Thursday, February 23, 2012

Red Snapper & Roasted Beets

As much as I love to say I live a life that is no longer controlled by food I sure to spend most of my time around it. Ask me a year ago or even 6 months ago and there would be no way I would have seen myself doing what I did today.  Big thanks to my Dad who bought me this how to book a few years ago, who knew I would ever even open it. Well today I was glad I had it.

This week I have been craving beets strange because I have only had them a handful of times. After completing the 21 Day Sugar Detox I find my cravings have gone from Paleo treats and fruit to proteins and veggies. This is awesome!  Well yesterday was the opening day of Houston’s city halls lunch time farmers market and guess what I found? Beets! One of my assignments for this week was to try a new food prepared in a new way, so this morning I made my way down to Roses fish market in Seabrook for the first time. I walked around the market and ended up stopping in front of the whole fish section, eyes and all looking back at me. All of the sudden I got very brave and adventuress and pointed to a red snapper and said I’ll take one of those. I could not believe it was I really going to take home a whole fish, filet it and cook it. Guess so. I found some great deals on some already fileted goodies and made my way back home.  Now what do I do?

This is where Martha’s book came in handy; this book gives you a step by step for anything and everything in the kitchen. Thank goodness for great photos because I am a visual learner.

Well it did not come out pretty but I did it!

I had never cooked beets before only ate them so this was new to me as well. I found simple instruction to roast them in a tin foil, so I cleaned the beets, cut off the ends and rubbed them down with coconut oil. I then added in salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and a lemon. I sealed it up and stuck it in the oven at 375 for 25 min.

 I had seen my husband cook fish before in tin foil so I just kept it simple, my red snapper filets, butter, salt and pepper. I sealed it up and placed it in the oven for 20 min (beets needed about 45 min so the fish went in for the last 20)

Well I must say I feel good about this one. My lunch was delicious and well worth the effort.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paleo Meatloaf and Roasted Artichokes

As part of my assignment this week in my Holistic Nutrition class was to venture out to the health foods section of my local grocery store and try something new.  I love this assignment! Just so happened that in my organic co-op share this week I received an artichoke. Pre-Paleo the only time I had artichoke was in dip. I went to my computer and typed Artichoke Paleo in the search bar and I found Roasted Baby Artichoke’s from Nom Nom Paleo. Assignment and blog post in one. YES! Success.
Charissa’s Paleo Meatloaf (Serves 2)
1lbs Grass Fed beef
½ of a red pepper chopped
½ of a green pepper chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
¼ of a red onion chopped
1 tbs. of Apple Cider vinegar
1 tbs. Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. of mixed dried herbs
Dash of black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350
Chop peppers, onion and garlic. Place beef in glass baking dish add in vinegars, veggies and seasoning, Mix with hands and form into whatever shape you want. Bake at 350 for 40-45 min. I just use my nose to tell when it’s ready; when you can smell the meatloaf it is typically done.

I used Nom Nom Paleo's  Roasted Baby Artichoke recipe with a few modifications. I use one large artichoke, an orange as my citrus and grass fed butter for my fat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Go all in or slow play but please don’t fold!

So someone has told you about the basics of Paleo but now you are wondering how and where to start. This will solely depend on how you approach things. Some dive right in, throw out their entire kitchen and start fresh, other decide to follow what I call a Paleo-ish path and commit to changing one meal a day to Paleo, others need to take an even smaller step and start with kicking out something small like soda. Whatever path your chose is OKAY! You have to do what feels best for you and what work for you. 

 Hope you enjoy my Poker/Paleo analogy.

The ALL IN Paleo player.

You’re the type who is holds a seven deuce (the worst hand in poker) but you are so excited about Paleo you do not need to hear the advice of the pros you ready to go all in on faith. I love this enthusiasm, but the problem is it can fizzle out quickly when results are not immediate. I would advise if you are going to push in all your chips wait for a better set of cards. Do some perpetration, plan some meals, and start educating yourself to the why’s. Take the advice of the pros., even if you don’t need to, this will only make you a better Paleo player and decrease the likelihood of you folding your hand too early.
My November “Nine” The Paleo Pros
LorenThe Godfather                                         Robb Our resident Paleo Geek
MarkThe Apple of the Paleo eye                    Chris Paleo Medic
DianeBalanced Holistic/Paleo Gal                Liz No Bull Shit Paleo              
I still want to keep half of my stack
You may be holding a solid hand like jack ten suited but you are afraid to bet all your chips when you are not positive of the outcome.  You are apprehensive, you like your routine, but you’re not ready to leave the table and go back to the slots. You feel stuck so what can you do? Slow play your hand, be patience with yourself and with Paleo. I would advise doing a nutrition challenge and using the support of a friend to push you through it. When it’s over you can make your own choices about what you adapted into your lifestyle and what you don’t.  Just because your gun hoe All IN Paleo friend has gone way off the deep end does not mean you have to go there to.               
My Five card hand of easy to follow programs
21 Day Sugar Detox – Removing sugar for 21 days
 Total Transformation – 30 days of Paleo
The Whole 30 –  30 days of Paleo
Wheat Belly – Removing wheat for 30 days

