Quickie Coconut Milk

This labor day weekend has found me in the kitchen cooking up a storm and in the yoga studio getting my @$$ kicked while completing the pre-req hours for a yoga teacher training that I’m hoping to begin in January. ¬†So I’ve been sore and well-fed. ūüôā

I recently placed an order from Amazon for a Nut Milk Bag¬†and it arrived on Saturday!¬† This morning, after a brutal ZGYM workout, I made coconut milk from scratch and it came out amazing!! ¬†If you’re like me and have been shelling out too much money on Silk or So-Delicious coconut milk, filled with preservatives and often cane sugar, give this a try. ¬†With a Vitamix or high-powered blender it takes less than 10 minutes and is a perfect consistency.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flake
  • 1.5 cups Warm Water (not hot, warm from the tap or filtered that’s warmed up is fine)
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp. Honey, or sweetener of your choice

Directions:

  1. Add 1 cup of the warm water to the coconut flake and blend in a Vitamix or high-powered blender and blend on HIGH for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Over a pitcher or bowl pour the contents into a nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Note: the milk will be HOT after being blended that long, I squeezed with a towel over my hand.
  3. Add remaining pulp back into blender and add the last 1/2 cup of warn water.  Blend on HIGH another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Once again, pour the contents through the nut milk bag and squeeze the milk out into your pitcher or bowl.
  5. If you want to sweeten or flavor the milk, put the milk back into the blender, add the vanilla and honey (or whatever flavors and sweeteners you’d like) and blend on 8 for ~20-30 seconds. ¬†
  6. Yeilds ~3 cups.  Recipe can easily be doubled.

Just like with the almond milk, I was impressed by how easy this is and how great the results are. ¬†I also greatly appreciate the control I get over the final product. ¬†I like to use a slightly sweetened vanilla milk in my morning smoothies, but I’ve found it’s impossible to find a vanilla coconut milk at the grocery store that doesn’t either contain cane sugar (which I’m allergic to) or artificial sweeteners. ¬†Also, even when I purchase unsweetened coconut milk it has stabilizers and preservatives. ¬†This way I get the freshest product possible catered to my own tastes.

Now, what to do with the remaining coconut pulp? ūüėČ

 

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Recipe-A-Rama

Since coming back from the Lomilomi retreat, I’ve been trying to cook more vegetarian meals for dinner. ¬†My goal is eating vegetarian 3-4 times per week. ¬†This is challenging since I really enjoy getting a lot of protein and don’t enjoy the gassiness from most legumes but I’m giving it a go. ¬†Since I’m also dairy-free, most of my veg meals are vegan, though I do use ghee or eggs in some of my dishes. ¬†It is not my intent to become vegetarian or vegan, both due to how my system does well with meat and that I have access to local meats from small farms that I trust. ¬†BUT, the American diet has definitely become a meat-fest and I think I’ll both be healthier and will eat more sustainably for our planet if don’t eat meat in every meal and eat it in smaller portions when I do.

Last night I was particularly pleased with the concoction I made up. ¬†I bought some great organic veggies at Sweet Pea¬†in Waitsfield, VT, which included tomatillos, a veggie I’ve had in Mexican dishes but hadn’t really cooked with. ¬†I decided to see if they worked in a Coconut Curry, and holy crap I think tomatillos might be a perfect pairing for Indian food. ¬†I can’t wait to try them in my bhindi masala once my okra is ready to pick! ¬†This is an easy recipe with a lot of warmth and a good mix of tart and sweet.

