How We Arrived Here

I say we because we’re all in this together.  This crazy McDonald, latte craving, sedentary style world.

The majority of my life I have been very healthy and fit. Working out is not a new concept to me. I grew up in a very small town in Texas. Burton had a population of 311 when I graduated high school and half of these 311 people were family.

I played every sport we offered and loved 2 a days. I loved (and still do) the Texas heat and the feeling after a good workout. When I’m having a stressful day, I want to sweat. That is my release.

Nutrition is something that is new to me, though.

Growing up in a small Texas town meant amazing chicken fried steaks, made from scratch gravy, and large portions of food many nights. I grew up in the kitchen with my Grandma and Mom, sharing stories about the happenings in our small town and adding cream of whatever to any dish we could get our hands on. Life was good!

Then I went to college, gained a few pounds (nothing crazy), lost the pounds, and carried on. My nutrition was still poor, but the University I attended made sure I received plenty of exercise. Texas State University in San Marcos. You can tell the freshman from the seniors by the size of their calves. The hills and steps that cover the campus kept me in shape, as well as my love for running and working full time.

Then came marriage. Then a baby. We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a 3 week old in our hands. Then came another baby. This time our first born was learning to walk in the waiting room while baby number 2 made her entrance. We had no idea how calm our life was until we had two babies.

We didn’t know what end was up for years. We both work full time and sleep was a mirage we were never meant to touch. We went through the motions, as most young parents do, and focused on raising babies and little on ourselves.

The pregnancy weight I had lost was creeping back and after coming back from my 30th birthday (Ben surprised me with tickets to New York), we both knew things had to change. The kids were getting older and they were starting to eat the same crap we were. We set out to create $10 meals for our family of 4 that were healthy, manageable to cook, and tasted good (sometimes that can be the tricky part).

Ben went Paleo and I went 21 Day Fix.

I learned how to fry eggs in coconut oil instead of bacon fat. I learned that chicken can be eaten without breading and steaks shouldn’t be so large they fall off your plate.

I learned to cook a completely new way and really owe the marriage between the portions of 21 Day Fix and the cooking of Paleo to my family’s health and the recipes that I will share on this blog.

Currently, items like spaghetti squash, almond milk and broccoli are selling out in our local grocery store. I have never been so proud to see a spaghetti squash crate empty .

My goal is to share with you the knowledge I have gained, so that you can in turn share it with others.

Together we each have the power to the End the Trend.

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Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

When I menu planned for these I was STARVING.  Every food that danced in my little mind sounded amazing.

But then when I realized what I had planned to make for the night I, honestly, was a little disappointed.  I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, and have never tried using nuts in place of the yumminess that is cheese.  But these rock!

The mushrooms.
The stuffing.
It just rocks.

I plan to silently and creepily sit in the corner during Super Bowl and see if anyone notices differences from this recipe and the old fashioned spinach artichoke dip.  (Yep.  Making a batch of just the stuffing.)

Spinach & Artichoke Dip
(Add portobello mushrooms and make it a meal)

Ingredients:Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

3 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 (14 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, chopped
3/4 cup roasted cashews, unsalted
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

Heat the oven to 350
Combine the spinach and artichokes in a large saucepan and heat through.  Add a dash of sea salt and mix well.
Grind the cashews in a food processor until they look like a coarse meal.  Then add the coconut oil, garlic powder, basil, cayenne, and salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.
Add the cashew mixture to the skillet, with the spinach and artichokes, and mix well.  Reduce the heat to low and warm through.
Fill the caps with the filling.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
(If you want to make just the stuffing, following the above directions, but warm mixture in an oven safe baking dish for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with sweet potato chips)

Serves 3 people.

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Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Do not underestimate these bad boys.
These are a quick and easy supper that everyone at the table will enjoy.  I also like to make an extra batch of ‘stuffing’ to eat throughout the week.  It’s great plain, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla, or mixed with a little rice.  Go loco!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Ingredients: Stuffed Peppers

4 Poblano peppers
1 lb. ground turkey
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
4 Tbsp. homemade salsa (or any other spicy concoction)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp paprika

Directions:
-Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and preheat your oven to 350.pepper-sliced
-Add the diced onion and garlic. Let this simmer for a bit.
-Add the ground turkey once you start to see the onions beginning to caramelize.
-While the turkey is cooking is a good time to get the peppers ready.  Wash the peppers and slice the top off to scoop out the seeds. You will also slice the pepper down the side as shown.
-Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet or cake pan.
-Once the turkey is cooked, add all the remaining ingredients. Let this mesh for about 5 minutes.
-Stuff the peppers with the turkey and place in the oven for 20 minutesPepper Stuffed
-Remove from the oven, serve hot, and enjoy!

Serves 2 hungry adults.

Lemon, Rosemary and Cucumber Water

I know.  It’s water.  But YOU need it.  And it can get boring. IMG_2228

This is one of my favorite ways to drink water.
***Disclaimer***  You do need to enjoy cucumber to enjoy this water.

Lemon, Rosemary and Cucumber Water

Ingredients:
2 sprigs of rosemary, washed
1 lemon, washed cut into thin slices
½ cucumber, washed and cut into thin slices

Directions:
Place all the ingredients into a pitcher, then add water to fill the pitcher.
I like my water chilled, so I keep my pitcher in the fridge.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

These are an absolute staple in our house. I have never been a big fan of baked sweet potatoes. To me they are very smushy (I have a texture thing) and after making the kids baby food, I just can’t get past the memories of smelling like sweet potato puree from random sneezes and grabbing of my hair while the kids were eating. These have a crispy outside that I really like and this is about the only way I will eat sweet potatoes now days.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
1 Sweet potato
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Cut the sweet potato into small cubes, about 1-2 inches each
Place the sweet potatoes onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Drizzle the sweet potatoes with the extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Mix so they are evenly coated.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the sweet potatoes occasionally.

Serves 2

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