Saturday, September 28, 2013

The piano is hard!

I practiced for over 2 hours last night. I am working on knowing the notes for both hands. I know them, but I'm not all the way there. I got bored and wanted to try playing my "goal" song. One Man's Dream. When I look at the music for it I want to cry. I think it is impossible for me to ever learn to play it (kinda like a marathon hehe:)
I found this cool tutorial. It doesn't teach you how to play the piano, because you need to learn how to read the notes, but it's a nice visual that I think does help. It's also fun to sit down and play part of the song and then think, okay maybe I'll be able to do that at some point. But I swear you need 4 hands to play this song.
One Man's Dream tutorial

Friday, September 27, 2013


       Here is an interesting article I just read on FitBie this morning. Basically, it is talking about foods that you may think are healthy, except they can make you fat or keep you in that plateau.  I would say that after reading it, some things made sense.
In the article he mentions pasta and granola, stating that the carbs become sugar, which in turn signal insulin and that signals fat storage. You'd me surprised at the some of the foods like black beans and sweet potato, which hes says just have too many carbs. I haven't looked at any research that has shown this to be true or not, but one thing he brought up was the pear, stating it had about 90 calories of sugar. And this is where I started thinking, because I hate when fruit is compared to candy. The sugar in a pear is different. Here's why. A pear contains mostly fructose. According to this website fructose in a pear ( I did the math myself 4 kcals per gram of sugar) there are only about 22 calories of insulin stimulating sugar in a pear. That sugar is glucose. There is about 45 calories from fructose in a small pear. Fructose does not stimulate insulin release.
Now, I'm not saying a lot of fructose is good for you. Far from it. I'm saying his point was that a pear has 90 calories of sugar that will stimulate insulin ( a medium-sized pear is only about 60-70 calories, so I don't know why he says 90, but anyway)and really only 22 of those calories stimulate insulin. I don't think this is what is behind the obesity epidemic. 
I've already said that too much glucose sucks because it causes a huge spike in blood sugar and a huge release in insulin that leads to getting fat among other nasty side effects.
If you want to know a little about fructose here you go. Fructose has a completely different metabolic pathway. wikipedia fructose metabolism (I'm using wikipedia, because it is an easier than scanning my human nutrition text book:) Now with fructose, it doesn't raise insulin because, as previously stated the metabolism is different.
Here's a nice picture showing the difference between glucose and fructose.

If you haven't had biochemistry, there is no reason to start. This is just showing where the difference in metabolism is. It doesn't need insulin to get into the cell. The Fructose forms glyceraldehyde and then an enzyme converts it to glyceraldehyde-3- phosphate and it can enter the gluconeogenic pathway (to make glucose or glycogen) or it can enter the lower glycolytic pathway  (the same pathway as glucose; it just skips the first part) and becomes pyruvate, which gives us ATP=Energy and can also become triaclyglycerols which is stored as fat. 
They both give us energy. What's bad about that? Nothing, we need energy. We just don't want more than we can use or else it becomes fat. I just don't by that that 22 calories of insulin stimulating glucose or the 45 calories of non insulin stimulating fructose from a pear is what makes us fat....

But in large quantities (here's some complicated papers that talk about this - paper 1, paper 2) they are no good. Insulin is important. If we don't make it we will die. That is why type 1 diabetics have to inject insulin into their bodies so they won't go into shock and die. It also signals leptin. Leptin signals the down-regulation of ghrelin. (Ghrelin says "I'm hungry", Leptin says" you ate; you're full). Fructose will not signal this and studies show that you will not feel full from that sugar and will overeat. It also shows that fructose will first make glycogen (our stored glucose in our bodies) and then it will make the triacylglycerols, which become stored fat on our liver (and fat elsewhere on our bodies) , and contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So if you have too much glucose you trigger the release of a lot of insulin which triggers fat storage and if you have too much fructose you can eat without feeling that you have eaten, over eat and store more fat. 
But if you are just having a pear at breakfast (not Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Pepsi) you will feel full from the water and fiber content of the pear, there is still some glucose to signal insulin (and the whole leptin-ghrelin fullness thing) and those 45 calories of fructose are probably not going to have a devastating effect on your liver. If you're active in your day you will use those calories up. If you have a donut and sit around all day, you won't.

