Monthly Archives: June 2012

Saturday: Rodeo Time!

I don’t know how many of you have heard about it or not, but there’s a Paleo Rodeo every Friday! Basically, it’s just a round-up of a bunch of Paleo blogs and blog posts. Dana Hsieh, author of the blog Modern Paleo, has organized the whole thing. There is a mixture of informational and tasty Paleo blog posts. I love it!

Here’s the copy of this week’s Paleo Rodeo:

The Paleo Rodeo #117

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week’s edition ofThe Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of thePaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions of the Rodeo are collectedon this page.

What is “paleo”? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A “paleo” approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.

The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week’s edition:

Ute presents The Paleo Bread posted at Grokette’s Primal Musings, saying, “My thoughts on the new Paleo Bread, and whether or not this is actually Paleo.”

Kris presents A Cure for The Biggest Health Problems in The World is Being Ignored posted at Kris Kris, saying, “I believe there is a natural cure for the biggest health problems in the world. It is scientifically proven, but ignored by the health authorities.”

Victoria presents Evolutionary Medicine 101 posted at Principle into Practice, saying, “Thoughts from an evolutionary minded med student on what other med students (and anyone interested in health) should keep in the back of their mind as they think about health and disease.”

Blair presents Wee Pee Free-ly posted at The Found Link, saying, “A cycle of sustainability that results in higher yields and nutrient content of garden vegetables.”

Fatisfied presents Pickle Chips posted at Free Your Fat, saying, “Wanting something similar to fried pickles but with preservation potential, I found my way to making Pickle Chips.”

Bob Massarella presents My Ten Rules for Getting and Staying Fit posted atPrimal Sphere, saying, “People often ask me how I keep in shape, what do I do. Well, here is it…”

Susie T. Gibbs presents Fried Green Tomatoes – Perfectly Paleo posted at Fluffy Chix Cook, saying, “This isn’t your mama’s Paleo! Not a spec of Crisco in sight! All of the comfort. None of the crud! Fluffy Chix Cook delicious comfort food with a Texas twang and maybe a tall tale or two for the funofit. If you don’t watch it, you might find yourself sayin’ howdy and fixinto!”

Megh presents Recovering from Vegetarianism: A New Series posted at Yolks, Kefir, & Gristle, saying, “I’ve finally gotten back to blogging and am going to be covering how to recover from vegetarianism in a series of posts. If you are a former vegetarian, what is your story? What was hardest about recovering from vegetarianism?”

Beth Mazur presents Evolutionary Medicine posted at Weight Maven, saying, “the Palo Alto Institute has posted the videos from their recent Evolutionary Medicine seminar. I found the session on behavior to be particularly interesting.”

Suz Crawt presents 21 Paleo Lunch Ideas posted at The Paleo Network, saying, “21 Paleo brown-bag lunch ideas”

Sara Hatch presents Update: Experiment of One (Week Two) posted at Edible, saying, “The second update on my Primal Ketogenic diet experiment…”

Rafael presents ¿Por que el trigo no es un buen alimento? posted at COMA MEJOR, saying, “Hi, Rafael from Argentina with a Paleo Post in Spanish”

Tony Federico presents The Paleo Restaurant Project posted at Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, “Paleo is growing and restaurants have taken notice! Have you spotted a “Paleo” item on your favorite menu?”

Todd Dosenberry presents My Top 10 Reasons Why Your Top 10 Reasons Your Not Paleo Are Flawed posted at Primal Toad, saying, “Ann Marie from Cheeseslave decided to let the world know why she is not Paleo. I’m totally fine with others expressing there feelings. However, I decided to step in because her reasonings are flawed and incorrect. Paleo is NOT low carb and is NOT a fantasy, etc. Paleo is a framework that every individual needs to experiment with and then decided what is best for them.”

Angel Ayala & Meghan Little presents Paleo Caesar Salad Dressing, A Creamy Sauce for Salads and Chicken posted at Paleo Effect, saying, “This Caesar Salad Dressing is perfect over a bed of Romaine lettuce with our Grilled Chicken and Paleo Croutons recipes! Keepin’ it Paleo has never tasted so good!”

Susan Holland (MeJane) presents PALEO: Is it Just Me, or Are Labels Getting Invisible? posted at Weightless in Water, saying, “A remedy for microscopic labels on store products… and a gold mine for paleo products suppliers! MeJane is having brilliant thoughts at the supermarket.”

