New state, new attitude, back to being HEALTHY….slowly

So its been the craziest 8 months or so.  We decided this time last year that we were going to relocated to Oklahoma from San Diego, CA.  Why you may ask?  Well I thought we were a middle class family, but in San Diego we were on the poverty line, yeah scary.  We lived in a one bedroom condo with a toddler.  We were trying to save for a home but could never do it.  Then prices for homes sky rocketed and we gave up.  Prices went from 500k to 700K for the area we wanted, which was Poway because of their great school district.  And for this price of home you were still getting a fixer upper, yeah we just couldn’t do it.

So my husband put out some applications and got two bites fairly quickly and was flying out for interviews.    They kept pushing back his start date, then changed his initial position, to be honest this all should have been signs but we were desperate to get out.  I had secured a job with a prestigious hair company, I worked on this for 6 months, and was excited for the move.  We moved in February to Edmond, OK.  Edmond is just north of Oklahoma City.  It was a rough transition to say the least.

ALLERGIES-  omg I can not even start to explain how horrific my allergies were, as well as my sons.  I had allergies meds but they were not working.  I ended up getting sick twice in the first month and then twice more in the following month.  The job I had was taken away, because they sold the company and the position was dissolved.  I came home after a week in Missouri crying, sick, and feeling so defeated.   We didn’t have ideal living situation so we had equivalent to a  mini fridge and a microwave so I was eating Panera and Chick-fil-a most days.  Skipping breakfast and lunch most days just so I could afford that dinner meal. I took my son to McDonald’s so that he could play at their indoor playground, which a lot of parents did.  Not purchasing food, which most parents did as well.

Flash forward to me getting a job, busting my ass and us getting a house.  Now we have a 2000 sq foot house that is slowly but surely filling up, thanks to hand me downs.  We moved from a 710 sq ft condo so it’s a huge difference.  We have a yard, with the HOA on our ass about it, as we have to borrow everything just for the yard as we don’t have the extra money nor the credit to get a mower or any other tools needed to maintain.  For the first time ever we have a washer and dryer of our own,  or at least for my first time.  No restricted hours of operations, no more having to wait until daddy gets home so I can do laundry.   It’s the nicest perk.  And our son finally has his own room and his grandparents  bought him a twin bed, that he loves, YAY!

Now we are still struggling right now.  My husband is making about  $1000 less a month at his job, but his promotion to the original position he was offered is 3-4 months out, which is hard on both of us.  I struggled to figure out how to eat paleo here, just not as easy as in California.  We have a Sprouts,  Aldi’s, 1 Wholefoods, and 1 Trader Joe’s.  I fond out of season all fruits and veggies are crazy expensive.  I also found that most food doesn’t last nearly as long as it did in California, I know we got it fresher there.  But I don’t have the time to shop twice a week, I mean weekly is a struggle when I work 60+ hours a week and I’m a mom, Doing Laundry, dishes, cleaning.  I’ve been getting processed foods, which I’ve been feeling in my gut.  I really want to get back to our best again. I’m starting this slowly bust surely.  I’ve started with a few paleo meals a week.  I’m hoping to add-on to that but financially right now it isn’t possible.  I’ve been taking Plexus probiotic for my gut health and I’m going to learn how to make Kombucha, once I get a good recipe I will share is of course.  I have a few great friends that are like-minded. We’ve even gotten amazing fresh and free organic produce from neighbors.  Really makes me excited to grow our own next year.

Things are looking better and better each month.  I know in 3-4 months it will all be so much better, but I will have to wait until then.

I’m hoping to write and share recipes again sooner than later.    So please keep a look out.

 

Chicken Mole


So the weather here is much warmer, went from 60’s to 80’s and I’m pretty sure I now have a sinus infection.  Great way to cleanse your sinuses is with spicy food.  So I made PALEO Chicken Mole.

What you’ll need

1 1/2 oz Mexican chocolate, which can be found in most Mexican grocery stores. It’s sweeter and has a kick of cinnamon.

Chicken-  thigh meat or chicken breast to be healthier.

1/2 cup of diced tomatoes

1 cup of chicken bone broth

1 onion

Fresh cilantro

1 lime

Spices- 2 tbs cumin, 2 TBS cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp allspice,1 tbs sesame seeds, 1 tsp fresh garlic, 1 tbs ancho chile powder, 1tbs chipotle powder,  a big handful New Mexican dried chiles, 2 tbs dried oregano, 1 tbs sesame oil, 2 tbs olive oil, and 2 tsp salt and pepper 

So I cheat a little, I use cauliflower rice from TRADER JOES.  It’s only $1.99 and AMAZING. But if you just want gluten free and not PALEO you can just make rice.

Spice mixture 

Add mixture into a a small spice blender I just use my ninja.  It creates a nice paste.  Add this mixture to a pan and heat up for 2 minutes until fragrant. Then slowly add the Mexican chocolate and turn off the heat.  

In another pan cook the chicken in oil for 2-3 minutes.  You don’t want to fully cook the chicken.

Remove the chicken and then thinly slice the onion ( save 1/4 of the chopped onions for garnish) and cook in the pan the chicken was in. 

In the pot with the spices you turn the heat back on and add the tomatoes, bone broth(depending on how thick or thin you want your sauce add as little or as much broth as you’d like) , chicken, and onions. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 5-7 minutes.

On a plate or in a bowl put your rice or cauliflower rice down first, Mole on top and garnish with cilantro, onions, and fresh limes.

Enjoy!!!

POZOLE


So it’s been a little chilly here in San Diego, that means below 70 lol. So to keep warm and to help celebrate day of the dead I made a veggie POZOLE.  

What you will need-

Dried ancho chile 

Garlic

Onion

Poblano chile pepper

Quinoa

Vegetable stock

Hominy

Tomatillos 

Fresh cilantro

Lime

Cotija cheese 

Pumpkin seeds

Spices-

Oregano

Cumin

Achiote

Salt

Pepper

Chipotle powder 

Roast the tomatillos in oven at 350 for 20 minutes

Toast the ancho chile for 2-3 minutes on medium heat remove the steam and toss

In a sauce pan add 1 teaspoon of garlic and add with 2 tablespooons of oil, over medium heat.

Chop the onion, set 1/3 of the chopped onion aside and add the rest to the sauce pan.

Remove stem, ribs, and seeds from the poblano chile and cut to 1/4 inch strips and add to sauce pan.  Be careful and wash your hands really well after touch the chile.  

After a few minutes add seasoning

Teaspoon of each spice.

Add 1/2 cup of hominy to the sauce pan along with 1/2 cup of quinoa and 3 cups of vegetable stock

Chop the tomatillos and add to pozole.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover , and cook until quinoa and hominy are cooked.  Around 20 minutes.
Garnishes-

Cilantro 

Line

Onions

Pumpkin seeds

And cotija cheese.

My husband loves this meal and he  will be so excited when he gets home. 

My SunBasket

So when one week it’s MLB All Star craziness and the next is even crazier Comic Con, I have an ace up my sleeve. Sunbasket is my go to to help me when I know I am going to have a very crazy week/weekend and won’t have time to go shopping or prep.  Honestly I can’t wait until the end of the month, as we have nothing planned (yet).  Link to each recipe from SunBasket is below as well.  Again this is NOT sponsored in anyway by SunBasket, I pay for my subscription.

So my box included these meals:

  • Grilled pork with nectarine watercress salad

  • Pan-seared steak with arugula pesto

  • Seared salmon with lemon grass-coconut curry

  • Paleo Dutch baby with fruit compote ( This wasn’t in the box but I took the recipe from their website for a Sunday breakfast, but they do offer the option to add two breakfasts instead of a dinner)

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The grilled pork was delicious but the nectarine watercress salad was the surprise star of this dish.  The salad was large, much bigger than I expected and I know that their portions are large.  The dressing was a Balsamic honey vinegar and I used a citrus olive oil to dress the salad.  Was the perfect combo.  Sometimes the containers that vinegars (or sherry) come in can leak.  I’ve had it happen twice in 4 boxes.  I wish they did like hello fresh and send baby bottles, kind of like little liquor bottles.   There was also sweet potatoes with this dish, they sent 3 medium sized.  I only cooked 2 of the 3 and saved one for lunch the next day. This meal was super easy to make, we were out of charcoal so I just seared it on the stove.unnamed-5.jpg

What can I say about the Pan-seared steak with arugula pesto?unnamed-2.jpg

As I mentioned in my previous post I LOVE their sauces and this arugula pesto is no difference.  This was my husbands favorite out of the box.  He liked the Arugula pesto but didn’t love it the way I did, that’s okay more for me.  He was obsessed with the cucumber-radish salad though.  It was so refreshing and just so tasty.  The entire meal was the perfect combinations.  They didn’t send how to make the arugula pesto, which is something I wish they would include.  I also couldn’t find it on their website.

