November 2011 archive

Keep it Simple

The ironic thing about last night’s dinner is that is was simpler and took significantly less time than most of what I could have made, but it was probably classier than anything I could have made, too.It was a rough day at work and by the time I got home, I did not want to cook (or do anything, for that matter), so I asked The Man if he could figure out something for dinner…and oh, by the way, we had nothing in the fridge (at least nothing that was fully thawed).

He’s an absolute saint…he ran out to the store and came back with a couple of ribeyes.  While he walked The Husky, I pan-seared them in some olive oil, salt, and pepper–about 3 1/2 minutes on each side–and called it good.  So easy, but SO good:

 

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Porky Plate

Dinner tonight was a plate full of pig…I threw together the last of the pork butt and the slow cooker carnitasinto a baking dish, rendered some fat and threw chunks of it on top, and re-heated in the oven (covered) at 200 degrees for about an hour while I took care of some things around the house.Foodgasmic.

*Drool*

Who needs a plate?

Meanwhile…a certain Kitty of the Corn made a mess.

I’m still working on perfecting the picture quality with my new camera, but they’re certainly better than before!  I must have done something right, because I just got my first recipe submitted to Chowstalker and the Foodee Project.  More to follow soon!

 

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F**K it…Just do Some Tabatas

The Man and I were determined to bounce back from our weekend away.  Unfortunately, neither of us was up for much of a workout yesterday (he took another day off and I went for a leisurely 3-mile run at PT).  So we resolved to go to Crossfit tonight since the whole month of December is on a drop-in basis.Well, I got home and realized I didn’t feel like driving all the way down to Round Rock…I’m still recovering from having to be in an hour early yesterday.  So, we decided to go down to the park and get a good workout in on the public fitness equipment again.

Well, I didn’t feel like going all the way to the park (which is a whole mile from our house…don’t judge).  So, we compromised and just did some Tabatas instead.  Simple, fast, but oh, so schweaty…

1/2-mile run (around the block)
Tabata Push-ups
Tabata Squats
Tabata Sit-ups
Tabata Flutter Kicks
1/2-mile run

We were going to do burpees but I was in the mood for some abs-action (and let’s face it, burpees suck) so the flutter kicks were a last-minute addition.  I’m pretty sure the neighbors thing we have issues since we were working out on the front lawn and making some not-so-discrete lunk noises.

As for today’s eats…

I’ve been working on a little something in the kitchen this week…One of the blogs I frequent featured an Apple Omelet yesterday and I was intrigued.  If the thought of apples over eggs makes you want to dry-heave, never fear…the original recipe has an egg-and-flour base similar to a crepe, so what you get is basically a German apple pancake (staple of my childhood…oh, this was gonna happen).

I nixed the wheat flour, milk, and sugar and used coconut flour instead.

Only problem was, it didn’t hold together at all, so I had more of a coconut flour-apple “scramble”…
But it was so good, I knew there had to be a better way.  So this evening I tried the same ingredients but in a skillet (like my coconut crepes...the recipes are pretty similar):
It definitely turned out a little more solid, but not quite as clean as I’d like…I’ve got a few more tricks up my sleeve so I’ll give it another go tomorrow.  It’s delicious as is, but I’m not going to publish a recipe if it’s going to fall apart on the plate.
Stay tuned…the unfortunate part of Paleo cooking is that there’s a lot of trial-and-error involved!

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Should I Rethink my “Panic Weight”?

I was inspired to write this post partially because of today’s post from The Great Fitness Experiment, but also because of the results of this morning’s weigh-in at work.  Yes…a weigh-in the Monday after Thanksgiving…and it was harsh.I’m a former scale enthusiast…as in, weigh-myself-twice-a-day-every-day kinda gal.  And when I say “former” I do so loosely because as much as I’d like to toss out my bathroom scale and never again give a flying f**k about the number it’s going to toss back at me, I still do.

I’ve gotten better over the last few months about not weighing myself every day and I’ve accepted the fact that, if I keep working out to get stronger instead of skinnier and eating to fuel my performance instead of to diminish it, I’m going to (gasp!) put on some weight.  It’s so painfully simple, but I like so many other women and girls was brought up in a world that put so much value in weighing so little.

