Incredibly quick and easy is my goal this week. And I’m pretty confident that the meals this week won’t break the bank at the grocery. We’ll be using (what I consider) to be mostly staples.

Monday: Crispy Potato Curry: I like this recipe because it’s your veggie and carb all in one! I think I may add some more vegetables (like carrots and peppers) to the roast, just to add some more nutrition. If you like naan, because you’re a human with a soul, try this Paleo Naan recipe. Or, buy some! Costco has a pack of a million individual sized naan pieces (not gluten free) that can be frozen. I found them in the “ethnic” refrigerated section…by the kimchi, seaweed salad, and pork buns.

Tuesday: Whole 30 Sloppy Joe’s with…spaghetti squash/buns/sweet potatoes/white potatoes/rice/quinoa/cauliflower rice. That’s a ton of options. If you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it…but “Whole 30” ensures that there’s no added sugar from condiments, or general ick from a can. This recipe is very fast, and can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to make it in bulk and freeze for another day. ***If you plan to freeze, portion it out before freezing, so you don’t have to thaw the remainder and re-freeze.***

Wednesday: Mexican Pizzas- This used to be my Taco Bell jam! This, a Supreme Chalupa, and Dr. Pepper. Because when you’re 16, you can treat your body like a landfill, because the future is never going to come for you. Anyway…there’s no recipe for this one. I just plan to use corn tortillas (that I’ll lightly pan fry), layered with black beans, and taco filling. I pulled some taco seasoned chicken (for the male), and some taco seasoned jackfruit (for me) out of the freezer. Then I’ll top with “cheese” before putting in the oven to melt, and serve with guacamole.

Thursday: Avocado curry rice noodles with shrimp: My only issue with this recipe, is that I find the serving size to be incredibly unrealistic. I think I can get 4 servings out of this…6 would leave me needing to make another meal an hour later. Use whatever kind of noodles you have/like. You could also substitute the shrimp for chicken, tofu, or just add a lot of vegetables and make this a vegan dish.

Friday: Protein grilled on pineapple skin: Sounds weird, I know.  I’m going to use cod for this, because I have some. This would be great with another white fish, salmon, or chicken. I’m just trying this because I love pineapple, I always cut my own, and I’m hoping that there’s a use for all the waste. I’m going to serve this with Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice, and I will most likely not make this with all of the bacon and eggs that the recipe calls for. I just don’t require that much protein.

Saturday: 15 Minute Spicy Shrimp with Pesto Noodles: I don’t think I’ll make this with shrimp. I haven’t determined what I’ll use instead, but…something. Helpful, I know. If you have a favorite pesto recipe, by all means. You can also use store-bought, which will really save time. The sauce would taste great on quinoa too, if you don’t want pasta twice in one week, or if you don’t want to use zucchini noodles, per the recipe.

Sunday: Funday- free day! Try a new recipe, go out, eat PB&J’s…

An entire week of salads…but these salads will not leave you hungry (and there’s meat for the carnivores). I love salads because there are so many options, and it is minimal work. You can take a day to prep all of your vegetables if you want, and mix and match all week, or you can test out some of these babies. If the thought of making dressings doesn’t do it for you, just use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and some sea salt.  So, get a couple of more hands to help with the washing and chopping, and don’t turn your oven on for a week.

Monday: Low Carb Pad Thai Salad– You’ll definitely need to multiply this recipe to serve a family. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just use shredded carrots and thin pieces of zucchini. You can leave out the chicken and fish sauce to make this vegan (replace the fish sauce with more soy sauce).

Tuesday: Rainbow Chicken Salad with Almond Honey Mustard Dressing–  This is summer in a bowl, my friends. I’d add some strawberries, but that’s just because I like food that tastes good.  To save time, you could buy a rotisserie chicken.

Wednesday: Ginger roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Salad– Changing it up a little 🙂 It’s not exactly pumpkin weather, so you can use sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Again, you CAN roast this in the oven, but you can also cut whatever you’re using up in small pieces and pan fry. Again, you can multiply this recipe to serve more- and quinoa dishes freeze very well.  ***While you’re making quinoa, make extra for Saturday’s dinner.***

Thursday: Tahini Kale salad with Crispy Chickpeas–  Gluten free and vegan.  Ok, I lied a little….you CAN cook the chickpeas in the oven, but you don’t have to. You can get a similar result from making sure the chickpeas are very dry, and pan frying in a small amount of oil. If you don’t like/can’t find kale, try spinach or romaine lettuce. If you do use kale…make sure you massage it. I know….but, the key to raw kale tasting good it to break down some of it’s fibers. My tip is to take 1tbsp of the oil (that’s meant for the dressing), pour it on the kale, and massage it for a few minutes. Then continue with the recipe.

Friday: Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette– Feel free to leave out the meat/use a different kind of meat. The Emeril’s seasoning is also not imperative- just use something spicy.

