Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Health Benefits of Yoga

In addition to focusing more on my strength training this month, I have also been taking some yoga classes.  I got a great Groupon, and have enjoyed all $20 worth!  I tend to be a more worry, anxiety, perfectionist-prone person, so yoga is exactly what I am not drawn towards, but need the most.  I typically like heart-pounding, can't breathe kind of workouts, but this might not be the healthiest thing for those of us with this kind of personality.  The goal is to have a stress reliever, not create extra stress on the body.  Here is what I have read in my research about yoga:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week ahead

This week and weekend has been crazy, so please forgive my lack of posts.  Our family grew by one this week--my sister in law had a healthy baby boy.  We are so excited for them!

Lately, all I have wanted to do is grill out.  It's so much easier to plan a meat plus one veggie side.  I've even started a pinterest board for grillin ideas.  I'd love to hear yall's favorite things to grill.

Here's our menu plan for the week...

Breakfasts:  Husband will have "Meat Candy" (as he calls it) from Everyday Paleo.  Basically, a sausage meatball sandwiched in a date and wrapped in bacon.  They are pretty amazing.  I think I will have omelets with onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and topped off with some avocado. 

Lunches:  Most likely just leftovers.  I do have a salad I like to make with leftover steak that I'll put up later...if there's any steak left...

Dinners:
Sunday: Grilled grass-fed rib-eyes, asparagus, and roasted sweet potatoes
Monday:  Paleo tacos and slaw (again...it was delicious!)
Tuesday:  Entree salad of some kind.  I think I might grill some chicken and toss it in this salad.
Wednesday:  Crackeroni and cheese (with chicken) and roasted broccoli on the side
Thursday-Sunday:  I am headed to Chicago!!  Husband is fending for himself!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apple crisp


Apple crisp
(paleo, grain-free)
Prep: 10 min
Bake: 50 min
Serves: 4

What you need:
4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
Cinnamon, 2 tsp + 1 tbsp
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 tbsp grass-fed butter
5 pitted dates, diced
1 can chilled coconut milk, optional
1 vanilla bean or 1 T vanilla extract, optional

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good:
Nice weather.  So happy the heat is staying away for a few more weeks.
Spending my birthday money and giftcards on new dresses at Anthro (don't worry, they were on sale).
Looking forward to a trip to Chicago next week with my mama and sister.
Finally trusting myself to get on Pinterest. I was scared it was going to take over my life, but I feel that I have been very responsible so far :)

The Bad:
Husband in his last three weeks of his MBA.  He's gone way too much for my liking.
Being on call.
Giving talks in front of every dermatologist in the state this weekend.  Not a fan of public speaking.

The Ugly:
To the critter living in our attic:  take cover...Husband is coming for you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Product Review: Clarisonic Mia

Two months ago, I invested in a Clarisonic Mia cleansing brush.  I researched the product a lot before making the purchase, and I decided it was worth a try.  I purchased it from Sephora, and felt safer doing it that way given their great return policy.  I ended up keeping the brush, and use it once or twice daily.

Here are Clarisonic's stated benefits (from their website):

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Week Ahead: Staying dedicated to preparing meals at home

Last weekend, my dear friend Laura and I were at Walmart (that place is so much more tolerable with a friend) and we both spent even more than usual for our weekly groceries.  She had read that families our age spend $70 per week on groceries.  Seventy.  We would starve if we only spent that.  I think there are two reasons for this A)  people eat out way too much and B) if they are eating at home, they are probably eating way too much processed food.  I did not grow up eating out at restaurants very often, so that never has been my habit, and I am very thankful for that.  However, sometimes I still have to remind myself why we eat at home (mostly financial reasons and also for our health) and then use some of the below tips to keep up my dedication to cooking at home.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Health benefits of weight lifting

In my workouts this month, I have been trying to take the metabolic conditioning (intense circuits involving jumping, lifting, etc) down a notch and focus on my strength training.  I have even been taking some yoga classes to enjoy more of the restorative benefits of exercise (more about that later).