Like anyone else, my weight has fluctuated almost daily though it managed to stay within the same 3-5 pound “window” for all of my adult life.  Or it did until I stopped spending hours at a time on the trou chariot or the treadmill and started doing Crossfit and eating Primal/Paleo.  Since then the scale has crept up about 5 pounds above my skinny-fat average, my quads are about a quarter of an inch bigger around, I have a four-pack (it’s a real six-pack, though, if I go about 48 hours without drinking any water…booyah!), and all of my clothes still fit just fine.  Many of the athletes I admire so much–and even my own coach–have a good deal more weight than I do yet look great…no wait, AMAZING.

So why should I care?  When I hopped on the scale this morning, I knew what the number would be!  What got me was two things…1) That I’m still uber-insecure about being not only weighed and measured in front of a room full of people and having that weight recorded and entered into my personal records for the quarter, and 2) I have officially met my “panic weight.”

My “panic weight” has remained unchanged since I was about 14.  It’s all of five pounds above my average weight (not a lot of wiggle room since I’m 5’8″), but was nevertheless the weight at which I would have officially considered myself “fat.”  I’ve been at this weight before, but in all my noodly skinny-fat glory I did not look like I do now.  I did not feel good.  I did not have any abdominal definition, no matter how dehydrated I was.  But then again,  none of these things were really true at my “happy weight,” either.

Because I was never at my happy weight.  My “happy weight” was always 5 pounds less than what I was, no matter how little.  I could have weighed less than 100 pounds and I’d still have wanted to be less.  Messed up?  Sure.  There’s nothing rational about my body image.  At no point in my life have I ever been happy about how I looked.

But I am happy about how I feel.  I’m proud of how much stronger I’ve gotten in such a short time.  I feel like a goddamn idiot that it took less than twenty seconds to make me forget all of that completely, to step on a scale and read a number that means so little when you consider that I look, feel, and perform better than I have…possibly ever.

So is my “panic weight” obsolete?  Should I actually be glad that I weigh more now despite being the same size?  (Muscle weighs more than fat, right?)  Even though I have a dramatically improved body composition, why does this number still mean so much to me?

Clearly my priorities need an update, but it’s hard.  Really hard.  Being able to stay on track without cutting and running from the gym (literally) and tossing every trace of dietary fat from my fridge is a daily struggle.  When I put on my jeans and feel some new tightness in the legs–even though my old muffin top is no more–my heart skips a beat and my inner skinny girl screams in protest.  Even taking a rest day involves planning and self-restraint.

But it’s further than I’ve ever gotten and even though I’m fighting a battle with my self-image and intuition, I’m still motivated by my recent success.  I’m still so proud of myself for taking responsibility for my health, for pushing myself past where I’ve felt comfortable and “safe,” for being able to do things I couldn’t when I was skinny and malnourished (my 2-mile is as fast now running 6-12 miles a week as when I was running 55-60, and I can do pull-ups!!!!).  So maybe my “panic weight” is a crock of sh*t, or maybe it’s not.  But what I can tell you is that even though I sulked in my office for a good hour after the weigh-in, I’m not writing out low-fat meal plans for the next month.  I didn’t take off on a marathon to sweat off the extra weight.  And I didn’t for a second wish I could trade in what I’ve accomplished for those extra 5 pounds.  I may not like this new number, but for once I’m going to give it a chance.

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New and Improved Pork Carnitas

I needed something quick and easy tonight, but the only meat I had thawed out was a few pounds of pork shoulder.

The solution?  Carnitas…but instead of simmering and stirring in the stock pot for 3 hours, I wanted to see if it would work just as well in the slow cooker.  Not only did it work, but it was delightful…even more tender than the stock pot version:

Pork Carnitas

2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder
1 c. water
1/4 c. rendered animal fat or butter
1 T tomato paste
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t sea salt
1 clove garlic
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 t paprika
1 t cilantro
1 onion, chopped
Cut pork into 2-inch chunks.  Combine with all other ingredients in slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours.
Preheat oven to Broil setting.  Spoon meat into a baking dish.
Broil for 10 minutes.  Devour plain or with salsa and sour cream.

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