Tag Archives: Life

‘duck liver mousse?’ ‘omg so much vitamin A!’

It is almost Wednesday and that means I get to go home to Texas for a week! I’ve been looking forward to seeing family, high school friends, and eating Tex-Mex and BBQ for months now.

Today, though, was wonderful as well. I started the day off with the usual coffee and greek yogurt bowl and then headed to Crunch to workout.

This workout killed my glutes. If you want to build a booty, do this workout 2x a week and get at least a gram of protein per pound of goal weight per day.

  • Barbell squats, 5 sets 0f 15, 95#
  • Barbell lunges, 5 sets of 15 per leg, 65#
  • 100 incline situps
  • Barbell thrusts (where you do a bridge with a barbell laying over your hips), 4 sets of 15, 115#

For lunch, I made a quick, easy and paleo…

bacon butternut squash soup

IMG_1731

Recipe: serves 1

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 slice bacon, crispy
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth (or more if desired)
  • 1 tbsp yellow onion
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • shake of salt
  • shake of freshly ground pepper
  • optional: for protein, once the soup is prepared, feel free to throw in grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, or even eggs!
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp almond or peanut butter to top (I loved the soup with almond butter)

Directions – Combine the squash, butter, bacon, broth, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Heat and add your protein and/or nut butter topping and enjoy!

After lunch, two my my closest friends from UC Davis came to visit and we went for a walk along the coast.

IMG_1736

nutrition biochemistry nerdz 4 lyfe.

IMG_1739

golden gate bridge

Afterwards, we went to State Bird Provisions for dinner. It is New American fusion served dim sum style, so you order lots of smaller plates. Very cool! I didn’t take any photos of dinner, but it was insanely delicious. We got

  • almond biscuits with duck liver mousse
  • hamachi spring rolls with persimmon
  • garlic bread with burrata
  • seafood salsa with avocado cream
  • glazed pork ribs with chard and togarashi (my fave!)
  • red trout with hazel and mandarin brown butter

Gah, I am salivating just rehashing the details. I should go pack. Have a wonderful  Wednesday!

killer bacon broccoli salad.

Hello everyone!

I seem to have a penchant for obnoxiously long domain names, as I have purchased TheInformedHealthNut.com as the new home for this blog!

So much has happened in the last month, I can’t even fathom it. I have now been working in the doctor office for almost two months and have really been enjoying it. Although, I definitely need to go work attire shopping. But with what time?!

Those work flats are not happening anymore, though. I was beginning to experience some foot pain (eek!), so I went to see a new orthopedic doctor here in the city. We determined that it was walking around the city in my work flats and lugging my laptop that was causing the pain. Thus, tennis shoes are now being worn with my work outfits when in public. So fashionable..

Speaking of work clothes, I now get to get paid to wear spandex and knee socks to work! Last night was my first shift at Crunch Fitness on New Montgomery. I will be working there part time as a personal trainer. The vibe is awesome. It is not too frou frou like some gyms in the city, but it is still a nice facility and very high energy. People go there to work out and make changes, not merely see and be seen. I am excited to fill up my schedule with clients and work with them on their fitness and nutrition! If you live in the Bay Area, come see me for a free hour evaluation and work out! One of the trainers asked me to give him a CrossFit style workout for him last night between clients, so I put him through this wretched little number:

5 Rounds For Time

  • 22 wall balls, 20# ball
  • 30 dumbbell snatches (15 per hand), 50# DB
  • 22 box jumps, 24 inches

As far as San Fran living, I have been doing as much as possible. My logic is that if I am going to pay enough in rent to sustain a family of 4 in the Midwest, than I better live the life of four people each month. Activities have included:

attending my first Giant’s game (going to the World Series!!!!) and watching the Blue Angels fly overhead

 Hardly Strictly bluegrass festival

hiking to the beach + exploring the Mission and most of the other ‘hoods

going to the flea market with Natalie + exploring several food and cultural festivals

I have surely bored you all to tears with all my talk of stress fractures, so I am going to sum this up as quickly as possible. At the beginning of October, I got the OK to lifting weights again. Have been loving it. Started to get a bit of foot pain, but not during workouts. Saw a doc and figured it out. Am currently lifting and being cautious. Get to add in some running in November. Get to add in CrossFit style workouts/ lifts in December. Done.

