Tag Archives: paleo

Checking-in: Yoga, Running, and a General Update

9 Feb

I think we’ve all heard about the great things yoga has to offer… flexibility… stress-reduction… whatever. I’ve had my reservations with yoga since I tried it in sophomore year of college and realized it’s actually pretty difficult. Well, for me at least. While yoga brings some people a relaxing way to work-out, it brought me to the point of popping a blood vessel under my eye from straining myself. That was a while ago though… and I figured it was time to try it again.

In my lurking around the running subreddit, someone posted about yoga and how well it compliments/improves running. A commenter posted two videos: one that’s a pre-running yoga session, and one that’s a post-running yoga session. I decided to start doing these before and after my runs. I can’t say if it’s helped much yet or not…but I still find yoga pretty difficult to do. And I figure if something is difficult or feels uncomfortable, then I should probably do it more.

Anyway, I figured I’d post these up for reference and if anyone’s interested:

Pre-run yoga

Post-run yoga

So I guess it’s probably due time for a check-in of sorts. Well it’s early February now… mid-February will mark the 10-month mark of living health-fully. I’m a few pounds away from the 100-lb weight loss mark. I plan to celebrate the 100-pound mark with sky-diving… or something else cool and adventurous.

RUNNING
I’m still running three times a week… 3 miles each time. I haven’t tried running over 3 miles yet… I just don’t really feel interested in doing a lot of distance right now. I’d like to break 30 minutes soon, and the closest I’ve come is 31:51 for 3 miles. Maybe my first 5k race in March, I’ll break 30 min.

EATING
Still eating paleo/primal, though I’ve cheated a few times lately (Super Bowl party anyone?), and I’ve also started to incorporate Greek yogurt (Fage Total Plain) into my diet a few times a week. Yes it’s dairy, which is not ‘paleo.’ But there’s some benefits to be had with the greek yogurt. It’s got probiotics, a lot of protein in a serving, and is incredibly convenient. It’s a good snack for me when I come home at night from a work-out. There’s naturally occurring sugars (lactose), so that’s why I like to have it after a work-out… but supposedly it does spike insulin and can cause problems with weight-loss. I just wanted to try it out as a high-protein snack.

WEIGHTS/STRENGTH
I’m now in Phase 6 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. The work-outs feel weirdly short. I’m not complaining though — the last phase had 2 minute rests between sets, so it would take me over 1.5 hours to complete my lifting work-outs. This phase only takes me about 30 minutes or so… so that’s been nice. This phase has negative chin-ups in it… which is pretty different and kind of cool. I mean, I know it’s not an actual chin-up, but I still think it’s fun to climb up on a stool and hang off a bar and pretend I’m letting myself down from doing a chin-up. Hopefully someday in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be able to actually do real chin-ups.

On the topic of strength training… a friend of mine from work (who is a guy) and I like to have random little competitions. I thought I could out-lift him in a leg press, since I lift regularly, and I’m significantly larger in size than his dainty-self. Well, I lost… he’s surprisingly strong for his size. Or maybe I’m delusional in thinking I had a chance at out-lifting a guy. But I found out I was able to lift 495 lbs on a leg-press. I could probably have done more, but I failed at the 545 mark and didn’t try anything between 495 and 545. My friend completed the 545 rep… then he proceeded to do 4 more reps to rub it in my face. I was disappointed with my loss… but at least I still whooped him in our swim-off shortly thereafter.

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Recipe Share #3: Paleo Coconut Crepes

13 Aug

As a Dallas-native, I’ve eaten at nearly all of the Cafe Brazil locations across the metroplex. I really enjoy that restaurant, but I always get the same dish every time I go: Fruit Pancrepes. This is the description, as seen on Cafe Brazil’s menu:

Seasonal Fresh Fruit, topped with our Homemade Pancrepes, Crème Anglaise, Raspberry Sauce, Walnuts and Powdered Sugar (served cold)

Basically, it’s a plate of sweet deliciousness. I get teased by my family for never trying anything different. But why would you if you could choose fruit pancrepes? Just look at them!

Cafe Brazil’s Fruit Pancrepes

*image found here at Foodspotting.com

I’ve tried a few times at re-creating Cafe Brazil’s fruit pancrepes… and I succeeded (or at least I did in my mind) back last year when I used an Alton Brown crepe recipe, some creme anglaise recipe I found online, and another raspberry sauce recipe I found somewhere else online. Those recipes are not paleo-friendly though… so I had to come up with a new approach. So I found this recipe from FastPaleo and improvised.

