Monday, October 15, 2012

'3-sister' berry Paleo dessert

I needed a dessert and I needed one FAST.

I needed something to bring to a dinner with friends (European) and I couldn't use the general 'dessert' ingredients (sugar, grains, dairy) because of the Lurong Living Challenge I'm doing. I also knew that less sweet dessert are preferred by many Europeans, so I figured a paleo dessert might just work!

So I did a quick inventory and realized I had NO eggs, NO bananas, NO apples, (NO FRESH FRUIT-it's the day BEFORE my weekly grocery store run PEOPLE!) but I had 2 bags of frozen strawberries, 1 bag of blueberries, and 1 bag of raspberries. I also had multiple bags of fresh walnuts, walnut oil, coconut nectar, korintje cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes.

So I put the fruit on the stove and added 2/3 cup of coconut nectar and 1 tbs of Mexican vanilla. I cooked the fruit down until it the the consistency was jam like.

In the food processor, I coarse chopped 1-16oz bag of walnuts. I mixed the nuts with 1/3 cup of coconut nectar, and 1 tbls of cinnamon, and 1/3 cup(+/-) of walnut oil.

This crust mixture was enough for 2 dishes (and about a cup left over). I pressed it down with a fork on the bottom and partly the sides.
I scooped 3 cups of the fruit mixture into each dish.
I sprinkled on top about 1/3 cup of the crust mixture and 1/3 cup of the unsweetened coconut.

I cooked it for about 45 minutes @ 350 degrees. When I pulled it out I was nervous b/c the color darkened considerably and it was still wiggly.

After the dinner (the dessert was in the freezer still cooling), I served the others my dessert and a scoop of gelato (Tahitian vanilla and a Caribbean coconut). (Matt and I stopped by BiLO to grab the gelato on the way to the dinner party.)

The dessert was a hit with the texture and natural fruit flavor. It wasn't sweet in the conventional sense, which allowed for the gelato flavor to really be present.

I only brought 1 dish of the dessert over and I barely had enough for the 6 of us there.
I was SO grateful that my dessert experiment worked out b/c now I have a go to recipe for when I want something fruity and in the spring, when the fruit is fresh, I'll have an amazing dessert to share. :)

Only 5 crockpots???

This was my EXACT thought as I looked in despair at all the soup bones and veggies all around my kitchen Sunday afternoon.

How in the world was I going to prepare all of this in just FIVE crockpots??? I surely need another 2, for such a time as this. Right?

Anyhow, I shook that nonsense out of my mind and got to work with what I had on hand.
I had been recently blessed w/ a CSA share that no one picked up as well as veggies @ home from Aldi:
Collard greens
sweet potatoes
bell peppers
acorn, butternut, and spaghetti squash
... and Matt pulled out of the freezer:
7 of the grass fed beef soup bones (there's meat around it),
2lb roast,
1lb of stew meat
So I had ALL that meat and veggies. What in the world was I going to do?

How was I going to create 5 somewhat different meals so we weren't eating what felt like the same thing all week???

Well I did create something...5 of them and now there's only 3 left!

Can't wait for the next challenge I present myself!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog #1 for inspiration for us NERDS

It's taken 34 yrs (out of 35) to recognize that I'm a nerd.
And I'm proud of it.

Having said that, there is a blog that was sent from above to meet my nerdy needs. ;)

It's called NERD FITNESS.
And it's AMAZING.

I know you're thinking I'm overreacting, but I'm not.

If you're a:
fantasy reader,
or into anything nerdish...
THIS blog is for you as you journey (or continue to) from a NERD smelling like a Central Park DBL cheeseburger sitting in a closed room w/ 4 other smelly folks that can barely fit in the room playing MAGIC, to a FIT NERD, able to play WoW AND Wod with the best of them.

Steve Kamb and his crew has an amazing knack to know EXACTLY what to write about and HOW to write it that catches my nerdiness attention.

You nerds, the more you read, the more you will see how succinctly he has captured the NERD's soul and created a blog to encourage NERDS to be more than just cerebral.

Trust me, every post is a good read.

Instead of reading what latest shenanigans Kim Kardashian has gotten herself into while drinking your morning latte (hopefully skinny), check his blog out.

You won't regret it.

I can be inspirational???

Who knew?

But the bottom line is that I can be anything, when I want to be, and today I felt like a couple people needed me to push them to use today to help them have better choices to eat during the week.

I've been asked MULTIPLE times over the last month to come and teach how to cook paleo.
I shake my head, kinda chagrined, because honestly, I make it up as I go.

How do I make up delicious Paleo foods so easily?

It's all about the choices I provide myself.
Lots and lots of choices.

My pantry, fridge, and freezer are FULL of paleo approved ingredients. All I have to do is then think of what I want to put together and I do.

That's easy enough, right?


Apparently most people aren't willing to put the effort into restocking their homes with better choices NOR do they make the effort to restock their MINDS with new (or improved) recipes to go along with their new eating habits.

I've made a conscious effort to stock my house full of foods that ALLOW me to  make delicious meals in a more painless manner.

How long does it take?