I once read that your strength in middle age is the strongest predictor of mortality.  In other words, the stronger you are, the less likely you are to die.  That's some pretty serious stuff.  Since getting into CrossFit, I have also read many articles on the huge importance of weight lifting.  For a previous cardio-addict like myself, this took some serious convincing, but from a biochemical standpoint, it really does make sense.  When you are doing long workouts, your body automatically revs up its production of cortisol to keep you going.  The chronic presence of cortisol is detrimental to the body.  It can raise blood pressure and lead to diabetes.  These are not things I am trying to accomplish by working out.  So get off of that elliptical and treadmill and hit the weight room.  Especially the ladies.  Here's why:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday: a Baby Shower

Every time I turn around it is already Wednesday! Here's what I wore to a baby shower I hosted this weekend...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Acne, Part II

Several weeks ago, we discussed the causes and types of acne.  Today, I am going to cover the various treatments available to the millions of patients with this condition.

Treatment
Treatment options can be divided into over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription-based.  Here is my personal acne regimen. I would generally recommend that anyone with acne be initially evaluated by a physician such as a dermatologist.  This is important to further classify your subtype of acne and to have individualized recommendations made by your own personal physician.  For example, if acne is primarily inflammatory (many pustules) or nodulocystic (deep, painful bumps), then oral medications such as antibiotics or isotretinoin (Accutane) may be indicated.  In addition, the risk of scarring is greater with these types of acne, and oral treatments may be indicated for this reason as well.  Rarely, acne may be caused by an underlying medical illness and likewise, other medical conditions may mimic acne.  Therefore, I recommend seeing a physician.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Week Ahead: Getting back on track

This last week, I gave myself free reign on food.  That resulted in pizza on two different occasions, and lots of sugar.  I know every few months, I need a few days like that to remind myself why I try to eat healthfully the rest of the time.  Here's what I took away from the week:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sausage, sweet potato, and hidden spinach hash

Going paleo created somewhat of a breakfast problem for Husband and I. He used to eat cereal and I ate oatmeal every. single. day. We liked that we automatically knew what was for breakfast and it required no thought at all. For the last several months, we have been eating eggs in a variety of ways, but to be honest, our stomachs just cannot handle that. I have searched the internet high and low for good breakfasts, but I am still looking for the perfect alternative. This breakfast is tasty, but I recommend making it ahead of time unless you have 30-45 minutes to kill in the morning.  And if you do, then I am really, really jealous.


Sausage, Sweet Potato, and (hidden) Spinach Hash
Serves: 4-6, or 1 for breakfast all week
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min

What you need:
1 lb pork sausage (see note below)
4 small sweet potatoes or 2 medium-large
2-4 cups spinach

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday

It's Wednesday already!!  Annnd, I am turning 28 today.  Twenty-eight.  That sounds like such a serious age...like I should have everything figured out by now.  I am starting to think there's no such thing as having it all figured out.

Anyway...this is what I wore last Friday.  I am in love with chambray right now.  I think I could wear this shirt everyday because it goes with everything.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Product Review: Jergens Natural Glow and Protect


At our annual dermatology meeting, I received the new Jergens Natural Glow and Protect Daily Moisturizer.  I have used it for about a week or so and love it!  Although I'm very fair complected, I used the one for "medium to tan" skin tones because I thought it would give me faster results.  Here are the things I liked about it:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Zucchini noodles

I am always talking about these zucchini "noodles," so I thought I would share how I actually make them. I have adapted this from The Clothes Make the Girl.

What you need:
4 medium zucchinis
Salt
Mandoline or julienne slicer (I use the Oxo mandoline slicer)
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil

What to do:
Dial the mandoline for thin julienne slices. With caution, slice about 1/2 to 3/4 way through the zucchini.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Week Ahead

Hope everyone is having a great and joyful Easter!  Here is our meal plan for the week:

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fried rice


This meal is both versatile and nutritious. I try to plan ahead and pulse a head of cauliflower into rice size (usually 15-20 pulses) on Sunday so it is ready to go when I need it.  If you don't have a food processor, you might just spend a little more time chopping the cauliflower to the right size.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good:
60 minutes doing a special on the toxicity of sugar.  I am a self-admitted sugar addict (in recovery on most days), and seeing things like this reminds me why I try to use the sweet stuff sparingly.

Finding new blogs like Health-Bent, Life as a Plate, and Penny Pincher Fashion.

Planning two events:  a baby shower next weekend and Husband's M.B.A. graduation party.  So proud of him! 

Easter week!  And it just so happens to be my Birthday Week.  Does anyone else's family celebrate birthday weeks?  Hope we're not the only ones...

A new Marshall's going in right. down. the. street.  Could be dangerous.

The Bad:
Diagnosing entirely too many melanomas lately.  Please wear your sunscreen.

