When other people do planks, it looks so easy! They are so NOT easy, holy cow! Yesterday was the first of 4 workouts, posted over on Carrots ‘N’ Cake, aimed to improve your core strength. After the first set I was huffing and puffing just wishing the pain would end…. and the workout was only 8 minutes long! I’m such a wimp sometimes, which makes me wonder how I’ll be at Crossfit. I know that all the moves can be scaled for different fitness levels, but I hope I don’t look like I’m completely out of shape. We shall see!
I’m so glad that tomorrow is Friday! This weekend is going to be EPIC! Yes, EPIC!. Michael and I are planning on heading to the Winchester Mystery House’s Fright Nights on Saturday night for some Halloween festivities with friends. Even though I scare super easily I absolutely love going to stuff like this for Halloween. We’re also going to be celebrating my upcoming birthday, which is on Tuesday. I can’t believe I’m turning 26, where does the time go!?!
Getting back to food… I actually have a quick recipe for you guys. This is a super easy side dish that came together on a whim a few weeks ago. I seriously love cauliflower, it’s so versatile.
Spinach Cauliflower Mash
1 Head of Cauliflower
3 handfuls of Spinach
2 Tbsp. Ghee or Grass-fed butter
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Onion powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil the cauliflower until it is fork tender (about 15 mins). Drain and then food process the cauliflower until it starts to get smooth. Add all of the other ingredients and continue to process until creamy. Enjoy!
So… I bet you don’t know many people who would plug the kitchen sink, turn the water on, and walk away. Well, you know one now, because that’s exactly how our dinner began tonight. I’m sure you’re wondering why I would do such a thing, well the answer is meat. MEAT! Meat that I didn’t take out of the freezer last night for dinner tonight. I wanted to submerge it so it could thaw quickly, and seriously, who would’ve thought a sink would fill up so fast! OOPS!!
Don’t worry everything turned out alright and the crisis was adverted. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. Moving on to more interesting things, like planks! Tonight Michael and I started the 4-Week Plank Challenge arranged by one of my favorite bloggers, Carrots ‘N’ Cake. The goal is to double our plank time in 4 weeks by doing time trials every Monday and Friday with a short core workout every Wednesday. Tina at CNC will be posting workouts on her blog so everyone can follow along. I seriously love this idea! I feel like we’re being held accountable to reach the goal, which is exactly what I need. Here’s how our first set of timed planks turned out:
There’s one more juicy tidbit I have to share tonight and I’m so excited I’m finally doing this. Michael and I are starting CROSSFIT next week! Holy cow I know it’s crazy! We’ve wanted to do this for a long time now, but just needed an extra push. Our push came today in the form of some awesome co-workers who want to start crossfitting too. There’ll be 4 of us total, and I think it’ll be awesome to start out in a group of beginners. Plus, there’s an accountability factor which, as I mentioned above, is a must for me. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated!
Here are some pictures of our recent Whole30 approved meals:
Kalua Pig and Pork Cauliflower Fried Rice.
Time management is seriously brutal when you’re trying to be as healthy as you can while working full-time at a brand new job. I’ve been spending a lot of time at work trying to learn and become a productive member of the team. Unfortunately, that means there’s less time for exercise, cooking, blogging, and my poor little Tessie dog. I feel so guilty leaving her at home all day by herself. I really just can’t wait until I know what’s what at work so I can bring her in with me. She’ll probably end up sleeping under my desk all day, but at least she won’t be stuck at home.
Whenever I get stressed out I tend to act like a small child. (Sorry Michael!) If left alone, I usually snap out of my funk within a few hours, but tonight I knew that wouldn’t fly. I wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the evening, so I turned to the sure fire bad mood killer that I like to call… drum-roll .. Pop Chops! Yes, that’s right, my Dad! He knows how to call me out on my BS in just the right way as to not upset me more, but instead nip my mood right in the bud. Seriously… Parents are right about everything, too bad I didn’t realize that in high school!
Moving onto our eats for the week thus far. I ended up shifting our weekly menu slightly to save some time last night. We had Hamburger Pie for dinner on both Sunday and Monday, YAY for no cooking! Tonight we made the Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Hash which was fantastic! You should definitely try it out.
Alright… I’m off to enjoy what little cuddle time I have left tonight with Tessie… Oh, and I guess Michael too!
Tessie doesn’t have any news to report from this Paleo front. Monday has come and gone with little to no action, which is probably a good thing. I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s nice to be bored sometimes. My parents would always counter my complaining as a child by “Honey, someday you’ll actually enjoy being bored.” Well, Mom and Dad, you are correct. It’s funny how you grow up and find out your parents were right about EVERYTHING. Love you guys!
Back to Basics: Day 12 Input
Breakfast this morning was eggs scrambled with bacon and veggies. I almost forgot to snap a picture, which is why there’s hardly any food left on my plate. I also drank a cup of coffee with coconut milk.
For lunch I had leftover chicken and brussels sprouts. It was actually really great leftover, we’ll definitely be making this dish again. I followed up lunch with some berries for dessert.
As an afternoon snack I had a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar and a banana.
Dinner tonight was Everyday Paleo’s Basil Pork Burgers and Curried Cauliflower. We’ve had the cauliflower before and really liked it, but the pork burgers were new to us. They turned out really great, I recommend trying it for a hamburger alternative.
For dessert Michael and I shared an apple with some almond butter.
Well, we’re almost 4 months into 2012 and Michael and I are just now getting started on one of our resolutions. The dreaded exercise… I really don’t know why I hate it so much. It’s so good for me, yet I still try to find excuses to get out of it. We’ve been going strong for 2 weeks now and I really hope we keep it going. I like waking up in the morning with sore muscles, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting stronger. The day following our first work out was insanely awful, I could barely walk up the stairs to our apartment. It made me realize just how out of shape I am, ouch. Our current plan is to get up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to circuit train for 30 minutes. I think we’ll probably stick with this routine for a while, at least until our endurance increases. I’m really going with Mark Sisson’s take on exercise and eating well, 80% Food + 20% exercise = healthy and happy Amber (See reason 6 here). If we’re dedicated to fueling our bodies with natural whole foods, then any small amount of exercise is just going to put us over the top. Here’s to looking fab in my bikini this summer!
On another note, last night’s dinner turned out quite delicious. We had grilled sirloin steak paired with a bacon/carrot/cauliflower um, mash up? I really don’t know what to name this side dish, but it’s yummy. Here’s the recipe:
Bacon, Carrot, & Cauliflower Mash Up
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 bag of baby carrots
1/2 cup diced red onion
6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt & Pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once it’s boiling add the head of cauliflower and baby carrots, cook until soft. Meanwhile, chop the bacon into bite sized peices and cook until browned. Remove the bacon bits from the pan, leaving all of the drippings. Add the onion, lemon juice, syrup, and spices to the skillet. Cook until the onions are tender. When the carrots and cauliflower are done, drain the water and place the veggies in serving dish. Add the bacon back to the onion mixture and pour on top of the carrots/cauliflower. Serve & Enjoy!