Friday, March 28, 2014

Paleo Week Three

This week was a little more difficult- I had cravings for chocolate and carbs!!! I was hungry this week and ate too much- didn't loose or gain anything this week. I'm finding that I do ok without dairy, but really miss carbs.  So this week, I decided to experiment with baking.

Blueberry Muffins
From The Gluten Free Home Maker- found on Pinterest

1 cup coconut flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, salt, and baking soda

3. In a smaller bowl, beat together with a fork the eggs, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla

4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed for about one minute or until well combined.

5. Stir in the blueberries

6.  Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes 

7. Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or plate to cool completely.

Makes 12 muffins
Approximately 64 total WW points- 5 WW points per muffin.
These were very easy to make and I will definitely make them again!  The batter was thicker than I had thought, but they turned out great!  The blueberry muffins were moist and delicious :)  

Subway Chopped Salad

I was also getting tired of my packed lunches and decided to go out to lunch on Friday.  I went to Subway and tried the Ham and Turkey Chopped Salad- it was so good!  I loaded it up with veggies and just got a little oil/vinegar and salt and pepper on top.  Yum Yum.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Windy City: Chicago St. Patrick's Day

We traveled to Chicago for St. Patrick's Day weekend. It is half way from St. Louis to Toledo. We used hot wire to find the best hotel deal and ended up staying at the Knickerbacker hotel right by Water Tower. The hotel's location was an excellent walking distance to many things on Michigan Avenue. 


Allison, Nick, & Maryjo went to for lunch. This was a modern, nice, & relaxing restaurant. Farm fresh food in the heart of a city.

I (Allison) had a black bean burger: 

Kelly & Matt arrived! We walked down to the Chicago River to see the dyed green river. 

We then ventured to Wriggleyville land of the Cubs to meet up with another UD alumni (Ryan & his finance Brit). We went to Murphy's Bleachers Sports bar which was a perfect place to celebrate St Patty's Day-  bag pipers walked through, a nice selection of beer on tap, & of course green beer. 

After Murphy's we ordered some Chicago deep dish pizza.

Once we got back near our hotel, Allison & Nick decided to venture to Ghiradeli chocolate for a late night dessert. 


The first brunch place we attempted to attend was Yolk but it had a 1 hour wait. We then went to was West Egg Cafe. Chicago likes to name brunch places after eggs. It was a tasty brunch!

Then we decided to check out the Shedd Aquarium...once we got there in the freezing weather about 20 degrees with high winds we would have had to wait outside for 1 1/2 hours. :( Hopefully, we go next time. After our failed attempt we went back to Michigan Avenue & shopped! We know why they call it the windy city!

Places we shopped: Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, Garret's Popcorn, Nordstrom Rack, Lulu lemon, Victoria Secret, & some other in mall shops. 

Half way through shopping we stopped at Eno Wine Bar to relax by a fire & sip on some wine. It was a great way to relax & warm up before heading out again. Enjoyed Allison and Kelly time! 

Dinner at by the hotel. It was a casual & feel good food place to eat. 

Dessert: Sprinkle Cupcakes ..we did not use the vending machine since it was cold we headed inside.
Cupcakes tried; Dark Chocolate & Maple/ Bacon 

Allison Tried Argo tea since she gave up coffee I had to dodge the Starbucks urge on every corner. This tea place was the perfect satisfaction without having my large latte.

Then we had to head home home..

Forever Roomies!

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Madness Brackets

Round 1 (1pt):
Round 2 (2pt):
Round 3 (3pt):
Final 4 (4pt):
National Championship (5pt):
Winner (10pt):

Check how you are doing:
Kelly's Bracket:

Allison's Bracket 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Go Dayton Flyers!

First march madness game for Dayton today! Work outfit with spirit :)
Sweater: gap
Tank top: old navy Flyers won!

Paleo Week Two

This week we went to Chicago to visit college friends and I did not eat 100% Paleo, but I got right back on track when I got home.  I did make healthy options while in Chicago and we walked a lot.  Surprisingly I still lost weight!  I'm feeling great this week and can tell my clothes are fitting looser! :)

New Paleo recipes I tried this week--experimented with cauliflower :)

Cauliflower Hummus
From Everday Paleo Family Cookbook by Sarah Fragoso

4 cups steamed cauliflower ( I used one head of cauliflower)
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Cut a head of cauliflower  into florets and steam in a large pot for approximately 6 minutes or until fork-tender

2. Remove florets immediately and let them cool

3. Once the cauliflower is cool, place the steamed florets into a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth.  Serve with raw veggies, olives, and even slices of cooked chicken breast for dipping.  Makes approximately 3 or 4 cups hummus.

