Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Mealballs" aka meatballs that are a meal on their own!

Ok, wow... these just kind of happened on the fly today!  So I love meatballs, but I wanted something a little more substantial and healthy so I decided to add a bunch of veggies and yumminess (that is not a word... oh well!)



Ingredients:
1 sweet potato peeled and diced
3 shallots
2tbs oil/fat
3 natural, nitrate free, honey garlic sausage
1tsp cayenne
1tsp cinnamon
3tbs maple syrup
1 egg
1 1/3 cups almond flour
3 strips bacon (diced into bits)
1 red pepper
1 cup button mushrooms
1/3 cup spinach
salt/pepper

Directions:
1. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
2. throw diced sweet potato into food processor and chop until into a fine dice, scoop out and put into bowl, set aside
3. do the same with the shallots
4. heat fat/oil in pan over medium heat
5. add shallots and sweet potato, cover and leave alone for 5 mins, then stir... you want to cook until the sweet potato gets soft (normally about 8 mins), keep covered when not stirring
6. In a stand mixer remove sausage from casing put into mixer, mix around to break up
7. add cooked sweet potato and shallots, mix around for about 2 mins
8. add salt and pepper (good amount)
9. add cinnamon, cayenne, maple syrup, and egg... mix again
10. throw peppers, spinach and mushrooms into food processor, chop up into a fine dice (set aside)
 11. cook cut up bacon in pan over medium heat, once about half way cooked add peppers spinach and mushrooms, cook for another 5mins or so, until soft.
12. add bacon and veggies to meat mixture
13. mix around and add almond flour (if it looks too liquidy add more almond flour, but it will be a little liquidy)
14.  form into balls and drop onto NON-STICK foil or pan


15. bake for 30 mins
16. EAT!






Pesto... need I say more??


Note: This is just the recipe for my pesto sauce!!! I will be posting what the heck I do with it tomorrow... Though I could easily eat this with a spoon!

Ingredients:
2/3 cup pine nuts
4 gloves of garlic (minced)
2 cups PACKED DOWN basil (lots and lots!! load it in there... heck, add extra.. but not too much!)
2/3 cup Olive Oil (wait, what?!?! isn't that bad for me? NO! STOP, JUST STOP)... healthy fats
parmesan cheese (freshly grated, no packaged CRAP)... I only add a little, about 1/3 cup - but you can add as much or as little as you like.
1tsp cayenne
good pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
1. in a non-stick pan toast pine nuts (medium heat... keep those puppies moving, DON'T BURN'EM!!)
2. once toasted, throw into food processor and GO NUTS!! You want them well chopped up.
3. add garlic to pine nuts and give it another whirl! Weeeeeeeeheeeeee
4. add basil, yes all of it! Whirly-time again! watch that food processor go.  (be sure to scrape down the sides (when the machine is off please) and chop for long enough to get a consistent look)
4. add olive oil and give a good whirl, about 3 mins
5. Add parmesan, salt, pepper and cayenne - whirl that food processor again... about 2 mins
6. scoop out!

** I normally use half and freeze half - so separate into 2 containers**

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and Bacon in Paleo Chipotle, Maple and Ginger BBQ sauce

So this is soooooo easy, and one of the ONLY ways I can get Corey to eat Brussels Sprouts! I disguise them in delicious sauce and bacon, muhahahaha! SCORE LAURA!!


Ingredients:
2 cups brussels sprouts
2 cups broccoli
2 shallots (minced- i used my food processor)
1tbs oil/fat
4 slices nitrate free bacon
1 tsp cayenne
salt/pepper to taste
2 tbs Paleo Chipotle Maple and Ginger BBQ sauce

Directions
1. EASY (preheat oven 350 degrees)- toss those sweet Brussels Sprouts into your handy dandy food processor, and chop'em up!! You want them well chopped into little delicious bits
2. Cut the tops of the Broccoli, and break up into bite sized pieces
3. heat oil/fat in a pan over medium heat
4. add shallots and sprouts, sautee until the shallots and sprouts start to cook down
5. Pour shallots and sprouts into a glass dish
6. cut up bacon into little bits (bacon bitty goodness)
7. cook bacon (duh!)
8. while bacon is cooking, add broccoli tops to the glass dish and mix around (the broccoli wants to join the sprout/shallot party!)
9. add cooked bacon (and some of the fat to the party... yes, I mean to the glass dish)
10. toss on some BBQ sauce!! mix around!!
11. add salt, pepper, cayenne, toss some more.
12. place in oven for 20mins, stirring every 5-8 mins.

ENJOY!!

Paleo Chipotle Maple and Ginger BBQ Sauce

Ok, so I'm going to get back into my food blogging.  I know I have been slacking on this lately, but seriously who has time for this?!?! Oh, wait... I do! Food blogging and sharing my recipes makes me excited to cook and create! I spent over 5hrs in the kitchen today and it made me SOOOOO HAPPY!!!

So here is the recipe!