The Ugly:
Being so prepared and getting up early to throw a pork roast in the crockpot.  Remembering to turn on said crockpot.  Then coming home 5 hours later to realize I forgot to plug it in.  Shoot.  FYI--I called TWO butchers and they said to turn the crockpot on and let it cook for 8 hours and we should be fine.  I must have felt extra-trusting that day, because I cooked it and we finished the roast a couple of days ago and so far so good!

Getting paged (I'm on call this week...) at 4 AM.  Enough said.

How about you?  What has been the good, the bad, and the ugly in your life this week?

Lauren

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What to Wear Wednesday

I hope everyone is having a great week--it's already half way over!  This is what I wore yesterday.  Please excuse the garden hose that also wanted to be photographed...


 Cardigan: Old Navy
Ruffled tank:  J. Crew, on sale
Belt:  J. Crew, full price and I've gotten every penny's worth!
Trouser jeans:  Limited, with 40% off code
Necklace and earrings:  gifted
Ballet flats:  Old Navy, on sale

I debated on trouser jeans for work for quite some time, but I figured I could throw my white coat on and no one would even notice.  Anyone else wear this style of pant to work??

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Buffalo chicken wraps, you never let me down


This is my go-to when I don't know what to make for dinner. Husband loves them (and he loved them even more before I paleo took away his flour tortillas).  These are quick, easy, delicious, and cheap!  We always have cooked chicken on hand (I make 1-2 lbs every Sunday during my cook-up), but you could easily cook chicken breasts in the oven, grill, or stovetop for these lovely wraps as well. This also works very well as an entree salad.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Week Ahead: How to save money when eating healthy

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Husband was in Dallas this weekend and completed the Tough Mudder run, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.  It was over 11 miles of running and obstacles, including crawling through mud and getting zapped by electrical wires...crazy!  Thank you to everyone who donated to the cause.

Looking ahead to the upcoming week...I am on call, so I never quite know what the week will hold.  I know, I know, there aren't too many dermatological emergencies, but still...

It's true that our pagers may not go off quite as often as other specialties, but I am hoping I don't act like this when it does:


Anyway, back to the matter at hand:  our weekly meal plan.

Breakfasts 
Still taking a break from eggs and green smoothies (I have been eating smoothies as my afternoon snack instead) and doing hot plates.  I really recommend Well Fed for tons of ideas on combining veggies and protein into a delicious and filling meal.

Lunches
Wild salmon salads (from Everyday Paleo)
BLTA (Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado) salads.  I will probably make honey mustard dressing to go with this, and maybe some chicken for some extra protein.

Dinners
--Monday: Grilled brats and braised cabbage (can't get enough of this lately thanks to The Pantry restaurant)
--Tuesday:  Honey ginger apple shredded pork and leftover cabbage
--Wednesday:  Easy shredded beef and some kind of veggie side (for nights when I don't have a side planned, it is wonderful to have some broccoli or cauliflower on hand to roast or just have a side salad)
--Thursday:  FFYS (fend for yourself) night
--Friday:  Date night!
--Saturday: Whole chicken--probably rubbed with some seasonings and slow cooked.   Sweet potato chips and roasted red pepper dip.
--Sunday: Easter brunch casserole and chicken enchilada soup for dinner (from the leftover whole chicken).

The Budget

Eating paleo can be expensive.  We have always spent a lot on groceries because we only eat out once a week, but our grocery bill did go up when we changed our diet.  Most of the increase in cost has come from increased quantity and quality of meats, coconut milk, and almond butter.  We have saved money by not buying any processed foods, bread, and beverages.  We also tend to have less snacks now, so that saves some.  I have actually been surprised that I can get a full cart of fruits and veggies for pretty cheap!


