Tag Archives: healthy

Fitness: Putting to Rest the Controversies & Confusion

I’ve been talking and thinking about this topic a lot lately and getting different perspectives on fitness through other fan page accounts, twitter, instagram and it’s pretty easy to see how different people view fitness. There are many definitions of fitness. The one in the dictionary is the ability to reproduce…but I don’t really think that’s what most people have in mind when they’re throwing 65 lb dumbbells up and down the gym, gulping down protein powder and tweeting about their massive pump (#fitness #health #swole).

You know how health is one of the most controversial topics today? Well, that’s because people have different views on what works and what doesn’t. That could be for many reasons. It could because our bodies are made differently and a certain way of eating for me may not work for my neighbor and vice versa. Some people can look at a weight and grow biceps. Others can look at a cake and gain 5 pounds. We all have to adjust our routines to figure out how our own bodies respond the best.

I’ve believed in every single kind of diet at least once in my life. High carb/low fat, no this, no that, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, 6 meals a day, 2 meals a day, and yes, I’ve even tried NO meals a day. I’ve made all the mistakes in the book. I used to over-train and underfeed. I used to kill my body slowly with massive amounts of cardio. I’ve switched around my diet so many times trying to figure out “what works best” for me and my head spins just thinking about it. All the controversies out there have a huge part in my dietary habits, I was constantly listening to what one person says I should and should not eat but then I would hear another very convincing claim that states just the opposite.

You should see my massive pile of nutrition and diet books.

But today I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One many people may want to argue with…but truthfully…if you want to know my opinion….I’ve come to believe that..

EVERYTHING WORKS.

Circuit training works. Crossfit works. 5 by 5 workout routines work. Eating 6 meals a day works. Eating 2 meals a day works. IF works. No IF works. Skipping breakfast works. Working out on an empty stomach works. Working out on a full stomach works. Yolks work. Chicken works. BCAAs work and pre-workouts work. Paleo works. Vegetarian works….(eh…kinda). Everything works as long as it’s enriching and healthy for your body.

Not healthy as in “I’m going to eat zero calorie foods all day cause that’s me being healthy.” But healthy as in….”This banana came from Mother Nature. Therefore I will stuff it in my face, enjoy every bite and then use it to fuel my workout.” Now we’re talking.

So I want to put to rest some of these questions about health and fitness. There will always be controversies. But it’s your job to not let it get to you. Do not fall into the trap of thinking only ONE thing works and everything outside of it is a fail. That’s limiting yourself too much and eventually you will grow tired. And confused.

I’m not saying you should turn away from listening to what people have to say. Quite the opposite actually. Learn what you can from smart people. Read nutrition books. Study the art. Figure out what benefits are coming from the food you are consuming and read about different training strategies. Knowledge is power. The part where things get tricky (for me) is implementing that knowledge into my own life without letting it control me. I’ve been switching my attention over from listening to what others say will work, to how my body responds to the things I do each day. I still absolutely love to hear about what coconut oil will do on an empty stomach or why it’s best to eat simple sugars post workout and all that fun good stuff. It’s exciting and enriching to learn more. But once you have the gift of knowledge, don’t abuse it. Have fun with testing out new things but take it a day at a time. If you hear a theory that goes against the same one you heard yesterday, it’s probably true. Everything is true in some way. it just depends on how you look at it, your goals and your own beautiful body.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (dairy and grain free)

Besides one minor 8 page paper, school is done and over with for the semester. So to celebrate, I made a batch of delicious paleo pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for my sweet 80 something year old poetry professor. I was in a bit of a hurry, so an instagram picture is the best I could do. I usually hesitate to post a recipe without at least halfway decent pictures, but I really wanted to share this one!
931423_589041617781561_538340145_nPumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten, grain and dairy free)
Ingredients:
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond butter or sunbutter (sunbutter for the win)
1/4 cup honey
1 T maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup chocolate chip (dairy free, gluten-free)
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Blend thoroughly, that baking powder can be clumpy! Prepare a muffin dish with muffin liners or spray with non-stick spray. Pour the batter in evenly…mine made about 9 muffins. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until they’re firm and golden brown.  (I honestly can’t tell you exactly how long I cooked mine for, because I kept wanting them to be a little more crispier but it’s probably ended up more towards 45 minutes than 40. Definitely try 40 first, everybody’s oven’s is a little different I think:))

These came out super moist, light and fluffy. Even though it’s May, I will never get tired of smelling pumpkin in my apartment. I just wanted to light the pumpkin candle I STILL have sitting by my couch and drink some warm archer farms pumpkin flavored coffee. Is it Fall yet?!