 Sugar in large quantities such as in a Pepsi isn't good for you. Pepsi has 42 grams of sugar. This is from Pepsi's own website that honestly I don't think I can stomach reading in its entirety.
What is the difference between sugar and HFCS?
Sugar comes from either sugar cane or sugar beets while high fructose corn syrups come from corn. Table sugar and the HFCS used in soft drinks have the same calories and sweetness and research shows that our bodies cannot differentiate one from the other. Both table sugar and HFCS are made up of the two simple sugars, fructose and glucose. The difference between the two sweeteners is in the amount of these two simple sugars they contain. Specifically, table sugar is made of 50% fructose and 50% glucose while the most common type of HFCS is made of 55% fructose and 45% glucose.
So, according to Pepsi, if you are drinking the recipe with HFCS, in 12 oz you are getting 99 calories from fructose and 81 calories from glucose ( a way different amount than a pear minus the fiber and the nutrients).
Now please do not confuse HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) with fructose. HFCS is a mixture of fructose and glucose in the amounts specified above. They are only saying that when it comes to eating HFCS or sugar they are both bad for you. Now, they are not using those words but sugar in that form of empty calories whether its a little more fructose or glucose doesn't matter because they both suck. They may just suck in a slightly different way. And I would call HFCS sugar. Drinking soda because it is made with sugar and not HFCS is ridiculous. You shouldn't be drinking 42 grams of sugar in a 12 oz drink that contains no nutritional value whatsoever. The 17 grams in the pear is not the problem....

There is research in regards to plateaus and being carbohydrate sensitive, where fat fasting to get into ketosis  (fat-burning metabolism) is used. That is another subject for another time. I think that instead of demonizing fruit(incorrectly demonizing it, he could've demonized it better saying the 45 calories of fructose was too much) first cut out the sugary cereals, the handfuls of chocolate chips (my problem) and the sub sandwiches on a 400 calorie baguette and then see if you need to explore fat fasting and cutting down on fruits.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I'm trying to go Paleo just to see if I get any results. I made meatballs with spaghetti squash. I'm not a pasta fan anyway, so I have to say I like this much better than spaghetti. Because I cannot tolerate salicylic acid and tomato sauce has a high concentration of it, I made a sauce out of sauteed onions, mushroom and organic bell pepper. I then made meat balls.(just meat and spices) and topped it on about 1/2 cup spaghetti squash.
I have some meatballs left so I'm having them for lunch today.

Breakfast was just scrambled eggs and I had one of the figs. I made a little salad out of peeled cucumbers and celery with salt, pepper and a little apple cider vinegar.

I made this breakfast to one add more vegetables into my day and 2 to get more protein. With all my weight lifting at boot camp, I think it will be beneficial.

I read a nice article on Primal Bliss Nutrition. You just have to subscribe to them and they will send free articles. This one is 5 steps to becoming eat paleo. I forgot the exact name. So I am following step 1. The main point I got is to be prepared. I got home at 12:45 and have to leave soon. I don't have time to make anything Paleo. Instead of giving in and eating packaged food, I have left overs from last night that I saved for a quick lunch. Oh yeah, I got Step 1 (: (it couldve been step 2, I did read ahead).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken Salad

This was my lunch and dinner yesterday. Just something I threw together.

  1. Drizzle olive oil into pyrex pan. Add chicken breast and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper. 
  2. Made saffron water. Crush a few pieces of saffron with mortar/pestle then add to half a cup of hot water. Let it brew for 5 minutes.
  3. Chop an onion- medium dice and put around the chicken in the pan.
  4. Pour saffron water on top of chicken.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees until cooked all the way through. It took about 40 minutes on my oven (high altitude).
  6. Let the chicken cool in its juices. Then shred with 2 forks.
  7. Add Chicken to a large bowl
  8. Chop a bunch of celery and about 4 carrots - medium dice and add to bowl.
  9. Chop 1 to 2 apples - medium dice and add to bowl
  10. Take the stems off a small handful of parsley and mix in with rest of salad.
  11. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze 1-2 limes on salad and salt to taste

Had my boot camp today. It was brutal. Working on getting lighter for this next marathon (:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


