If you have stumbled across this page, welcome to my Paleo Journey Blog . I am a health and fitness enthusiast who in NO way is an expert in nutrition or health science. I do, however, LOVE to eat and am happy to share the good, bad, and ugly of my expirimenting through the jungle of Paleo cooking. Please let me know what you think of the recipes posted by adding a rating in the comments section and feel free to send in new recipes through email.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 is ready to be put to bed and a new year is fast approaching with new hope, new goals, and a a new story to write.  Lets start the New Year off right and commit to exploring a better way to eat. Anyone who has been a member of a CrossFit gym for more than 2 seconds has heard the rumblings of the Paleo Diet. In a nutshell the Paleo Diet is eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

So, how does this relate to the Whole 30 plan and how do you jump on the bandwagon? 

The Whole 30 Diet was created by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig in 2009 as an experiment to follow a super-strict nutritional plan for 30 days to document how it would affect their athletic performance.  The results were life changing and they have since made it their business to help others share in nutritional success. The Whole 30 program is a commitment to 30 days of eating real high quality food consisting of meat, vegetables, fruit and good fats. Starting in January 2013 they are collaborating with CrossFit Love in Philadelphia to provide some fantastic resources to help anyone and everyone interested in taking the Whole 30 journey.  We couldn't think of a better time to bring our members on board and create our own success stories at CrossFit Valley Park. SO, instead of approaching this like a contest with winners and losers, we believe we can all win with this plan and have decided to set up our own Whole 30 movement at CrossFit Valley Park for anyone ready to commit to positive nutrional changes.

The CFVP Whole 30 Challenge - Step by Step:
1. Research the plan to decide if you are two feet in ready to commit.  For the Whole 30 to be effective there is no dabbling, you need to be prepared to follow the program to the letter for 30 days, no cheating!
Go to The Whole 30 January Challenge
for all the specifics on the Whole 30 plan and the fantastic resources that are available to us including :
  • The Whole 30 Program Rules
  • Free PDF guide with meal planning, shopping lists, etc
  • Free Whole 30 Forum - Connect with others doing the program, get support and advice, ask all the questions you want, and allow our awesome members and moderators to give you some much-needed accountability.
  • The Whole 30 Daily Newsletter - Receive an email for every day of your program, packed with helpful information, motivation, and fun little “rewards” for making it through another day.
  • CrossFit Love Blog -  Visit this blog for a new article every single day during the January Whole30. Let Whole30 experts, top Paleo chefs, and your favorite bloggers keep you motivated and entertained every day of your program!
 2.  Attend on of our Informational Meetings and baseline testing/measurement sessions to record your starting numbers.  While it is not mandatory, we will be available on Tuesday, January 1st at 12pm and Saturday, January 5th at 12pm to record beginning weights, body measurements, before pictures, and performance numbers.  Max overhead press, back squat, pullups in one minute, and Fight Gone Bad Score.

3. Start talking this up with the other members and lets get a big group on board.  The more people we have going through this journey together, the more support we will have to keep us all in check, share tips, help each other in moments of weakness, and create a positive vibe. 

4. Pick a Whole 30 Buddy - yes, I said buddy.  You are not required to do this, but we think having a partner in crime will help with your success.  Pick someone who you can text, facebook, call, and feel comfortable harassing.  Share recipes, check in with each other, cook double recipes and share food - get creative!  Figure out as a team how you are going to stay on course and make this Whole 30 experience successful.

5.  Pick a start date.  The support of the daily email newsletters, the Crossfit Love blog, and the Whole 30 forum starts January 1.  You can start any day between January 1st and January 18th.  We will have the body fat tank out to CFVP on January 17th and a sign up sheet will be on the bulletin board in the gym.  The Whole 30 "Contest" will be on through the beginning of March when the Crossfit Open workouts are scheduled to begin.  If performance is your goal and you see success after the first 30 days we are encouraging everyone to extend their Whole 30 eating through the Open workouts and represent CFVP by participating in the CrossFit Games Open Competition.

