Friday Fun w/ 21-15-9

  • 21-15-9
    • leg kickbacks with opposite arm raise (each side)
    • bent over dumbbell row
    • oblique side bend (each side)

Confused about any of these exercises? Check out Fitness in a Minute to find out!

Here’s our base workout for the day, but I’m curious to know what you add to it. My ‘plus’ today was doing 3 pull-ups before each round of exercises (I’m trying to build back up to a higher number!). I also usually practice between 30-60 minutes of my Zumba routines for practice and cardio whenever I can, even if it’s just around the house when I’m cleaning or getting ready to go somewhere. (Although I don’t recommend doing that too often, I usually end up having to rush out only half ready!)

And for our Friday Challenge this week (I think it’s been a while….oops!), I challenge everyone to think of  a bad habit you’d like to give up or a positive change you’d like to make and start planning the steps to make it happen. I’ve recently been doing more research on foods and have been reminded why I chose to be so strict several years ago with the foods I was eating. We all need reminders now and again and I have fallen back into some bad habits the last couple months. But no more!

cheese

With that being said, my “bad habit” that I’m giving up is going to be cheese….I know, I know, that was half of the ‘Plus’ of Paleo Plus! But after being reminded of why I committed to being Paleo to begin with, I have to make the change. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a little better each day. (I’ll report more when I write a post specifically about why I decided to completely give it up.)

What change are you going to make?

Musings from the Midwest

One of the unexpected benefits of choosing to drive cross-country rather than fly was being able to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of the world. I haven’t travelled much and feel as though I still experience life (in some ways) through the eyes of a child. Everything was brand new to me and being able to see just how vast this small part of the planet is gave me a lot to think about.

Sequoia Blog
Sequoia National Forest

 

It’s easy and natural for us to get caught up in our individual lives, problems, relationships, routines, school, work schedules, and so forth. Taking a step outside of the norm and opening our eyes to new experiences and opportunities takes courage! The last several years have seen a lot of change in my personal life, some of which I never thought I could or would get through. Now I find myself more prepared to take risks and do what I really want to do, not lead a life that allows others to follow their dreams while mine are forgotten and abandoned on the roadside.

Part of why I started this blog in the first place is because it’s something I’ve felt compelled to do for years but never thought I could do it or anyone would want to listen to what I had to say. Now, even if only a handful of people are reading this right now (and thank you for those of you who are!), it still gives me a sense of personal pride to be achieving a personal goal. Health, fitness, and self-discovery are all things I am passionate about and want to help others in achieving the joy and personal achievement that I’ve felt on my own journey!

So, thank you for reading and I hope that I’ve touched a part of even one person who can take these thoughts and turn them into action like I have!

Paleo BBQ Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless/skinless chickenBBQ Chicken
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbs salt
  • Bottle of Paleo BBQ sauce or homemade Paleo BBQ sauce
  1. Add all ingredients (except chicken and barbeque sauce) to a pot and bring to a boil. (We’re using the same method that we did for the Paleo Chicken Salad. One of the most important things I learned in the culinary world is that you add flavor to your food during every step. Sure, we could use plain water, but what flavor does that add? Not much!)
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a heated pan, add oil (olive, coconut, or even bacon fat!) and sear chicken.
  3. Crockpot method: Place chicken into crockpot and add boiling poaching liquid. Add 1 1/2 cups of barbeque sauce into crockpot  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Oven method: Place chicken into large baking dish with high sides and add poaching liquid and 1 1/2 cups of barbeque sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 275 for 3-4 hours.
  5. Once finished, shred chicken and mix in another 1/2 – 1 cup of Paleo BBQ sauce. Serve hot, or let cool and make into a Paleo Barbeque Chicken salad!

(I have not yet attempted to make my own Paleo BBQ sauce, but I will make sure to post a good recipe when I find one that works!)

Paleo Greek Hamburgers

Burgers

  • 1 lbs ground beef (or other ground meat)
  • 1 tsp saltGreek Burger
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • cooking oil

Tzatziki

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (almond or coconut)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and finely diced

Toppings

  • Butter lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion
  • Chopped Kalamata olives
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix seasonings together and alter to taste. Mix into ground beef by hand with lemon juice. Form patties and brown on one side in pan on stovetop with cooking oil
  3. Place patties onto baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven, approximately 12-15 minutes
  4. While burgers are cooking, mix all ingredients together for tzaziki and alter seasoning to taste
  5. Serve burgers with desired toppings, using butter lettuce instead of a gluten-filled bun!

Paleo Breakfast Sandwich

Paleo PancakesBreakfast Sandwich

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 6 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for cooking
  1. Add all ingredients except oil to blender and puree on high. Mixing air into the batter will make the pancakes light and fluffy
  2. Add oil to pan (olive, coconut, or whatever your preference may be) and cook pancakes. These are probably the only Paleo pancakes I’ve ever made that actually look like flour pancakes!
  3. When finished, make breakfast sandwich with fried egg, bacon, and (for those who are Paleo Plus) a slice of cheddar cheese. It can be eaten as is, or drizzled with some maple syrup for those who have a bit of a sweet tooth!

Stay Motivated

Even with the best of intentions, keeping an elevated level of excitement to stay in shape can be difficult. That’s why I like to try different classes, new exercises, and make the workouts interesting. If you don’t like it, change it! Listen to music that pumps you up, dance in between reps (I do!), and just keep moving. I listen to my Zumba playlist and will practice moves between sets. I’m always staked out in the same corner of the gym and have no doubt I’ve been dubbed the Crazy Gym Lady by the rest of the morning crew. But you know what? I don’t care!

happy

I have to keep everything fun and engaging otherwise I get bored or lose interest, and I know I’m not alone. That’s one of the reasons why I like having different categories of workouts (On the Double, Make Your Day, Surfer workouts, etc) because it’s something new everyday. So if you don’t like what I put together, make a couple changes so it becomes your own and you can look forward to doing it!

It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you stick with the gym and really commit to your long-term health, it becomes something you can anticipate with enthusiasm!

Paleo Mayo

One of the great things about being Paleo is getting to expand your horizons and try different foods. Not only that, but also being able to find new ways of creating a healthier version of the foods you already love! Did you know that Paleo S’mores are a thing? It’s true! I know because I’ve made them. It may have taken an entire day and I’ll probably never do it again, but they were delicious!

Do you know how easy it is to make Paleo mayonnaise? I used it in my Paleo Chicken Salad and will definitely be making some egg salad later this week (recipe to come). Mayonnaise can be made by hand, but requires a little more time so it’s much easier to make in a food processor or blender.

The ratio is 1:1 for egg yolks to cups of oil (1 cup of olive oil requires 1 egg yolk). So depending on the size of the batch you’re wanting to make, adjustments can be made accordingly.

  • 1 cup olive oil (lighter oils work best otherwise the flavor is so strong it almost tastes rancid)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch of salt
  1. Add egg yolk and Dijon mustard to food processor. Turn on high and whip until egg yolk becomes a pale yellow color (the air being whipped into the egg and oil is what makes mayonnaise so light and creamy).
  2. With the food processor still on, slowly pour oil into yolk/mustard mixture.
  3. Once oil has been added and whipped (about 2-3 minutes), add salt and lemon juice and adjust measurements to taste.
  4. Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 2-3 days!