Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paleo Crockpot Butternut Squash Chili

The end of summer and the beginning of fall means less fresh berries (boo) but more winter squashes (yay)! I bought a butternut squash a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't really sure what to do with it. I looked up what to make with it, found some Paleo chili recipes, and took some ideas from a variety of recipes to come up with the following concoction:


  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 4 pieces of bacon
  • 2 cups broth (any kind, I used chicken because that's what I had)
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • Sliced green onions for topping
  • Avocado or guacamole for topping

You'll notice I didn't include tomatoes, which is usually a staple in any crockpot chili recipe. The thing is, I am not a fan of cooked tomatoes. I noticed when I would eat dishes that had cooked tomatoes, I would push all the tomatoes to the side. So I decided just to omit them and see what happened.


Brown the ground beef in a pan, put in crockpot
Saute the bacon, squash, garlic and onions until cooked, put in crockpot
Add the broth, spices, and chilis to crockpot
Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours. Add spinach and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high.
Top with avocado or guacamole and sliced green onions.

I haven't actually tried this yet but it looks amazing, I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. I had extra butternut squash so I roasted the extras with salt, pepper and olive oil for 40 minutes at 400F, it was a delicious snack.

I also made this Simple Creamy Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup from PaleOMG. It was super yum!! I precooked the chicken yesterday in my crockpot with low sodium chicken broth and some garlic powder. I kind of doubled the recipe, I used a whole head of cauliflower and a can of artichoke quarters packed in water. Another awesome puree done by my one and only Vitamix.

I'm getting a little tired of eggs, I've been eating Omelet Muffins the past 2 weeks, so I decided to whip up some protein pancakes for tomorrow morning and Tuesday. I'll probably eat em with almond butter, or maybe I'll splurge and whip out the maple syrup (organic of course :P)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Paleo Shepherd's Pie and Green Smoothie

I never posted the Paleo Shepherd's Pie I made. I looked through a few recipes, and finally ended up using the recipe from Eat Boutique, as some of the recipes I found used peas (not paleo) and Worcestershire sauce (also not paleo, unless you make it yourself), and if I'm going to make a "paleo" dish then it better be all paleo. The only thing I didn't do was bake them individually, I don't own ramekins, in fact I just learned the word ramekin from reading that blog. I definitely recommend trying this recipe. Here's the link:

The most impressive part of this dish for me was the mashed cauliflower on top, it made me fall in love with my Vitamix all over again, it came out SO smooth!

Looks just like potatoes!!!
My friends and I got together for a girls night last night, complete with wine, chips and salsa, rice krispie treats, bread and spinach dip, etc... basically everything that's NOT detox approved :) But the detox is over so I could freely partake... and that I did. I don't feel terrible today, but I don't feel great, and I slept a ton. I made this green smoothie for breakfast in, you guessed it, my Vitamix, along with coffee with coconut milk and 100% cacao powder... yummy! I added the protein so it would be a complete meal... now I think I am going to head out for a quick run. I have no plans this weekend, and I love it!

1 scoop Amazing Grass wheatgrass
1 scoop Jarrows Whey Protein Vanilla
2 celery stalks
1/2 avocado
1/2 banana
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup water
a few cubes of ice

I made it to Crossfit 4 times this week. Yay! Yesterday was burpees and deadlifts. I love deadlifts, I hate burpees. The WOD was 5 deadlifts and 10 burpees, 5 rounds. I hate round-based WOD's because I always think I'm going to be last. Which I was, but only by a couple of burpees. The best time from the day had been 3:22, I finished in 7:22. I love Friday evening classes because they are so small, so it was me and 7 others. That's also why I like the morning classes, that and getting it out of the way before work. We played "crab soccer" during the warmup, if you don't know what that is, google it. It was entertaining to say the least :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 21!