6. Log your progress and share your experiences through our facebook page.  If you have recipes you would like to post on this blog, email a picture and the recipe to stephanie@crossfitvalleypark.com and I will post it. 

7.  We will plan two pot luck dinners for members to bring in their favorite dishes - stay tuned for dates.

8.  On February 16th and 23rd at 12pm we will have retest days to weigh in and retest performance numbers. At the end of our Challenge we are asking that you complete a questionnaire describing your experiences, what changes were made, and summarizing your story.  We will post these stories and let the members decide who has made the most significant changes.  You will vote for the Challenge Winners.

9. Put your money where your mouth is.  Bring in $25 and sign up on the WHOLE 30 CHALLENGE SIGN UP SHEET on the bulletin board. Half of the money will go to the team that is voted "MOST IMPROVED" and half will go towards and end of challenge party.

Ok, what do you have to lose but some body fat and minutes off your WOD times - come join the WHOLE 30 CHALLENGE!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baked Mustard Lime Chicken
 (Foodee Project)
 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast
 ½ cup fresh lime juice
 ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 ¼ cup dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
 ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
 ½ teaspoon pepper
 Combine lime juice, cilantro, mustard, olive oil, chili, salt and pepper in a food processor Pulse until ingredients are well combined Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry and place in a 7×11 inch Pyrex baking dish Pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 6 hours Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes uncovered, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165° Serve with extra sauce spooned over top
Serves 4

Monday, April 23, 2012

What can I drink on Whole 30???  If you are missing your soda, coffee, with cream, and tea with sweetener, here are some Whole 30 approved drinks:

1. WATER - yes, this should be what you drink the majority of the time.  Carry a bottle with you everywhere and keep iced and filled.
2.  Coffee and Tea - perfectly ok as long as you dont add cream, milk, sugar, or artificial sweetener.  Try coconut milk (whole fat from can) if you need to cut the coffee.
3. Coconut water - filled with electrolytes and perfectly ok as long as you dont get a brand that has added sweeteners.
4. Kombucha - This is a fermented tea and is also allowable.  For all the details on its health benefits and origin go to whatiskombucha.com

Hope this helps!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Salmon Eggs

I don't know about you all, but breakfast is a hectic time and usually your brain is still too fuzzy to put a lot of thought into it.  I usually end up having 2 breakfasts, my ungodly 5am cram something in my mouth and go before 5:30am class breakfast, and then a more substantial breakfast mid morning.  Because we are restricting so much, I think we deserve to indulge a little in the foods we are eating.  I feel like a queen when I make my salmon egg scramble, definitely a meal worthy of the fanciest of spas!

Salmon Egg Scramble 

2 eggs
1 egg white
cherry tomatoes
smoked salmon

Mix eggs and pour in non stick pan with tomatoes and spinach. Either scramble or cover and cook as an omelet. Transfer to plate and top with salmon, chopped avacado, and capers - not hard and oh so tasty!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Paleo Pancakes

City Mayhem run this morning and I was CRAVING my pancakes that I have given up for 30 days because they have my favorite protein powder which is off limits due to sucralose, whey, and soy.  So, found a great recipe on Mark's Daily Apple for Paleo Pancakes.  They were delish and gave me just the energy I needed for a great race!

Paleo Pancakes
2 mashed bananas
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond or sunflower butter
2 tbspn flaxseed (my addition)

mash banana and mix in eggs then flaxseed and nut butter. Spray small pancake pan with pam and spoon in 1/3 of batter.  Cook covered with lid until top is bubbly and sides are coming away from pan.  Flip and cook 1-2 more minutes.  Repeat with rest of batter.  Top with fresh berries. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well, 4 days into Whole30 and I havent dropped over!  Actually has not been that hard yet, as long as you cook more food than you need and keep leftovers around to grab and go.  I have had some great recipes passed my way so I will pass them on to you all.