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Now to my favorite, seared salmon with lemon grass-coconut curry.  Their salmon is wild caught from Alaska and there is absolutely NO fishy smell at all.  I am very particular about fish and to be honest when I first got a box with salmon I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But don’t worry it is amazing!  I do always cook the salmon meal first.   My husband suprisingly loved the curry, he doesn’t like curries, I was shocked.  My son also really liked it as well and he liked the salmon.  I used the wrong pan to cook the salmon in, I was so mad, I didn’t use the no stick pan so the salmon stuck to the pan, no idea what I was thinking. There were a lot of complex flavors that really work together.  This is one that I don’t know if I will be able to replicate on my own.unnamed-1.jpg

My Sunday bonus meal was paleo Dutch baby with fruit compote.unnamed-7.jpg

So Saturday night I got a craving for something for breakfast.  I looked online and saw this recipe on SunBaskets website.  I went to the store at around 8PM to grab everything I needed for awesome looking treat.  Sunday morning comes and this is the most complex item I had to cook.  I don’t like eggs and the recipe calls for 4 so I already had a bad feeling but it just looked so good, I had to make it.  Well sadly it was too eggy, for my taste.  It was similar to a quiche.  The compote was simply amazing.  I doubled the batch of this and I’ve used it every morning for my sons breakfast.  It’s great with bananas, toast, pancakes.  I eat paleo but let my son eat anything.  He still eats what I eat so most of it is very healthy. I’m thinking about altering the recipe for the dutch baby and see what happens.  I’ll keep you updated.unnamed-3.jpg

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Want to try a basket? sunbasket.com/3free/Steffanie94218 for $25 off of your basket.

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Too Busy

I’ve found myself too busy to prep.  seriously it’s been a very bust summer so far here in San Diego.  This month alone we had 4th of July, the MLB all Star week (which was seriously epic), and this weekend is Comic Con.  It just doesn’t stop!  I work 45-50 hours a week, I’m a wife, and I’m a mother (to a rambunctious toddler).

I’ve been working out 3-4 times a week, before my son wakes up.  Starting on Fridays we spend most afternoons in the pool or just on a super hot week day. Most weekends are spent at either the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, or at one of our amazing beaches or bays.  We are lucky with where we live.

So again I’ve found myself too busy to prep.  When I have a crazy week coming up I treat myself to some help.  This is something I do on average of 2 times a month. By treating myself I don’t mean by eating out.  Dining out isn’t impossible for someone like me but can add up very quickly.

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Enter in SunBasket.  This has been my lifer saver, no joke.  I only found a few food delivery services that did paleo.  Sunbasket was one of them, and the one with the most options by far.  I’m going to post my three meals from this past weeks box.                                       Reasons I love SunBasket  (THIS IS IN NO WAY A SPONSORED POST)

  1. These meals are nutritious,  delicious, easy to make, and portion size are amazingly large.
  2. All fruits and veggies come from organic farms that they have personal relationships with. Also NON-GMO
  3. Chicken, pork, and beef are organic farm raised and the Salmon is wild caught from Alaska.
  4. All of the packing is recyclable: box is 98% post consumer cardboard, insulation is made of recycled water bottles, ice packs are gel that is 98% water and 2% NON-GMO cotton, we cut them and dump them out, the water evaporates and just the cotton remains.

So these meals are not the cheapest, you are getting good quality ingredients and eco-friendly packaging.  But this is so much cheaper than eating out just 1 night, and so much healthier.

