Tag Archives: paleo cooking

Whole 30- Week 1 Complete

Hello there!

Zach and I have had a good start to our morning. It has been the first time in a few weeks where we don’t have anything going on today and can actually relax… and we love it that way!

Still rocking out the Whole 30 challenge. I have been feeling really good! It took my body a few days to get used to the 3 meals/day, but I finally feel like it is adjusting. I feel like my body is also running like a machine. For example, last night, we went to my best friends gender reveal party… (IT’S A GIRL, yay!).


Zach and I ate before we went (around 5pm) and headed to the party. I never got that feeling that I was extremely famished, but around 10 o’clock, my body was telling me it was time for bed. On the ride home, I was dozing a little and when we got home, I went straight to bed and fell asleep EASILY. Falling asleep has never been easy for me.

We got up this morning and made rutabaga skillets for breakfast. I decided to do an onion, spinach, asparagus and mushroom skillet. I sauteed the veggies first, added the rutabaga and then eggs.
I’m weird and like my eggs over hard, so I decided to crack the eggs in the same pan as the skillet and cover it until the yolks were hard. Here is the finished product. It went really great with coffee. ūüėČ


Speaking of coffee- with Whole 30, they want you to cut back on your intake… which I have been doing. The other day, I had to drive 3 hours home from Indianapolis. It was around noon, and I was kind of feeling a dip in my energy level, so I decided to get a cup of coffee. I had been limiting my intake all week, but decided to enjoy just one cup of Starbucks. While drinking, it was the first time I felt negative impacts from a cup of coffee. I was feeling very anxious and I actually felt a little depressed after I finished the cup. It was so strange… I was feeling so many different (negative) emotions and I felt that I had no control over what I was feeling. I won’t be doing that again…

Tonight, Zach and I are going to be making paleo sweet potato nachos. This might be our best post yet, so stay tuned! ūüôā

P.S. The cake pop in the picture, I did not eat… don’t worry. If I am cheating on this diet, it will be with something that will actually be worth it!


The Start of Whole 30

Hey y’all,

Don’t mind the southern twang that I inherited from Nashville this past weekend. My friend Shanna and I had a nice relaxing visit and we ate a lot of good food. Down there it was surprisingly easy to eat paleo and make modifications to my food (if needed). Shanna is actually vegan, so the combo of a paleo and vegan diets made it a bit tricky. We both did some good research before heading down there, so it was pretty easy to find good places.

Here’s a breakdown of the weekend:
Friday we got in around 6pm and headed straight to the hotel. Once we changed and got ready, we went downtown Nashville and got the Nashville experience. It was nice out on Friday night so we found a sweet spot called Pub 5 and ate on the rooftop. I had some mussels and a cool artisan cocktail. We then headed to a bunch of the Nashville bars to catch some live music.


Saturday we got up and decided to detox in hot yoga class. I luckily didn’t pass out in that hour and half class. We got lunch at the Calypso Cafe went to the Parthenon near the Vanderbilt campus. Like Zach mentioned on his last post, this was a “hole in the wall” cafe near the Vanderbilt campus that was probably the best paleo meal I had when I was down there. Mashed sweet potatoes, rotisserie chicken and a side salad. We next headed to the Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park. It was a cool experience. Nashville has a few trendier, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, that we decided to hit up next. We went to the 12South District and then walked over to Hillsboro village. Both had really cool boutiques, restaurants and bars. We finished the night by going to a bar called Belcourt Taps and listened to 4 really talented artists there.


Sunday we decided to go back and hit up the shops/restaurants that we missed on Saturday in Hillsboro village and 12South. For breakfast, we went to the Pancake Pantry and waited outside for 45 min (while listening to live music). It was well worth the wait. Shanna got pancakes and I got an omelette with lots of coffee. For lunch we went to a place called Burger Up. They had vegan options there and I had a really awesome shredded Kale salad with a grass fed burger patty on top. It was a good burger and I would highly recommend the place for their atmosphere and food.

Yesterday, I started the Whole 30 challenge with about 6 others at my gym. It is really not much different for my current diet, but it says to try to stick to 3 well balanced meals a day, no snacking, no alcohol or any added sweeteners AT ALL and limit coffee intake :(. There is actually a lot more to it than that, but that is what will be different for me. I may be a little crankier the next month because I am not eating as much, but hopefully my body gets used to it and I will feel awesome.