For me, it's taken since Jan 1st, day 1 of our New Year's Challenge @ Crossfit Brigade to Day 1 of the August Team challenge, to get to where I am now. That's 7 months of skirting around the commitment. I hated the limbo area, always have, always will.

But no more of this gray zone, maybe I will, maybe I won't nonsense.
I've never been gray. I've always been BLACK or WHITE.

Either you do, or you don't.
Why torture yourself with "what if?" and "why can't I?" songs in your head. It makes no sense to add extra stress to an already VERY STRESSFUL life.

Anyways, back to ME, yes me-JAIME KATHRYN,  being inspirational. It's almost laughable, until I realize that I can be and have been for others who are considering changing how they eat and why.

Since January, I've lost 43 lbs (the last 10 lbs, I've lost 3 TIMES!!) and gone down 4 sizes. I know that's not a big number, but I also went from barely able to lift anything(the bar) to  lifting my weight in leg lifts and about 1/2 my weight in arm lifts.

That's HUGE deal for me.

HOW is this inspirational?
Honestly, I'm not sure.

I think that my success with eating paleo and working out hard while working full time, raising 3 kids, being happily married proves that ANYONE and EVERYONE can do this and see the necessary and beneficial results needed for longevity and a overall happier life.

You simply have to make a choice.
A choice.

Will you continue the path you're on, or will you simply just say, ENOUGH, and begin the direction you were meant to go on.

I've had a lot of help along the way and I plan to share my sources of inspiration.
I promise there will be more to come.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Entry #1 of the Lurong Living Challenge

L'Shana Tova!
Did Lurong Living do this on purpose or is it coincidental that we've begun a lifestyle transformation on a New Year?

Whatever the reason, I think it's great for the competition to start on a day that many celebrate as their New Year! What a great way to solidify better habits for longevity and happiness!

My progress so far....
It's 7:28 am on day 1 and I've eaten 1/2 of my breakfast. I'm almost too nervous to finish it but I know that my time is limited before my darlings walk in and I'm on GO til 2:15.

So far I've started the challenge off well, ok, only SO-SO by Crossfit Brigade standard, since I got 6 hrs of sleep. Gonna have to work on that if I'm going to go w/o a Monster Rehab for the next 9 weeks. ;)

But I took my Carlson Fish oil, prepared breakfast, got my lunch for today and tomorrow.

So we'll see... 

Again, I hope to have a Chag Sameach and wish everyone else the same.

Lurong Living Challenge

Today's THE DAY!

Do or die!

I was on the fence for months due to my injuries, but decided last minute to just go for it when I learned I could scale the WODS.


I have another 9 weeks to solidify my Paleo eating habits. I want them to be second nature, like breathing or wanting only water.

My goal, in addition to solidifying Paleo eating, is to create a true workout desire within me. I'll be honest, I do it, but only to avoid the dreaded weight gain.
I briefly tasted that 'True Workout Desire' back in May and it was truly Euphoric, but then, I hurt myself.
Talk about MAJOR disappointment and disgust for oneself.

BUT, it's a new day, even a NEW YEAR (L'Shana Tova, ya'll), so let's get this party STARTED!!!

You have til midnight to join!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sweet treat #1 that hits the spot

Treat #1
About 2 weeks ago the girls were 'acting desperate' for a sweet treat to which I replied I sure as heck wasn't going to make an unhealthy, non-challenge friendly treat. So I came up with what Emaline calls 'Banana ice cream' or 'Banana smoothie,' which in reality is more of a sorbet. ( I tried to explain to Em, but she didn't care. She's 7. It's ice cream.)

You banana haters, don't cringe. The banana flavor is subtle and the real purpose of the banana is for the smooth texture it lends to the overall product. I've made it about a dozen times now for the girls. They love it.

Ingredients you need:

  1. ice
  2. vanilla (real stuff, not the fake)
  3. raw honey (regular if you aren't paleo/primal)
  4. med-lg ripe banana (none of this green on the stem end-yuck!!!)
  5.  *optional- unsweetened almond milk
  6. **optional garnish-cinnamon

When I want a smaller portion (say for 2 people), I use about a cup of  crushed ice, 1/2 banana, 1 good tsp of honey, and 1/2-1 tsp of vanilla (to taste). (If you add the almond milk, add about 1/2 cup. Add more if you see the consistency isn't what you want.)**

From experience I learned to put the banana, honey, and vanilla (almond milk too) in first and give a few good chops in the blender to get it mixed. Then I add the ice. If you do it the other way around, the blender gets rather stuck and the honey gets too cold and won't mix.

The banana sorbet is rather dry (if you can call a thing w/ ice dry) w/o the almond milk but tasty nonetheless, more like an icee w/o much liquid.The kids and I prefer it w/ the almond milk. The texture is MUCH creamier and the flavor is fuller.

I've doubled the recipe and made sure to have good portions of the honey to ensure sweetness. Once I added really ripe pineapple, and it was AMAZING. It was SUPER sweet and the texture was great.

Try it out. It's virtually guilt-free and doesn't need another workout to burn the calories. :)

**Disclaimer- All amounts are guess-tamations b/c I don't use recipes and I rarely write them down. The only thing I know for certain is the honey amount (I use a spoon) and the banana size and quality.