Friday, June 21, 2013

30 Day Challenge -- Day 11

I have been doing a ton of research over the past day. I decided to start a Pinterest page, which you can find here: Eating Paleo Style... and the almost 200 new pins I found today. Because of all this internet time, I have found some very interesting articles.

1) Americans Fatter Than Ever, Obesity Officially Called A Disease -- Umm... I am pretty sure, no matter how they want to spin it, this has been a problem since I was a kid. I do think it is getting worse, unfortunately. 

2) 8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries -- I believe if people knew what their food was really made of, they wouldn't want it.... at least I hope this is the case. 

3) Rated G: Chipotle Labels GMO Ingredients -- I sure wish I could eat at this restaurant to support them. But, we don't have one around me. The closest one is 2 hours away. 

Day 11
Breakfast: Skipped. Walked 1.8 miles.

Lunch: Coleslaw with leftover taco meat and guacamole

30 minutes on the Elliptical.

Snack: The hubby brought me 2 very tasty Turkey Snack Sticks. We then had a small handful of macadamia nuts.

Dinne: I was quite full from the snack. I did want something snacky so I caramelized some onions. I really love when they have some burned edges and are slightly crispy.

The kids and the hubby had some chicken legs with sauteed zucchini with caramelized onions.

This is how I like cooking my chicken legs. The legs hang while they cook. This allows the grease to drip down the legs and cook evenly. It reminds me a lot of rotisserie chicken.

Each rack holds 12 legs. I have also hung chicken quarters on these.

Here is where you can find these racks: Man Law BBQ Wing Rack

Thursday, June 20, 2013

30 Day Challenge -- Day 10 and Stove-top Popcorn

Day 10 
Breakfast: 2 fried eggs in coconut oil and 3/4 of an apple

1.6 mile walk

Lunch: 2 slices roast beef with salami layered inside and tomatoes and sliced onion, rolled up.

Dinner: Some fabulous chicken my hubby brought home from work to sample. The chicken is from Boulder Natural Meats and is called Pollo for Adobo with Chicken Leg Meat. If you see it, buy it. It is worth it! I served it with Cilantro Lime Cole Slaw, which is so easy and good on these hot summer days.

Later: I was in a total snacky mood, so I had a teenager make some popcorn.

Stove-top Popcorn

I get two of these big glass bowls.

1 Cup popcorn kernals
1/4 Cup coconut oil
a very big pot with a lid

Put coconut oil in pot over medium heat. When all the way melted, add kernels and put lid on. Every few seconds swirl pot over the heat to mix around the kernels. When the popping slows down a lot, take off heat and remove lid immediately. Butter and salt as you like.

*For this big pot, we use one stick of butter, melted. I then sprinkle with a little bit of salt. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

30 Day Challenge -- Day 9

After yesterday, I would like to hide under a rock. I feel like I did awful! I have noticed once I cheat, it becomes so much easier to cheat the next day and even easier the next one.

Day 9
Breakfast: I found this place that makes juices to order. I don't remember all the ingredients but it did have carrots, beets, ginger, apple. There were 2 other ingredients.

Lunch: Roast beef with guacamole and grape tomatoes.

Dinner: Here is where I went down hill. I made a huge birthday dinner for my (now) 16 year old twin girls. I grilled hamburgers and ribs and made a huge batch of potato salad (even though not paleo, I am posting the recipe below). After I was done cooking, I was not really hungry... probably because I tasted the potato salad a few times to make sure it was yummy (it was). (And here is where I won't tell you about the big handful of potato chips I ate).

By the time all got friends dropped off at home, I was beat... not tired, but that achy feeling you get when you have been non-stop all day. So, I had 2 (3) glasses of wine. Then I decided I was hungry. (Not a good time. I should have just gone to bed.) I made a burger (I still went bunless) with two slices cheddar cheese (because I really wanted to taste it), smothered with some bbq sauce and ate it with tomato, onion, and lettuce. I then decided I just had to have more potato salad because it really is that good. Sigh. Then more chips.

I know, I know...

Could I have done worse? Absolutely. I could have had cake, or a bun, or a soda. But, I still wasn't as strong as I want to be.

I didn't even walk the last two days. It is time to jump back on the wagon.

