CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist. The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen. Thousands of athletes worldwide have followed our workouts posted daily on this site and distinguished themselves in combat, the streets, the ring, stadiums, gyms and homes.

Nutrition Blog


This dinner is so delicious!!!  I love steak.  If you love steak you will enjoy this quick recipe that can work away in the crockpot while you go about your daily business.  


This Spinach Stuffed Braciole recipe uses round tip steaks which are fairly lean and inexpensive so they are a great addition to your diet.  I found the recipe on Fast Paleo which is one of my favorite recipe resources.  Try this out and let me know what you think!  I used Classico Basil jarred sauce which is pretty clean if you don't have the time, or don't want, to make your own sauce.

 Yep.  It's what's for dinner!  We added a simply dressed salad and some roasted mushrooms.  Lefties were awesome too.

You guys know that you have two wods to complete this week.  Ideally you will complete your wods during an OPEN GYM hour so your coach is free to validate your movements and scores. A coach must count your reps for you just like in LuRong or The Open so please text or call your coach to give them a heads up. This is not so hard and fast with the 5k for obvious reasons.  Yes, there's a 5k :D

Here's the deal with the two wods -

WOD #1
Run a 5k (this is six laps around the block plus a run down to the stop sign and back)

WOD #2
9 min AMRAP for reps
3 pull ups
3 clean & jerks
6 pull ups
3 clean & jerks + 10#
9 pull ups
3 clean & jerks + 10#
12 pull ups
3 clean & jerks + 10#

The MINIMUM start weight for this clean and jerk ladder is 95/65.  If you absolutely cannot start at 95/65 you will start at 65/45.  You can choose to go heavier if you wish.  Two of our athletes started with heavier bars today (yay, Lisa and Charlie!) You will increase your weight EACH set by 10 pounds.  Your score is total reps completed in 9 minutes.

Good luck and have fun with this.  We are all very excited to see some serious results in your wods and beyond!

Clean Eating Challenge 2/17/14 - 3/31/14

Here's what you do to enter -
-Contact any of our coaches to schedule getting measurements taken (inches, weight, body fat%)
-Submit a 'before' photo via e-mail to  Girls should be in their sports bras and bottoms, men in bottoms only.  Please take front, side, and back views.
-Once you've paid you will have two WODs to complete within the first week of the challenge.  These can be done during normal class times.

Here's how you win -
-Schedule your measurements with the same person who did them the first time.
-Submit your 'after' photo (it's helpful if you wear the exact same clothes.)
-Most Improved Female and Male will take the loot in their respective pots.  Improvement measured by body fat%, weight, and performance in your WODs.  For example, two athletes both have a starting weight of 160 pounds.  Athlete 1 goes from 13% body fat to 11% body fat, looks markedly better in their photos, but loses zero pounds.  Athlete 2 goes from 160 pounds to 153 pounds, loses 0% body fat, and looks pretty much the same in their photos.  In this case, Athlete 1 takes the loot.  It's not a perfect science, but you understand this is our scoring system when you sign up for the challenge.

Here's how we will help -
-We're hosting a Zone/Paleo Nutrition Seminar at the box on Thursday, February 13th at 7:30 pm.  This will include basic overview, tips, tricks, recipes, and resources helpful for both styles of nutrition.
-Recipes and ideas for cleaning up your nutrition on the Nutrition Blog and on FaceBook.
-Push you guys at the gym...hard :D
-Communicate and let us know about your struggles and frustrations and we will work with you through those things!



Breakfast Lately



I know most of you already realize this, but I'm kind of weird.  Part of that weirdness is that fact that I can eat absolutely anything for breakfast.  I have no rules here, apart from don't put junk in your body (and sometimes I break that one too!)  The great thing about having no strict breakfast items is that your options are wide open.  This is freeing and can help break the whole 'I can't even LOOK at another egg' monotony.  Tedious repetition and routine can be calming, but it can also drive a person to a poor food choice if that is an option for them.  My motto for life (and this includes eating) is keep it interesting!  Here's what I ate this week in the spirit of my motto:

  • Eggs Benedict Salad.  I call it this because I like to feel fancy sometimes, when in reality all I do is take a few handfuls of organic spring greens, toss with 1 1/2 T. olive oil, 1 T. dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  I place two eggs over easy on top, and then sprinkle with chopped-up Canadian bacon.  Runny eggs RULE!
  • Sausage, Pepper and Cabbage Saute.  See how quickly I run out of fancy?  For this meal I heat my trusty cast iron skillet over medium, add in my spicy pork sausage and brown nicely all over.  Remove that from the pan while retaining the flavorful drippings in the pan for step two.  Return pan to medium heat and add in 1/4 of a purple cabbage, sliced and 1 whole bell pepper, sliced (I used a bunch of the mini ones because I had those on hand.)  Saute until nice and soft with a little bit of brown on your peppers.  Add your sausage back in and warm through.  
  • Bacon Scented Scrambled Eggs.  Ok, not really but that's what restaurants do to make you feel like you should pay $17 for this kind of food.  Slice up three pieces of bacon lardon-style.  Saute the bacon over medium heat until nice and crispy.  Not crunchy.  Crack three eggs into a medium bowl and whisk with a fork immediately before placing in your pan with the bacon.  Don't whip so much that you have no big air bubbles left.  We like fluffy eggs and that's partially how we get there.  Stir and turn your eggs in your pan with a spatula.  When your eggs are still wet looking but more solid than liquid, remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and give one final stir.  Please do not make brown eggs.  This is the only brown food that doesn't taste good.
  • Thai Chicken Coconut Soup.  One of my favorite quick meals and one that is always slurped to the last drop at our house.  Using a large saucepan, heat 2T. coconut oil over medium heat.  When the oil is warm and shimmering, add two chopped carrots and two chopped celery stalks.  You can also add 1/2 a chopped onion, if you so desire.  Saute until softened, then add 1 sliced red bell pepper.  Saute some more.  Your carrots should just be a bit brown and your pepper will be soft.  Add a T or 2 of curry paste.  I use the red Mae Ploy option the majority of the time, but you can change this up depending on preference.  Saute for 1 minute, then add one can of chicken stock and one can of coconut milk.  You could also use some delicious bone broth (about 1 2/3 cup) instead of stuff from the can.  Increase heat to high until mixture just begins to boil.  While your broth is heating, take two chicken breasts and slice thinly against the grain.  You want these sliced to be bite-sized and even in thickness so they cook at the same rate.  When your broth begins to boil, add your protein and cook on medium high for an additional five minutes, or until cooked through.  Don't play with salmonella.  You could jazz this number up by adding some bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, or baby bok choy.  Be creative and cater to your own tastes.  I serve topped with a few cilantro leaves, and sometimes a squeeze of Sriracha if I'm feeling sassy.

I hope these suggestions inspire you guys to try something new and keep that first affair for your taste buds a delightful one.

Banana Spice Bread

I have a confession to make.  More like two confessions:  the first is that I may have already told you this, and the second is that I don't really care much for Paleo baked goodies.  I know!!!!  Rather than choking down some egg-laden, almond flour, honey-laced concoction in the name of a 'doughnut' I would rather just eat the real thing.  Like a Spud Nut Maple bar, but who's really keeping track? 

Then things changed a bit when I bought 'Primal Cravings' by Megan McCullough Keatly and Brandon Keatly.  They have a magical baking flour mixture using coconut flour and tapioca flour, both of which you can find at WinCo in the bulk section at very reasonable prices.  I'm not sure the sourcing or processing methods, but when you want some real food options that taste good I think this is the way to go.  My kids can normally spot a baked Paleo imposter from a good three feet away.  It's bad.  So the fact that they've been snarfing this up for snacks made me even more convinced that I needed to share this.  Makes a good pre-wod snack with a small amount of protein to go along with.  Enjoy!

Banana Spice Bread (inspired by Maple Banana Spice Cake in Primal Cravings)

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. raw honey
1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. powdered ginger
1/2 t. cloves
1/4 t. cardamom

Preheat oven to 325.  Grease your loaf pan (1.5 qt) with butter or oil of choice.

In a large bowl, whisk together butter, maple syrup, and honey.  Add your mashed bananas and eggs and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Pour your batter into the loaf pan.

Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is cooked through, about 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven.  Once you test the middle of the cake and your tester comes out with some crumbs attached, remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack.  Let cool for a few minutes before removing the cake from the pan. 

Mo Pho, Fo' Sho

That's how you will feel after you make this recipe!!!  I am such a non-trendsetter that it's kind of sad, and I'm so irritated that I waited this long to try my first bowl of Pho. After trying this in a restaurant I knew I wanted to create my own version, but I heard horror stories about how long it would take.  And let's be clear that this isn't a very traditional method, but I had to draw the line at calling it Chicken Faux. I love this dish and I'm so excited for you guys to try it at home.  Our kids freaked over it.  Our son, who is known around the world for his terrible dinner habits, declared it the 'best dinner EVER!'  I will say that there is some definite planning ahead involved, but that's due largely to the delicious bone broth that you use as your base.  What is this bone broth that I speak of?  I started making my stock this way after my bff tipped me off about a life-changing way to make stock that takes 24 hours in a crockpot.  I don't know about you guys, but I'm dying after smelling something simmer in there for six hours, so you bet this whole 24 hour thing had me freaking out.  It is WORTH the wait.  Promise me you will try it at least once, ok? 

And while we're on the topic of bone broth, here is a great post on 'Why Bone Broth is The Bomb' from Underground Wellness.  I think you may be surprised by a few things here like I was. There is also a good post on Mark's Daily Apple singing the praises of bone broth.  I'm not an expert on nutrition, only on good tasting food.  This recipe was based on three other recipes I came across on the web from CrossFit Federal Way,  Food and Wine, and The Splendid Table.

Chicken Pho 


Chicken Bone Broth

1 (4-5 lb) whole chicken, rinsed clean and goodies removed from the cavity.  Pat dry

Mix together:
1 T salt
2 t. Chinese five spice powder
1 t. onion powder

For later –
2 carrots, chopped into thirds

For much later –
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into ½-inch chunks and smashed!
1/8 t. anise seeds
2 t. whole peppercorns

1.       Take this spice blend and give your happy little chicken a massage.  Rub this all over the skin, get in there and don’t leave any nook naked.  Don’t be shy.

2.       Place the chicken in your crockpot and cover with water until you reach ½ way up the bird.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Check your bird at 4-ish hours and see if the leg will twist away easily.  Avoid a dry chicken at all costs!!!  Once your bird is cooked, remove it from your crockpot (please note I did not say drain anything!!  Leave all the tasty juice in the crockpot) and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Once that happens, remove the chicken meat in nice big chunks.  This is not a real technical process, just try and keep it as whole as possible.  No shredding allowed at this point!  Take all your meat and stow away in the fridge.  Place EVERYTHING else back in the crockpot – bones, skin, fat, and any lil’ meat scraps hanging on.  You add your carrot chunks at this point, too (Thank you, Nanie!)  Cook this on low for 12 hours.  Keep your eye on the stock, stir it occasionally and add water as needed.  You want to have enough stock here to make some delicious soup.  I usually add about 1-2 cups water during the process.  Yes, you are allowed to sleep at some point in time.

3.      Before the 12 hour mark approaches, you need to toast your onion, ginger, and spices.  Use a baking sheet, or do like I did and create a nice little foil pan and fold the edges up to keep all the goodies in.  Add your sliced onion, smashed ginger, and spices.  Broil until the onions and ginger begin to get some black spots on them.

4.      At the 12 hour mark, add your deliciously charred ingredients.  Make sure you get all your little seeds and peppercorns in there.

5.      After 24 hours (!!!) strain your stock.  The color and flavor of this will actually make you freak a little bit.  You can go ahead and put this right into your soup pot if you are ready to fire on your meal, or you can cover it and keep it in the fridge for later.  Don’t keep it in there more than a few days.  It will look very gelatinous if you let it sit in the fridge.  That is how it should be.  Remember, we’re chasing collagen here!

Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup, Vietnamese style)

You will need –
Your chicken meat, shredded or sliced depending on your preference
Your bone broth
1 package sweet potato noodles (adjust this based on how noodl-y you want your Pho)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1-2 T. fish sauce

Optional (um, no) toppings –
1 cup Thai basil leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 ½ cup bean sprouts
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
1 lime, cut into eighths

1.       Place your bone broth in a medium-large saucepan.  Bring it to a simmer over medium heat.  Once the broth begins to simmer, add your chicken, scallions, and fish sauce.  Word to the wise, do not smell the fish sauce.  Just don’t. 
2.      While the broth is coming to a simmer, prep your non-optional ingredients.  Have the kids (or spouse) help you and it will go quickly. Place all your toppings on a serving dish to have at the table and set aside.
3.    Fill your kettle up and boil some water.  While your water boils, add your glass noodles to a heat safe bowl.  Pour the boiling water over your noodles and cover them completely with water.  Let them sit in the water for 5 minutes, then place them in a colander and run under cold water until cool to the touch.  Place noodles in your bowls and set aside any leftovers.
4.    Taste your broth for seasoning.  Don’t be too excited and burn your tongue.  No way am I speaking from experience.  Add a little more salt if needed.  Once you are happy with the seasoning, pour your soup over your noodles.  Let the bowls sit for a few minutes so no one else burns their mouths.
5.    It’s time for a mouth party!  From what little research I did, it seems that the toppings are intended to be sprinkled in small amounts all throughout dinner.  Tear your leaves up as you place them in your bowl, and enjoy the aroma as well as the flavor.  Add more toppings as you go.

NOT the problem child


Thanksgiving Links

I'm so excited that the holidays are just around the corner.  My favorite activities smashed all together for the next few months!  There are a ton of posts with ideas for Paleo Thanksgivings out there, so I decided to just link a few here for you guys since we don't do a Paleo Thanksgiving in these parts.  Neither one of our families eat this way, and we definitely don't insist that they cater to us.  Lucky for me, I despise Pumpkin Pie so that makes the dessert/sugar issue a bit easier. Whatever you choose to eat, you may find something delicious here to share with your families or to keep your gut from going all wonky from foods it isn't used to eating.


Spatchcocked Turkey from Nom Nom Paleo (I am definitely trying this one someday!)

Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce from Nom Nom Paleo

Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw from Nom Nom Paleo (she has a whole series you should check out)

11 Paleo Thanksgiving Sides from Terri Ingraham

World's Best Paleo Gravy from Brittany Angell

And for those leftovers, these Leftovers 'Sandwiches'  from Stupid Easy Paleo look kind of insane. In that delicious way.

That One Time, When My Range Went TU

Yep.  It happened this week.  I found out today it's actually a problem with the outlet, but oh well.  I was stuck without my stove/oven for a week.  This might be less offensive if I didn't need to boil water for my Americano every morning, or if we owned a microwave.  Hmph.  It was not pretty around here for a few days.  I was a bit concerned we would be forced to go full Paleo and dig a hole out in the yard for our Kahlua Pig.  Phew.  Barely avoided that whole situation.  

Here's a tasty meal I made in our slow cooker that we all enjoyed.  Easy and quick to throw together (thanks to Kim's electric skillet she loaned me.  God Bless you, Kim!).  I tried taking a picture of this dinner and it looked weird.  Sorry.


1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1" chunks
3 lbs boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
salt and pepper
2 T coconut oil
1 onion, chopped medium
6 garlic cloves, minced
 1 cup white wine, beer or water with 2T lemon juice
2 T tomato paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (use the kind with chiles if you enjoy it spicy)
1 lb kielbasa sausage, cut into 1" chunks
2 3/4 c. chicken stock
1 t. dried thyme
2 bay leaves

1.  Add your butternut squash to the bottom of your slow cooker.  Season the ribs with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Brown your ribs on both sides, preferably in two batches so you don't crowd your pan and steam in place of searing.  Add your browned ribs to the slow cooker.  

2.  Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil (you used 4 t. to brown meat in batches) to the empty skillet and heat over medium until shimmering.  Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.  Stir in the wine, beer, or water with lemon juice and the tomato paste, scraping up any browned bits.  Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes, then pour into the slow cooker.

3.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, the kielbasa, stock, thyme, and bay leaves to the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or 4 to 5 hours on high, just until the pork is nice and tender.  Before serving, discard the bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Good Eats...Lately


Sometimes, I just get tired of eating eggs.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that we go through an average of 84 eggs per week, but who's really counting?  We eat them fried, scrambled, soft-boiled on salads and for a snack, and in our homemade mayo (that stuff is so good!)   I stumbled across a new recipe from Food Renegade for Chorizo and I knew it had to try it.  I followed this recipe to the letter (with a mix of beef and pork.)  After I decided to make chorizo,  I knew I had to show some respect and serve it in gravy and lay it on a bed of biscuit. 


 No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you!  That is a beautiful, tasty PALEO BISCUIT!!!  This is a great breakfast or dinner option to shake up your weekly menu.

Doug takes all my leftovers.  I lovingly send my leftovers with the hubs to work every day, so when it comes to my lunch I have to get creative, and you know I'm going to say this one, I have to PLAN AHEAD.  I know, you guys are so tired of hearing that one! I just can't stress enough how much good nutrition hinges on preparation.  My preparation for lunch lately is keeping my dressing supply stocked.  I love homemade dressing for a few reasons - you can tailor it to your own personal liking, you can season it properly (use the salt!), you can experiment with all sorts of combinations, and you know exactly what is in there!  Why is that so liberating?  Mostly because I like to be the boss of me.  My newest favorite is Creamy Italian Dressing from Well Fed.  She has four other variations of this dressing (Southwest Cumin-Lime!!!) but you'll have to buy her cookbook for access to those!

I made two dinners this week that are definitely new favorites - Buffalo Chicken Burgers and Chicken and Vegetable Soup. For the burgers I used 1/2 the amount of cheese.  We allow ourselves a bit of cheese in our house.  I served them up with roasted potatoes (mix of sweet and yukons).   I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the method for this chicken stock (aka bone broth) is life-changing.  The flavor will mess with your head, it's that good.  I learned long ago that brown food tastes good, and this is no exception! You can add a bit of water if your broth gets too low.  Just try and do that towards the beginning or middle of the process so it has time to develop all those wonderful layers of flavor.