Neely Quinn presents Sleep Part 3: How To Get More of It posted at Paleo Plan, saying, “Some practical advice on how to get more sleep.”

Warren Wilkinson presents Not all Organic Eggs are Made Equal posted at Plate Smarter, saying, “After spending 3 times more on organic eggs, I find that they are raised the same as conventional eggs.”

Nell Stephenson presents Paleo, Migrains and RA posted at Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson, saying, “There is a huge disconnect between diet and health issues; this post focuses on Migraines and RA.”

Travis Schefcik presents How Toxic Is Sugar posted at Uncommon Wellness, saying, “Enjoy!”

Jim Arthur Van Wyck presents The Paleo Sarah Ballantyne Video Interview posted at Paleo Diet News, saying, “Jim Arthur interviews Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. about her blog The Paleo Mom. Sarah discusses her 120 pound weight loss, and how the paleo diet was her path to regaining her health.”

Adam Farrah presents Crack is the New Yoga??? posted at Practical Paleolithic, saying, “Blog post about pop culture idiocy and New York Magazine’s recommendation of Xanax as a “solution” to the stress of modern life…”

The Cavechic presents Christians and the paleo diet posted at Paleo for Christians, saying, “Can a Christian eat according to the paleo diet without compromising their faith?”

Melissa Joulwan presents Tuesday 10: Paleo Flavor Boosters posted at The Clothes Make The Girl, saying, “Ten tips for quick, easy flavor boosters you can add to meat+veg so you never get bored.”

Kelly Bejelly presents Dry Rubbed Oven Baked Spare Ribs posted at A Girl Worth Saving, saying, “A Sugar-Free dry rub that I created for my Oven Baked Spare ribs.”

Brittney Beckham presents CrossFIt + Paleo = A Winning Combination posted atSpaghetti with Mildly-Spicy Meatballs, saying, “This is a wonderful original recipe! It’s a great comfort food type recipe and will be a go-to for us in the future!”

Penny Price McIntosh presents Raw Milk Farm Video Tour posted at Health Coach Penny, saying, “This is a video of my trip to a local farm that sells raw milk. Sherry the ‘milk lady’ is a total trip!”

Alison Pierce presents The King of All Beef Stews posted at Counterculture Cooking, saying, “Beef Bourguignon, a Paleo stew that’s humble yet kingly; simple yet complex in flavor.”

Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! We love new members! So if you blog on paleo-related matters and you’d like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to thePaleoBloggers e-mail list. You’ll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:


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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Informational, Paleo, Recipe


7 Reasons Why Calorie Counting Is Dangerous: An Article by The Primal Toad

I’ve heard a lot of people recently say that they’ve been (or are trying to count calories). Brett and I started 2011 by counting calories. We both downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on our phones and began entering everything we ate. That was terribly annoying, by the way. Not only that, but I was almost going over my calorie intake everyday which seemed impossible. This is what I ate everyday: Breakfast- Special K Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar, Lunch- Slimfast Cappuccino Delight and a low-fat string cheese, and for dinner- usually a grilled chicken breast with two veggies. I would eat a little fruit throughout the day, but not much. I only drank water for my beverages. I stayed hungry all the time! I was so worried about the calories that I wasn’t thinking about the quality of the overprocessed foods I was eating. I would feel really bloated and uncomfortable after lunch everyday. I was having night sweats almost nightly. I was going to my chiropractor every 2-3 weeks for adjustments to try to keep the headaches away….

I no longer count calories. I don’t count fat. I don’t count sodium. I don’t look at the nutrition panels for facts anymore. I look at them for quality. The paleo lifestyle allows me the freedom to eat more than I ever could have counting calories! I no longer have night sweats. I only feel bloated or uncomfortable if I eat a cheat (like those cheese fries from Rafferty’s last week). I only see my chiropractor every 2-3 months.

So now whenever I hear someone say they are counting calories, I feel bad for them. It’s not my dream to convert everyone to the Paleo lifesyle, even though I think it would be AWESOME, but I do care about the people around me and I want for them to feel as good as I do now. I don’t want for them to hate the need to eat. I want for them to love their food and know how great good foods can make you feel!

