Paleo Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Standard

Found this recipe a few days ago and had to give it a try ASAP.
Today was the day and these paleo gnocchi turned out simply amazing!

I guarantee you will not regret making this one.
So without further due here are the simple ingredients that make these delicious gnocchi.

Ingredients:
– 1.75 lbs sweet potato
– 3 cups almond flour/ meal
– 3 cups tapioca flour
– 3 egg whites
– salt & pepper
– tablespoon baking powder

Step 1:
Get a pot filled with water to a boil and add peeled, cubed sweet potatoes.
Fork after about 10-15 mins ( depending on how big the sweet potato cubes are ) to check if the potatoes are soft enough to be mashed.
Once the potatoes are done, strain them and mash ’em up.

Put the mashed sweet potatoes in a bowl and stick in the fridge to cool.

Step 2:
Take the cool mashed potatoes and add 1/2 cup almond meal while gently combining the flour with the potatoes. Then add 1/2 cup tapioca flour. Continue adding flour slowly until you get a doughy consistency.
Fr every cup of flour add one egg white. I did not use a lot of egg whites as my sweet potatoes were not as dense.
The dough is ready if you can roll it on a board covered with tapioca flour without the dough sticking to your hands or the board – trust me, you will know if you need more flour. Just make the flour portion even between almond and tapioca flour.

Step 3:
Once you have the right consistency in your dough, stick the dough in the fridge for an hour or so.

Once the hour is up, cover a board with flour and take a fist-size amount of dough. Roll the dough as shown in the picture. Then you cut the dough into small pieces.

Step 4:
Time to cook thee babies 🙂
Bring a large pot of water to a boil ( add a pinch of sea salt ).
Drop each small pie e of dough into the boiling water. The gnocchi will be done once it floats to the top! You can then take the gnocchi out and serve at this point.

I have also seen the option of searing the gnocchi in a pan at this point to give it some crisp.

This will work great with basil pesto sauce !

Basil Pesto Sauce

Add 4 cups fresh basil leaves into food processor with 1/2 cup toasted raw pine nuts, a clove of garlic and 1/3 cup cup extra olive oil.
Process. Stir through fresh gnocchi. Voila!

Serving it up for Mr. Right and I tomorrow – cant wait! Already sampled some 😉

20140316-214111.jpg

Consistency Consistency!

Standard

It has been a while since I wrote a blog but it was necessary for me to take a step back and change some of my nutrition and see where it can take me. Hearing “CARBS are your friends, not the enemy” was something I was hearing over and over again.
Well after what seems like a lifetime of mastering the art of eating low carb this just seemed like suicide. My brain was trained to think ” carbs = baaaaaad “. After reading many articles and doing a good amount of research I decided it was time for something many people refer to as reverse dieting. Increasing my caloric intake as well as my carbs in order to rebuild my damaged metabolism.
The key is to do it slowly so you do not gain weight. After 3 weeks of increasing my carbs I can honestly say it was the best decision. I have more energy, feel better about my body, feel less fluffy most times and my workouts have been on point as well.

So my carbs used to be 50-80 g a day and now I am looking at 150-160 g a day, which is a big amount for me – I will not stop here but will keep increasing my intake slowly and seeng how my body responds.

Carbs don’t only help you with your energy but they are also essential in building muscle. This is true. I have noticed a difference in my legs, arms and even my stomach.
My stomach is perhaps the area I have noticed the most difference since adding more carbs into my diet.

The other day, out of nowhere I realized I had slowly developed what looks like a 4 pack 🙂 this is a huge surprise to me. I never thought I would see this kind of muscle – but it happened. I didn’t look for them every day but instead one day accidentally stumbled across my new accomplishment.
This should only show you that consistency is key. Just because you don’t see the difference in the mirror after a day of trying a new diet or workout doesn’t mean it’s not working. Keep at it and take progress pics – don’t take them every day but just because you don’t take them every day does not mean your body isn’t changing every day. Let the process work for a while.
Consistency is key.

Here a picture I am super proud of because it is a first for me. This is motivation to continue what I am doing and to keep working hard.

20131010-133959.jpg

So the take away from this is:
– don’t be scared of carbs ( add them back slowly and trust the process – I know it’s scary )
– give it a try but be consistent and you shall see results
– change takes time so do not get discouraged but rather be prepared to get surprised by yourself and your hard work

Help your muscles help themselves !

