Just Catching Up!

I should be shunned for Blog neglect. It has been nearly 4 months since my last post. I’m feeling pretty guilty about leaving this beautiful space untouched for so long. So many things have happened since I fell out of the Blogosphere. So, let me update you a little. We’ll start where I left off…

-I did successfully finish the Lurong Paleo Challenge. I lost 6 pounds and lost a few on my measurements but not a lot. As I thought I would I went back to my carbby ways, but in the New Year I am planning to make better choices. I am also planning on staying mainly Paleo with a little looser guidelines. I’ll call it Kelleo? Sounds good right?

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– I ran my first 10k and I did rather well! I placed 69th with a pace of 9:06 and finished with a 56:31 time.

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Hard to admit but I haven’t really run and focused on running since October…

-Husband surprised me with a trip to Chicago for our 2 year anniversary!

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-We went home for our Cash Family Annual Pumpkin Carving Party (BYOP(umpkin))

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…drum roll please…

-We finally bought a HOUSE on Halloween!

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-I turned the big 2-6 and threw a Gatsby party… I have always wanted a roaring 20’s party and when better to do it when you are a roaring 26 year old?

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-I had to say goodbye to my cousin from afar… RIP sweet Bryan.

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-I was blessed to go home for both Thanksgiving AND Christmas.

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-I celebrated the New Year with friends.

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-and I began the New Year 2014 with a traditional Southern style New Years Day dinner cooked by ME 🙂

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-Oh, and tonight I did my first WOD with Toe to Bar! (Big deal, I couldn’t even hang on the bar much less pull my feet up to my hands at the beginning of last year).

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As you can see, I have been a very busy bee! And that is basically what you missed in a nut shell. For my New Years Resolution I will not abandon my Blog for more than 2 weeks. I hope I can keep ’em coming! Have a wonderful 2014 friends!

Day 12, A Wheat Cheat, and Tomorrows Race…

Good evening! It’s Friday (see what I am saying about that whole social life gone astray thing?) and I am here to give you some some-what hopefully entertaining updates on my crazy, weird, yet boring life.

I am on Day 12 of the Lurong Paleo Challenge

See how pumped I am? I bought a shirt.

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Never thought I’d be that annoying person who constantly asks “Is there sugar in that?” “Is this gluten free?” and ends with “No Cheese please.” Ugh, who am I?

So, Thursday I had a big bad “no no” cheat. There was a FOURTH of a cupcake left after a work bridal shower. Who leaves a perfectly butchered, tiny slice of cupcake sitting around for just anyone who’s dieting to eat? RUDE. So, I gave in and ate the whole thing in one bite. It felt like I was biting into a rainbow. First sugar/wheat combo in 11 days and I was proud of myself… for like 2 seconds and then immediately felt guilty afterwards. I’m glad I got it out of my system…

Until this afternoon…

I had a seminar today at a hotel. Stupid me was thinking they would have salad and I would miserably eat dry salad for lunch. NOPE. We were on our own for lunch, and there was nothing but delicious food around the hotel. I went to a sandwich shop thinking I would get just a salad… but instead I came back with a southwest chicken wrap (at least it was whole grain wrapping?) It made my taste buds happy but my tummy all bloaty! I haven’t had that much wheat in so long. It tasted good but I feel weepy and tired and BLOATED.

So now that is out of my system I’ll be good for the rest of the weekend right? haha… We’ll see… We have husband’s work “family night” tomorrow night… my husband works for a beer company. So, you see how that is going to go. Also, my own work picnic is Sunday. So, they are sure to have Paleo options, yes? Doubt it.

Here is our “NOPE” cabinet by the way… it’s pretty horrible when you accidentally open it…

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In Paleo baking news: I have made Paleo Pumpkin Muffins! yum yum!

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Super awesome with morning coffee! I think I am going to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract next time but you can fine the recipe here.

I also made Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs using Spaghetti Squash. It was AWESOME!

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Yum yum yum. Definitely cured the Italian food craving I have been having. You can get the recipe here. SO delicious, y’all.

In other news MY FIRST 10K IS TOMORROW!

I am so nervous but I am just trying to think of it as just another long run. I don’t want to get caught up in going too fast too soon. That is what really scares me about this race. I have been running 5K’s constantly. I just need to remember to watch my pace and keep it at a good 10 min/mile. Also, it’s crazy that I am running this race after drastically changing my diet. I am a little worried about that too, but I am ready I am sure to rock this thing. Right?

Wish me luck!

Talk to y’all soon!

Found any good Paleo Recipes lately???

5 Things I Learned in 5 Days about the Paleo Diet

Good morning fellow simple-carb cutters and those striving to be a part of the club!