On Tuesday, I do my RPM class. It is a Les Mills cycle class and its really hard and I hated it so much to the point that I am now addicted. When I do RPM it really makes me consider doing a triathlon. I worked out really hard in my weight class yesterday. So sore. Craving protein.
So for breakfast I had eggs with a beef strip and some slices of apple. I can never eat a full apple in the early morning, so I just slice one up and we all take a few. Why stretch my stomach anymore than it wants to be. I tried black coffee (because I'm trying to see if I can go paleo and give up It's not that bad. I've already been drinking it without sugar so without cream isn't that much of a step. I actually don't drink coffee to wake up. I drink it just because I like the house to fill with a coffee house aroma. It reminds me of the first time I was in college, when I was young. (:
I have to drink decaf because coffee is high in salicylic acid and when they decaffeinate it, the salicylate is stripped out as well.
One time I was drinking coffee everyday (just signed up for Gevalia) and I started getting horrible headaches. They lasted for a few weeks. I was about to go to the doctor. Then I read on the salicylate sensitivity website that coffee is very high in salicylate. It didn't give me the usual stomach ache (the doubling over pain) but it made me nauseous and gave me a killer headache.
From then on I drank decaf and was fine.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tomato Bisque and Chicken Cutlet

I finally got around to making this. I made it on Friday night. The reason I say get around to it is because it is a process. I base this on a recipe I saw a few years ago. I don't remember it precisely, but I know the general idea

  1.  Core and score, washed tomatoes. I used about 10 that I bought from the Farmers Market last week
  2. Add tomatoes to boiling water. Boil for about 5 minutes and then add to an ice waterbath (that's a big bowl full of ice water)
  3. Peel skin off of tomatoes
  4. Add saved chicken drippings about 2 cups worth or the amount saved from 2 chicken carcasses.  ( I don't know what to call this, if its a stock or not, its the gelatin and fat that I pour out of the pan after I roasted chicken that had its bones and skin and fat. You won't get this off those boneless skinless chicken breasts.)
  5. Fill pot with water. Not overflowing about 3/4 ways through. 
  6. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and cover. Allow to cook 2-3 hours, checking on it often and adding more water if it boils down to thick. 
  7. Use the best small appliance ever, whose name I always forget, to puree the soup in the pot (you don't have to dump it all in the blender or food processor if you have this thingy. Why can't I ever remember what it's called. Not hand mixer. It has a better name. The good ones are made by Kitchen Aid. Mine is red.
  8. Add about half a pint of heavy whipping cream (the paleo version uses coconut milk, don't know how that would taste) to a large dutch oven full of soup, that boiled down a little more than half way.
  9. If you want to thicken it you can add a few spoons of tomato paste and then let it boil for another 30 minutes.
  10. Salt to taste.
  11. Garnish with something  green to look pretty.
I ate this with chicken cutlet, which were so simple they don't really need a recipe. I beat down some chicken breast, sprinkled them with salt, pepper and dried dill weed and squeeze lime juice on them. I rolled them in almond flour and then sauteed them in lite olive oil. Turn it to cook both sides. They were really good.

Friday, September 20, 2013

chicken salad with cashews lettuce wraps

The recipe called for dried figs and I had fresh so I just ate them on the side.
I actually didn't follow the recipe at all. I made my own.

Roast 4 whole chicken legs (with salt, pepper and onion. Come on now you don't just roast chicken plain.  Discard the skin, save the juice for soup later, whenever you make soup. Pick off the meat and put in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime and 2 tsp chipotle chile powder. Chop 3 celery stalks into medium dice. Combine sauce with chicken. Add celery and 1/2 cup roasted cashews.
Take a 1/2 cup scoop of chicken salad and place in the middle of a large lettuce leaf.

Stick to the plan!

Yesterday, I had to have eaten the worst food ever. I was going to make my chicken curry salad with fig and cashews and wrap it in lettuce of bread, when my sister came by and said let's go out for lunch. So, because we only eat halal meat and she is trying to eat paleo, we needed to find a Zabiha place to eat meat. Saw some reviews for a new place and went there. I ordered a beef shawarma plate (didnt want bread, so no sandwich) with a side of greek salad and grape leaves. Well, the "chicken" they gave me was not shawarma either but just pieces of unseasoned roasted chicken. It had soggy skin and slimy fat on it. The greek salad consisted to some lettuce with 2 olives and bottled Italian dressing. It was a waste of calories and money. The only thing edible was the piece of pita on the side (that I didnt want) Well there goes paleo for yesterday.