Standard

The newest addition to my vitamin/supplement cabinet is : Vitamin C!

After having endured many near-death WODs, one day after doing what seemed like a million burpees, a coach at the box I work out at offered me a Vitamin C supplement and said this would help me tremendously with recovery.

Vitamin C is proven to restore and repair tissue. This makes the vitamin a perfect post-, even pre- workout supplement. Research by professor George Redmond shows that the vitamin decreases exercised induced damage to the muscles.

That being said I believe this new supplement addition should become one of my favorites. Recovery is key, we all know this! We take protein shakes to help our muscles grow why not take something to help our muscles repair themselves?

Nitric oxide is key to binging nutrients to your muscles in a timely fashion and aiding with oxygen satisfaction- vitamin C has been found to improve these functions of NOs this in effect improves muscle gains! Why would we not want to help our bodies repair themselves?

It is suggested to take 1000-3000 mg throughout the day as pre and post workout supplements.
I shall see how this affects me and if I can tell a difference in my recovery time!

Hoping for the best and will let you know 😉

20130905-143307.jpg

Paleo Curry Dish = Success!

Standard

I had a vision – a vision to recreate my favorite dish at one of my favorite restaurants in town… Indochine! 

This small but very popular restaurant in town had my heart when i first tried their red curry. Sadly, this dish is not quite Paleo and the white rice does not make this dish any healthier. Besides the rice, the dish does have some pretty delicious and simple ingredients. 

After looking online a bit and researching ideas, I decided to go to the store and buy not only coconut milk but also get some sprouts and water chestnuts. Some of the recipes i looked at called for curry paste but i could not find this and decided that the curry powder I already have will have to do for this one. 

 

I must admit, there was not a lot of measuring going on but this is what I put in my pan and cooked at Med heat:

  • ~ 10 oz chicken
  • 3/4 can of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp curry powder ( i think…. there was no real measuring happening here )
  • 1 small can of sprouts
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/4 sweet potato cubes

 

Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until everything kind of thickens together. 

Instead of rice, I made cauliflower rice which was simple and is a great substitute for white rice. (Boil a head of cauliflower after taking it apart – let it boil for about 10 minutes then drain it and mash it).

 

Not only was this dish Paleo, it was simply delicious. I already know I will have to make this again soon …. to show off to my boo and show him what kind of great housewife i will make one day hehe. 

 

Just remember you dont have to have a recipe to make a great (paleo) dish – you just need to have a vision =) Image

2 months of Crossfit completed: a Recap!

Standard

I realized today that it has been exactly 2 months since I changed my idea of a good workout. 2 months ago I joined Crossfit Reignited and it has changed my outlook and has definitely shown me that anything is possible if you work hard enough and want it bad enough.

I went from a girl not knowing how to power clean , let alone clean and jerk, to enjoying those types of lifts and adding weight each week.

Things I never thought I would do that I can now say I accomplished ( and obviously still working on hard to perfect ):
– double unders
– power snatch
– power clean
– clean and jerk
– push press
– pistols
– kettlebell swings
– hey hos ( pull up progression )
– Kipping handstand push-ups
– 30″ standing box jumps
– front squats

You should acknowledge every little success along the way. It will not happen in a day but if you work hard and put in the extra work you can definitely do anything.

I am just grateful for the amazing coaches that have taught me so much in these past 60 days and all the members for their assistance along the way as well.

I am more than excited to see what the next 30 days will have in store for me at CFR.

Stop telling yourself you can’t, just do it !

20130731-160302.jpg

This box is my team! Why I love CF

Standard

I was just overcome by happiness and figured I’d share this with everyone interested.
Until you find the right box you may not understand what I am about to try to explain.
If you found the right box then you may know the exact feeling I am about to explain to you.

The sense of teamwork within the WOD setting, which is designed to be a single person workout, is something I never thought I could find in Crossfit.
Whenever someone asks me why I like Crossfit this much, I answer with “it is a workout that challenges you every day in a different way. More importantly I love that the WOD is designed to be an individual workout but at the same time it’s like a team sport. All crossfitters in the box are in the same boat as you. Even if the first person is done their workout you feel like the work is not done until the last person finishes. The people you admire the most, the ones that are the best conditioned and have the most experience, suddenly become your mentor, biggest fan and everything you need to make it to the end.