Baked Pizza Meatballs

pizzameatballs

It’s a Saturday afternoon “rest” day. So of course, I’ve done a lot of cooking, cleaning and watching Friends. I’m also going to indulge in a mini I’m-so-over-college rant. I really can’t neglect school this next week as much as I did last week.  I missed more than half of my classes simply because I don’t care. This upcoming week is my last week of school.  All in all, I’ve had a good semester but it flew by crazy fast. A lot has happened that I’m grateful for and I’ve overcome a few struggles of my own. Regardless, it would be a great semester to finish off my college career.

But nope…..of course the educational gods (AKA the school dean and administrators) wanted to grant me with one more lingering school session, out of the kindness of their rotten hearts. Thanks. On a positive note, that will just give me more time to search for my first job. I have a good idea of where I’m going to go, but I’m not releasing any deets quite yet.

Enough whining. Let’s talk about how delicious my kitchen smells right now. It’s a mixture of grassfed longhorn (yes, grassfed is a smell), pepperoni, parsley and onion. Maybe, a little bit of bacon fat hidden somewhere too.
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Ingredients:
1 pound lean beef (bison, longhorn, grass-fed)
1 oz nitrate-free pepperoni, chopped
1 egg
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 T chopped Italian Parsley
1 T Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic
3 T marinara sauce (I use this one)
1 T coconut oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Set the oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil, on a skillet set to medium-high heat, until onions are translucent. Once done, put them in a bowl with the beef, pepperoni, egg, parsley, Mrs. Dash and 2 T of the marinara sauce. Mix well with your hands and then form into little balls. Place them on a baking dish with either parchment paper or greased with grassfed butter/coconut oil and then top each meatball with a little bit of what’s left of the marinara sauce. Put the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes. Pair with spaghetti squash, spiraled zucchini, or a big side of veggies!
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Mmmm don’t you wanna touch all of dat.

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Pepperoni is my weakness.2013-04-27 01.32.05

Not a big pizza person. But meatballs….2013-04-27 01.39.29I just can’t get enough.

I’m pretty pleased with how this recipe came out, so please give it a go and let me know how you like em! Have a great weekend!

Fiesta Lime Chicken & Cucumber Noodles

chicken&cucumberIf you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram and Facebook page, you know I’m trying some new methods and tactics to achieving my fitness goals. Basically, you’ll be seeing more low-carb paleo recipes from now on and soon enough I’ll write a post about my current routine and how it’s been working for me. No information on that quite yet but I’m really REALLY excited about it. I also have some amazing things in the works that are taking the front seat of my life right now, with graduation around the corner. My future is coming together exactly the way I’ve always wished it would and I’m counting my blessing and hoping to continue trekkin down this fresh path:)

Speaking of fresh. Cucumber and lime, anyone?

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Fiesta Lime Chicken and Cucumber Noodles

Ingredients:
4-6 oz chicken strips/chunks
1 cucumber
2 T lime juice
1 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning

Directions: In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook your chicken however you like. If you know me, you know I bulk prep chicken for the whole week so I already had mine prepared. Still, i threw about 5 oz chicken in a skillet with my lime juice, braggs and seasonings. While it was warming up, I whipped out my spiral vegetable slicer and started to “spiralize” my washed cucumber. I left the skin on for additional nutrients. If you don’t have a spiral veggie slicer, you can use a mandolin or vegetable peeler. But I highly suggest you get one! After I sliced open my finger, threw an unnecessary fit and constructed a homemade band-aid, I spiralized my beautiful cucumber, tossed it in a bowl with an additional dash of paprika and threw in the chicken. It’s a great paleo, spring-time dish and you can fully enjoy knowing it’s low carb. Enjoy! 2013-04-10 01.22.10 2013-04-10 01.21.22

Oh and can’t forget to share what I had for dinner. Homemade taco salad! 5 oz longhorn (grassfed beef), 1 tomato, 1/2 avocado, shredded lettuce, sauteed onion, 2 T salsa and paprika.

