Friday, May 23, 2014

Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

Last post I mentioned I had made some sweet potato and bacon soup for lunch today and said I would report back with my final thoughts.
My final thoughts go something like this: OMG it's sweet liquid gold made with unicorn tears and fairy dust. Ok so it's not THAT amazing but wow, I am loving it. I was worried at first thinking it would be too sweet or the spices (and there are a TON of them) would ruin it for me but I was wrong, wrong and more wrong on that one.

I was a little put off by the baby food puree look at first but it's really thinner than it looks when you eat it, more of a slightly thicker than usual tomato soup. The spices pair so perfectly with the smokey bacon it's like a magical wedding in your mouth. The sweet from the potato is balanced by all of the spice and while I was worried it would be too much it was just the right amount to give it a nice kick.

I highly reccommend this dish for a main course or pair it with a delicious steak. Two thumbs up from me and I will for sure be making more in the future.

In case you missed it here is the recipe: Sweet Potato Bacon Soup

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Cavewoman with a Sweet Tooth

I am addicted to sugar. Seriously. I had NO idea how addicted I was until I started evaluating what I ate all the time. A certain better half of mine likes to poke fun at me because if there is chocolate in our house it will not last more than a few days, if it's lucky. I may also be known for eating an entire container of Ben & Jerry's from time to time.

I've been seeking out ways to get my sweet tooth fix without resorting to my good buddies Ben and Jerry all the time. So I've found a few recipes that have really helped satisfy my sweet cravings without derailing my diet changes. Of course these are still treats, in that just because they are paleo does not mean I get to stuff my face with sweet stuff all the time. These are just ways to make my treats at least a little better for me.

So far I've found a wonderful recipe for blueberry muffins and I just tried this great one for key lime bars! I got a whole bunch of blueberries and limes from my bountiful baskets this last order so I've been looking for inventive ways to use them.

The muffins were awesome, nice and crumbly with a nice texture despite the dense almond flour base. I would only change one thing next time: less cinnamon. The recipe calls for quite a bit and I would probably backed off a little. Click HERE for the recipe!

The key lime bars were something I have never made before, paleo or not. I wasn't sure how I would like them but they are really tasty. I think maybe next time I will add a little spice to the crust just for a bit more flavor. I used fresh squeezed lime juice and it really comes through in the flavor. These I will for sure be making again. Click HERE for the recipe!

Tonight I also made a nice sweet potato and bacon soup for lunch tomorrow, so I will have to let you know how that turned out. It smelled lovely and the few tastes I had of it as it was cooking were great.

I know some might say sweet potatoes are not paleo but really I don't consider my food choices to be strict paleo by any means. I call it paleo-esque. I try to just stick to the real, whole foods that don't need a label to be identified. Well except when the store has like 8 different types of sweet potatoes and yams, those I need labels for.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Love Your Body on the Outside but Nourish Your Body Inside

So. I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline and I went past 6, count 'em SIX, posts or links or whatever about "loving your body the way it is after kids". I can't go on any mommy related website without seeing at least one of these types of posts either. This whole love your body no matter what it looks like is an issue that I see from both sides. Yes we should love our body and no we shouldn't feel shame that we don't wear jeans with a single digit size, but does that give us the right to live so unhealthy? What I worry about is many women use this reasoning as a justification for being unhealthy and not attempting to change those choices which do their body no favors at all.

This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion and could potentially piss some people off. So, before you get your panties in a twist...chill out. It's just an opinion. My opinion does not waltz itself into your home and smack the oreo out of your hand. It sits here on the internet. Doing it's thing while you do yours. So CHILL. Ok disclaimer out of the way.

I do agree moms should accept their bodies after a baby as beautiful. Absolutely 100% on board there. Those stretchmarks aren't going to go away, I don't care what that stupid baby stuff book said. They stay so get used to it and learn to love them. Your body just made a human being. Take five minutes to just revel in that right now. Your body took two cells...and made a human. It's probably not going to look the same ever again. Things were stretched, things were moved, unholy things happened in places you didn't know could be affected by pregnancy. Love it all. Well, I don't love my new weaker bladder muscles but that's not the point. Love those stretchmarks, love the way you jiggle kind of, love the sag around your belly. Embrace it as beautiful because it is.


Moving on.

