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU! Starting April 1st what will you commit to no longer purchasing and consuming?