Ways to save money when eating paleo
  1. Eat at home.  Eating out is expensive!!
  2. Drink only water.  I have managed to give up Diet Coke, but I still have to have my coffee in the mornings.  The deal I have made is that I drink free coffee at work during the weekdays.  For those of us with expensive Starbucks habits, giving this up could save a lot of money! Also, avoid buying juices.
  3. Shop around.  I buy some of our produce in bulk at Sam's (sadly, we do not have Costco).  I would shop at Trader Joe's ALL the time if we had one because their prices are phenomenal.
  4. Know when buying organic is not necessary.  The Whole9 put out a list of the "dirty" fruits and veggies here.  The ones I regularly try to buy organic are: spinach and other leafy greens, apples, and berries.  Things with thick peels like bananas, oranges, avocados, and some squash are just fine to buy non-organic.
  5. Concentrate on nutrient-dense foods.  Meats, fruits, and veggies.  I try to think of things like nut butters as luxuries.
  6. Paleo baking is also a luxury.  Those baked goods end up being very pricey.
  7. Shop locally.  We do not have great options for this in Little Rock, but we do have a farmer's market in which we can get fairly good quality produce for competitive prices.  I am also planning to purchase a side of grass-fed beef as soon as we get a deep-freeze.
  8. Nothing goes to waste!  Plan ahead to know exactly what veggies and meats you need.  Any leftovers go in the freezer for later use.
  9. Grow your own herbs.  They are easy to grow and can add so much delicious flavor to meals.  One plant is around $3 versus $2 for a few leaves, depending on the herb.
  10. Eat three square meals.  I used to be a big snacker (and I still have at least one snack a day), but in general, snacks are not as well-balanced and nutritious as our meals.  I used to have to buy specific foods just for snacks.  Also, as a health benefit, there are theories that three meals as opposed to five or six can limit the insulin hanging around in your bloodstream which may lead to fat storage and insulin resistance.
 This list was for the average, already healthy person.  There is also much money to be saved for patients able to come off of acid reflux, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other medications that often occurs as a "side effect" of eating paleo.

Anyone else have money saving tips to share??

Lauren

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dermatology topic: Acne, Part 1

The Problem
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions seen by community based dermatologists.  About 40-50 million Americans have acne at any point in time. It is estimated that 85% of teenagers will suffer from the condition; however, we are seeing it more commonly into adulthood, particularly in women.  Women in the mid-20s and up tend to show a more "hormonal" pattern of acne in which it is distributed more on the chin, jaw, and chest.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Skin care: What I'm using now


This is my current skin care regimen.  It is the most intense regimen I have ever had, but it's working for me.  Many of these things I have used for years (Retin-A...which I swear by and intend to use until the end of time).  Others are relatively new for me (Clarisonic, La Roche Posay dual treatment).  I want to give it a few more weeks, but I am planning on doing product reviews on some of these newer products.  I have very acne-prone skin, so this regimen is obviously skewed towards acne management.  For those of you out there with acne, this post is to foreshadow my upcoming topic series on acne and acne treatment.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuna salad


Tuna Salad (Salad)
Prep time: 5 min
Serves: 1

What you need:
1 can tuna, drained
1-2 T mayo, ideally homemade 
1 T lemon juice
Red grapes to taste (I use about 10), sliced
1/4 green apple, diced
1 T chopped pecans
2-4 cups lettuce or spinach

What to do:
Mix it all together and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What to Wear Wednesdays

When starting this blog, I also wanted to incorporate some everyday fashion...the kinds of things I wear to work and out and about. I love feeling pulled together, because I feel like it truly makes my day go more smoothly.  When I have an extra big day planned, I can almost hear my mom reminding me to "dress for success." I have always viewed outfits as a creative outlet--I love to play with color and adore accessorizing. I guess I am also lucky in that I whole-heartedly enjoy shopping, and this allows me to hunt down those great deals. When I post outfits of the day, I will also include where I found the pieces, and if it was a particularly outstanding steal. This is what I wore on Monday...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Getting started in CrossFit

Some of the most common concerns about CrossFit that I hear:  It's expensive. It's intimidating. There's a lot of pull-ups. There's a lot of new lifts. I don't know how to start.

All of these things kept me from starting CF for years, even when one of our best friends started his very own gym. Eventually, he convinced me to give things a try when he described CF as just taking weight from the floor to above your head, and doing it as fast as you can. I thought that didn't seem so bad, so I decided to add in some CF to what I was already doing.

Now, even though I managed to get started on my own, I do feel strongly that a CrossFit affiliate gym is by far the best place to get the proper introduction on all of the lifts and exercises. However, these gyms are often pricey. So even though in an ideal world, we would all get training at our local CrossFit, I think the beauty of this "sport of fitness" is that it is functional movement that can be done almost anywhere. Something CF prides itself in is making fitness accessible to EVERYONE. So, I truly believe that if you are safe and know your own limits, you should be able to work your way through almost any workout. Here are a few things I found helpful when I started:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sneaky veggies



Vegetables are so good for you.  No matter what diet you follow, it seems they all recommend increasing your intake of fresh veggies.  They are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and filling fiber.  From a medical standpoint, there is growing evidence that these nutritional powerhouses can help prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, certain cancers, and even Alzheimer's.  Many of us may be scarred from our childhood days when we were forced to eat our veggies, and this has shed a negative light on the food group.  In the last couple of years, I have come to find that, when prepared correctly, they can actually taste good.  Not to mention, they make you feel fantastic.  I have constructed this list to help us all rid veggies of their negative image and start reaping the health benefits.