I pretty much decided to do it until our vacation on Easter weekend in Phoenix. It’s technically not 30 days, but I don’t plan on getting too crazy in Phoenix as it is. I am very excited to see improvements in my overall health.

I am headed to Indianapolis today for work and will be there until Friday… MORE TRAVELING. The thing I love most about traveling to Indy is that I bring my food with me. I know I am super nerdy, but I love having control of what I put on my plate. I pack breakfast and lunch and will find something good for dinner. Zach is great and is holding down the fort here. After this week, I will not be traveling for a few weeks so I can finally get back into my routine.

More info to come on how Whole 30 goes, so I hope you enjoy. If you are interested in learning more about the Whole 30 challenge, I absolutely recommend the book “It Starts With Food”. It is an eye-opening book that gives you the research and testimonials to back up why this is such a great diet.


We met Michelle Tam and Diana Rodgers

Hey all,
Happy St. Patty’s Day weekend! We are excited to make a paleo corned beef and cabbage dinner tomorrow. We found a recipe on Danielle Walker’s website (against all grain) for her paleo version. It called for a 4 day brine that we started on Thursday. I am very excited. We’re going to throw some parsnips, turnips, carrots, and cabbage in there. It will be going into the crockpot early tomorrow morning and torture us all day with the wonderful smells.

Today we got a chance to meet Michelle Tam (nom nom paleo author) and Diana Rodgers (paleo lunches and breakfast on the go author) in downtown Naperville at the Anderson bookstore. We had not heard much about Diana and her cookbook before going, but ended up buying her book and having a really nice convo with her. We got both authors to sign our cookbooks and got a pic with Michelle. It was cool to meet them, but we got to the signing kind of late and they seemed to be checked out.

Here is a pic from today:


We will be posting a nice long blog for our breakfast and dinner tomorrow, so stay tuned!


Paleo Heaven

Good morning and Happy Daylight Savings!

Like Zach said in the last post, we¬†have been¬†really trying to blog more, but we have found it has been very difficult with how busy we have been. I guess with spring (which is supposedly on its way) has us busier than usual. Zach and I are both doing the Open also, so we may be spending a little more time at the gym. Andy by “we” I mean “him”.

Things have been good lately, I feel that the initial shock of eating 100% paleo has pretty much subsided. I don’t have the urge to eat breads or pastas or anything like that, but I still do have some things that I miss.. .mostly cheese!

Last night, we had game night at our friends, Sam and Scott’s house. They also eat paleo and invited friends over who were paleo eaters. I don’t think there was one time that I have been to a party and can eat everything that they put out, and not have to worry about what is in it or feel guilty about what I just ate.¬†They also made an impressive amount of food…¬†¬†I was in paleo heaven. They had appetizers out when we got there: rosemary roasted almonds, veggie and fruit plate, and Nom Nom Paleo’s prosciutto wrapped prunes/almonds ( I don’t know how I have gone so long without these in my life!).


I would have probably been good with just the apps! But NO, the main course was even more extravagant!

They made the slow cooker short ribs from Nom Nom Paleo that we have posted about in our blog earlier this year


They had Orange Glaze Chicken Drumsticks that were also from Nom Nom


Scott’s famous sweet potatoes with a sweet glaze


Roasted cauliflower with spices


We brought a broccoli salad (recipe at the bottom)


We also made a¬†prosciutto spinach salad with a citrus¬†vinaigrette that is from Giada’s cookbook (recipe also at bottom)


I know you are probably thinking, “I want to be friends with Sam and Scott”, but you can’t because they are OUR friends!!! lol, jk.

We did really enjoy eating well, being around a good group of people and playing some fun games. I will say that every game that we played, I happened to be on the winning team…

Today, we will be heading up to downtown Naperville to meet up with friends and have lunch. Also, next weekend, Michelle Tam, the author of Nom Nom Paleo, will be in Naperville for a book signing. We ALREADY got tickets to go see her and a bunch of our friends are going too¬†ūüėÄ I am so excited!¬†I hope to get a picture with her and potentially become her best friend.

Here are the recipes from the broccoli salad and the prosciutto spinach salad:

Broccoli Salad– we doubled it and it fed about 11 cavepeople


  • 3 bacon strips
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1‚ĀĄ2 cup raisins
  • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1‚ĀĄ2 cup Paleo Mayonnaise (see recipe here)
  • 1‚ĀĄ4 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds and onion.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and the reserved bacon drippings. Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the broccoli and mix well.
  4. Dice the reserved bacon and fold it into the broccoli salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.