As you may know, I am on Day 6 of the Lurong Paleo Challenge. Day 5 was a little better than Day 4, but I did cheat. We went out to a bar that has ONLY BEER last night. It’s a really awesome place, if you are not me on this diet. So, I cheated and had a brewski with one of my favorite people in STL. Big whoop. I did manage to not eat and only salivate a little when some of my friends ordered pizza and brought it over from a nearby pizza place. Anyway, I just thought I would report on how I am doing. So, I have learned 5 things about going Paleo in the last 5 days. Here goes…

1. EXPECT TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY/TIME ON FOOD

Everyone jokes about the prices at Whole Foods, but they are that way for a reason. There is nothing like sinking my teeth into a steak that was most likely happily grazing in a pasture at some point of its life. This is my favorite thing about Paleo. Happy meat makes for a happy me! Fresh fruits and veggies are expensive no matter where you go. Paleo also takes a lot of time and meal planning. The fast food market is making tons of money off of the “American Dream” lifestyle because, lets face it, the majority of Americans are busy people. We don’t have time to spend 2 hours prepping and cooking a meal anymore. And as feminist as I can be, no one is at home doing this anymore. We’re all slaves to corporate America.

2. TWO WORDS: SUGAR DETOX

I am not even going to try to lie to you. This SUCKS. I have been grumpy, irritated, and headache ridden for the last 5 days. My workout was a joke on Thursday. I felt like a zombie pretty much all week. But wait! It gets better! (they say) Well, I let you know when that happens.

3. SOCIAL LIFE? HA!

So, I went to a birthday party last night for a friend like I mentioned. Paleo is really not that exciting when everyone around you is hammering down beers and eating pizza. So, I gave in and joined the fun by sipping a brew. I’m glad I did. Quality of life was starting to get low. Also, forget eating out at restaurants, unless they are willing to pretty much fashion a whole plate dedicated to what you want. (P.S. BYODresssing, most of the salad dressings in restaurants have sugar in them). Also, bring snacks EVERYWHERE you go to avoid temptation.

4. BREAKFAST IS THE EASIEST MEAL TO PLAN/MAKE AND FUN TOO!

This morning I took to the kitchen (Husband has been making all of the meals until this morning, my turn). I made sweet potato home fries, eggs over medium, bacon, and sliced up half an apple. It was SO GOOD. Eggs are a Paleo staple, I even have a few boiled and ready to eat for a quick snack. So, this makes breakfast easy and fun. Daniel made (basically) Huevos Rancheros with homemade salsa, heated up and reduced, then crack a couple eggs in the salsa, cook covered, and eat away! So delicious. Breakfast is fun and easy. Really learn to plan your lunches.

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5. BUT YOU CAN GATHER WHEAT…?

Trust me, you will be tortured with statements like “You can gather corn, peanuts, wheat… etc etc so you should be able to eat that…blah blah blah). Even I don’t really know the full on answer to these questions, besides the fact that wheat and sugar cause inflammation. Paleo is an anti-inflammatory diet, who really knows what cavemen ate? They could have fashioned the very first candy bar for all we know. I’m just following the rules, people.

So there they are y’all. 5 things I have learned about going Paleo. Here is hoping Day 6 is kind to me!

What have you learned about the Paleo Diet?

Do you allow a “cheat day” or “Cheat meal”?

So, I’m Doing This Paleo Thing…

…and it was not 100% my idea. Actually, I have been secretly opposed to this whole “Caveman” eating thing. I am pretty happy with my 80/20 lifestyle. I honestly don’t know the science behind Paleo. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about why this is some kind of miracle diet (whoops) I mean “Lifestyle Change.” The husband dragged me into it, as well of some of my fellow Crossfitters at my box. If you know me at all, my top two food groups are cheese and crackers. Well, guess what? There is none of that allowed in this lifestyle change. All I know is there is a nice list of things that I am able to eat (YAY BACON!) and a GIANT list of things I cannot eat/drink (boo pumpkin spice lattes and beer). Well, unfortunately, I am Team ALL THE FOOD GROUPS so this is not as fun and exciting as it sounds.

We signed up for the Lurong Paleo Challenge on Sunday. I weighed in and was measured up. We started the challenge on Monday, so I’ll give you a little recap of the last few days.

Day 1 (Monday): You’d think that this was going to be ok, right? Since it’s new and exciting and everything. Well, unfortunately I woke up shocked about how absolutely unprepared I was for this lifestyle change. Good morning! Here is your BLACK. COFFEE. happy Monday! Try, not-so-happy Monday (as if Mondays weren’t bad enough). I was a zombie all day. I couldn’t drink my coffee, I literally was moving at a snails pace trying to get my work done. Who knew the sugar detox would start at 6:30 am the day I started the lifestyle change? Pretty sure I was eating Tiramisu the day before. Anyways, I made it through somehow but didn’t have time to go to the store until Tuesday night.

