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...

Sunday: Grilled grass-fed rib-eyes, asparagus, and roasted sweet potatoes
Monday:  Paleo tacos and slaw ( 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 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 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
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?


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.

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.

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.

--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??