Reflections

 

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately…about everything. Over analyzing? Maybe. I’ve always been this person who gets into so much detail in my brain that I am completely overwhelmed and end up rocking and moaning in a corner.

I sometimes miss out on the simplicity of the everyday amazing world I live in and the people that surround me because my thoughts get so overwhelming. I’ve gotten better, but I lapse from time to time.

Some events of late have sparked my thoughts in a different direction. My very good friends Mum passing. My dad being 82 with the onset of Alzheimer’s. My oldest step-daughter turning 30, the realization I will be 44 in about a month.

Life. This is what it is. It’s ups, downs and how we handle ourselves in these moments is what makes us who we are.

So why do I feel I’m not handling these things very well? Yet another thought train starts barreling down the tracks.

 

I’m writing this as I’m flying home from the funeral. I’m hungover, tired, and sad. My stomach also hurts from laughing so damn hard at the service and after when we got back to Mark and Jenny’s…we all put on our PJs and started telling stories and just LAUGHING. I want to break out into spontaneous laughter right at this very second – why the fuck not? I think about that and tears spring to my eyes…I have no idea why. For Jenny, her family, my dad…the list goes on and on.

Side note: OMG. Where are peoples manners on a plane? A dude just walked by and let one go and of course his ass is where my face is. Can you not say “sorry” or point your bum in a different direction?! Unreal. Anyway…

As I’m about to turn 44, I know I’m not old. But I ain’t getting any younger. And I feel I’m at this halfway point – in another 44 years, I’ll be 88. Holy balls. 44 years isn’t that far away…and why the hell do I start thinking like that?!

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Then I start thinking, sweet mother, I have 40+ years of adventure, blazing new paths, meeting new people, giving the world all of the love I can, and single-handedly bringing back the hair band genre…what could be more exciting?!

As I’ve heard many folks say, and I agree with…”the first 40 years were a gift. the second 40 we have to work for.” Look out, people. I’m working.

 

 

Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef

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This is SUCH a great recipe! I’ve already made it three times, with my own flair of course. Huge shout out to Mel Joulwan and her latest book Well Fed 2. This is a great book for us busy people. Lot’s of quick and easy recipes that are perfect for week night meals. NOTHING is boring from this lady – she rocks. I also love how she has the book laid out – by ‘part’ and ‘while you are doing this…do that.’ It’s awesome.

I am slowly making my way through the book based on the meat I have in the freezer. I chose the Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef recipe because ground meat is easy – super easy, and, the sauce intrigued me! So, check it out. This is my version from Well Fed 2. Enjoy!

Cauliflower/Other:

  • 1 large head of cauli, or 2 bags of precut
  • 2 cups green beans, chopped to about 2″ pieces or broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp of your choice roasting oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Toss vegetables in oil, sprinkle salt on it, then place in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

While that is cooking…make the dressing.

Dressing:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 anchovy fillets (open the can, use the rest for your Cesar dressing)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (add more if you like it hotter)
  • 3 tpsb red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp good EVOO
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of parsley

Throw everything in a mini food processor. And done. Set aside. Now, cook the beef.

Beef:

  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Heat a large, non stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, toast until golden brown, stir often. Transfer nuts to a big bowl. Crumble the beef into the pan, add the salt and pepper, keep cooking a bit, add the raisins. When meat is no longer pink, place in bowl (with pine nuts) with slotted spoon.

Bring it Home:

When cauli/veggies are done roasting, add to bowl. Add the dressing. Mix well. Serve.

BOOM.

 

 

CrossFitX Whole 30 Challenge Begins! Recipe included!

Hi all! Well, I’m no less stressed than I was before, but, I have figured something out about myself. When I talk/eat/make food, I find a wee bit of zen…so, here you go.

At our box, CrossFit X, the Whole30/Lurong challenge begins today! So, for dinner tonight, I’m making one of two recipes:

https://shasonta.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/olive-date-chicken/

https://shasonta.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/artichokechickenthighs/

Check it out. The fun part? SO MANY OPTIONS TO CHANGE to your favorite flavors!

Don’t like dates? Don’t like onions? Don’t include them. 🙂 Instead, add any or all of the following:

  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Leeks (in season!)
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Lemon slices
  • Peppers

What’s great about either of these dishes – they are easy for a weeknight meal and can include anything you want. Enjoy!

Artichoke Chicken Thighs – EASY!

Well, hello! The CrossFit X Whole 30 has started and we need easy mid week meals. This is perfect. Once  you have your chicken thighs thawed, you’re ready to go. This is a great dish because you can combo anything you want and have a very satisfying meal. I always make double – that way, Dale has leftovers for lunch for a couple of days. He loves this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 pkgs of organic chicken thighs
  • Artichoke hearts in water, quartered (Trader Joe’s has great hearts)
  • White onion, sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon OR water from artichoke can
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, optional
  • Bacon crumbles, if you have them
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for greasing dish

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grab a rectangle baking dish, grease it up with oil of choice. I used avocado oil, or bacon grease is ok too. Size will be dependent on amount of chicken you use. It’s ok to have the thighs touching, but you don’t want too much overlap.
  3. Place 1/2 of onion slices, half of artichoke hearts and half of olives on bottom of dish.
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Place thighs on top of the goodies. Place rest of onion, hearts and olives on top of chicken, evenly disbursed.
  6. Drizzle oil on top of goodness. add bacon.
  7. Salt and pepper.
  8. Place in oven until internal temperature reaches 165. For my oven, this is at 35-40 minutes.
  9. Take out, and enjoy with a sautee of green beans, a salad, or some yams. DELISH!

You know what’s great about this dish? I make it on a Sunday, cover, and have for dinner on Monday or Tuesday. If you don’t like artichoke hearts or olives – use sun dried tomatoes, peppers, or other fave veggies. The more color the better! Note: If you don’t use the hearts, remember to include lemon juice. Gives it a zing!

Sorry about the size of the picture, wordpress was NOT agreeing with me today. Also, this pic was before it went in the oven. I forgot to take a pic after it came out. You get the idea!! 🙂 ENJOY!!

Artichoke Chicken Thighs

Superfood!! Try this!

Superfood!! Try this!

Check this out. A great way to get more good food into your life.

I love this quote: “This isn’t a diet plan. There aren’t calorie restrictions, a list of “don’ts” or “dos,” or any other marker of the latest, hippest nutritional lingo to hit social media. This is just about health.”

Check it out!

 

 

Update Whole 30 Round Two

Yeah, this fizzled like a bad soda. One bad week of work (believe me – it was bad) and I said F it. Here’s the thing, what I did learn was that I am more emotionally tied to food than I had originally thought.

I didn’t go on any bender, didn’t get drunk, didn’t do any of those things. I had some cheese, crackers and a glass (3 oz, literally) of wine a couple nights in a row. After that, we had our annual camping trip (where I actually ate very well) and I just said, “I’m going to start again in September.”

And here I am.

Ultimately, there will always be situations that will cause hiccups on this road to health. We just have to look at those hiccups and say, “well, you’re here. How will I handle?” This health thing isn’t just about food and exercise – it’s about our lives and how we deal with situations and bumpy roads.

I’m doing a group whole 30 with my box (CrossFit X) in September (I started on Monday). It’s only been a few days and I feel great. I’ll feel even better once this 50K I’m training for is over. Eeek gads. 🙂