Day 2 (Tuesday): Was slightly better. My only concern was still just my coffee. I had 1 cup with 1 teaspoon of Agave nectar. Husband and I ventured to the store but never made it to the one of only TWO Whole Foods in this city. How does St. Louis live life with only two Whole Foods Stores? I don’t know. I made it through Day 2 with only one second of a mental breakdown mainly because of the free pizza I had to skip out on at work.

Day 3 (Wednesday): Ooooooh Happy Day! I woke up feeling like a beast. I had almond milk and agave in my coffee. I was ready to take on the world…. until about 1:30 when I had an after lunch slump and an extremely bad sugar detox headache. I got home and stuffed my face with boiled eggs before finally heading out to Whole Foods. Husband made me a delicious grassfed steak for dinner (I just missed my potato). I felt like I was getting the hang of it.

Day 4 (Today): The morning was fine. I made a homemade Paleo coffee creamer that is pretty much on the same satisfactory level as the Almond milk. Then, we had a cake day at work. I did not eat the cake, but I did stare it down daydreaming of sinking my teeth into the soft, fluffy bread and sweet icing. I sat there and ate my salad while everyone around me ate whatever they wanted. I had made it through the smells of coworkers pasta dish left overs, chicken noodle soups, pizza, pretzel bun hot pockets, etc. etc. but that cake really did it for me. I got home and ate another boiled egg before Crossfit. Crossfit was a disaster tonight. I didn’t want to do anything. I felt weak and miserable and angry. I got through the first 5 reps of our WOD before literally crying. I just wanted to sleep, y’all. Crossfit was not fun. After today, I actually hated Crossfit. I do not hate Crossfit, but my body sure did. This is when I had my breakdown. I might have teared up a little. My poor Husband had to deal with my complaining and whining and hatred towards this “STUPID DIET!” *gasp*. I began to shove my face full of Almond butter and raspberries and felt a little better…but right now I am still a Bitter Betty. I don’t want to think about what I am eating all of the time. I don’t want to feel guilty for eating something that tastes good. I just want to live and live well. Life is too short to cut out carb’s, y’all.

They say it gets better after 10ish days. I’ll keep you updated on my journey… the weekend is coming and unfortunately I feel a cheat coming on. Birthday Parties and Jazz Fests will get the best of me.

Have you ever done a Paleo Challenge? Any type of Food Challenge?

How was your experience?

Kelly’s Kitchen: Yummy Chicken Stir Fry

My mom gave me this recipe and it is so yummy! This is like take out but better (in my opinion). This is delicious on a bed of rice, so I recommend making some minute rice or whatever kind tickles your fancy. I have a really handy Rice cooker so I get Husband to throw some rice in the cooker while I get started on the stir fry.  You can add more or less chicken and veggies. How you divide it out depends on the amount of servings. I would say the two chicken breasts serve about 3 big servings, 4 smaller servings.This will probably be my last post until Monday so, I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with family and/or friends!

What You Need:

  • 2 Whole Chicken breasts 
  • 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon cooking or dry sherry
  • 2 Teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 lbs medium mushrooms
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 3 zucchini or broccoli tops (I usually use zucchini)
  • olive oil

Get The Cooking Party Started!!!

Turn up your favorite song/radio station/pandora/spotify what ever gets you shaking and making! ***Look for a music suggestion at the bottom!

About 30 minutes before serving, start cooking the rice as label directs and keep warm

Meanwhile, cut each chicken breast lengthwise in half, then with knife held in slanting position almost parallel to cutting surface, cut across the width of each half into 1/8 inch this slices. (I just kinda cut them  into whatever size I like my chicken pieces to be).

In medium bowl mix Chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce, cooking sherry, ginger, sugar, garlic powder, and set aside.

Thinly slice mushrooms, onion, and zucchini (or cut broccoli tops).

In 12 inch skillet or Wok heat up 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat.

cook vegetables stirring quickly and frequently until tender. After they are tender move vegetables mixture into a bowl and set aside.

In same skillet over High Heat, add another 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil to skillet . Cook chicken mixture, stirring quickly and frequently until chicken in tender/done. Return Veggies to skillet with the chicken and heat through.

Serve with rice 🙂

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Finished! Yummy

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Enjoy!

***Today we feature Tom Petty “American Girl” because spring is on the way. This song gets me all hyped up for warm weather and silly headbobbing/dancing. Have fun!

Easy Chicken Parmesan!