Saturday: Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing–  Gluten free and vegan. This just tastes so good, and that’s all I can say. The recipe is written with modifications, so there’s an option for everyone. You could also use this as a side dish, and serve this with grilled chicken or salmon.

Sunday: Lentil Taco Salad– Vegan and Gluten Free…although, you can skip the lentils and use grass-fed ground beef if you prefer. You’ll see how to put the salad together when you scroll down- however it’s for a single salad (why?). So, just use the same ingredients, but multiply for each person being served.

 

This is my last post that will be written in Germany. We head back to America tomorrow morning! My excitement level is akin to a child on Christmas morning, whose birthday is also on Christmas, who knows they’re getting a Power Wheel and a puppy, and that there’s  an ice cream buffet for each meal of the day.

I work it out

You know what’s really easy to not do? Exercise. And the more you neglect it, the easier it becomes to just forget about its existence and live in a blissful state of ignorance until you put on jeans. Screw you, jeans. You truth-telling ambassadors of Autumn. Anyway. We must participate in some form of exercise, as it really is essential for physical and mental health. There are two keys for being successful in any exercise regimen: enjoyment and time. Both can be a bit tricky, because this can involve trial and error.

Let’s use me as an example. I am inherently lazy. There is nothing I love more than laying around watching Investigation Discovery or The Golden Girls. I could literally do this 16 hours a day. However…I also love food. And I also love wine. Mmmmm, and brownies. And sugar cookies with frosting. Man, those are so good. And, you know, french fries with fry sauce are some next level shizz. So, clearly, something has to give. Thus, I exercise. I didn’t start, “working out,” until my early 20’s…and then I would spend a lot of time on the Elliptical…because? I don’t know why. But I hated it, so it became really easy to just not do. This also led me to the realization that I detest going to the gym. Through lots of trial and error, I have come to find a regimen that works for me. I like to combine walking/hiking, lifting (for my upper body), Pilates, and Yoga. I do not do each one of these every day. But, I do try and do something every day. I enjoy each of these activities, and I feel the best, and feel that I look the best when I am able to maintain my routine. Weekends are not structured, and are definitely lighter…or, nothing at all- which is also essential for muscle recuperation.

Like I said, I do not like going to the gym…and I really don’t like paying for exercise. Years ago I bought a Pilates reformer on Groupon, and it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. Yoga mats- chump change. Shoes to walk in…you need those anyway. The weightlifting  rack…ok, that was in investment. But think of all the gas money saved! And the fact that I know exactly who has sweat on our bench, makes it worth it.

Right now, I’m in a transitional phase, and don’t have access to my usual gear. Weather permitting, I still like to get outside everyday for a walk. On days when that’s not feasible, I like to supplement with this video by Relentless Jake. It’s low impact and only 25 minutes, but you will be sweaty and tired at the end of it. I find Jake to be relatable…he messes up, falls over, gets tired. He’s goofy, but not on an annoying Tony Horton level. I do this workout with 5lb weights…by round three I want to toss them out the window.

YouTube is an incredible resource for Yoga and Pilates. My favorite Yoga channels are Yoga with Adriene and Brett Larkin Yoga. Again, I find Adriene to be relatable. She’s great at explanations for beginners, and not too…yoga-y (you don’t have to imagine yourself as a grain of sand in the bottom of the ocean). She also offers (free) programs like 30 Days of Yoga and Yoga Camp. Now, Brett Larkin Yoga will leave you a sweaty mess. She is no joke. I just signed up for her Chakra Challenge (again, free) that begins on September 12. Sign up and do it with me!!! Another great (free) Yoga series…especially for beginners is 30 Days of Yoga with Erin Motz. Each video is only about 15 minutes, and it’s a great way to see if you actually like yoga. I just started Erin’s Bad Yogi Perfect Body Yoga Program. This one is not free, but it’s a structured 8 week program, and I needed something to keep me in line until my life is once again organized. The “Perfect Body,” refers to creating the healthiest version of the body you already have, fyi. As for Pilates…there are lots of reformer-free workouts available. Fitness Blender has a good video…it’s an hour, though. But, there are so many 30 minute workouts available.

The whole point of this incessant rambling is: You have the time and the resources to exercise. You just have to prioritize! I know that there are tons of obstacles that can get in the way, but you have to figure out a way to get around them. Don’t have 30 minutes? Well, do 10 minutes, pause the video, and come back when you can. This doesn’t have to be difficult, and there are so many options that cost nothing.  You don’t have to kill yourself for hours a day. There are other ways to get in shape besides running and HIIT. If you ever hear me say that I went running or did a burpee, have me committed. Clearly aliens have taken over my body and I am a shell of my former self.

Does this still sound daunting? Well, contact me and I’ll help you through it!