Total of 20 WW points.  Mine made 3 cups- approximately 1 WW point per 2 Tbsp of hummus. Next time I will split recipe in half and make two batches because it was too much for my food processor to handle.  I will also experiment with different seasonings.  I just love hummus and have really missed it! While this doesn't taste exactly like hummus, it is a nice dip for carrots, peppers, and celery. 

Riced Cauliflower
From Everday Paleo Family Cookbook by Sarah Fragoso

1 head of cauliflower
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 green onions, diced- I didn't have so I left these out
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, whisked
1 tsp coconut aminos or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Black pepper

1. Rinse and dry the cauliflower and cut into florets

2. Place the florets into a food processor and process until they are finely minced, looking like rice!

3. In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat

4. Add the cauliflower and saute for 5-6 minutes

5. Add the green onions and garlic and saute with the cauliflower for another 2-3 minutes.

6. Push the cauliflower mixture to the side of the pan and pour the whisked egg onto the empty side of the pan and cook until the egg begins to firm.

7. Mix the egg into the cauliflower mixture and add the coconut aminos, the sesame oil, and black pepper

8. Taste your riced cauliflower and add more aminos or sesame oil if desired.  I cooked longer until it was warm and soft all the way through.

Makes 5 servings- a total of 15 WW points.  Each serving is approximately 1 cup and 3 WW points.  It isn't rice, but tastes good- I will definitely make this again.  This meal was filling and delicious.  I have left over meat that i'm going to add to a salad with avocado for tomorrows lunch!  And while my husband is supportive of my Paleo diet, he is not a big fan of cauliflower.  I made some twice baked potatoes last night and served him one with dinner... he was very appreciative!

1 cup riced cauliflower
4 oz flank steak
Total of 9 WW points

Avocado Slicer
My new favorite kitchen gadget- a 3 in 1 avocado slicer.  We purchased this at Crate and Barrel in Chicago.  I have been eating a lot of avocados since starting the Paleo diet and this tool is amazing!  My favorite part is how easy it makes removing the core.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Travel outfit

It's starting to feel like spring out there, but i'm not ready to put away my scarfs and boots yet!  I wore black leggings, long tank, cardigan, and tall boots... I know a lot of black, but I love that pink butterfly scarf and wanted it to pop!  Plus Matt and I are travelling to Chicago this afternoon to visit our college roommates- a cute and comfortable travel outfit!

It's a sunny and warm day.. I'm ready to put the coats away and sunroof down!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paleo Week One

First week on the Paleo diet went great!  I am not starving on this diet which is surprising to me.  Drinking a lot of water helps and i'm eating foods that are filling and stay with me longer.  I have noticed that my stomach has shrunk and i'm down 3.6 lbs!!  I'm loving Paleo and loving the results so far!

New Paleo recipes I tried this week--experimented with sweet potatoes :)

Poblano Roasted Sweet Potato
From Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook by Sarah Fragoso

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and diced
4-5 garlic cloves minced

1. Preheat your oven to 400F

2. Melt the coconut oil and in a small bowl whisk the spices and oil together

3. In a large mixing bowl add the diced sweet potatoes, minced poblano pepper, and minced garlic

4. Pour the oil and spice mixture over the potatoes and stir well until all the sweet potatoes are coated

5. Pour the sweet potatoes into a large glass baking dish and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown and are soft all the way through, stirring halfway through the cooking time.

Makes 5 servings- 28 total WW points
I served mine with garlic balsamic pork chops and a salad.
This was delicious and I will definitely be making this again!

Pork chop- 3.5 oz
Sweet potatoes
Total of 11 WW points

I also made sweet potato pancakes and used them instead of a bun with a burger.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
From Practical Paleo Cookbook by Diane Sanfilippo

Coconut oil to pan-fry in
3 eggs
2 tsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups shredded sweet potatoes (using a food processor with a shredding disc is ideal)

1. Beat the eggs with the coconut flour and spices.  Mix in the shredded sweet potatoes until well combined

2. Using a skillet over medium heat with coconut oil coating the pan and filling it up about 1/8" for shallow pan frying

3. Spoon the mixture into the pan in desired sized "cakes"  I made mine roughly 4' in diameter and cooked them two at a time but you can make smaller ones and load up a pan with 4 at a time.

