Thursday, February 21, 2013

"I can resist anything except temptation."~ Oscar Wilde

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with a friend about eating out and she has sooooo much more faith in me than I have in myself lol she made the wonderfully supportive point that I have overcome a lot in terms of my diet and exercise so I shouldn't deprive myself of going out (I was concerned about the whole dating and dieting thing)

She said I can do the right thing and make the right choices and if  I end up indulging I can get right back on the horse. I tried to explain to her eating is a slippery slope for me. But again she was a lot more supportive and encouraging than I was to myself. New he needs a code name...anyway he likes eating out and I am not opposed to eating out and trying new places and new things but I need more discipline.
Last night was a perfect example I went out with my sorors and we went to a local spot we all love the Artful Gourmet Bistro and I always have their lemon drop martini (ok or two) and their pasta dish called the  Michelangelo
Jumbo shrimp in vodka cream sauce with mushrooms and sundried tomatoes tossed with rigatoni pasta. It is a wonderful as it sounds! See picture below!
Artful's Michelangelo Yummm
Well by the time the night was all said and done I had the pasta, 2 lemondrop martinis and a slice of cake with a scoop of ice cream! :-(

As  Oscar Wilde wisely confessed ~ "I can resist anything except temptation."

That's why I keep my butt home when I am trying to go hard because I jump feet first and don't even think twice! Other folks had salads with lean meat! That's what I should have had! Some had A drink NOT 2! That's what I should have done! Some people did not have dessert! AGAIN that's what I should have done! SMH

What can I say... It bes like that sometimes!

Today's a new day! I did not get the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal I was thinking hard about having or the apple stuffed pastry they sell at work... so that's this morning's victory! I'll take it!

The weekend will be a little crazy I want to hit the gym, see new guy, go to a Soror's day party, I have an AKA matter on Sunday, and I still need to try and get in hot yoga again oh yeah and sleep!

I did cook and I have another Paleo post to share soon! This week I made jerk chicken breast, cabbage and eggplant, sweet sausage and peppers and onions, coconut crusted tapalia, and I made a big pot full of chicken and cilantro soup! Good stuff! I will check back soon! Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

As promised...Paleo! part 1

I am way behind on this post and I am sorry! I have gotten so many emails and text messages about Paleo and the things I am eating! I been trying my best to post pictures on facebook and keep notes in my blackberry until I had a free moment to get this done. I really don't have a free moment but I am making a free moment b/c I really love Paleo! And I want to spread the word!

Ok for a quick review!

What is Paleo?
Paleo is short for Paleolithic, and the premise of a Paleo diet centers around the idea that our bodies have not adapted sufficiently to eating foods that weren’t available to us 10,000 years ago. It is thought that more than 70% of food consumed today was never available in Paleolithic times.  We put so much processed food into our bodies; most which us unhealthy. 

A Paleo diet involves eating meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, little starch, some fruit and no sugar.  It means no grains, legumes, dairy or alcohol.  It means staying away from all processed foods. It means eating as our hunter-gathers ancestors did. 

It immediately sounded good to me and my last post I discussed that. Again if I was a good blogger I'd have dropped the link but yall know how I do lol before I go into the recipes and pictures I will talk about the top 3 challenges I am facing:

1. Processed food is EVERYWHERE! Just about any grab and go snack I used to eat was processed: WW snacks, protein bars, protein shakes, baked chips,etc...all processed! Those have always been my go-to items. Not any more. On the positive side using fruits and veggies as snacks is more Weight Watchers friendly because they are 0 points. I am also using nuts and trail mix these however I am overdoing! But still better than processed food! I was down 1 pound per Weight Watcher weigh ins last week. Overall it is is closer to 5 pounds. We'll see this week.

2. Planning is critical. This is not a wing it type of plan. You have to think about what you want to eat for the week. Because you gotta cook! I can be honest this has not been that much of a challenge for me because I am making it a priority and I am using the weekends and my work from home day to cook. But it is time and labor intensive after shopping, prepping, cooking, there is the cleaning! My cleaners only come every 2 weeks so the dishes cant sit around that long lol well they can..but it wouldn't be right. I have invested in a number of foil pans and foil paper and that has helped with that.

3. You have to find balance. Dating on paleo has made me THAT girl...So new guy (we'll find a  better code name soon lol) Our first date I had a salad SMALL with blackened chicken and I was anxious about even having date we went bowling I refused to eat b/c there's nothing Paleo friendly in a bowling alley its pizza, chicken fingers, fries...but its never good when a new guy starts off with "Well I know your answer is no but would you like something..." insert side eye..from him lol but we had a good time even when I threw the bowling ball so hard it hopped into the next lane and a not so happy pre-teen's bowling score was the victim of my poor aim lol Best. Date. Moment. Ever. Thankfully I know how to laugh at myself (and others). I will let new guy know I will eat tomorrow... Ohh yes! There is a 3rd date and its tomorrow on Valentine's Day! He tried to be slick when he asked and me being so slow and really having not had a date of Valentine's day in a few years it went right over my head for a minute.

But we are going salsa dancing and I am really looking forward to it. So I may just take the night off Paleo and not be so rigid and enjoy myself. I am really digging him... he even agreed to try Bikram/Hot yoga this weekend! Good stuff new guy! :-)

Ok now for the food! First off my shopping list looks like this:

Steak, beef, chicken legs, thighs, 90% lean ground beef, 80/20 ground turkey, Trader Joe chicken sausage, and I discovered Italian seasoned ground turkey!