My shit’s in the street, and I eat cake for breakfast

Well, our worst fears have been realized: I’m out of balance. Okay, maybe you haven’t been worrying about my balance lately…although, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t 🙂 Every now and again I like to take a Chakra test, to see if any of my chakras are oogey. I’m sure you’ve heard of chakras before, but if you’re not sure what they are, they are the “wheels” of energy throughout the body. There are seven chakras, which align the spine, beginning at the base of the spine and going up to the crown of the head.

Why does this matter?

“These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. If there is a blockage, energy cannot flow.”

For the first time, my Root Chakra (Muladhara) is under-active. The Root Chakra is the chakra of stability, security, and our basic needs. In hindsight, this is really not a shocker for me: I am a gypsy, about to make an international move, I’ve recently lost the sweetest soul I think I’ll ever know, and I haven’t seen my husband regularly in 11 years. Please don’t misunderstand me: This is not a,”woe is me” post. I have an incredible life, that I wouldn’t trade with anyone I know. But, this life can take it’s toll. And I need to take care of myself.

How do you get back in balance? Consult your local, organic, pasture raised Google. There are a lot of techniques that include visualization, essential oils, yoga poses, reflexology, eating certain foods…So, you don’t have to pay someone to do this for you. If you’re interested in figuring out your whole situation, take the test (instant results, no personal info/email is required) : Chakra Test

***Can we take a minute to pray for our “friends” who have posted, or will post political posts on Facebook from now until eternity? These people need our help. They know not what they do…and they don’t realize that we want to punch them super freaking hard, repeatedly, and often.***

Now on to cake…

I really dislike foods advertised as, “guilt-free,” because I don’t like correlating food with guilt. All foods can be enjoyed in moderation…and sometimes in more-than-moderation because life can be a real son-of-a. Anyway, this can be eaten every day, and really is guilt-free. I modified this from the Easy Coconut Flour Birthday Cake recipe on My Heart Beets. I’ve taken out all of the fat and sugar (not even coconut sugar or maple syrup is added!), and it still tastes great. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk (ANY kind of dairy or non -dairy will work)
  • 6 eggs, room temperature (Coconut flour soaks up a ton of liquids, so this is not a misprint! I have not tried this with egg replacers, so I don’t know if this will turn out without eggs).
  • 3/4 cup applesauce, pumpkin, OR mashed banana
  • 25-30 drops of Stevia (more or less, depending on your taste)
  • A glug of vanilla
  • Can add some cinnamon, or other spices if you’d like
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Put everything in a blender, or beat by hand.
  3. Put in a greased baking pan (I use coconut oil, and put it in an 8×8).
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Cool on a rack before slicing

I cut this into 6 pieces, and eat it for breakfast. Now, who in the hell would eat cake without anything on top? A psychopath; that’s who. I’ve tried several toppings and my favorites are:

  • A banana smashed with a scoop of Naked PB
  • Unsweetened soy yogurt (with a few drops of Stevia) and some strawberries and a banana
  • And the best is Paleo Pumpkin Avocado Chocolate Mousse. When I make this recipe, I reduce the dates to 5, and increase the Stevia to 25-30 drops (taste and add more…you can’t go back!) I also leave out the balsamic vinegar…used it the first time I made it, and I didn’t feel like it added anything to the overall taste. Why tho?

This recipe is good enough to eat for dessert. And it’s full of fiber and protein, so it’s a win-win.

Holler back for Thursday! Sun’s out! You’re alive!

The greatest love of ALLLLLLLLL!!!!!

“Learning to love yourself; it is the greatest love of all.” Thank you, Whitney Houston!  Forget ever thinking of working with me….play this song on repeat and you’ll be set for life.

I saw this article today, and it just shows how ridiculous/contrived/unrealistic/sad things can be for people today.

Victoria’s Secret model quits after being told to lose weight

To save 5 minutes, the gist of the article is: She was told for 2 years by VS to lose weight (they had a goal weight for her), and instead of becoming anorexic/self hating/unhealthy- she quit.

How are you supposed to be stick thin, with large breasts, a firm booty, and have muscle? When I figure this out, I’ll let you know. Until then, as hard as this may be sometimes: Be kind to yourself and to the one body you have (in this lifetime!). Chances are, your body is really working for you. You have legs that carry you around all day, arms that allow you to lift people/puppies/weights, a torso that’s strong enough to allow you to stand tall, and a brain that can help you see how much your life would suck without the things that make you happy and bring you joy.

It’s not easy (for everyone) to see the good in yourself. I have struggled with this my whole freaking life. I remember being in high school…about 20lbs less than I am today…wishing that my butt and thighs weren’t so big. Full disclosure: I still think that on more days that I can count. But, hey. Life’s a journey, man. Just keep truckin’. Try and give yourself one compliment a day. You may begin to realize all of the things that you actually love about yourself.