Endurance Focused Lifting Workout

5 sets of:

  • 20 backsquats, 95#
  • 12 military presses, 45#

4 sets of: 

  • 20 deadlifts, 115#
  • 15 lateral DB raises, 10#

Between my two jobs, I now work from 10:3o am to 9 pm with a break to work out in there. Thus, I have to bring both my lunch and dinner with me each day. This is going to make recipe posts more difficult, but hopefully it will be a great way to learn how to make portable meals that are suitable for work  that are actually tasty and healthy. Expect that in the near future! A recent fave…

Addictive Bacon Broccoli Salad

Recipe: Serves 2 as a side

  • 3 cups raw broccoli, chopped
  • 2-3 slices of bacon
  • 3 tbsp sweet onion, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Cook the bacon in the microwave for 2 or 3 minutes, until very crispy. Lay on a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, crumble into bits. Combine the broccoli, bacon bits, diced onion, mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, apple cider vinegar, raisins, and salt in a bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust to personal preference. Enjoy!

A day in the life: San Fran edition!

I am finally settling into a semi-regular routine here in the city, at least during the work week. I wake up and marvel at the amount of space I have. Compared to my old room, which was literally an oversized closet, my room is a yoga studio!

yes, my old Texas license plate was BJ5 6969. classy.

Before work, I have been making paleo-ified oatmeal for breakfast. Being the rebel that I am, I occasionally throw some oat bran in there. Many people say that the number one thing they miss when going paleo is their morning oatmeal… here is your solution!

Coconutmeal [Paleo Oatmeal]

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, paleo, grain, dairy and sugar free

  • 5 tbsp coconut flour (can substitute half oat bran if desired)
  • 2/3 cup water (can substitute in some coconut beverage)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or greek yogurt (I use yogurt for more protein)
  • 2 egg whites
  • optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice, or other toppings
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Mix the coconut flour and oat bran, if using, with the water and microwave for ~110 seconds. It will look dry when you remove it from the microwave.  Add the yogurt or coconut milk and stir. Add the two egg whites and stir until completely combined.

 Microwave for another 30 seconds. If adding protein powder, add and stir. Do not microwave again, simply add a bit of salt and stir. Top with nut butter and enjoy!

After breakfast, I commute to work using the Muni bus system, which I LOVE. With an iphone, it is super easy to navigate. You can use the directions to determine which bus to take and download MuniApp in order to know exactly when the bus is coming. You will meet every kind of person on the bus. My favorites are the sullen teenagers blocking out the world via plastic white ear buds and the extremely vocal senior citizens that have been taking the same bus for 20 years and know all the drivers.

 

really excited to get dressed for work…

At work, I am Quant coach to some of Dr. A’s patients. A Quant coach is essentially a life coach, so I aim to help people target things in their life they want to change and discover patterns that they can manipulate to bring about those changes. Since the work is only part time, I am also applying to an awesome gym to be a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I have been bringing boring salads. I need to step up my game in the mornings because when it’s lunch time I get excited to chow down and then remember that I threw together a half-assed lunch. They appear even more lame when I have to go out and bring back the office deliciously expensive foie gras burgers, ahi salads, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Today’s salad was romaine with shredded carrots, roasted squash, a tomato, and grilled chicken with blue cheese dressing. On the side I had a juicy, organic fuji apple and my fave Kind bar.

After work, I typically go to whichever gym I am trying out and either swim or do my usual stress-fractured-lifting routine.

Also, a few of you have asked how about me feetsies (how sweet of you!) and I am coming up on three months of recovery. On Friday the 28th, I have the doctor appointment that is supposed to give me the okay to begin lifting, running, and whatevering again. Toes crossed.

Post-workout I had a nasty protein shake. I ordered some personalized protein powder from True Nutrition and made the mistake of using the “double flavor” option. All I can taste is aspartame, with a hint of cake batter. I think that is what an aluminum cake would taste like.

After all that, I usually try to explore a bit and study for my personal training exam, which I am taking this week. Alternatively, today I spent an hour guarding a parking space for my car while waiting for my roomie to return home to help me.

Dinners have been very simple, healthy and tasty.

1 small sweet potato mashed with 2 Tbsp almond and peanut butter and topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, onions, and mushrooms

sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale scrambled with 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese (salsa and sour cream sometimes too!)

After dinner I always have some kind of yogurt bowl. I like to tell myself its to help heal my bones, but it’s really just to satiate my dairy urges. At least suboxone isn’t prescribed for that kind of addiction!

guns n’ ice cream  [Humphrey Slocombe peanut butter bacon brittle banana, to be specific]

And that was..

[gluten free] zucchini banana walnut chocolate chip bread

Good news! I found an apartment that I adore in San Francisco. It is located near the upper heart of the city, in exactly the area that I was hoping for. It’s an easy bus ride to my internship, and right in the middle of all the various hoods for good shopping, food, and going out. And the best part? My new room mates seem like the kind of girls I can really be friends with! I have heard (and experienced) a million Craigslist nightmare stories, but I don’t think this will be one. Fingers crossed! I move Thursday, so until then I will be cleaning and seeing as many people as I can. The food that will be consumed is sure to be bizarre – everyone just loves the task of finishing up all the random items in the freezer and cabinets. Should make for an awesome What I Ate Wednesday ;). If I have internet that is…  my previous roommate shut off the internet without warning, so I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop at the moment. I used to go nuts for their banana nut bread. My obsession progressed to the point that I would call to find out e x a c t l y when it would be out of the oven and I would plan my coffee shop studying around that time. That is, until I finally mastered making it myself. Except my version is gluten free and healthier, but just as delicious and comforting – promise!

[gluten free] zucchini banana walnut chocolate chip bread

Recipe: Makes 10 servings – Gluten free, sugar free (optional)

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup zuchinni, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar or NuNaturals Baking Blend
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Dry ingredients

  • 1   cups oat flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (depends on your taste)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts (depends on your taste)

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Grate the zucchini and lay on a clean dish towel. Place another dish towel on top and press the water from the zucchini. Add all of the wet ingredients to a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the wet overt the dry and lightly mix with a spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and it passes the tooth pick test.

 

Benefits

Flax * high in B vitamins, magnesium, and f-f-f-fiber! It has more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than any grain!

Walnuts * a good source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Bananas * High in potassium which helps the body eliminate excess salt and water (good for bloating)! Also help prevent muscular cramps and improve blood circulation. Bananas are high in zinc, which is key for healthy hair. They have also been linked to the prevention of stomach ulcers because they protect the stomach mucous layer. They are high in vitamins C and A, and phosphorus (which helps improve memory).

Cinnamon * High in antioxidants and also aids in controlling blood sugar levels. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat. Even worse, years of insulin spikes can lead to insulin resistance, which can then lead to diabetes.

Also!

I still have 5 more weeks before I can get back into lifting and Crossfit, but I did go to UCD Crossfit yesterday for a goodbye workout. Jonji and the guys changed up the workout so I could participate and it was hard. It felt good to get my heart rate up like that again!

Foot Injury-Friendly Crossfit WOD

  • 2000m rowing warmup

4 Minute Tabatas: 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 8x. Do 4 minutes of the tabata pushups, take a 1 minute rest, then 4 minutes of the tabata situps, 1 minute rest, etc.. 

  • Pushups
  • GHD situps
  • Ring rows
  • Back/hip extensions

Injury or not, I think you should give this one a try. Have a lovely Monday!! 

recipes you must try!

Hi!

With all the running hobbling around I’ve been doing, I haven’t been getting creative in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I haven’ been cooking up a storm! I have made many recipes from blogs and the internet lately – some have been bland, some have been decent, and some have been superb. Here are my favorites, all of which I recommend that you try!

creamy cucumber walnut salad

this was ser i ous ly awesome! my favorite of all. 

recipe: serves 1

adapted from the healthy foodie

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp black walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or walnut oil!)
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mache or other leafy greens

Directions – Dice the cucumber into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Add the greek yogurt and mix. Add the walnuts, za’atar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix. Add the mache or greens and mix. Enjoy! Serve with additional protein source, like chicken or hard boiled eggs.

If you like walnuts, you must try this salad. Up next is a paleo recipe that I made for dinner one night. The caramelized mushrooms and onions were incredible, I wish I had tripled that part of the recipe!

Paleo Mushroom Chicken Fricasse

Recipe: Serves 1 – Paleo, Low Carb, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

adapted from tgipaleo

  • 1 slice bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a shake of basil, oregano, and thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 2 skin on chicken thighs

Directions – Add a pat of butter to a pan and place on the stove on medium high heat. Add the slice of bacon and cook until extremely crispy, then remove the bacon and set aside. Add the onions and let cook for a minute before adding the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have softened, lay the chicken thighs in the pan. After 3-4 minutes, flip the chicken on the other side. Let cook for a couple minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamari, mustard, spices, and stir. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid and once the sauce has thickened to your liking, serve and enjoy.

 

My most hardcore paleo-eating friend taught me that you can eat the ends of chicken bones, since they are the softest. They are loaded with calcium and important proteins for healing. I think eating the soft portions of bones and making bone broths is speeding my fracture recovery! That red stuff you see in the photo above is bone marrow.

This next recipe is originally from the magazine Clean Eating, but I found it via the blog The Candid RD. I didnt make the spinach portion of the recipe. Instead, I opted to use my abundance of zucchini and simply sauteed it in a pan with a bit of butter, dijon mustard, and maple syrup.

Maple Dijon Cod

 

Call me cray but I think this photo is so pretty. Look at how the sun reflects of the mustard seeds!

I hadn’ t eaten white fish in so long. This hit the spot.

And finally, a gluten free cookie recipe for dessert!

Honey-Vanilla Tahini Cookies

Recipe: Makes 12 cookies – Gluten Free

adapted from everybody likes sandwiches

  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour (you can just grind gluten free, rolled oats in a blender)
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup well stirred tahini
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, flax, and baking powder. In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, tahini, vanilla, and honey. Slowly add and mix in the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Refrigerate the dough until cool. Spoon dough into 12 cookie balls on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for ~15 minutes. 

Anyone who appreciates tahini, will definitely love these cookies!

 

Success!

 

 

 

coconut water pong and the invention of dub step.

Hey WholeWheatOrBusters! Let’s be real here, I need to change the name of this blog. And buy my own domain. Wheat is now a foreign object in my diet, making occasional appearances for special occasions and bizarre cravings. If anyone comes up with a name that I love… I’ll send you a care package full of edible goodies.

This weekend had it’s ups and downs. On the up side, I hung out with friends, both new and old, and went floating down a beautiful river for several hours. Some of my guy friends also created a non-drinking game that combines getting swole with beer pong and coconut water. Coconut water pong, if you will. And every time you time the other team makes a cup, you and your partner must do 8 pull ups or air squats. I did 48 pulls ups that night. Still sore.

On the down side, our house was intruded upon and they stole my house mate’s laptop as well as my wallet and ipod. Our town is so small and… cute… that Kathleen and I don’t always lock the door. Obviously, we have learned our lesson.  Everything is replaceable, except my wallet. It was my deceased father’s and meant more to me than basically anything I own. When my family passed it down to me, I knew I could keep it in a box – safe and sound – for the rest of my life. Or I could actually use it. Knowing full well that I would likely lose or damage it one day, I chose to use the wallet. Everyday it served as a physical reminder of him. However, besides the wallet, everything else is just stuff and doesn’t really mean anything. Stuff is replaceable and it doesn’t bring happiness anyway. When was the last time you bought something that brought you lasting happiness? I can’t think of a time. Also, the robber is apparently a raging alcoholic, because on his way out, he also stole my room mates handle of gin. Who does that?!?

Besides the wallet, I also had to say some hard good byes this weekend. :( It has been helpful to remember that no good bye is necessarily forever until it is t h e     t i m e.

I also got my first MRI!

I am pretty sure the inventors of dubstep drew their inspiration from being forced into the giant magnet machine a few too many times. For an hour, I could feel tingling in my feet and the blaring beat of the machine piercing through my ear plugs and headphones. Granted, the headphones were cheap and a measly donut of foam was supposed to block out the sound. I am pretty sure a major hospital can afford some nice Bose noise cancellation headphones – but whatevs, I got my dubstep on.

I am still limited in my working out (no running, jumping, olympic lifting), but have gotten to add in squats and deadlifts to my regimen.

HALLELUJAH BABY JESUS HAS RISENNNNN! 

Foot Injury-Safe Workout #4

  • Bench press, 65 lbs, 3 rounds until failure
  • Military press 50 lbs, 3 rounds until failure
  • GHD Abs with 3 kg ball, 3 rounds of 12
  • Pull ups + hanging tricep dips, 3 rounds until failure
  • Sit ups + side bend abs holding 45 lb plate, 3 rounds of 12 per side
  • 1 more round of each until failure

Food wise, I am on a salad kick for lunch because it is steaming hot here. I have had this one three days in a row, which is weird. I am finally over it, but I think you should get on it. Asap.

The flavors come together in a totally unexpected and awesome way. I seriously recommend you give this one a shot. The brasil nuts and toasted coconut are optional, but they definitely take it to another level.

Tropical Summer Market Salad

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 3 cups mache
  • handful sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, diced
  • handful sprouts
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 oz goat cheese
  • 2 brasil nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mango, cubed
  • 1 tbsp shredded, toasted coconut

Directions – Dice the cucumber and snap the snap peas into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, add the mache, snap peas, cucumber, and sprouts. Drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over it. Sprinkle on the salt and fresh pepper. Mix. Add the goat cheese and cubed mango and toss again. Scrape onto a dish or bowl. Top with chopped basil nuts and a dash of toasted coconut. Eat with a side of protein!!!!! Enjoy.

Benefits:

Mache * has a crazy amount of vitamin folic acid (B9) for a leafy green, as well as vitamin C, and potassium! Plus its weirdly delicious. Try it!

Sprouts * has 50x the antioxidant sulfurophane contained in broccoli

Sugar Snap Peas * a tasty source of fiber for regularity, as well as a good source of  vitamin K, B6, and vitamin C. Vitamin K plays a key role in calcium absorption, along with vitamin D.

Mango * high in vitamins A, C, K, E, and potassium, magnesium, and selenium. Also contains the antioxidant beta carotene, a carotenoid! Mangoes are high in fiber due to their pectin content, which has been associated with lower cholesterol levels and reduced risk for cancer.

Brasil Nuts * is THE RICHEST source of selenium of all natural foods! Just 1-2 nuts per day contains all the daily required selenium you need, which may help prevent skin cancer. I get at least one a day!

and that was…

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins [gluten free]

This blog used to basically be a muffin blog. I ate a muffin a day. Muffins and eggs, muffins and greek yogurt, muffins for dessert, muffins for snack.

And then I got muffined out.

And then I got more paleo.

And now the muffins are back.

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins

Recipe: Makes 6 muffins – Gluten free, Primal adaptable, Sugar free

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make your own!)
  • 1/4 cup real or sugar-free maple syrup (depending on your needs…and politics)
  • 1 cup diced pink lady apple
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + extra for topping
  • 4 slices crispy bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Primal version: 6 eggs and 1/2 cup coconut flour, no oat flour.

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the bacon until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Pour the grease into a jar and lay the bacon on a paper towel to dry. Dice the pink lady apple and set aside. Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut flour. Add the oat flour (I simply ground up oats in a blender until powdery) and maple syrup (I use Joseph’s Sugar Free with malitol) and beat again. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the batter and stir. Crumble the bacon into chunks and bits. Fold the apples, cheese, and bacon into the batter. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are just lightly browned.

come to mama.

bacon never looked so cute

I’m on a bit of a life high right now. Yesterday was my first day at my LINC (low income housing) volunteer position. I got there early and helped my supervisor set up the room for the after school/summer program for the kids. The kids trickled in around 2:15 and had Enrichment until 4. I helped the cutest pair of 6 year old twins I have ever seen with their reading and writing. One of them has an afro mohawk and was really into his work and getting as far through the workbook as possible. The other was completely disinterested in working and just kept gazing off at the other kids who had already finished. He simply didn’t believe in himself! He thought everything was too hard for him. I kept telling him that he could do it – he could do whatever he wanted to accomplish as long as he didn’t give up and worked at it. We got through a few pages, but then it was snack time. During snack, my supervisor introduced me and we had the kids go around and introduce themselves. They ranged in age from 6 to 14 and were all very lively. Next, I had an hour to teach them anything. I started out with asking them to name a food they like and a food they don’t like.

They liked chicken, carrots, pizza, mashed potatos, tamales, fish, and chocolate. They didnt like broccoli, sea food, peppers, peas, onions and more broccoli.

Next, I asked them to name a food they thought was healthy and a food they thought “wasn’t good for them.” They thought carrots, lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, and olives (?!) were healthy. They thought cake, chocolate, gravy, bacon, cupcakes, ribs, and pizza was not good for them. I told them that we needed to move ribs to the good list because it was such a great source of protein.   That lead to a great little conversation on why and how protein helps us grow up and get stronger.

The main thing I wanted to get out of this first session was seeing how much they knew about the food groups, what the thought was healthy versus not, and what kinds of foods they liked.

The most successful part of the lesson was when I asked them to look at the list of foods they said were bad for them and figure out what the cake, chocolate, and cupcakes had in common. Silence. Eventually, one of the older boys screeched SUGAR!!!

 I asked them why sugar was bad for them… Silence again. Come on you guys, why is sugar bad for you? A boy in a 49ers hat raised his hand and mumbled “because it makes you fat.” This gave me a way to talk about how eating too much sugar and not moving around enough can make us gain weight because our cells aren’t eating all of the food we are giving them. The more we move around, the more our cells will eat the food that we eat.  It we eat too much sugar and don’t do anything, the food will become fat on our bodies. Also, sugar may give us energy at first, but then it will make us sleepy and leave us with less energy than we had before. They all seemed to understand and were particularly interested in why sugar leaves us tired and why protein helps us get stronger. I did my best! They also wanted to know what was wrong with my foot (I didn’t drink enough milk and yogurt growing up and didn’t wear proper shoes to work out in) and what that thing on my arm was (its a machine that measures my heart rate and steps every day to make sure I am active enough). 

I have three more sessions with them, so I’m thinking of theming one veggies, one fruits, and one protein/dairy. I contacted Chobani and they are going to send me yogurt to give the kids! I am so excited – I am sure that none of them have been exposed to greek yogurt!

Thank you to the couple of you that gave me suggestions. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Good afternoon y’all! It has been a full week since my last post and it feels so wrong! My foot is still in da boot, and I have yet to get a confirmation on whether or not it is fractured.

I should be getting an MRI this week and will finally know what’s going on down there. Regardless, I definitely won’t be able to get back to my normal lifting and CrossFit workouts in the near future. I miss them so much I can’t even explain it. I don’t really look forward to working out like I used to because the workouts I am doing aren’t what I really want to do. I think it is important though to keep working out in order to prevent muscle wasting, strength loss, cardiovascular fitness decline, as well as increase blood flow for healing. Not to mention maintaining SANITY and giving an endorphin boost! I had been avoiding the rec center for the first two weeks of my injury, but I finally braved it. Every time I felt judged I just had to tell myself that a) no one really cares and b) I know I am only doing safe exercises, so if people are judging then eff them. It turns out there are a lot of machines one can do with an injured foot!

Injury-Safe Full Body Gym Workout #1

  • Pull ups until failure, 3 rounds
  • Quad extension machine, 3 sets of 8, 90 lbs
  • Hamstring flexion machine, 3 sets of 8, 80 lbs
  • Bench press, 3 sets of 8, 65 lbs (SO WEAK!)
  • Butt Kick-Back machine, 3 sets of 8 per leg, 190 lbs (ONLY do this if you are confident you can isolate the part of your foot that is not injured. I purely used my heel so no pressure on metatarsals.)
  • Back extensions, 3 sets of 12, holding 45 lb plate
  • Hanging tricep dips, 3 sets until failure

Occupying myself has been going very well. That goal list is officially annihilated. I have started up two research projects that will extend through August. The first is under Dr. Baar at UC Davis. He is trying to figure out the cellular pathway that leads to muscle growth. So, what I am doing is taking cells from rats that either have the leucine (an amino acid) transporter gene or don’t and culturing them in several different media. Then, we run a test to see which ones are growing the most proteins (AKA muscle).

The second research project is under Dr. Havel, also of UC Davis. He is investigating the effects of drinking sugary beverages on hunger, blood triglyceride levels, and insulin sensitivity. I don’t start this one until Friday, but a few times a week I will be driving out to the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento to partake. One some days I will be preparing the buffet food for the research participants (in order to see if the sugar drinkers eat more than the non-sugar drinkers) and on others I will be taking their blood and running tests on it to see the hormonal and triglyceride responses to drinking the sugar-laden drinks.

I can’t wait to learn more about the science behind these studies and get a better feel for what research is like! I will definitely blog about the cool nutrition and muscle building stuff I learn in the next month or so. :)

As far as volunteering, I found a position that I am the most excited about out of everything.

But I need your help!!!

What I am going to be doing is with LINC Housing. LINC stands for Low Income Housing and is a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing in big cities. I will be working at the housing (which are apartments) in Sacramento as a Youth Empowerment Educator. This means that once a week I will look after the kids and teens that live in the apartments for 3 hours in an after school/summer program. For 1 of those 3 hours, I get to teach the children whatever I want. Of course, I want to teach them about healthy food and exercise and inspire them partake in a healthy lifestyle. However, I have no experience with kids! Let alone teaching them! Besides my massive family reunions, I interact with children on the rare occasion. How do I get them stoked on veggies? How do I not bore them with facts and figures? I want to engage them and help them find their own fire for healthy foods and habits. If anyone has any experience or tips on how to keep kids engaged, teach them about healthy living, and make learning fun – please leave a comment or email me at lauren dot dedecker @ yahoo dot com!

And finally, a mouthwatering recipe for you. I usually don’t remake dishes – I may vary them a bit, but exact repetitions are rare. When I do replicate a meal, I know I must share it on the blog. This recipe is unique blending of the flavors of American BBQ, Indian spices, and summer produce. It may sound odd, but trust me, they go together seamlessly.