If you are interested in trying this great service use the following code for $25 off and look for my meals from this week.

sunbasket.com/3free/Steffanie94218

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Cha-Cha-Cha- Chia

Chia seeds

So a friend of mine gave me a HUGE 2 pound bag of chia seeds.  I started adding them to my morning smoothies.  Since starting this process of healing my gut 2 months ago I fought with sugar cravings and with being hungry all of the time, which is why my friend gave me this huge bag.  She said I need to make chia pudding.  I’ll be honest I’ve tried a couple over the years and wasnt impressed.

My new goal is finding the perfect chia pudding recipe, or creating my own.  I tried two last night and one was a huge winner, while the other was a huge disappointment.  I made small batches one of strawberry almond chia pudding and Chocolate coffee chia pudding.  My mouth started watering at the idea of chocolate and coffee, reminded me of my Dairy Queen days 20 years ago, making mud pie blizzards.  Well the strawberry Almond was beautifully delicious, yes I impressed myself.  And that means the chocolate and coffee was disastrous.  My husband was so grossed out lol.  But hey you can not win them all, it is trial and error.  I will take this 50/50 start in my search.  I will post pictures and my recipe soon!

So why Chia seeds?
Nutrition: One ounce of chia seeds is approximately 28 grams. It contains 138 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of fiber, 8 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein.

I learned that consuming one ounce of chia seeds a day can provide 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% of phosphorus, and 30% of manganese.

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The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

 Good Fiber Source

With 28 grams or a single-ounce serving of chia contains 11 grams of dietary fiber.

That is around 1/3 of the recommended daily consumption for adults. Incorporating chia seeds into your diet is an effortless way to make certain you are consuming a decent amount of fiber, which is vital for digestive health.

Eating vegetables isn’t the only way you can increase your intake of dietary fiber, so if you’re not big on salads, know that there are other options.

So I’ve been adding  a tablespoon of chia seeds to my smoothies.  It is a nutritious and filling way to start the day. Combine that with an egg white omelette cooked in a bit of coconut oil and you have yourself a well-balanced breakfast.

 Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Chia seeds are considered one of the top sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with almost 5 grams in a one-ounce serving, something I did not know.
They are abundant in polyunsaturated fats which include omega-3s. They are the most concentrated plant-based source of omega-3 which are essential fats that protect against inflammation such as heart disease and arthritis. The omega-3s in chia seeds can decrease high cholesterol and may improve cognitive performance. These fats are also essential for brain health, I hope this helps with my brain fog.

 

 Antioxidants!!!!!!!

Antioxidants are important because they fight and protect against free radical damage which can contribute to disease and aging.

With only 9% of Americans getting the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, opportunities for improving health through sensible diet choices are welcome.

Protein!!

Chia seeds also are an excellent source of protein, especially for vegans, vegetarians and other non-meat eaters, my son doesn’t love meat so this was a great thing to learn.

A 28-gram serving of these wonder seeds contains 4.4 grams of protein, or around 10 per cent of the daily suggested value.

Heart Health

Chia seeds have been observed to enhance blood pressure levels among diabetics, and may also raise healthy cholesterol while decreasing total LDL, as well as triglyceride cholesterol.

For those who are borderline diabetic, or have a history of heart problems, you would do well to take pre-emptive measures by consuming heart healthy foods such as chia seeds.

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Damn Summer Cold

So My son got a summer cold 2 weeks ago and passed it around our house.  For me I was just really tired and had NO motivation to cook or to workout.

To be honest my husband can cook for himself and our son but when it comes to me with my new stricter restrictions he just didn’t want me to get sicker.

Enter in Trader Joes- I love that they have cauliflower rice, which is cheaper and is better than my home-made (which I love and kinda hate, because I didn’t want it to be better).

Also enter in Wholefoods who sells beef bones in their freezer section for less than $5.  Was able to make bone broth, which was perfect for my cold, even if it was 90 degrees outside.

My husband was great and just roasted some veggies on the grill while he cooked hi own dinner and I ate cauliflower rice, roaste veggies and bone broth.  Bonus was my son liking the bone broth, i just put luke warm broth into a sippy cup.

Sorry no pictures. But when I make bone broth again I will take pictures and post my reciepe.

Friday was the first day we all felt 100%, which is nice.