Chicken Curry

With the cooler days of October rolling in, I always start craving stews, soups, chowders, and curries.  Soul-warming food that pairs well with our beautiful and chilly weather.  I've told you guys before that I love the Asian Market for supplies like coconut milk and curry pastes.  I buy the Mae Ploy brand (in red and yellow.)  They also have green, Panang, and Massaman none of which I've ever tried.  For no particular reason.  Here is the list of ingredients for the red variety:

     Dried red chile, Garlic, Lemongrass, Salt, Shallot, Galangal, Shrimp paste (shrimp, salt), Kaffir lime
     peel, Pepper

Thankfully there is no sugar in there or any other strange ingredients that make me have condiment rage.  The directions on the tub will have you add sugar, but you just ignore that little remark, m'kay?  In our house this lasts about 15 minutes.  We sit down to the table, we inhale, and then I lament about failing to make a double batch.  Don't lament, just make a double batch and have some for breakfast the next day.  We eat our curry over cauliflower 'rice' with chopped cilantro and a lime wedge.  Squeeze the lime, you won't regret it.  There is also a really tasty coconut rice you could serve this with over at PaleOMG. I make our curries a bit less spicy, so feel free to add more curry paste if your family swings that way.  We have one child who loves spice (guzzled hot sauce during my pregnancy with this one) and one child who needs a gallon of milk to get through his serving (ate Apple Cinnamon Cheerios during this pregnancy).  Go figure. We've also discussed making your own pastes (remember vindaloo?)  Whichever paste you choose to use, here is a good recipe to try.  Cooking your meat this way keeps it tender and delicious.  Enjoy!

3 T. curry paste ( I use 2ish)
1 T. coconut oil
1 1/2 c. coconut milk, divided (NOT LIGHT!)
1/2 c. water
3/4 lb chicken, beef, or shrimp cut into bite-sized chunks
1/4 lb vegetables of your liking (onion, celery, red pepper, zucchini, and carrots in the pic above)

With a large saute pan over medium heat, add your curry paste and coconut oil and saute for two minutes.  Add in one cup of your coconut milk and stir to combine.  Add your meat and simmer for three minutes, increasing heat to medium-high.  Add another 1/2 cup coconut milk and your 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil.  When mixture begins boiling, add your vegetables and stir well.  Cook until the vegetables soften. 


A Quick Treat

So, I'm into day 3 (is that really ALL???) of my 21-day Sugar Detox.  Let me tell you folks, all is not well.  Maybe that's why I wanted to post my recipe for a quick and easy frosty treat for that time of night when all your tasks are done. You fin your favorite spot on the couch and you realize you need some chocolate.  Just a little bit.  So, before you go any further get some super-ripe bananas and put them in the freezer.  This recipe has been floating around the web for a long time, and I honestly don't know who came up with it, but this is my spin on it.

She's frosty...she's just my type..

Chocolate Almond Frostiness
1 frozen banana, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 tsp cocoa powder (no, not hot cocoa mix)
pinch of sea salt
drop of almond extract (or vanilla)
1-2 T coconut milk

**Optional add-ins:
     nut or seed butter
     chopped frozen strawberries, cherries
     raw honey
     caramelize your bananas in some coconut oil before freezing..gah...

Take your frozen banana and add it to your food processor.  Blitz until you reach the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.  Remove the lid and add in the cocoa powder, sea salt, and almond extract.  Blitz again until ingredients are incorporated.  Remove the small lid and with the processor running, add in your coconut milk one tablespoon at a time.  Depending on the size of your banana and texture preference, you may not need more or you may need less coconut milk.  At this point I scoop mine into a bowl and savor every bite.  Or at least I used to back when I ate ripe bananas.  Wah wah wah.  


It's Always About The Sauce

One of the {more} challenging parts of eating clean or Paleo is the trickery with condiments.  Whatever do I mean sweet athlete?  I'm talking about the hidden soy, sugar, MSG, and wheat flour (!!!) in your beloved food jewelery known as SAUCE.   Even if you are a diligent reader of all labels, it's possible you may miss some of those nearly hidden ingredients.  Rather than spending your time googling odd ingredients in your bottled goodness, try and make some at home. There are a ton of recipes out there for Paleo condiments.  I made some mayo for the first time in my life this week and I'm very pleased with the results.

 The recipe I used is from The Clothes Make The Girl, one of my favorite Paleo blogs out there.  Melissa explains the process very thoroughly and there is even a video explaining the process (which I did not watch.)  Here are a few more recipes you may want to try if you are really missing your sauce(s) -

*Paleo Sriracha Try mixing this with some of your Paleo Mayo, juice of 1/2 a lime, and 1 raw garlic clove all minced to pieces.  Yup, it IS so good.
*Paleo BBQ Sauce
*Paleo Adobo Sauce (the main reason you buy chipotle peppers)
*Paleo Ranch Dressing
*Paleo Ketchup (Catsup?)

That should be a good place to start.  Use your prep hours and do some experimenting in the kitchen.  I bet you will happy with your result and feel kinda cool for doing something from scratch!  Keep eating clean and training less clean :D

28 Days of Dinners 

Hey athletes!  It's been great this last week hearing your excitement about the LuRong Living Paleo Challenge and I know people are working hard to change their eating habits.  That's why I put together a list of 28 dinners you can make this month to keep your taste buds engaged and your waste lines (hopefully) shrinking.  I put together four weeks of dinners and I kept them balanced between simple, complex, crockpot, oven, grilling, and one meal is week is an adventure meal...stepping out of your comfort zones a bit.  You have to remember that probably 95% of your success with a challenge comes with preparation done ahead of time.  Prepared snacks, sides, and emergency protein are key to making great choices during this adjustment period.  This is also helpful for people who are very busy (uh, all of us) and people who don't really enjoy cooking.  I hope you find this list helpful and enjoy taking some culinary risks along the way!


This can take about 2 hours on a weekend day or night when you just put your head down and do some chopping, cooking, and pre-packing.  Do not underestimate the value of this dedication!!

*Boil at least 12 eggs. Get crazy and boil 2 dozen, make jalapeno deviled with half of those.
*Roast a spaghetti squash
*Roast a mixture of bell peppers and mushrooms in one pan, sweet potatoes and cauliflower in another pan.  You can also try a mix of parsnips and carrots.  Play with your food.  Season well.
*Make some lara balls.
*Make Chorizo or Breakfast sausage.
*Make your own salsa!  It tastes so good.  And you can eat it on anything.
*Roast a few whole sweet potatoes.  Prick all over with a fork and wrap in foil.  375 until soft.
*Make a big batch of mashed cauliflower .
*Make coconut tortillas for enchiladas that week you will use them.
*Slice up bell peppers, celery, and carrots for quick snacks.
*Make some kind of emergency protein.  You can do a quick saute of ground beef or turkey with some garlic powder, salt and pepper or do a rotisserie style chicken in your crockpot.  Or throw some chicken breasts in your crockpot with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of cinnamon.  Cook on low for 5 hours then shred in the juices.  Whichever EP you choose, eat it throughout the week for snacks or pre/post wod recovery.  Remember, you should eat protein and fat prior to a wod, and protein and carbs after a wod.


1.  Sweet and Savory Crepes
2.  Scotch Eggs
3.  Proscuitto Chicken
4.  Avocado Stuffed Burgers


1.  Crockpot Roast Chicken *save lefties for day 3
2.  Sweet Potato Egg Bake
3.  Chicken Enchiladas
4.  Philly Stuffed Peppers
5.  Chicken Pumpkin Stew
6.  Stovetop Carnitas
7.  Adventure meal!


1.  Paleo Chili Dawgs
2.  Shrimp Pad Thai
3.  Garlic Mustard Drumsticks
4.  Stuffed Poblanos
5.  Pork Sliders
6.  Paleo Fajitas
7.  Adventure meal!


1.  Paleo Crockpot Pork Green Chile
2.  Carbonara
3.  Cinnamon Pork Loin
4.  Stir-Fry and Cilantro Cauli-rice
5.  Chicken with Green Apple Chipotle Salsa
6.  Chicken Nuggets
7.  Adventure meal!


1.  Barbacoa
2.  Buffalo Chicken Pasta
3.  Chocolate Chili
4.  Simple Bolognese
5.  Taco Salads - just like you would eat tacos, in a salad form : )
6.  Skillet Chicken Divan
7.  Adventure meal!

Phew!  Ok guys, I hope this helps you get started on your adventure.  Whether you are a total noob at Paleo, or just need some inspiration let me know what you tried and liked!  Please beware that you guys may need to edit these recipes slightly due to my lack of being Paleo Perfect and you guys need to WIN this challenge!!!


Yes, It's Still Grilling Season!

I apologize if that seems really obvious, but this is the time of year when I feel confused about whether I want to eat Pumpkin Chili (recipe coming soon!) or Grilled Taco and Lime Chicken.  I made both of these recipes this week and it all ended happily ever after.  No one went hungry here, but boy did that grilled chicken really hit the spot. I subbed just plain garlic powder for the garlic salt in the recipe. My caveman and I still use one of those crazy charcoal grills with hardwood charcoal we buy at Cash and Carry (yes, I can use the grill all by myself!) So there are a few weeks, late in the summer, where I really do not want to go outside, stuff the chimney with newspaper and charcoal, and light that up using a small blowtorch.  Then I have to stand out there and attend to my food in the sun that is trying to melt me.  We cooked up eight chicken breasts knowing we would eat them throughout the weekend and for a few lunches or after-wod snacks at the beginning of the week.

Delicious salad for lunch

I ate some chicken on my salad for lunch this afternoon.  I made a Creamy Cilantro Dressing to toss my lettuce with and omitted the honey.  The first night we ate them I put together a very quick peach salsa to serve on top.  We have peaches and tomatoes galore and since I shouldn't be eating the peaches grilled and topped with ice cream, this was the second best option I could come up with.

Heck yes it's delicious

Quick Peach Salsa

4 ripe peaches, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes (ours are yellow), chopped
1/4 c.loosely packed cilantro leaves, minced
1/2 a small red onion, minced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 t.- 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t.pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir.  Phew.  Add salt and pepper and hour before serving.

I have a very lengthy post coming for you guys on Friday to help support and inspire you during the LuRong Living Challenge.

Eat well!

The Magic Three


When I first started learning to cook, I remember coming across something that indicated a perfect fruit salad requires only three fruits.  It doesn't matter which three, but you need just three to make a good salad.  You see the rule of threes in many types of cuisine.  French cooking has mirepoix- a mixture of celery, onion, and carrots. In Cajun cuisine you have the holy trinity - onion, celery, and green bell pepper.  I've stuck with these guidelines ever since, and I find it to be true for many meals in my kitchen.

A recent three I ate for lunch - greens, nectarines, feta cheese. My protein was on the side.

Here are some other threes I can't do without:

The three vegetables I always have on hand - bell peppers, mushrooms, some variety of starchy carb (spaghetti squash, sweet potato, red potato.) With this variety you can whip up a quick stir fry, soup, frittata, roasted side dish, or grilled accompaniment to your meal.
The three canned goods with permanent residency in my pantry - chicken broth, coconut milk, fire-roasted tomatoes.  Great for soups, sauces, and even a stand-in for whipped cream.
The three protein sources I favor - eggs, sausages (andouille, breakfast, chicken apple,) chicken breasts.
The three fats I need at my fingertips - coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, bacon gold.
The three freezer essentials in our house - cauliflower, extra chipotles, 85% dark chocolate bar. 

Keeping your kitchen stocked is key to success.  Take some time and think about your magic three - add a few extras to your cart next time you're out grocery shopping and you know they won't go to waste!


Oh.My.Gawd. Becky, look at our...

Well, here it comes.  The End of Summer is on our heels.  This means different things for all of us, but there is one common complaint I keep hearing at the box, 'where did this butt and this belly come from?!'  I remember my bff talking about her BBQ Butt, which I thought was kin to the Tooth Fairy.  Fraid not, folks.  This is a real beast and it doesn't take anything away like the TF.  So, what do we do now?  Clean our nutrition up, of course!  Summer is full of gatherings, boat days, vacations, and less routine.  That is the perfect storm for less-than-attentive eating. And I know I sure slipped up this summer.  I've been cleaning my eating up for only four days now, and my shorts already fit better.  ACK!  How much eating for joy was I guilty of if FOUR DAYS can make a difference?  If you're feeling sloppy with your nutrition, fear not.  A bunch of us are feeling the same way and there's no moment like the present to start reigning it in.*

*I may indulge a bit more this weekend, but I'm planning for that.

Here's a little salad I enjoyed this afternoon for my lunch.  Filling and fresh and just right for the amount of protein I need to stay fueled for the afternoon.

Nicoise Salad - Serves 1
3 handfuls baby spinach, or other green of your choice
1 handful of fresh green beans
1/2 of a red bell pepper, sliced
1 perfect, hard-boiled egg
1 can tuna
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil

Get a large saute pan.  Add 1/4 water and your green beans to it.  Place that pan over medium-high heat and cover with a lid.  After your water comes to a simmer, cook your green beans until they are bright green.  This will take 2-5 minutes.  At the very end, throw your sliced bell pepper in and cover again.  Remove from the heat.  Give your spinach a rough chiffonade (cut it into ribbons, but not tiny ones.)  Add your spinach to your bowl or plate.  Uncover your beans and peppers and toss them with a tsp of olive oil and a dash of s&p.  Halve and slice your hard-boiled egg. Go to town and layer your ingredients on your greens however you like. Drizzle with more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I believe kalamata olives and red onions would send this over the top, but I didn't have any on hand.

I also made these No-Bake Almond Joy Cookies from Carrots 'n' Cake.  Flavor BOMB!!!  It's a perfect ratio of sweet and chocolate and treat and you don't even have to turn on the oven!  There is some chill time involved.

Oven Roasted Grapes (not a typo)

These grapes add some good variety to your snack line-up and are quite simple to prepare.  Grapes are in season during late summer and early fall so this is the perfect time to indulge.  Grapes are a good, dense source of carbohydrates when eating Zone (1/2 cup = 1 block).  As far as Paleo goes, fruits are limited and berries are preferred because they aren't as high in sugar (Sugar Content of Fruit, The Paleo Diet).  If you are trying to lose fat and get your metabolic pathways balanced, avoid most fruits for now, but if you really want something sweet these are a good alternative to a 100 Grand Bar. I eat a bit of dairy here and there, so that's why you see some delicious Feta cheese in the photo.  Moderation.

This is a 2-block snack for the Zone folks.  Thank you, Melody, for sharing this recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 450

Take 1 cup grapes and toss on your baking sheet with 2/3 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil. Roast for 13-15 minutes, or until blistered.  Remove from the oven and place in a bowl.  Add 2 ounces Queso Fresco, Feta, or Pecorino Romano.  Devour.

Notes from the WildWildWeb

 It feels much easier to work our booties off at the gym than to think long and hard about our nutrition and make the hard choices there instead of on our 1RM.  That's the reason we have this blog - the hope is to inspire you guys to eat well, expose you to new flavors and techniques, and to keep ancestral food interesting and 'doable'.  I hope you guys are enjoying it and I'm always open to feedback or requests.

Here are some interesting nuggets I stumbled across this week:

-I talked about doing a post on supplements and all that jazz.  This subject is completely overwhelming and I'm working on it, but here is a post I found about "Five Supplements Even CrossFitters Should Love" and I am fascinated by this whole magnesium issue.  Let me know what you guys think!
-I love what Michelle had to say over on Nom Nom Paleo about Paleo being a "framework for improving health through real food."  This is the best description I've heard so far, and I did laugh at her clarifying the fact that the caveman is just our mascot, we're not attempting to reenact the Paleolithic time period here.  Phew.  Grateful for that
-I recently discovered Stupid Easy Paleo and my cooking wishlist is even longer now!  Please tell me I'm not the only one who has one of these...
-Speaking of wishlists, I made the Cheese Crackers from Primal Cravings, and man are they tasty.  They have all the goodness of those little pescatarian shaped swimmers but without all the gunk.  Spend a little time exploring recipes on the Health-Bent site, you will not be disappointed.
-What's up with white potatoes and Paleo?  Most of us learned that they are a big no-no in the framework of our nutrition, but there is an argument for eating these tasty little things.  As long as you pay attention to a few guidelines, and if you're still not within your ideal body composition you should keep them on the list of 'not quite yet' foods.


Sunday Funday?

What else is a girl to between a morning hike and waiting to watch more Games action?  Food prep for the week was the obvious choice.  Wah, wah.  As tedious as the process was, I'm glad I made myself get back in that habit this weekend.  Here's a little pic of what our fridge looks like now:

It's slightly embarrassing to share such an intimate photo, but this is real life for us.  We have some bacon fat for roasting veggies, Doug's lunch packed for Monday, spaghetti squash and kabocha squash, roasted veggies, Lara balls, extra protein from our stuffed peppers, and some washed lettuce for salads.  AHHHHH.  Yeah, that feels good.

Here is my method for roasting veggies (be warned, I'm not great with details) -

Pre-heat oven to 375.
Get out a large sheet pan and put 2 T of fat (bacon grease, coconut oil, palm oil, duck fat, your choice)
Place the sheet in the oven to melt the fat.  This should take a minute or so.
While the oven heats, chop up your vegetables into medium, uniform chunks.
Take the sheet pan out of your oven and place the veggies on the pan.  Be careful because that pan was just in the oven a minute ago.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Toss the veggies around to coat with fat and seasoning.  This is very important.  You want them all coated well, so if you need more fat don't be shy.
Spread the veggies out so they aren't touching each other and we definitely don't want any overlapping.  This will cause your veggies to steam instead of roast.
Place in pre-heated oven and roast, turning once, until nice and browned.  This can take anywhere from 20-35 minutes depending on the veggies you use.

