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One of Those Paleans

There are a few things that make me a bit weird when it comes to eating paleo.

1.) I suck at eating out. I tip really well when it comes to making the wait staff work to get my order just right. I also usually have to tell people ‘I can’t eat there’ so we have to find other places (read, more expensive) to find food.

2.) I have a tendency to get creative on occasion. Stuff I’ve never made before doesn’t scare me nearly as much as it used to.

3.) I like to proclaim to people that the brownie you just ate and loved was actually made with Sweet Potatoes. And it’s gluten, dairy and sugar free. So there.

4.) I no longer can properly process gluten and especially dairy. It’s not a pretty picture and I have to impress on people how much I cannot cheat if they want to see me in an hour.

5.) If I taste something Paleo and I want to taste it again but not for the price I just paid for it, I will find it elsewhere.

So that brings us to the last three meals I’ve had.

Last night the Urban Caveman Food Truck came to Badger CrossFit and I was elated they brought Truckasaurus out of hibernation and were back on the food-prowl. Boyfriend was finally over his viral plague, so I told him to get something and we would have some awesomeness for supper. He got the cashew chicken curry and I got a chicken salad wrap and their texas style pulled pork with sweet potato mash.

Now, I adore both of the things I got. To the point where I was doing some online searching to try and find the recipe for the chicken salad; of which I may have found one. I’ve been eating chicken systematically throughout the week, so I’ll refrain from making it this week but next week is another matter!

I like the pulled pork but I feel like, if I had the recipe, I’d likely never make it unless I really wanted to. I like that the pork is a little prize for myself after a hard day. It’s so warming and lovely.

Today was another fun one. Boyfriend and I woke up at our normal time (Read, me up a half hour after him because I suck at waking up) and he heated up some Cranberry Orange Buttermilk muffins he’s completely obsessed with. Like completely. Like he told me he would have them for breakfast every day for the rest of his life forever and ever amen. So I keep making them and I make them in double batches so I get 24 muffins out of the recipe.

I went to work with two chicken breasts with the plans to eat them with some thousand island as a dip and some carrots. It’s not amazingly paleo but it works. But then an email came through at about 11 saying that a soup food truck would be outside today. Simmer is made out of an old short-bus and it’s adorable. The smells coming out of this bus were fantastic and I could have sat in there all afternoon just soaking in all the smells. They cater to a vegan/gluten free crowd, which made me a little apprehensive, but I was very happy to see a Brussels Sprouts and Rosemary soup. A few of my coworkers came with me and we became snow-covered quickly in the fat snowflakes falling at speed to the ground. I double checked with the woman in the truck and she told me essentially everything that went into the recipe. When I was satisfied that it was sufficiently Paleo, I got a 16-oz container. While it helped keep my fingers warm I could smell the deliciousness as I was walking back to the office.

The taste is phenomenal. It’s based with a vegetable stock and it’s blended so it’s not like eating giant sprouts and cauliflower florets. It’s not too salty and it has a very well-rounded flavor, though I did feel the rosemary overpowered it at times. I was so happy with the flavors that I did some digging and I found the soup! I was a little happy to say the least, and I have intentions to make this for me and boyfriend this weekend. It’s expected to be cold and snowy this weekend, so it’ll be perfect.

On another note: I have my first day off this weekend. I think my WOD will be to clean all the things for time.

Stay warm, all!

Seriously?

I’m sorry to my readers for this is a serious RANT piece.

Naysayers are everywhere and yet I haven’t seen one in a good long while, if ever, against Paleo.

Until Today.

Murphy sent me a link to a post by celebrity writer/blogger Kimberly Snyder (The link has been removed on the Kimberly Snyder website and auto-redirects to some kale chip demo. meh.  I’m not sorry). I’m almost sorry I’m giving her the views on her website. Her ‘beauty detox’ sounds like a load of dookie and I can’t even believe she thinks she’s a credible source of dietary instruction.

I read this article and grew more and more frustrated at the lack of credible information in said article. Sweet potatoes are allowed in Paleo, Fruit isn’t, Paleo doesn’t have celebrity sponsors or frozen meals or addition of grains and totally processed foods in their crap bin of the frozen food section. Seriously?