I recently read a great article by The Primal Toad. I want to share it. Maybe, just maybe, some of my calorie counting friends and family members will try another approach.  :)

Note: Everything from this point on can be found directly on Toad’s blog here.

Coca- Cola Zero

Counting calories will get you nowhere. In the long-term it will cause more harm than good. There are no benefits to calorie counting. On the other hand, there are countless benefits to throwing out all worries about the total calorie count in a particular food.

Read on to find out why counting calories causes more harm than good.

1. Calorie counting is extremely inaccurate

Counting calories with bullseye accuracy is impossible. Perfection is not necessary. However, there are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. If you are off by 50 calories per day in the wrong direction (which is very easy to do) then you could easily put on 25 lbs of fat in just 5 years.

Read closely what I found from this page. There is no emphasis because every single word is vitally important.

The 29 restaurant meals and side dishes evaluated by the Tufts researchers were found to contain an average of 18% more calories than stated, and the 10 frozen meals from supermarkets were found to contain an average of 8% more. When applied to the typical 2,000 calorie per day diet, a caloric excess of just 5% can cause 10 pounds of weight gain in a single year. What’s even more alarming is that some of the foods evaluated had more than twice as many calories as stated.

You might wonder how restaurants and food manufacturers can get away with these discrepancies, but such a thought assumes that there are strict standards in place. There aren’t. The FDA only requires that the calorie content of packaged foods doesn’t exceed the stated amount by more than 20%. For restaurant foods, there’s no limit at all.

Yikes! This means that a low fat yoplait yogurt that has only 100 calories may actually have 120 calories. Oops! Do you now see how easy it can be to underestimate by 30 calories or more for an entire days worth of food?

Did you know that cooked food has more calories than raw food? For example, 100 grams of cooked broccoli has more calories than 100 grams of raw broccoli. Did you know that protein takes more calories to digest than fat and carbs? This means that your net caloric intake would be less from 100 calories of fatty meat vs 100 calories of a potato or banana.

2. Muscle burns more calories

The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. In order to gain muscle, you need to eat more calories than you burn. There is no way around this.

The less you eat, the slower your metabolism. This means you burn less calories at rest.

Do NOT go obsess about how much fat you have. You need fat on your body. You may have too much but the absolute best way to lose that fat is slowly.

3. Quality is more important than quantity

Low fat yogurt has less calories per ounce than full fat yogurt. This is a very bad thing…

  • The fat is replaced with sugar
  • Vitamins A, E, K and D are stored in fat. Remove the fat and you remove those vitamins!
  • The cost of full fat and low fat yogurt is probably the same per ounce. This means you are paying more for the low fat yogurt per calorie since there are less calories per ounce.

This is the case with all low fat foods. Skim milk is often presented as a super food. It’s far from it. It’s junk and can lead to a number of problems. Whole milk naturally contains vitamin A and D. Skim milk contains neither. When you look at the nutritional profile of skim milk you will notice it does have Vitamin A and D. This is because they added it back in after processing it. They will more than likely be synthetic vitamins. This can be very harmful.

To learn more on the truth of skim milk please read this excellent article: Why skim milk isn’t necessarily better.

If you count calories, then you may become obsessed with calorie counting. You may buy low fat this, fat free that. Can you lose fat doing this? Certainly. But it’s far from healthy. You are not getting all the nutrients your body desires.

Another example is the egg. Whole eggs are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. However, most fear fat for several reasons. One of them is because they are counting calories and learn that one large egg yolk has around 50 calories and one egg white has only 20 calories.

The theory is that simply throwing out the yolk will lead to weight loss. I mean, you are saving 50 calories!! Ah ha! Guess what? One large egg white has about 9% DV of Selenium. It has no other vitamin and mineral. Egg yolks on the other hand? Full of vitamins and minerals.

If you choose not to count calories then you gladly eat the egg yolk. You also won’t starve later.

4. Calories provide energy

This is simple folks. A Calorie is a unit of energy. Given that you don’t stuff yourself and eat reasonably, the more you eat, the more energy you will have. Especially when you eat whole, real foods like an entire egg or a banana.

When you eat whole foods and don’t worry about how many calories you consume then you will never feel light headed. You will have more energy to walk, move around and exercise. Your mind will be more clear which will then burn through more of those calories you consume.

In short, it’s pure stupidity to limit your calorie intake.