Today is a lovely day to write. I woke up to snow on the ground at the end of MARCH which is a totally new thing for me. I don’t exactly know how I feel about it. It’s so pretty that it’s hard to hate it, but I would LOVE a bikini by the pool/a swim in the river. We have had an amazing weekend. We actually went to our first “official” Crossfit class yesterday and I am paying for it today. I have decided that a 2k row, 50 push ups, and 100 sit ups are TOUGH. It took me over 20 minutes to complete it. I felt like a sissy. All in good time, I suppose. That’s the beauty of the Crossfit community, they push and encourage and I am happy for that because I am going to need a lot of that. Afterwards we felt like we deserved to have some fun at Baconfest yesterday and it was actually a nice day to be out and about (I’m turning Midwestern… 50 degrees is NICE ??…lah). The sun was out and I didn’t have to wear gloves… that’s all that really mattered. Today we plan on making breakfast. I was going to make biscuits this morning when I realized we were out of Crisco… so, pancakes it is I guess. It’s going to snow all day so we planned a cozy day in with maybe some time out in the snow. Now, for the recipe. But first:

This is what it looks like out my window right now.

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I am usually excellent about taking pictures while cooking but I was multitasking with some other things and before I knew it, the meal was done! So, sorry for the lack of visuals but it is a pretty self explanatory recipe and it is SO DELICIOUS. I even said “mmm” to my own cooking which I think is a huge deal because I am my biggest critic. Husband got this recipe off of BigOven (an App for recipes) and I am so glad he did! If you haven’t checked out the App yet, you need to! They have some pretty awesome recipes.

THINGS YOU NEED:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts halved (I only make it with 2 Chicken Breasts and I didn’t halve them, I used the same measurements and it came out perfectly – with extra sauce for the side of spaghetti)
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (used however much I wanted but this is a good baseline same with the Parm cheese)
  • 1 tablespoon grate Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Get The Cooking Party Started!!!

If you have read my over recipe’s, you know what to do. Turn on your favorite Pandora station/playlist and get ready to shake it while you make it! ***As usual music suggestions at the bottom

With meat mallet or rolling pin flatten chicken breasts out to 1/4 inch. Recipe suggests putting chicken between two sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap so you don’t get chicken everywhere.

Melt butter in large skillet  on medium/high heat.

Put egg in one bowl and breadcrumbs in another, dredge chicken through beaten egg and then cover with breadcrumbs.

Cook chicken until browned on both sides.

Spoon spaghetti sauce over chicken and bring to a boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes (or until cheeses melt).

Pair with a lovely side salad or spaghetti! Or both! The end result is DELICIOUS.

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***For your listening/cooking pleasure today we have: Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me: to get you in Italian/swing mode. His voice is also heavenly.

Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels!

Need a quick appetizer for a get together with the girls or even a sports watching party for the guys? These little bites are awesome for those who like to grab and stuff (their face). I am a huge advocate for being able to grab and eat. I made these for a Book Club meeting last night and they didn’t last too long. They are much better right out of the oven, but everyone still really liked them!

I used the recipe from The Baker Upstairs blog, but of course I always like to put my own little spin on them. I added chopped/canned green chilies in the mix because I wanted them to taste a lot like the Jalapeno Popper Dip (that I also love to make, will post recipe soon).

You Will Need:

  • 1 (8 oz) Package of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of chopped Jalapeno’s (I couldn’t find the pre-chopped ones so I bought the halves and chopped them myself)
  • A couple tablespoons of chopped green chilies (You can find them in the mexican food aisle in a little can)
  • 1 tube of Pillsbury Crescents

Get The Cooking Party Started:

Turn on your favorite Pandora station and turn up volume so that neighbors can hear it. ***For music suggestions see bottom of post.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease pan and set aside.

Mix cream cheese, jalapenos, green chilies in a bowl.

Open Crescent package and split them in half so that you have two long strips of Crescent dough (there should be four Crescent “cut outs” on each long strip). Pinch together the pieces that are meant to come apart to make two long strips of dough (you can use a rolling pin to help).

Looks kinda like this 🙂

Spread the cream cheese/pepper mixture on both strips of dough.

Then, roll it up from the long side (rolling it up ‘hot-dog style’) making two long tubes.

Cut them about an inch each (making about 12-15 pieces) and place them face up on the pan.

Cook for about 11-13 minutes.

Try not to stuff your face with 3 or 4 before packing them up to go or setting them out for guests (I really failed at this instruction).

These are mine after coming out of the oven  🙂

Delicious!

Delicious!

There you have it! Delicious easy-to-make appetizers! Enjoy 🙂

***For all my Country Cookin’ mama’s who like to shake it for Luke Bryan while you cook… I suggest: