Focus

Focus. That’s the name of the game.

In order to achieve greatness, we all must focus on what we want the most. I’ve really got to redetermine what I want most. My priorities, if you will. Do I want to lose weight? Become more healthy? Accomplish more during my WODs? Get better at Olympic Lifting? How about all of these things?

For the first time in a while, I feel like I’m getting better with my WODs and lifts. The shoulder issue has been a setback that’s aggravated me since last November. I really started restricting my workouts in March to help get it better, so basically I didn’t practice snatches from March until September. Yesterday, I PR’d in my snatch… by 4 kilos (8.8 lbs). BOOM! I know I’m stronger, and I can see that in my workouts, so I’m definitely happy with that.

I’ve also been working on my running. Before last week, though, I thought my running stride and foot placement were normal. When I went to look at running shoes with the hubs, I did the “running test” to see if I have any issues with over-pronation, etc. I could barely run on the dang treadmill! I had no idea that I wasn’t using my heel at all to run – I was landing on the mid-section of my foot each time. No wonder my knees hurt after I run! So, as of last week, I’ve been working on correcting my run. I’m lengthening my stride and landing heel first. I was super sore in areas I didn’t even know existed, but I know the correction will help in the long-run. It will just suck right now.

What I’m not happy with is my weight loss. I’ve stalled recently because of some poor choices. So, starting tomorrow, I’m going to keep up with the number of days I’ve been sweets-free. If I slip, I start over. I’m pretty competitive – actually, I’m really competitive – so hopefully this will encourage me to keep up with this number.

So, it’s game-on for progress in everything. Not just in my workouts, but in all areas of my health. Let’s do this.

Paleo Mexican Meatloaf – So Yummy!

I love meatloaf. There, I said it.

It’s funny because I honestly was not a fan of the dish until just a few years ago. My husband and I were at Disney and had reservations to eat at the 50’s diner restaurant at the Magic Kingdom, and the whiff of the most delicious smelling meatloaf hit me right smack in the face as we walked in. I had it and was hooked.

The only meatloaf better than Disney’s version is my Mom’s. It only has a couple of non-Primal ingredients, but I’m sure it could be altered to make it fit the lifestyle.

Anyway, back to the Mexican Meatloaf recipe…  I found this recipe on the PaleOMG website. I’m beginning to love this site more and more as I go through this journey.  There are so many awesome recipes on there!

The recipe can be found here: PaleOMG Sneak Peek Recipe from Juli Bauer’s Cookbook – Mexican Meatloaf.

  
The only alterations I made were that I used a whole onion instead of 1/2 of one, no onion powder (I forgot to get it at the grocery store, and I just figured that the extra onions were sufficient), and absolutely NO CILANTRO. Cilantro is the most disgusting herb in the entire world. Some people love it, others hate it. I fall in to the “hate” category. It tastes the way I’d imagine soap and sweaty socks would taste. Yuck.

This meatloaf is phenomenal! It is so flavorful… and I made enough to freeze some for next week. You can also personalize it with different types of salsa. I used the Peach Mango Pace Salsa, and it had just a hint of sweetness to make it taste exactly like I prefer. Choose what you like, though – super spicy, regular, pineapple salsa, etc.

  
This is my favorite recipe I’ve made thus far, so naturally, I recommend it. It gets a 10 out of 10. Go try it… now!

Let’s Be Transparent

Get Back On

It’s time for a candid, transparent post.

The last two weeks, I’ve completely fallen off of the Primal wagon. Well, maybe not completely, but enough for me to feel like I have to come clean. I luckily haven’t gained any weight, but that also means that I haven’t really lost much, either.

The problem really hasn’t been with my normal meals, but the issue has been more focused on my snacks and desserts. Last week was my husband and my birthdays, which meant we did a lot of celebrating.  At first, I told myself I wouldn’t eat any of the non-Primal foods, with the exception of the strawberry cobbler that my Grandmama made for us. The temptations got too strong, though, and I caved. I caved big time. There isn’t a problem with caving every once in a while, but getting on the cave train for two weeks isn’t acceptable. Once that sweet craving is there, it’s difficult to get rid of it. I’ve just got to detox and just get rid of that craving altogether.