4. Serve warm or at room temperature- along or with bacon and eggs- or use as a bun with a hamburger patty.  Yum

Sweet potato pancakes- 2
Jalapeno burger
Total of ~17 WW points

These sweet potato pancakes had great flavors!  They look very strange when you first put them in the pan, but hold together better than I thought.  Next time I will make them flatter and use less oil- this will cut down on the WW points for each pancake.  I liked them so much, I had one for breakfast the next morning :)

Try Paleo, it works!  I feel great and am so glad I started eating a Paleo diet.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Paleo Day One

One day down and so far so good!  I weighed myself this morning and took before pictures and measurements.  I can't wait to see the results in 6 weeks!  I drank a lot of water today and so far I feel great! I was even surprised that I wasn't hungry throughout the day.  It did help that I had protein with every meal, planned snacks, and drank a lot of water.

2 Eggs
1/2 Avocado - 2 oz
2 pieces of turkey bacon
Total of 8 WW points

4 oz canned tuna
1/2 Avocado - 2 oz
Total of 4 WW points

1 oz of raw mixed nuts
Total of 5 WW points

Juice- carrots, pear, apple, lemon, cucumber, celery
Total of 3 WW points

Chicken- 5 oz
Vegetables- zucchini, yellow carrots, red peppers
Total of 5 WW points

Purchased a new yoga mat as well as 3lb and 5lb weights. Did some core, arm, and leg workouts.

Bailey wanted to help me workout :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Paleo Challenge

For lent this year, I've decided to take the Paleo Challenge.. 40 days of eating a Paleo diet.  I've seen lots of 30 day Paleo challenges on Pinterest and decided to try it!

What I will eat:
Fish- salmon, cod, tuna, scallops
Meat- steak, hamburger, chicken, pork, bacon, turkey, eggs
Veggies- asparagus, avocado, carrots, spinach, celery, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, cauliflower, onions, squash
Nuts- almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts
Fruits- apples, blackberries, peaches, plums, blueberries, grapes, lemon, strawberries, watermelon, lime, raspberries, cantaloupe, oranges, bananas
Drinks- coconut water, herbal tea, homemade juices

Eat in Moderation:
Coffee- black one cup a day
Dark chocolate
Green beans and sweet potatoes

What I cannot eat:
Grains- cereals, bread, crackers, oatmeal, pasta, beer, corn
Dairy- butter, cheese, milk, yogurt, ice cream
Beans/most Legumes- most beans, peanuts, peanut butter, miso, tofu
Soft drinks, sugary fruit juices
Snacks/ sweets
Starchy vegetables- potatoes, sweet potatoes, french fries
Alcohol- beer, rum, vodka, wine

What I will miss the most:
Greek yogurt
Green beans


I will also be drinking a lot of water- my goal is 64-96 ounces of water a day.  Exercise is also key- I am upping my workouts from 3 to 5 times a week. Going to the gym 3 times a week and working on strength training at home 2 days a week.  Wish me luck!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

SMALL changes make a BIG difference

Make little changes everyday towards a healthier lifestyle

1. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast

2. Eat fruit or veggies with every meal

3. Plan your activities/ workouts - put it in your schedule. Pack your workout clothes and put in your car- go straight from work.

4. Pack your lunch or look up the menu/ nutrition before you go out to eat. If you know you are going to go to happy hour Friday, plan ahead and save your calories for a couple cocktails.

5. Write down what you eat.  Whether it is Weight Watchers or MyFitnessPal or just a pad of paper, you will eat less if you write down everything you eat and drink. (free food tracking website)

6. Watch empty calories and drink more water.  Try swapping soda for sparkling water or ordering a skinny latte instead of a venti caramel macchiato.

7. Watch your portion sizes- I purchased a food scale and if you just "eye it" on portions, you definitely eat more than you think you are.

8. Be more active without “working out”. 
- Park your car further away- don’t spot stalk
- Don’t ask your husband to take out the trash, walk the dog, bring the laundry upstairs, do it yourself.  Not only does it prevent an argument, but it will allow you to be more active
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator

These small things really can make a big difference!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

3 simple ingredients:
1 box sugar free chocolate cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used mini semi-sweet)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Mix the cake mix & pumpkin with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes until smooth. Add in chocolate chips & stir. Put in cupcake pan that has been sprayed. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Enjoy!

1 cupcake=1 WW point

**I started loving these in High School thanks to a family friend :)