I couldn’t help myself from posting the below comment after I saw all the people saying ‘thank you for your post Kimberly!’ and ‘you’re so insightful, I’m so glad I didn’t fall into the trap of the fad diets like this Paleo-bunk!’

So I spent a few minutes and wrote this little ditty.

FAT IS YOUR FRIEND, PEOPLE!

I’ve been Paleo since May of last year and I have been steadily losing weight ever since thanks to the fact that I’ve turned my body into a fat-burning, muscle-building machine. I eat eggs and bacon regularly and split my plate in half of meat and vegetables. I only very occasionally allow fruit as the diet calls for due to the sugar levels in most fruit. I eat lean meats, nuts and root vegetables that are farm fresh, grass fed and NATURALLY occur in the world. If it came from the ground or walked on the ground, I allow it. I have lost 50 pounds, at least 15% body fat and gained multiple pounds of muscle thanks to using Paleo in tandem with CrossFit. I have boundless energy that I didn’t have before starting Paleo and my body is naturally beautiful, my skin is flawless and my PCOS is gone all thanks to Paleo.

The people you’re talking about who gorge themselves on as much food as they want are either training for extreme weight lifting or they’re trying to GAIN weight in the form of muscle. Look at Rich Froning Jr. or Chris Spealler. They eat MORE during the day so they gain muscle to help in their CrossFitting. Average Paleans will also employ portion control, rather than just being extreme with their protein as you’re misleading your readers to believe.

Paleo begins with removing all grains, dairy and legumes, whereas Atkins starts with nothing but protein for weeks and then weans you onto fruits, vegetables and grains, making it an inconceivable diet that will not work or last long. Paleo has lasting qualities in that you can eat chocolate (the darker the better!) and coconut and almond milk offer more calcium and vitamins than dairy milk. Sweet potatoes are allowed and have better nutritional value than white potatoes. Those people who think that eggs will raise your cholesterol just haven’t realized how good they are for you once you cut out all that crap that’s weighing you down.

My 63 year-old mother began Paleo after the urging of my brother and me and she incorporated eggs and bacon three times a week as well as being strict Paleo and she lost 11 pounds in a matter of 6 weeks. Her cholesterol and blood pressure are returning to normal for the first time in decades and she has Paleo and FAT to thank for it. She is boosting her metabolism by fueling her body with nothing but what she’s meant to be eating. Grains and carbs were suffocating her body and she’s finally feeling lighter, sleeping better at night and feeling better overall.

How dare you call something as ingenious as Paleo a ‘fad diet’. I can honestly tell you that Paleo is not going anywhere, nor does it need celebrity sponsors to support it in commercials. Just ask the CrossFit community. EAT <b>CLEAN</b>, TRAIN DIRTY.

I’m still a little frustrated, but I’m now seeing more and more people on the Paleo side of things, who see the light, if you will.

I just wanted to post this here in case my comment didn’t make it to the light of the comment board for too much longer.

 

Please note: Inflammatory comments with false information will not be posted on this blog. I know what I’m talking about, otherwise I wouldn’t have this blog. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m not going to allow you to be a troll. I also have your IP Address when you post. Please practice safe Internet. Thank you

Long Time…

I know it’s been a month since I last blogged… it’s been a month for all of my blogs… I’m not proud of it. But I think it’s about time I came out of hibernation.

The whole 30 challenge wasn’t as stellar as I was hoping, mostly because I had a bit of a…broken…ankle which stopped me from going to the box all that much, so I only lost about 7 pounds overall, and I’ve been struggling with it since then. I’m growing thinner, my chest is smaller and my pants absolutely don’t fit again.

I’ve been still strict Paleo with the exception of dark chocolate since the beginning of the year and my weight has been down since I’ve sprained my non-broken ankle so I’m not working out and being Paleo helps me lose the weight whereas Paleo + CrossFit means I gain weight… I’m sure I’m just not eating enough.

I made pancakes for dinner last night after seeing the recipe on Paleomg.com. She made banana, vanilla and coconut pancakes with a berry compote. I knew I had everything except for the vanilla bean at home and Boyfriend looked like he wanted to eat the screen they were so delicious-looking. I told him I’d make them for dinner when he came over on Sunday and I hoped they’d be amazing.

The recipe calls for two bananas, smashed (perfect, there’s 7 in the freezer), 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons of coconut flour, a splash of vanilla, 1/4 tsp of baking soda and that’s it!