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Tomatillo Coconut Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-7 sliced baby bella mushrooms (or 3 portobello mushrooms)
  • 6-7 tomatillos, sliced thin
  • 1 handful of snap peas
  • 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry powder
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of cardamom powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: toasted coconut flake (throw some coconut flake under the broiler or in the toaster oven for just a few minutes, watch it, it burns fast!)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the flax and mustard seeds, once they are starting to pop add the chopped onion and cook for just a minute or two.
  3. Before the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms (this is if you like your mushrooms well done, like I do, otherwise wait until the onions are translucent).
  4. Cook mushrooms to desired doneness, then add tomatillos, garlic and all spices. ¬†Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tomatillos have softened and there’s some juice in the pan.
  5. Add snap peas and broccoli, cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add coconut milk and stir well.  Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring, then reduce heat to low.  Adjust spices as desired.  Simmer covered on low 5-7 minutes or until veggies have softened a bit but snap peas still have some crunch to them.
  7. Serve over rice or quinoa, optionally top with coconut flake.  Enjoy!

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This morning I finally tried making almond milk from scratch.  It was not only incredibly creamy and delicious, but it was also SUPER easy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked 8-12 hours and rinsed (optional: remove skins by pinching then after they’ve soaked*)
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • Optional: 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. honey (or sweetener of your choice, or 3-4 large dates)
  1. Toss all ingredients in a Vitamix or high-powered blender. ¬†Blend on high for two-minutes (if you’re not using a Vitamix you may need to blend longer and also may need to strain the final result for optimum creaminess). ¬†
  2. Enjoy!  

Now, wasn’t that easy? ¬†Why have I been buying pre-made almond milk with preservatives and cane sugar?! ¬†Well, now I know. ūüėČ ¬†I also have to brag and say that I’ve found many store-bought brands are watery and either too sweet or flavorless. ¬†This was a nice mild nuttiness, very rich and creamy, and for me it was just the right sweetness. ¬†

Next up, making my own coconut milk! ¬†Now that I know how easy it is, the sky’s the limit!

Sweat and Smoothies

 
 
 
Well it may have been too long since the last time I wrote, but the workouts haven’t stopped and neither has the healthy eating! ¬†My original workouts are starting to really kick my ass. ¬†Exhibit A:Image
This was after today’s workout, which is the last one on the list here. ¬†It’s the first time I’ve done box jumps and now I understand the fuss. ¬†They feel to me like burpees did before I did the 90 Day Burpee Challenge. ¬†Great way to get your heart rate UP! ¬†I found that following them up with snatches and the kettlebell renegade row was really brutal. It made pull-ups a relief, which is saying a lot. ¬†So without further ado here is my backlog of original workouts to share. ¬†Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for a delicious smoothie recipe. ūüôā
 
7/6/13
Buy-In: 10 Burpees
 
45 sec activity/15 sec rest/3 rounds
  1. KB Snatch-Reverse Lunge R
  2. KB Snatch-Reverse Lunge L
  3. Double KB step-ups
  4. Elevated Plank Pushup/Knee Tuck
  5. Ab roller
  6. Weighted Sit-Ups

Buy-Out: 10 Burpees

 
7/12/13
45 sec activity/15 sec rest/2 rounds
  1. KB Swings
  2. KB Clean R
  3. KB Clean L
  4. KB Reverse Lunge
  5. Weighted Lunge Twists
  6. KB Renegade Row
  7. Reverse Crunch
  8. Side-Plank Toe Touch
  9. Front plank
  10. Pull-ups
7/16/13
45 sec activity/15 sec rest/3 rounds
  1. 6 Turkish Getups (3 each side)
  2. KB Single-leg Deadlift R
  3. KB Single-leg Deadlift R
  4. Ab Roller
  5. Weighted Ab Twists
  6. Pilates Hundreds
  7. Plank w/ Knee Tuck
7/18/13
45 sec activity/15 sec rest/2 rounds
  1. KB Swings
  2. Thruster R
  3. Thruster L
  4. KB Bent-Over Row
  5. Weighted Lunge-Twist
  6. Plank->Side Planks
  7. Dive Bombers
  8. Pilates Sit-Ups
  9. Bicycle w/ out-and-in-arms
  10. Pull-ups
8/2/13 – Time Challenge, 3 Rounds (My Time: 18:45)
  1. Box jumps x 20
  2. KB Snatch R x 10
  3. KB Snatch L x 10
  4. KB Renegade Row x 10
  5. Lunge Twist R x 5
  6. Lunge Twist L x 5
  7. Pull ups x 3-10 depending on your fitness level