Don't be shy and feel free to experiment with your seasonings:  garam masala is great, Italian seasoning (I call these pizza veggies for the kiddos), cumin and cinnamon, or some good ol' seasoning salt.  Just try and steer clear of any funky added ingredients.  Keep it simple and pure.  And don't skimp on the fat or seasonings or you will disappoint yourself.


Notes From The WildWildWeb


Photo courtesy of Box Basics
 Hooray - it's almost Friday. Everybody better be smart and safe this crazy weekend!!

Here are the most recent notes from my Paleo/CrossFit field journal:

-I made these Oaxacan Burgers from Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes cookbook.  Yes you should buy this cook book and YES you should make the Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake.  And the Lemon Pie one.  And the Almond one.  Sorry, I forgot this isn't my milkshake blog. For the mole sauce in the burger recipe, I omitted the corn chips and subbed 1 teaspoon of coconut flour in place of those crunchy, delicious morsels.  Worked like a charm.  For the pickled red onions (REQUIRED!) I did a very quick pickle:
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
      Cut off the ends of your red onion and peel away the outer, papery skins. Cut the red onion in 1/2
      lengthwise.  Place the cut side face down on your cutting board and slice the onions thinly in 1/2 moon
      shapes.  Place these slices in a bowl with some wiggle room.  Cut your lemon in half.  Squeeze the juice
      over your sliced onions, using your hand as a sieve to catch the seeds.  Toss those seeds.  Sprinkle the
      salt over your onions and really work those onions over with the salt for about 1 minute.  Let the onions
      pickle while you make the mole sauce.

My book is *slightly* used

-Please check out The Truth About Transformation Photos.  I think I looked at these pictures about 25 times this morning. 
-Whether you like it or not, summer is waning.  Make some delicious popsicles before it's too late!  I would try it with unsweetened coconut and sub some raw honey for the sugar.  Or some coconut sugar?  I've never tried this stuff but I'm really curious.
 -My bff writes a food blog for her gym and recently reviewed 'Primal Cravings' by Brandon and Megan Keatly.  I had to buy that darned cookbook and I do not regret it.  Yes, you will see some of these recipes soon.

Delicious Morsels of BBQ Bacon Chicken

Photo courtesy of The Comfort of Cooking
 I just want to make it very clear that I DID NOT TAKE THIS PHOTO!  Phew.  Glad that's over and done with.

I made these delicious morsels this morning before taking on a very busy day.  I needed something quick that I could feed the kids in the car and that could travel to the gym with me for my dinner later tonight.  They also reheated well for dinner, or so Doug tells me.  I ate mine cold with some chopped veggies and they were also delicious that way.  I've seen quite a few BBQ Chicken and Bacon combinations on Pinterest, but most of those contain sugars in various forms - the sauce, rubbing brown sugar or honey on top, etc.  This one contains no sugars (check your bacon!) and tasted just right.  I broiled mine for 2 minutes after cooking them to get them nice and crispy on top.  This is the perfect way to use your Paleo BBQ sauce.  Enjoy!


Notes From The WildWildWeb

Image courtesy of someecards
Aren't you glad we don't diet?

Here are a few things you may want to explore:

-There are claims that tequila is Paleo!  This is due to the fact that Tequila is made from the agave plant (be sure to buy 100% agave) and therefore will not rock your belly like grains will.  Try a Paleo Paloma for some variety  this weekend.
-The current wisdom running through the Paleo world is that fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is where it's at.  As we know, not all oils are created equal so it makes sense this would remain true for the fish variety as well.  I'm buying some in Cinnamon Tingle flavor (wow, I know!)  I'm fascinated by this being a superfood full of naturally occurring fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2.  There are also claims FCLO can clear up acne and help squash depression. 
-I can't say enough about Rick Bayless and once you buy his Mexican Everyday cookbook and see him in his yoga pose, you'll be smitten too.  Our whole family digs his Pollo Pulquero, and momma loves that it's a slow-cooker meal that you don't have to cook before you place it in the magic vessel.  Kim M - this one is for you!  This time around I used some thick, boneless pork chops for the protein and it was delish.  And yes, we eat potatoes sometimes.  And no, we do not eat the corn salsa you see in the recipe link (it is not part of Rick's recipe.)


BBQ Sauce - Round 1

Have you ever used your finger to work out the remainder of the dijon mustard from a measuring spoon and licked it, only to realize a few seconds later that it's your LUCKY DAY because you also used that spoon first to measure bacon fat before the mustard?  That is a good surprise.

I love BBQ sauce which is a recent development and, I think, a sure sign that my taste buds are maturing!  Sauces and condiments are well known trouble areas for us Paleo folk.  If you think about it, condiments are kind of silly, or at least we can agree that they are frivolous.  But I love how so many of them taste.  I do hate ketchup, so that is a win for me.  My go to condiment of choice has always been mayo.  And no, I'm certainly not talking about Miracle Whip (gag!!!)  The tricky thing about eating like a caveman is all the added sugar and soy you find in all kinds of condiments, sauces, and salad dressings.  I find it liberating to make my own versions of these.  A good BBQ sauce is kind of like a good soup.  It needs proper seasoning and enough time to develop that depth of flavor we know and like.  This one was pretty quick and had a good flavor, but I'm not satisfied quite yet.  I was trying to behave so this has no sugar in it.  That's kind of a bummer because the kind of BBQ sauce I love has sweet and tang and smoke and spice.  This one has three of those, but no sweet.  I have a trick up my sleeve for my second attempt.  Until then, here is the recipe for my first attempt.  I also read about a crazy quick version where you use equal parts tomato paste and balsamic vinegar to make a real quick BBQ-ish sauce.  May be worth a try in emergency situations?



Notes From the WildWildWeb

Image courtesy of someecards

Here are some little tidbits I enjoyed this week-

 -Ideas on what to pack for a CrossFit competition.  I'm guessing this can be as stressful as packing for your first camping trip with a toddler.  TOO MANY THINGS!  One of my big time dreams is to enter a competition with fellow athletes from our gym.  This should help a bit with our planning.
-A great visualization about what one athlete's body may look like at different weights (and different fitness abilities/goals.)
-Here's a recipe for a Meatza Quiche that we ate last week.  Even tasted good as lefties.
-Here's a dessert recipe I beg someone to make for the gym.  Like on a Monday, between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm or so.  Just sayin.

Sweet Potatoes (not Yams)

This is the rainbow we should taste (source)


Someone in marketing duped the majority of us into thinking we can buy yams at our local grocery store.  Most of us can't.  Yams are starchy edible tubers that are generally imported from the Caribbean (source).  They are not the orange variety of sweet potato that you see, even if they are labeled as such.  Labeling these sweet potatoes as yams was just a tricky way to distinguish them when they first started showing up in grocery stores.

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals and in the Paleo world they are a go-to carb for many of us.  These gems contain generous amounts of vitamins C, A and K and minerals Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium (here's the complete nutritional breakdown.)   How exciting to get all that from a vegetable! I've heard the purple ones are delicious but I need to get to a market in the big city before I find one of those.

We eat sweet potatoes a few times a week, which is pretty funny considering I couldn't stomach them most of my life.  Unfortunately my daughter has the same problem.  We eat them in soups and stews, grilled, mashed, as a pancake style burger bun, on top of shepherd's pie, and in a hash with a runny egg on top.  One way we've never tried them is in pancakes. Share your favorite sweet potato recipe with us on our Facebook page!

Rick Bayless Fan Club

My bff and I cooked our way through the Mexican Everyday cookbook a few years ago and I think you should all do it, too.  If you read this blog long enough you may do it without even knowing!  Rick is a flavor ninja - his ingredients are (mostly) found at any grocery store and there's usually only a few.  Seems innocent enough until you put them all together and cook them just right and then, shazam, another Last Meal to add to your list.  This meal will surprise you and please don't skip the homemade chipotle salsa because you will want to eat it on your eggs for breakfast the next morning.

I forgot to take a photo before I started eating.  Oopsie!

 If you want to make this recipe, pick up some plantains today.  They take quite a while to get as ripe (BLACK) as they need to.  You will almost always find them very green at the grocery store - please be patient and bring them home to get juuuuuuuust right. As Robyn says in her blog, this will be a very agonizing week or two because it takes them longer than a banana to reach proper ripeness. Here is the Red-Chile Steak with Sweet Plantains, Red Onion, and Chipotle Salsa recipe.  I would disregard what Ms. Robyn says about not mixing the salsa in with the plantains and red onion.  It needs to be served this way to BLOW YOUR MIND.  Unless you are a total salsa wimp.  Also, I find Ancho (aka Pasilla) chili powder at Fiesta Foods or Fred Meyer in the Mexican Cuisine aisle.  Buy a few extra bags so you're prepared for next time.

*As a side note, I have to apologize for missing a few posts on Thursday.  Summer schedule is pretty busy so you may see this a few more times.  Thanks for your patience.
**As a second side note, I will be posting something about supplements in the next two weeks.  If you have a specific question about anything related to this (pre-wod, recovery, vits/minerals) please email me or post it on our wall on FaceBook and I will try and find your answer!

Results (and a tasty snack)

I came across this funny and truthful article on results today - Why You Don't Have Abs:  It's Your Food Dummy.   I will caution you that there is some profanity in there, but I had to share it with you guys because it's the truth and there are some great tips in here for all of us.  Pretty sure I might read it again once I get back from our weekend camping trip to Leavenworth.  Definitely.

Here's a recipe for a delicious snack that makes a good addition to your lunch or any BBQ you may attend this summer.  Since protein is a serious component of our nutrition, and a large egg contains about 6.29 g of protein, you should probably eat two of these for a serving.  Just sayin.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
From Raised On Roux

6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled (cook em this way)
2 jalapenos, one seeded and minced for the filling and one sliced for garnish
3 T. mayo
2 t. cilantro, chopped fine
1 t. dijon mustard
1 t. pickled jalapeno juice
pinch of cayenne
salt and pepper to taste

Halve the eggs and place the yolks in a medium bowl.  Set the whites aside for now.  Mash the yolks with the back of a fork and add the rest of your ingredients (not the garnish, silly).  Mix well and spoon the filling into your hollowed out egg whites.  Garnish with the jalapeno slices and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

There is also another version of these floating around the web.  And just because there's bacon that doesn't make them Paleo.

Dressing You Can't Live Without

This salad dressing is life-changing and no, I never exaggerate.  Not even slightly.  Not when it comes to food.

Recipe courtesy of Rick Bayless, from Mexican Everyday

Makes 1 1/4 cups
3/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar (I DO NOT recommend the brand you see in my pic)
1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo (try and get one with the least amount of ish in it)
1 t. chipotle canning sauce
1 t. dried oregano, Mexican

Combine the oil, vinegar, chiles, canning sauce, oregano and a scant teaspoon salt in a blender jar or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary, keeping in mind that all dressings should be highly seasoned.  Pour into a jar, secure the lid and refrigerate if not using right away.  Shake well immediately before use.

We eat this on our dinner salads and on grilled veggies.  There is some kind of magic in it, so be prepared and enjoy! 


Chicken for Days

Chicken for dinner gets old pretty quick if you don't get creative and build some flavor on that bird.  We eat quite a bit of chicken, and although we change up the routine with different cuts, the lean protein boredom can drive me to bacon in no time!  Usually we eat chicken breasts or tenders, but we also allow some thighs or legs now and again.  Not only are those parts of the bird very economical, but they taste great as well because of their higher fat content.  Our whole family loved this dinner (yes even the kids,) and we had to rochambeau a few times for leftovers. We get pretty serious over food in this house, FYI.  I served this dish with garlicky sauteed kale and mushrooms and mashed cauliflower.  Enjoy!

Put the sauce on your mashed cauliflower!

Blue Ribbon Country Captain Chicken
from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan

3 strips of sugar-free, nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 T. coconut oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 4 c.)
3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. raisins
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 T. Curry powder
3 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced
3 T. sliced almonds, toasted

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces. Place the chopped bacon in a cold skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and fry the bacon until it's crisp.  Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel.  Leave bacon drippings in the pan.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.  Add the coconut oil to the bacon fat in the pan, and reheat the skillet, about three minutes.  Add the chicken in a single layer, smooth side down.  Don't crowd the pan and don't fuss with the chicken.  Use a second pan if necessary.  You want to form a nice brown, crispy crust, so place in the pan and leave it alone, about four minutes per side.  As the chicken browns, remove it from the skillet and place it in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan.

In the same pan, without draining any fat, saute the onions, peppers, garlic, and raisins until the vegetables just begin to soften, but are not cooked through.  Spread them on top of the chicken and return the skillet to the stovetop.

Pour the chicken broth into the hot skillet and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits.  Add the curry powder to the pan and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about two minutes.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and wrap the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake 35 minutes, then remove the foil, increase the heat to 400, and bake an additional 8 minutes.  Before serving, sprinkle with scallions, bacon, and almonds.

Cool Tools For The Kitchen

With Father's Day just around the corner, I thought it would be neat (helpful, possibly?) to talk about some kitchen tools that make cooking fun, convenient, and creative.  I know that grilling tools are probably some of the most popular gifts to give on this holiday, so I wanted to offer some other suggestions for that Dad chef in your life.  If you don't have one of those, just get some of this for yourself.

Microplane Zester

Image courtesy of Amazon
I've been using a microplane zester ever since I watched my first cooking show on the Food Network.  Probably something with Rachael Ray, but who's judging?  This little rasp is a kitchen workhorse.  Use it to zest citrus fruits, mince garlic and ginger really quickly, grate hard cheeses and cinnamon, or put tiny shavings of chocolate on a dessert.  At $15 it's an affordable game-changer that you can find at or in most other stores that carry home goods.

Gourmet Salt Sampler

Image courtesy of Amazon


My dearest friend sent me this sampler for my birthday one year.  I'm pretty sure the Vanilla Bourbon Salt permanently altered my life, in a good way.  These are interesting to experiment with and make home chefs feel extra fancy.  They need this since their clothing is often covered with remnants from the meals they worked so hard to cook you that day and their foreheads are beading with sweat.  This little gem costs $24 at and they also offer a peppercorn variety.

Vegetable Basket (yes, for the Grill!)

Image courtesy of Amazon

Ok, so let's have at least one item for the grill.  Darn it!  I don't have experience with this particular basket ($20), but it is the number one stunner on  These baskets are great for the multitude of veggies you will eat this summer.  It also makes you appear more stable to your neighbors since you won't be spitting a slew of curse words at your grill when those onions slip through the grate every.dang.time.  Just coat your chosen veggies in olive or coconut oil in a bowl, sprinkle on some s&p, transfer to your basket,  and place the basket over direct heat on the grill.   Toss or stir the veggies occasionally until nice and charred to your liking.

Chef's Knife

Image courtesy of Amazon

A good quality chef's knife is key to any good experience in the kitchen.  There is almost nothing more frustrating (or dangerous) in the kitchen than a dull knife.  This knife is the budget-friendly option suggested by America's Test Kitchen  and it definitely changed my culinary adventures for the better. If you're unfamiliar with ATK, click the link and check out their cool website.  You do have do become a member to have access to all their recipes and articles, but there are quite a few free ones on there as well.  These guys are trusted experts in their field, and their approach to cooking and the 'whys' behind it are pretty cool. This knife sells on for $28 and is worth every penny.  Make sure your chef knows how to sharpen their knife because they will need to do that every few months.

Dutch Oven

Image courtesy of Amazon
Let's just go big or go home, alright?  This is the grandaddy of all dutch ovens and the one I am lucky enough to cook with at home.  This guy costs $320 online.  I purchased mine at a Le Creuset outlet store in Marysville.  There are some other brands that have good reputations, Lodge and All-Clad among them, so feel free to check those out as well.  The main things to look for:  capacity of 6-8 quarts, diameter that is twice as great as its height, and a light-colored interior finish.  This gives you the ability to reach inside easier, brown larger batches of meat, and judge the caramelization more accurately.  I use this to make some of my favorite stews, soups, and braised meat dishes.  You will not be disappointed with your investment when you spend the extra cash here. 

Protein Preparedness

I would argue that preparation is half the battle when it comes to maintaining quality fuel in your tank.  We're all busy in one way or another, and we need to just recognize this and prepare for it so we don't get stuck shoving our faces with Five Guys or Subway.  Now, if you are shoving some of that grub in your face and enjoying it, that's one thing.  Eating for joy is something I'm pretty convinced we should all do.  This should be something you plan for, not an answer to slacking with your meal prep.  Because then it becomes a habit, and we're trying to create healthy eating patterns.  We don't want that short-sighted routine that creates a world of hurt on our next wod.  So, the next time you cook up some protein or veg, make a little extra.  You're marinating, slicing, dicing, searing or grilling anyway!  Make the best use of your time and just double the amount.  This requires some foresight on your grocery shopping and meal planing, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quick. 
Grilled Chipotle Chicken, Tri-Tip, and Veggies.

Here's a recipe for some Grilled Chipotle Lime Chicken that we prepared this weekend.  It fed our family of four for dinner on Sunday and meals throughout the week.  Great bedtime snack, and I'm cleaning up the last of it tonight on my dinner salad.  I used chicken tenders but you could use boneless thighs or breasts.  Just pay attention to cooking times if you change it up a bit. 


Thoughts on Body Image and Tasty Legs

Hey athletes, here is a post from Coach Mary about a recent experience she had involving body image and perception.  In my opinion the best advice we can all heed is to commit be the best versions of OURSELVES.  It’s kind of a canned phrase, but it really does make the most sense and gives us all freedom from unrealistic body expectations.  Our bodies do great things and we see that in the gym every day.  What they can’t do is change the laws of physics.  Even if we spend hours exercising or revamping our diet.  