When I complained on the site where this establishment was recommended, everyone  got upset and went on how delicious it was. Maybe I just watch too much food network (against my will, the husband always puts it on) and too much Restaurant Impossible has taught me what is not acceptable from a restaurant. Or maybe my taste buds are too elevated for that stuff. I mean bottled salad dressing (gasp!)

Right now I am making my cashew chicken for a picnic at the park with the kids. I can't have curry powder because of the salicylate and I was already sick two days ago. I don't want to push it. I'll figure out another flavor for it and pictures will be posted tonight after my piano lesson (:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Music Time

This morning I got up early and had a breakfast of eggs with cheese, coffee with milk and a some peach.
I went to a late morning yoga class, because there's no boot camp today. After all the boot camp, body pump, rpm, running, swimming; yoga felt so good. I have to do it once a week at least. I do about 10 minutes of yoga everyday, but the one hour class is so necessary. I'm now debating on whether I will clean my house or ride my bike, while my son and daughter are both at school. Leaning towards not cleaning. The laundry's not going anywhere but good weather will be gone soon.

I decided I need to practice piano every night at 7:00 pm. If I set a time I will do it. I'm still working on learning my left hand as well as my right and then improving my speed. Its like, once I look at the notes and I know them I struggle to make the connection to my hands. No wonder this stuff helps kids do well in math. It make my brain hurt though.

I'm working on playing Minuet By J.S. Bach. Have a look at this kid, who plays better than me (: He's super cute. Link below

3 year old playing Bach

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Beautiful and sunny again

It's sunny again. So today we are going to BBQ. Today is meat day so we are going to have lamb tenderloin. It really is the best after lamb chops. I'll do it with a salad from the garden.

Menu for the rest of the week (days not necessarily in order)
  •  Ghormeh Sabzi leftovers
  • Lamb Kabob (Meat day)
  • Tomato Bisque and stuffed mushrooms (ate too many leftovers last week and didn't get to the mushrooms) (Soup/Stew day)
  • Zereshk Polo (Persian food day)
  • Curried chicken salad with figs and cashews (how good does that sound?)This is main dish salad and explore the world in one
  • Meat balls on spaghetti squash (simple day, because I have spaghetti squash cooked and frozen)
  • Free Day
What I learned last week was snacks/light meals need to be simple. I really don't have time to cook a fancy snack when I am cooking a big meal.They should be foods I have on hand. I have hummus, yogurt dip, and celery on hand. I should cook some chicken breast in bulk on the weekend so I have an easy protein to eat with the light meals, otherwise hard boiled eggs are fast and easy. I boil about 4 at a time and then put them in the fridge and can have them with my fast plates i.e. tomato, olives, hummus, cucumbers.

I learned that I don't like beef stew. I was mad that my husband and kids didn't like it, but honestly I could stand a little more flavor and I don't like thickening stews with arrowroot powder. That was revolting.
Also I don't need 7 meals planned. A lot of times I have leftovers which we have the next day and I don't need to cook. The Ghormeh Sabzi from last weeks menu is what we had for Monday.
I did RPM this morning, that's a cycling class. It is a class I love to hate. Then I walked 2 miles and then did yoga stretching. When I got home I had breakfast/lunch which is something quick because I have to make my son lunch and then take him to kindergarten. I had a Mueller yogurt. They are pretty good. I think the girl in the commercial is way to excited about yogurt, but they are still alright. Then I had a banana (perfect after a workout) with 1/2 tbsp sunflower seed butter (surprisingly good).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rain and more rain

This is Lake Dillon. Water is beautiful when it is in the right place. Actually, the rain is really beautiful. This morning, I did and 4 mile walk with Jessie, my 4 year old German Shepherd. I decided on Sunday I won't work out hard but I can't do nothing. Everything looked gorgeous after the rain. Usually its desert dry here.

Okay, down to business. It wasn't raining this morning so I could go out the garden and get my parsley and green onions for  Ghormeh Sabzi. This is a famous Iranian food. It's super easy to make but time consuming. For people who have never eaten this type of food it may look weird. It's a stew and its made from greens, and that's not a look we are used to. But, if made correctly it taste really good.

