It's Gettin' Chili in Here!


It started with tomatoes from my inlaws. Beautiful, ruby red little spheres of delight graciously bestowed upon us! Ok, semi-dramatic, but I am so grateful to have them! So, with half the batch, I roasted them! (Click for recipe)

20110927-190520.jpg

All to bring a glorious Beef Stew into existence!

Brandy’s Beef Stew

(I did half the recipe)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground beef

2 pounds of stew meat

1 diced onion

2 cups beef broth/stock

1/8 cup almond flour (I used 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder- to thicken)

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes and chilies

1 small can salsa verde

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons cumin

3-4 tablespoons chili powder

Directions:

-Sear stew meat with olive oil and place in crock pot.

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-Brown ground beef with onions. Pour broth and reduce (which means let half of it evaporate). Add to crockpot.  Add in almond flour.

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-Add in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salsa verde to meat in crock pot.

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-Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder.

-Mix and let cook for 4-6 hours (the longer the better!)

While that was cooking and smelling all delicious, I decided it was the perfect time to heat up my chilly house (no pun intended!) and roast away! First up were some beautiful root veggies that I picked up at Grower’s Outlet.

20110927-190435.jpg

Here we have a yam, parsnip, rutabaga, golden beet and to be honest, not sure what the bottom one is! I will find out….Gulp!

I skinned all but the yam and rutabaga just for the color effect.

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Then I used my Roasted Root Vegetable recipe to add some seasonings and olive oil. I cut and dressed them up- here they are right before going in!

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45 minutes later….

So yummy!! While those were in the oven, I tried Pumpkin Cookie recipe number two, which turned out ok, but not good enough to post. I will keep working on it :0)

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It’s Gettin’ Chili in Here!


It started with tomatoes from my inlaws. Beautiful, ruby red little spheres of delight graciously bestowed upon us! Ok, semi-dramatic, but I am so grateful to have them! So, with half the batch, I roasted them! (Click for recipe)

20110927-190520.jpg

All to bring a glorious Beef Stew into existence!

Brandy’s Beef Stew

(I did half the recipe)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds ground beef

2 pounds of stew meat

1 diced onion

2 cups beef broth/stock

1/8 cup almond flour (I used 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder- to thicken)

1 large can crushed tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes and chilies

1 small can salsa verde

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons cumin

3-4 tablespoons chili powder

Directions:

-Sear stew meat with olive oil and place in crock pot.

20110927-190510.jpg

-Brown ground beef with onions. Pour broth and reduce (which means let half of it evaporate). Add to crockpot.  Add in almond flour.

20110927-190500.jpg

-Add in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, salsa verde to meat in crock pot.

20110927-190451.jpg

-Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder.

-Mix and let cook for 4-6 hours (the longer the better!)

While that was cooking and smelling all delicious, I decided it was the perfect time to heat up my chilly house (no pun intended!) and roast away! First up were some beautiful root veggies that I picked up at Grower’s Outlet.

20110927-190435.jpg

Here we have a yam, parsnip, rutabaga, golden beet and to be honest, not sure what the bottom one is! I will find out….Gulp!

I skinned all but the yam and rutabaga just for the color effect.

20110927-190425.jpg

Then I used my Roasted Root Vegetable recipe to add some seasonings and olive oil. I cut and dressed them up- here they are right before going in!

20110927-190347.jpg

45 minutes later….

So yummy!! While those were in the oven, I tried Pumpkin Cookie recipe number two, which turned out ok, but not good enough to post. I will keep working on it :0)

5 Tips To Bust Through a Plateau


Weight loss, fat loss and fitness plateaus are possibly the most discouraging things on the planet. You have been on a strict diet and exercise plan when all of a sudden, it stops working. You stop seeing changes and feel like all your hard work is for nothing. It’s not true!! It may just require a little tweaking….let’s take a look!

1) Diet– If you have been on a specific diet for a while, your body may have adapted to it. It could also be that you may have inadvertently strayed off the plan a little too far. Write it down! Write down what you eat (every bite and sip) and make sure you are staying on track, whether you’re counting calories, portion sizes, macronutrient ratios- whatever you use to keep good healthy fuel in your body. Keep on eye on starches like fruit, potatoes, squashes, grains and sugars- those will stop fat burning instantly.

2) Switch Up Your Workout– Your body adapts to what you are doing for exercise fairly quickly, especially if you have been physically active for some time. Make sure you’re not doing too much cardio (no more than 40 minutes a day) which can use muscle and fat for fuel. You might want to try something new. Eyeballing the spin class at the gym? Get in there! Wanting to try Crossfit? Go get em! Don’t have a gym membership? Go try one! Most gyms offer a week pass to try their facilities and classes to see if it’s a good fit for you. Get a personal trainer. Even if it’s for a short time, they can help you switch up your exercise routine.