Paleo Crepes

And they aren’t half-bad. I follow the recipe directly from the FastPaleo version, with the only modification being that sometimes I like to add a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon to the batter for a little extra niceness. After the crepes are made and arranged in their folded triangles on my plate, I try to capture the essence of Cafe Brazil’s fruit pancrepes by making my own paleo-version of creme anglaise sauce to pour on top. It’s pretty simple: mash up some berries of your choosing with a fork in a little bowl, pour in some canned coconut milk, stir it up, and pour that on your crepes. Add some extra berries/fruits to your liking. If you really need it, you could sweeten the creme sauce by adding a little honey or maple syrup…but I think the berries add enough sweet flavor.

There you have it. The paleo option for Cafe Brazil’s Fruit Pancrepes: my favorite brunch meal in Dallas.

Recipe Share #2: Cajun Blackened Salmon

6 Aug

I really like salmon. I also like convenience. Know what’s convenient? Those single-serving 4 or 5 oz pieces of salmon that come vacuum-sealed in the freezer section of your local food store. I put them in the fridge a day or so before I know I’ll use one, so it can defrost in the fridge. When strapped for time, they can defrost quicker by putting it (still sealed) in a bowl of water on the counter for about 30 minutes to an hour. Once defrosted, pat dry and just apply some olive oil on that baby, sprinkle on some spice, and you’re good to go. I found this recipe at PaleoEffect.com, and it’s great. Definitely worth a share…. and it’s nice to make your own spice blend so you know exactly what’s in it. Click here for the recipe!

Mmmm… salmon

Recipe Share #1: [Paleo] Kelp Noodle Japchae

5 Aug

One of the goals of this blog is to share delicious (and healthy) recipes. I’ve had several co-workers and friends ask me for recipes to try, so I hope this blog helps with that. Since I’m trying to stick with the Paleo diet right now, most recipes will be paleo/primal. And since the internet is already super-saturated with talented food bloggers, most of my recipes are ones I find online. Hopefully as I become a more seasoned cook, I’ll share highly-original, mind-blowingly awesome recipes that I create myself.

The first recipe I’d like to share is Paleo Japchae. For those of you who don’t know… Japchae is a delicious Korean dish that uses noodles (made from sweet potato), veggies, and meat. I had it for the first time at my boss’s baby shower… and I fell in love with the dish. It was so good, and I liked the different textures that the glass noodles, veggies, and meats offered. And really… it seemed like it could be a pretty healthy meal with a few adjustments. I decided I’d try to make a paleo version of it, so I googled “paleo japchae” and came across this recipe. Looked delicious, so I gave it a go… with a few adjustments. Instead of soy sauce, I used coconut aminos. And instead of sea food, I used chicken breast. And I didn’t cook the kelp noodles beforehand like the recipe originally called for. Here was the result:

Kelp Noodle Jap Chae

It was pretty damn good, and that’s why I’m sharing this recipe. Here’s a run-down of the recipe (with my modifications):

Ingredients:
Makes 4 servings
1-1.5 lb chicken breasts
5 oz spinach
4 oz white mushrooms (sliced)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup slices carrots (julienned)
3 stalks green onions (approximately 1 cup chopped into 1 inch pieces)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon coconut aminos
1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha sauce (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 bags of 12oz kelp noodles

Directions
Rinse the kelp noodles thoroughly and set aside.

Cut the chicken breasts into chunks. In a large (I’m not kidding — it needs to be big!) saute pan, heat the sesame oil on medium. Once oil is hot, add the chicken chunks and cook until no-longer pink.  Once the chicken looks about done, add the remainder of ingredients (except the sesame seeds). Constantly stir the spinach and mushrooms until they have wilted and browned, respectively. Then add the kelp noodles and sesame seeds. Continually stir for several minutes until the kelp noodles have absorbed the flavors in the saute pan and turn a nice light golden color.

Hope you enjoy. Kelp noodles are pretty cool actually — I’ve used them many times as a pasta substitue. They’re very neutral in flavor, and supposedly supply a good amount of iodine. They have a bit of a crunch to them — if you want it softer, you can boil the kelp noodles before using them in this recipe. That’s what the original recipe calls for — I just like my noodles al dente.

Okay so there you go! My first shared recipe! Yippeeee!