“Let’s go, keep it up, keep going, you’re doing great”, etc… these are all things that we hear at the box frequently. Things we don’t hear are “You’re too FAT, how are you teaching CrossFit?” or “no way do you have that percentage of fat, you look way bigger than that.” These are not things that we expect to hear, because everything we normally hear is encouragement and motivation. Well, sadly I experienced those words recently; “Someone” thought I was too FAT to know what I was talking about when it comes to CrossFit.   Initially I was hurt, upset, and pissed that I was called FAT.   Afterwards I told her I could easily back squat her boyfriend, I left because I did not want to give her the satisfaction of knowing that she got a rise out of me . That night, I found out how why I love the members at our box even more than I thought I could.  I told some people about the confrontation, and the support I got was overwhelming.  It made me so happy to know that  I have some amazing people who love me and will always have my back. (Ha,ha)

This situation has made me think about how society imagines women and it’s not right.  The average American woman is a size 12 and she is beautiful. Why do people have this image of a size 4 or whatever being the only beautiful women there are? Women and men are beautiful at all sizes and shapes! I want to change this word “FAT” that does ensue bad feelings within ourselves and let little girls and women know that we shouldn’t give a word that much power over us/them, be proud of your accomplishments no matter how big or small. Thanks guys!

Juicy CrossFit Legs (:
Inspired by ‘Practical Paleo’ by Diane Sanfilippo
5 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
2 T. melted butter, coconut oil, or bacon jus
2 T. spice blend (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 375

Place the chicken legs onto a parchment covered baking sheet or dish coated with a small amount of fat.  Brush the legs with melted fat of your choice.  Sprinkle your spice blend evenly and liberally over your chicken legs.

Bake for 40-60 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 when inserted into the center of one of the legs (not touching the bone...twss.) 

Spice Blend (makes about 5 ½ Tablespoons)
1 T. salt
1 ½ tsp. dried rosemary, broken up in your hand
1 ½ tsp. dried sage
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients together.  Use 2 Tablespoons on your chicken legs and save the rest for something delicious.



Sometimes Cave Peeps Need Cookies

I make these sweet little treats, officially named The Best Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies by Fast Paleo, every few weeks around our house.  They are pretty quick to put together and make a very small batch so that makes me feel better somehow. They do require 30 minutes chilling time so plan for that. You can find almond flour in bulk at WinCo or in small one-pound bags wherever Bob's Red Mill products are sold.  The paleo-friendly brand of chocolate chips are 'Enjoy Life' and I've seen them at Fred Meyer.  I just use regular old mini chips, so I can't vouch for the flavor on those.  Let us know if you try them and they are worth it!

Research shows that allowing yourself occasional treats can help keep your diet clean and much more tolerable.  Be mindful that treats don't drift into the routine category!

 Pickle Juice Works Miracles

This was our dinner on Tuesday night - Paleo Chicken Nuggets.  They were a hit.  On the side we had kale chips, sweet potato fries, and honey mustard sauce.  The nuggets were tender and juicy with just enough crunch.  I subbed 1/2 smoked paprika for 1/2 of the regular stuff.  You can find tapioca flour in bulk at WinCo.

Garlic Honey Chicken Thighs

Happy Monday!  Yesterday was a gorgeous day, and after catching up on chores around the house and the yard that we neglected all last week, we needed a quick dinner to refuel us.  We have a pretty simple formula in the summer time – meat +veggies on the grill=dinner and leftovers for lunch.
There are many variations of this simple formula and I’m sure you will notice that in my upcoming posts.  Protein intake is something all of us should take seriously with the demand we put on our bodies in the gym.  As with most opinions on nutrition, the amount of protein recommended for athletes depends on who you ask.  I’ve seen it anywhere from .36-1 gram per pound of body weight.  I know that my body feels better when I give it a good amount of protein – I have more energy, less cravings for sugar, and I don’t have the desire to snack as much.  Here are two articles (Breaking Muscle, Eat to Perform) on protein recommendations and here is a calculator if you need one.  One ounce of boneless, skinless chicken thighs contains 7g of protein.  Depending on who you ask, I needed to eat between 6-8 ounces of chicken in my dinner last night to satisfy my protein requirements for that meal. 

This recipe is quick and easy and the kiddos loved it.  They both ate more meat than I did, and if you know my son that is definitely saying something.  Enjoy!

(sorry..I know I need new plates and less Sriracha mayo!)

2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 garlic clove, minced or rasped on your microplane
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1 T. raw honey
1 t. sea salt
½ t. ground black pepper

Throw your chicken thighs into your marinating vessel (ziplock in my case).  Whisk together your remaining ingredients and toss over the chicken.  Rub the marinade all over the chicken and let sit for at least an hour.  Do this in the fridge if that is your preference, but be sure to take the meat out 15 minutes prior to grilling.  Grill over a hot fire, direct heat until done (about 4-6 minutes each side).

Top 10 Reasons CrossFit Kids Don’t Do Well At Globo Gyms

o   10.  They start talking pr’s with the other kids and just get blank stares in return.

o   9.  They write their workout down on the wall and get in trouble for it.

o   8.  They throw out a ‘no rep’ when they see someone with janky form.

o   7.  They could get in trouble (or damage some drywall) when they kick up into handstands to work on their hspu’s.

o   6.  They get lost looking for a pair of gymnastics rings.

o   5.  They wonder why there is no pull-up bar in the kids’ room.

o   4.  If anyone’s working on lunges, they ask to sit on their shoulders while they do it.

o   3.  They ask athletes about their max effort snatch and get shooed away.

o   2.  They wonder why no one makes them do burpees for treats.

o   1.   There’s no Momma Kim there to give them popsicles at the end of their wod.

We love the sense of community in CrossFit and with our gym in particular, we are very grateful for the experiences our kids have there every day.  Momma Kim is an athlete and owner at our gym and to know her is to love her.  She spoils us all, but the kids really soak it in.  Here's a tasty popsicle recipe in her honor (I skipped agave since my almond milk was sweetened.)

Peach Pie Popsicles




Two Spa Waters


As you guys know the weather is getting a bit warmer and it makes it that much more important to keep our bodies and all our cells hydrated for our wods.  I get bored with water sometimes, and after talking to a few athletes last week I'm grateful to know I'm not the only picky person in our gym.  Flavoring your water with fruits, vegetables, and even herbs is a quick way to mix up your routine and keep your palate interested in chugging the good stuff.


Today I made two different kinds, Strawberry Basil and Blueberry Orange.  These two are steeping in my fridge as we speak. 



I'm kinda fancy with my mason jars.  HA! 

Strawberry Basil Water

5 medium strawberries, sliced 1/2-inch thick

3 medium basil leaves, sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons

3 cups water

Wash your strawberries and basil and slice into 1/2-inch pieces.  Add to your mason jar and fill with water.  Steep for 24 hours, strain if desired.

Blueberry Orange Water

1/2 a large orange, sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/4 cup blueberries

3 cups water

Wash your blueberries and your orange.  Halve your orange and slice one half into 1/2-inch slices.  Add fruit to your mason jar and fill with water.  Steep for 24 hours, strain if desired.

Here's a link to another version of flavored water that I enjoyed last week:  Sassy Water.  I really enjoyed the mixture of ingredients here.  Have fun with your water or just keep it plain, as long as you're drinking it we're not judging.




Thai-Inspired Lettuce Wraps

After drooling over a recent post on Facebook by Jeannette, I knew I had to make some lettuce wraps this week.  Darn all those food porn pics littering the social media world!!!  They get me every time.  Don't get me started on Pinterest!

This recipe is inspired by 'The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook' by Jaden Hair.  You can also catch her blog @ steamykitchen  I've learned a few great tips from her, and one of my favorites is to lay your ground chicken or turkey (or other lean meat) out on a cutting board and use a giant cleaver or chef's knife to 'rat-tat-tat chop' the meat to help loosen it up and create a lighter texture.  This definitely makes a difference.  This recipe makes a large batch because leftovers are a lifeline in this house.  Feel free to halve the recipe if you don't need that.  I ate the leftovers chopped-up in a salad form and it was really delicious. 


Sorry about all that ^ bold type BS.  I'm kinda new at this blogging thing and I'm tired. One of the tricky things with Paleo is cutting out all sugar, or all refined sugars depending on how hardcore you are. Sugar is everywhere!!!  And in weird places it doesn't belong like my Salt and Pepper pistachios from Costco, but I'm not bitter or anything.  Asian cuisine sneaks it in where a meal may scream 'PALEO' because of all the protein and veggies...ahh..and then there's the brown sugar and the rice wine.  It's not impossible to enjoy these flavors without sugar (not to mention the SOY!)  This recipe does contain raw honey, but other than that it's squeaky clean. 

2 T. coconut oil, divided
T. sesame oil
2 medium carrots, grated
2.5 oz water chestnuts, chopped
2.5 pounds ground lean turkey
1/4 c. Chinese black vinegar or good quality balsamic
1/4 c. coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you feel sassy)
1 t. raw honey
1/2 c. chicken stock
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. ginger, grated
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
 1/2 a head napa cabbage or sturdy lettuce leaves
1/2 cup EACH loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro, basil and mint
**This is a holy trinity of herbs, so do not skimp!
Sriracha Mayo
3 T. toasted sesame seeds

1.  Lay your ground turkey out on a cutting board and chop well with a chef's knife or cleaver.  I did this in two batches.  You just made that meat tender, good job.  Set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, mix together vinegar, coconut aminos, honey, and chicken stock.  Set aside.
3.  Bring a large skillet to medium heat, add 1 T coconut oil and the sesame oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add carrot and water chestnuts and cook until just softened, about a minute or so.  Increase the heat to medium-high and add the second tablespoon of coconut oil.  Add the ground turkey and mix well.  Cook until the meat is no longer pink at all, breaking the meat into smallish pieces as you stir.  Pour in the sauce mixture and stir to combine.  Cook for 1 minute and sprinkle with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Assembling your wraps - this is the fun part!
Grab a green leaf and drizzle in some Sriracha mayo, layer on some chopped herbal trinity, spoon on some meat and chow down!  Our kids have fun making these themselves and some cute kiddos I know call these salad burritos.  I call it delicious.  If you want to enjoy it as a salad the next day, chop up some more cabbage or lettuce, toss it around with a few T. of Sriracha mayo, add your meat and sprinkle on some herbs. 

Avocado NONcrema


Last week I mentioned that I will post twice per week – once on Mondays and again on Thursdays.  My intention for the nutrition blog is to share the recipes that I try and know are delicious, but I think it should also be a place where I present articles and links that educate, challenge, and inspire us and our views on food as fuel for our bodies.   More than likely, there will be a Paleo flavor to the blog because that is the way our family eats.  My plan is to post recipes every Thursday and on Mondays I will mix it up – recipes, links to articles or videos and other blogs that I read.  I’m sure this will be an evolving platform, but my goals will remain the same:   create a place where we think about our food, drool over our food, learn about our food, and just get all Foodie about everything.  Now I’m hungry!


This may sound weird to some people – but I don’t know if I could live without sauce(s).  I am such a dipper, drizzler, schmearer!  I feel like this is much more of a confessional than I wanted it to be, but oh well.  In my opinion, eating soundly for your body over a long period of time rests on two major pillars – PLANNING and FLAVOR.  We’ve talked a bit about both of these things in the past and I’m sure it’s something you guys think about a lot, too.  When you menu plan for your week, you may start with two questions -what can I make this week (planning) that will taste good to everyone (flavor.)  My recipe today is due to lack of planning.  Our family just returned from a busy weekend away and I still didn’t do my major grocery shopping this morning.  When I went to fix my lunch I just had to work with what was in the fridge and freezer.  My cast of characters – some spinach, a frozen salmon burger from Costco, and half an avocado.  I decided that I just needed a good crema to make my lunch go from sad to delish in a quick amount of time.   I think what traditionally makes a crema is some sort of creamy dairy item such as yogurt or sour cream and citrus juice.  Typically I just cheat and add some greek yogurt, but because we had such a cocktail-filled fun weekend I was trying to be a good girl and skip dairy, so here’s the quick recipe I came up with


Avocado  NONcrema
½ an avocado, mashed but not decimated
¼ of a lime, juiced
2 drops lemon juice
Sriracha, to taste
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of garlic powder

Mix all ingredients. 


I know!!  It’s kind of lame, but it tastes great and it was exactly what I needed to dress up my lunch.  I added three handfuls of spinach to a large bowl, drizzled on some olive oil, sprinkled on some pepper, placed the cooked salmon burger on top and spread the avocado sauce onto the burger.  A quick and flavorful lunch that’s full of good vitamins, protein, and fats.  You could probably add some coconut milk solids to this sauce to give it a creamier feel.


Salad as Fast Food

We have a pretty diverse life-stage community at our gym.  There are those of us who are still in high school or college, some of us are just starting our careers and investing those long hours, others are raising families and running from activity to activity, and then there are the lucky, footloose and fancy free empty-nesters and retirees.  No matter what stage you are in, more than likely you have some challenging days where you eat on the run or in your car.  Hey – it happens!  For our family this happens more than I would like to think about.  If you’ve seen me carting in the kids and their lunch bags to the gym, then you can understand what I’m talking about here.  I hope it’s not too weird to feed your kids out of mason jars and let them eat yogurt, apples, olives, pickles, and turkey for dinner.  I just tell them it’s antipasto and they feel super fancy and eat it all gone.

 Schedules and activities aren’t always ideal, but planning can certainly curtail those trips through the drive through or to the pizza parlor on a busy night.  Save those for real emergencies, not for weekly scheduled programming.  For us this means planning dinner for the night we have gymnastics from 5:30-7:00.  This past week I ate my salad out of a giant Tupperware container, standing up and watching the kids work on their skills.  The atmosphere left a bit to be desired, but the food was delicious and I didn’t feel sluggish or guilty afterward.  This salad is really good.  I can’t convey how tasty it is.  We make this for special company, that’s how good it is.  I know, “a salad for company?”  Yes.  Do it. 

Grilled Chicken Salad with Rustic Guacamole

Serves 4

For the Dressing
½ cup olive oil, plus a little more for onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
2 serranos or 1 jalapeno, stemmed and halved
½ cup fresh lime juice
¾ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
¼ t. ground black pepper

For the Salad
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium white onion, cut into ½ inch slices
2 ripe avocados
2 medium romaine hearts, sliced crosswise into ½ inch wide ribbons
1/3 cup grated Queso Anejo, Romano, or Parmesan

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is soft and lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.  Pour the oil, garlic, and chile into a blender jar or food processor.  Add the lime juice, cilantro, black pepper and ¾ teaspoon salt.  Process until smooth.  Taste and add more salt if needed.
Place the chicken breasts in a small bowl and pour 1/3 of the garlic dressing over them, spreading it evenly over all sides.
Heat half the burners of a gas grill over medium-high (or start a charcoal fire and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash but still quite hot, then bank the coals to one side).  Lightly brush or spray the onion slices with oil; sprinkle with salt.  Lay the chicken and onion directly over the heat of the grill.  Sear the chicken on both sides, then move it away from direct heat to finish cooking, usually about 5 minutes.  Cook the onion until it is well browned, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  Chop the onion into small pieces and scoop into a bowl.  Set the chicken aside to cool.  (All of the grilling can be done in a grill pan on a stove over medium heat.)
Pit the avocados and scoop the flesh in with the onion.  Add another 1/3 of the garlic dressing, then coarsely mash everything together with a potato masher, large fork, or the back of a big spoon.  Taste and season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon.
Scoop the sliced romaine into a large bowl.  Drizzle on the remaining garlic dressing and toss to combine.  Divide among four dinner plates.
Scoop a portion of guacamole into the center of each plate.  Cut each chicken breast into cubes and arrange over the guacamole.  Sprinkle each plate with Queso Anejo or it’s substitute, and you’re ready to serve

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!  This sunny day is sure a welcome end to the challenge.  Congratulations!  I did my measurements yesterday and I was happy with my results.  I still have some fat to lose, but I am pleased with my progress and satisfied that my focus on balanced nutrition helped my body get closer to my goals.  If you are curious, I am more than happy to share my results with you but I’m not going to air that here on the worldwide web. I deem that highly unnecessary.  I can’t wait to hear how you all did and how excited you are about your results.  And maybe you aren’t excited about your results, but I’m sure you learned at least one thing about yourself, your body, your mind, and how these affect your relationship to food.

If you’ve been taking in any oxygen the past few months, I’m sure you’ve heard me howling about my cocktails and how deprived I was.  I had dreams of flabongo-ing a Coors Light right after I stepped off the scale.  Did I have a drink last night?  Nope.  I did eat a cookie, so please don’t be fooled.  I was quite surprised at myself choosing to not drink, and I believe that speaks volumes about our brains playing some real cruel tricks on us when we are ABSOLUTELY denying ourselves a pleasurable or desirable food or beverage.  This is not to say that I’m not enjoying a few cocktails this weekend.  Time will tell. I do have some tequila steeping with jalapenos in the fridge for one of these margaritas that I may use to wash down my tacos, swaddled in corn tortillas.  Just.Sayin.

Our timing with the end of the challenge is pretty cool since I bet many of us want to stick with our nutrition to support some great performances in THE OPEN.  If you don’t know what that is, stop sleeping under a rock and check out the leaderboard!   Here are a few tips and suggestions I have collected over time about the ‘freedom’ period once a challenge is over:

1.       Remember how you feel today.  It wasn’t easy to get here, but it can be much too easy to go right back to some unhealthy eating habits.
2.       Allow yourself some enjoyment.  Maybe you missed pancakes or dark chocolate or beer or bacon cheeseburgers with a BUN.  Go ahead and eat some of that and do it without guilt.  Just don’t do it every day again.  And please don’t go back to drinking soda.
3.       Plan accordingly for what you desire for your body and mind now that the challenge is over.  You may choose to stay the course, try a different style of eating to switch things up, or get a bit stricter than you were these last 60 days.  Just don’t stop making good nutrition a priority and something you plan for.
4.       Share your successes and challenges with each other, and with family and friends.  I’m sure they’ve been noticing that you look and/or feel better and this is your opportunity to speak from experience and encourage someone else to pay closer attention to their nutrition.