Ghormeh Sabzi
Servings: one big old pot, can be for 8 people or just for 1

8 bunches parsley
4 bunches green onions
1 bunch spinach
a bottle of light olive oil or a jar of ghee
4-5 dried lemons
1 can kidney beans (large or small depending on if you like them)
1 # stew meat (lamb or beef, boneless cut into small cubes)

  • Remove the stems from your parsley ( I picked mine from the garden so it wasn't as easy to cut off the stems and it took forever. 
  •  Chop everything in the food processor. I always do green onions and parsley separate, I don't know if it makes a difference. 
  • Then fry all the vegetables. Just fill your large pan up with the oil or ghee to generously cover the surface (not a deep fry, but be generous with the oil). Salt to taste.
  • Add oil to large dutch oven and brown your meat in it. Salt the meat. ( I like to salt during the cooking process)
  • Add water to fill 3/4 of the pot. 
  • Add the vegetables after you fry each batch to the pot
  • poke holes in the dried lemons with a knife, or those little things you use to hold corn on the cobs, and add to pot.
  • Now the most important step, cook for 4-6 hours. Put the pot on high heat to bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling reduce to medium heat. Stir frequently. (if you must step out for an hour or 2 reduce to a low heat) you can add the can of red kidney beans now. (I used canned and not dry, because kidney beans take forever to cook and if they are not cooked through they are actual toxic (one of the reasons they are not paleo)
  • When the water is almost boiled away, which can be a few hours depending how big your pot is (if its boiled away after an hour or 2 add more water, the veggies and meat need to cook) put it on low and put the lid on.
  • Let it just simmer until you are ready to eat with Basmati rice or without.
  • It taste even better the next day (make sure you store in the fridge (food safety 101)
Simmering after 2 hours and it boiled down fast so I added more water

Finished product

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Flooded Denver

Today started out sunny and nice. I thought the flooding was over. I think I can post the video.

Onto fitness and food. I went to the 8 am rpm class. It's spin class on crack. But with my group training I got strong enough to take this class. It was hard but good. I am down a pound this week:) which is awesome because I haven't been able to budge. The combo of classes and a trainer coupled with my planned meals is working ( I hope)
Today after the gym we didn't go home but went to the farmers market. They had other stuff going on for the kids ( all free) like a bouncy castle.  So we stayed and then had lunch at the sushi restaurant. I had seaweed salad and a few different kind of sushi.  When I got home the torrential rain came so we got stuck inside the rest of the day.  That's ok. I lounged around and watched a movie. Aware that I'm go an record what I eat here, I kept it under control and had a snack of 2 tbsp hummus, 2 tbsp artichoke dill yogurt dip( so good) 10 chips to dip , coffee and 1 tbsp honey and 2 squares dark chocolate.  Today was my free day
Tomorrow it will be back to my schedule.


I have to post from my phone since my computer is acting up, but I took my pod pictures with my phone so it works. This actually might be a good technique because I stopped myself from mindless snacking because I said: if I eat it I have to take a picture and post it and I don't want to post pieces if cookies or chips. As I said my computer is acting up an so is my phone and I can't post my pics right now

So I had a handful of trail mix, tomato soup, a Caesar salad , iced tea with no sugar , 3 cherry tomatoes and 5 of those chocolate covered pomegranate.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Food Diary

Had my 8 am group training. It was a killer, than I went swimming for half and hour and tried to loosen up in the hot tub for a few minutes. I wanted to stay at the gym until 10:00 because then DSW opens and I am looking for rain boots. If you didn't know here in Colorado we are flooding. They didn't have rain boots ( cute ones online though) because we are usually in snow or a drought (: By the time my online boots get here it will either be 95 degrees or snowing. I'm not joking. In Colorado,both are an equal possibility.
Ok, so to be accountable for what I eat, I need a food diary. Not a calorie counter though. I am going to take a picture of everything I eat and then post it.
Here was breakfast. 1 tsp of honey was in the tea so thats why the bottle of honey is there, I didn't eat the whole bottle. I also had 4 grapes and 2 chips (yes only 2, I didn't even want them but my hand reaches unconsciously, than I stopped myself)  that didn't make the picture.

2 scrambled eggs, hot sauce, green tea/1 tsp honey (ate half the banana)
I worked super hard at the gym, which is too early for me to eat and honestly if I did, I 'm afraid of throwing up due to how hard she works us. I don't eat before class because, I'm also not hungry. I recently read an article that backed up what I already know and that is "don't eat if you're not hungry". You really don't have to constantly eat just in fear of feeling hunger ( a normal physiological occurrence). The premise is that if you feel hungry you will gorge when you have food.  If you always worry about keeping your stomach full, when can you're body burn fat?
 2013 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfaston obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence.

