Monthly Archives: September 2015

Steve’s Pot of Gold Potatoes

Grilled Potatoes The other day, some friends of ours gave us like a million little gold potatoes so obviously we had to put them to good use.  They were a little too small to make into my Perfect French Fries.  We were keeping things simple for dinner with grilled meat and veggies so he decided to just roast the potatoes using the BBQ.  Such a simple and easy way to cook these little guys!  I’d love to say that his recipe and my flexible eating program worked nicely together but they don’t. When I asked him to use just a little bit of olive oil on the potatoes, I immediately got the look of are you kidding me?  Steve can eat whatever he wants.  He’s blessed with a great metabolism and nothing really sticks to him.  He can still smoke the best of the best crossfitters in the gym when he considers himself “out of shape.”  His worst day is most likely your best.  Damnit I hate him sometimes!

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What I’m Wearing Wednesday…Birthday Edition

I was a little depressed about turning 35 this year so I decided to go shopping and treat myself to a cute birthday outfit to wear out over the weekend.  My thirties have been pretty amazing so far and I would trade them for my twenties because I’m in a better place both physically and mentally than I ever was in my previous decade of life.  The life lessons I’ve learned and confidence I’ve gained with every passing year have brought me to wear I am today.  However, that number – 35 – stings a little!  So why not buy a kick-ass outfit to celebrate how far I’ve come and show people that age really is just a number.  That 35 is the new 25 and appreciate the fact that I’ve worked hard to make myself into one strong mama.   And that’s what I did.  I was in the Free People store looking for something else and ended up with this amazing flowy top that criss-crosses at the back of the neck and plays a little bit of peekaboo with the lower back.  It’s super feminine and sexy with a touch of that signature hippie Free People style.  Classic “me.”  Since there really is no structure to the top, it’s low cut in the front and essentially backless, it needed a pretty stellar bra to go with it.  I went with this dusty rose colored lace halter bralette that I can only describe as phenomenal.  I want to wear it under everything.  Right now, because I’m still pretty tan, it almost camoflouges with my skin color.  My brother gave me a Free People gift card for my birthday and I may just get another one for the hell of it in a more noticeable color.  This top and bra combo made my husband ask me if I bought something new.  If he’s asking that means he’s noticing…and liking 🙂  So check them out.  The top comes in two colors and the bra in several more.

So this is what I’m wearing this Wednesday…And I apologize for the grainy night photo.  I had to snap a quick picture when I got home that night!

Free People Bday

Floating Floral Cami – Free People in Tea Combo

Galloon Lace Halter Bra – Free People in Copper

Roasted Butternut Squash Mash and Brussels Sprouts

I think I mentioned this before, but Costco has seriously been upping their game this last year.  I’ve been so impressed with the options and variety of foods they’ve been choosing to carry for someone who eats flexibly like me.  The other day when I went to do my typical bi-monthly staples run for meat and a few other essentials, I was so excited to see all the fall foods in the produce department.  Holy squash variety!  Two very large organic spaghetti squash for $5.99 is such a deal since you pay something like $1.99ish per pound at a place like Whole Foods.  After perusing the fruit and vegetable bins I always dash in and out of the refrigerated produce department to grab what I need as fast as I can because it’s ridiculously cold in there, but the seasonal change of foods got me all inspired in there!  Visions of butternut squash and Brussels sprouts recipes popped into my head so I grabbed those to start.  After all, it’s still technically summer so I can’t go overboard just yet.

My girlfriend spontaneously came over the other night when I was flying solo for dinner.  We had a break in the Indian Summer weather and this was the perfect sprinkling fall-like weather night to use my butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.  I was going to just roast the two together and make a sort of hash but didn’t have any bacon on hand, so I decided to roast them separately and make a mash with the butternut squash.  The little bits were so tasty after roasting that I could have easily eaten them that way but opted to still go with the mash to layer at the bottom of my dinner dish.  Layered dishes are fun and make for an aesthetically pleasing dinner plate as well

Both of these dishes are so simple to prep, easy to make and pair perfectly together.  You can serve this dish with any meat you like.  I’m just still holding on to my grilled summer meat so opted to top with a simple version of my chicken burger patties, fried egg, sautéed mushrooms and a little avocado.  Winning combination in my book!  A roasted chicken breast or thigh with some crispy skin and a little pan juice would be insanely good though with these two side dishes though for an overall true fall dinner.