And now for something completely different delicious…

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Raspberry Mint Smoothie

I’m on a mint kick right now and have really enjoyed adding it to my smoothies. ¬†It’s great for digestion and adds a nice refreshing kick to the smoothie. ¬†I’ve also learned that many fresh herbs go well in smoothies and have lately enjoyed cilantro and basil; can’t wait to find more good combinations!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds (or try using sprouted flax or chia seeds!)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 2-3 sprigs of mint
  • 1/2 package frozen raspberries

Mix that up in your blender until smooth and you will have a sucka-punch of flavor to your face!

Speaking of sprouted flax and chia seeds, that’s been my latest experiment and I’m pretty happy with the results:

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That is chia on the left and flax on the right. ¬†It took only a week to go from seed to overflowing sprouts that were pushing the top of the container off. ¬†They added a really nice fresh flavor to my smoothies and some wonderful nutrients. ¬†The one thing I haven’t been able to find out is if sprouted flax and chia are more or less nutritious than the raw seeds. ¬†If anyone has info on that I’d love to see it!

Keep healthy!

Upper Arm Beatings and Post-Workout Pancakes!

One of my friends, Rosie of Rock Bodies, is a personal trainer who often posts delicious healthy recipes to Facebook. ¬†She found a recipe for pancakes that uses just two ingredients: banana and eggs. ¬†Seriously, that’s it. ¬†They are AMAZING. ¬†Before I made them though I had to finish my workout for the day (especially since I was having local sausage with my pancakes).

Today I wanted to focus on arms and abs. ¬†Yesterday I did Zuzka’s¬†ZShred #3 which was a legs-intensive high-intensity workout. ¬†I really prefer full-body workouts and while I felt like a new person after this workout, it ended up being too much for me and I am HURTING today. So I decided to take it easier on my legs. ¬†This workout will definitely get your heart rate up but it’s primarily a strength training workout and while it’s an upper-body focus there’s definitely leg involvement as well.

6/29/13¬†–¬†Set interval timer to 2 rounds 45 sec activity, 15 sec rest
  1. KB Swing
  2. KB Snatch R
  3. KB Snatch L
  4. Weighted pilates sit-ups
  5. Plank climbers
  6. Pull-ups (as many as you can do
  7. Dive bombers
  8. Renegade Row
  9. Single-Leg deadlifts
  10. Dragon flags

Once you’ve completed that you deserve some pancakes right?

Paleo Pancakes

Paleo High Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Banana
  • Optional: pinch of cinnamon
  • Optional: ~1tbsp protein powder or tapioca flour

Directions:

  1. Beat the banana and egg together. ¬†You’re done making the batter! ¬†No, seriously, this recipe couldn’t be easier. ¬†I used my Vitamix to mix them but you can easily do it by hand. ¬†I added cinnamon, which turned out great. ¬†I also made the mistake of using jumbo eggs so my batter was a bit too thin so I added some tapioca flour to thicken it. ¬†You can use protein powder as a thickener if you prefer (I recommend using a plant-based powder without GMOs, soy or whey).
  2. Cook on skillet like normal pancakes.  I recommend making them small and thin (the large one in the picture was to finish off my batter).

I found with the sweetness of the banana no syrup was necessary, though I’m sure if you like you can add some maple syrup or agave. ¬†Enjoy!!

Day 75, 6750 Burpees, 49 Miles, and Chicken Pot Pie!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 75 days already! ¬†The burpees have basically just become a part of my life at this point, even though they still manage to leave me gasping for air but my endurance for them has greatly increased. ¬†My biggest focus these days is on food. ¬†I’ve been experimenting with more recipes and more flours and there’s one recipe I’m just dying to share with you!