I think part of the problem is that my husband and I both decided that we weren’t going to do the triathlon, which caused a slight dip in my training regimen for cycling and running. Even though it was a bummer of a situation, it was the best for both of us. He hadn’t had time to train with his super busy work schedule, and I haven’t been training with swimming like I needed to because of some injuries (my shoulder, specifically). The motivation was there, but the circumstances weren’t the best for an appropriate training regimen that would get us both ready to compete. The last thing you want to do is to go to a race and fail miserably because you didn’t train enough. It’s one thing to do a 5K on a whim, but you’ll end up hurting yourself if you do that with a triathlon, half or full marathon, or something similar. As much as I wanted to do the triathlon, I’d rather stay healthy and be able to compete at a higher level at a race on a later date.

Nutrition planning is about 70-80% of the struggle. It’s difficult spending the entire Sunday afternoon meal prepping, but it’s worth it being able to just pick up your breakfast or lunch and get things done each day. I’d like to think it’s easy to get up 20-30 minutes early in the morning to fix a fresh omelet every day, but it’s easy to talk yourself out of that. I’ve learned these past two weeks that I HAVE to meal prep or it’s not going to happen throughout the week. You just get too busy with work, exercise, and other distractions for it to happen. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That’s the bottom line.

I remember from my Beachbody coaching days that personal development is one of the keys to success. I’d previously been reading about the Paleo Diet for athletes and my Mark’s Daily Apple emails, but that’s been slacking, too. I know that’s also part of the issue. If I don’t make an effort to learn, my mind won’t be where it needs to be to succeed.

So here’s the deal: I’ve got to meal plan more effectively and keep reading my personal development books or articles. I feel like crap compared to how I originally felt when I was a week into the Primal lifestyle, so I want to get that awesome feeling back. We all fall down sometimes, but what’s important is that you get back up. Fall down six times, get up seven.

Let’s do this.

Sausage and Egg Casserole in the Slow Cooker

  
Just wanted to share with you all an awesome and easy breakfast casserole recipe. I used the Just Jessie B: Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake (Paleo) recipe, and it was honestly flawless and spot on… with one exception: the time to cook it in the slow cooker. Maybe our slow cooker cooks on “high” at all times because the recipe was ready in about 3.5 hours on low. It calls for about 7-8 hours on low, and I was prepared to leave it in the crock pot overnight. I’m really glad that we checked it before going to bed!  

 It was really easy to put together in the crock pot. The recipe calls for you to sprinkle onions on top of the other items, but I just mixed it all together. It worked out perfectly.

  
As always, I served a piece of the casserole with a mandarin orange for breakfast. Try it out for yourself!

Once you’re on, don’t go off

This may be TMI for some people, but it’s the truth. 

My husband and I did a 5K run this morning to benefit a high school cross country team in his hometown. We traveled there last night and knew we needed to eat some carbs then to prepare our bodies for the race. We decided to stop at Carrabba’s, and since they didn’t really have many healthy and higher carb foods, I used it as a cheat meal. Bad decision. 
Not even 5 minutes after I took my last bite, I was in the bathroom with stomach cramps from you know where. My body was not happy with me, and it definitely showed it. This lasted for about 20 minutes, and luckily, they subsided after then. 

Sure, there were other places we could have stopped at, but I thought there would be some good healthier options there. I guess I should have searched the menu better. 

Moral of the story: it’s not worth it to cheat, even if you have a race the next morning. The initial satisfaction of eating something that “tastes good” on the way down doesn’t overshadow the stomach distress afterwards. So, just beware and think twice before cheating!

Spicy Hawaiian Pulled Pork

This weekend, I attempted to make this tasty-sounding recipe. The original attempt did not go so well. After talking with my Grandmama and Mom, their suggestions ultimately fixed my issues. 

  
The recipe I used is from the Not So Desperate Housewife website. I used about 4.5 lbs of pork loin instead of what was recommended (I think this was the culprit), and I only added two jalapeños. After cooking this concoction on low for 6.5 hours, the meat was not soft enough to pull apart. It was fully cooked, so I thought maybe that was the best it was going to get. It was spiiiiiiiiiiiicy. Like, holy cow spicy. It wasn’t the best lunch, but I could deal with it for a week. 