It’s been fun sharing recipes, articles, and tips with you guys.  I think we will still have posts on nutrition and cooking, but at this point I’m not sure exactly what that will look like.  I am going to enjoy taking a few days off :D  Onward and upward!'s the day before the END of the challenge.  I am beyond excited to see what our numbers are on Friday.  I was thinking about what I realized through living this challenge and here's what I came up with:  1) I like a nightly cocktail 2) small changes in my nutrition made a big difference (in the gym..numbers wise we have to wait and see!) and 3) I don't want to have any food stress or guilt.  Giving up my nightly cocktail was difficult.  Normally in the summer I will drink a beer with my dinner and in the winter I may have a martini, margarita, or glass of wine with dinner.  I missed this a lot and I think it may just be like a carrot at the end of my day, y'know?  I feel pretty good about my numbers at the gym lately and I feel like my endurance improved.  Food guilt and stress or those types of negative emotions associated with food surprised me quite a bit.  I would feel guilty eating dijon or soy sauce and that is just pretty lame.  Part of that is on me and part of that is the Paleo dogma that can seep into your brain if you're not careful.  I am really working on this 'stress' aspect of food and the value I put on adhering to the do and don't categories with Paleo.  That is why I am trying to go more Zone recently.  I don't need weird emotional ties with my food.  I know that food is fuel for my body and I need to treat it as such.  It's not a moral compass. 

I want to touch briefly on pre- and post-wod nutrition.  Of course there is a ton of information (opinions mostly) about what approach works best for CrossFitters and I think we all need to agree that the first rule of this kind of nutrition is that we are all individuals.  There is not one approach that will work well for all of us.  I read quite a few articles today on the CrossFit Journal site that addressed nutrition. It seems that there is no obvious choice for nutrition before a wod other than don't walk in the gym at 5 and admit you haven't eaten a thing all day.  That's just silly.  Your body requires food to funciton properly so don't be stingy!  I feel my best during a wod if I make sure to eat about 2 hours before.  This is normally 1/2 a piece of fruit and some protein.  I just feel better if I do that.  Any closer than 2 hours and I just want to barf.  For Saturday workouts I normally just don't eat beforehand, but I do make sure I eat a small night snack on Friday.  The going wisdom on post-wod nutrition was a bit more definitive and I apologize for not addressing the science at this time.  I will do that in a future post.  There is a magic window for eating something post-wod and that is 0-15 minutes after you finish.  This can seem a bit weird since you are working on your flexibility at this time, but it's the norm in some CrossFit gyms.  Here is the quote directly from a guest post over at PaleOMG:

"Intense physical activity causes cellular volumization which is largely responsible for amino acid transport as well as increased protein and glycogen synthesis. Eating protein post workout will stop the catabolic effects that training induces and promote anabolic conditions. Likewise, eating carbohydrates will refill muscle glycogen stores. Our goal is to take advantage of the metabolic window and get amino acids and sugar into our muscles at a time in which the body craves them the most. This gives us a faster and better recovery. This window typically lasts up to 30 minutes, but the optimum time is less than 15 minutes."

This is just the beginning for this whole topic, but I would like to challenge each of us to plan our post-wod snack and have it ready at the gym.  Since you're already packing your lunch to the office, you may as well add a snack to munch after your wod.  Snacks I've had before:  deli turkey and ham with bell pepper strips, 1/2 a grilled chicken breast and 1/2 a sweet potato, and an AMRAP refuel bar. I plan on cooking up a big batch of meatballs and sweet potato wedges and portioning those out for the days I'm at the gym.  Ideally you eat a small amount of protein and carbs and avoid fruit sources for your carb.  Fats are also unecessary because they slow nutrient absorbtion, so save a place for them in your other meals. Protein shakes are not optimal because your body will use that liquid source of nutrition way too fast and you'll get an instant spike in your glucose instead of a slow rise like we're after with this whole hormone-regulation thing.  Robb Wolf has an article on post-wod food that I found helpful as well.

The Zone Diet Explained
by Jeff Barnett 
Most serious CrossFitters adhere to either the Paleo Diet, the Zone Diet, or some blend of the two. Christina and Jeff Barnett have compiled some information on the Zone Diet to make it easy for anyone to understand, complete with a thorough Zone block chart and pictures of example Zone meals. While we actually recommend first focusing on quality of food by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, balancing your portions and carb/protein/fat intake with the Zone is an incredibly valuable tool for both elite athletes seeking the best CrossFit diet and everyday people seeking weight loss. To take your nutrition to the next level you need the hormonal balance that the Zone Diet provides. Read on to find out more, and when you’re done use this PDF file to find the block equivalent of most common foods. It’s even color-coded! Figuring out your perfect 4 block zone dinner couldn’t be easier.

Diet comes from the Greek language and means “way of life”. A diet is a lifestyle–not a set of draconian rules that you blindly follow. The Zone Diet controls gene expression and hormonal balance to give you the longer and better life to which we all aspire.

The Zone diet is primarily concerned with controlling your hormones. Hormonal balance affects all important components of your wellness: body composition, energy utilization, blood chemistry, and much more. Food is a drug. This may seem shocking, but think about the definition of a drug. Loosely, ingesting drugs causes physiological changes in your body. Ingesting food has the same effect. It can bring about positive or negative changes in your body. Would you take 17 Tylenol capsules for a headache? Would you consume expired, low-quality medicine? Of course not. Then why should we expect different results when we feed our bodies 17 times our necessary food intake, and comprise our diet of low-quality processed garbage with no nutritional value? You see the results of this lifestyle in America today.

The Zone Diet isn’t about eating “low-carb” or “high-protein” or anything like that. It’s a diet balanced in

• Protein (lean, natural meats are preferred)

• Carbs (mostly low glycemic-load fruits and vegetables)

• Fat (one of the most important macronutrients!)

With the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can control three major hormones generated by the human diet – insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids.

Insulin – A storage hormone. Excess insulin makes you fat and keeps you fat. It also accelerates silent inflammation.

Glucagon – A mobilization hormone that tells the body to release stored carbohydrates at a steady rate, leading to stabilized blood sugar levels. This is key for optimal mental and physical performance.

Eicosanoids – These are the hormones that ultimately control silent inflammation. They are also master hormones that indirectly orchestrate a vast array of other hormonal systems in your body.

Intro to Zone Living
A One Block meal consists of one choice from the Protein List (pink), one from the Carbohydrate List (blue) and one from the Fat List (green).

A Two Block meal consists of 2 choices from each list.

A Three Block meal consists of 3 choices from each list…and so on.

You can mix and match blocks as you wish. If you aren’t very hungry when you first wake up, then a 2 block meal might be just right for you, perhaps with a 3 block lunch and dinner. Or maybe you prefer to start your day with 3 blocks and have a lighter dinner or lunch.

Here is a sample menu of a possible routine (times can be adjusted 30 minutes or so either way):

7:30 am     10am     1:00pm     3:30pm     6:30pm     9pm/9:30 (bedtime)

bkfst           snack      lunch        snack         dinner       snack

2 Block     1 Block   3 Block    1 Block      3 Block    1 Block = 11 total

10 to 11 blocks of balanced food is about right for a small woman. Feel free to experiment with your number of daily blocks and move them around as you see fit. Every athlete is different. The below chart will also help you determine your block requirements.

You don’t have to set alarms. The point is to develop the habit of eating at regular intervals so your hormones are balanced all day. Eat within an hour of waking up in the morning, don’t go more than 4 hours without eating something, and eat a snack before you go to sleep so you have some fuel to dream on.

Buying a digital food scale is a great idea since it makes measuring blocks fast and easy. Use “tare” to make it even easier, and you won’t have to use math at all! Put your plate on the scale and hit the tare button. It subtracts the weight of the plate and makes the scale read zero. Measure out one of the items. Hit the tare button and again it starts you at zero once more for the next item. Finally your plate will be full of all your foods, all measured individually, but all on one plate. Very easy!

After about a month you’ll be able to “eyeball” the food and you won’t need to measure precisely anymore…unless you’re having something new you’ve never measured into blocks.

Don’t worry too much about being exact; this isn’t a chemistry test! You’re never going to eat many of the items on the list anyway, and some items you like to eat may not be on the list, but you can find out how to convert anything into blocks.

One last thing: Read the label on already prepared foods you like.

7 grams of protein = 1 block. 14 grams = 2 blocks. 21 grams = 3 blocks.

9 grams of carbs = 1 block. 18 grams = 2 blocks. 27 grams = 3 blocks.

1.5 grams of fat = 1 block. 3 grams = 2 blocks. 4.5 grams = 3 blocks.

For example, if you get a snack bar that says:

8 grams of protein

29 grams of carbohydrates

6 grams of fat

You should count this as a carbohydrate and not worry about the protein and fat in the snack bar. You must be careful not to micromanage your nutrients.  If you incorrectly count all of the macronutrients in this snack bar (~1 block of protein~3 blocks carbs~4 blocks fat) then you will end up underfed and driving yourself crazy.   In the case of this snack bar you should just count it as 3 blocks of carbohydrates. Add 3 blocks of protein and fat for a complete 3 block meal.  This takes practice and can be frustrating at times, but the results will make the effort worthwhile!
I hope you feel as good as I do living “in the Zone”.  Below you can see some examples of Zone-friendly meals, including a 2, 3, and 4 block zone dinner that will perfectly complement your CrossFit diet!

2 Block Meal

2 eggwhites & 2 turkey links

2 small tomatoes or one large tomato

1 tsp cashew butter (1000mg fish oil not counted) 

                                            3 Block Meal

6.7 oz cottage cheese

.5oz (1/8 cup) rolled oats, 3.7 oz (1 cup) strawberries, & 2.4 oz blueberries

9 cocoa almonds

4 Block Meal

4 eggwhites, 2 turkey links, 1 oz cheese

2 cups strawberries & ½ oat pita

12 cocoa almonds 

4 Block Meal

4.5 oz chicken meat & 1 oz cheese

1 whole oat pita

12 cocoa almonds 

4 Block Meal

6 oz grilled fish

36 asparagus spears and 1 cup mushrooms

2 teaspoons of cashew butter

Finally, buying natural, paleo-friendly foods (shop the perimeter of the grocery store) and preparing for the week is a great way to ensure success:

Much of this information is derived and paraphrased from the Zone Diet website here.

Eat Paleo!

It's fairly easy to find multiple definitions for what Paleo (pay-lee-oh) 'is' or 'isn't' and you will probably come across people who live Paleo in a wide variety of ways.  Don't be discouraged. The base of the Paleo philosophy is the idea that our species should eat the foods we thrived on when we began growing larger brains and walking upright.  This was 100,000 years ago, or so.  It sounds a bit weird and borderline hippie, but it makes so much sense and there is supporting research (not funded by pharmaceutical companies, ahem) to satisfy our large brains.  Our foods should be regional, seasonal, and  fresh.  It should not come from a can, a box, or wrapped in plastic packaging.  Therefore, we should fill our plates with real, wholesome foods.  Easy enough, right?  If only.  It's tempting to try and be Paleo perfect and get all crazy, which is fine, but Paleo frame can also be your invitation to clean out the junk you've been eating and make you view meals and nutrition in a different light.  Vegetables for breakfast?  Yes, please.  When deciding if Paleo is a good choice for you and your family, don't get hung-up on everything being regional or seasonal.  That may not make sense for your life in some way (budget, time, access, etc.)  Just keep in mind that as we've heard before, "If it has a food label on it, it isn't food."  Buy grassfed meats or butter when you can.  Shop the farmer's markets when the season allows.  Focus on shifting your idea of healthy away from low-fat and high-carb.  Gluten (found in grains and by-products of wheat, barley, rye, oats and other grains), sugar, excess and processed carbs are the substances we need to avoid due to their role in gut issues, systemic inflammation, acne, and a group of diseases called the Metabolic Syndrome (which includes diabetes and obesity.)  There are many stories about people healing themselves through proper, balanced nutrition, and Paleo is a gateway for this type of improvement.  Please check out The Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf sites for more in-depth information on Paleo and the science of why.  

So, what should you eat?

Each athlete has a different goal, and your nutrition can and should be tweaked based on your needs.  What we should eat includes meats, seafood, eggs, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils (including coconut, olive, walnut and others.)  We should avoid processed foods, sugar, legumes (yes - beans and peanuts,) dairy, potatoes, and grains.  Here's another way to look at it -

If your goal is to put on some mass then you can eat some more fruits, healthful fats, and add some potatoes.  If you are looking to lose some weight or inches, set limits with your fruit, starchy vegetable, and nut intake.  Our goal should be fueling our bodies with the proper macro- and micronutrient levels to support and fuel performance without adding fat.  Eat until you are no longer hungry, not until you are FULL.  Vegetables are powerhouses for nutrients we need to help our bodies function as they should.  Here is a nutritional breakdown of fruits and vegetables.  Although these lists are a bit paltry, your idea concerning the 'need' for whole grains as a necessary fiber source may change.

Our family eats Paleo 80% of the time.  The other 20% we choose to add 'cheats' that are worth it to us.  And we don't beat ourselves up about these things.  Breaking unhelathy thought patterns and realtionships  with food is another great step in improving your nutriton (thank you, Whole9).  We choose to eat this way for our energy and performance levels and because (now, a year into it) we really prefer to eat this way.

Reccomended Resources:

Reccomended Reading:

60 Day Way of Life Clean Eating Challenge

I hope you all spent some of Sunday working on preparation for your week ahead and your new 'Way of Life' eating habits.  I'm looking forward to hearing about your culinary adventures in the kitchen.   The energy in the gym on Saturday was electric, and I know we are all focused on and excited about the goals we have in front of us.  Challenges lie ahead and we need to put some thought and energy into plans for the weeks to come.

One of the biggest challenges when starting a new nutrition plan is snacks.  Our bodies, minds, and taste buds are very highly trained about what they want and like for a snack. What we need to do is to train them to like what they need.  Some fat, some protein, and some carbs.  Variety is key for some people and for others there is safety in routine.  Plan accordingly for yourself.  I know I need variety and I started eating Paleo a little over a year ago.  Luckily, my bestie, Amy, writes a food blog for her gym and she has a great post on snacks.  We enjoyed some of these kale chips with our dinner tonight. It can be exciting to try a new food or a new twist on a familiar food. WinCo has some fancy purple kale right now.  Great for snacks and throwing into your soup pot.   Here's a picture of our kids' plates from tonight.


Phew!  Feels good to get at least one day marked off the calendar, right?  I'm hoping today was empowering for you.  I feel a great sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction when I keep my eating in check and feed my body well.  Tonight after some squat cleans (PR's!!  woot) I heard strange words muttered like 'coconut oil,' 'kale,' and 'sunflower seed butter.'  Ooohh, ahhhh.  Just like every other day at the gym, we're all fighting for faster and stronger.  At least we're getting smarter and addressing the nutrition piece!  The right nutrition can help us reach our goals we have on that board. 
Luckily, eating well doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming.  Then we can spend more time at the gym!  Here is a recipe Mary shared that her family throroughly enjoyed.  Buy a few cans of coconut milk while you're at it.  They will not go to waste.

I hate to say it, but I'm definitely feeling the hangover today.  The sugar detox shoxxxx.  My attitude is less than stellar and I surrendered the obligation to even appear to have patience.  Blech.  I'm guessing some of you feel this, too.  Let's just all take a deeeeeeeep breath...and exhale.  Ahhh.  We're messing with the hormone levels (remember insulin, glucagon?)  in our bodies and sometimes bodies don't play nice.  If we stay the course, we'll show these bodies who's boss. 

In my opinoin a large part of staying the course is keeping our food delicious, filling, and varied.  Here's a Zone recipe Melody said we should all try.  This recipe is inspired by one at Our Best Bites.

Asian Rainbow Salad with Tasty Peanut Dressing

Makes a 4 block meal

For the salad -
1 c. sliced (ribbons) kale
1 c. chopped romaine
1 1/3 c. shredded cabbage (mix of red and green)
3/4 c. thinly sliced red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 medium cucumber, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. diced cooked chicken

For the dressing -
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 t. honey
1/2 t. sesame oil
1/2 lime, juiced and zested
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t. minced ginger
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 t. sriracha (rooster sauce)
1/4 t. salt
water* if desired

Layer veggies in a nice big bowl, beginning with kale and ending with red onion.  Top with your chicken (it can be cold or warm, no biggie).  Mix  together all ingredients for your dressing and add some water (teaspoon at a time) if you like it a bit more thin. Drizzle dressing onto your salad and enjoy a flavor explosion!

DISCLAMER - I am not a Zone person, so please feel free to calculate out your blocks and make sure this works out to 4 blocks.  I used my CrossFit training guide and an online calculator to figure out the blocks.

We are still in what some nutrition gurus call 'The Hangover'.  And yes, It must be capitalized because that's how It feels.  There are rewards and things that feel good already too - no sugar crashes at 2 in the afternoon, perhaps?  I hope you are feeling something positive by today, and if you aren't then just simmer down and wait longer.  It will happen.

Here is a recipe for homemade Lara bars that I really love.  Mary and Leo love these too.  My kids snarf these things down like they are related to a Gogurt.  Stock up on some dried fruit and nuts at Hyland's Health Foods or at WinCo.  When I make this I use a mix of 3/4 cherries and 1/4 apricots.  Try and avoid the sweetened dried fruit.  Pack one of these in your car the next time you head to the gym and eat it after your wod.  You will replenish some glucagon stores and make your tastebuds and tummy sing! 

Alright you guys, we are now entering the 'KILL ALL THE THINGS' phase of our challenge.  This is where we realize that what we are doing is HARD, it takes a lot of work and forethought, and maybe we really do want to eat everything covered in sugar!!!!!!!!  This is also a good part of the challenge to think about things that are truly hard (as in difficult and get your minds out of the gutter,) and I could create a very long list here of those things but I think that would be excess negativity. Give yourself some credit for doing this difficult thing and just keep going.  It's great to hear athletes discussing nutrition in the gym and the resources we have are plentiful.  I'm so excited to hear people sharing tips, recipes they tried, and where to source healthy ingredients. 

