Y’all, I am dog-tired today! Why? Well, my lack of beauty sleep is thanks to… you guessed it, my dog (see what I did there???)! The poor guy has a hot spot on his tail that is causing him some discomfort. I tried my best to ease his pain (itch cream, cuddling, etc), but that didn’t seem to work too well. As a reward result, he retreated under the bed directly underneath where I lay my head and proceeded to whine intermittently throughout the ENTIRE night. In my “Why won’t you let me #$&*ing sleep?” haze, I had a full conversation with him pleading for him to either stop the whining or relocate to someplace where I couldn’t hear him. Hey, I’m flexible! Unfortunately, his English appears to be limited as he didn’t budge. Here’s to hoping tonight will be more restful for all!
If you’re like me and want to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible tonight, this recipe is perfect if you’ve already done a wee bit of prep. I discovered Cappello’s Paleo Friendly pastas a while ago and am in love (note: I am NOT being endorsed to say that)! They are my go-to whenever I don’t feel like putting a ton of effort into dinner but still want to feel like I did. The fettuccine is ready in 90 seconds. That’s it! Throw in veggies, — really, this recipe works well for cleaning out the fridge days — leftover chicken, and sauce. Boom, done!
This weekend was a whirlwind! This past weekend was Tribal Wars in Birmingham (I described what Tribal Wars is in this post). ITF New Orleans brought 12 teams in total to compete! I was part of Wait! Let Us Finish… which was supposed to be our same team as last year. A little bit of back story to the name: last year, my husband had a medical emergency during the first workout (casualty 1), and I went along with him to the hospital (casualty 2). Then, in the second workout, one of our remaining teammates popped his calf muscle (casualty 3) and somehow hobbled through to finish his portion of the run. By the end of Tribal Wars 2015, we had only one of our original members left standing. Our goal this year was redemption; we wanted to finish all three workouts with each member of our team! Unfortunately, fate struck again and my husband was forced to undergo surgery on Friday. He’s perfectly fine, but he was unable to compete this weekend. While I would have loved to have had him by my side, I am very happy with the men who basically went through hell with me this weekend! We were all friends before competitors and it showed in our communication and performance as a team. It didn’t matter where we placed out of the other teams overall or even within our own New Orleans community, we were elated to have finished together. I valued the camaraderie I felt within our group. I bonded with not only my own team, but with people I may not see on a daily basis as we all cheered for each other.
Of course the only picture of us as a team was taken right after (literally!) we finished the second workout of the day!
While I was on my way home from Birmingham, I received a text from “the patient” (as he is referring to himself now) that he would like some of my Paleo Chicken Satay Pasta (I will share this recipe on Thursday this week). Of course the last thing on my mind is cooking! I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep for days. However, he went to the store and purchased the ingredients needed, so I have no excuse… The shining star of the dish is the satay sauce which I share below!
It’s that time again! This weekend is Iron Tribe’s annual Tribal Wars competition. I’ll be heading on the road tomorrow to meet up with my fellow tribers, ready for battle. Birmingham or bust, baby!
For those of you unfamiliar with Tribal Wars, it is the inter-gym competition for all of Iron Tribe Fitness. It’s broken up into divisions based on skill level (I’m middle of the road and fall into the “Tribe” division). The events will take place Friday and Saturday with a block party to follow. This year, I believe there are around 600 competitors! Any member of Iron Tribe is allowed to participate no matter their fitness level. I really like this inclusive attitude as it fosters the family-like feeling we have at our gym. I’m definitely looking forward to cheering on all of the teams (especially the ones from Downtown Nola) this weekend! If you’d like to follow along, they’ll be streaming us live on Facebook or search #TribalWars16 on social media.
While enchiladas are not going to be part of my pre-Tribal Wars diet, I look forward to scarfing these babies down upon my return! I chose to make my own tortillas (recipe here), but instead of making 8 tortillas with my recipe, I chose to make 5 larger tortillas. Because, stuffing. Lots and lots of stuffing.
Paleo f(x) 2016 is in the books, y’all! The trip to Austin was a whirlwind. We chose to drive instead of fly since it should have only taken 7 1/2 hours each way. Thanks to Houston traffic and weather delays, I think we spent closer to 9-10 hours in the car on our way home. Bleh! I’m just thankful my friends enjoy driving! I was able to relax in the backseat playing obnoxiously loud car games with my fellow passengers. Despite the traffic woes, the trip was a success! I learned a lot from the experts in several seminars on varying topics of interest. The highlight of the convention for me was going to all of the booths and meeting the people behind all of the paleo products I enjoy. I sampled so many products and put several new snacks on my list of “must-haves”. Unfortunately, most of these goodies are not available in stores in the New Orleans market at the moment (shocker). Thank goodness for the internet (somwehere Al Gore is attempting to accept this praise, ha!)! The majority of the products are available online with the exception of a few local only to Austin. A couple of my faves have already appeared with my meals on instagram. Shameless plug, I am now on Instagram; search @paleophreak to follow me!