The above article basically says that the relation between obesity and skipping breakfast has never been proven to be casual.  So there has been research comparing the habit of eating breakfast to obesity but other research has shown weightloss with skipping breakfast and not a huge gorge fest at lunch time. 
My take away is if you're not hungry in the early a.m. , then why force it?
I do believe its important to have your food ready when your hungry so you won't eat junk at the fridge and then eat your meal when your not hungry anymore. That's what I'm trying to achieve with my weekly meal plan. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I am interested in the Paleo life. I find it hard for me to do. I guess I'm not entirely convinced that I shouldn't eat cheese or wheat. Well what better way  learn about it than from one of the sources!

Dr. Cordain will be presenting in the library Saturday September 14. I intend to go. I'm excited about this.
You can register for the event at the link below.
Dr Cordain at Koelbel Library

New fruit

Yesterday when I was looking for figs, I came across dragon fruit. My daughter told me that she had it when we were in Cancun and it was really good.

It looks really pretty, but it had absolutely no flavor. It was awful and became compost. It probably did taste better in Cancun, because it was fresh. Sometimes a watermelon has no flavor or a mango is so fibrous and sour, so I won't judge all dragon fruits based on this one. I probably will though, because I don't plan on buying it again.

Its raining like crazy out there. I don't have any training at the gym today. I was thinking should I run or should I swim. The rain doesn't make me want to get out and do anything. I'd like to do yoga, but the yoga class is at a time I can't make. Maybe, I'll put together my own yoga routine and do some jogging and then some yoga.
 I like classes better because it makes me hold the pose past the point that I want to stop. My husband and I were just talking about this. In our group training class we will let the trainer push us but alone as soon as something is uncomfortable we stop. Therefore, training gives better results.
That's why marathon training is so hard alone. You have to make yourself get in those miles and then on race day, no one cares if you don't finish but you. That's why Ali had to jump in the marathon with me and yell at me to finish it. Because, by myself, I was like this hurts and I want to stop.


I did things a little reversed today, based on what I was craving. I wanted my light meal (my chocolate paleo shake in the morning.
Then I started canning peaches (never did this before but Colorado peaches are the best and I want to be able to have them in the middle of the winter)
I burned my hand doing this. So, I am not Martha Stewart at all.
Chicken with Figs 
This was the best chicken I've ever had!

This recipe is supposed to be chicken with figs and mint. As  I plan to go over in depth on Salicylate Intolerance, I get sick from too much mint, (methyl salicylate). Even though I love it, I prefer to leave it out of recipes. I bought fresh figs, yay! My favorite. But the recipe actually called for dried figs marinated overnight in wine. Well, I don't consume alcohol at all, so I'm not going to do it. It also called for orange marmalade, which I don't have.
I made a new recipe.

6 chicken quarters
2 limes
4-5 cloves of garlic (or more if you like a lot of garlic)
olive oil
Prepare chicken by sprinkling with salt and pepper and squeeze lime juice on it. Drizzle olive oil on top. Add the garlic cloves to be roasted with the chicken. Roast chicken in Pyrex for about an hour at 370 degrees F.
Remove the skin and eat the crunchiness yourself, or feed to the dog. Take the melted fat and juice and freeze for the next time you make soup (it taste really good that way, forget that MSG bouillon people use for some reason).
Make a glaze
1/4 cup  Simply fruit apricot preserves (no-sugar added)
a few leaves of sage
juice of one lime
 one carton of fresh figs ( about 10 figs)
Add ingredients to small sauce pan and bring to a boil for a minute or so. Turn off the heat and place the figs into the sauce pan. cover and let sit for about an hour.

Cover the chicken with the glaze and figs. Replace in oven and broil on low.
You just want to dehydrate the glaze a little and it will carmelize onto the chicken.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Love this

I love Grumpy Cat, and this one has to be the best so far.

After boot camp

I have my boot camp class on Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:00 am. I never get ready early enough to eat beforehand. So when I came home, I was in the mood for the chocolate smoothie I had on my schedule for a light meal. It is a paleo smoothie and the recipe is from my Eat Like a Dinosaur cook book. (website). You may be able to find the recipe off their website above.

Its unsweetened almond milk, (in the recipe it may have been coconut milk), banana, cocoa powder, a little crushed ice, and get this avocado. I tried this just to see how avocado taste in a smoothie. It actually is really good. The sweetness is from the banana, which is awesome post workout. The only thing missing here is protein. I have some scrambled eggs that I made for the hubs but he didn't come home after his work out to eat, so I'm reheating those to eat. Oh, and as a side note, I'm reheating them in the oven, because my microwave isn't working!! I had to thaw out my chicken for today last night in the fridge. Good thing I thought ahead. Oh my God, what a disaster. First world problem, right?

Another good thing is I found fresh figs (yay!) I can make my fig and mint chicken from the greek cook book. I got another what do they call them, crate? another crate of figs, just to eat by themselves as a snack. I love fresh figs. I wish we had a fig tree round here in Colorado.

My daughter started violin lessons and wants her book displayed on my site (:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No Phone

It seems most days my phone is nothing more but a source for my husband's one word text messages: Hungry, Food?, busy, or 3 words: Will be late, On my way etc. So my data wasn't working, and as you know with an iPhone, data is the whole point. Who even makes calls? So, if I didn't have my phone for 2 days who cares. Well, while my phone is getting fixed it seems like everyone is calling me. I get it back with a ton of missed calls and texts. And what's funny instead of them thinking, she must not have her phone, they think I am purposely not answering.
So annoying, it was nice without a phone. Today I got my husband's usual romantic text messages of. Hungry, Food?
On a nicer note,
I am making progress with my music. I am ready to move on to the left hand. I can play Minuet in my beginning classical music book (yay!). The notes are coming back to me. But, I never felt as strong with the left hand, and that is not coming to me as fast as the right did.

And on the note about my food, I wasn't so happy about it today. I was really busy and rushed all day, so simple was needed, but my heirloom tomato was a little soggy and I didn't have a chance to actually sit down and eat my food. I ate very rushed. I think attitude can ruin a meal more than the quality of the food.


Good morning,
This is my usual breakfast, eggs and a fruit.
I'm having grapes again because these are unusually firm and sweet so I don't want them to go to waste. I put 1 tbsp of heavy whipping cream in my coffee because like I said earlier, I can't drink it any other way. Iced coffee, on the other hand, taste really good with Almond milk. But only if I add a Stevia and I'm trying to stay away from sweeteners. If I use cream, I don't want to use sweetener.

My main meal today is going to be a simple one. I didn't take my list to the store so I didn't get all the ingredients for the Gazpacho. And I think I need some protein with that anyway, so maybe that's not a main dish. It's gotten rainy and cool today so maybe I'll plan a main dish soup that's more filling.
So today I'll do a hummus, mozzarella and tomato plate with beef tenderloin. ( I forgot I have some tenderloin that I didn't use up and you can't let the best meat ever go to waste).
I go to The Savory Spice Shop all the time, so I have a lot of spice mixes to try out. So, I'll just pick a seasoning for my meat, caramelize some onions and I'm good.

For exercise, today I'm going to run! I do weight classes monday, wednesday, and friday, so today is a perfect day for running. I'm really in the mood for it, which hasn't happened since my marathon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Quick Snack

Fruit is an easy snack.  I just had some grapes as a snack because I was about to start picking at the soft gooey part of the french bread ( a bad habit)

Lamb Chops

So I made my first main meal of the week. Lamb chops, Shirazi Salad and cucumber yogurt. I drank Perrier, because I don't drink soda or juice. I'm going to get started on making my light meal before I get the kids from school. when we get home after my daughters orchestra it will be close to 5 and it will be much easier not to nosh on stuff standing in front of the fridge if my light meal of the day is ready. I barbequed my kids burgers while I grilled the lamb chops so I have part of their dinner ready. I'll throw together another salad for them later.

Shirazi Salad

Servings: 2

2 Persian cucumbers (peeled) or 1 large cucumber
1 Heirloom tomato ( or tomato of your choice, you can use a cup of grape tomatoes if you like)
1/2 purple onion.

