Bulletproof Battle

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So, I have been hearing a lot about “Bulletproof Coffee” in the Whole30 and Paleo world lately. I have only recently started drinking my coffee black, thanks to my first Whole30 back in December. I never realized how much I loved the taste of just coffee. Before then, I always had it with 2 tablespoons of cream (yes, I measured it out). I thought I was pretty dark and bitter with just the cream since before then I always had it with equal or some other type of artificial sweetener.So, why not try another way to drink coffee in the morning since I’ve become pretty boring with my naked cup of black joe?

I have read many different recipes for Bulletproof Coffee….some including the addition of gelatin, or vanilla extract, or even something called Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil. However, all of the recipes have some type of healthy fat  added to hot coffee (must be hot) and then blended together. I decided to do a few different variations to see which I liked the best.

For my first bulletproof coffee, I added a tablespoon of ghee to my coffee and used a super easy Magic Bullet to blend it. It was so fun watching the color of the coffee change instantly from black into a frothy tan.

IMG_2400 IMG_2401My first sip was heavenly. I couldn’t believe how I have missed out on this until that moment. Seriously. The entire texture of the coffee had transformed into this buttery, creamy, foamy, deliciousness while not manipulating the flavor of the coffee itself. I knew I was hooked after that.

The second morning, I skipped the ghee and opted for coconut oil instead. The same transformation from black coffee to foamy concoction took place in the blender.

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I thought it would taste very different, but surprisingly it didn’t. However, I could still tell the ghee apart from the coconut oil. It was hard to determine which tasted better…especially since anything with coffee in the morning is a winner.

Now, it was time to blend both together. I added a tablespoon of both coconut oil and ghee together to see just how Bulletproof my morning could get.

IMG_2426 IMG_2427This recipe with both coconut oil and ghee was Heavenly. I seriously couldn’t remember sipping on anything more pleasurable in my life…except for peanut butter milkshakes (you get what I mean though).

However, if I had to pick a winner out of the three, it would be the first recipe with just the ghee!

Why? It gave the coffee not only such a unique taste, but a smooth texture as well. Also, the third coffee concoction with both ghee and coconut oil, was almost too good. I found myself slurping it up instead of savoring it, which is why I really love coffee in the morning.

I have really been going through my little container of ghee so much faster now that I just about use it every morning to make my coffee. It is so worth it though! I get these little 8 oz bottles at Trader Joe’s. After my Whole45, I am going to experiment with actual grass-fed butter though! The adventure continues…

 

Calcium-Rich Greens

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After writing my Got Milk? post, I went to the grocery store on a mission to buy produce that was specifically rich in calcium. It is great that I am eating all the right foods so that my body can heal as best as it can, but I wanted to try and do an even better job of making calcium more bio-available to my body in case it needed it. I know that cooked dark greens are great calcium-rich choices. I’ve always loved kale, but thought that straying from the usual and giving it more variety could do my body good. So I went back to my Southern roots: collards and turnip greens.

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Just one cup of cooked collard greens has 220 milligrams of calcium. Turnip greens have 99 milligrams of calcium per cup when cooked. Adding these rich greens into my meals along with my everyday cooked kale which has 93 milligrams of calcium per cup isn’t bad at all! I found these calcium milligram measurements on Eat Drink Paleo. I also picked up some broccoli and okra which also made the calcium-rich list.

For dinner last night, I boiled a pot of water and added the greens in it. I opted for the frozen bags because not only were they cheaper, but they are super splint-friendly in the kitchen. 😉 No chopping required, which means no ambidextrous skills needed from me!

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I let the greens simmer in the hot water for about 10 minutes and then drained them. While my greens were draining, I browned some veal that Hubs had put in the freezer a few weeks ago.

 

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I’ve never had veal. It was so juicy and tender; plus it smelled so good while browning on the cast iron.