One curveball that may certainly come up during the challenge is...socializing.  Eeeeek.  Dinner parties, happy hours, football parties, and other wonton things like that.  I had that very challenge myself tonight.  I received an invite for a dinner where people were going to be rolling sushi and drinking alcoholic tasty treats.  This is a real problem for me, because I fell very strongly that sharing a meal and a beverage with people you love, care about, and find interesting is one of the great joys of life.  This is something I always look forward to and you may often hear me trying to organize some social event at the gym so we can all do this together (and yes, you better come!)  I really wanted to say no to tonight.  I knew it would be difficult to not partake and I wasn't sure I felt like 'suffering' in that way, but I decided to buck-up and do it anyway.  Meet some new people, talk about some fun projects, sip a little grapefruit sparkling water.  I did all the tricks they tell you to do - eat beforehand, bring something you can enjoy, and don't make a big deal about the food and drink and just enjoy the interaction.  That's exactly what I did, and I brought  Brownie Cake Bites.  Mine were a bit dry, but I think they are worth another try.  The recipe calls for Creamed Coconut but offers Coconut Butter as an appropriate substitution.  I used Coconut Butter and I wasn't extremely pleased, but I would definitely like to try this with the Creamed Coconut (available on Amazon.)  I chilled the brownie bites in the fridge for a few hours and they were more like a nice, rich truffle at that point. It was a sweet end to the evening, but not a complete success.  I'll keep trying, for the sake of a chocolate treat that isn't doused in sugar.

I sure hope you guys are starting to round the corner of suffering and eff this!  I felt better today and I'm very grateful to get over that first little hump of coming down off all the holiday sugar.  I had some fun in the kitchen tonight and I'm sure a large part of that was my freshly stocked fridge.  It feels so good to open that door and feel inspired by the bounty.  Here are some ingredients I have in there right now - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, eggs, broccoli, brussels sprouts, baby bella mushrooms, carrots, celery, arugula, spinach, romaine, chipotle chicken sausages, andouille, boneless pork chops, broccoli slaw, sparkling water, homemade curry paste, coconut milk, homemade salsa, almond butter, and full-fat, plain greek yogurt.  Mmmm..sounds like the beginnings of a great weekend, right? 

Today I prepared some egg 'muffins' to have ready in the fridge so the kids can feed themselves while I lay in my bed and stay warm.  I've made many variations of this recipe, and I finally decided this one is my favorite.  Feel free to play around with the veg in here.  I used onion, mushrooms, zuchinni, and broccoli slaw, and for the meat I used some leftover taco meat.  I don't have coconut flour on hand, so I used almond flour (meal) that I made myself using this method.  This recipe is full of flavor and makes a frittata with a nice texture, too.  Enjoy!

Something I find extremely helpful and key to staying on track with my nutrition is menu planning.  It sounds really fancy like there's a comittee or something, but it's just me taking time to make a list of what I plan on cooking each day of the week and creating a corresponding grocery list for those meals.  Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes, sometimes an hour, and other times I will mark on it throughout an entire day.  Whatever works with what's going on with the kids or in our lives that day. A big factor in how long it takes is whether Cooking and I are getting along or if we're in a tiff.  So far so good for this week.

If I'm being really savvy, then I have my list finalized by Saturday night so I can hit WinCo (possible Freddie's too) before the big Sunday crowd.  If you don't already do this, try it out for a week and see if it:  a) saves you any time and/or money, b) makes you a bit more sane, and c) helps you stick to your nutrition goals.  Here's what's on our menu for this week -

SUNDAY - Red Curry-Lime Chicken Wings, Garden Salad, Steamed Broccoli
*Start marinating Chili Cilantro Lime Crock Pot Chicken
**Roast poblanos for meatloaf
MONDAY - Chili Cilantro Lime Crock Pot Chicken, Stir-fry veggies, Roasted Broccoli
TUESDAY - Bacon Green Chile Meatloaf, Garlic Cauliflower Mash, Garden Salad
WEDNESDAY - Paleo Mango Coconut ChickenRoasted Carrots and Zucchini
THURSDAY - General Tso's Chicken, Cauliflower Rice, Sliced Cucumbers
FRIDAY - Meatza Pie, Greek Salad
SATURDAY - Fajitas (Chicken), Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cumin + Coriander + Garlic

Here's to another successful week!

Congratulations on making it through week one!  I am grateful to mark that off the calendar and move forward into week two.  Fridge is stocked, dishes are washed, kids are in bed, and I feel refreshed and ready for the week. 

I am trying a few tweaks with my nutrition this week - eating a bigger breakfast and eating small snacks on a more regulated basis.  One of my favorite snacks is a good ol' hard-boiled egg.  I find that eggs are one of the simplest ingredients that take no time at all to get all messed-up.  Or am I just super picky about eggs?  Food for thought.  I use a pretty foolproof method to make my hard-boiled eggs, but I wasn't always pleased with the peeling situation.  How frustrating when you're ready for your snack and it will not release itself from the shell.  Arrgghh!!  After some sleuthing I found a novel trick to squash that whole peeling dilemma once and for all.  Nom Nom Paleo is definitely one of my go to sites for cooking science and methods.  Michelle, the woman behind the blog, understands and appreciates science and can explain it in layman's terms, which I appreciate.  Here is her method for the perfect hard-boiled egg.  This makes a luscious, perfectly cooked, peeled-without-vigor, hard-boiled egg.  Yum. 

I have a confession to make...I'm really struggling with finding good Zone resources (aka - blogs I want to read.)  I have a ton of Paleo places I love to go to drool over recipes.  If you guys have some good Zone reads, please e-mail me, text me, or tell me when you see me at the gym. I'm a bit stumped here.  I am a very adventurous eater and I would love to try some tasty zone meals.  And because I'm adventurous, I made the strangest breakfast of all time today. It's a Sweet Breakfast Scramble and it has pumpkin, banana, eggs, vanilla all together.  Whaaaaat?  I topped mine off with some freshly ground almond butter from Fred Meyer.  Nom.  This was a great break from my usual scrambled egg and veggies and satifies (almost) that strangely crippling pancake craving.  Be a little wierd and try this one.  Then eat some veggies for a snack.

10/60 I had some fierce cravings for a Frosty.  What???  I haven't had a Frosty in about 5 years, but I had this crazy idea that I might NEED one today.  Ha!  Thank goodness I was a bit prepared for this crazy craving after reading an article about it on the Whole 9/Whole 30 site.  I knew that my brain was trying to send me back to my old, comforting habits.  I just love that it chose a Frosty and not a Dove dark chocolate, which is what I really gave up with this challenge.  For those of you that don't know, the Whole 30 is a pretty intense (read - strict) eating challenge that makes you really strip down all of the junk from your diet, which they call a 'short-term nutritional reset.'  Part of the big idea behind doing a Whole 30 is to end unhealthy relationships with food, cravings, and bad food habits.  The majority of us are having an experience with this reset just like someone on the Whole 30 plan, so take some time and read the article that adresses the timeline we're on right now.  Things will really start to make sense as far as your emotional and physiological experiences. 

Because I was wishing for something a bit sweet, I made these Lemon Poppyseed Muffins and substituted chia seeds (yes,!)  Makes for a nice quick snack for the kids, too.  And by the way, our meatloaf was awesome tonight.  Give it a try if you need some inspiration for dinner.

Now that we're all getting into our groove and eating mashed cauliflower for breakfast (true story), we see that performance at the gym is really starting to change.  Athletes are putting up a bunch of pr's and accomplishing new skills daily.  It's very exciting and I think we need to give proper nutrition some credit!  Let's remember that because we put our bodies through these grueling workouts, we need to repay them immediately afterwards with some high-quality foods.  Ideally you should eat a snack within 30 minutes of working out.  This can be any number of combinations, but should include a good amount of a lean protein and some carbs plus a small amount of fat.  You could do some leftover dinner protein with 1/2 of a sweet potato, hard-boiled eggs with some roasted veggies, roll some pepper and avocado slices up in sliced turkey or roast beef. Try to be more creative than just a piece of fruit.  I made these Pumpkin Amazeballs this weekend and they are great paired with some ham or a hard-boiled egg.  I omitted the oats and used walnuts instead.  I keep them in the freezer and pull one out right before I leave for the gym.  Have your snack in the car and be prepared.  Your body will thank you.

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE SALSA.  I'm just going to say it, I really love most Mexican foods and beverages.  <==Did I really have to go there?  Sorry.  Homemade salsa is a staple in our home and I think you should all make some today.  Or this weekend if you have to be patient or whatever.  Here is my favorite salsa recipe.  I have some Rick Bayless worship issues, but we can talk about those later.  As far as the salsa, it's delicious on eggs (any preparation,) sweet potatoes, chicken, sliders, a spoon, and cottage cheese.  Please make a quadruple batch. 

If you want to build flavor and keep your food interesting, get out some herbs and spices!  These tools really do make such a difference in our kitchens, and they are relatively inexpensive for the layers of flavor they will add to your meals.  My top 10 spices and herbs are:  sea salt, cumin, oregano, coriander, curry powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho (pasilla) chile powder, and chipotle chile powder.  It really isn't fair to make me pick only ten, but I'll play along anyway.  You may even blush if you saw my collection of spices and sea salts.  I cannot wait until I get the chance to visit a Penzey's store one day!  Until that day comes, I will continue to source my spices at Costco, Fiesta Foods, and in the bulk bins at WinCo and Fred Meyer.   Our dinner tonight included two new spice blends that took me a total of three minutes to prepare.  I had all but one ingredient in my pantry, so I just picked that up at the store on my Sunday morning grocery trip.  I went ahead and made double batches since I was already mixing away.  Now I have new spices to play with.  Here is the recipe for one of them (the tastiest one).  This is the recipe we used in our Meatza and it would be a great addition to meatballs, sliders, meatloaf, and even rubbed onto chicken with some olive oil and grilled.

source - inspired by Melissa Joulwan in Well Fed

2 t. dried parsley
1 T. Italian seasoning
2 t. ground black pepper
2 t. granulated garlic powder
2 t. smoked paprika
4 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Break up the herbs in your palm and add to your spice container.  Add the rest of the spices and mix until combined.  Store in a cool, dry place.

We're 1/4 of the way through our challenge!!!  Woo hoo!  Cheers to better eating and getting into the groove of taking care of our bodies and minds through proper nutrition.  Here's a meal that's great for your soul.  Make it a Stovetop Sunday tradition.  Pairs wonderfully with some Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and a simple green salad.

I never cared all the much about peanut butter until I went Paleo.  What is that?  I liked peanut butter just fine, but I wasn't all crazy about it. Growing up my dad would eat peanut butter on his toast every morning.  Meh.  I would lick the knife once in a while.  Isn't it fascinating the things our minds will do to us once we start reigning things in a bit?  That's how I feel about my whole peanut butter issue.  Still crave it like mad these days.  One of the ways I have always enjoyed peanut butter is in a Thai Peanut Sauce.  I mean, I just drooled a teeny-tiny bit right there.  So good!  Luckily for us there is Sunbutter, aka - Sunflower Seed Butter.  I've seen this at Highland's Health Food stores, Fred Meyer, and WinCo.  My personal favorite is the Trader Joe's brand, but that one does contain sugar (boo!)  This Paleo Pad Thai is one of our favorites that incorporates some delicious Sunbutter.  Coconut Aminos are a Paleo friendly sub for soy sauce since we try to stay away from wheat and soy. 

I love nuts and seeds, so that's a win for me and this whole Paleo-eat-good-for-you-fats deal we have going on.  It is important to not hit the nuts and seeds too hard if you are trying to drop some lbs or inches.  Here's a chart of seeds and nuts and some nutritional information.  I found the 'net carb' portion of  this very interesting.  The idea behind a 'net carb' is that our bodies don't process the fiber portion of the carbohydrate the same way, because there is no rise in our blood sugar from that portion of the carb.  For example, macadamia nuts have 4 carbohydrates per serving, with 2.4 of those being fiber and 1.6 of those as simple (glucose-spikng) carbs. 

Here's a quick recipe I made for dinner last night.  I am very mindful of making extra protein portions for dinner these days since it's so helpful to have leftovers on hand for a healthy snack. These burgers taste great warm or cold and really great with some mustard or avocado on top. Our kids loved these burgers.  We also ate some oven-baked sweet potato fries with Sriracha Mayo for dipping.  Sadly, Sriracha (rooster sauce) isn't paleo, but it's my favorite.  Happy bellies.


3 T. coconut oil, divided
6 baby bella mushrooms, diced small
1/2 an onion or 1 sm shallot, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
2 # ground turkey
1/2 t. ground pepper
1 t. salt

Heat a cast iron skillet or large saute pan over medium heat.  Add 1 T. coconut oil and swirl to coat.  Add veggies and saute until softened.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside in a large bowl to cool. Remove the pan from the heat and save for later. Wash some dishes, slice some avocado for your burgers.  Add ground turkey to the bowl with the cooled veggies.  Season with salt and pepper and mix.  Shape into uniform patties.  Place patties on a plate in the fridge to set up a bit (10 minutes or so).  This will help them not fall apart when cooking.  When your burgers are set, wipe out your veggie pan and place over medium heat again. Pull burgers out of the fridge.  When your pan is nice and warm, add T. coconut oil and swirl again.  Add your burgers and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. Repeat once more.

Please do not smoosh your burgers down at any time.  This just squeezes any juiciness right out of your burger.  We want juicy.  Cooking time may vary depending on your pan, stovetop, etc.  Keep an eye on them and allow them to brown nicely on each side.  I usually  set my oven to the 'warm' setting and place the first batch in the oven once they are done and I'm cooking the second batch.  I turn the oven off as soon as I put the burgers in there.  Enjoy!

It seems ridiculous to post an ice cream recipe when there's still ice outside.  We're the kind of people who eat vegetables for breakfast, so what do we care about these silly food rules?  This recipe for Banana Fried Ice Cream may be just what your doctor ordered.  It's creamy, cinnamon-y, and just sweet enough with a touch of honey and some bananas.  This recipe calls for two cans of coconut milk, so be a bit  adventuresome and take a trip to the Asian market.  My personal favorite is Leyte on Jadwin in Richland, or  Golden Dragon on Clearwater in Kennewick. We'll talk more about those little gems on a different day, but this is where I like to get my coconut milk because it usually costs a bit less and you can find it without the additives that come in the cans at your typical grocery store.  Coconut products (like milk, flakes, butter, and oil) are a healthy fat choice becuase they contain saturated fatty acids and medium-chain tryglicerides (MCTs).  These are both easily burned by our bodies as fuel.  MCTs in particular are great because they head straight to our livers and get used as an immdiate source of energy, rather than hanging around to get turned into fat as some longer chain fatty acids do ( 

I'm not there yet, but some of you may be tired of chicken by now.  I know, it's so accessible and familiar and affordable.  We eat chicken for dinner at least twice per week, and on some really lame weeks it can be found on our plates for most of our dinners.  Here's a chicken recipe that's accessible but not all that familiar to most of us.  Marinating and using spice rubs are two great ways to add flavor to a blank-slate protein.  This recipe is sort of a hybrid of the two.  Plan ahead for (at least) two hours in the fridge.  Serve with some riced or roasted cauliflower and a nice spinach salad.  Chicken seems ho-hum, but you can dress it up all kinds of ways and it does serve as a good protein source that provides calcium, potassium, and vitamin B3. Spice up your routine and serve your body some good, healthful eats. 

I did some searching for Paleo Zone blogs and this recipe for Paleo Shepherd's Pie sounds really delicious and comforting for these cold, dreary days.  This recipe calls for parsnips, which I absolutely adore (thank you, Jamie Oliver!) and am so confused about why Americans don't eat them more often.  In his post the author (Steve) talks about glycemic index and what considerations to take when analyzing your food that way.  Some good food for thought.

Let us know what you think if you make this, or any of the aforementioned recipes.  We are here to support you in your quest for a healthier, happier self through better nutrition.  And we're in the trenches with you!

Ahhh, le weekend!  These slow and quiet winter weekends are sitting really well with me lately.  I have time to read, time to look at blogs, time to look at PINTEREST (ha!), and time to make some good food for the week ahead.  Something that I still find challenging is quick, easy food to grab for myself and the kids to have for snacks while we're out and about. I have to say it's not challenging to find snack options, but it seems like I get in a rut pretty quick.  For the kids - string cheese, oranges, apples, sliced turkey or ham and pickles, hard-boiled eggs, black olives, homemade Larabars and frozen berries if I'm digging really deep.  For me it's hard-boiled eggs, turkey or ham with mustard and peppers, some olives, a small portion of fruit, or a small portion of nuts.  Last year I tried my hand at homemade beef jerky and it was a real success.  That recipe can be found on the CrossFit Federal Way site.  Here's a new recipe I discovered (PINTEREST!)  I'm going to give it a try this weekend, and I think you should too!  Some great things about homemade jerky are:  you know what's in it, you leave the sugar out, you eliminate the need for strange, er..natural flavors, and it's normally more economical to make it at home.  Use some time this weekend to prepare for your week and you'll have a great snack at your fingertips.

We made it to the three week mark!  This feels like a substantial amount of time and I'm feeling in the groove.  I sure hope you guys are feeling that way, too.  Do not despair if you aren't.  There is still plenty of time to get into the groove.  Stumbling a few times during this challenge is supposed to happen.  You're learning about yourself, your emotional connection to food, your body and how it responds to foods and a regular eating schedule, and what foods make you feel your absolute best.  This is a process (I refuse to call it a journey!) and I'm glad we're going through it together.  I love to cook, and I haven't always been that way.  I didn't learn to (really) cook until I was 28 or so.  I was unemployed, by choice, for the first time in 14 years and I had cable for the first time...cue The Food Network.  This genre of tv was really just starting to take off, and I would watch these marathons of this crazy 'Top Chef' show (and yes I still watch and love me some Colicchio.)  I am great at following recipes and trying new flavors, preparations, and foods.  I am not great at making my own recipes up.  I think I've done it once and it was awesome and I promise to share with you guys.  I realized that it's silly for me to assume that everyone loves cooking and feeding people as much as I do.  Maybe you don't want to make homemade Larabars.  I totally get that.  From afar, but I still get it.  If you're looking for something really simple and short on prep time, this salad is right here waiting for you.  I will caution you that it is still delicious.  I just can't tell you guys to eat bland or boring food.  Simple food doesn't have to be either of those things, and that's the beauty of the kale salad.   