5. Calorie counting will more than likely lead to stress

I think it’s safe to assume that most people who count calories like it’s their religion add stress to their life. Who wants this? No one does. Yet folks still count calories because they think they will lose weight and become healthier. This is a poor assumption as you have now learned.

I’m on my second round of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I’m doing very well with my slight modification of allowing more fruit and potatoes. I’m very mindful of what I am eating too. I failed miserably the first time around. Why is this time different? Food journaling is a big reason. I am writing down everything I eat. However, I am not weighing and measuring. I have no idea how many calories I am consuming!

Saturday, June 16 Food Log Day:

9:00 Breakfast: Smoothie with coffee, banana, coconut milk

1:30 Lunch: Smoothie with kombucha, mango, banana. Salad with spinach, onions, olives, half of an avocado, lime juice, chicken breast

6:30 Dinner: Fruit skewers, grilled burger without bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno mustard, potatoes, cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper salad and kombucha to drink.

I had a fair amount of fruit on this day. No problem. I worked out intensely in the morning and it was super hot throughout the day. No junk. Dessert was served for our celebration of Father’s Day and my sister’s birthday but I easily passed it up.

I have no idea how many calories I consumed but I know that I fed my body the nutrition that it desired. I felt great afterwards and if I ate every day how I ate on this day then my body will naturally continue to get leaner. Yours will too if you do the same.

Isn’t this what you want? To get leaner without having to count calories?

6. It’s not a long term solution

I’ll admit that counting calories for a few days and maybe up to one week has its benefits. It allows you to become aware of what you are putting into your body. You learn that junk food not only has a lot of calories but is completely worthless when it comes to nutrition.

You also learn that high calorie foods like egg yolk, fatty meat, whole milk, real butter(especially grass-fed), potatoes and more are extremely nutrient dense.

This is a damn good thing.

This does not mean it’s a long-term healthy solution to effective fat loss! It’s far from it actually. I hope you understand this by now.

Instead, intuitive eating is probably your best solution.

7. Calorie counting prevents you from eating intuitively

You are an intuitive eater. If you knew nothing about the calorie, carb, fat, protein, vitamin and mineral profile about any food then you would naturally eat the foods that your body needs and wants. You know that cookies are bad for you. You know meat is real food and provides the elements that your body desires.

There are times when your body craves carbs. Other times it may crave more fat. There is a reason for this. It depends on a number of factors including activity, climate, season, whether or not you are pregnant, etc.

If you count calories then you will naturally lose this ability. It all of a sudden becomes about the calorie and nothing else. You may eat the egg yolk but because you have to eat under X amount of calories you may eat only 2 whole eggs instead of 3. This is a ginormous mistake.

You should NEVER dismiss a food just because it has X amount of calories. Never ever. In my strong opinion, it is extremely harmful to become a calorie counter. There is a time and place for it but the time is short as I explained above.

You are more than likely deficient in a few vitamins and/or minerals. I am too. You need to eat to obtain these nutrients. Eating the yolk with the white or eating one more whole egg can go a long ways.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you want to lose fat?
  • Do you want to gain muscle?
  • Are you trying to have a baby?
  • Are you deficient in any vitamin and mineral?
  • Are you depressed?
  • Do you get sick often?
  • Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?

If you answered yes to any of the questions then consider following this advice…

Do NOT count calories.

Do you count calories? Why or why not? Does reading this post change your mind? What other reasons do you have for or against calorie counting? Sound off in the comment section below!


Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Paleo


Spaghetti with Mildly-Spicy Meatballs


These meatballs are delicious! They are spicy, though!

For the meatballs:

1 lb. gras-fed ground beef

1 egg

3 T almond meal

1 T dried onion flakes

1 T salsa

1 T parsley

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Roll meat into 1.5″ balls. Cook for 20 minutes.I cooked mine on parchment paper, but you certainly don’t have to. I really don’t even know why I did.

…and VOILA! These little guys taste delicious alone, too!


You’ll want to set those aside while you finish cooking the rest of the meal.

Cook your spaghetti squash! This will take a little time. If you are unsure of how to do that, please refer to an older spaghetti squash post by clicking here.

Now for the deliciously meaty spaghetti sauce. I would start this about 20 minutes into your spaghetti squash cooking time.