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I removed the veal after it browned and cut them into slices. I then added the greens to the skillet and poured a cup or two of my home made bone broth in for the greens to simmer in. I also like to think that the nutrient dense bone broth enhanced my dinner to give me super healing powers.

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I then added the slices of veal back into the broth-simmering greens and covered it up for just a couple of minutes.

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Then dinner was served! I think pork would have been a perfect pairing with the cooked greens, but we didn’t have any in the house at the time. The veal was pretty damn good too! I have my second follow up appointment with the orthopedic specialist tomorrow morning and I don’t think I have ever been this excited to go to the doctor’s! I am really hoping I can get my splint off after tomorrow. That would mean it would come off a week earlier than the doctor said, but I am very optimistic about my recovery and from what my body is telling me, I am feeling great! Fingers crossed!

Spin Sin

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Here I find myself again….blogging while dinner cooks! Today was a great Saturday. Most Saturdays I feel like I am either not resting at all or find myself resting too much; and then I feel lazy and not productive enough (in case you didn’t realize it by now, I have issues with practicing balance). Today was a day that was not too busy and not too lazy…it was just right!

I woke up around 7 AM, which means I got about 9 solid hours of sleep last night. I did wake up once or twice in the middle of the night to empty my bladder, but I didn’t have any trouble falling back to sleep once I hit the pillow. I woke up and brewed my coffee (my favorite part about getting out from bed) and then heated up the last piece from last night’s turkey meatloaf. I fried two eggs and put it on top. My two eggs connected themselves together and made me think of twins for some reason!

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One time, I cracked an egg to fry and out came two yolks from the same shell! That made me think of twins too. Ha! Anyway, this morning’s gym classes were either Spin at 8:30 and/or a Cardio/Weights class at 9:30. I have consistently been attending the cardio and weights class on Saturday mornings, but my body still felt a bit run down when I woke up this morning. I have been thinking a lot more about the Whole9 article on Rest and Recovery I blogged about yesterday evening and I decided to do spin. I still craved a really great workout, but knew that I didn’t want to fatigue my muscles too much. Spin is the perfect workout because I am able to push myself, but at a much lower impact on my joints. I honestly never thought I’d like spin that much, but having a great instructor makes the world of a difference. I don’t know if I could do it more than a couple times a week in fear of getting bored with it. However, I can’t take it Tuesday evenings anymore because of my band rehearsal, so having it on Saturday morning is perfect. I also had to take spin last weekend because my mom was visiting and I couldn’t make it to my 9:30 class and I loved it! My spin instructor said that when you run, your joints are getting an impact of 3 times your weight. That is pretty crazy! I always knew cross training was important, but I am really glad that I am incorporating more lower impact training in my routine to give my body more “active” recovery.

Today’s weather didn’t get into the 70’s, but it was still sunny and beautiful! It probably got up to a high of 64. Hubs and I went on a walk around the neighborhood and then went to the island for the annual Polar Plunge. There were so many people on the beach and at the bars. It makes me so excited for summertime! Afterwards, I ran to Trader Joe’s to grab some meat and veggies. I have slowly been emptying out my freezer and fridge, so I needed to stock up on some things including turkey burgers, bison burgers (I’ve never tried these!), prosciutto, pearl tomatoes, pecans, cashews, sweet potatoes, and avocados. I got my weekend Trader Joe’s trip out of the way so that is one less thing I have to do tomorrow. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the high 60’s, so I will plan on taking my Sunday run around the neighborhood if my legs feel up to it!

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Lady loves the sun too!

Power!

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I am so grateful we have power right now. And, as this week has progressed, I am feeling pretty freaking powerful!