Chicken Pot Pie Two Ways (Paleo *or* gluten/dairy/corn free)

Having these new food allergies along with a rigorous workout routine occasionally really burns me out and I get cravings for comfort food.  It would be easy to head to the local diner or grab some takeout from the pizza shop down the street, but there has to be ways for me to satisfy my cravings without going off my diet.  This recipe helps solve that problem.

The Paleo recipe is heavily based off of Fed & Fit’s Paleo Chicken Pot Pie. ¬†I really only added in some fresh herbs and garlic. ¬†It was great, but in full disclosure I found the almond crust to be a bit too heavy at times and it was also very crumbly, especially in the center of the pie (since I made a full pie, not individual pies). ¬†It did crisp nicely on top, but then fell apart when taking it out of the pan or eating it. ¬†The high compliment I will give is that both my boyfriend and I thought it tasted like chicken skin…seriously. ¬†It’s very rich. ¬†So the second time I made this I altered the crust recipe since I’m not personally on a Paleo diet. ¬†The crust I ended up making that time was awesome and would make a perfect fruit pie crust if you add sugar to it and nix the herbs. ¬†I’m really happy it was easy to alter. ¬†I’ll give you both recipes and definitely check out the Fed & Fit blog for some amazing pictures of the recipe.

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Note on ratios: The recipe ratio was originally made for 8 personal pies.  I ended up with enough pie filling for two full large pies, and enough crust for one.  This was great since I just froze the second pie filling and used it a couple weeks later.  If you only want enough filling for one pie cut the filling ingredients in half.

Ingredients

Paleo Crust:

  • 3 cups Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Gluten Free Crust:

  • 1 cup Almond Four ¬†(I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 tsp Salt (I used Himalayan, the original recipe calls for Kosher)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¬Ĺ cup Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 3-5 tbsp Cool Water
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Filling:

  • 3 Chicken Breast Halves Roasted and Cubed
  • 2 cups Sweet Onions Chopped
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Frozen Green Peas
  • 2 cups Frozen Carrots
  • ¬ľ cup Canned Coconut Milk (full fat)
  • ¬ĺ cup Almond Flour ¬†(I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • 3 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Marjoram, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme, minced

Directions

Chicken:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F.
  2. Wash chicken breast and pat dry.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle and rub 1 Tbl oil on the chicken breast.
  5. Sprinkle with generous amount of  salt and cracked black pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven when finished and let cool.
  8. Cut into about ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ cubes when cool enough to handle.

Crust:

  1. In a food processor or mixer (I used my KitchenAid), mix the dry ingredients together (flours, salt, and baking powder).
  2. Add the coconut oil and slowly pulse or mix until it’s evenly mixed. It should have the consistence of peas.
  3. Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a dough-like texture.  Note that in the GF version you have to use more water than in the Paleo version.
  4. Remove from food processor/mixer, roll into a ball and wrap in cling wrap.
  5. Put the dough into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Dust a pastry board (or cutting board) with almond meal. ¬†Or if you’re like me dust your (cleaned) countertop. ¬†I also recently received these as a gift and can vouch that they did an AWESOME job with the dough in this recipe, getting rid of having flour all over the kichen.
  7. Roll out pie crust.  Keep dusting the top and bottom of dough and the rolling pin with dry almond meal so that it doesn’t stick.

Filling:

  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Add the yellow onions and cook on medium/high until they’re translucent.  Add the garlic and cook both until slightly brown.
  3. Slowly add the almond meal and reduce the heat.
  4. Slowly add the chicken stock and stir.
  5. Add the coconut milk, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper.
  6. Add the peas, carrots, and chicken.
  7. Carefully pour into pie plate.
  8. Place the crust on top of the filling.
  9. Scramble one egg and paint the crust of each pie generously.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and cut 3-4 slits in the top.
  11. I recommend setting the pie plate on a cookie sheet and putting it in the oven like that to catch any drippings.
  12. Bake at 375¬ļF for one hour, or until inside is bubbly and crust is browned.
  13. Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating.