Here's a quick treat I made last week to have on hand for the kids...and maybe for myself with my nightly cup of tea.  Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We kept ours in the fridge and they made a great snack for after swim lessons and gymnastics.  Have to feed those little ones a post wod snack, too.  I also gave them a string cheese, so please don't call the protein police.

One of my favorite side dishes is roasted sweet potatoes.  As a kid I hated them and now I can't imagine a week without them.  For our dinner last night we had burgers, a cucumber, avocado, and tomato salad, and some sweet potato oven 'fries'.  The method I use is pretty simple:  Preheat oven to 325.  Take 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 8ths of uniform size. Toss the sweet potatoes on your baking sheet with 1T melted coconut oil, 3/4 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, and 1/4 t. garlic powder.  Make sure the baking sheet isn't crowded and the wedges are not touching.  Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until just getting dark on the ends and starting to soften.  You can play with this baking time a bit and tailor it to your own preference with doneness.  I prefer mine a bit 'to the tooth' and not super mushy.  You can also raise them up on a cooling rack inside your baking sheet, but I like the browned bottom of the fries.  We love to dip ours in some Sriracha mayo - 1/2 c. mayo, juice of 1/2 a lime, 1 T. Sriracha, and pinch of salt.  This also tastes delicious on your finger. 

Beef, it's what's for dinner.  Or you should make it your dinner in the form of Chocolate Chili in the very near future.  This chili needs to simmer for two hours, so be sure to plan for that because the simmering is key.  Beef and chocolate - I know it seems a little bit strange to some, but the layering of flavors in this dish is just so delicious and smart.  Beef is a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins and nearly half the fat in beef is the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil (Men's Health.) Beef is also high in potassium and that can help keep your blood pressure in check.  Grass-fed beef is even better for you because it tends to be higher in antioxidants (2-4 times the amount of Omega-3s that traditional beef has) and does not contain added hormones or antibiotics (Eat Wild.)  You can find grass-fed beef at The Northwest Regional Food HUB in Richland.  Take some time to stop in there and see some of the other local products they carry.

Just a quick post tonight for a delicious dinner recipe.  This Lemon and Artichoke Chicken is done in about an hour.  That gives you time to feed the dog, help kids with homework, find the missing Lego wheel, set the table, figure out how to get those dang Polly Pocket clothes on, make some mashed cauliflower, and saute brussels sprouts.  Phew.  A great meal on your table in a hour is a great gift for your body and the other bodies in your family.  Enjoy!

PS- Please ignore the ludicrous bit about margarine in the recipe.  Use some butter in place of that.

Portable lunches can be a tricky beast when you eat Paleo, Zone, or Paleo-Zone.  Not because you don't have options, but merely because it takes some planning to keep your food supply stocked and ready to take with you in the morning.  Leftovers are great, but if your husband eats two lunches every day this may not be an option for you (or me.)  Having EP (Emergency Protein, aka extra cooked protein) in your fridge is very helpful in this situation and for before/after wod nourishment.  One of my favorite options for EP is sausage.  Two of my favorites are Aidell's Chicken and Apple (Costco) or Silva Andouille (WinCo.)  Our kids eat this for lunch a few times a week and sometimes for a before bedtime snack.  The andouilles do have a bit of spice, but our six-year-old daughter loves them. 

Buying sausages that make sense for balancing your blood sugar can be tricky.  They love shoving all kinds of sugars, preservatives, and soy products into your sausages.  Ick.  Aidell's contains fruit juices as a sweetener and Silva does contain some nitrites.  Not perfect options, but possibly the closest to perfect we can find here.  I have yet to try some at the HUB, but I've heard they have some good ones too. Other than just heating a sausage and dousing it with dijon (gasp, NOT Paleo!) is to make a quick saute of sausage and veggies.  There really is no recipe for this.  I dice up whatever veggies I have on hand, saute the ones that take the longest first and let them soften and start to brown, add diced sausage and brown, then add the veggies that barely need to touch a hot pan (why, hello zuchinni!) and season to taste with salt and pepper. This week it was baby bella mushrooms,  red bell peppers, and zuchinni with our andouilles.  We also had chicken and apple sausage sauteed with some zuchinni 'pasta' and olive oil.  For this version I saute diced sausages, add some olive oil (T or so) and then toss my zuchinni ribbons in at the end.  Most sausages are already fully cooked when you buy them, so just cook until they get some brown on the outside and are fully warmed through.  As Anne Burrell taught us, "Brown food tastes good."

The Super Bowl is almost here, so I compiled a list of delightful Paleo eats that are proven crowd-pleasers.  You may even convert some family members or friends with these delicious snacks.  They are that good.
Here are two links that Coach Ryan shared that have numerous options for tasty snack foods.  Excited to try some new ones from here!

Keep in mind that the first two bites of delicious, including 'cheat,' foods taste much better than then the following 17.  Enjoy the day, eat some good food, and try to not go completely off the rails.


It's ironic that I chose to post this on a Sunday, but let's just relax and go with it.  Pleeeeeease.  Ironic because my favorite Asian market (Leyte) is closed on Sundays.  Blergh.  Asian Markets are fun places to explore because of the variety of ingredients.  You can find basil, mint, small eggplants, sweet potatoes, various fruits, and vegetables that I don't know the names of yet.  Some of my staple items I stock-up on while I'm there:

  • Coconut milk or coconut cream - this stuff is a much better price here and you can find the good stuff without all the fillers.  I use these for smoothies, baking, curries, soups, sauces, bolognese, and trying it in a breakfast custard tomorrow.
  • Curry paste - these Mae Ploy tubs cost under three dollars and they are full of real ingredients.  You can't beat that.  We love the yellow and red varieties.  Green is next on my list to try.  There are easy curry directions on the back or you can just throw a bit in your burgers and call it a day.  Great flavor, but some are a bit spicy so give them a tast if this is your first time using them.
  • Sweet potato starch noodles - these are highly processed and it's sketchy for me to recommend them, but this satisfies my mouths desire for toothsome when zuchinni or spaghetti squash won't cut it.  And the kiddos think they are pretty cool. I've only cooked them once. Do not overcook these!  Great in a stir-fry or in a Pho type preparation.
  • Sriracha sauce - Not Paleo, but something I will never stop eating and you can get your moneys worth here.
  • Spices - star anise, cumin, cardamom.  AKA - flava.
Go and explore and share your favorite finds with your friends at the gym!

One of my favorite staples to keep in the fridge is a frittata, or a breakfast casserole.  Frittatas are technically open-faced omelettes cooked in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven.  This Southwestern Frittata recipe is really a breakfast casserole, but it sounds all fancy when you tell your family they get to have frit-ta-ta for breakfast or lunch or dinner.  I appreciate their versatility in flavor as well as in their meal placement- add some fruit on the side and you have breakfast, serve it along with a simple spinach salad for a tasty lunch, or oven roast some vegetables and you have a delicious dinner on the table in an hour.  You may even find yourself having a small square in the middle of the afternoon before a wod.  Yes, I speak from personal experience.  I like to make one on the weekend so we have a quick protein option waiting to fuel us throughout the week.
 This recipe calls for some jarred salsa verde, so just be sure to read labels and be on the lookout for weird corn syrups and soy products in your salsa.   I'm a bit 'primal' these days so I add 2 T of full fat greek yogurt on top with some chipotle hot sauce.  Good stuff.

Here we are at the top of the mountain, the mid-point of our 60-day challenge, with many struggles beneath us.  It sure feels good up here, wouldn’t you say?  My energy level is much better and I credit that to my eating schedule and lack of sugar (including the fruity kind.)  I’ve been pretty consistent with eating a good amount of protein within 45 minutes of waking-up and then eating a small snack and my other meals on a regular schedule.  My body runs pretty well with that kind of attention.  I will admit that I am surprised to still be hankering for things I shouldn’t eat.  That issue seems to be really coming to a head this past week.  I will spare you the details.  How are you guys doing?  Please email me ( with any feedback you would like to share as far as how you are feeling, recipes you would like to see, information you are curious to know more about, or anything that’s on your mind about the challenge.  I am hungry for some feedback!

The recipe I chose for today is appropriately celebratory.  It’s a healthy meal that tastes so naughty you might think it’s a cheat meal.  But you already know better.  I like to serve this with some arugula or baby greens dressed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.    
Squashta Bolognese
Inspired by  “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo <= Buy this book if you like food
1 spaghetti squash
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 T bacon fat or grassfed butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
.5 pound ground beef
.5 pound ground turkey
4 slices bacon, chopped
½ cup coconut milk (no lite business)
½ can tomato paste

Preheat oven to 375
Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.  I find this easiest to start with a small paring knife – poke a hole and then slice through with a large knife.  Scoop out the innards of the squash and discard.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place both halves face-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle 3 T water around the squash on the baking sheet.   Place squash in the oven and roast for 30-38 minutes, until the squash is just tender.  This will give you nice al dente pasta instead of mush.
Allow squash to cool until you can handle it comfortably, and then scoop out the the flesh into a serving bowl.  Set aside until you are finished with your sauce.
While the squash is baking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt your fat of choice, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery together until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the ground beef, turkey, and bacon and cooked until browned and cooked through.  When your meat is done, add the coconut milk and tomato paste and turn your heat down to medium-low.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the sauce is well combined.  Give the flavors time to marry.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and then remove from the heat.  Serve with your delicious spaghetti squash.

Just a quick post tonight.  I saw this on one of my favorite blogs, Holly Would If She Could, and I thought it was worth sharing.  A recipe round-up for 5 Ways to Use Spinach.  There is a good variety of dishes here and I know we all fall victim to the $3 bag of Costco spinach!  Here are some thoughtful and creative uses to avoid being left with a soggy, half-full bag of spinach in your fridge on Friday night.  Holly's blog covers a variety of topics from Paleo, CrossFit, relay races, make-up and fashion, good wine, and interesting reads.  Take some time to scroll through more of her posts if you're into any of that.

A wise woman once told me that when you are eating so clean, you need clean treats to keep you on the straight and narrow.  I thought of her advice the other night when I so badly wanted something sweet to eat with my evening tea.  There are just certain times in a your week when you may want to enjoy something sweet and call it a day.  Don’t beat yourself up, don’t berate your sweet tooth, and don’t quit eating clean because you 'slipped-up'.  Eat one of these instead.  Having a safe option on hand for a treat is better than driving to Safeway and buying Reece’s Pieces at 10 o’clock at night.  Just. Sayin.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Mug Cake
makes one cake

1 T grass fed butter
1 T raw honey
1 egg
1/8 t. vanilla extract
1 T almond flour
1 T coconut flour
1/8 t. baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 T of dark chocolate, chopped (I use Lindt 80%.  Nom)

Melt the butter in your mug in the microwave (30-60 secs).
Add the honey, egg, and vanilla extract and mix with a fork until combined.
Add the flours, baking powder, and sea salt and mix well.  Coconut flour can be lumpy so get those worked out.
Add in your chocolate and stir until combined.
Cook your cake in the microwave for 50-90 seconds depending on the age, er..power of your unit.
Allow to cool for a minute and enjoy!

I asked Coach Mary to share her food log with and let us see what she eats in a typical day.  I find it informative and often inspiring (hey there, applesauce!) to know the details of what other CrossFit athletes are eating.  She even included a tasty Zone recipe for us.  Thanks, Coach!

2/7/13 Mary Food journal – For me, I am 11 blocks. 3 at meals and 1 at my snacks
Note: We purchased 2 large things of Kiwis at Costco to put in the dehydrator and hadn’t so there is an obscene amount of kiwi eating going on! Yes, Kiwis were harmed in the making of my meals!
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 sausage patties
2 kiwis, 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ tsp. almond butter

Lunch: Salad, with 2 eggs, 2tbsp of dressing, tomatoes,
2 Kiwis on the side.

Snack: (1block) ½ cup of grapes, 2 egg whites, and 3 pistachios

Snack: 1.5 oz. deli turkey, 1 Kiwi, and ½ tsp. almond butter

Things that help us stick with zone/paleo eating –

·         On the weekends we purchase a very large amount of fruits and veggies and package them into 1 block portions so they are easy to grab for on the go.
·         Deli Turkey, and Ham are always on hand for an easy protein
·         2-3 dozen eggs boiled every week because most of the time we only eat the white and that’s a lot of eggs for Leo and I.
·         Almond butter is a great fat because it is very healthy and also pretty filling in case you are still slightly hungry.
·         Applesauce!!! This has been a lifesaver while on this eating challenge because first of all it is very cheap 2.38 for 2lbs at Winco of unsweetened applesauce, and it is a small block, so if you are eating two blocks of veggie carbs this is something small that you can still eat to get your blocks in but are not force feeding yourself.

I've tried being very transparent with you all about my inabliity to create my own recipes.  It's more a lack of desire or inspiration than anything else.  I really don't care about the origin of my recipes - I just care that they food tastes good and does good things for my body.  I can follow recipes very well and I'm grateful there are so many resources available for recipes of any type.  
I love seafood so being landlocked here in the desert is a bit of a bummer sometimes.  Thank goodness for the frozen options we have available in the grocery stores.  Here is where Paleo and I take two different paths; meaning I do not eat organic, wild shrimp.  I only buy shrimp every few months because of worry about toxins in faraway oceans and what that could mean to our bodies.  Having said all of this, I did make a recipe for Shrimp 'n Crits that is pretty darn tasty.  The shrimp recipe is not mine, but the Crits (cauliflower grits) are, and no I'm not Southern and I don't want people all offended here, so pardon me if the grits insult you and generations before you.  I love food and this is my take on a classic combo.  I'm sure there are other recipes out there, but this I made up on a whim when I was tired of the same flavor of mashed cauliflower.  If you don't already have it in your kitchen, go buy some Smoked Paprika at Costco.  Such a flavor powerhouse and you can use it on veggies, grilled meats, in burgers, and in the crits here.  Shrimp is a great source of lean protein, Selenium, and Vitamin B-12.  Selenium helps our bodies make special proteins, known as antioxidant enzymes, that work to help prevent cell damage (NY Times Health Guide). Selenium is a trace mineral, which means we need to eat certain foods to get our small, or trace amounts required to help our body function well. Vitamin B-12 plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells and in the funcitoning of the brain and nervous system.  It also involved in the metabolism of every cell in our bodies and the synthesis and regulation of fatty acids (Fit Day). 

1 lg head cauliflower (I use two bags of frozen)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 T grassfed butter, divided
T (or so) smoked paprika, divided
T heavy cream, divided
sea salt, to taste

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Add your cauliflower and garlic and return to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 7-10 minutes or until a fork goes through with a small amount of resistance.  Please do not overcook this!  When your cauliflower reaches desired doneness, drain the water out of the saucepan and add 1/2 the cauliflower and garlic mixture to your food processor along with 1/2 of the butter, 1/2 the paprika, 1/2 the heavy cream and a generous pinch of salt.  Process until almost smooth.  This is grits-inspired, so we want some texture left here.  Empty the mixture into a serving bowl and repeat the process with the remainder of cauliflower and garlic, butter, paprika, heavy cream, and another pinch of salt then add to your serving bowl.  Mix the two halves well and taste for seasoning.  Here is where you can get creative with salt, more paprika, maybe some pepper and perhaps a small pat of butter on top.

**Some notes about the shrimp recipe - I subbed a T of raw honey for the brown sugar in the recipe and yes I did make the Cajun Spice Blend and the Chipotle Mayo.  Mmm..chipotle mayo was also delicious on steamed broccoli and sweet potato oven fries.

      This morning, before we left for the work party at the new gym (can't believe how much we accomplished!) I put three chicken breasts in the crockpot with a can of diced tomatoes, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of cumin.  Yes, it's that simple and no the cinnamon is not a typo.  Let's live a little!  I let that cook on low for 5 hours and when it was done I shredded the chicken meat and tossed it around in the flavor juices, and added a bit more salt.  Thanks, Mary, for teaching me this trick to easy and flavorful emergency protein. Mary's original recipe she shared with me called for a jar of salsa, but I never have that on hand so I just use what I always have in the pantry - diced tomatoes. 

We have this every week in some form or another - on top of roasted sweet potatoes, in a taco salad, shoved in our faces after a wod, topped with a fried egg, or stuffed inside a savory crepe (recipe coming tomorrow!)  I think I've discussed the importance of EMERGENCY Protein here before, and pardon me if I'm mistaken.  Preparation for fueling your bodies for the week should include some type of protein cooked-up and ready to go.  Our kiddos even munch on this stuff for a snack sometimes.  EP is an integral part of our diet, and it is our 'fast food' to have for the sake of convenience.  There are many Paleo cooks out there who talk about this concept,  and Nom Nom Paleo has a great preparation that she calls 'Garbage Stir-Fry' that I appreciate as a mom who is occasionally pressed for time.  We all know what prior preparation prevents, right? 

Sweet, salty, and spicy is definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations.  I think it’s pretty close to magic.  When I say sweet I don’t mean like a bag of Skittles.  When I say salty what I mean is properly seasoned.  When I say spicy I mean flavor-enhancing, not  tongue-scorching like when you see how long you can suck on an Atomic Fireball on your walk home from middle school.  Yes, I can keep that thing in my mouth the whole time, fyi.  Our dinner last night was a balance between all of these flavors and it was my first time eating a crepe in the savory fashion.  Kristin sent me a link to this crepe recipe and I was so excited.  Thank you, Kristin!  Our Saturday morning family ritual used to begin with crepes and fruit with powdered sugar, and some yummy bacon.  The kids still beg for the crepes.  I do make them once in a while, but it’s not a staple in our diet any more.  We’re too busy trying to get to the wod on time!  Who has time for crepes?  You do. 