 Spinach Salad



  • 6 slices prosciutto (baked in oven until crispy)
  • 10 to 12 ounces pre-washed spinach

Dressing (put in a small blender/food processor)

What a paleo food weekend!

Hey everyone sorry Joelle and I haven’t blogged lately. We have just been really busy. So with that, I am going to give you a weekend roundup in one “BIG” blog.

Starting with Friday. Joelle and I had our usual daily breakfast, snack and lunch as it was a workday. By the way, Valentine’s Day is the worst day to have school on. The kids at school for me that day were bonkers! I think they ate a little too much Valentine’s Day candy. So by the time I got to the end of the school day I was so relieved. I even called Joelle on the way to the gym trying to explain to her how crazy my day was. She was being a good ear to talk to and just letting me get everything out before I went into a big training day at the gym. It turned out to be a really good training session at the gym because I PR’d my backsquat by 15#. I then coached the 6 o’clock class at the gym and then went home for the night. Don’t forget about Joelle, she was chopping away in the kitchen on Friday doing all our food prep. Thank you babe, you truly are the best. Doing food prep by yourself is not a fun task. When we both got home from the gym we went right to dinner mode. We kept it simple and just did salmon and veggies. All we did was put a rub on the salmon fillets and grilled them 4 minutes each side on high heat. We did our usual stir fry of veggies and greens. We kept it simple because we knew on Saturday that we were going out to dinner for Valentine’s Day at Chama Gaucha (Brazilian Steakhouse).

Saturday morning was our usual routine but Joelle was up a little earlier due to the dogs that we were dog sitting. They were up and wanting to go out. After they came in from being outside they though it was play time and got a little loud. Joelle and I had breakfast and coffee together. We then both went to the gym. I coached, she worked out. After the class I got to workout. When I got home from the gym we had our usual lunch together. We both did a big salad with mushrooms, peppers (for me), tomato, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette and chicken. Now it was time to get ready for dinner at Chama Gaucha.

Joelle and I got dressed up, take a look.


Here is a picture of Joelle’s plate at dinner. She had a combination of arugula, asparagus, couple slices of prosciutto, green bean salad, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, broccoli and artichokes. In the background you can see here meat plate with some top sirloin, bottom sirloin and I think her arm is blocking her choice of lamb chops.


This was my veggie plate. Just a complete mess of every vegetable available at the salad bar. I got a huge handful of arugula, splashed a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette on it, went for some yellow, red, and orange peppers, grabbed some broccoli, a bunch of artichokes, mushrooms, green bean salad, sun dried tomatoes and of course some slices of prosciutto.


Here is a picture of my meat plate, this was not all that I ate. This is just the top sirloin, bottom sirloin and two pork chops. I also got leg of lamb, beef rib, filet wrapped in bacon.


Both of us ate a good amount but we did scale back from our first time going there. The first time going there Joelle and I were so uncomfortable on the way home because we were so full. This time going home we were actually able to hold a conversation and jam to some group love (yes, we put in the group love cd (that joelle got me) and cranked up the volume and were screaming and singing). Yes we do this quite frequently when we go out for a date night.

For Sunday Joelle had to work all day. She was up at 5:45 and yes I got up with her so we can have our breakfast and coffee together. I told her I would earlier in the week just so we can have some more time together on the weekend. After Joelle left for work I got to work around the house. First things first, I went into the basement for about an hour and a half and did mobility and a 15 minute recovery row. After that, then I really got to work around the house.

I grilled our chicken for the week. Yep, we use that much chicken during the week. It is kind of a lot.


