kicking it into gear!

It was supposed to be a rainy day today.  Woke up, sun is out!  IT IS GOING TO BE A GREAT DAY.  We have the doors open, listening to John Cougar Mellencamp, rolling around on the floor, playing with baby toys and taking in some fresh spring air!  What relaxing things do you like to do with your kids and/ or family as the outside temperature starts to warm up?

Last night we made a last minute executive decision to go to our local fave mexican joint – we are valued customers at this point thanks to their booths and loud music to drain out any potential meltdowns at the dinner table.  After some delicious fajitas I decided to workout.  I wasn’t sure if my stomach was going to make it through; I surprised myself.  I was happy I got in a night sweat before heading to bed.  My husband kindly gave our son a bath and I did a combination workout.  Below are four videos, you can do them in any combination – each workout is approximately 30 minutes.  I did #2 and #4 last night.  Switch em up and you won’t get bored.  There are so many different movements the routines go by so fast you will have no idea you’ve already blown through one of the workouts by the time it’s done!

However, I do not take her post workout two scoops of protein powder in water recommendation.  I am not a fan of protein powders, they are loaded with crap!  If you want to make a shake (using egg whites ONLY powder) make sure it’s a meal replacement or a low-cal snack, you can quickly gain weight by having a protein packed drink after your workouts.  Here is a healthy green shake you could enjoy before or after a workout – I enjoyed this for lunch the other day, scrumptious!

These recipes make two 16 ounce servings – I cut them in half.

KEY LIME (page 157)

2 frozen bananas

1 cup coconut ice

3 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tsp fresh lime zest

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed powder

1/4 tsp camu powder

1/4 tsp spirulina powder

1 tbsp lucuma powder

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup water

blend together in the nutribullet

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ROSEMARY ORANGE (page 99)

1/4 cup dried white mulberries

1/4 cup raw cashews

3 cups baby spinach

2 tbsp mashed avocado

1 tsp orange zest

1.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary

1.5 cups orange juice

2 cups ice

blend together in the nutribullet

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As you will notice the minimal amount of avocado makes a smoothie smooth, thick and creamy.  It was shocking to see how just a tablespoon or two can take away the icey texture of a smoothie.

 

*recipes adopted from: Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris (I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!)

or you can try my ultimate favorite green juice from her book so far…

another green juice recipe (from her cookbook).

NOM NOM NOMaste y’all! Happy Friday!

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Sugar Rush

I wanted to start off with introducing the cookbooks I am currently using:

Paleo Cookies  By: John Chatham

Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  By: Elana Amsterdam

I will rotate these books once I’ve completed all recipes!! 2015/03/img_7199.jpg Breakfast details: the standard eggs and thick-cut bacon, a side of sautéed roasted red peppers (from Costco, I will post the image in the bottles section) and onion, a bulletproof coffee using 1tbsp coconut oil and a green shake!!!! Smoothie recipe below…

Cucumber-Mint (2-16oz servings):

3 cups cucumber

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cups spinach

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/4-1/2 cup coconut water

1 cup ice

1 tsp maca powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp monkfruit sweetener

Add to Nutribullet large container and blend until smooth, add coconut water until thick & creamy consistency is achieved.

Recipe modified and adapted from Superfood Smoothies  By: Julie Morris

2015/03/img_7100.jpg 2015/03/img_7104.jpg 2015/03/img_7102.jpg 2015/03/img_7106.jpg 2015/03/img_7099.jpg 2015/03/img_7109.jpg 2015/03/img_7105.jpg These wonderful chocolate donuts are from Elana’s Pantry, she has some wonderful paleo recipes in her book! I highly recommend making these delicious treats, I did make a substitution: instead of cocoa powder I used carob powder. And, I still found the wonderful rich chocolate flavor in these donuts. Gotta run to the gym before picking up the little one. I will have some more treats for you tomorrow!!