I was a little (ok, a lot) nervous about eating banana and tapioca flour together, but as you guys know I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to food. I found tapioca flour in the bulk section at WinCo and it’s quite affordable.  Tapioca is not a nutritional powerhouse, but your fillings can help make up for that.  It is a dense carbohydrate containing a small amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids,folate, iron, and calcium (  For our filling, I used our shredded crockpot chicken combined with caramelized onions and peppers, two chopped chipotle peppers, and a tiny shmear of homemade apricot jam (thanks, Auntie Janet!)  The kids ate their crepes with the chicken on the side and their last one (of 3) included some snow, aka powdered sugar.  The filling was a perfect balance to the slightly sweet crepe.  I will throw some spinach leaves in there next time.

Hello athletes!  Just a quick link tonight in honor of Mardi Gras - Jambalaya with Cauliflower Rice.  We ate this for dinner tonight and we all have happy bellies.  There is still a bit of a chill in the air, and this dinner warms you right up.  The peppers and onions are melty and sweet and the tomatoes have just the right touch of acidity.  And the shrimp, ham, and andouille?  Ooohh-eeee.  We omit the Tabasco until after we dish it up to keep it kid friendly.  I douse mine in the chipotle flavor.  I always make a double batch of this and I'm already looking forward to lunch tomorrow.

What an exciting checkpoint, Day 38!!!!  Woo-hoo!!!  Oh, is that me just pretending to be excited?  Ok, so maybe day 38 isn’t a milestone.  It’s more like, hmm…justanotherdayofdiscipline!!  I’m trying to seek the positive here, but this challenge is taking a looooong time.  Don’t misunderstand, I feel pretty darn good and for 90% of this challenge I have been very true to what I knew I wanted to do:  be mindful of my sugar (even honey and fruit) consumption, use lean protein the majority of the time (why is bacon so tasty??), cut out alcohol, get a good amount of sleep each night, and watch my nut consumption more closely (seeds and butters, too.) These personal challenges are so interesting because of perception and hindsight.  I don’t mean to get ahead of myself here, but I am in a reflective mood today. 

 My foray into baking/microwaving Paleo treats seemed to be more of a gateway drug than a saving grace, or did it? I wonder – is the fact that I indulged in Paleo treats the thing that helped me avoid other pitfalls (nuts, beer, beer, and beer?) or did it make me continue to crave sugar and bread-y things?  I don’t have the answer just yet.  I’m willing to seek these answers and I know part of the seeking includes veering off path, stumbling, and getting back on track.  Are you picturing me wearing a caftan with long, white flowing hair and flowers on my wrists?  That’s how I’m starting to feel here too.  My curiosity is piqued regarding what the scale and measurements will say about this grand experiment.  How are you guys feeling?  I had some good conversations this week with athletes at the box regarding giving up food and drink we love (Hi, Kendall!) and managing sugar and carb cravings.  I don’t get bored talking about food, nutrition, diet, cooking, recipes, or ingredients.  If you have questions, comments, or feedback please don’t hesitate to share.  Don’t forget that there is an end to this thing and it does have a pot of gold waiting for us.   Well, two of us and maybe it’s just some green.  You get the idea.

I read an interesting article on Mark’s Daily Apple about why you may not be losing weight.  I haven’t stepped on a scale in 38 days so I don’t know if that’s me, but the title made me curious enough to read the whole thing. 

Fancy doesn’t always equal fussy, thank goodness.  Part of being a confident cook is being a competent cook, and I think having some ‘fancy’ meals up your sleeve is very helpful in this process.   Maybe your boss wants to bring his wife over for dinner, or cousin Larry from Bellevue wants to swing by after a meeting, or you invited a girl to dinner who can back squat almost as much as you can.  These things happen.  When they do, I want you to feel confident that you can put a kick a*& meal on the table in less than an hour.  This is the meal we had for our Valentines dinner with the kids - definitely celebration or weeknight dinner worthy.  I served it with mashed cauliflower and sautéed spinach with raisins and pine nuts.  Cheers to sharing good food with good people!

Parmesan Crispy Breasts with Crispy Posh Ham
From Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver

 Serves 2
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 skinless chicken breasts (preferably free-range or organic)
1 lemon
1 ¾ oz. grated Parmesan
6 slices of prosciutto
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Grate your parmesan.  Pick the thyme leaves off the stalks.  Carefully score the underside of the chicken breasts in a criss-cross fashion with a knife.  Season with a little pepper (no salt because of the prosciutto.)   Lay your breasts next to each other and sprinkle over most of the thyme leaves.  Grate a little lemon zest over them, then sprinkle with the Parmesan.  Lay 3 prosciutto slices on each chicken breast, overlapping them slightly.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining thyme leaves.  Put a square of plastic wrap over each breast and give them a few really good bashes with the bottom of a saucepan until they are about ½ inch thick.

Put a frying pan over medium heat.  Remove the plastic wrap and carefully transfer the chicken breasts, prosciutto side down, into the pan.  Drizzle over some olive oil.  Cook for three minutes on each side, turning halfway through, giving the ham side an extra 30 seconds to crisp up.

Either serve the chicken breasts whole or cut them into thick slices and pile them on a plate.  Serve with some lemon wedges for squeezing over, and a good drizzle of olive oil.


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Cheers to the weekend!  During the week we stick to a pretty basic breakfast formula - eggs, yogurt and fruit for the kids, and sausage or bacon.  I keep egg muffins or a frittata on hand for Doug to grab on his way to work.  When the weekend rolls around, I try to put a little variety in our breakfast menu just to keep things interesting.  This Mexican Hash Egg Bake from PaleOMG is one of my favorites.  Juli, the hilarious girl behind PaleOMG, describes this as an egg jacuzzi filled with chorizo.  I like to make my own chorizo using this recipe.  Use some of your weekend time to get creative with your cooking.

Here is a delicious side that I made for our dinner tonight.  We had burgers, sauteed spinach, and Crispy Curried Sweet Potato Coins.  I make these per the recipe, but I do think the salt in the curry spice blend needs to be decreased to 1/2 T.  Ours were a bit too salty, which is saying a lot for a girl who loves some salt.  I loved the cinnamon and curry together.  Our kids loved the fact that they were eating coins.  Go figure.


Here is a recipe for Pork Vindaloo that our family loves.  It's a really flavorful dish and something pretty different than what most of us eat on a regular basis.  Here is a link for Jamie Oliver's Homemade Curry Pastes (inluding the vindaloo paste you need for the recipe.)  Make a double batch of the curry pastes when you take the time to do so you have more on hand for future dinners.  Enjoy! 

Today is your lucky day because I'm sharing one of my Top 10 Favorite Recipes!  This salad dressing is very complex in flavor and it has a good amount of fat in it for your brain and for keeping your blood sugar levels in check.  This dressing is delicious as a dipping sauce for any sea/land/air protein and is really awesome on roasted vegetables.  When I have salad for lunch I like to make it really interesting and delicious and this dressing qualifies for both.  Do be careful not to blend for too long because you will 'break' the mayo and your dressing will be all separated.  It will still tast pretty good, but won't look as lovely as it should.

Tangy Avocado Dressing
from 'Mexican Everyday' by Rick Bayless aka Flavor Ninja Cutie Pie

Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/2 cup mayo
1 T Worcestershire sauce (nope, not Paleo)
1/2 ripe avocado, pitted and flesh scooped from the skin
1/2 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro

Combine the oil, garlic, mayo, Worcestershire, avocado, cilantro and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a blender jar or food processor, along with 3 tablespoons cold water.  Process until smooth.  Taste and season highly with more salt if appropriate.  Pour into a jar, secure the lid, and refrigerate until ready to use.  Shake well immediately before use-which should be within a day or so.  Try to not eat this out of the jar with a spoon.

I saw this Artichoke Lemon Chicken Pasta recipe on PaleOMG today and it sounds delicious.  Make some and bring the leftovers to me at the wod tomorrow.  Only kidding about that last part. 

If you guys haven't done so already, take some time and check out the CrossFit Journal Nutrition page.  There are great videos and articles on there, and many of them are free.  We have to remember that nutrition is the base of our work and drives our results at the gym.  If you're frustrated with your output at the gym, you need to look at your nutrtion with some honesty.  Fine-tuning can fix many problems when it comes to your nutrition.  For example, when you are eating zone make sure you are getting a good amount (half or more) of your carbs from vegetables and not fruit.  If you are Paleo, look at the quantities of food you eat and be sure they support performance and not fat storage.  If your Zone or Paleo or Paleo-Zone and you like to eat tasty food, make this Kalua Pig in your crock pot.  An extremely delicious and versatile protein that freezes well.  I'm guessing you could substitute Himalayan Salt (the pink stuff at Costco) for the Hawaiian salt, but you should look that up just to be sure. 

Two weeks left!!!  I feel like I can see the finish line from here and I'm trying hard to not stumble these last few weeks.  I know I've been honest with you guys about already stumbling, so don't confuse my previous statement wtih me insinuating this challenge was a slam dunk for me. I am learning about my body, planning ahead better for snacks and social eating and drinking, and feeling the effects of better nutrition in my performance at the gym.  I'm sure you guys are doing some of these things too, and I hope you've tried at least one new recipe!  I am going to venture into the Zone arena these next few weeks and beyond.  I think I have some portion control in my future and I'm excited to eat things like dijon mustard, sriracha, and vinegars of all kinds without feeling like I'm cheating.  Sometimes the fixation on nutrition can be more of a stressor than it really should be for me.

  I came across this post on hormones and food on the CrossFit Verve blog.  CrossFit Verve (Denver, CO) is owned by Matt and Cherie Chan who are pretty famous CrossFit athletes that also work for HQ.  They seem pretty serious about nutrition, and Zone for CrossFit competitors in particular.  They don't seem as serious about making really tasty, interesting food but I think we can figure that out for ourselves as we go along.  Browse the Verve Fuel page to explore some Zone recipes.  I'll be making one and posting about it this next week.

One of the first staples we had when starting our Paleo nutrition was Caribbean Chicken and roasted vegetables.  We went Paleo in the Summer of 2011.  This could also be called "The Summer I was Convinced I Would Die Without Pizza or Bread or Pasta."  For as long as I can remember I ate toast for breakfast every day and a sandwich for my lunch nearly every day.  With two young kids we ate plenty of mac 'n' cheese and other various pasta/sauce combinations.  We also looked forward to our Pizza Fridays every week with homemade crust and all the toppings our hearts desired. As an aside, I do make a mean grilled breakfast pizza with bacon and eggs on top.  Just in case you need someone who can do that in a pinch, I'm your girl.  My point is that going Paleo wasn't a painless process, but I'm glad we stretched ourselves and did something we thought was close to impossible.  We had a cozy relationship with carbs and it felt so difficult to figure out what to serve in place of bread, pasta, and rice.  Now we just add more vegetables or do some mashed cauliflower or riced cauliflower.  We all know it's not impossible, but it takes getting used to and I hope you guys are comfortable and confident with your nutrition changes up to now. 

This Caribbean Chicken is really delicious and kids especially seem to loooooove it.  Our daughter requested it for her birthday dinner a few years ago.  The leftovers are great and you can toss it in a salad, serve with some roasted or grilled vegetables, or just munch it cold right out of the fridge.  I usually just make a double recipe to make sure we actually end up with some leftovers.

Carribbean Chicken Marinade

For 2 pounds of meat (chicken or pork is best)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. fresh minced parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder (I use smoked paprika from Costco)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and pour over protein of choice.  Marinate for at least an hour then grill your meat until done.


Two quick links tonight as we are battling some stomach virus here in our home.  Boo!

An article I saw on Facebook and knew I had to share.  Let's remember to keep our focus on nutritionally dense foods and treat ourselves occasionally.

Here's a link to our dinner for tomorrow night Chicken Bacon Alfredo.

Before we know it we'll be celebrating the end of our challenge and completing our first wod for the Open!!


I don't know about you guys, but I sure do look forward to my morning coffee.  I try and tell myself it's not the caffeine dependancy, but the ritual and the pure enjoyment I get from drinking a warm Americano.  There are also those days where I wish I had a quick and portable breakfast option, and by portable I mean something other than scrambled eggs and veggies in a mug.  I get concerned that fork may take flight and get someone right in the eye!  Here's a coffee smoothie recipe I thought may be worth a try.  I would use raw honey in place of stevia and make sure the almond milk you get is unsweetened.  I buy the boxed kind in the baking aisle at WinCo.  I know nothing about protein powders but my first reaction is that most of them are stuffed full of things our bodies don't need.  I also prefer to use coffee that I brew in our toddy maker since it's much less acidic. 

I have a secret weapon in my kitchen arsenal and I think it's time to share...
Yup, it's Broccoli Slaw and it serves 11.  In case you ever needed to know that.  I love this as a convenience food.  I eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  My most frequent preparations are:  sauteed, tossed with sauce as a coleslaw, added to a good ol' green salad, and in my breakfast frittatas. For a coleslaw I like to just add some Sriracha mayo for a little preview of heaven.  Adding it to green salad is a great way to add some more vegetable carbs to your meal. When I saute it I heat a skillet over medium for a few minutes, then add some olive or coconut oil, swirl to coat the pan, and then toss in my slaw.  I usually add some salt and pepper and red pepper flakes, too.  I toss that frequently until the veggies begin to soften.  Then remove from heat and shove it in your yapper.  Yum.  Quick tasty side dish for dinner, add some fried eggs on top for breakfast, or add an Andouille sausage or chopped chicken breasts for a lunch.  There are so many things you can do with this.  I buy this giant bag at WinCo for around $2.50. 

Tonight for dinner I sauteed the slaw and served Buffalo Wing Turkey on top of it with some Bleu Cheese crumbled on top.  Delicious, filling, and nutritionally balanced.

Here's a recipe for Paleo Potsticker Burgers that I pinned a week ago (thanks, Lora!)  They sound like they are worth trying and I would make a double batch to have some beloved EMERGENCY PROTEIN on hand.

Athletes - I'm so sorry I went AWOL!  We're so close to the end of this challenge and I'm really excited to see the results when we all measure and weigh ourselves at the end.  Comparisons of our before and after pictures should yield some exciting visual results to celebrate as well as celebrating the difference in how we feel.

Here's a recipe you may want to make and freeze in preparation for that celebration - Chocolate Coffee Caramel Bars.  I don't know how these slipped by me months ago on PaleOMG!!  But I am definintely going to make them and I think you should make me some too.  Ok, make them for your own family and enjoy!

Here's a recipe that sounds really delicious - Caramelized Italian Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions.  This is a great option for a weekend dinner or something to prep on the weekend to use throughout the week for snacks or lunches.

Greek flavors have been on my mind lately.  Or should I say on my palate's mind?  That's weird.  I've been craving Greek flavors and I came across this recipe on Health Bent this week - Greek Chopped Salad. Greek Meatballs are linked in the salad post so just follow that link for the meatballs.  Set yourself up for the final week of the challenge and lovingly prepare some tasty food for your body.  Let's remember that the Open starts NEXT WEEK (!!!!!) and we certainly don't want to stop our momentum with good nutrition at this point in time.

I've been out of town so I am way behind in my posting.  I'm going to do a few quick ones so we can catch up.  At the end of the challenge I would love any kind of feedback you guys have and if you are interested in a weekly blog on nutrition.  Please e-mail me ( or facebook me or leave me a note at the gym.  It's been fun to discuss nutrition with you at the gym and this blog is a great space for us to use to keep our diets inspired, clean, interesting, and varied.  Before the challenge is over I plan on some posts discussing pre/post wod nutrition, supplements, and ideas on how to approach the period of time after a challenge.

I was away for the weekend and I must confess that my weekend nutrition was not stellar.  But it tasted so gooooooood!  I do find it difficult to keep myself strict when socializing or traveling or celebrating.  I did all three of those things this weekend.  I enjoyed many non-Paleo treats in non-Zone portions and I enjoyed myself and I'm working on the guilt with food issue.  It's not a healthy stressor to have in our lives and I'm striving to find the balance of staying accountable and not caring so much about every bite.  That said, I did enjoy some Paleo food, too.  There can be a happy medium, but it takes forethought and planning.  Something that helps me get back to normal life and the normal nutrition that comes with it is a big pot of soup in the fridge for lunches throughout thte week.  I love soup and not just during the cold months.  It's usually easy to make in large quantities, it requires more of a framework than a recipe, and it's filling and nutritious.  Here's a soup I made recently when I just needed to clean out the fridge and feed my family -

Get your crockpot out in the morning
Put four frozen chicken breasts in there, one can of tomatoes (fire-roasted!), a tablespoon of cumin
Cook on low for 5 hours
Chop up 1/2 a cabbage, two sweet potatoes
After 5 hours, shred the chicken and add the cabbage and sweet potatoes along with 4 cups chicken broth
Cook on low for 2 hours
During the last 1/2 hour of cooking add some frozen veg - I did green beans and asparagus and wanted to do some okra
Add a small can of chopped green chiles
Season to taste with salt and pepper

As a Paleo person I think one skill you must posses is cooking bacon well. There is a trick to this and not everyone knows what it is!  Share this with your friends and neighbors and even people you hate - it might make them likeable.

Perfect bacon

I think you should eat these this week - Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Aioli.  Roasted vegetables are some kind of magical food.  Brown food just tastes good and when it's brown veggies that is a WIN!

Thank goodness for our health and our abilities to come and rip some serious wods.  I'm grateful for the strength and energy my body provides, and I do feel that part of this comes from the fact that I eat real food.  Bodies like real food and they can do cool things like squat cleans with that food.  They can do that with other food too, but the recovery time for that body might be much longer.  Try hard to eat real foods - this means foods that don't have a label on them and do come with an expiration date.  Here is a breakfast option with real food (if we lived in the tropics, coconut milk would not have a label.)  Coconut Custards with only three ingredients:  bananas, coconut milk, and eggs.  They are great for a portable breakfast option and they can also be an after wod treat.  Top it with some blueberries and a dash of cinnamon if you need it jazzed up.