28 oz can diced tomatoes

2 6 oz cans tomato paste

1 lb grass-fed ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped

1 T olive oil

1 T oregano

1 T parsley

2 tsp basil

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tsp rosemary leaves

1 tsp bay leaves

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add in the onions and cook until they become nearly translucent.

Add in the ground beef and cook until browned.

In a medium-large saucepan, pour in the remainder of the ingredients and cook over medium-high heat.

When the ground beef is browned, add it in to the sauce and let the ingredients simmer together over low for 15-20 minutes.

Finally, place spaghetti squash on your plate. Warm the meatballs if needed. Top the spaghetti squash with sauce and meatballs!




Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Beef, Gluten-Free, Ground Beef, Paleo, Recipe


Coffee Rubbed Pork with Blueberry Glaze and Cocoa Infused Sweet Potatoes


This recipe from PaleOMG is awesome! I’m not going to lie and say that I wasn’t a little worried about some of the combinations, but Juli (PaleOMG mastermind, comedian, and chef) has never led me astray. It was great!! The pork would be good with or without the glaze, but why would you pass it up?!?! Also, I love extra sweetness, so I added the slightest bit of agave to my sweet potatoes. I’ve left Juli’s directions below for your reading pleasure. Mine would be much more boring!

  • For the pork–
    • 2-2.5 lb pork loin roast
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
    • 2 teaspoons black pepper
    • 2 teaspoons coriander
    • 2 teaspoons coffee
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon coconut crystals (optional-I did not use these)
  • For the Sweet Potatoes–
    • 1-2 large sweet potatoes, chopped and boiled until tender
    • 1 6oz can coconut milk
    • 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Blueberry Sauce–
    • 1 container of blueberries (about 2 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
    • 1 6oz can tomato paste
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Let’s get to this pork. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Now throw all your spices into a shallow bowl or tray. Mix them all together. Now cover your pork in a bit of coconut oil, then submerge your pork into the spices. And when I say submerge, I mean spice that crap out of it. All around it. On the ends. Coat it until it won’t hold anymore spice on it.
  3. Put your roast into a baking dish and throw in the oven, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes. Your pork should cook for 20-22 minutes/lb or until it reaches an internal temperature of around 160-170 degrees.
  4. While your pork cooks, start boiling your sweet potatoes.
  5. While the sweet potatoes boil, pull out a small saucepan and add your red wine vinegar and blueberries to it, over low heat. Once the blueberries begin to cook down, add all the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and let it cook down over low heat.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add them to your food processor with the coconut milk. Once mixed, add your spices. Taste to see if you are content or would like more cocoa powder for a bit more boldness. You probably will. Why wouldn’t you.
  7. Once the pork is done cooking, let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Slice, serve a top sweet potatoes and top off with some blueberry goodness.
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Fruit, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Pork, Recipe


Warrior Dash


In the past couple days I’ve been getting a group of people to complete the Warrior Dash. This particular one will occur in Antioch, TN on September 22. Brett is doing the Tough Mudder, but I am far too scared to attempt 12 miles with obstacles. The warrior dash is 3.21 miles with obstacles…sounds much more reasonable to me!

COMMENTS: Have any of you ever done the Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder? How was your experience? Any advice you’d care to share?

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Motivational Monday: Mind Over Matter



You must tell yourself that YOU CAN…

Too often I find myself thinking “I don’t know if I can do this…” or even “I can’t do this….” It is in those moments that I have killed any hope I could have had of progressing at that time. I have found that when I go into something thinking “I’ve got this” that I find success!

Just for the record: I PR’d today on hang squat cleans. My previous max was 65#. Today I made it to 75#! It was awesome!! I honestly probably could have done the 80#, but I started that negative thinking….

If you are in the mood for a few good before & after pictures like I was today, you can click the link below!


Mango Papaya Salsa

As promised, here is the mango papaya recipe to go with the jerk burgers! In case you missed that post, click here.

This is a very simple recipe, so there is no excuse for not trying it out! :)

1 papaya

1 mango

1 large red bell pepper

1 avocado

1/2 sweet onion

2 T chopped fresh cilantro (I used freeze-dried, but dry would be fine too)

2 T balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Chop up the mango, papaya, bell pepper, avocado and onion. I chopped the bell pepper and onion into large pieces, so that I could eat around them. I’m not a fan!
  2. Place those in a bowl. Mix in the cilantro, balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 min before serving!