First up is Scotch Eggs.  I am sending you to the link for this one because the commentary in the recipe is  hilarious! http://www.modernpaleowarfare.com/2011/11/scotch-eggs-aka-narcissus-meatballs.html

Second is Roasted Vegetable Salad.

Roasted Vegetable Salad Clipped from: http://freerangecrossfit.com/2011/roasted-vegetable-salad/ Ingredients:
1 package of brussels sprouts, roughly 1#
1 egg plant
1 large zucchini
1 large yellow squash
1 red onion
1 head of cauliflower
1 broccoli crown
1 carton of cherry tomatoes
 2 garlic cloves
Romaine lettuce
 Fresh dill, cilantro, chives, mixed fresh herbs of choice
Lemon Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400F. 2. Peel and chop eggplant into 1/2inch pieces. 3. Chop zucchini, yellow squash, red onions, cauliflower, broccoli crowns and add to mixing bowl. 4. Cut off ends and half Brussels sprouts and add in with other chopped veggies. 5. Add olive oil and sea salt to vegetables. 6. Place the veggies on a roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes, stirring it up every 8-10 minutes. 7. Half the cherry tomatoes. 8. Finely mince the fresh herbs, until they yield a cup’s worth. 9. Mix in the cherry tomatoes in the roasting pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. 10. Remove vegetables from oven and let cool slightly. 11. Mix in fresh herbs and juice from lemon. 12. Serve (warm or cold) over roughly chopped romaine lettuce with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. 13. (Optional) add protein of choice.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Looks like we have about 16 people so far that have bitten on the Whole 30 challenge.  Next step is going to the grocery store and declaring day 1. If you want to buy into the weight loss contest it is $10 and you will need to come find me to weigh in and give me money.  I will also take measurements.

If any of you attended the bbq last saturday night here is the Paleo Sweet Potato Sausage Stuffing recipe - it is ugly but tasty:

Savory Sweet Potato Stuffing Serves: 8
 Time: about 2 hours (40 minutes hands-on time)
4-5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground pepper
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 oz. country style (not in a casing) pork sausage
 2 large eggs, beaten 1/2 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions Preheat oven to 400° F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stick the baking sheet in the oven and roast potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sausage and cook through until thoroughly browned. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl along with the roast sweet potatoes and let everything cool for 10 minutes or so. Turn oven down to 375. Add the beaten eggs, sweet potatoes, broth, pecans, raisins and sage to the veggie mixture and combine well. Use olive oil to grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Monday, April 16, 2012

OK CFVP peeps, some of us have decided to embark on the Whole 30 plan for a month starting sometime this week!  I am proud of those of you who are willing to commit to a full 30 days of clean eating and I hope this experience brings some major results and positive lifestyle changes to you all.  I am ready to dig in starting today and will be blogging my food as well as hoping you all will comment back with your food choices, recipes, meal ideas, questions, etc.  If you are interested in joining in on the bandwagon click on the whole 30 plan and read up on what you can and cannot eat.  Shoot me an email at stephanie@crossfitvalleypark.com and I will add you to the distribution list.  Want to wager on your results?  We will be having two pools you can buy into - weight loss and increased performance.  Take your pick or throw your hat in the ring for both - $10 buy in for each.

Day 1 Breakfast for me was a two egg omelet with ham and cherry tomatoes and some canteloupe. Grocery shopping is on the agenda for today - lets get some feedback on good breakfast ideas!

**I will be posting my food log (click food log tab) - partly to keep me honest and partly to help give ideas of what a sample day of eating can look like.  Your tastes may vary from mine, so don't feel like you have to eat what I eat!! 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yes, its been forever since I have posted a recipe, but that doesn't mean I am backing away from Paleo!  I have talked to so many of our gym members recently who have been making a conscious effort to clean up their diets and center their nutrition around good quality foods - what a difference it can make!  One of my new clients happens to be a Paleo enthusiast and brought me a great Zucchini Lasagna recipe that I am happy to share (warning - does include dairy).  She also turned me on to a great blog written by her friend Brittany.  Check out http://killitandpickit.wordpress.com/ for some fantastic recipes and great information on nutrition.