I did it! I made it through 3 weeks of no alcohol, no grains, no dairy (and I LOVE cheese), no added sugar. There were a couple of cheats (two Quest bars, one instance of dark chocolate chips, and of course the re-introduction of coffee, which I don't really consider a cheat) but for the most part I pretty much stuck to the program. And what were my results you ask? 7 pounds down and 1.2% reduction in body fat. Not bad! But I'm not satisfied..... so I continue on this grain-free/dairy-free paleo-ish journey.... I've already picked out what I want to contribute to Thanksgiving.... 

I think my biggest accomplishment in the past three weeks was this past Thursday night at the A's game, the deciding game of the AL division series. The only times in my adult life that I have ever been to a baseball game sober is because I was hungover. We also usually get burritos beforehand and bring them in, but this time I opted out of both the burrito and the beer and instead brought my own healthy snacks and a bottle of water, after eating a sweet potato beforehand. I ended up not eating the banana and ate very little of the kale krunch (it tasted weird to me this time). I didn't feel deprived at all, it probably helped that it was an intense and exciting game... no one wanted to get up and get another beer or food and miss anything... unfortunately it did not end well and the season is over for the A's. Until next year...

Baseball snacks: kale krunch, plaintain chips, raw cashews, banana
The night before I splurged and went to In-N-Out after work where I got a protein style double meat mustard fried burger with grilled onions and no sauce (inspired by this blog).

I also asked for chilies but I think they forgot them... but it was still delish!
Today I went on a short hike with my mom. I decided to make my own trail mix with coconut flakes, plantain chips, dried apples, pecans, cashews, and dark chocolate chips. I think next time I will omit the apples as they contained a ton of sugar. Speaking of apples, I just found out that Granny Smith apples have the least amount of sugar of all the apples. I feel like I already knew that though.

Trail mix! Yummy.
I made this amazing shake this morning in the Vitamix. Kale, half an avocado, banana, wheatgrass, coconut water, and a carrot. It was super tasty!

Vitamix = Greatest investment ever
Sooo... what's next for me after this detox? The gym is putting on another one in January, I think I am definitely going to be doing it again. I was thinking of doing Whole30 in January, but doing something like this with a support group is a must. Knowing that other people are doing it alongside you keeps the motivation level high. Although I'm not planning on straying too far from the basics of the plan, I'm sure there will be red wine and goat cheese in the near future, also I miss greek yogurt. Plus the holidays are coming up and I am in love with pumpkin pie and that sugary cranberry sauce in the can with the ridges. Everything in moderation ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

21 Day Detox Challenge - Day 16

If drinking coffee is wrong then I don't want to be right...

Yes... I cheated. Yesterday I gave in and drank a cup of coffee and you know what, it was amazing. I made my own creamer using date paste and coconut milk (although it was wayyy too liquidy... I will use less hot water for the date paste making next time) and drank a cup around 12:30 pm and for the rest of the afternoon I cleaned, did laundry, went shopping and cooked (beefy mexi cauli rice, avocado dressing, and omelet muffins) and felt motivated and content all at the same time.

I had been feeling blah the past few days (sometimes borderline depressed) had less energy, and my brain didn't feel as sharp... I felt slower. I feel like I gave it a good shot. 14 days without coffee is a long time for me. And it's not like I was ever a heavy coffee drinker or needed it multiple times a day. Just one cup in the AM and I'm good to go. I'm sorry I couldn't make it the whole 21 days, but I'm really not. I think there's worse things I could have cheated with. I haven't touched a piece of cheese or dark chocolate or had a glass of wine in two weeks. I went to Sonoma Chicken Coop last Friday and my friends ordered the chocolate fondue plate (which looked soooo good) and fries and beer while I ate my half chicken plus extra grilled veggies and lemon water.

Tangent: Someone had the great idea of freezing the banana nut porridge and turning it into ice cream. 

It was amazing a few hours after putting it in the freezer, but today it's rock solid... Next time I'll separate it into separate containers and thaw a little bit at a time.

I went to Crossfit at 6am today. Go me! Hopefully I can keep this up!