NOMaste.

sistah sistah

Almond milk or as some like to say “mylk” has a sibling…

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Soak the cashews overnight (8-12 hours) or until swollen.  IMG_6140

Remove the water and add 5 cups of water – like the almond milk, I did this in two batches (half the almonds and 2.5 cups of water blended in the Nutribullet at a time and then mixed together through the cheese cloth to strain.

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Before straining, add one date (pit removed) and cinnamon to your container. IMG_6142

Once fully strained – pour through funnel into your jar and label as desired (see above picture).  You will also be left with some cashew “cheese” this can be used as a spread or eaten plain – great flavor and texture, just like a ricotta.

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Cashew milk can be paired very nicely with a dessert or enjoyed by itself.  As my husband says about them:  they are light and refreshing!  And, I couldn’t agree more – it’s like a liquid smoothie.  You could even enjoy a cup with one of these…

PUMPKIN PIE ENERGY BITE:

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1 cup dates

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp golden flax meal

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp maca powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

dash of cloves

splash of vanilla extract

*blend all ingredients together in food processor and roll into bite size balls.

If you eat a few too many, you could always run the stairs!!

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I made it 60 minutes…working my way back to my fit level – slowly.

A post workout snack or a breakfast delight:

IMG_6150 (prosciutto-egg roll-up) NOM NOM NOMaste

FINALLY!!!!

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ALMOND MILK:  check out the “shakes” tab above to reference the home-made process at any time.

For this drink I blended 1 cup of almonds (which were soaked in water for 8 hours prior) with 5 cups of water in a nutribullet (given the volume restrictions with the Nutribullet containers I did the process in two rounds and mixed both batches together during the next phase).  After blending both ingredients I applied a cheesecloth over a bowl that would hold the large amount of liquid – I began straining the mixture through the cloth.  Once the almond milk began to hit the cheesecloth I picked it up by the edges and wrapped it tightly around the almond meal.  I began squeezing the excess milk out of the cloth (as pictured above) and once completely rung-out I was left with a batch of almond meal.  I stored this byproduct in the Nutribullet container in the refrigerator for future use in other recipes.  I added one date (pit removed and fruit sliced) and a splash of vanilla extract.  Then, I poured the almond milk through a funnel into an air tight glass container (this bottle is from IKEA – another fab find!).

Another recipe I worked on today was some peppermint bark – this was always a favorite treat of mine during the holiday season.

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My apologizes for the poor slicing skills.  I found it very difficult to cut this bark into pieces, my husband assisted, but literally the chocolate was rock solid.  We used many different knives & kitchen tools, but this is what we were left with.  My husband had a great idea – let the chocolate sit out for a little bit to soften before slicing it into portions.  To make this treat I melted 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in the microwave – I would remove the bowl every 15 seconds and stir the chips for a total of approximately 2 minutes.  I then lined the bottom of a small Ziploc container with parchment paper, and poured the chocolate into the bottom of the container.  I placed this into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to solidify.  While this was setting I prepared the next layer.  I combined approximately 1/3 cup coconut butter (melted in microwave at 15 second increments for no more than 1.5-2 minutes), 1/2 tbsp honey (if that, this makes the mixture “doughy like” and easy to mold), 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract (or more to taste to your liking) and a dash of vanilla extract.  Once the proceeding ingredients are mixed I added two drops of food coloring – to keep paleo you could add a few drops of beet juice (I didn’t have any beets on hand today).  I gently kneaded the mixture to give the white “dough” more of a a peppermint appearance – don’t completely mix the food coloring or else you will end up with pink bark!!!  After this step, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator, once it is solid, and even out the peppermint layer on top of the chocolate layer.  Place the entire bark in the refrigerator until both layers are solid, remove and chop into pieces to serve to guests… that’s if you don’t eat it all before it makes it to their mouth.

Finally, the last thing I have to offer for my baking skills this evening are Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana’s Pantry.  These muffins are heavenly – they are moist, mooshy inside, firm outside and taste like a piece of pie.  They are satisfying enough as a dessert or an afternoon snack.

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***Don’t forget to exercise to keep sane during the cold months!!***

…and as always:      peace. love. paleo.