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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Avocado, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Recipe


Jerk Turkey Burgers

I miss Jamaica. A lot. I miss having someone fix all my food for me. I miss getting to choose from LOTS of good foods (a lot of them Paleo, too). I miss having drinks served to me non-stop. I also miss the waves, sand, random musicians, etc…. Ahhhhh….Jamaica!

BUT I’m back here in America sitting in my house. My house that needs cleaning. My house that needs to be packed up and ready to move….so, I might as well do something productive. I’ll cook….and maybe clean and pack and CrossFit.

Speaking of CrossFit…I’m a little mad at him right now. I did this awesome WOD on Tuesday. 3 rounds for time: 50′ handstand walks, 25 wall balls (15#), and 25 box jumps (24″). Well, I decided to be a brave little girl and do things I’ve never done before. Brave and- maybe stupid? First of all, I cannot do handstand walks…yet. Even as a child I couldn’t do them. A couple or few weeks back we had handstand practice. I couldn’t even kick over into a handstand position against the wall. One of the modification for doing the handstand walks is to do a 30 second handstand hold and then a 25′ vertical crawl (which I don’t know exactly how to describe). Well, it did take a few times to kick myself over, but each time I did I held there for 30-35 seconds without breaking the hold! My shoulders burned like hell, but I did it! The vertical crawl was a real leg burner, but whatever! For the wall balls, I have always used a 10# ball (lighter sometimes) or started with a 15# and quickly scale down to 15#, but this time I used the 15# for every single one of those. The thing I am most proud of, though, were the box jumps. In case you don’t know what a box jump is: Lifting both feet at the same time, you must magically spring yourself high enough and over enough to land on top of a box without falling a scraping your shins and busting your face. Then you must not fall and straighten up completely making sure that your hips reach full extension. Well, I have always used an 18-20# box. In addition to that, I’ve only ever done one WOD (I’m pretty sure) that I didn’t sub in some step-ups for the jumps. Well, on Tuesday I used the 24″ box and didn’t step-up one single time. Partly because I don’t think my legs will step that high. I’m amazed that they magically landed on top of the box with a jump. So, I’m kind of pumped. and more than kind of sore….really, really sore. I haven’t worked out since. Once I regain the ability to stand up and walk, I’ll probably go back.

Enough of my WOD work, most of you probably are curious about these jerk burgers….and you should be. They’re delicious!

While in Jamaica we bought some jerk seasoning made in Jamaica by Walkerswood. Here are the ingredients: scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, black pepper, salt, onion, all spice, nutmeg, cane sugar, citric acid, thyme leaves. Yes, there is a little bit of cane sugar… oh no! I’ll probably get really fat! and DIE! …seriously, it’s hard to find a lot of 100% paleo stuff out there and we wanted a taste of Jamaica, so just deal with it! :)

I did find a jerk seasoning recipe for you guys, though, in case you want to make some jerk burgers! ..and I strongly suggest that you do!

Jerk Seasoning recipe
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

If you wanted to try this one a little differently, I’d suggest taking out the cinnamon and adding a pinch of nutmeg. If you’d like to put a drop or two of agave, that would probably be delicious, too!

Anyhow, to make these burgers, you simply mix all of the above ingredients and then knead some of it into your ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef. Unless you are making several burgers, don’t use all the seasoning! That recipe above makes 1/4 c. I’d say I used 1 T per burger and they were well seasoned! After that, simply grill them until they are done! I used my George Foreman (always do for turkey burgers).

They are delicious served with mango papaya salsa (recipe coming tomorrow) and homemade sweet potato chips. The potato chips were SO SO easy! All I did was slice the potato into thin little slices (about 3/8″) and placed them on a dehydrator (directions for specific foods are in the instruction guide). I dehydrated them at 140 degrees for 2 hours and then at 130 degrees for another 6 hours or so. I didn’t blanch or season them.

I hope you enjoy your Jerk burgers!



Sunday Success Story (on Tuesday): Claire

I ran across the link to Claire’s blog and success story on the Women of CrossFit=Strong facebook page. Her story is about her first 90 days of Paleo and CrossFit. I’ll let her tell you her story, which she has titled 90 Days of Awesome (which I think is pretty…well, AWESOME)!