I don't agree that just because you had a kid (or kids) you should accept that your body is beautiful no matter what and that means there are no consequences for poor food choices or lack of exercise because hey...that body made a baby (or a few) and it is beautiful no matter what! Wrong-O! Of course the effects of pregnancy are beautiful (deja vu anyone?) BUT the effects of poor eating habits and virtually no exercise? Not so pretty. If you are happy in your skin then more power to you and by no means must you try to change it if you don't want to. However, don't use it as an excuse! For the longest time I used to say I didn't mind how I looked because it meant I got to eat buckets of cake (yeah, that was a thing in this house) or eat as many pieces of pizza as I wanted. I stayed pretty much the same shape and size. I was completely content with how I looked. Still am. I am pudgy in some spots, stretched out in many others and yes I jiggle when I walk but I am still happy with my body. Sure I wish I could snap my fingers and have a 6pack...I mean really now who wouldn't?

I was and still am happy with how my body looks on the outside but you know what? I finally had enough of using that as my excuse to not be healthier. It was a lame excuse. My goals in doing crossfit and eating a somewhat paleo-esque diet (don't you dare take away my cheese!) is to be HEALTHY not PRETTY. I want to be healthy for my kids so they learn good habits and grow up strong and wise. I want to be healthy for my husband so I can grow old with him on the front porch and not in a hospital bed. I want to be healthy for my community so I can be there for your sick family member and provide exceptional care. I want to be healthy for me so I can run around with my grandkids when I am 80, so I can enjoy life to the fullest, so I can see the world and not the inside of a doctor office.

Have no shame in a body bent and mangled by the creation of life, have no shame in what you see looking back at you from the mirror. Have confidence that you made healthy choices. Have confidence you are being the best human you can be. Have confidence you are the best you that you can be.

Stop focusing on what the outside looks like and start choosing to change the inside. Make your heart and vessels look like a cardiologists dream, don't worry about your fluffy love handles. Make your pancreas take a rest and stop working it to death (diabetes anyone?) with a glucose roller coaster. Soothe your inflamed guts and start absorbing nutrients. Power your brain with the good fats it craves, nothing is sexier than a healthy brain. Take the stairs every day not because you want an arbitrary number on a scale, but because weight bearing exercise helps build strong bones. Strong bones are sexy, trust me.

You don't have to jump in and do crossfit, or eat a strict paleo diet. Sure, those things are wonderful and will help immensely but aren't absolutely necessary. Just dedicate yourself to doing some kind of exercise each day and ditch the processed junk in your diet. I guarantee you will feel amazing just with that little change and when you feel amazing, look stunning!


First and foremost: I PASSED THIRD SEMESTER!! Yes, I yelled that at you. I do that.

Hallelujah, I'm done with third semester and I am on to my fourth and final semester of nursing school before taking the biggest test of my life: the NCLEX. Then I will have two little letters after my name that represent blood, sweat, tears, more tears, and plenty of hard and exhausting work. Registered Nurse. 16 weeks and one test stand between me and those two little letters.

So, now I am done with school for three months. That means it's time to get my butt back in gear and head to the box! My first day back was yesterday. It was tough. Oh good grief it was TOUGH. The WOD was Helen. Pardon my French but Helen is a mean, mean, sneaky bitch. For those of you unfamiliar with Helen the workout for me (it was modified of course) was three rounds for time of: 200m run, 21 8kg kettle bell swings and then 12 ring rows. I felt like dying, throwing up and then dying again, but I made it. I finished my first WOD in three months! It. Was. AWESOME. I forgot how energized and well...high...a good kick your butt kind of WOD can make you feel. Gotta love endorphins.

I am planning on doing at least 3 days a week. I am working as an extern at the hospital but thankfully it is only two 12hr shifts a week and I set my own schedule. I'm going to attempt to do the 5:00am WOD since it would work great with Kenny's work schedule. I can get up, work out and then be back home and showered before the kids are up and Kenny leaves for work. I'm hoping anyways.

I'm sad to say my eating habits have slipped in my three month hiatus. I've still stayed away from the boxed junk in the grocery store BUT I'm sad to admit fast food has become a pretty big part of my diet. Hey, when you just endured a clinical day after a lecture day after working a day you just don't feel like cooking! I am taking part in the Crossfit Moms "Real Food Challenge" and it's been so exciting getting back to eating better. This morning we kicked it off with deeeeeeee-licious paleo pancakes and fresh, organic, boysenberries from my own garden! They were so easy and quick to make. Can't wait to make even more amazing and good for you dishes.

We are planning a trip to Colorado in the middle of June and I am SO excited to have found not just one but TWO crossfit gyms to hopefully drop in on and get a WOD in. I have always wanted to be able to experience different styles from different gyms. I'm hoping to stop in at a box in New Mexico and one in Colorado. Should be a ton of fun!