Zucchini Lasagna
1lb ground italian sausage
1 lb ground beef (or bison, elk, deer)
1 med chopped onion
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 - 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 - 14oz can of diced or crushed tomatoes (partially drained)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp honey

Spices (choose your own preferred flavors)
2 tbspns fresh italian parsley finely chopped
1 tbspn fresh oregano chopped or 1.5 tsp dried
2 tsp fresh basil chopped or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp fresh thyme chopped or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp dried fennel seed (optional)

1.5- 2bs of zucchini squash sliced and peeled
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
16 oz low moisture mozzarella grated
* If you eat dairy this recipe is for you - no dairy you may not get the full effect of the awesomeness!

brown italian sausage and ground meat & drain. add diced onions and allow to soften for 5 min. Add garlic, stir for 30 sec. incorporate tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, salt, and italian seasonings with meat.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 15 min.  Slice zucchini into thin horizontal sheets similar to lasagna pasta. lay out and pat dry on paper towels and set aside.
Combine cheeses and eggs in bowl
Preheat oven to 375
Assemble in a 13x9 glass baking dish combining 1/3 of each ingredients as follows:
zucchini slices
ricotta mixture
meat sauce
repeat 2 more times
bake 45 min or until bubbly throughout and cheese is dark golden brown. Rest for 10 min before slicing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lemony Yogurt Grilled Chicken

Ok, Lemon Chicken has been the order of business lately and we have two more recipes to throw in the mix.  We are having a veritable Lemon Chicken Smackdown, and its up to you all to vote for your favorite.  Besides the Lemon Artichoke and Mushroom Chicken Breasts and the Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs, Ariel has tested out a fantastic recipe for Dad's Grilled Lemon Chicken from Everyday Paleo and I am marinating chicken for Lemony Yogurt Grilled Chicken.  Do a cooking challenge at home and tell me what you think!

Lemony Yogurt Grilled Chicken
3 cups plain greek yogurt (not paleo but great protein)

2 lemons, juiced
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
chopped fresh herbs or a couple shakes of garlic herb seasoning

Mix all ingredients except chicken and reserve 1/2 cup.  Put rest in a ziploc bag with chicken and marinate for 30 min to 6 hours.  Heat grill to high, then reduce to med before cooking meat. Discard marinade and grill meat 4-7 min per side.  Serve with reserved yogurt and a couple of fresh lemon slices.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lemon Artichoke and Mushroom Chicken Breasts

Wish I took a picture, this has to be the best chicken I have had in I can't remember how long.  Tweaked a recipe from Allrecipes.com, my go to recipe site, and it is so full of flavor I had a hard time wrapping up the leftovers, wanted to eat it all in one sitting.  Here is the recipe:

Lemon Artichoke and Mushroom Chicken Breasts

1 tbspn butter (trader joes has a Kerry Gold butter that is made from the milk of grass fed cows - Melissa K swears by it!)
1/3 cup almond flour
1/4 tspn salt
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbspn worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup vermouth
1 tspn basil
1/2 jar artichoke antipasto from Trader Joes
1 container sliced mushrooms
1 tbspn cornstarch
1/4 cup water

melt butter in large skillet over med heat. gently press chicken breasts in almond flour to coat and place in pan with butter.  Cook until browned on each side, about 10 min.  Add lemon juice, chicken broth, worcestershire, vermouth, and sauteed mushrooms (I cooked these in a separate pan).  Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low heat for 15 min.  Stir in Artichoke antipasto and continue simmering until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 15 min.  Mix cornstarch and water in small bowl and stir the mixture into the chicken, and continue cooking until thickened, about 5 min.  I served this with roasted brussel sprouts cooked with bacon, pine nuts and onions.  YUMMMMMMMM