3) Sleep– Are you getting enough sleep?? Sleepy time is your body’s reset time. If your body can’t rest and reset, you are going to be more moody and vulnerable to all sorts of temptations that come in sprinkles, chocolate and more. Try this- one hour before bedtime, turn out most of the lights, computers, iPods and either take a bath or read. Taking time to relax and reduce stimulus before bed is proven to help you get a better nights sleep.

4) Stress– Are you stressed out? Being constantly stressed can exhaust your adrenal glands and send your hormones through the roof. Cortisol, in particular, can be good in small doses, but when the body is stressed, it releases excess cortisol which will halt any fat release from your body. So, chill out! See a counselor, talk to your spouse, find a support group, journal or blog- do whatever it takes to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

5) Keep on Keeping On– You may have lost a lot of weight initially, but it can’t continue that way for long, as you would starve and waste away. Weight loss slows and fluctuates which is why it can be useful to use measures like body fat and clothing to determine success. You have to give your body time to adjust. If you have a set program, try amping up the intensity or increasing your weight factors. If you stress about being in a plateau, you most certainly will stay there. Keep your chin up and keep putting forth your very best effort in each and every moment.

Cheating Husband


I am so excited to introduce you to todays guest blogger! He’s tall, bald and handsome…and, oh yeah, he’s my husband! Tim has been doing the Paleo Challenge for 7 days now! I asked him to share his experience with us. Tim is a counselor who works with students at Multnomah University and also has a private practice called Lighthouse Counseling in Clackamas. He enjoys watching sports, playing an occasional round of golf, the color purple and spoiling our cat, Halo.  Enjoy!

Hello fans of Trainer Kim!  This is Husband Tim, and I have been invited by my beautiful bride to do a guest post this week, and again after each week of our 30-day paleo challenge.  So, without any further interruption, let’s get this show on the road!
I have no problem eating a meal of pizza with a side of chips.  Beer and soda are my favorite thirst quenchers, while chewy carbs and melted cheese are some of my best friends.  So, when Kim presented the idea of giving it all up for a month-long paleo challenge, you can imagine that I was as excited about this as she is about spending an evening with a nice, fuzzy spider on her leg.  However, I have been wanting to lose some weight for a while though, so I agreed to give it a shot.  After a few tears, I went ahead and waved goodbye to my favorite treats, and said hello to my new friend Paleo.
I’m not gonna lie…..the first four days were tough.  I had cravings galore, fantasized about cold soda, cursed the unending thoughts of cheesy goodness of all kinds, and probably would have sold our cat for a pint of Racer 5 (actually, once the challenge is over, I’ll gladly trade you our cat for a couple of beers).  Oh, and the first two days, Kim was out-of-town, so I may have slacked off and made a few mistakes.  Or, to be more precise, I totally cheated. 
I had Cheetos, beer, soda, candy, and a donut…..okay, two donuts. I always eat a little worse when she is gone, but for some reason, knowing that I wasn’t supposed to eat this stuff made me want it even more.   Walking through the grocery store, I just didn’t care. I wanted junk, so I bought junk.  My self-control was gone, and I devoured anything in site.
I failed miserably at the start, but after getting it out of my system, week one actually has gone really well.  Cravings still exist, but are few and far between.  Now if I want something salty I turn to bacon or a few nuts, or for a sweet treat, a big apple hits the spot.  My belt is a little looser on my pants too, so I know a few pounds are melting away as well.  I’m not going to be a paleo nazi, but I really do want to do this right.  I’ll make a few intentional compromises along the way, but they will be the rare exception, rather than the rule.  I’ll keep you all posted on my progress….so stay tuned.
 

Yesterday You Said Tomorrow


Support

How does that word make you feel? Comforted, knowing you have it? Sad, because you wish you had it. Frustrated, because it’s conditional?

We all need support. That’s why programs like Weight Watchers, Livestrong, Jenny Craig and more just like it flourish- because each and every member is supported in their journey. It makes me think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Can you imagine her making it all the way to the Emerald City without the support and encouragement of her manly entourage?

How many times you have you started out on a journey only to quit because no one was there for you? I know I have a bunch of times. Sometimes, the support has to come from within and sometimes you can find it in others. That’s what makes Facebook and blogging so great! No matter what crazy journey you want to embark upon, you can find people who have been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

I think back to all the people who have supported me in some pretty wacky ideas. Going to Bible College in Oregon (which coming from NorCal was like moving to Alaska), moving to Spokane to pursue being a teacher, changing my mind and moving back to California, going back to Bible College, asking out a boy :0) Marrying the man of my dreams on a tight budget (that took a LOT of support- I had 9 bridesmaids!) Pursuing fitness as a career, quitting my steady job to pursue my own business….I could not have done it without support of those around me.