Luckily, we were not too badly affected by the winter storm. Because we are located so far south and so near the coast, we didn’t get as much ice as others got, especially the closer into the city. There are still traffic lights out and many without power or heat. I have several co-workers that live in the same zip code as me that don’t have electricity still. Yesterday, our facility didn’t open until noon, but I still went in right around 8 AM to get into my routine. Hubs informed me that the power went out at our house around 10 AM, which then motivated him to leave for work. Throughout the day I was reading the news about the thousands of customers without electricity from all of the fallen tree limbs due to the ice. I kept eyeing our providers outage map online and it showed our neighborhood without any updates. I was dreading going home! And I thought about poor Lady baby shivering under the blankets. So, of course I avoided confronting the situation by attending a gym class after work.

Happily, Hubs called me while I was on my way to the gym to let me know that he got home and we had power-just no internet or TV. I’ll take it!! It really would have been a perfect night to blog too; but I was just happy to get home and be able to cook dinner on the stove and in the oven and watch a movie before passing out. That was another thing I kept thinking of during the day too: before I left for work I took out some ground bison to defrost for that night’s dinner. I would have been shit out of luck if I wasn’t able to cook it and couldn’t freeze the meat back up. Still, it all would have been fine. I am seriously just very happy to have heat.

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I made bison-stuffed bell peppers. I bought some bell peppers for a steal at the grocery store’s quick sale produce stand this past weekend. I have only ever cooked bison once before and it was in a chili recipe that I made in the crock pot. I wasn’t really able to taste the flavor of the meat before in a chili, but boy was I able to this time! The bison was so juicy!

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Anyway, onto the other hand of this power post: I am fueling some serious energy throughout this third week of Whole30. After a quick staff workout this afternoon at lunchtime, I usually do an easy little cool down walk outside so that I’m not too sweaty when I go back to change into my uniform. Well, I forgot for a minute that it was freezing outside. But, instead of turning back around to go inside, I thought I’d go for a run to the other side of the staff parking lot. It was not only so cold, but windy too! It’s like my body just craves to move. And it prefers to run instead of walk. I’m really excited to go on an actual run when the weather warms up again to see how much my pace improves.

The funny thing though is that by 9 PM, I am struggling to stay awake. I’ve always gone to bed pretty early anyway, but that was when I was waking up consistently to go to the gym at 5 AM. Now, I am sleeping in the morning until around 6:30 and still passing out right after 9. It’s like all the consistent energy throughout the day just flattens out when I need to sleep. It’s really a cool feeling. My body feels efficient if that makes sense. So, with that said: Goodnight! Stay safe and warm everyone!

Happy Friday

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Happy Friday, indeed! This has been one crazy week. I am glad it is over but I am also glad everything happened in it the way it did. I only worked a 4 hour day today but today still felt like a full day for some reason. I slept so good throughout the night last night but definitely could have slept in some more this morning. Right when I came home I vegged out on the couch for a few minutes and caught up with my Hubs. I feel like we hadn’t really touched base with one another all week because it was so busy. We had family time on the couch with our Lady for a good 20 minutes before I drove to the gym to do a very low intense workout (I just wanted to make sure I got some movement in for today, nothing crazy) and then drove to the grocery store to pick up a few things before officially retiring for the day at home.

In spite of the craziness this week, the food has been amazing and Whole30 has kept rolling on by. This week I’ve also started taking my breakfast to go to work with me in the morning which I have never ever done before. I always make my lunch the night before and wake up to make my breakfast but oftentimes find that I’m not quite hungry yet. Whole30 suggests that you eat right when you wake up, but I actually enjoy eating a little bit later when I start to feel hungry. Plus it fits in nicely to my daily work schedule. There is a little group of us at work that do workout DVDs (currently the T25 workouts) at lunchtime. Usually I am starving before noon and have to try and keep myself not from eating too much before a workout. It’s either that or I end up eating my lunch which leaves me with nothing to eat after the workout! By eating my breakfast a little bit later I am completely content right up until the workout.

