Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sweet Potato Hash

A couple of weekends ago my mom and I went to brunch at Bravo in Edmond. It is a fantastic Italian restaurant and I had never had their brunch. There was a new brunch item that day, Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken. Our server just raved about it. It was normally served with two fried eggs, but I requested scrambled egg whites instead. It was FANTASTIC. Ever since then I have been craving it. Last night, I tried to make my own. It wasn't as good as Bravo's, of course, but it was quite tasty and easy!

Ginny's Sweet Potato Hash
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
6 0z diced chicken (I already had this cooked for the week so I didn't' have to precook it!)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced garlic (or to taste...I like garlic)
Dash chili powder
Dash cumin
Dash sea salt
Dash pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet. When hot, add sweet potatoes and let them brown up.
Add diced onion and garlic. Let cook until onion and garlic are browned slightly.
Add chicken and spices.
Cook for an additional couple of minutes until sweet potatoes are soft and it smells awesome.

Obviously, my recipe isn't very technical. I threw it together. It is a hash! That is what you do. I would have liked to add some peppers, but I didn't have any in the house last night. It makes enough for two servings. I didn't do eggs with it last night, but it is so good with eggs. I've seen some recipes where people have added diced apples to add some more sweet. I liked mine just fine the way it was. I might throw some salsa on it tonight for dinner just for kicks.

Totally paleo friendly and great right after a good workout.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cheat Meals

Here is a great article on "cheat meals". I love everything about it. His take is completely realistic and do-able!

Here it is. What do you think?

My shoulder is officially impinged. When it rains, it pours, right? I'm doing everything I can do to get it ready for my level 1 cert in two weeks. Basically that means I am doing nothing. Rest. Rest. Rest. Oh yeah, and Ibuprofen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Healing Time

It has been almost three months since I started this paleo experiment. I started with the intention of doing it for one month to see what happened and how I felt. After one month I though, "What the heck, I'll go one more!" Now I am almost up to three months on the paleo lifestyle. Sure, there have been bumps in the road. I'm not eating 100% paleo all the time, but for the most part, I am as clean as a whistle.

The past two weeks have been pretty tough. With my hip being a pain..literally, and now my shoulder jumping on the bandwagon, I have been at a loss. I can't run, I can't squat, I can't do dips or push ups, no heavy weight for any part of my body. What gives? Thankfully, my diet has been pretty steadfast. I cant' imagine how horrible I would feel if I wasn't eating clean during this time. I imagine I would be a pretty miserable person to be around.

I know I've lost muscle the past two weeks, but I know I'll gain it back pretty fast once I can get back into the gym for real. I still feel lean, I still have lots of energy and I am ready to get back into the game! I'm confident that my diet has been extremely beneficial during my "healing" time.

Now if I could just get in the gym and throw around something really heavy without my hip or shoulder flaking out I would be a happy girl....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smart Choices

During my daily stroll through multiple media websites I found this very interesting article about the Smart Choices program. I haven't paid much attention to it because I don' t think I need a symbol to tell me if something is a good choice or not. I feel like I can decide that on my own with the knowledge I have about nutrition. Again, I know I'm not an expert, but I pay attention to it, research and try to stay as educated as possible.

Here is the article.

The first sentence just jumped out at me. Froot Loops and Coco Puffs are Smart Choices? What? Why in the world would someone think a sugary cereal like that would be smart for kids or anyone for that matter?

I proceeded to the Smart Choices website to do some research. What was their criteria? What other products are labeled as Smart Choices that probably aren't? How many parents are giving their children these products and think it is the best option?

Here is the Smart Choices Program website.

I started by taking a look at the nutrition criteria to become a Smart Choices item. As I strolled through and looked at the criteria for fat, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol all of that made sense to me. Yes, foods with less that 35% calories from fat are a smarter choice. Yes, foods with 0g trans fat are smarter choice. Yes, foods with less than 60mg of cholesterol (per serving) are a smarter choice. Then I came to the added sugar portion. Not just sugar, but added sugar.

Desserts make the Smart Choices list if they have less than 100 calories or 6g of added sugar. What? 100 calories of added sugar is smart? How about 0 calories? Cereals make the cut if they have 12g or less of added sugar. My. Oh. My.