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming… One of the foods I sampled were paleo tortillas from Siete Foods. They have two varieties: almond flour and cassava/coconut flour tortillas. I liked the taste of the almond flour better, but the texture of the cassava/coconut flour over the almond flour. I have been making my own paleo tortillas for quite a while now, but tasting these made me realize I never shared my recipe with you all. Please forgive me!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. To be honest, I have been having trouble being inspired in the kitchen. Without any food worthy to share with you all, I felt like I might be diving into livejournal circa 2001 territory if I just posted about what is going on in my life. However, I am back! And, I come bearing a recipe! The best part is that I actually have a few in my arsenal queued up and ready to share with you all. Yay for “Productive Kate” (she pops her head up every once in a while)!
So, Cliffs Notes version of my life since my last post:
I placed 4th in March Madness at Iron Tribe Nola. I set some PRs and hung-in there against the competition. Despite not winning, I am the only lady who can claim the title of Back-to-Back March Madness Finalist. Maybe I should get business cards made with that as my Position Title…
I went to the beach with friends for a volleyball tournament. It was super fun and very humbling. I didn’t actually compete, but I did watch some studs show that sand who’s boss.
I hurt my lower back and am currently receiving treatment. I’ve already seen some progress, but it’s killing me that I can’t work out at my normal level. I’m hoping to be ready in time for Tribal Wars in about a month.
I’m competing in Tribal Wars again! For those who are unfamiliar with the event, it is the event of the year for Iron Tribe athletes. It’s a team competition with teams comprising of 4 members each. We compete in different skill divisions in a series of workouts over the course of a few hours.
I’m going to Paleo f(x) next week!! It will be a fun and educational weekend covering all things Paleo. I’m super excited and I plan on sharing some of my new-found knowledge with all of you, so stay tuned!
On a somewhat related note, I know I talk about Iron Tribe Fitness on here a lot and some of you may have no clue what I am rambling on about. Well, I just found out they are giving out free one week passes! In case you are interested in trying them out, here’s the link: 1 Free Week at Iron Tribe. (Disclaimer: I do not receive any sort of referral incentive if you sign up for the pass; I just really love my gym)
Raise your hand if your March Madness bracket is completely busted. Me, me, me! Between Michigan State and Kansas both falling, I only have two of the Final Four teams in my bracket; definitely not the makings of a Madness bracket champion this year. However, we are once again doing March Madness at Iron Tribe! I’m currently in the Elite Eight and am pretty nervous about my match-up this week. I’m facing a fierce competitor and I believe it’s a toss-up to decide who will advance.
In preparation for this showdown, I got a deep-tissue massage. I’ve been having issues with my lower back/glutes on just the right side (weird!). This area has proven to be incredibly tricky to work out and has been pestering me for a while. One of the Iron Tribe coaches has been insisting I get a massage for a while now, and I finally took her advice. I think it paid off! I saw a massage therapist a friend recommended, and the session was very therapeutic. I’m hoping the effects are lasting. I don’t want anything getting in the way of the display of will, determination, and sheer physical strength I will rain down on my opponent tomorrow! Just kidding… Or, am I???
On a different note, I am finally getting around to sharing my breakfast casserole recipe. I have had numerous people ask me for this one, so I figure it’s high time I post it! The good thing about casseroles is they are super easy, relatively quick, and completely customizable. As much as I would love to load my casserole up with veggies, I know I would be met with an upturned nose from the hubs. You know how there are plenty of moms out there who brag about sneaking vegetables into their children’s food? I need them to teach me their ways! Anyway, this casserole could easily take on more veggies than just the sweet potatoes if that’s your taste. I will also sometimes include cheese for a primal casserole, but I can tolerate dairy pretty well. The best part of this dish is that it reheats really well. I heat mine up at work on weekday mornings when I am inevitably running late and dine at my desk. Do you all have any favorite make-ahead breakfasts for those busy weekday mornings?
Did y’all watch the Oscars yesterday?? I normally love watching the Oscars every year, but I had mixed feelings heading into this year’s awards with all of the controversy surrounding the event. However, I made sure I had all of my Oscars snacks and red wine (C’mon, grapes are Paleo and wine comes from grapes… No? Well, that’s my logic and I’m sticking to it!) ready to go before the opening monologue. If there were going to be fireworks, I wanted a front-row seat. Chris Rock sure did not disappoint either. He left the Twitterverse with plenty of material to chirp about throughout the night. I’m generally not a fan of politicking in a forum such as an entertainment awards show. I realize that with such a large and captive audience, it’s difficult to pass up such an opportunity. Vice President Joe Biden’s introduction for one of the Best Song nominees was an exception for me. Lady Gaga gave a beautiful and powerful performance of “Til It Happens To You”, which was a song from a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses.
On a lighter note, Charlize Theron was a knock-out in that red number of hers! Other favorite outfits of mine were Brie Larson, Jennifer Garner, Julianne Moore, and Cate Blanchett. Another highlight of the night was Leo finally winning his own golden man for the mantle! I haven’t seen The Revenant; nor is it really high on my “to watch” list. It’s kind of ironic that out of all of the amazing performances he has made, he wins for the film which was not necessarily a “crowd favorite”. Either way, his win was long overdue.