Obviously, most people are not going to come right out with their support. Sometimes, you have to dig a little and find it. I spent a lot of time online for job support, time with people who had walked in my shoes and new what I was going through. I  had to ask to be mentored and I pay for a counselor to help support me in my growth process. My husband is probably the most supportive man I know! (Side note to the married ladies out there- Sometimes men don’t know that you need lots and lots of support on things, so give him a break and tell him that you would love his support in x,y or z.)

Don’t be afraid to try something new! Here are some great sources of support:

For Weightloss Accountability- Weight Watchers, Livestrong, Spark People

For Diet Changes- Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Grain Free 

For Exercise Changes- Livestrong, PeerTrainer, Everyday Health

For Career Changes- CareerShiftersMeet Up, LinkedIn

There’s a lot of support out there. Don’t put your life on hold waiting for someone to give you a boost- go out there and find the support you need to take it to the next level.

 You Can Do It! Then you can look back and say : I Did It!!

Fruit Loops Grain Free Breakfast Cereal


I loved cereal growing up. My dad and I would sit down to Corn Pops or Frosted Flakes and he would pass me the whole milk and sugar. Blissfully, we would sit there and eat cereal. On days when it was just me, I would take the box, milk jug and bowl into the living room in front of the tv. It’s there that I would normally polish off the milk and cereal. I think back on that and shudder just a little. Some of my other faves were Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Lucky Charms (marshmallows eaten first), fruit loops, Frosted Cheerios (with added sugar), Raisin Bran Crunch and many others.

These are obviously bad choices because of the amount of sugar and simple carbohydrates which skyrocket bloodsugar. But what about the healthy ones, you ask. Well, as I always say, let’s look at the ingredients!

Let’s look at “Organic Raisin Bran” from Cascadian Farm

INGREDIENTS: ORGANIC WHEAT BRAN WITH OTHER PARTS OF WHEAT, ORGANIC RAISINS, NATURALLY MILLED ORGANIC SUGAR, ORGANIC CANE SYRUP, SEA SALT, ORGANIC MALT SYRUP, SOY LECITHIN (AN EMULSIFIER), IRON AND ZINC (MINERAL NUTRIENTS), VITAMIN C (SODIUM ASCORBATE), A B VITAMIN (NIACINAMIDE), A B VITAMIN (CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE), VITAMIN A (ACETATE),A B VITAMIN (FOLIC ACID), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN MONONITRATE), VITAMIN D (CHOLECALCIFEROL), VITAMIN E (MIXED TOCOPHEROLS) ADDED TO RETAIN FRESHNESS. CONTAINS WHEAT INGREDIENTS.

Now….Raisin Bran from Kelloggs

WHOLE GRAIN WHEAT, RAISINS, WHEAT BRAN, SUGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP,
CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF SALT, MALT FLAVORING, INVERT SUGAR, NIACINAMIDE,
REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), ZINC OXIDE, RIBOFLAVIN
(VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC
ACID, VITAMIN D, VITAMIN B12

I don’t know about you, but all I see is roughly 4 different kinds of sugars along with wheat and added vitamins to replace the ones that were naturally occurring that were lost during processing. And if you were to argue, Kim, isn’t Organic cereal better than that other stuff? My answer would be unequivocally NO. I do not think processed grains in a box is good for you wallet (current price of Cascadian Farm Raisin Bran=$4.99!!) or your waistline.

If you must have cold cereal (like I had this morning) I suggest giving this a whirl….

Fruit Loops Cereal

Ingredients:

Almond Milk or Light Coconut Milk

Slivered almonds

chopped walnuts

Pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

Goji Berries

Blueberries

Strawberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Cinnamon

Directions:

Put all ingredients in your most favorite cereal bowl, mix together and devour!! It’s DELICIOUS! It tastes just like Fruit Loops. Tucan Sam would be proud of this one! I had it for breakfast and dinner today ;0)

 

5 Simple Steps To Snacky Success


My favorite blogger was posting on how to roast garlic. I have never done this before, so I busted out my new garlic and followed the easy steps to roasted glory.

As I was waiting for the oven to heat to 400, I though it might be a good idea to roast some other things since I would be heating up our house (which I never mind but Tim hates).

So, I decided to make some Garlic Cheesey Kale Chips.

Garlic Cheesey Kale Chips

Ingredients:

Kale (as much as you want!!)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I recommend using a Misto so the leaves don’t get too heavy)

Garlic Powder

Salt n peppa

Nutritional Yeast

Directions:

1. Heat up your oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash and dry kale. Cut into small pieces, discarding the stems (stems make icky chips).

3. Lay on a cookie sheet and spritz with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast (if it’s your first time, go easy on the seasonings- you can add more next time).

4. Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, keeping a close watch to make sure they don’t burn. Remove when crispy.

5. Devour immediately :0)