90 Days of Awesome

So I wasn’t going to do this. And I REALLY wasn’t going to post photos. But I want people to know that they can do it too. So if you are a random person searching the internet for Crossfit and/or Paleo before and after photos (like I was 3 months ago!), here you have it!

Today marks 90 days, the end of the beginning of my journey into Crossfit. 91 days ago, if you had told me that I would be doing the things that I can do today, I would have laughed at you. If you told me that I would stop eating bread, I would have laughed even harder. If you told me that I would be wearing clothes I have not worn since before Ollie was born, I would have told you to shut the front door. But I am doing it!

Let’s start at the beginning…

I first discovered Crossfit by trolling a women’s workout page on Facebook. There was a post looking for women who do Crossfit that would like to try out for American Ninja Warrior. I LOVE that show! Those normal, everyday people, are amazing athletes! If there is some form of exercise that would get me into that type of shape, I would do it! I forgot all about it until I saw a photo on Facebook of a friend from high school (Casie P!) at her Crossfit gym. She was on gymnast rings, and it looked fun! So I started digging around online and discovered a CF gym (or box, as they are called) right around the corner from me! After reading about CF online and some of the before/after testimonies, I knew without a doubt that this is what I wanted to do. I would gladly give up my beautiful globo-gym membership with it’s spin classes, Zumba, “weight training” classes, Pilates studio, shiny mirrors, army of elliptical machines, hot tubs, spa, and even watersides to “become a Ninja Warrior” (ok, that’s a little dramatic, I’m not REALLY going to be a Ninja Warrior. Or will I?….)

I was completely intimidated by everyone and everything the first time I walked into The Garage. However I was shocked to discover how friendly and down-to-earth every was! Every single person came to shake my hand and welcome me. I could immediately get the sense of a team atmosphere. Bruce was my coach and I as the only person at the 7:00pm class. As he took me through my first warm up, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself in to. 1/4 mile run, bear crawls, mountain climbers, squats, push ups, and burpee broad jumps. And that was just the warm up?!?! The WOD (workout of the day) was scaled down to accommodate to my fitness level. It was 12 minutes for time: 50 wall ball shots (squatting low, then throwing a 12 pound medicine ball to a 9ft mark on the wall, catch, squat, throw, repeat), 100 single jumps with a jump rope, 10 pull ups. Repeat if time is not up. About 3 minutes into it, I wanted to quit so bad. I needed water so bad. I thought I was going to vomit and faint at the same time. Bruce, Simon, and Tim kept telling me I was doing great. Keep moving, even if it is slow, just keep moving. When I couldn’t get my chin up over the pull up bar anymore, Bruce physically pushed me up over the bar. He would not let me stop. I suffered through 1 round + 13 more wall balls. When it was finally over I was delirious. I took a spot flat on my back on the floor. I can’t tell you how long I laid there trying to catch my breath and stop my flailing legs. When I finally was still, I felt…different. I have had many exercise induced “endorphin highs” before, but this was different. The only way I can accurately describe it was sort of euphoric. And it lasted the next few hours. I was hooked!

That same day, I began “The Paleo Diet” (but it truly is a Paleo lifestyle). The prospect of it was horrifying. Before, I used to drink 4-5 diet cokes a day, cookies every night after dinner, a giant dessert once a week, and my family still lovingly (yet truthfully) calls me “Biscuit Butt” because I LOVE biscuits, bread, and pretty much anything with a carb. Seriously, if I can give up grains, ANYONE can give up grains. I expected to feel awful for a few weeks, especially since I was starting Cold Turkey, however it was just the opposite. I felt amazing from the very beginning! I had tons of energy, I was not hungry, no headaches, and very few cravings. I lost 7 lbs the first week. I then began to research the diet, and I decided to eliminate all gluten from my diet. Let me tell you, this was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I have always been what my mom calls “a worry wort.” And when I was 18, I began suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety. I have never accepted prescribed medication at multiple doctors’ advice, but rather I have tried to manage it on my own. Since I have been eating Paleo, I have had ZERO anxiety. And that was even through weathering the storm of unexpectedly losing my brother-in-law. I absolutely will eat this way for the rest of my life. (Don’t get me wrong, I do allow myself 2 treats a week, just to keep my taste-buds happy!) All of the work I do in the gym is fueled by my food choices. And now, 3 months later, junk food makes me literally sick! MAJOR lifestyle change for me!