After completing the workout (which you didn’t think you could complete alive), the whole community of crossfitters becomes your mirror. This mirror shows you what great work you did.
For example, today I attempted max Front Squats – increasing my weight from last week’s WOD ! After completing 2 reps and attempting the third but failing I felt like I failed myself and had nothing to be proud of that day. Being comforted by fellow crossfitters saying ” you did a great job – you increased your max from last week” and things such as ” you can only improve by failing – pushing yourself to your limits ” was exactly what I needed , in order to turn my feeling of failure to a feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve always loved playing team sports that’s why Crossfit is such a great fit for me. It truly feels like you are on the same team working towards the same goals and having each others back.

Crossfit Reignited has some amazing coaches and some great members. Walking in the box the very first time was intimidating but the support,love and encouraging yells: ” letsssss goooo! Move that weight girl” , have made me realize there are so many more successes to give yourself credit for that, if it wasn’t for your team members, you would never have acknowledged in the first place.

Crossfit Reignited is not just the box for me but it is the team I chose to be a part of – a team I will give my all for and a team I know will do the same for me.

20130712-172048.jpg

Why can’t we just think more like a guy?

Standard

Today we did the Crossfit Total at Crossfit Reignited ( the box I joined about 3 weeks ago ).
Crossfit Total consisted of:
1 rep max back squat
+
1 rep max shoulder press
+
1 rep max deadlift

My results : squat: 160 lbs, press: 65, deadlift: 180 lbs

The workout made me super happy about myself – the weight I moved made me look differently at myself.
Instead of using the scale to judge how in shape I am, I am instead looking in the mirror, using the amount of strength I have as a measurement.

You don’t find many girls that will say wow I am super happy with the weight I can deadlift. Rather, you can find women ignoring the weight they moved but focus on the number on the scale. I have no explanation as to why that is but what I do know is that if you change your mind set and get excited about moving weight … Heavy weight… Then you will be much happier in the long run.

A woman that focuses on the number of weight she can squat or clean can feel just as sexy if not sexier than a woman that loses a pound in a week – most of which is water weight anyways.

Focusing on the weight on the bar and nothing else will let things fall into place.

Moral of this blog is that I am super happy and not because the number on the scale changed but because the number of pounds I had on that bar when I did my back squats and deadlift was more than I could have hoped for. That number is the number that counts and will be my benchmark for improvement and betterment of my body and health.

Now I know guys have this concept down – the concept of not focusing on the scale but focusing on the weight they move. If a guy squats more than his Personal Record he is the happiest man alive. A woman that loses 3 lbs in a day will have that same feeling of happiness but not for long. This is not a real goal and should never be! A girl should be just as exited about lifting and the accomplishments that come from that as a guy is.

I love Crossfit and how it changed my view about weights!

A gallon a day keeps the fat cells away!

Standard

It is extremely difficult to keep track of how many ounces of water you have drank in a day. It is super hard to drink a gallon a day or even more. But why? It’s because we don’t keep track of it as we should – drinking a few cups of water seems like a lot of water but its not nearly enough. Unless you have the gallon of water to be consumed right in front of you as a constant reminder you will more than likely not drink enough.
My Tip: get a gallon jug fill it up and feel accountable. your daily mission is to finish that big ol’ jug of water.

Even if you do not use a gallon jug, use a bigger reusable bottle but make sure you know how many of those you must drink in order to consume a gallon.
Mission Oh-So-Possible!

There are plenty of health benefits that should give you enough incentive to make it a daily habit to drink a gallon of H2O.
Livestrong.com and many other sites give plenty of health benefits one should consider.

First of all drinking a gallon of water will maintain the tone of your muscles, which affects the moisture and glow and general appearance of your skin. If you do not drink enough water your muscles must work harder to function. You can prevent this by consumer enough water, which will help muscles expand and contract properly. If the underlying muscles of your skin are not getting enough water the health of their skin changes. MayoClinic.com says that when you are dehydrated your skin will be more dry which also indicated the underlying muscles are in need of hydration.

When I first started drinking enough water – a gallon give or take – I thought drinking all this water would make me bloated. A lot of women worry about ” water retention “. No worries this only occurs if you don’t drink enough water. If you do not consume enough water on a daily basis your body will retain water naturally. Makes sense. Being able to flush out your body by drinking enough water seems like such an easy concept. It not only helps the natural function of your metabolism but also helps you get rid of fat.