Now, I know not everyone on the planet is going to give up grains and dairy. I know not everyone wants to eat paleo or zone or somewhat clean for that matter. I have to believe there are much smarter "Smart Choices" than some that are listed. Here are some cereals that made the Smart Choices list that blow my mind:

Apple Jacks (100 calories, 12 grams sugar per 1 cup serving)
Corn Pops (110 calories, 12 grams sugar per 1 cup serving)
Froot Loops (110 calories, 12 grams sugar per 1 cup serving)
Frosted Flakes (110 calories, 11 grams sugar per 3/4 cup serving)
Cocoa Puffs (110 calories, 11 grams sugar per 3/4 cup serving)
Lucky Charms (110 calories, 11 grams sugar per 3/4 cup serving)

If those cereals are good for you, then what cereal is not considered a smart choice? I did a search for cereals high in sugar. I found a list that rated some of the worst cereals high in sugar that are marketed towards children. Here is the ironic thing: a lot of these same Smart Choices cereals showed up on this Consumer Reports list for the Top Worst Rated Cereals High in Sugar. Wow.

Those cereals were never in my house growing up, with the exception of the occasional box of Frosted Flaks for my dad. We were Cheerios and Rice Krispies people.

Now of course there are lots of items on the Smart Choices list that are actually fairly smart choices for the non paleo/zone person who is trying to be smart. Here are a couple of the cereals.

Special K (120 calories, 4 g sugar per 1 cup serving)
Cheerios (100 calories, 1 g sugar per 1 cup serving)
Crispix (110 calories, 3 g sugar per 1 cup serving)
Quaker Life (120 calories, 6 g sugar per 3/4 cup serving)

But let's face it, what kid gets excited about Special K and Cheerios? Plus, what person only eats 1 cup or 3/4 cup of cereal? Not me. I was a two bowler back in my cereal days. Anyway, I was just shocked. Knowing that people are probably eating two servings of cereal in one sitting and around 24 g of added sugar before your day has barely started is nuts.

I'll stick with my egg whites, veggies, turkey sausage and almonds thank you very much. I think those are pretty smart choices for me. No sugar high/crash here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lunch Bust

My fridge is in desperate need of a grocery store run. I've been spending my weekends away from home, so Monday is always an interesting day. I usually pick up something for lunch and go to the store Monday evening after CrossFit to load up on real food. Today for lunch I ventured out to Panera. They have a Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad that I remembered as being fairly decent. I ordered it without cheese and got a low fat balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I don't like a lot of dressing so as long as it is an oil based and not cream base dressing I don't worry too much. I know it has more sugar than I would like, so a little drizzle is about all I need.

I got the salad back to my office, picked out the fatty pieces of bacon, added about a tablespoon of dressing, shook it up and went to town. My first big bite reminded me of why I don't go to Panera that often anymore...I hate their chicken. Seriously, the chicken drives me nuts. I always seem to get weird pieces that are anything but a good piece of meat. It is so depressing. I used to love Panera, but that was when I ate bagels and the black bean soup. Sandwich places have become much more difficult and I try to avoid them at all costs unless they have a decent salad. Some people love Panera chicken. I am not one of those people. I remembered why today.

Now I sit here in a bit of bind. Luckily, I have about 3 oz of roasted chicken in my office fridge for a snack later today with some almonds. This is exactly why I like to prepare my own food and bring it to work. I know exactly what I am getting and I know I will like it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trying to Behave

I'm trying to be on my best behavior. I'm doing my best to stay patient with my hip and eat as clean as possible. Being away from the gym is driving me crazy. Everyday I visit CFJ's site and gaze longingly at the WOD and the posted times. I want to post a time. I want to be on the leader board. I hate waiting, but wait I must.

I've cut out almost all fruit this week due to my lack of physical activity. I miss my grapefruit in the morning. I had cut back to one serving a fruit a day a few weeks ago and usually I would eat that right after my workout. It has been easier than I thought, although that pesky tub of raisins just calls out to me when I am eating my walnuts and almonds.