When I made it, the batter was super thin, so I added almond flour to thicken it a bit and got it to a pancake-consistency but it was kind of a mess to make them. Paleo pancakes are much heavier and much more dense than All-Purpose pancakes, so they don’t flip and/or rise the way AP does. Some of them wound up being rather messy until I went to a smaller pancake size (about 2 inches in diameter at most) and was rather successful. They also need to be much more brown before flipping. Oh! and you need higher heat on the pan/griddle. Trust me on that.

We finished off the pancakes with some of the delicious sides made by Boyfriend’s best friend Jon and his wife Amanda for Christmas. I was so grateful that they made these things Paleo for us that it made the massage I bought her seem so mediocre. She created a wine jam, honey butter and lemon curd. Last night was the first time I’d opened the jars since we got them and it was all SO DELICIOUS. The lemon curd was so tart and sweet at the same time and the honey butter made my heart go all aflutter. The jam was the perfect consistency and mixed all together, the pancakes were just amazing. Boyfriend ate them faster than I’d ever seen him eat.

This morning we woke up and the first words out of his mouth were ‘I think you should make some pancakes for breakfast’ and kept insisting (even to the point of whipping the blankets off me and practically pushing me out of bed) until I was in the kitchen making the pancakes. I altered the recipe slightly in that I didn’t use coconut flour, but almond flour and I only put 2 eggs rather than 3 in the mix. It made the batter thicker right away and it was much easier to pour and cook. We used just the curd and honey butter and I wound up scraping up the remnants of it off the plate when the pancakes were all gone. Golly it’s good.

That picture just doesn’t do it justice at all.

So now I get to digress:

My mom started Paleo (HI MOMMY!) at the beginning of the year and has since lost about 11 pounds and astonished her doctor when her cholesterol and blood pressure came back with increasingly normal numbers. The first thing I said to her when she told me this news? “I TOLD YOU BACON WAS GOOD FOR YOU!”

I’m a really great advocate for fat and bacon, to be honest with you. It’s weird that I tell people ‘eat fat’ but they don’t quite understand how good fat is for you. I mean come on… I wouldn’t be nearly 50 pounds down if I ate carbs. There’s a mason jar half-filled with bacon fat reserves, there’s always at least a pound of bacon and 12 eggs in my fridge and I willingly absorb the shock of groceries by shopping on the perimeter of the store. I don’t remember the last time I had bread…or white sugar…or milk chocolate. I no longer have migraines, I have more energy every day and I sleep way better at night. The pros outweigh the cons immeasurably when it comes to eating Paleo.

So when someone posts a status about eating egg whites with spinach and tomatoes, I think, “Where’s the bacon?” to which I get the reply “Bacon got me into this mess” which I just simply can’t believe is true.

Pasta got you into this mess. Bread got you into this mess. CHEESECAKE GOT YOU INTO THIS MESS!

Cut out grains, dairy, excess sugars– and eat clean foods fresh from the market and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the fat falls away to reveal the real you. This world is so full of processed foods or the new ‘fad’ foods to tell you how bad fat is for you and you shouldn’t be eating eggs or bacon because they’ll ruin your cholesterol when it’s simply not true. Take my mother for example: her blood pressure AND cholesterol are down because she’s eating clean; she’s eating bacon and eggs and she’s getting healthy. She ate carbs before and was on tons of medication to regulate her body… I’m willing to bet that in 6 months she’ll be off almost all of her pills and will just be taking fish oil and a multi-vitamin.

The cavemen had something going for them.

Whole30

It’s that time again.

This holiday totally kicked my ass. Like totally and completely.

It all started good and well with lots of paleo goodness with spaghetti squash and marinara, burgers and lots of veg. No cheats for the week before leaving for Seattle to visit my brother.

Then we went to Seattle. I can’t even begin to tell you how weighed down I felt after eating cheat meal after cheat meal with only a few meals actually being Paleo. Miracle of miracles, I lost 1.5 pounds while on vacation. Don’t worry, I gained back a pound in the next two days after dinner with Boyfriends’ family, then another bash with his family and finally another bash last night with the extended family. My stomach is now really angry with me so I’m hoping this challenge will set me straight and make my belly happy again.