For those on a flexible eating program, the calories and macros for one serving of 

Butternut Squash Mash (145g mashed) are:

98 Calories – 17C / 3F / 2P

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Brussels Sprouts  (128g cooked) are:

103 Calories – 10C / 3F / 4P

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Roasted Butternut Squash Mash

Ingredients:

Pre-cut Butternut Squash Squares

Olive Oil

Garlic Powder

Chili Powder

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and spread the butternut squash pieces about the pan and coat with the oil.  Dust squash with a light layer of garlic powder and salt.  Sprinkle with pepper and chili powder.  Once seasoned, use your hands to mix the butternut squash so the spices coat all sides.

Roast the squash for approximately 18-20 minutes.  Take out of the oven, turn the squash over and roast for another 18-20 minutes until cooked through.

Place the cooked squash in a large mixing bowl and use either a potato masher or whisk to break down your squash.  The consistency will be on the denser side, not like whipped mashed potatoes.  Season with additional salt and pepper if you feel like your mash is underseasoned.

***If you use an additives such as milk or butter to your mash (if you desire) you can achieve a fluffier consistency if you use a hand mixer.  The recipe pictured did not have any added ingredients.***

Roasted Parmesan Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Brussels Sprouts

4-5 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For larger brussels sprouts, cut into quarter pieces.  For smaller, cut in half.  Set aside.

Mince 4-5 cloves of garlic and set aside.

Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet and spread the quartered brussel sprouts about the pan and coat with the oil.  Spread the brussels sprouts across the pan evenly and season generously with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the minced garlic over the brussels sprouts.

Bake the brussels sprouts for 15 minutes.  Pull out of the oven and use a spatula to move the brussels sprouts around to make sure they do not stick. Dust them lightly with the grated parmesan and cook for an additional 10 minutes until slightly brown and crisped around the edges.

Serve hot!

The Perfect French Fries

FriesI’m not sure if you would believe me if I told you I have figured out how to make the most perfect French fries with no oil and no deep frying.  But I have.  I was so tired of trying to fit store bought French fries that never come out crispy enough or fatty restaurant French fries into my diet so I set out to make my own macro-friendly fries.  Let me be honest.  I’ve O.D.’d on sweet potato fries.  I’ll eat them but I’m over them.  At the beginning of my pregnancy when I was super nauseous I went to the Crossfit Games, and at the time was a strict paleo eater.  I was at the games for basically a week and because the vendors assume that sweet potato fries are what crossfitters want because they are “healthy”, that’s all there was to eat.  So that’s what I ate, and proceeded to feel that disgusting pregnant sick.  So now I associate sweet potato fries with that feeling.  And, as always, let’s be real.  Just because sweet potatoes are technically paleo.  It doesn’t mean that they’re any healthier than regular fries.  They’re still fries people and deep fried.  Go ahead and eat as much as many as you want and as frequently as you want and see how that goes for you.

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What I’m Wearing Wednesday…The Hair Edition

For the past 10+ years, all I wanted was for my hair to be long.  I wanted those textured beachy waves but also be able to throw my hair back in a messy bun for workouts when needed.  I literally would give my hairdresser the evil eye when she told me it was time for trim.  But long hair is so much work sometimes and I got to a point where I felt like the ends were just weighing everything else down and I contemplated possibly going a bit shorter.  I started saving pics of various shorter hairstyles and colors on Pinterest.  I confessed to my hair stylist that I was secretly hoarding photos of shorter hair and her eyes lit up.  It took me about 4 or 5 months though from that point to actually make the big snip.  I literally gave Lindsay a deadline.  January of 2015 we’d do it.  And we did.  And I haven’t stopped cutting since.  The first cut was amazing.  We went with a longer textured A-line bob.  She took a picture I gave her and recreated the cut and style and added some amazing balyage to give my new hair dimension.  And my hair was soooo much healthier.  Not to mention the added volume and ease of styling.  What I didn’t expect though was this aggressive impulse to keep cutting.  It’s like I can’t get it short enough.  Every time I go in now, I’m like, maybe we should take another inch or so off???  My latest cut is the shortest I’ve gone and I absolutely love it.  We kept that same A-line style with lots of texture but have taken it up even more.  Lindsay is a color and styling genius, not to mention just an all around amazing person who loves to talk about food, fitness and fun.  She currently works at Mockingbird Heights in Petaluma, CA.  If you’re in the vicinity, she’s worth the extra few mile drive.  Since I started seeing her (sounds like we’re dating, huh? But isn’t the bond between you and your hairdresser kind of like a relationship haha) the number of people I know who now use her is steadily increasing.  Get in while you can…I just referred her another client 🙂

