Monthly Archives: January 2012

Fit Friday

I am going to use Fridays to track my fitness progress.

So far this week, I’ve practiced the 4 of the 5 Primal Essential Movements that I’m able to do.  I can’t do pull-ups yet, mainly because we haven’t found a good spot to put the pull-up bar.  I have toyed around with trying the Australian pullup, but haven’t found a place to try that, either.

My progress?  Well, I’m really sore.  Yesterday was another day.  I did all of the first set of squats, holding onto a chair like a ballet barre, but only made it to 20 or 25 on the second set.  I must’ve done something right, though, because I can feel it all throughout my legs, not just my quads.  My arms are sore, too.  But, the progress from when I started is kinda cool.  When I first started only my triceps hurt.  Now, I can feel it all throughout my upper arms, and some into my forearms.  So, maybe my triceps are catching up with my bicep strength? Overhead presses (first level in the videos I linked to earlier this week) – first time I could only do 1 set of 8.  I adjusted the height so that it is a little higher, and now I’m able to do (barely) 2 sets of 20.  Once that gets easy for me, I’ll lower the height a little and work from there. Planks are, well, planks.  The increasing strength in my upper arms is helping me to do better, but I still have a long way to go.

Since I’m so sore and it’s so wet & muddy, I am going to do some playing on Wii Fit. I can’t wait until we can get out and take walks around the property or local parks!

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Picture of Thai Pork

I didn’t use ground pork this time, either…

20120127-104542.jpg

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So, what do we eat for breakfast?

There’s an easy answer for that. Eggs and bacon or sausage. But, we do have some variety in our diet. It almost always has eggs in it, and usually a breakfast meat, but the boys and I will also occasionally make a baked quinoa dish that we find delightful. We recently picked up Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals, which has several recipes that we are planning on trying to vary our breakfasts (and lunches and dinners, but that’s for a different post).

When the goats are in milk ,we make goat milk yogurt and have smoothies with that. Because I have shown some sensitivity to eggs, I also sometimes eat either sausage or bacon and 1-2 Tbsp almond butter, or even just a protein shake.

I’ll leave you with our baked quinoa recipe, and hopefully will post a picture of it the next time we make it.

For 4 hungry boys and their mom (aka, a 9×13 pan)

2 cups quinoa, toasted or rinsed

4 cups water (to cook the quinoa)

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp salt

1 cup dried fruit (we mix snipped apricots and cherries)

1/3 cup maple syrup (opt)

2 cups almond or coconut milk

8 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375. Cook quinoa in water with oil and salt until all the liquid is absorbed. It takes me about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, beat syrup, milk, and eggs together, add cinnamon and vanilla. Grease 9×13 baking pan. When quinoa is done, put in baking pan and add dried fruit. Pour the egg/milk mixture over top and stir together. Bake, uncovered about 35 minutes, until done. Let cool slightly and serve.

Notes: Sometimes we put in chopped nuts, or I’ll toast some while the quinoa is baking & we’ll sprinkle it over top. Also, we will serve it with a dollop of goat yogurt or sour cream to change things up.

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What to do about exercise?

So, the hubby and I are not fit people.  Neither one of us was very athletic in school, though I did a couple of months in intramural soccer in college.  Until a quad injury sidelined me, that is. We get by, but, like many Americans, are far from being at the fitness level we’d like to be.  This affects me in my farm work and my husband in his hunting.  We’re setting out to change that, however.  In The Primal Blueprint, one thing that Mark Sisson discusses is fitness.  To that end, he has also put together a fitness program and made videos of what he calls “Five Essential Movements.” He also highly recommends moving around slowly a lot.  Aka, taking long walks, to the tune of 3-5 hours per week or more.  Lifting heavy things is another tenet, and that is where the Five Essential Movements fall. A final piece of this, and it is only once a week, is to sprint.  Developing an exercise program like this will take care of conditioning, endurance, and aerobic fitness needs – to the point where, Sisson claims that one could easily finish a triathlon without ever specifically training for it (provided, of course, that you knew how to  swim and bike).

So, our family now exercises together.  About 2-3 times a week, we will all get together and start doing the Five Essential Movements.  It is probably funny to watch 5 people spread out throughout the house doing wall pushups or seeing us pop up and down in squats. 🙂 Additionally, I do a Pilates video 2-3 times a week, as I really enjoy the 20-30 minutes of it that I do. Everybody’s goal for the quarter is to master their current ability level of each movement and start on the next level.