Seattle was amazing, though. We WODded at Emerald City CrossFit just east of Downtown and it was my first WOD in two weeks since spraining my ankle. I was nervous and hoped that I’d be able to keep up with Boyfriend and other people in the box, and I was amazed that my ankle was willing to support me while I jumped in the Team Double Under Cindy.

Team DU Cindy
20 Minute AMRAP
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 squats

One partner completes one round of Cindy while the other partner does as many DUs as possible. (singles 3:1). 30 double unders (90 singles) equal one round. When done, give one number of rounds.

It was FUN! I missed the pain, the hard breathing, the bent over-hands-on-knees-trying-to-breathe feeling. And I loved how the black band made my pullups SO EASY. I almost felt like I could have gone to a smaller set of bands, but because of the ankle, I didn’t want to test fate. We both walked out with the highest number (because we did single unders) and a couple great t-shirts. They were extremely nice and we enjoyed visiting them. I’m sure we’ll be back soon.

That was the last time I WODded. It hurts, not being able to make it into the box. Work has me at the office for 12 hours a day if I want to have a decent paycheck and the holidays leave me out of time to do anything other than travel and hang out with Boyfriends’ and my families. At least I got a lot of knitting done this holiday. I also did a lot of eating and cheating. I feel like my body is getting squishier so, while I planned on working 12 hours today, I’ll be leaving in time to go WOD instead. It has to happen. I. Must. WOD.

Now we’re back to the real world and next week will be a regular work week (yay!) so now I’m planning on losing some weight first thing in the year. Badger CrossFit is doing a Whole30 paleo challenge where you are strict paleo for 30 days. They’ve also required that you drink your required water amounts and get a WOD in three times a week. This week I’ll only have two WODs, one of which has to be at home, but we have to write down everything we eat and what our WOD was and post onto our group on facebook. It’s super simple for me to get back into the swing of paleo because of how I feel right now, I can’t wait to remember that I am being held accountable to a group of people to stay strict and not cheat. I want to lose 10-15 pounds this month, keep going through next month and lose another 10-15 and be at my goal weight of 165-170 by my birthday in March.

I’m eating a giant salad as I write this, taking a 10 minute break from the nuttiness at work. The only questionable thing in the salad is the dried apricots, but they’re so delicious and good for you that I can’t help myself but to include it into the salad.

So day 1 is off to a great start. I’m going to the box tonight (YES) for some sweating and feel-good-ness.

I’m doing things slowly this year– making this resolution is something I know I can stick with so why bother writing up resolutions I won’t actually complete. I’ll knit and WOD and eat delicious paleo instead. What are some of your resolutions this year?

Ode to an Oven

Dear Oven,

I have missed you so much. Have I ever told you how much I adore you? I don’t think I have and it’s time you know the truth.

I’ll admit, I was skeptical the first day we met because you’re electric and I’ve only ever had a gas oven and stovetop but I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and open my heart to you. I’d had my feelings hurt before from ovens that have died, lied to me about their temperature or simply not cooked my food, so I was so happy to find that you were extremely clean, didn’t reek of burnt cheese whenever I cooked something in you and you cooked my food at an alarmingly fast rate.

It was meant to be from the very beginning.

I’m sorry I dropped that giant piece of garlic pizza crust onto your heating coil which cause it to set on fire and only narrowly not blow up the kitchen. I bet that scared you almost as much as it scared me. I blame myself for that incident, as well as forgetting about that burned piece of garlic pizza crust until the next time I turned you on to bake some cookies, which caused the apartment to smell like burning. I quickly retrieved the crust from your belly and I’m sure you were grateful, which you showed with delicious cookies.

I’m so terribly sorry I’ve had to neglect you over the last two months. I swear it wasn’t intentional. I thought we could live harmoniously during this strict Paleo time; baking banana bread and cookies and other delicious things while I did the LuRong challenge, but I quickly found out that I couldn’t use you at all and your stovetop got more action that I care to mention. I longed for the days of being able to watch you bake cookies and muffins and breads.

Instead I walked past you day after day… not thinking twice about how much I needed to be domestic; how much I wanted to bake. I came to avoid your judging glances and hateful comments whenever I turned on the stovetop again to make bacon and eggs. I tried buttering you up by cleaning your door and handle when bacon fat splattered or I got soup spilled, but you were so angry with me.