While this isn’t a fast recipe to make, taking about 1-1.5 hours of prep and another hour to cook, it is really worthwhile and since you can freeze the extra filling it made a very quick meal the second time I made it. ¬†You can even do what the original recipe called for and make individual pies. ¬†In that case I would freeze filling in individual freezer bags and thaw one on the day you want to make it. ¬†I do think making the crust same-day is worthwhile and it really is an easy crust recipe. ¬†I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!

Day 55, 4950 Burpees, 31 Miles, PIZZA TIME!!

Wow, I’m already 10 days past the half-way point of my 90 day challenge! ¬†That is awesome!! ¬†I’m definitely feeling stronger and am seeing more definition in my muscles. ¬†I have a lot more energy. ¬†I can also admit that even though burpees still shoot my heart rate way up and cause me to lose my breath, I can do them faster and I’m recovering quicker between sets. ¬†It definitely helps that I’m doing the ZCUT workouts on top of burpees and running because Zuzka really pushes me both in cardio and strength. ¬†I basically¬†had to learn to recover quickly or I couldn’t make it through her workouts.

Today’s entry is primarily about FOOD. ¬†I’m continuing to find new recipes, along with surprising myself with safe finds from the grocery store. ¬†I’ve even managed to go out to eat a couple times and haven’t had a problem finding foods I can eat (as long as I go to a decent place). ¬†For example, the other night I had a tuna steak with sides of kale and broccoli, no dairy, gluten or any of the other allergens I’m avoiding. ¬†I’ve also done well ordering spinach salads with salmon or grilled chicken and sushi has been pretty safe as long as I’m careful (speaking of which, if you like sushi check out Food Babe’s article on Sushi Secrets). ¬†I just have to ask a few more questions before ordering but most places can accommodate my diet with only minimal substitutions.

The one junk food I¬†really love is pizza. ¬†I’ve struggled to make a really delicious gluten free, dairy free pizza. ¬†Well, I think I finally found a winner and I’m excited to share it with you! ¬†First, I have to talk about Socca (or¬†Farinata). ¬†An old friend recently posted a recipe for this grain-free chickpea unleavened bread. ¬†I tried it that night and found it was an AWESOME side-dish to my dinner:

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Gluten/Corn free breaded chicken, steamed baby spinach and socca

 

I did have to tweak the recipe because that day my local grocer was out of garbanzo bean flour. ¬†So the picture above is NOT grain free. ¬†Here’s what I did instead:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour¬†(top ingredient is chickpea flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt¬†
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper¬†
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil¬†
  • ¬Ĺ large onion, minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh marjoram, minced
  • 1 cup lukewarm filtered water

The directions are identical to the original recipe, but I’ll post them here for convenience:

1. Heat oven to 450¬ļF. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours (I tried leaving it both 30 mins and 6 hours, negligible difference). Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.

2. Stir all herbs, onion and garlic into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.

3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.

It was SO FREAKING GOOD that a few days later I found actual garbanzo bean flour and, following the same recipe above I used it to make this gluten free, dairy free, grain free (Paleo friendly) pizza:

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Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-friendly pizza!

This was amazing. ¬†The one thing I’ll say is that using the garbanzo bean flour, while healthier,¬†it definitely tasted more like falafel and less like pizza crust. ¬†Next time I may switch back to the Gluten Free Flour since I’m not outright avoiding grains (just gluten, corn and oats). ¬†However, BOTH bread recipes held up beautifully and the chickpea flour had no trouble holding the heaping pile of toppings I piled on it.

Speaking of toppings, here’s what I used:

  • Sugar-free pasta sauce (I need to learn to make my own pizza sauce)
  • 1.5 cups baby spinach
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Crumbled local bacon
  • Small amounts of Daiya mozzarella and pepperjack*

*A note on using Daiya “cheeses”, be very careful not to use too much. ¬†It’s a great cheese substitute because it melts well and gives a cheesy flavor, BUT if you use the same amount of Daiya that you’d use with traditional cheese you might find that it melts together and has the consistency and taste of mayonnaise. ¬†I find the mozzarella particularly has this issue, and as a result it’s not my favorite Daiya cheese.

