Monthly Archives: October 2012

Condiments: Paleo-fied

Got Fries?

Nothing like losing yourself in a whirl of ketchup, salsa, and barbecue sauce to forget a less than stellar rainy day! After a quick stop at the grocery store for some essentials (tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!), I came home and whipped up 3 of my favorite food toppers. This is Day 2 of the Whole30 and no added sugar, which means that I can no longer enjoy my usual mass quantities of store-bought ketchup and salsa.

I started the barbecue sauce using this recipe from Paleomg. Juli Bauer is amazing. I have yet to try a recipe of her’s that I didn’t like! I used this on baked pork chops and they were deliciously spicy and tender. The perfect rainy day dinner!

Check out the sweet potato!

Next up was the salsa. I have probably spent hours browsing and considering different salsa recipes. I finally decided to come up with my own recipe and it turned out amazingly well. I can’t wait to have it on my eggs in the morning! I am sure that true salsa making-eating-people would frown on my recipe since I do not have any hot peppers, but that’s okay-I don’t need too much spice in the morning!

~My Salsa~


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt


1. Slice tomatoes into wedges, chop onion and peppers, and mince the garlic. Combine in a frying pan and let simmer until the vegetables have begun to cook down (approximately 30 minutes). The tomatoes should produce enough water to prevent anything from burning.

2. Puree the cilantro in a food processor. Be frugal-you can always add more!

3. Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, add to your processor. Add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Process to the consistency that you prefer and enjoy!

And finally, my favorite reason for eating sweet potato fries: ketchup! I found this recipe on the Whole9 forum. And of course I had to try it out on a hard-boiled egg! I may never have to buy ketchup at the store again!

My new favorite snack!

Now for a few more scenes from the weekend…

Trader Joe’s! A store opened about an hour and a half from me (the downfall of Upstate NY!). The store was close where I was staying for the weekend for my race, so I was able to check it out. Unfortunately, it was crazy busy, and other than a few pictures of a pumpkin and squash (because I just can’t get enough!), I didn’t get anything else. Too many people pushing and shoving their way through the aisles had me feeling less than relaxed!

Do you make any special dressings, marinades etc.?

Have you visited a Trader Joe’s? What is your must buy product?



Filed under Recipes

Mud Queen: Mudslog XC and Other Accomplishments

I am feeling pretty proud of myself today! Within the last 48 hours I have:

  • Completed an 8 mile obstacle trail run!
  • Made it out the door in less than 30 minutes after over sleeping by an hour.
  • Taught third grade with a smile on my face, despite my aching body, and hobbling legs.

So let’s chat: the Mudslog XC is a 8 mile cross-country race that involves many hills, crazy terrain, and several obstacles such as:

  • Huge pits of smelly mud. Times 3.
  • Crawling through tunnels down steep hills.
  • Climbing over a wall.
  • Swimming approximately 100 feet in a very cold pond.
  • Crawling up a creek through another tunnel.
  • Climbing and jumping over trees and other random obstacles.
  • Traversing over a string of floating barrels and wooden pallets.

Sounds slightly insane yes, but I finished with a smile on my face, and a plan to do it again!

Smiling and talking-great for photos!

My pre-race ‘carb load’ was dinner at Olive Garden. I am not entirely sold on the carbohydrate loading before a race-I have read a few opposing opinions. And my tendency to eat more Paleo-style definitely conflicts with the pasta. However, Olive Garden held its own with salad, a breadstick, and a lasagna primavera with grilled chicken. I always crave chicken when I am preparing for a run!

Grilled chicken and lasagna perfection!

I slept really well surprisingly. I don’t normally sleep well before any type of big event, plus I was staying at a friend’s house. I woke up fairly early (naturally) and got myself ready with a little pre-race photo shoot. I had to get some shots of my brand new orange shirt before the mud hit it! My breakfast consisted of a protein muffin-a recipe that I have adapted from other blogs. It turned out to be the perfect combination of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. And then we were on our way to the race venue-a horse farm. Hence the smelly mud. I was super nervous, but tried to zone, and focus on myself with music. A little texting support from my two biggest fans: Mom and Dad also helped!

Orange for pumpkin! And Halloween of course.

