Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Football Season Paleo Eats!!

Well, judging from the looks of my Facebook newsfeed it seems to be football season again. I am from NC and all we really care about is College Basketball....UNC BASKETBALL to be exact!! Go Tarheels!! But, I digress. Now I reside in AL, home of Alabama or Auburn fans. As soon as I moved here I was accosted and they tried to force me to make a choice. Are you gonna be an Alabama or an Auburn fan? Honestly I really don't care. I know NOTHING about football, and it's probably gonna stay that way. But, I have LOTS of friends and family here that have football get togethers every week and just LOVE this time of year. This post is for them and for you, if you happen to be a football fan. Here are just a few ideas to keep your football soiree a paleo success!

A football get together wouldn't be complete without some chili. And to keep it paleo we are omitting the beans, and topping with avocado, red onion, and cilantro. But we are adding lots of spicy flavor. If you want to deaden the head (I don't know why you would) you can omit the chipotle peppers and use a mild rotel and a mild sausage. Throw this bad boy in the crock pot in the morning and have your chili hot and ready for the afternoon/evening game. 

Spicy Slow Cooker Chorizo Chili
1 pound of grass fed beef
2 fresh chorizo sausages, casings removed (about 1/2 pound)
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 can of rotel, I used hot
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 Tablespoons of chili powder
1 Tablespoon of cumin
salt and pepper to taste

- brown off all the meat in a skillet
- drain and toss in the crock pot
- in the same skillet add onions and garlic and cook just long enough to get some color on those onions (you may skip this step and just toss it in the crock pot, but I just personally like to get some color on the onions before adding them in)
- toss remaining ingredients in the crock pot and stir together
- cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours
- top with diced avocado, minced red onion and cilantro to serve

Now chips and dip are a fav with any party, but a paleo friendly idea would be guacamole and pepper boats. Make your favorite guacamole recipe or maybe for cheaper and faster you could just buy some Wholly Guacamole. That is a wonderful brand with only real ingredients and it is super tasty. Serve with some bell pepper slices, carrot sticks and maybe even.....wait for iiiit......crispy bacon strips!! Ever dipped a crispy bacon strip in some wonderful guacamole???? You should!! :) 

Now mini-blt's are pretty popular party fare around here but how to we make it paleo??? I've got it!! BAT's!! We will make some bacon, avocado and tomato skewers with a chipotle mayo sauce! OMGOODNESS THIS IS SO GOOD! Let's see how to make it...

BAT's - Adjust this recipe to accommodate your group. This recipe is enough for 16 toothpick skewers only. 

skewers 4 strips of bacon 1 avocado 16 grape tomatoes
-In a pan fry up the 4 slices of bacon until done, drain on a paper towel. -Once cool chop each piece in half and then in half a gain. You should get 4 bite size pieces out of each slice of bacon. -Cut open your avocado and remove pit. Using a spoon scoop out each halve of avocado. Slice each half in half lengthwise and then across. Getting 8 bite size pieces out of each half of the avocado. 16 pieces out of the whole avocado. -Wash and slice grape tomatoes in half. -Assemble skewers. -Place one half of tomato, bacon piece, avocado piece, and other end of tomato on tooth picks. Place on platter.

Mayo 1 egg, room temp 2 T of lemon juice, room temp 1/2 teaspon of ground mustard seed 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 cup plus 1/4 cup of avocado oil

1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped (you can omit if you need to not have this spicy, it really isn't that spicy to me though)

-For your mayo place your room temp. egg, room temp lemon juice, mustard, salt and 1/4 cup of oil in blender and blend for about 30 seconds. 
-Then VEEEEERY slowly stream in the remaining cup of oil. Even if it begins to emulsify keep streaming VEEEERY slowly. It should take a good 2-3 minutes for you to slowly stream in the cup of oil. 
-Once mayo is made and has emulsified, empty 4 T of the mayo in a bowl. -Add one finely chopped chipotle in adobo and mix with a spoon. 
-Serve skewers drizzled with the mayo or served with the mayo alongside for dipping.

I have really found avocado oil to deliver the best flavor in homemade mayo. I really love it. If you need a source for some avocado oil, you can buy it HERE!

Now we all want that something to just grab and toss into our mouths....maybe something a little sweet even. How about some trail mix?

Trail Mix

1/2 cup of roasted/salted pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup of roasted pecan halves
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1 cup of toasted coconut flakes
3/4 cup of unsweetened cranberries
1/2 cup of mini enjoylife chocolate chips

Toss together and EAT! 

If you don't have enjoy life chocolate chips available in your area...you can order HERE for a great price. 

Well, I hope you guys have a wonderful football season!! Have lots of fun and chow down on some healthy paleo grub!! 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sweet, Sweet, Illusive Sleep....zzzzzz....

Hi Guys,
How's it going? Long time no blog. Been pretty hectic around here lately. I started homeschooling my oldest daughter, so that is a bit time consuming. And I've been going through some health issues lately. I will tell you what, I know how Melissa (from The Clothes Make the Girl and Well Fed fame) feels like. I can totally relate to her struggles and to her frustrations. We are kinda in the same boat. Due to those issues I have had to quit Cross Fit. I really made me sad, but I need to focus on healing my body first and then I can start back. I have been advised to just walk lots, and do yoga for now. In a few months if things are going good I can add some heavy lifting. Then a few months later if I am perfect, I can add back in some metcons and some sprinting. Honestly, I just want to get back to heavy lifting. I am in love with lifting.

So you can imagine that with all that is going on, that my sleep is pretty crappy. And you would be right. I usually fall asleep about 12-1 in the morning and wake up at 7. My husband BEGS me to go to sleep, but I just can't. It's not that I don't want to....I can't. Well through some advice that I got from Chris Kresser.....for the past week I have fallen asleep at 10 and have gotten at least 9 hours of sleep each night!! I honestly didn't think it would work, but I figured if all I have to shell out is 7 bucks for a chance of some good sleep then I'll do it!

So here's the thing...it may sound a bit kooky to you (it actually did to me at first) but the secret lies in a pair of glasses. Let me start from the beginning....We all know that sleep is UBER important for our health. It is helpful in SO many areas and the lack thereof aids in things such as heart disease and diabetes. And yet insomnia is rampant. So what is the deal? Why can't we get sleep. Chris Kresser suggests that the answer could lie in the production of melatonin. Studies have shown that "blue light", the light coming from our iPads, tv's, computer, and iPhones suppress melatonin production. A reduction in melatonin results in sleeplessness, but more important than that, it has been shown to increase cancer risk, impair the immune system and a whole host of other not-so-good things. But have no fear there is a product, glasses to be exact, that block the "blue light" so your bodies production of melatonin is not disrupted. These glasses are what I have been wearing for the past week and I have gotten a total of 15 extra hours of sleep because of them. I have been falling asleep at 10 instead of tossing and turning and flipping channels until 1 am when I can finally fall asleep. I honestly didn't expect it to work, but like I said I thought that 7 bucks was an o.k. price to pay to see if it did. Any way there is my sleep story. HERE is the link to the article by Chris Kresser just in case you would like to have a look see. And HERE is where you can buy the glasses if you would like to give them a try. Chris also gives a link to a more expensive pair but the ones I bought are working great.

P.S. Relationship service announcement...... Be warned: They ain't sexy!!