Happy One Month Noles

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It has been a month and a day since we won the national championship and I cannot wait to celebrate for the next eleven.

I have done the most terrible job blogging, but wanted to share photos of the championship game. Mema, my grandmother, made us all Jameis Winston headbands to wear to the game. She distributed them to the family before we jumped on the plane. I’m pretty sure the rest of the airport was jealous.

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The game was terrifying and exciting all at the same time with the Noles coming out on top in the last few minutes. I love this photo and the fact that Mema is still wearing her headband — she is a trooper.

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Go Noles! >>—>>

Thank Goodness My Roommate Created Canned Pumpkin

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With only one day left in October, it was time to channel our inner Betty Crocker and get in the pumpkin spirit.

My roommate, Libby, even created her own canned pumpkin for this recipe.

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These pumpkin muffins (because a cupcake without icing is definitely a muffin!) are so easy to make. All you need is canned pumpkin, yellow cake mix and mini chocolate chips.

Cheers to Fall & sweater season!

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#myamazinglife

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One of my coworkers and friends recently posted the below on his blog and I just had to re-blog it.
Try out this social media experiment and rejoice in the imperfections of life.

My “Amazing” Life: The Accidental Lie of Social Media

Social Media is making a lot of us sad. That’s a trend I’ve had an intuitive sense about for some time, but a study released in August put data behind it.  I couldn’t help but think of Brené Brown’s excellent work on shame and vulnerability as I read various summaries and ultimately the original work. People hide those things we fear will separate us from others and that drives us to share the very best parts of our lives via social media. Others see these idealized versions of life and their own shame is amplified as they compare themselves to a life that doesn’t exist.

From this springs a culture of envy, bitterness, sadness, loneliness, and cynicism. Even genuine posts regarding significant life events can be viewed with cynical detachment, as illustrated by this comic from The Oatmeal. Cynicism and deconstruction can be useful, but I’d rather think about steps we can take to make people less sad by our attempts to share our life experience.

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 #myamazinglife

This week I’m going to use a hashtag a lot in my social posts: #myamazinglife. None of these posts are going to be glamorous. I’m going to share the sorts of things we usually hide from people. This is not a cry for help–I’m quite happy with my life and who I am. Instead, this is an intentional counter to the posturing we all do naturally. This is an experiment to see what happens when our social media projections more accurately represent our full life experience.

My first post will be about my old, run-down car. One of the back doors won’t open because I’ve locked my keys in my car so often the lock is broken. Do you get the idea? I’d love for you to join me. Here’s how:

  1. Write a post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social platforms about something that is embarrassing, mundane, routine, or uninteresting about your life.
  2. Add #myamazinglife to the post.

I can’t wait to hear about your amazing life.

Stuffed Chicken Success

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I have been traveling a good bit for work and wanted to try something new. I get bored with plain chicken, so I decided to try this recipe from PaleOMG — which I highly recommend.

Click HERE for the full recipe.

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded flat
  • 6-8 ounces of button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 4-5 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

I, of course, was drawn into it because of the bacon, which makes everything taste better.

I pounded the chicken with my super fancy apparatus — a hammer. I put cellophane over the chicken before pounding.

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I cooked the bacon until it got nice and crunchy and chopped it up.

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Then sauteed the mushrooms and garlic in a little bit of the bacon grease.

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Added in the spinach and bacon — letting the spinach wilt.

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Then put the mixture into the butterflied and pounded chicken and secure with toothpicks. photo 1 copy  Baked in the oven for 20 minutes and sauteed some veggies while it was in the oven. I didn’t have enough squash or asparagus for two so I just made two separate veggies.

The final product. :) photo 2 copy photo 3 copy

And we added a little two buck chuck from Trader Joes! :)  This recipe was SO easy and it only took about 40 minutes to make everything happen.

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Paleo Breakfast “Muffins”

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On a quest to switch up breakfast during the Whole30 challenge (no sugar, no dairy, no beans, no grains), we made paleo breakfast “muffins.”