Ten Ways to Eat More Veggies:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Week Ahead: The Cook-Up

 

I hope everyone has had a great weekend! We had a fantastic one with lots of sunshine and warm spring weather. Husband's parents were here and we had a blast running around town. Ate at one of our favorite restaurants (The Pantry), got some frozen yogurt, saw the Hunger Games, and even got pampered with a pedicure! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Daily skin care

I have gotten many requests for skin care recommendations, so this will be the first post of many!  Before I delve into addressing skin care regimens for specific skin concerns, I wanted to give my personal recommendations on skin care in general.  I typically recommend the following to patients with dry or sensitive skin, but these recs are also important for anyone being treated for other skin conditions (such as acne, rosacea, or on anti-aging regimens) as well:

Week of Workouts and Sleep

Week of Workouts:
--Friday: leisurely run around San Diego bay area outside our hotel. Total: 40 min
--Saturday: Walked a lot. Quickly. In the rain.
--Sunday: travel day (= very sedentary)
--Monday: warmup and 5-5-5-5-5 shoulder press (45, 55, 55, 65, 55lbs). Total: 25 min
--Tuesday: 21-15-9 reps of: 25" box jumps, 45lb power snatch, pull ups (14:15). After I recovered, I did 5 rounds of: 20 bosu situps and 5 toes to bar. Walked a mile. Total: 1h 5 min
--Wednesday: 5 rounds for time: 15 45lb thruster, 15 burpees (14:30). This workout left me flat on my back exhausted.  I then jumped rope, walked a little, and did 3 sets of 20 tricep dips on our paralettes.  Total: 48 min
--Thursday: AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 20 minutes of: 5 pull ups, 10 14lb wall ball throws, 15 1pood KB swing.  (Made it through 9 rounds).  After recovery, walked a mile. Total: 52 min.


On my Friday run, I snapped these photos of the San Diego coast and skyline.  I also found the names of the boats very entertaining.



On Sleep:

I have always valued sleep. My husband and family can vouch for that.  I experienced the effects of sleep deprivation during my Internal Medicine intern year, and have vowed "never again!"  Fortunately, dermatology is a much better world for those that value sleep as much as I do. Since reading on paleo, I have learned so much more about the importance of quality and quantity of sleep.  Mark Sisson has many great articles like here and here.  To summarize some of his main points: lack of sleep can undo all of our healthy diet and exercise by pumping out cortisol and other "fight or flight" hormones that make us store fat and want to eat more. Sleep helps prevent chronic diseases, stabilizes mood, improves memory, and maintains weight (amongst many other things).  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but quality counts too.  Here are some things I have tried to do to improve my sleep quality:
  • Sleep in a DARK, cool room.  This means blackout curtains and no alarm clock light.
  • Try to keep the same hours as much as possible, even on weekends.
  • Limit caffeine after noon.
  • If sleep deprived or just extra exhausted, I try not to set an alarm for that 5AM workout.
I encourage everyone to read up on sleep, so you can use it as an excuse to get as much of it as possible!

Lauren


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two minutes thirty seconds


In 2 minutes 30 seconds, you can have delicious chocolate cake. Sound too good to be true? I found this recipe on PaleOMG last night, and naturally could not stop thinking about it since then.  Perfect for anyone unable to make a whole cake or pan of brownies secondary to risk of eating them all in one day...like me.  Built in portion control! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A trip to San Diego and some loot

Alright yall, so it is no secret that one of the greatest parts of the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting (held this year in San Diego) is the serious loot that attendees can collect. Imagine grown-up trick-or-treating in a huge convention center, and this is what you get:



Now. That's not to say that attending lectures is not thrilling and educationally stimulating, but this was definitely the best part of the trip. After over three hours of this trick-or-treat, I came away with these samples to try. Most of these items are newer products, so I am anxious to let everyone know how they work. I plan to do product reviews on many of them, so let me know if you want to hear about any in particular.