So go wild and have some healthy pizza! ¬†I’d love to hear your variations on this recipe and other ideas!

Day 48, 4320 Burpees, 25 Miles, Healthy Meatloaf!

I’m past the halfway point on my 90 day challenge and the burpees are starting to get easier, but they’re still pretty terrible. ¬†My running is getting better and yesterday I was really reminded how much I prefer running outside to running on a treadmill.

ImageI hadn’t been running outside due to my extreme distaste of the cold. ¬†Ok, maybe not “extreme”, I mean I do live in Vermont, but running in minimalist shoes outside hasn’t been a fun experience for me in the past. ¬†However, after a very trying week I woke up yesterday craving something new. ¬†It was beautiful out! ¬†Fresh powder on the ground and the sun was pouring down. ¬†I decided to buck up and head out trail running. ¬†I popped on my Injinji socks and my Vibrams and downloaded ZombiesRun!¬†to my iphone. ¬†I was waiting for Spring to try that game out but this seemed like the perfect time, plus they were having a 50% off sale on it this weekend!

I won’t lie, my feet got cold, but not too cold to stop me. ¬†Plus once I got about half a mile in they seemed ok, though when I got home and popped my shoes off my toes were pretty icy. ¬†The Zombies game kept me motivated and I ended up running farther than my goal and, what’s more exciting, I ran continuously instead of taking speed-walking breaks like I do on the treadmill. ¬†While the game may have helped motivate me, the soft snow and fresh air is really what kept me running and engaged. ¬†It was just beautiful out and I was finally able to bring my pup running with me again; we both had a great time! ¬†I’m excited for real Spring to hit VT so I can get out there more often.

Lastly, let’s talk meatloaf!

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I’ve had many people ask me what I can eat on my elimination diet. ¬†Really, I’ve been eating very similar to how I was eating before: smoothies and then a protein and veggies for dinner. The thing I have to be strict about is not adding gluten or dairy to my meal, along with the slew of other allergens that I mentioned in my previous post. ¬†I’m also still watching my full nutrition intake and keeping things low-carb since I was doing that before I found out I had a bunch of food allergies.

Meatloaf is definitely a comfort food, but with the millions of meatloaf recipes out there it’s important to remember you CAN make a healthy version of it. ¬†I spliced together a few recipes and made this omgyouwillwanttoeatthewholepan meatloaf that’s less than 300 calories per slice and packed with veggies and protein!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2lb Lean Ground Beef (I used local grass-fed beef and highly recommend you try to do the same)
  • 2 large carrots shredded¬†
  • 1 zucchini shredded
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 jar pasta sauce (try to choose a low-carb version with no or low sugar, or make your own!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļF.
  2. Sautée carrots, zucchini, onions, and garlic in olive oil until soft (~10 mins).  Set aside to cool, or put in the fridge for a few minutes.
  3. Beat eggs/egg whites in large bowl.  Add veggie mix, all herbs/spices, ground beef and 3/4 of pasta sauce jar.  Mix well.
  4. Form mixture into a loaf (it will be wet and won’t hold shape very well, that’s ok!) and put in large loaf pan. ¬†Top with remaining pasta sauce.
  5. Cook for ~1.5 hours or until thermometer reads at least 165¬ļF. ¬†Let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Now I’ve made a lot of meatloaf in my day and I have to say in full honesty that this was the most delicious meatloaf I’ve ever made!! ¬†It trumped my cheese-filled bacon-wrapped meatloaf…seriously. ¬†Granted, my boyfriend (who is not on my diet) fried the leftovers in bacon fat, so obviously the recipe could be improved on if you’re not counting your calories.