My Grandmama and Mom suggested, however, to cook it in the oven for 1.5 hours. I added another can of crushed pineapple with the juice, sprinkled a little bit of brown sugar on the top, and wrapped it up in foil. Fast forward 1.5 hours, and it was perfect! The super spicy taste had been toned down a bit, and the pork pulled apart very easily. It’s low in fat, carbs, and sodium and is high in protein and potassium. 

Overall, I’m glad I messed up the recipe the first time – otherwise I’d be sweating while eating my lunch! 

I’d definitely recommend this recipe… But add another can of crushed pineapples and some brown sugar. I know the brown sugar isn’t exactly Primal, but about a pinch of it wont be too bad for you. It’ll be worth it – just ask all of my coworkers who tried it at lunch (Mom and Grandmama liked it too)! 🙂
Nutrition Information

I split this up into 6 servings, but it could have easily made 8 servings. The below nutrition information is for 6 servings:

  

Fasting Progress

For the first time, I worked out today without eating breakfast beforehand and actually felt pretty good! 

Had to go to have some blood work done this morning, which required me to fast. I knew it was going to be a busy day, so I had two options: go straight to CrossFit or not work out at all today. I chose the first option.

I anticipated a super sluggish effort today, but I was only a bit slow during the warmup. Once I got going, I felt like normal… Maybe even better because food wasn’t digesting in my stomach while I was working out. Sometimes that can put a damper on your workout, especially if you feel the need to puke. 😝

This isn’t going to be a daily thing, but it really was an eye-opener seeing that my blood sugar levels are more stable than previously. The “primal” way encourages occasional/rare fasting to regulate your system, so at least I know that my body can handle fasting through one meal! 

Progress is progress, no matter how small. 😉

80% Primal… with Panera’s Broth Bowls

As we all know, it’s sometimes very difficult to choose “fast food” meals that adhere to our primal lifestyle, other than the normal chicken and vegetables combination (insert yawn here). Luckily, there’a solution that falls in the 80% primal category. My husband and I went to Panera a few days ago and discovered their new broth bowls that are very close to my primal nutrition goals. There are two different types, but only one really sounded appealing to me. I was apprehensive at first because I normally only try new dishes once I’ve seen a picture of them, but my gut told me to go for it. I’m super glad that I did because my dish was delicious!

I’ve always considered Panera to be a restaurant that is moving in the right direction when it relates to food sources. Their chicken is raised without using antibiotics, and they use cage-free eggs. They use a lot of organic products (quinoa, for example), and their food is always fresh. They even have a “Eating Well, Your Way” menu for those who are vegetarian, gluten-intolerant, vegan, etc. Plus, they always post the calories of every food on their menu, supporting their “translucent menu” campaign. Pretty impressive strides for a food chain. That’s probably why they always have a packed house throughout the entire day…and why you can’t ever find a parking spot there.

So, back to the dish… I tried out the Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Chicken. The broth made my taste buds host a dance party, and the flavor of all of the other ingredients was phenomenal. It almost had a vegetable soup taste, but with lots of extra seasonings. The chicken was sliced perfectly, too. I absolutely hate thick-cut chicken in soups or other similar dishes because it makes them becoming an overbearing ingredient, so this was definitely a pleasant surprise. No flavors or items in the soup were overbearing – they all blended flawlessly.

Broth Bowl at Panera

This particular soup is also available with a hard-boiled egg, but that did not sound appetizing to me. Maybe it will to you, though. If you try it, just don’t gag like I did when I recently re-tried beef jerky. Ugh. That stuff is disgusting.

Other than the bowl not being completely primal, there is one major drawback: sodium intake. This bowl has 1370 mg of sodium… wowzas, that’s a lot!  Plus, if you’re trying to tone down the number on the scale, the carb amount in this meal is probably the amount you’d allow for two meals. An exception every once in a while is allowed… don’t forget that.

So, if you’re running errands and can’t get back to a home-cooked meal for lunch or dinner, try this out. You’ll be glad you did!

Disclaimer: This dish would not be something you’d want to enjoy every day due to it not adhering to the primal lifestyle and having such a high sodium content. However, when you’re on the go or in a hurry, it’d definitely be a tasty alternative if you didn’t pack a lunch. It’s much better than all of that processed food thousands of Americans eat every day. Of course, the best foods to enjoy are ones you’ve prepared yourself! Just saying…