I can not talk about my experience with Crossfit and not talk about the people at The Garage. There are so many characters who effect me in different ways. Some keep me laughing, some keep me going, and some and just plain inspirational. There are a few in particular that I want to note, just in case they happen to read this: My #1 coach, Travis, for having confidence in me and making me “lift that grown woman weight.” My lifting partner Susan, for calling me on my B.S., constantly reminding me of my goals, and never, ever, ever letting me sandbag.  And so many other women who celebrate my victories and serve as daily inspiration. I hope that one day I can lift like Jennifer, do pull ups like Angel, be fast like Laura, explain things like Aubrey, and be an all-around bad ass like Jamie. After I’ve had 4 kids, I hope I look like Verity. Then when I “grow up,” I want to be just like Renee, still Crossfitting! (I didn’t mention the guys here, but they are awesome too!) Those are just a few, but seriously, I could not have my rear in the gym and keep going every day without the Crossfit community. So if you are reading this, thank you for being you!!

So that brings me to the big evaluation. How awesome did I really get in 90 days? Pretty dang awesome from where I began! My goal for the year (which I reached in 2 months!) is to do 1 unassisted pull up.. check, I can string together 12 in a row! I can front squat 165 lbs. (started at 70 lbs). Back squat 185 lbs (started at 135) I can easily run 3 miles (0 before). I can do toes-to-bar. I can hang squat clean 110 lbs. I can do real chest-to-ground push ups. I am no longer afraid of box jumps. I can do 50 1.5 pood unbroken kettle bell swings. The word “tabata” no longer makes me weak in the knees. I have discovered that I love rowing. I LOVE olympic lifting. Most importantly, I have learned to *RESPECT* this one body that God gave me by filling it with nutritious food and using it how it was meant to be used so I can live a full life in all areas of my life. It is funny how when I sit down to write my accomplishments, I begin with my working gains. The weight loss is truly secondary, in my mind. But just for the record, I have actually only lost a total of 16 lbs, but I have lost MAJOR fat! I went from approximately 34% body fat down to 27%. I have gone from a size 12 to a size 6 (in my favorite brand). And for the first time since I was 22, I am very happy about my body. Sure, there are still changes I want to make, improvements that will happen, things that will never be the same after having 2 babies (helloooo falling center of gravity!) but I now value my body not for what it looks like, but for what it can do! That is priceless.

I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. I can only imagine what I will be able to do 6 months from now! And one year from now! Muscle ups. Yes, mark it down, in one year, June 14, 2013, I want to be able to do a muscle up.

The proof (in my old bathing suit. It’s kinna ugly but I wanted to do it for consistency) The side photos are not very good, but you get the idea:

Day 1– size 12


Day 90– size 6



Check out Claire’s blog at


Motivational Monday: When You FAIL…

Well, Brett and I are back from vacation. I have no desire to do anything productive today…except maybe get a meal plan and recipes together. There are tons of things I could be doing: unpacking luggage, doing laundry, packing for the move. Maybe I’ll get around to those, but I’m in no hurry. I do plan to work on getting some posts together for the blog, though, since I’ve been MIA for the past week. :)

Just so you know, we pretty much abandoned Paleo for the week. Yep, I gained three pounds, but I think it was worth it. The food tasted great. We didn’t really eat large portions and even skipped lunch most days, so it was rarely enough to make me feel sick. I definitely can say we made better choices about food due to our paleo convictions, but still had some white potatoes and bread now and then. :)

I found an awesome CrossFit video for today’s motivational Monday. It was posted on the “Women of CrossFit=Strong” facebook page. You should definitely like their page and tell them that “CrossFit + Paleo = Winning Combination” sent you! You should like their page even if you don’t do CrossFit. The motivation they provide to workout is AWESOME!

While on vacation I got a message from one of my BFs saying she felt like a failure during one of the WODs (welcome to the club). We all fail sometimes. CrossFit is hard. There is a saying that goes something like this:

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would be doing it. The hard is what makes it great.”

I love that quote from A League of Their Own. I’ve failed on my front squats three times in the past couple months, only to PR when I tried again while on vacation. Some, or most, WODs kick my butt, but I’m always stronger the next time.

Watch these two videos!

and the CrossFit FAIL video….

Crossfit Fail from Greg Whiteley on Vimeo.

If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.

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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in CrossFit, Motivation, Paleo


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