Here are some other snapshots of our trip.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happy Spring!



Spring has definitely sprung in Little Rock!  It is already 80 degrees here and the humidity is out in full force.  This will be my third summer in the South, and I'm still not adjusted.  The flowers outside the UAMS Medical Center sure are pretty, though!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Week of Workouts: There's a reason they have a name...

In CrossFit, some workouts are named. Whether it's "the girls" (benchmark workouts) or the hero workouts (these carry a fallen heroes name), I came to the conclusion that there's usually a reason why they are worthy of a name...they are usually super tough. Even if you look at the workout and think it doesn't seem so bad, you should be very leery...

The last week's workouts
--Friday: For time: Run 1 mile, 30 65lb thrusters, 30 pullups (17:30). Total time: 40 min
--Saturday: 5 rounds for time: 15 ring rows, 15 45lb bench press, 15 90lb back squat (16:00). I also worked on my back squat strength, doing 5 sets of 5 65% 1RM squats. I then walked a mile for a cool down and some vitamin D. Total time: 1h15min
--Sunday: Rain interfered with our weekly hike, so I took a rest day
--Monday: double WOD! "Jeremy" 21-15-9 reps of overhead squat (I did 55lb) and burpees. Then I did 50-40-30-20-10 reps of double-unders and sit-ups. Walked a mile. Total: 1 hr
--Tuesday: long warm-up. Front squats 5-5-5-5-5 reps. I did 45-55-65-75-95 lbs. Foam roller. Total: 40 min
--Wednesday: Griff: run 800m, 400m backwards, 800m, 400m backwards (15:30).Yes, both times I've done this I have felt ridiculous...and almost tripped. Total: 30 min
--Thursday: Workout on the beach! We jogged half a mile then did an "Indian" run half a mile--all in the sand...ouch. We then did sprints to the water x 5 (about 200m each) then practiced long jumping. Light and playful workout!  Total: about an hour.  Here are some action shots:







I have been getting many questions about getting started in CrossFit or this style of exercise, so I plan to post a few tips on how to get started. Please post below if you have any specific questions. Thanks!

Lauren




The Week Ahead

We made it home late last night from sunny rainy, windy, stormy San Diego.  We still had a great time and I had a blast at my first American Academy of Dermatology conference.  We look forward to making that a yearly tradition--next year's in Miami!  Even though I try to plan ahead before leaving town, it's always a little rough to start a week with no groceries, clean laundry, etc.  Here's my plan for the week.

This Week's Meals

Breakfasts--I'm still on the spinach and kale smoothie kick...with eggs for protein, of course.  By the way, I have been seasoning my scrambled eggs with Penzey's "Sunny Paris" spice blend...it is delicious.


Lunches--Asian chicken salad, tuna salad salad.  Today I had leftovers.  On those days when the refrigerator is completely bare, one of my favorite things is remembering that I have something waiting for me in the freezer. I always try to freeze whatever I can if it looks like we won't be able to finish it that week.  If possible, I freeze things in single portion sizes, so that way it is like my own (healthier) convenience food.

Dinners--
-Monday: leftover Rogan Josh (from Well Fed) with cumin-roasted carrots
-Tuesday: salmon cakes (from Everyday Paleo), served atop red and green cabbage
-Wednesday:  Paleo chicken piccata (also Everyday Paleo) and side salad
-Thursday: meatballs and spaghetti-sauced zucchini noodles
-Friday:  Out!
-Saturday: grill out (probably chicken) and purple cabbage slaw
-Sunday: Pollo con salsa roja (once again, Everyday Paleo...did I mention I adore that cookbook?) and veggies, salsa, and guac

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start!

Lauren

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Video: Melanoma and Self Skin Exams

Melanoma is the #1 cause of skin cancer-related deaths, and it can even affect young people. My video below discusses the basics of melanoma and what to look for when performing a self skin exam.



I would love to hear your thoughts!

Lauren

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On the go

Since we are traveling this week, I thought I would talk about how we try to eat right and stay fit while on the go.