Steakhouse Potato Salad
(original is from Kraft)

3 lb small red potatoes (or any potato scrubbed well), cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ranch dressing
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and let boil for about 5-10 minutes or until tender. When finished, drain. Let cool completely. Get bacon ready and set aside. Mix together mayo and ranch. When potatoes are completely cooled add mayo mixture and stir until all the potatoes are well coated. Add everything else and stir until everything is well incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yummy burger and potato salad

Monday, June 17, 2013

30 Day Challenge -- Day 8

I decided to weigh myself today since it has been one week since I weighed myself last and I am down 2.9 lbs!! I am so excited! It is the small victories, like seeing myself actually losing weight, that make me want to continue. I know I shouldn't focus on the scale so much as how my body feels, but it feels really good to know I am shrinking.

Day 8
Breakfast: I skipped breakfast... again. I notice I don't usually get hungry until around 11 am. It probably has something to do with the fact that we eat so freakin' late at night. My goal this week is to get dinner done by 6 pm every night... not by 10 pm.

Lunch: I had three turkey and guacamole roll ups, a handful of grape tomatoes, and a big handful of fresh raspberries, which were amazing!

Dinner: I made the wonderful pork chops, but didn't eat them. The kids ate them while my hubby took me out to dinner to celebrate the new job I landed. (Not sure how to feel, a bit overwhelmed for sure.) I cheated... a lot.

I started thinking I am not good with 30 Day (or anything) challenges. But, it definitely makes me think two or three or seven times whether or not I am going to eat something. This isn't easy and while bread isn't my thing, I am definitely craving burgers and cheese and all things savory. I will definitely keep trying!

Dinner Menu Plan Week of June 16 - June 22, 2013

Dinners this week:

  • Grilled chicken legs that I found on sale for about $3.50 for a pack of 12 legs. I will probably make some yummy cole slaw to go with this.
  • Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers -- I will use a paleo mayo instead of sour cream and almond flour/meal instead of bread crumbs. 
  • Taco Salad with lots of salad veggies
  • My 16 year old twin girls are turning 16 this week. So we are having whatever they want for dinner. This year, one is asking for ribs and the other is asking for hamburgers. They are both asking for a very yummy potato salad that I found about a month ago... before my challenge. I will find something other than potato salad for the hubby and I. 
And I will have a very easy night of "fend for yourself."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Coconut Milk Ice Cream and 30 Day Challenge -- Day 7

I haven't always liked all the things I eat. It has taken a lot of time and patience to develop a taste for some things. For instance, I use to gag whenever I ate spinach... it was the texture of the stems. Bleu cheese used to be so bad, I wouldn't even put it in my mouth. Now, I crave bleu cheese. Beets taste like dirt. Seriously, dirt. But, recently, we found a way to cook them that makes them palatable to me. I have heard you should try foods you don't like every couple of years because your tastes will change. I am a huge proponent of this because I have seen it work with myself.

Day 7
Breakfast: Caramelized Onion Frittata and cantaloupe. I have to admit to you my family does not like this egg dish as much as I do. They think it's good, but much better with salsa or ketchup. Sigh.

1.6 mile walk with the family.

Lunch: Leftover fajita meat and peppers on a bed of spinach with some bleu cheese.
Bacon, Grape, and Broccoli Salad

Dinner: Steaks and Bacon, Grape, and Broccoli Salad. This is my hubby's favorite and the perfect Father's Day meal on a hot day.

Dessert: ...because it is Father's Day! I made my hubby some coconut milk ice cream. We were at a garage sale the other day and they were giving away very ripe baby peaches. I took a bag and decided to puree them for this ice cream. I am so glad I did. This ice cream came out very tropical tasting.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream
16 ounces pureed peaches
3 very ripe bananas
2 tsp vanilla
5 medjool dates, pit removed
2 cans full-fat coconut milk

Blend all ingredients together in blender until everything is evenly incorporated. Make ice cream according to your ice cream maker instructions.

I used the ice cream maker attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Italian Egg Casserole

Italian Egg Casserole

16 eggs
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 large onion (or 1 small), diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1/2 lb bacon, minced or diced or crumbled (I put raw bacon in the food processor and pulse it until mush. Then I cook it like ground beef.)
2 tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon, drain, and set aside to cool. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Set aside. Crack eggs into large mixing bowl and whisk. Add everything to the eggs and mix well. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and bake at 375 degree F oven for 45 to 55 minutes until egg is completely cooked through.