BBQ Peach & Coconut Chicken

Recipe: Serves 1. Paleo, dairy free, gluten free, low carb, high protein.

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 5 oz chicken breast, raw
  • 1 ripe peach or nectarine
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 handfuls kale, shredded
  • 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • spices (from greatest amount to least): cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, smoked paprika, chili pepper, TJ’s African Smoke Pepper, pinch red pepper flakes, tiny pinch cayenne pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • shredded coconut, to top


Directions – Dice the sweet onion and cube the raw chicken breast. Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the onion and chicken and top with spices. [Note: If you don't have all the spices, that is okay, it will still turn out great.] Once one side of the chicken is cooked through, flip and add the diced peach or nectarine to the pan. Add additional spices to the peach or nectarine (I used mainly the sweeter ones for the peach). Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the coconut milk and BBQ sauce. Stir.
Sprinkle salt over the entire pan. Let cook for about a minute, then add the kale. Once the kale has wilted and the sauce is thick, scrape everything onto a plate. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!!

Up next… Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins ;)

Persistence and perserverance.

Gooood evening. I have so much to say, I don’t even know where to start.

I guess I will begin with the internship I alluded to a few posts ago.  I wanted to find a doctor that was familiar with the paleo diet and preferably had their own practice similar to what I would want to do. At first, I got all no’s and I-don’t-have-time’s, but it is amazing what a bit of persistence will do. You have to show people that you really care about what they are doing and demonstrate your skill set in some way. The doctor I will be working with is located in San Francisco, which means I will need to move there in September!! I am so excited. Hopefully I will have my NASM personal training certification done by then so I can personal train on the side. Without saying too much (since I don’t know what would constitute too much at this point), I will be teaching his patients how to use a technology to track various aspects of their life. The data will come from an assortment of gadgets, one being the BodyMedia. The BodyMedia is the armband I was wearing in the photo in my last post and it measures your heart rate, steps, calorie burn, etc. The other aspect of the job is to encourage patients to keep using the gadgets and software, as it can be a bit of a pain. I have been wearing the BodyMedia as well as the other devices so that I can get a feel for what I am supposed to be coaching and encouraging people to do.

At first, I was bummed about wearing the BodyMedia because it arrived right when I injured my foot. It would have been so cool to see the calorie burn and activity level when I was doing my crazy CrossFit workouts and two-a-day’s. However, it turns out that wearing the BodyMedia when I am extremely inactive has been eye opening.

On a day where I did not work out and was seated or supine about 95% of the day:

1739 calories is pretty good for a small female sitting all day long. The blue spikes are calories burned per minute, which increases as my heart rate increases. This information made me think that I may not have been fueling enough when I was super active. I had this issue when I was on the triathlon team at UCSB and I do not want to suffer those consequences again.

On a day where I did one of my 30 minute injury-safe workouts. Keep in mind, I do as little walking/moving as possible!

Again, 2,000 calories for being basically immobile plus a 30 minute limited-ability workout is not bad!

Once I am back on my feet, I cannot wait to show you guys the data from CrossFit workouts versus lifting versus cardio. My guess is that after high intensity (but short) workouts like CrossFit and HIIT, there will be an increase calorie burn for the rest of the day. With long, steady state cardio, I imagine there will be a greater calorie burn during the workout but less calories for the day total. Why? Because long, steady cardio does not increase your fat and calorie burn after your workout – but high intensity (AKA sprints, weight lifting, CrossFit) does!

The workout I did today burrnnneedddd! Instead of rotating through a bunch of body parts to avoid fatigue, I wanted to really stimulate those muscles and stay on them for long periods of time. I used this tabata timer, set to 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, 30 rounds.

Injury Friendly Workout # 3

  • 10 minutes of abs
  • 1 minute V-ups
  • 1 minute bicycles
  • 1 minute cross toe-touches
  • 1 minute sit ups
  • 1 minute leg raises
  • repeat
  • 10 minutes of booty
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, left leg
  • 2 minutes donkey kick back, right leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, left leg
  • 2 minutes fire hydrant kicks, right leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, left leg
  • 1 minute donkey kick back, right leg
  • 10 minutes of chest and triceps
  • 1 minute push ups
  • 1 minute tricep dips
  • 1 minute of ab or booty work
  • repeat 3x + 1 more minute of whatever you feel like

On the recovery front, my foot is still being lame (ha…) but I have definitely continued to work through my goals list. I have been slow to start cooking more “real” meals again, but I’m getting there!