The weather was gorgeous-sunny and fairly warm. This was a relief! The race started out with us running through a cornfield that had been chopped down-serious bonus points for not impaling myself on an old corn-stalk! The first obstacle was a mud/water pit. Every obstacle would give me a burst of happiness! Slightly insane I know. I am sure that I was the only one grinning about having to run through smelly mud and water! A little way into the run I was feeling less than fantastic. I couldn’t get enough oxygen and my legs were starting to feel heavy. I wanted to walk, but resisted for a while. I did break down and walk at a few different points, but once I accepted that walking was okay I felt much better! My goal was to finish and have fun, not set records.

Mid-run and feeling good at this point!

The obstacles I especially loved (and owned!):

  • The wall climb: I usually am insanely ungraceful, so I was nervous when I first saw this, but it was a breeze! One leg up, other leg over, and then I jumped!
  • Swimming across a pond was so cold! Thankfully there was a rope so I ended up pulling myself along it in order to get out of that water as quickly as possible! Afterwards, my legs felt better-like a mid run ice bath! And I didn’t get cold like I thought I would.
  • I impressed myself the most with the barrel obstacle-and it was fun! The key was to move quick and pretend you were surfing on the wooden platforms between each barrel [expert here]. Fortunately, my family got to witness my quickness with this obstacle!

My favorite obstacle!

My finishing time is not impressive, but I am not too worried about it-I finished and now I have a goal to set for next year! It was awesome to see all of the different types of runners and people. At one point I was running with a woman who had done a couple of marathons (um what?!). Very cool!

Almost to the finish line and feeling the adrenaline!

I felt pretty good at the end of the race. My legs were sore and my knees were a bit tender, but I was still able to walk run (true story) around. I thought I would be collapsing! I was incredibly happy to see my family at the end-definite motivation throughout the run! As the day went on, I was feeling okay as far as my muscles, but I wasn’t ever hungry. I kept waiting for the post race hunger to kick in, but it never came. Instead I experienced some nausea. So the post race epic meal of a burger and sweet potato fries  and loads of ketchup never happened. Instead I had 2 eggs, steak, and some veggies before bed. (Along with other snacks through the day.)

Possibly an odd combination, but so yummy!

Today I am feeling a bit run down. More so than I expected or planned. Hopefully lots of rest and good nutrition (What better time to start the Whole30?!) will help me recover quickly!

Have you done a trail or mud run before? How did you feel after? Addicted? (Yes I am!)


Filed under Life, Strength

Friday Funk

Today is Friday, which should mean that the entire world is in a good mood. And normally I’d be right there with the rest of the world, but for some reason I have a case of the blues today. There is no particular reason, and I have a lot to look forward to this weekend, but I’m just feeling a little  down, grumpy, antisocial. I stocked up on groceries for the week this morning before working  half a day today. Grocery shopping is normally a task that I look forward to, but I was feeling a little overwhelmed with it today-I am prepping for a Whole30 so I think that may have something to do with it.

However, once I got home from work I decided that I needed to clean out my cabinets and got to work making my Dad some milk chocolate peanut raisin clusters. He has a serious sweet tooth, so I know that he will be thrilled to get these. I found my mood improving as I thought about how happy the clusters would make him. His job has been quite demanding lately, and he took some time last weekend to install some fixtures in my apartment, so I think some specialty sweets are needed! My family has a tradition of making chocolate candy for my Dad every Christmas. Usually we make him cashew clusters and then I always have to be creative and make up a little ‘Santa’s Candy Shoppe’ label. So corny I know!

Spreading the Love!

Milk Chocolate Peanut Raisin Clusters

6 ounces Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup peanuts
1/3 cup raisins

Directions: Melt the milk chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add peanuts and raisins. Mix thoroughly and drop by tablespoon onto wax paper. Let harden and enjoy with the ones you love most!

**Note: Cashews, almonds, and toasted coconut are also great in these!
Other things that helped to improve my mood:

Dinner was a huge veggie, protein, and healthy fat filled salad…

Mood boosting vitals!

Orange seltzer…

The straw adds to the happy!

Music helped improved my mood-break out the crazy dance moves please! In the plans for tonight is a sweet chick flick and an early bedtime. Tomorrow is a new day!

How do you break out of a funk??

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Filed under Life, Recipes