So I’m wearing a fresh new hairstyle this Wednesday…

Hair

Lindsay Delagarza – Mockingbird Heights Salon– Petaluma, CA

What I Wore Last Friday…

This week blew past me ano I didn’t have a chance to post my usual Wednesday fashion find so I’ll do it today as my flashback to last Friday. Target has seriously upped their game when it comes to clothes lately. I didn’t need a dress for my cousins wedding last weekend but this hidden gem caught my eye because, even though my most favorite color is orange, when it comes to clothing, I have A LOT of shades of the coral slash salmon variety. It’s my signature color and looks amazing against tan skin. It was $29 but the only sizes they had were a large and an extra large. I tried on the large just in case. Way too big. But the dress was so freakin amazing, one that is so simple in its silhouette that it will never go out of style that I figured I could have it tailored by my favorite tailor in town who is dirt cheap. Think $7 for hemmed jeans. The next day I thought maybe I’d look on the target website to see if they had a smaller size, which I can’t even remember if they did because I got so excited by the fact that the dress was now $20 on clearance. I figured what the hell. I was going to have to get it hemmed even if I did get a smaller size so I just kept the large and went back to target with proof of the online price and got an adjustment. All in all, a $20 dress with a $20 alteration fee to take in the sides and hem the bottom equals a $40 dress that could easily be mistaken for something I could buy at Nordstroms. And, I’ll wear this over and over. I’ll take it! You can NEVER go wrong with a simple classic maxi dress. I plan on wearing it again in a few weeks to my Mom’s breast cancer fashion show fundraiser. I actually can’t wait to wear it again it’s that perfect. For future reference, please pardon the double Instagram outfit post #repeatoffender 😁 PS, I just checked…the dress is now $14.99. Click the link below. Lucky you!!!!

So flashback to what I was wearing last Friday…

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Coral Maxi Dress – Target

Innis Bead Woven Pendant Necklace – Francesca’s

Super Clean Pumpkin Spice Latte

LatteIt’s September 1st.  This day always makes me happy because September is my favorite month of the year from start to finish.  I don’t really know why I love it, I just do.  I’m a summer girl through and through but there’s something about that transition out of summer into all things fall related that gives me a warm feeling.  Certain flavors of food and drink start to appear in September as well, marking the beginning of fall: the most obvious being pumpkin.  I’m not one of those people who loves pumpkin everything but I do like the flavor when it comes to sweet treats.

Now, you know that fall is coming when you see the ads for Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the windows of Starbucks and Peet’s.  I remember my very first Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte experience.  I’ve never really been a straight coffee drinker, but I absolutely love coffee flavored anything and my go-to Starbucks order was a Skinny Vanilla Latte with whipped cream, even in my “paleo” days.  It was my once a week treat to myself that I would get on Friday mornings.  Anyways, in like 2007, I was out of town with a few girlfriends and we stopped in a Starbucks and I saw the ad for the Pumpkin Spice Latte and asked the barista if it was good.  And I remember her saying, quote, “It’ll change your life.”  So I ordered it and was like, holy shit, this is really good, but wow was it sweet.  Over the years, as I began to be more and more conscious about my nutrition, I would order one here and there because of the novelty of the “Fall” drink, but my tolerance for the sweetness was basically nil.  Even my Skinny Vanilla Latte with whip felt like drinking dessert.  It’s funny how once you start to wean your body off of certain unhealthy habits that when reintroduced they can almost be intolerable.  Check out the nutrition specs on the drinks of my past: Continue reading