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Curry Burgers

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Buying 8 pounds of longhorn was a marvelous idea. Now, when I’m feelin like some lean red meat, all I do is mix them with different spices and make major muscle-building burgers. And they taste pretty fantastic. I found an Indian-inspired seasoning in Practical Paleo and then mixed in my own ingredients to make these burgers. Hope you give it a go!

Curry Burgers (makes 4 patties)

Ingredients:
1 pound lean beef
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 T curry
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T cinnamon
Dash of sea salt and pepper

Directions:
Mix it all in a bowl and cook on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side. I like mine a little pink in the middle but if you want it cooked through more, feel free to leave it on the stove a bit longer. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!

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Note to self- time to step up my photography game. Need some new plates and place mats:)

Moroccan Burgers

moroccanburgers

Oh these were so yummy! This is one of Sarah Fragoso’s recipes and you can find it here or scroll down below:) I paired mine with fresh tomatoes, a sweet potato and sauteed onions and mushrooms.

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But really- paleo creations are the best.

Moroccan Burgers

Ingredients:
1 lbs longhorn or ground beef
1 T finely chopped cilantro
1 T finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Form into burgers and pan fry for 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat for a medium burger or longer if you want it cooked through more. This make 4 patties!

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Enjoy!

Community Crossfit & Longhorn Rainbow Hash

Fooled ya- the title is NOT referring to my school’s mascot. The opposite actually. I’m eating my mascot and enjoying every second of it. This past weekend  Jarrod, creator of WhitFit Personal Training, and me went to take a mini road trip to buy 20 pounds of grass-fed longhorn. I had never had this kind of lean beef before so I was ready to take a break from chicken and give it a go.

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Boom. Poor little farmer basically had nothing left. Also- before we went on this little adventure, we had our very first crossfit community workout! Yup, I finally tried it out. And it was pretty dang fun. I haven’t been doing cardio for uhhhh like 2 months now and of course the WOD was based on conditioning and lots of high intensity exercises. I was hoping to swing around a few weights but it was different and I really enjoyed being able to try something new for a change.

CrossFitCentralBurnetOf course I’m wearing pink. Dang it, I gotta stop that.

Anyways, it was super fun and afterwards we fueled up on some Whole Foods and then went for our longhorn road trip.

Today is a rest day for me so I decided to make a new recipe. And yes, it’s paleo just like everything else.

Beef Rainbow Hash

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Ingredients

4 oz lean beef or longhorn
2 cups kale
1 large shredded carrot
1 cup shredded red cabbage
Chopped yellow onion (however much you like)
Garlic & additional garlic powder
Mushrooms
Basalmic Vinegar
Coconut oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions

Please bear with me on this. I kind of just threw in amounts that sounded good to me and I’m going to try to make this as structured as I can! Yesterday I made 4 beef patties, each 4 oz each, by simply molding them into burger shapes and cooking them on the skillet. You could also just take 4 oz beef and brown it in the skillet to your liking. Set the beef aside and saute the kale, onions, garlic and mushrooms in a skillet with coconut oil and a little bit of water. Shred your cabbage and carrots and throw them in with the kale once it’s bright green. I added a bit more water, as well as a few swigs of balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and pepper. I think the vinegar really gives it a kick! Once everything is cooked to your liking, put the rainbow hash on a plate and top with your warm and delicious beef patty:) It’s really simple, but it’s no doubt one of the best and most beautiful dishes I’ve made. Enjoy!

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*This makes one serving*