Ingredients:
2x150g can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
4 or 5 shallots (GOOD SIZED, no itsy-bitsy ones!) - minced (i used my food processor)
5 cloves of garlic (yes, I'm helping you stay safe from vampires, YOU ARE WELCOME!) (minced)
1 tbs Dijon Mustard
2 tbs horse radish (don't tell Corey, he hates this stuff... I once made him eat a spoonfull of it, muhahaha)
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp grated ginger (I used a rasp)
1tbs Cayenne
2 heaping tbs ground dried chipotle (you can use fresh chipotle too, just zip around your food processor first!)
1 tbs cumin
1/4 cup maple syrup (get the good stuff, it's worth it, it's BBQ sauce!)
2 tbs of oil or fat (for cooking shallots and garlic) - I used olive oil and bacon fat
salt / pepper
coconut flour - little sprinkle, if needed

Directions:
 WING IT!!!!  Just kidding... here you go (I would totally wing it though... I never follow a recipe... except my own)

1. heat oil/fat over medium-low heat in a pot
2. add shallots and garlic
3. sauteed and cook down until shallots are clear-ish



4. add tomato paste, giv'er a good stir
5. add beef broth - stir yet again (fun, eh?)
6. add all other ingredients!!!

7. ADD SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

8. let simmer for at least 30 mins on LOW heat, do not cover.
9. wait for desired thickness... simmer longer or add a sprinkle of coconut flour to thicken it up.
10.  Throw that sauce in a fancy-smancy jar!!! And make a cool label (like mine)




Saturday, November 15, 2014

PiYo Review


Ok, so as many people are already aware I recently started to do the at-home workouts called "PiYo".

What is PiYo?
PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.  

What I got when I ordered it?
- 3 Blu-ray Discs (each with 3 or 4 different workouts on them)
- workout calendar (see below)
- nutrition guide
- measuring tape (for before and after)
- Beachbody coach (this is FREE!)

My thoughts on the program:
I'm pretty skeptical with these at-home workouts programs, as I either find the videos boring and/or the instructors super annoying (and I want to kick my TV screen).

The program starts out by getting you to know all of the basic movements, this includes a lot of yoga movements and poses, proper pushups and some really great core strengthening moves.  Each day you only have to commit to ONE workout per day (they vary in time from roughly 25mins - 50mins)... who doesn't have time for that?!?!?  

The best part of the videos was that it wasn't BORING at all.  I felt constantly challenged, and excited to keep going.

The first week was definitely challenging! I felt like my arms, shoulders, glutes, thighs and abs were going to explode!  After only 2 weeks I already see results!!  It's nuts!! I am a believer: PiYo works!

What can I say??

Let me start with the reasons why I really like the program:
1.  It is challenging for all fitness levels: you can really adapt this program to anyone.  And YOU decide how far you will push yourself.  You decide how deep you go in a squat or a lunge, you decide whether you will hold that plank, or do those extra tricep pushups... it is truly adaptable for anyone! And it definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

2.  The instructor (Chalene Johnson) is AMAZING!! She can guide you through an entire workout without you even looking up at the screen once! She explains everything clearly and easily, and she might be the coolest chick EVER (ok, I don't know her.. BUT I WANT TO!)

3.  Every workout is different.  Yes, there are some of the same movements (sun salutations etc), but each day is uniquely challenging.  I can see myself doing this every day for A LONG LONG TIME!

4.  The Calendar: it is easy to follow and keeps me motivated.  (I actually printed out some from online so I can take notes on each day's workout and how I felt).

5.  Through Beachbody you are assigned a coach for FREE!  I just so happens my friend Flo Barnes-Zurkinden is a Beachbody coach, so I get to work with her.  Through this I got into a great support group, where we share our daily workouts, nutrition and goals.  It's really great!

** I highly recommend this program to EVERYONE!!! ***

I will be posting another review in 2 weeks (I'm currently 2 weeks into the program).  
I already feel stronger!! 

Do you want to try PiYo? Click on the link below to go to my page:







Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Pain Barrier


It's not very often that I talk about the details of my training, I'm just quiet about the nitty gritty details.

But I wanted to post about today's run and about what I do when it truly starts to suck.

Today was a normal LONG trail run day.  We set out early, quickly got rolling.  Corey really pushed the pace today, and I just fought to keep up!  I kept looking down at my Garmin (which I rarely do) and kept seeing 4:20/km, 4:15/km, 4:10/km...WTF?!?!?  What was I doing... I had to remind myself a few times about what Timmy Olsen once said to me about running within myself.  Great words from a wise man!   I settled into my pace and just kept on rolling.

Today was a tough day for me, not because I wasn't running well.  But because the conditions sucked and I hit a BIG pain barrier.  Everything just started to get sore all at the same time, UGH!  But, for the first time I didn't let it shake me or stop me.  I just kept plugging away and ticking the kms off.  My pace never faltered... When it hurt (oh, it HURT!) I just kept telling myself "keep moving, this will pass"... so I'd keep moving, never stopping, and sure enough, "the suck" passed!   :)

  

During my run today I though a lot about someone who inspires me!!  Her name is Karin McMillan and she just completed a 10 day race!! (Yup, 10 freaking days!!)  Karin is so strong and so inspiring!  When things got tough today, I thought about Karin and what she just endured... made my little run seem like nothing.
Thanks for being AWESOME Karin!!

New Sponsor!! 7SYSTEMS endurance sports supplement!!

Ok, I'm super excited to announce my newest sponsor!!  7 Systems!!!

For years I have searched for the perfect vitamin supplement combination, and always felt somewhat lost.  7 Systems takes all the guess work out of it, and conveniently packages all the necessary supplements into ONE pouch.  :)

Visit the site to find out full details... but here are some of the ingredients that I LOVE:
L-Glutamine
Glucosamine
MSM
CoQ10
Ginseng

I love having a great company like this supporting me!!