Chip and a Chair
You have checked every hand and you are down to your last chip, you are ready to finally do something about your health but you don’t think your one chip will get you to the winners table. You are wrong! All you need to change is the desire to change. Keep it simple and begin at the beginning. Start by changing just one thing at a time, don’t give yourself a time limit and when you have that one thing down then add on another and so on.  While you are making these simple adjustments learn your poker hands.
  Strategize your next play – Meal planning 
Fast Paleo - Recipe Sharing
Easy Paleo - Simple Paleo recipes
Paleo on a Budget – Enough said
Food Lover’s Primal Plate - The best food Porn
Primal Toad - Smoothies!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Day of Firsts

Those who know me know I listen to the Balanced Bites podcast and follow Diane’s Blog. I have her to thank for this day of firsts. Thank you Diane!
Back in April of 2011 I attended Diane’s PracticalPaleo seminar, (I originally blogged about what I learned just for my training clients, think I will re post it here) she inspired me to seek out an education in Paleo Nutrition. Fast forward to today.
My first text book from SWIHA has arrived. I am pretty sure I had the same  look on my face that a child does when ripping into a Christmas gift because my husband gave me a halfcocked look as if I had lost my mind for being this excited about a text book. It is the coolest thing to have the opportunity to learn about what you’re passionate about. I have to thank my husband for giving me the ability to follow this road and bearing with me as I shift my lifestyle. This brings me to my second first of the day, chicken liver.

Again I received a funny look from my husband as he came into the kitchen and saw me holding a bowl of chicken livers. He said he remembers his grandmother eating Liver Pâté when he was a child and cracks a joke about me being an old lady to our dogs and went about cooking his bacon. That got me thinking about how people used to eat, this is what Paleo is based upon, but even if we just go back to how our grandparents ate we can see they had much more nutrient dense food in their diets. Cooking with lard was normal and women did not shriek at the sight of fat as if a mouse had just scurried across the floor.

Check out this old menu from Chuckman's Photos. Liver dumplings with sauerkraut caraways, calf’s liver with Bacon. OMG the menu just keeps getting better and better. Think I might sit down with my grandmothers and ask them to talk about their impressions of food toady and how it compares to what they used to eat. Another blog post for another day, now back to the chicken livers.

I gather up all of the ingredients listed on Diane’s Liver Pâté recipe and I got to work. I am apprehensive but I keep reminding myself all the wonderful nutrients my body will receive today. Once the mixture is read for the blender I am truly enjoying the smell.
Once it is nice and smooth I transfer the mixture into a serving dish and place it in the fridge to cool. I keep myself busy with cleaning up as I anxiously wait for the pate to cool.

Time to give it a try!

 Hey not bad at all! Pretty tasty, I bet it would be good with carrot sticks too.

This Tuesday marks the first day of my journey in Holistic education and I am glad you have come along for the ride.  I am thankful for the opportunity to share my adventures with you and I am sure there will be many along the way.

Till next time….

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kill the Soda Before it Kills You

I have decided to post this handout I give my clients up on my blog, after all many people out there still have the nasty soda habit.

Imagine seeing an advertisement for a drink that claimed to make you gain excess belly fat, suck the calcium out of your bones, increase PMS symptoms, heighten the risk of developing cancer and cause possible harm to your reproductive system, would you buy it? No that would be absurd, but unfortunately many of us do buy this product. Can you take a guess at what it is?


To see just how much sugar you are drinking check out Sugar Stacks. Also check out What Happens To Your Body Within An Hour Of Drinking A Coke

Right now, today make the commitment to kick soda out of your body forever; it’s not doing you any favors. Not sure how to kick the habit? Here are some alternatives to go for when you get that soda craving. Which buy the way is just a sugar or and/or caffeine craving.

Sugar craving? Go for coconut juice or coconut water.
These drinks still have some sugar in them but they are a much better alternate to soda.

Caffeine Craving? Reach for unsweetened tea or coffee. Missing sweetness or flavor?Try a splash of flavored coconut non-dairy creamer, it can take the place of your cream and sugar as it has a sweet taste to it.

Like carbonation? Try carbonated mineral water. Need flavor? Try adding in some fresh crushed strawberries.
Want to lose weight and detoxify your body? Drink water!
You can flavor your own water with cucumbers slices, lemons or any fresh fruit. Here is an easy way to make water Sassy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is Paleo?