After that I made lunch for Joelle and I for us to have up at her work. Yep, I also told Joelle earlier in the week I would bring up coffee and lunch for us on Sunday just so we can have some more time together. I packed up our salads brought two coconut waters and stopped and got two coffees from Starbucks for us. Here is a tangent on the Starbucks part of the day. Of course I get stuck behind the car that is ordering up a shit ton of Starbucks. Each women got something from the bakery and both ordered venti iced mocha drinks with whip cream and caramel on top. They pretty much just got a mid afternoon dessert. I can’t stand those people at a Starbucks because I am just there to get black coffee. I keep the line moving. Joelle and I had a great lunch together. We were both starving and we smashed our salads. We drank our coffees and chatted for bit. Then I went home and started preparing our dinner. Joelle and I kind of usualyl do a nice dinner on Sundays and we try to do something that we normally wouldn’t do otherwise because we have some time. Also, I wanted to keep the Valentine’s Day weekend theme going and make Joelle a nice home made meal, since this is what we normally do on Valentine’s Day. Another tangent here. Joelle and I both feel like on Valentine’s Day more people stay at home and cook a nice dinner for each other. We usually do that, but since we haven’t been on a dinner date in a long time we decided to do the opposite. All we practically do is spend our time in the kitchen. Tonight’s menu was calling for a braised beef stew from Nom Nom Paleo, along with the brussel sprout recipe that Joelle posted about on Friday night, our favorite sliced carrots and our regular stir fry of greens.

Here is the link for the beef stew: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/2727452571/oven-braised-beef-stew-with-carrot-parsnip-an

Here is a picture of the lardons I made to put in the brussel sprouts.


Here is a picture of the carrots dusted in cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and covered in coconut oil.


We used 4.5 lbs of chuck roast cut into 2 inch cubes.


Recipe calls for shallot, leeks, parsnips, carrots, celery, can of diced tomatoes, beef broth and apple cider vinegar. The best part about making a stew is you don’t need to chop everything up. You just rough chop it in big pieces.

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A picture of the stew about 3 hours into cooking.


Final product of brussel spouts.


Final product of the beef stew.


Here is my veggie plate from dinner. You think I have enough greens.


Oh and here is a little pic from today. I didn’t have school today so I prepped my snacks, lunches and dinners for the next three nights. Call me crazy but my next three days are non stop. I am up at 5am and not home until 930. I won’t get into all of what occurs during those hours. Doing this prep makes my week a lot smoother and a little more time to relax at the end of the night.


Life Changing Brussel Sprouts

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

I received this lovely heart for breakfast yesterday morning:

Zach is great, isn’t he?!¬†ūüôā

So, this post is going to change your view on brussel sprouts, forever! Zach and I love brussel sprouts already, not only for their bitter cabbaggy taste, but they are a superfood that has plenty of vitamins and natural cancer¬†fighting agents.¬†The other night,¬†we wanted to spruce up our boring saut√©ed sprouts with the recipe from the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook. It is called Cavolini Al Forno… no idea what that means, but I don’t care because it was fantastic.

There are a few things that go into it, so it took a little more time than your average sautéed veggies. First, I hard boiled eggs on the stove top and crisp up prosciutto in the oven.


While that was going, I made the olive oil mixture that goes on at the end. It included olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced shallots and salt and pepper. I whisked that together and set aside.


I threw the brussel sprouts and melted ghee in the oven at 375 (our oven sucks, so I had to crank it up a little more) for 30 minutes and took them out after they got a little crispy on the outside.


After those were out of the oven, I added the olive oil mixture to the brussel sprouts and topped it with the crispy prosciutto and crumbled hard boil eggs. I feel like it wasn’t that many ingredients that went into it, but the taste was amazing!


If you don’t like brussel sprouts, or have never tried them, I think this would be a great recipe to start with. I promise you will like these!


Tonight Zach and I are celebrating valentine’s day and treating ourselves to not cooking and going to a Brazilian Steakhouse called Chama Gaucha. This place is great because it is really easy to eat paleo. The last time we went was for Zach’s birthday and we overindulged causing us to get the meat sweats (haha). Hopefully, tonight we can keep it under control and enjoy a nice dinner out (for once)

Interesting start to our Monday

This morning, Zach woke me up at about 6am, informing me that we didn’t have any running water. He woke me in a calm, gentle way, but I was in panic. I was all of the sudden soooo thirsty, haha jk. I thought our pipes burst because of the freezing cold temps, but it turned out that the water main broke right outside of our house. The fire hydrant was spraying out water. It looked like we had a lake in front of our drive way. The water actually ran all the way down the block and froze instantly, causing a bit of a mess.

Luckily, Zach had put water in the kettle last night, so we had water for our coffee (… Can you tell we love coffee?) Unluckily for me, I was planning on taking a shower in the morning and had to pack a bag and shower at work. It didn’t really affect our paleo cooking, because we prepped the night before, but it could have if it would have been out for longer than a day. It could have seriously affected our hygiene as well..

So thankful the water is back on!



At the crack of dawn..oh and I hate winter