My hip is feeling a lot better. No pain unless I move it awkwardly. I think it will probably be another week of no weights/squatting. Hopefully next week I can start doing some elliptical, biking and swimming. I have been walking and stretching this week and doing upper body that doesn't put a strain on my hip (pull-ups/push-ups). I'm continuing to be cautious and not come back too early.

Must. Get. Well.

Eat clean.

Quick Tid Bit...
I got a massage earlier this week. I have had a gift card for almost a year and decided to go for it. She kept remarking about how tight I was. Shocker. I felt bad for her trying to work out all the tension in my back and shoulders. She did though, and it was awesome. She comments, "Do you drink a lot of water?" I replied yes and told her how I quit Diet Coke there months ago. She proceeded to tell me she could tell because my skin looked so good and was really soft...softer than the twelve year old she had seen earlier that day. Score for water.

Water...the fountain of youth. Drink it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chayote Squash

The other day at Reasor's I was feeling adventurous. I was on the hunt for something new. I picked up a chayote squash. I had never had one before, but it looked interesting. I love squash so I thought I would go for it. Last night I decided it was time to give it a try. I cut up my chayote squash along with some sweet onion and fresh garlic. I put it in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, gave it a dash or two of pepper and baked it for about twenty five minutes.

Oh. My. Goodness. My house smelled so wonderful. Honestly, nothing smells better than something baking with fresh garlic. I love that stuff. I was pleasantly surprised with the squash. I think I have found a new favorite. Don't you just love finding new foods that you enjoy?

Chayote squash is a great source of amino acids and vitamin C. Try it out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Out of Commision

I'm depressed. My hip hurts and I can't do anything about it. This happened to me last fall and I was miserable. I have a trochanteric bursitis. It is just a fancy way of saying the bursa in my hip is inflamed and hurts like crazy. I can't do anything that puts too much stress on my hip until it calms down. I didn't do one thing to hurt it. It happened because of over use and the fact that I have no flexibility in my hip at all. I've always known I wasn't very flexible, but when my dad was testing it out on Sunday my worse fears were confirmed, I have the flexibility of a steel building. That needs to change.

This week I will be doing a lot of walking and stretching. This weekend I thought I was being smart by swimming and doing some work on the elliptical. No impact = no problem. Right? Wrong. Apparently doing the breaststroke kick really aggravated my hip. I thought I was being so smart. Figures. Anyway, another lesson learned. I know it will be at least a week until I'm back in my CrossFit gym doing what I love. The important thing is to rest it now before it gets worse and takes longer to get better. Oh frustration.

Maybe I will just perfect my handstand push ups this week....

On the positive side, this is a great week to really keep up my nutrition. Since I won't be getting in the workouts I want, nutrition will be very important until I am back to normal. This morning I started off with egg whites, turkey sausage, about a 1/4 of an orange and some almonds.

I'm going to keep a good attitude and follow the doctor's orders. I'm not always the best patient. It is not a trait I am too proud of.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It has been awhile since I really wrote about how I was doing. There is a reason. The past ten days I have been very good. I let myself eat some grains almost every day. I ate french fries (gasp!) last weekend at Red Robin. I enjoyed some light Chocolate Covered Cherry ice cream from Braum's (yum). I celebrated birthdays and ate lunches with vendors. I enjoyed every bit of my week. I have felt every bit of everything I ate.

I've been sluggish, moody and just downright out of it. The last three days have been great. I am back to focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, veggies and very little fruit. I even started my Fit Day journal back up today. I had quit keeping up with it and boy does it make a difference.

I haven't hit my first muscle up yet. My goal was to have one by the end of September. I am closer than I have ever been. I'm just missing something in that transition. It is beyond frustrating. My new goal is to get it by my CrossFit Level 1 Certification in November. Hopefully sooner. Goals are a good thing to have, even when you don't meet them. Just keep going. You'll get there eventually.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Eat This, Not That

I get a weekly email from Eat This, Not That. It usually has some pretty interesting stuff. Anyone that pays attention to nutrition could probably tell you most of what is in the newsletter, but they always put together somewhat entertaining and educational lists. Here are a few from today's email that I thought you all might enjoy.

The Purest Packaged Foods in America

Really? Pure packaged food? A favorite pale standby actually makes the list.

The 20 Worst Packaged Foods in America
If you weren't staying away from these already, then maybe you should start.