I hoped one day we could be together again in harmonious bliss…And now that day has come.

And I’m not looking back.

And I know we’re going to have a very happy time together… until my lease runs out or I move out. But we’re going to make the most of the days we have together. And that includes lots of baking and roasting and lots of time with you at 325 degrees F.

With all my adoration and gratitude,

Amanda

P.S. Did I ever mention that boyfriend likes you too? From your broiler to the way the racks move so easily up and down, to the wonderful way you bake those cookies and muffins. If it weren’t for his new oven, I’m sure he’d be begging to hang out with you more often.

Retribution

THE LURONG CHALLENGE IS OVER!!!!

Excuse me while I go have a fun time eating food without feeling bad about it. Oh and there’s a couple happy dances involved.

So, Saturday, Boyfriend worked a 12 hour day after waking up at 3 a.m. to start it. I had a bat-crap-crazy day anyway so I wasn’t willing to cook and I knew he wasn’t either so I decided to celebrate the end of the challenge.

I went to Little Caesars. And got a Hot & Ready. And Cheezy Bread. And Garlic Butter sauce.

I know. I went all out. I couldn’t help myself.

I got to his place, put the pizza down in front of his napping body and he was all smiles to see pizza and dinner all at the same time. He’s such a kid. I finally got to pee for the first time all afternoon and  stepped on the scale. Boyfriend’s scale is 4 pounds off so I did the math. Here’s the final results of the LuRong challenge:

18 pounds lost. (Total of 41 pounds lost!)
Shaved 45 seconds off my 400m run
Got banded pull ups! (150 of ’em in one WOD! More on that later)
2 inches off bust, waist and hips each.

And I celebrated with half a pizza and about half the bag of cheezy bread. It was delicious. Absolute heaven.

And then about an hour later I had stomach cramps. I woke up the next morning with a carb hangover and a desperate need for water. 2 advil and 2 glasses of water were downed quickly but my stomach still hates me two days later for the pizza. Turns out paleo is probably best for me from now on with limited cheats of small quantities. In other words: If I’m eating a Hot & Ready, eat a salad with it, not cheesy bread. Though god damn that cheesy bread was so good.

I finally found ice cream! And it’s not too shabby! And it’s so rich that I can’t eat a ton of it! Coconut ice cream is awesome. Especially with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bits. omnomnomnom.

No baking done yet. Tonight, though. The bananas are thawed and in the fridge. The walnuts and chocolate chips are in the pantry just waiting to be made into bread. It’s going to be amazing. I have REAL almond flour, not just ground up almonds. And I have coconut flour. Holy crap Whole Foods is awesome.

“Don’t Spoil My Pie, Please”

Excuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor.

Boyfriend texts me this after I asked his opinion of Pumpkin Cheesecake from PaleOMG or pumpkin pie made paleo– the recipe being adapted from Mom’s Pumpkin Pie recipe.

Now, I have made Mom’s pumpkin pie before and it’s delicious. I have not adapted her recipe and tried to make it yet, mostly because the LuRong challenge is still going on and I can’t eat baking powder or soda, or raw honey, or well… ANYTHING GOOD. I hate this stupid challenge and can’t wait until Saturday. I MISS MY OVEN!!!!

Anyway– I was planning on taking my day off on Saturday– my first one in about a month, mind you, and go shopping, get a wax, buy groceries, bake delicious things in my oven that I have missed so much over the last two months and stop off at Mom’s and get the recipe to make this pie on Sunday after work.

So I decided to be all dramatic with Boyfriend. The conversation went as followed:

Me: With picture of PaleOMG cheesecake: Pumpkin cheesecake or pie? Either way they’re paleo and I found my crust.

BF: Cheesecake: Don’t spoil my pie, please.

Me: … :-0
I can’t believe you just said that!

BF: Lol.

Me: (5 minutes later) I’m blogging about this. I’m still in shock.

BF: hahaha. I’m sure you will do an excellent job at converting a pumpkin pie… just not for Thanksgiving!

Me: I. Am. Appalled. You don’t think paleo pumpkin pie will be as good, if not better, than regular FATTY pumpkin pie?

BF: I said no such thing…

Me: I’ll prove to you just how amazing pumpkin paleo pie is on Sunday. So there. And you’ll be begging for it for Thanksgiving. But I won’t ruin your previous pie for you. Oh no.