I have had several people connect with me this week because they want to know more about Paleo. I thought since I am still in the virginity phase of my blog experience a post about the basic of Paleo seems fitting.
My Paleo beginnings

I love to hear peoples “How I found Paleo” story.  Feel free to share yours as a comment to this post

These were the first words I read about Paleo


When I first saw this my thought was similar to most, what about carbs (especially “healthy” whole grains)? We need carbs to live, don’t we? What about diary? How will I get my calcium? I laugh now at my own ignorance. Being that I am a personal trainer I did not want to go around asking others about Paleo. Again this was a stupid thought, now I loving talking to others and soaking up all the knowledge I can. Ego is dumb.  I needed to know for myself about this Paleo diet. I had overhead someone talking about Robb Wolf and I had no idea who he was but he sounded like a good place to start. After some web searching I quickly found myself at the book store buying The Paleo Solution, The Original Human Diet. I took it home, read it and I was sold. I was just finishing up 30 days of trying out Veganism (I have tried almost every diet out there, sickening, I know) so moving into Paleo was an easy transition. I removed the fake diary and added meat. I have now been Paleo for a year and four months. Let’s move on to the basics of Paleo.

What is Paleo?

For anyone who is Paleo, this is a loaded question, but this post is all about keeping it simple. So even though there are many hats under the umbrella of Paleo I am going to stick to the very simple basics that I first learned.


That’s it? Yes this is it. Who said being healthy has to be hard or complex? I know it blew my mind too. Let’s break this down.

Eat meat

Paleo advocates eating the best quality meat. Grass fed, free range and organic, you may have heard some of these terms before. Don’t sweat it. Keep it simple, just eat real meat. As you grown into your Paleo lifestyle you will naturally seek out the next level. The documentary King Corn  is what took me to that next level, click the link to watch it now for free.


Yes organic is best, but again keep it simple just eat fresh vegetables; you can even eat frozen if you want. I would just plead that you no longer eat vegetables from a can. My Paper Crane has done up the sweetest dirty dozen cheat sheet.

 Download it here The Dirty Dozen.

Nuts & Seeds

These little guys will be your best friend when you are saying goodbye to bread, just be careful that they do not become your bread. Yes nuts can be unhealthy, but for the purpose of a newbie to Paleo go nuts on the nuts. To learn more about nuts read For the Love of Almonds by Balanced Bites, this is what made me break away from my daily almond habit.


Paleo says some fruit, here is my take on that. When you are used to eating a diet biased on conventional wisdom the amount of hidden sugar you are consuming is crazy, it is 10 times worse if you’re coming to Paleo from just a plain conventional unhealthy diet. Stand up right now and repeat after me “Hello my name is (insert name here) and I am a sugar addict”. Fruit will be your AA of sugar, use it to help you get through your cravings. Once you have banished all other forms of sugar from your life then you can tackle the amount of fruit you eat.

Are you ready to take your sugar addiction head on?

This is real simple for beginners. You can only eat root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash and yams. It is the only form of starchy carb you can eat, get over it! Whay about Potatoes? Most Paleo followers will say no, but it is up to you. Read more  about it here. Are Potatoes Paleo? a great post by Marks Daily Apple.

No means NO! If you have to ask, it’s no. Again you will find your own sugar substitutes as you start to discover Paleo baking. (Check out Dessert Stalker for some Paleo baking ideas.) I use local honey and agave nectar. These are personal choices everyone one has their own thoughts about it within the Paleo community. I would suggest when starting out that you ditch any fake sugar substitutes even the ones that claim to be natural.
What to drink?  Keep it Simple… WATER!  I also drink black coffee and I love my herbal teas. If you love smoothies check out Toadally Primal Smoothies. Alcohol? Again this is a personal choice. I drink wine, gluten free beer and I love me a margarita.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A day in My life: Me??? Inspiring???

My good friend and first online nutrition client Sheryl has
an amazing blog on Paleo recipes and her weight loss journey. And yes Sheryl you are inspiring!

My A day in My life: Me??? Inspiring???: I have had so many of you tell me that you love my blog. You read every post that I put out there. You have tried my recipes, etc. I want to...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Victim or Criminal?

Perspective can make you or break you. My question to you is “Are you going to be a victim or a criminal?” I know neither option sounds promising but I like to live in reality so bear with me on this. There used to be a time no so long ago when I stepped on the scale every day sometimes twice a day, avoided all fat, counted every calorie, and wore my heart rate monitor all the time to insure I was achieving my daily burn. Did it work? Sure, but I was miserable. No one knew it but even though I got to my hundred and twenty-five pound goal weight I still was unhappy with my body.  I was doing everything “right” I did not understand why I did not look the girls in the fitness magazines. I continued to put an insane amount of pressure on myself to be perfect.  Why did I feel this way? The power of hindsight has given me this answer. Plain and simple I caved. I allowed myself to become a victim to the pressure of what society deemed to be beautiful. Thinking about now makes me laugh. It was ridiculous to live that way, to think of my body in such a negative way. Paleo truly rescued me. I discovered a freedom with a Paleo lifestyle that I had never allowed myself to have. Perfection is not necessary for health, knowledge and practice is. My journey will not be free of moments of weakness when it comes to sticking with Paleo but I now believe striving for 100% perfection isn’t healthy. When I cheat on Paleo I am knowingly committing a crime upon my body, but knowing what I am doing to my body when I eat certain foods gives me the power.  I am the only one to blame when all the issues I had before Paleo come back.  Having such a good relationship with my body is really empowering and I am proud to say I am no longer the victim but I am criminal from time to time, so arrest me.