Here are the videos that show you how to perform each of the Five Essential Movements.

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What to do about snacks

Snacks can be difficult to navigate on a paleo diet. Many of today’s packaged snacks are highly processed, and most contain wheat. With 4 hungry boys, this can be important to nail down without breaking the bank.

The boys eat more dairy and carbs than we do. I’ll include a small portion of white rice or starchy tuber with their meals that my husband and I do not eat. They also sometimes get the rare treat of a gluten-free granola bar. However, most of the time, they snack on cheese, nuts, raw veggies, or fruit. An apple, pear, or carrot with almond butter is quite delicious. If we’re out and about (grocery day or the 3-hour trip to visit my family), we may pack beef jerky and hard boiled eggs as well. The adults like cans of sardines or smoked herring, which are too messy for the more pint-sized family members.

I have also been known to drink a protein shake as a heavier snack. Or, when the goats are in milk, a goat yogurt smoothie is refreshing, usually made with bananas and frozen blueberries.

One other fun snack is to grind nuts and dried fruits in the food processor. There are tons of recipes out there under homemade Larabars, energy balls, etc. I may link a couple of my favorites, but it’s something to just play around with. We love black mission figs and walnuts – think guilt-free Fig Newtons. Or apricots and almonds – peach cobbler.

I hope this gives you some ideas!

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

If the roads are good tomorrow, aka the forecasted snow doesn’t show up, I’m taking this to a family who needs help with meals. I doubled the recipe, so I am feeding 4 adults and 10 children ages 2-11 (all but one are hungry boys!!!). So, be forewarned that this makes a ton. 🙂

2 pounds ground meat (I use turkey or ground beef)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 med onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
Chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
Water

Brown beef with salt and chili powder. Add garlic, onion, and peppers. Sauté until softened. Add tomatoes and water to make it as soupy as you want. Simmer 30+ minutes. We serve it with white rice to the boys, plus some sharp cheddar.

Making ahead and reheating really seems to improve flavor.

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Menu for January 15-30ish

As promised, here is my dinner menu for my most recent 2-week cycle.  If the recipes are of my own creation, I will post them separately.  If they are recipes I have found, I’ll include a link to my source and list any modifications I make.

Monday, January 16: Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein

Tuesday, January 17: Coffee-Molasses Marinated Pork Chops, mixed veggies (note: seared the chops in the cast iron, then baked until about 150* internal temp)

Wednesday, January 18: Italian Chicken in the Crockpot, green beans, salad (this recipe is from Eat At Home‘s crockpot favorites e-book. Sign up for her e-mail newsletter to get it.  She is not paleo or primal, but often has good main dish recipes that are either paleo-friendly or convertible)

Thursday, January 19: Sausage Stuffed Winter Squash (I do not stuff the squash, I simply puree it and serve the “stuffing” over the top)

Friday, January 20: Bacon Apple Chicken, broccoli (I do not do this in a crockpot, I bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes, until done)

Saturday, January 21: Stuffed Pepper Soup (recipe to follow)

Sunday, January 22: Beef Burgundy, oven cauliflower, green beans (making this ahead and putting in the crockpot so that it will be ready when we get home from church)

Monday, January 23: Tacos on Romaine (this should be self-explanatory – tacos, only on romaine leaves)

Tuesday, January 24: Korean chicken, Quick Kimchi Slaw (for Korean chicken – using skin-on thighs, cooking in my skillet, omitting sesame seeds, scallions, and bread)

Wednesday, January 25: Thai Pork, white rice (honey instead of agave, add 2 cups shredded cabbage & carrots)

Thursday, January 26: Chicken Cacciatore (recipe to follow)

Friday, January 27: Curry Meatballs with caulirice or rice (will link later, as the site is striking against SOPA today)

Saturday, January 28: Chicken Soup (this is generic – leftovers from the chicken – meat & stock, whatever veggies & spices I feel like)

Sunday, January 29: Kefta Beans, Rice (recipe to follow)

Monday, January 30: Golden Corral (it’s my oldest son’s birthday, and that is his request)

 

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