It’s at this point in the conversation where I imagine I stomp one foot, cross my arms, mutter a defiant ‘hmph’ and tip my nose in the air. (Have I mentioned I’ve had a lot of really strong coffee today?) He then rolls his eyes, stifles a snort of laughter and goes back to work. We all know this is exactly how it would have happened in real life, too. We’re a. that predictable and b. that disgustingly cute.

I really couldn’t care less what kind of dessert I make, and this cheesecake sounds delicious so I’m planning on making it anyway. I just needed a giggle and I got it.

So anyway.

Pumpkin cheesecake. Mom, the truly non-paleo of our bunch (she claims she simply can’t go on without carbs), won’t know what hit her. This will be an awesome ending to our 100% Paleo 80% of the time Thanksgiving dinner. What’s on the docket you ask?

  • A 10 freaking pound  turkey. An actual turkey. Do you know how long it’s been since I had an actual turkey with Thanksgiving dinner? Prior years it’s always been me and Mom so it’s been a breast, or a Cornish Hen (Don’t judge me.) so we’re doing a turkey. Holy crap.
  • Green bean casserole. It’s the 20% of non-paleo to our dinner. I can’t live a year without it. It’s my crack. I have to have those French Fried onions. Those tiny little artificial food bastards taste so good.
  • Sweet Potatoes. I haven’t quite decided how to best prepare them. I might just do them with sme marmalade and pumpkin pie seasonings, without the marshmallows, or I can mash them… or do something else. I’m not totally sure yet.
  • Cranberry sauce. Fresh cranberries in apple cider with a squeeze of agave nectar. Good god.
  • Mom is making gravy. I don’t eat gravy. Gravy isn’t Paleo.
  • The cheesecake. I might have to make concessions as coconut butter might be hard to find, but almond butter is sitting in my cupboard. We’ll see what happens.

As Bob as my witness, the pie will be amazing. And my oven and I will be reunited once more in a harmonious love that no one else has ever known before.

20 Minutes

That’s how long I have to write this post before I have next to no time to proof a giant document and send it to the printers. Did I mention we received it on my first day and today is my FOURTH day? Yeah. That’s not a whole lot of time to proof things… Welcome to the retail world, Manda!

Last night I didn’t make it home until almost 9 p.m.. I wanted to get to the box but the 6:30 class was cancelled, then back on, but I was already too far away to make it in time and I’ll be damned if I’m going to do 10 burpees for every minute late.

I went to DSW for a pair of boots as I was sick of the shoes I had on– the heels were ruined and I was getting shin splints from them. Not cool. I found a pair on clearance and grabbed a pair of leggings a size smaller than I bought last year. Queue applause and cheers.

I then remembered I told mom I’d go to her place to feed the kitties and pick up some money as she’s helping me, for hopefully the last time, to bail me out of financial ruin. It was also trick or treat in town so I had to get the candy on the stoop. The cats nearly gnawed my ankles off and the kids took handfuls of candy and talked to mom for about 10 minutes before heading home.

Stock in pot. Sausage in stock Veggies chopped. Stop tearing from onions. Garlic smashed. Kitchen is an effing disaster. Where the hell is my ladle? UP AT THE CABIN, THAT’S WHERE!!!!! Dammit now I have to buy a new ladle.

(10 minutes left)

The soup came together in about a half hour and I had to improvise severely to get it all blended together. I was eating dinner at 10 p.m. and I was in my bedroom finding clothes for the next day by 11.

I was… I’d love to say upset to say… but I’m not really all that upset about it– My dresses no longer fit.
At all. I should have anticipated this because my shoes no longer fit as my feet have shrunk in the process of losing 40 pounds in a summer. I started the process with about 10-14 dresses. I now have about 4, if you don’t count the many kimono dresses I own, which aren’t work-appropriate. Even my favorite little black dress that made me look super skinny now makes me look fat because it doesn’t fit. It hit the goodwill pile with a sad look on my face.

Today I’m wearing a drapey dress with a slip under that had to be clipped to avoid baggage and so it wouldn’t slip down to the point where my bright orange bra would be hanging out the top. It’s a purchase I made from Target last year along with two others of the same style, different patterns. The slips all have to be taken in but the outer bits all fit fine, as they cinch in at the waist. It’s my saving grace, I tell ya. I put on my boots and brand new leggings and headed out the door in a frenzy this morning.