Whether you want to drop a few lbs or you’d like to maintain a healthy weight, you must drink enough water. We have all heard that we should drink a glass of water before each meal – this fills up our stomach and makes you less hungry. Another trick, every time you think you are hungry, grab a glass of water – drink it and see if you we’re just bored or if you actually need food.
Interestingly enough, drinking water helps your body process fat and excrete fat cells.
More importantly, if you exercise you sweat more and lose even more fluids. You must replenish these as good as you can. So make sure you include even more water if you exercise often.

Water maintains energy, which is vital for anyone on an exercise routine of anyone who would like to avoid dizziness and headaches ( and I am certain this is everyone ). By the time you feel thirsty you are already slightly dehydrated so stay ahead of the game, carry water with you at all times and keep pace and you can easily drink a gallon of water or more.

20130606-082819.jpg

Cardio Crossfit Mash-up !

Standard

This is a little workout I did the other day which incorporated one of the workouts I did during a Crossfit intro session.

All you need is a 12 lbs ball as shown in the picture below, a wall, a bike, a stepper, some room to run ( not much don’t worry ) and yourself.

Bike:
Warm up:
5 min – moderate pace on 11 resistance

High intensity:
10 mins total:
30 second sprint on 16 resistance
90 second rest on 11 resistance

Repeat above until you reach 15 mins total on the bike.

Now grab a ball – I decided to go with the 12 lbs ball, find a wall and go for it.
The following should be completed 5 times as fast as possible:
7 wall balls
5 Burpees
Ball Run ( about 200 yards total ) – just run while carrying the 12 lbs ball on shoulder ( or however you like )

This should take you about 8-10 minutes.

Now hop on the stair stepper for a total of 10 minutes.
5 mins on level 8
Break – do 10 push-ups
5 mins on level 8

Now get your last little bit of energy and determination together and finish strong.

You have 8 minutes to complete the following again! Give it your all. JUST DO IT!

7 Wall balls
5 Burpees
Ball Run

You should have completed the above set about 6 times.

Finish your workout with a 5 minute cool down on the bike or elliptical.

20130526-195850.jpg

20130526-195920.jpg

20130526-195929.jpg

2 Circuit Arm Workout that has you leaving sweaty and sore – SCORE!

Standard

Here is an arm workout I would like to share with everyone interested. This whole workout consists of 2 circuits but has a lot of versatility and high intensity, that’s why I enjoy it – never get sick of the same thing.

Complete one set of each exercise in the given circuit before resting 1-2 minutes. Repeat the respective circuit 2-3 times before moving to the next circuit.

I added the weight I used to give an idea of what weight could be used for the exercises. Please adjust up or down as needed.

Circuit 1:
1) DB Shoulder press : 10 reps ( 20 lbs DB )
2) DB Curls on BOSU : 10 reps ( 20 lbs DB )
3) DB Tricep Extension : 10 reps (25 lbs DB )
4) DB Delt skier kickbacks : 10 reps ( 10 lbs DB )

Cardio: 4 mins total: 1 min moderate pace on bike followed by 3 intervals – 45 second high intensity then 15 second recovery

Repeat Circuit 1 again followed by another set of cardio as described above. Repeat the Circuit and Cardio a total of 3 times.

Circuit 2:
1) Front Raises : 10 reps ( 12.5 lbs DB )
2) One Arm Cable Curl : 8 reps each arm ( 15 lbs )
3) Barbell Curl : 10 reps
4) Tricep Kickbacks : 10 reps ( 10 lbs DB )

Cardio: 4 mins total: 1 min moderate pace on bike followed by 3 intervals – 45 second high intensity then 15 second recovery

Repeat Circuit 2 again followed by another set of cardio as described above. Repeat the Circuit and Cardio a total of 3 times.

This workout will make you workkkkk and sweat your brave little heart out ! It’s a great mix of cardio and strength training just remember to push yourself and not cheat when it comes to high intensity – it’s only a total of 6 sprints of 45 seconds. YOU CAN DO IT!

20130519-194122.jpg

And to add more fun finish your workout with this daily ab routine ! You can also subscribe and get emails each day with new routines. I absolutely love it – always something different 🙂

20130519-194510.jpg