Throughout all of it though, I was happy noshing on salami chips, proscitto, pickles, and these crunchy rosemary breadsticks. This is one of only a handful of times I have used the cassava flour in my paleo baking and it works perfectly in this recipe. The flour is similar to tapioca flour. But instead of isolating just the starch, the whole yuca root is peeled, dried, and ground resulting in cassava flour. The resulting breadsticks gave a nice crunch, but still easy to chew. I chose to use rosemary in mine, but these could be seasoned with just about anything your heart desires!
Did any of you watch the Oscars? What were your thoughts?
It’s that time of year again! For those of you who remember, last year around this time I participated in the Transformation Challenge at Iron Tribe. Well, I am participating again this year as well. It was a hard decision since Mardi Gras is early this year. This means a short king cake season (Oh no!). I am working on a paleo version of king cake and am hopeful in its success. I attempted a version last year and let’s just say it wasn’t “post-worthy” (that’s putting it mildly). Sure, there are vendors marketing paleo versions masquerading as “king cake”. But, they haven’t even been close enough to the real thing for me to warrant spending the money on them. So, I will attempt to make one again this year with my fingers crossed!
I got a little off subject there… back to the Transformation Challenge! The Challenge is 5 weeks long, ending the Friday before Mardi Gras. I have to eat as close to 100% Paleo for the duration of the Challenge. During the first week of the Challenge, Iron Tribe did a body composition analysis. I’m curious how my diet and workouts will affect my body fat percentage. Thanks to my Disney trip and the holidays, it was a little higher than normal (oops). The coaches have also been giving us tips to help us stay on track such as portion sizing.
One thing that has really helped me stay close to 100% Paleo (I’m usually about 80% any given week) is meal prep. I’ve been making the effort to plan out my meals for the week ahead of time and prepare most of the food during the weekend. This pulled pork recipe has been a real hit in ease of preparation, taste, and number of servings (assuming you like leftovers…). It’s great to eat by itself, as a taco, or over a sweet potato. I’ve already had it two nights this week, but I totally about to make it a third!
A slightly belated Happy New Year to you all! The holidays were quite a busy time for me, but things are finally starting to get back to normal. I was in charge of Christmas dinner at my in-law’s home. Despite promising I wouldn’t force-feed them Paleo food (I’m still trying to convince them healthy doesn’t have to mean yucky), I made these sweet potatoes and completely fooled them! These were most everyone’s favorite part of the meal, ironically.
Right after Christmas, I traveled with my family to Walt Disney World to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday. Despite the high crowd levels in the parks, we hardly had to wait for a ride more than 30 minutes. You may be saying to yourself “How did they pull that off??!”. Well, one very stressed and unfortunate castmember decided to yell at my mother which resulted in tears from my grandmother early in our trip. This was probably the best thing that could happen to us because it resulted in 3+ additional fastpasses for each member of our group each day! For those of you unfamiliar with the fastpass system, these are basically like golden tickets (especially during super crowded times) that allow you to skip most of the queue for a ride. Every day of our trip I would send a silent “thank you” to that frazzled castmember as I would bypass wait times of 210 minutes. Since I didn’t have to waste all that time waiting in line, I was able to jump on more rides. This led to me walking 10-15 miles each day! I knew there was a reason I always return from Disney with a firmer toosh!
My 21-year-old cousin and I decided we were going to complete the infamous “Drink Around the World” challenge at Epcot on New Year’s Eve. This was a foolish decision on my part. I may only be pushing 30, but I’m still not able to recover quite as well as a 21-year-old! My morning on New Year’s Day was just a bit “rough”. While I can now check this off my bucket list, I will definitely not being drinking at all 11 countries in one evening ever again!
All in all, I had a wonderful holiday. I enjoyed spending the time with my family and made many great memories. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!
Turkey Day is almost here! And, just in case you are still looking for a way to do up your bird, I’ve got a tasty option for all of you who love ranch (who doesn’t like ranch?!). I was just cooking for two, so I only cooked the turkey breast. But, this recipe could easily be scaled up for a whole turkey. I chose not to brine the turkey since it was just the breast cooking, and it turned out nice and juicy. If I were to make a whole turkey, I would definitely brine it at least a day ahead of time to ensure the breast meat doesn’t dry out. However, to quote Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that!
I am definitely looking forward to stuffing my face tomorrow. My dad and I planned out our menu yesterday, and I will be doing a lot of prep this afternoon. Thankfully (it is Thanksgiving after all!), Iron Tribe will be having a couple of classes tomorrow morning. I’ll at least be able to feel a little bit better about myself when I’m reaching for that second slice of pie.
Are any of you going shopping for Black Friday? It baffles me how the shopping seems to start earlier each year. I’ve been receiving tempting sale emails all week, but there is no way I’m sacrificing my holiday to battle scores of other people to save some money. Normally on Black Friday I am happy watching football on mute while listening to Christmas music and decorating my home. Unfortunately, I have to work on Friday this year. Plus, I went a bit nuts and put a few decorations up two weeks ago… I just couldn’t help myself! Anywho, bring on the turkey and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!