Breakfasts have been paleo waffles and protein pancakes.

The  lunch recipe I have for y’all today is so easy it’s not even a recipe, but it never fails to be delicious. It packs 40 grams of protein and can be as few as 400 calories or as many as you want, simply adjust the avocado and other fats to your needs.

Mini Paleo BLTs

fresh. saliva inducing. filling.

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 4 butter or Romaine lettuce leaves, washed
  • 1 tbsp paleo or regular mayo
  • slather of your favorite mustard
  • handful of baby tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4+ slices of roasted turkey (nitrate free)
  • 2 slices of crispy bacon, split in halves (nitrate free)
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced

Directions – Lay the lettuce on a large plate. Add a smear of mayo and mustard. Top each leaf with a slice of turkey. Arrange the tomatoes, bacon, avocado, and onion on each turkey slice. Add salt. Enjoy!

Best enjoyed eaten like a taco:

make this. you don’t have an excuse not to.

Dinners have been inspired by other blogs, but I will save those for my next post!

Workouts you can do with an injured foot or leg

Hey everyone! I am sorry for the lack of postage. I have been wanting to write about injury and recovery and not food, so that is the this post is going to be. After weeks (months?) of feeling pretty anti-cooking and just making simple staples like paleo waffles and meat salads and pesto “pasta” dishes, I am finally ready to get creative in the kitchen. With this injured foot, I really have no excuse to not devote some time to making new and interesting meals. I am still working hourly to not get sad about my foot, but it is getting a bit easier. I have been working on those goals I mentioned:

  • Read Outliers.  Pretty good; it appealed to my inner super-liberal. It essentially is a reminder that great success is a combination of hard work, smarts, seizing opportunity, and luck. I think his main point is to not forget that many successful people come from privileged backgrounds and their success was not 100% “self made.”
  • Begin studying for the NASM personal training certification. (This is obviously a work in progress.)
  • Watch the CrossFit Games. More today and tomorrow! Y’all gotta watch. It is INCREDIBLE what these athletes are capable of. I can’t wait to get back in the box!!!!
  • Watch Pretty Little Liars
  • Go to the movies
  • Keep sending obnoxious emails This put me into contact with a professor at UC Davis that studies anthropology, specifically the paleolithic period. We chatted on the phone for a while about the Paleo diet. He was super into “rabbit starvation” and the importance of eating fatty meat for our ancestors. Fattier cuts of meat (remember, at the time, all this meat was grass fed) contained the calories, fatty acids, and fat soluble vitamins necessary for life. If the cavemen had only subsisted on rabbit and small, low-fat game, they would die – even if they were meeting their calorie and protein needs.
  • Get back into reading Al Jazeera and the news. (I am gonna do this….. in 5 minutes after this post).
  • Go volunteer places. (I haven’t actually done this yet, but I looked up opportunities and have marked my schedule for feeding the hungry with Davis Community Meals on Tuesdays!)
  • Read more about starting your own business. 
  • Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. This has been key in keeping me happy and sane. As well as making sure I am outside at least 2 hours a day.

As it turns out, you CAN work up a mean sweat even when you can’t use your feet!

ew, yes, that is sweat on my lip. 

Whether you are injured or not, these workouts are hard, but entertaining. I welcome you all to try them out and let me know how they go. They will help you get abs of steel, triceps of a god, a firm booty, and the ability to do pushups and pull ups like a man an asexual fitness beast.

Workout #1

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 20 minutes

  • DB (dumbbell) shoulder press, 20 lb, 12 reps, left arm
  • DB shoulder press, 20 lb, 12 reps, right arm
  • 1 minute ab work (V-ups, sit ups, alternating toe touches)
  • pull ups, to failure
  • 1 minute booty kick backs, left leg
  • 1 minute booty kick backs, right leg

Workout #2

8 minute tabata, 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

  • 1 minute pushups (on your knees if you can’t use feet)
  • 1 minute ab work (V-ups, sit ups, bicycles, V-holds, toe touches)

12 minute tabata, 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest

  • 1 minute tricep dips (I used two chairs as the hand support)
  • 1 minute booty kick backs, left leg
  • 1 minute booty kick backs, right leg

That thing on my arm is a BodyMedia, which tracks calories burned, heart rate, sleep time, etc. I am wearing it for the internship/job that I have yet to tell y’all about, which I will soon! In my next post, I want to show you what this little gadget has been teaching me about my lifestyle and fitness. There are graphs!!!