Anyway, I am looking forward to crossing the halfway mark on Sunday and diving straight into the third week. I’ve got a lot of fun recipes I am excited to try out. Hopefully next week won’t be so chaotic and I can spend a bit more time in the kitchen cooking dinner instead of just throwing whatever veggie, protein, and fat I can find into the iron skillet. Not that I have not been pleasantly surprised with the taste of my meals this past week–but I would like to spend more time enjoying the process instead of running around like a chicken without its head :). Speaking of meals, here are some of my favorite meals from this past week. I warned you in yesterday’s post to get ready for some close up foodies!

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Southwestern Beef Scramble

I apologize for the not capturing the guacamole’s “good” side in this close up. It tasted way better than it looks. I used leftover ground beef, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and seasoned it with Whole30 taco seasoning, scrambled up some eggs, and dolloped a yummy glob of guacamole on it (as you can see).

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Chicken-Grapefruit-Cilantro-Avocado Salad

I used Tessemae’s Lemonette salad dressing and it was the perfect touch to the salad’s combining flavors. I also made this same recipe for lunch the next day with tuna instead of chicken. Just as good!

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“Snack-Dinner”

This really isn’t all that pretty, but it sufficed for Tuesday’s hectic schedule. I ate it on the ferry ride over to my first band rehearsal and it lasted me until 10 PM when I was home and able to eat some leftover wild wings and some almond butter with carrots.

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Shredded Carrots and Almond Butter

Not baby carrots though! No, I ate all of those earlier in the week and Hubs hadn’t restocked them yet. Damnit! I love baby carrots, they are the perfect size and shape for dipping into almond butter. I buy shredded carrots to put in my salads but this time I dumped the rest of my bag into the bowl with the nut butter and ate it with a spork.

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Mahi-mahi, roasted asparagus with olive oil and crushed pecans.

This was one of my favorites this week. I’ve never bought mahi-mahi before. I’ve had it in restaurants, but when I was at the store I thought it would be fun to try something different. I usually always buy salmon or shredded tuna and that is really it for seafood. I also had to use some asparagus I bought a while ago. The best part of this meal was the crushed pecans I put on top of it. It gave it so much flavor and texture!

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Not a meal, but very pretty.

This was not a meal. But it was a part of my week that made me smile and be grateful.

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Grass-fed burger, mushrooms sauteed in ghee and 2 fried eggs on a bed of spinach.

This was today’s breakfast. So good-looking, even in Tupperware! I also added a few cherry tomatoes in there too.

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Post-Workout Meal

This one is pretty self-explanatory; cauliflower, sliced cucumber, and diced turkey. I went to Whole Foods right after the gym to get a few things real quick before going back home. I didn’t think I’d work up an appetite because I just did some slow-paced cardio (the stationary bike and walking on the treadmill) but I got pretty hungry pretty fast while shopping. This tided me over until this evening’s dinner.

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Sauteed kale, chicken, and paleo bacon.

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Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges (WHAT?!?)

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Cajun Sweet Potato Wedges on a bed of sauteed kale, chicken, and bacon. 

Oh sheet…this was one of the best dins yet! I didn’t really want to cook dinner tonight and went to Whole Foods to grab one of their rotisserie chickens. They didn’t have any without added sugar though. They usually always have a “naked” one or a “salt and pepper” one. I was bummed so I went to look over at their already made fresh foods and found the sweet potato wedges. I was instantly in. I bought a pound and ate half tonight and saved half for tomorrow. I know that Whole Foods has a certain reputation, and I can’t help but laugh at the “Surviving Whole Foods” post that went viral last year-but it has really made finding compliant foods so much easier while doing the Whole30. Whole Foods just recently opened up in our location two summers ago and I’m really glad it did. Plus, I feel like I have acquired a niche for finding savings there. More posts to come on that later. I feel like I could right my own chapter on “Whole30 on a Budget” and “Whole Foods: Friend or Foe?” Wow, I like that. Maybe I will save those for later….Anyway, I am super excited to do my second week recap on Sunday. I have experienced some more changes this week, bad and good!