We try to be prepared, otherwise, Husband may resort to this...
Food:
I think it goes without saying that traveling and vacation is a great time to cut loose and splurge a little. However, if you really ask yourself why you are eating this way, sometimes I decide I want to feel great on my vacation rather than be in a sugar hangover. I generally set out to be healthy, and have some cheats here and there. I have found eating out (in theory) more straight forward since going paleo. Here are some things I find helpful:
--Every meal is basically meat and veggies, and if you can resist the other tempting items on the menu, you can almost always find something that will work. I have found that Mexican (fajitas) and American (salads, grilled meats) are easier places to find something, and Italian and pizza are usually harder.
--When eating out, I just do my best and don't worry too much about the rest (i.e.-on the Whole30, they really emphasized what oils your food is cooked in and what it may have come in contact with) I find this to take all the joy out of eating out, and isn't that the whole reason why we eat out?? It is a meal that you don't have to plan, shop for, cook, or clean up after! Awesome! So while on paleo, I resist breads, most cheeses, salad dressings, and creamy sauces.
--Most chain restaurants have gluten free menus available, and even if they don't, it is generally safe to stick with grilled meats and veggies.
--I often ask if I can sub no-no foods for extra veggies, and no one has told me no so far!
--I would also like to note that one of the beauties of paleo is that you can pretty much eat as much as you want of the right kinds of foods. This is because your body's satiety signals work properly if you are eating nutrient-rich foods. So, this means that I don't feel bad when our waiter at Outback Steakhouse not-so-politely told me "wow, I've never seen a girl actually finish that whole salad." Yep. That's right. I guess I do eat a lot.
--Have snacks readily available. Nuts, dried fruits, jerky, and a few Lara Bars. I would also recommend some chocolate. Just sayin.

Exercise:
Also a great time to give your body some recovery time; but once again, sometimes it helps get your day off to the right start to get a little exercise in. Things Tom and I have done:
-Find a hill. Run it. Repeat.
-Run some sprints. This works wherever you are!
-Tabata. Pick a few exercises. Do 8 sets of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for each chosen exercise. Some suggestions--squats, tuck jumps, push ups, sit ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks
-CrossFit Omaha has a list of Workouts on the Road

Almost anything can be used to get a little exercise in!

It's coming

CrossFit is coming...and probably going to take over the world (wouldn't that be awesome?!) Has everyone seen this commercial?



Or this one...



Sorry for the worse than normal picture, but I also just saw this ad in my Women's Health magazine:



I read a recent article on the popularity of CF, and the author came to the conclusion that quite simply, it is "the sport of fitness." When we were little, we stayed in shape by playing, whether it was organized sports or around the neighborhood. When we got older, staying fit became a chore and a means to an end. CF puts the sport back in fitness and makes exercise fun again!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Green smoothie

Spinach, Kale, and Fruit Smoothie

1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (for this I use the So Delicious refrigerated kind)
1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit (I have strawberry, mango, peach right now)
1/2 banana

Throw it all in the blender or magic bullet...



This is more tart than the pear version.  If you like smoothies sweeter, you could add a splash of orange juice or a little honey.  I will keep posting variations of this smoothie because it is such an easy and delicious way to get a serving of veggies in the morning. Kale and spinach are nutrient powerhouses, full of folate, vitamin A, fiber, and calcium. There are reports that the calcium in kale is actually better absorbed than from dairy! Yay, kale!

Enjoy!

~Lauren

Monday, March 12, 2012

Greek salad

I don't know how it took me so long to discover Greek food.  Well, actually, I do know:  it was the feta cheese (I know, I know, it seems most people love feta).  Once I figured out there is so much more to Greek, now I can't stop eating it! I particularly like Layla's, a little family run Greek restaurant in Little Rock.  When I make it at home, this salad is one of my favorites:


Greek Salad Recipe
Romaine lettuce and spinach leaves (as much or little as you want--I prefer a lot!)
Grilled chicken breasts or thighs
Sliced pepperoncinis
Kalamata olives
Red bell pepper strips
Cherry tomatoes

Lemon Dill Dressing:
2 tbsp homemade mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
Dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste

I like to bring my salads in Glad containers with these little attachable cups. The cups are perfect for dressings and prevent soggy salads.  Because I eat a lot, I bring the 6 cup bowls.
For the salad, you might also consider hard-boiled egg, capers, or feta cheese (if you're a bigger fan than me.) The dressing also makes a fantastic dip for veggies. I recommend everyone tries making homemade mayo at least once. It is delicious, rewarding, beautiful, and a great lesson in patience!

Enjoy!

~Lauren

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Week Ahead

Hope you all have had a great weekend! I can tell it might be rough adjusting to this time change.  We ended up making bacon-guac paleo burgers last night (a change to the meal plan, gasp!) because it was too nice to not grill out.