Chop them all around the same size. Its up to you. I always intend small dice and then my tomato ends up being larger chunks.
Drizzle with olive oil, fresh squeezed lime juice (I like only half a lime), and a handful of crumbled feta.
Salt to taste.
We added a few chunks of watermelon to this salad and it was a good choice. Loved it.
Cucumber Yogurt:
Servings 2-4

1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 regular cucumber
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 squeeze of  lime juice
chop the cucumber in a medium dice
mix with yogurt
mix in olive oil
squeeze lime juice
salt to taste

My Plan

I decided that the first step of my nutrition plan will be to plan my weeks meals. I have always intended to do this and haven't yet. I don't need to plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, because I always do well with breakfast. Then I don't plan lunch and either skip it or eat something standing at the fridge and then eat dinner too late.
I am going to plan a main meal that I eat as a late lunch ( I am never ready to eat lunch at 12:00). I will also plan a light meal that can be eaten in the early evening to keep me from pigging out at night.
Its really hard to come up with a plan. So, my husband suggested we have an outline for each day of the week and then look up a recipe that  fits that.

1. Meat dish
2. Stew/Soup
3. Explore the world
4. Simple no cook day
5. Iranian food
6. Main dish Salad
7. Free day
The free day doesn't mean eat like crazy, but it may sushi at a restaurant, going to someone's house for dinner, or leftovers. However, still keeping to basic nutrition principles i.e. eating protein, fruits and veggies, and skipping snacky foods like chips, french fries and cookies.

This weeks menu that I am going to try to stick to, I am going to stick to is:

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops. (They are pretty small so I will have 3) along with Shirazi Salad and yogurt cucumber salad ( my garden cucumbers are crazy. / light meal - olive, walnut tapenade with celery sticks.
Tuesday - Avocado Veggie Gazpacho/paleo chocolate milk shake
Wednesday - Chicken with Figs and mint/mango smoothie
Thursday - Heirloom tomato salad (Heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil) with hummus, carrot and celery sticks and left over chicken from night before./cinnamon apple tidbits and cashews with unsweetened almond milk (like a paleo- cereal)
Friday- Ghormeh Sabzi and rice for the rest of the family to eat./ stuffed grape leaves
Saturday- Whole Hearted Salad/ pesto stuffed mushrooms
Sunday- Free day

I got to go now, my 5 year old son is having a tantrum because his dad took him to the barber shop for a hair cut and not the kids cuts shop. (:

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I am working on outlining my diet plan, but in the mean time I am going to stick to the basics, i.e. protein and vegetables. I fried an egg and sliced a cucumber and then I made coffee and used almond milk instead of cream. It was gross so I didn't drink it. I'm not a coffee person, but when I drink it, I want heavy whipping cream.
This is why I am struggling with choosing the Paleo lifestyle. I have read the books by Dr. Loren Cordain. What I like about his books is all the scientific references he includes. He doesn't say anything without backing it up with research. And as a scientist, I love that. However, I do not want to stop eating cheese and cream, grains or beans. I just don't want to.
Than being said. My kids always want cookies and cakes.(recipes) For a while I have had a recipe of cookies that I thought was pretty healthy. It uses either whole grain pastry flour, or to go grain free rice flour and almond flour, applesauce, flax seeds, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The applesauce and chocolate are sweet enough that I don't add any sugar. My kids love it. I also make some cupcakes that I based on some paleo recipes I've come across but I've changed them up because I couldn't find coconut flour and just using almond flour, I think, makes them gross.

I made the cupcakes this morning because I was up early and what I like about these cupcakes is they are made with a lot of eggs, for protein. I used almond flour, so healthy fats and protein. I used dates and honey to sweeten. Now, I know that sugar is sugar no matter the source; however, dates have other nutrients, so there is some added benefit. I used 15 dates and 1/4 cup honey. Split that between 24 cupcakes and the sugar is way lower than a traditional recipe of 2 cups of white sugar.
My 8 year old daughter helping to stir

Making these things is messy

I was using the cook book to make a paleo-ish frosting. It looked too involved, so I just melted chocolate chips and made holes in the cupcake/muffins (frosting makes a cupcake, right?) and put the melting chocolate inside them.

They look so pretty
There. My kids can eat something sweet and I don't have to feel bad about filling them with empty calories. (:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Nutrition Plan

I was so excited about my music coming, and spending my extra time at the keyboard, that I haven't yet outlined my nutrition plan.
But I am working on it.
Coming Soon.
Here's a nice food pic to look at though (:

Time to start!

I finally got my music books from Amazon. I had a practice session already. It's amazing how it all comes back to you. I am starting on practicing my treble notes. Just doing the little exercise of using the right fingers and learning the basic notes. It was really fun. I opened the Yanni book and it is too scary to even contemplate right now. It's a foreign language that I don't know.