Steamed shrimp, frozen shrimp, salmon, and talipia

apples, pears, grapefruits, oranges, bananas, strawberries, melons, and blueberries

Cabbage, carrots, spinach, salad, eggplant, butternut squash, zucchini, Chinese squash, onions, and cucumbers

Curry, black pepper, sea salt, cumin, jerk, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, and cinnamon. By the way spices have calories! YES I KNOWWWW!!! Crazy!

I got lots of ideas from people everywhere most I modified in some way but where I can recall I will post the link to that page.

Breakfast idea:

{A soror posted about her egg muffin and it piqued my interest she hipped me to the power of pintrest and who knew if you double clicked the pictures more info came out? I didn't! What a world that has opened up for me food wise! Paleo a plenty!}

Egg muffins
6 eggs or 12 eggs
Any add ins you'd like I used onion, spinach, bacon, sausage, etc.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 6/12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in sausage; cook and stir until sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.
  3. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir in onion, green pepper, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix in items Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into muffin cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

I bought a Rachel Ray muffin pan! It worked well I went looking for a silicon one but this was perfect

yeahhh so 1/3rd of the way to the top
Quick fix!
Midway point as you can see some of them are coming up looking puffy
Final product! I only had 2.

Upside these are really easy to make. They taste good and are very filling. I made different kinds and that kept it interesting. I really didnt want one after the third day lol I kinda got over the novelty. I will make it for a potluck brunch I am going to this weekend though. My advice if you get bored easy just make a few at a time. Be creative. And no cheese if you are on Paleo. Its a little elss than a egg so its about 50-60 calories per muffin.

Aside from this I been doing boiled eggs, trial mix, fruit, and occassionally I have had leftovers anything from salmon, to eggplant, to steak! So don't feel stuck on "breakfast food" in term so Paleo!

Lunch/Dinner option
Salads are my friend! I just mix it up!

Lemonpepper salmon with pears over spinach

Bagged salad with english cucumbers and steamed shirmp bought the shrimp at the store and peeled them

Paleo Lunch on the go- Spinach, carrots, cucumbers, alpha sprouts, tomatoes, beets, mushroom, onions, raisin, sunflower seed *gasp for a breath* grilled chicken salad! Adding herb olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Fruit for after in case I want something sweet!

Love this! Thanks UNOs!

Went to lunch with my Linesisters and had this dish so I came home and whipped up Chimichurri Sauce UNOs has a hit with this!
1 cup parsley leaves (tightly packed italian, bunch stems removed)
1/4cup cilantro leaves (tightly packed)
2 garlic cloves
1/2tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (dried)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

A new fave of mine! Thanks Soror Kenna

"Egg that Kenna Will Eat"
Ingredients: 1 green pepper (you can use red, yellow or orange if you want), half of an onion, Italian seasoned ground turkey (Jennie O brand, 93% lean or get whatever type of lean ground meat you want and season it yourself), spaghetti sauce (look for a sauce that has no added sugar, I’m using Classico’s Tomato and Basil as it is low calorie and sugar is not an ingredient), a firm medium sized eggplant, olive oil  and salt (this is optional). You will need an 8x8 pan or perhaps something like a 9x9. You can alternatively use a meatloaf/bread baking dish if you choose. A 13x9 would be too big.

Directions: chop up your onions and peppers in the size you desire, put a little olive oil in a skillet and sautéed the onions and peppers (I like mine slightly burnt looking), once the onions and pepper mixture is done, add the ground meat and cook until the pinkness is gone.  Drain off the excess oil as you don’t want that in your mixture. If you’re using ground turkey, you will have to keep breaking it up as it tends to “stay” together.  While you are waiting, wash and slice your eggplant into uniform circles. A mandolin would help you achieve this else use a good kitchen knife.  In another skillet or griddle, add some olive oil and lightly “toast” the eggplant on both sides. In other words, you just want to get the eggplant cooked a little bit on both sides. I actually want to see the skin blister a little bit. You can add salt to the eggplant if you want but this is optional. In a small sauce pot, pour about half the container of your spaghetti sauce in and heat it up. Take your baking pan (8x8 glass pan is what I use) and put a layer of eggplant on the bottom, then put in a layer of your meat mixture (you should use about half of the mixture for this layer), spread some sauce on it, next layer will be eggplant, then another layer of sauce, then the 2nd half of the meat mixture, then another layer of eggplant and the last layer will be sauce. You might need to heat up more sauce. Warning…don’t over sauce because in the oven, the sauce will break down and look watery but that’s ok.

Next step is to cover it in aluminum foil and bake it for 25-30 mins on 400 degrees.  When you pull it out, it will be hot and bubbling.  It will look watery but not to worry. Let it set for a while before eating. Honestly, this is something you probably should let set and eat the next day as it will be easy to cut into pieces that look like lasagna.  You will not miss the cheese and me..I will never lead you astray!

I am getting 6-7 servings out of my casserole and based on my calculations, the nutritional values should look like this for 6 servings:

175 calories, 7 grams of fat, 9 carbs (fiber content is reasonable in this dish with approximately 3-4 grams of fiber in a serving)

This dish is very satisfying but don’t eat too much because it does have some sodium in it. I am stretching mine out and getting 7 servings to cut down on that.


Well I have more but I guess I will work on a part 2!

Other helpful tips:

Cabbage is a good veggie to keep handy cooked or raw
Get lots of tupperware I went to the dollar store
Drink lots of water
Try to buy fresh fruits and veggies that are in season to keep cost low! If you are in the Baltimore area we have tons of produce markets and of course the JXF Farmers market.

Plaeo is totally doable! I am having fun trying new things! I will post the coconut ginger shrimp, the Paleo meatballs, cabbage bake, and my Italian Hodgepodge with butternut squash next time!