I guess I know what my first paycheck is going toward.

No crossfit last night. The baby was born though! Baby Girl Avelyn Grace was born a little after 6 a.m. today and I can’t wait to meet her and see her in her woollens.

The soup is delicious, not that I can take the time to savor it.

2 minutes to spare and I’m back to work! Have a great day, all!

Let’s Get Hearty

I cannot wait until November 17 when this Lurong challenge is over. Seriously. I want chocolate so bad. And gatorade and greek frozen yogurt occasionally. And all of these other things that mean my stomach doesn’t go haywire whenever I cheat and have a little bit of gluten or dairy or sugar. I get so sick whenever I eat these things lately and it shouldn’t be like that. On Paleo I should still be able to cheat and not be in pain.

I’m still losing weight so Paleo and CrossFit together are still working for me, and I’m sure after this challenge is over and I’m still decently strict and can be more myself it’ll be working just the same, but the fact that I can’t even made banana bread and Paleo cookies is killing me. Baking powder and soda are naturally occurring items, let me bake, dammit!

OK now I know the coffee has kicked in…

I’ve been doing pretty good with Paleo cooking though– this challenge has forced me to get more creative more often when it comes to mixing up the dinners I made for me and Boyfriend, and I am always trying to push the Paleo on other people. When Boyfriend and I went up north with his friends and family, I planned dinner for Friday night and wanted to make something hearty and warming as it was rather cold for the whole weekend. I  made up some sweet potato and chorizo soup from Jamie Oliver as it was one of like, three recipes in an entire book that I could make Paleo. That’s not true, almost all of them could be made Paleo, I just don’t have the time or care to make them that way so if they’re already written, I’m happy to cook.

What I love about Paleo soups is that they’re not like your average broth soups (though there’s plenty of those!) but it’s about the hearty stuff– it’s a meal in and of itself and, if you’re a bread or dairy eater, it works perfectly with a french baguette or a dollop of sour cream.

To be clear, I did a double batch for this soup as I knew there were going to be a ton of people and I wanted everyone to be able to go back for more if they wanted.

The soup is rife with veg of celery, carrot, garlic, onion and 1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes for a single batch, but I prefer the double which calls for 3.5 pounds. I did a mixture of vegetable and chicken broth (on accident, but happily) and there was a pound of chorizo links that I removed the skin and broke up for cooking. The chorizo lets go of some of its heat and spices so you get that delicious red oil on the top of the stock but that’s where all the deliciousness is.

The recipe calls for chile pepper, which I omitted as there was a question of ‘spice’ but I did add a little bit extra curry powder to make it a little of a warm, almost Indian-tasting recipe. My apartment smelled like Indian Buffet while I was cooking and I loved it.

I steamed the sweet potatoes until fork tender while the stock was heating to a boil, the chorizo was cooking in the stock and the veggies were sautéing in olive oil. The recipe calls to cook the sweet potatoes in the stock but that would have taken FOREVER so I cheated and it was a lot faster. The soup was done in a total of about 20 minutes.

Once everything is all put together and it’s cooked for about 10 minutes, we put it in the blender in batches (I don’t have an immersion blender…yet) and it got smooth and creamy and thick and delicious and I couldn’t help putting my spoon in it and eating already. It’s blended to the point where you don’t get big chunks of the chorizo but if you wanted to have chunks, remove the chorizo before adding the veg to the stock and then add them back before serving. I think this soup is perfect smooth, though so it’s not necessary to take the pieces out.

We packed up the pot itself and put it in the cooler and headed out for Crivitz and the pot was still warm by the time we got there four hours later, just in time for dinner. I dove in hungrily and it was warm and inviting and lovely. Bread eaters eagerly added bread to their plates and someone grabbed salt and pepper (I added very little to the veg) but it was absolutely perfect as it was. Boyfriend went back for seconds and my bowl was scraped clean. There was a single serving at the end of the night and everyone liked it, I think.

Tonight I’m making more for myself to feed…well…me for the next week or so. It’s getting really cold outside and I don’t like to turn on my heat so I think some soup will warm me up perfectly. Sorry I have no pictures. One day, I’ll be better at the whole picture thing.