You can pick out your veggies– we chose sweet potatoes, onion, kale and spinach, and add an egg (scrambled or drop it in) and bacon.

Here’s our veggies ready to go:

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Next we added the eggs:

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Preheat the oven to 400 and bake for 20 minutes. We will have these for breakfast throughout the week– just pop them in the microwave, so good!

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Chandler Chicks in the Big City

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The Chandler Chicks (my grandmother, aunt and I) decided it was time for a girls trip!

My dear friend Joe moved to NYC a year ago, so we figured it was time to visit him. We picked a weekend, packed our bags and headed north.

We saw a show, walked in Central Park and, of course, met strangers that are now friends — many thanks to Mema.

Here are a few snapshots of our trip :)

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This is one of my ALL time favorite photos of Mema below. She sat on the subway and was laughing about something and then we all realized the sign behind her — how perfect?!

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Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail – Meal Prep Madness

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Normally Sundays are spent running errands, relaxing and watching movies. So why not watch your movies from the kitchen?

After two trips to the grocery store, we were ready to start our meal prepping for the week because if you fail to pain, you plan to fail — especially with this way of eating.

We kicked off our Whole30, Paleo prep with chopping all of the ingredients for our morning sweet potato hash — sweet potatoes, green peppers and onions. We may or may not have a few chopping injuries… luckily only blisters.

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Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven and then combine with the sauteed veggies on the stove and add in whatever meat you prefer — we chose ground turkey this go round. Add eggs of your choice on top of the sweet potato hash. It is delicious in the morning (and lunch, too)!

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While all of that was cooking, sauteing, etc… we started on our olive oil mayonnaise. Let’s face it, most of the condiments and dressings we love start with mayo. At least with this, we know where the ingredients are coming from.

Here is the recipe:

- 1 large egg

- 2 tbsp lemon juice

- 1/4 cup plus 1 cup light-tasting olive oil

-1/2 tsp dry mustard

- 1/2 tsp salt

Place the egg and lemon juice in a blender or food processor, cover, and allow to come to room temperature (30 minutes). Add 1/4 cup oil, mustard, and salt, blend on medium speed until the ingredients are combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining 1 cup oil in a very thin stream. This should take about 2 – 3 minutes. Store covered in fridge. mayo

With the olive oil mayo as our base, we made a ranch dressing by adding lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper and dry mustard. Below is our final product. :)ranch

This is probably one of my favorite new things… cauliflower mash. Boil the cauliflower, put into a food processor and add salt, pepper and original almond milk. A delicious substitute for carbs. calicali_blender

Final product: mash_final

We let our chicken marinate in an oil and balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper combo and cooked it while we worked on everything else. This chicken will be great to pair with our veggies and avocado throughout the week. chicken

All in all, our meal prep took about 4 hours, but by meal prepping you are done for the whole week with the exception of a few slight additions. fridge

The Whole30 Challenge

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It’s time for a new challenge. My friend and I decided we would go for a lifestyle change and try The Whole 30, from the book “It Starts with Food.”

What does this mean? In easy terms…

- No dairy
– No grains
– No sugar
– No beans
– No alcohol
– NO CHEATING

The book explains what types of vegetables to eat, the different types of protein and how important what they are fed and how they are raised is to your body. It also explains what we put in to our body can really affect the way we feel and perform.

FUN FACT: no counting calories or macros in involved! That’s a plus!

As we go through this process, I’ll document our food prep, best meals and even have my grandmother, Mema, weigh in with her advice! (She’s currently on a popcorn & boiled peanut diet — it’s baseball season, folks!)

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Here is our Day 5 dinner: a Cobb salad with Bibb lettuce, tomatoes, yellow pepper, broccoli, avocado, bacon, shrimp and boiled egg. We topped the salad with a little light tasting olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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Day 6 breakfast: an egg scramble complete with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. What breakfast is complete without bacon? So we added a side of bacon and grapefruit!

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