Jambalaya, the paleo kind not the NOLA kind

Paige in the kitchen

Paige in the kitchen

paleo jambalaya


What you’ll need:

  • 5 c. chicken broth
  • 4 peppers – any color you want, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large can of organic diced tomatoes (leave the juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 lb large shrimp, raw and de-veined
  • 4 oz. chicken, diced
  • 1 pkg spicy Andouille sausage
  • 1/2-1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 c. okra (optional)
  • 3 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
    • Or make your own…
      • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
      • 2 tablespoons salt
      • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
      • 1 tablespoon black pepper
      • 1 tablespoon onion powder
      • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
      • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
      • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
      • 1/4 c Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

How you’ll do it:

1) Put the chopped peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chicken, cajun seasoning, Red Hot, and bay leafs in the crockpot with the chicken stock.

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Jambalaya

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Homemade Cajun Seasoning

2) About 30 minutes before it’s finished, toss in the cut up sausages.

3) While this is cooking quickly make cauliflower rice by pulsing raw cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice. I pulsed it in a blender with water. Here is an easy  video to understand what I did to “rice” it!

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Riced Cauliflower

4) For the last 20 minutes, add in the cauliflower rice and the raw shrimp. Note: You can choose to quickly steam the cauliflower rice in the microwave and serve the jambalaya OVER it as well.

5) ENJOY!

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Paleo Jambalaya

Recipe adapted from: http://www.foodrenegade.com/crockpot-jambalaya-recipe/

xo. P

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Paleo Brownies

Paige in the kitchen

Paleo Brownies


Aca-cuse me? (I hope you understand that reference… Pitch Perfect, anyone?)

Yes, I said it, Paleo Brownies.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup minus 1 Tbs. coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature (egg substitutes will not work)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract, optional

How you’ll do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 and grease a glass baking dish (8×8 or 9×9).
  2. Mix together all ingredients. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer or high-powered blender.
  3. Pour into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan.
  4. These store well at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. Make sure you keep them in an airtight container.
Paleo Brownies

Paleo Brownies

Now some people may say these aren’t paleo because of the honey & the butter. Believe it or not, both of those items are allowed in some paleo diets and are allowed in moderation. Like I have said, I follow the 80/20 rule – and these fall somewhere in between that.

Paleo Pros: No fake sugar, no white flour

Paleo Cons: Honey & butter

Guess what? I’ll live.

I’ll admit, they were a tad dry. I think next time I am going to add maybe a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce to moisten them up! I improvised and added some coconut flakes on top, too. They actually tasted better after being refrigerated over night!

How do you curb your sweet tooth without feeling guilty?

xo. P

** This recipe comes from here.

Let’s talk clean eating…

I tend to focus a lot on exercise. I love exercise and I get it. I know what I’m doing & I’m confident that if someone told me to go run 13 miles right now, I could (maybe… ha). Like I’ve said before, exercise is my drug. I haven’t talked much about nutrition recently, another passion of mine. It used to be a hobby… I would look up fun recipes on Pinterest, cook them, and hope they taste good! That was actually an initial idea for this blog – all about the recipes I tried and failed. I still consider diving into that a little more, maybe later. Anyways, clean eating isn’t a choice for me anymore.

After a recent nutritionist visit in the PCOS clinic, my eyes have been opened to what does and does not work for my body…. At the start of 2015 I jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. Ya, you heard me… Paleo. People may believe it’s a fad diet, or it isn’t healthy. Well, I don’t have a choice. I MUST keep my carbohydrates and diary intake to a minimum due to the metabolic makeup of my body. I should only consume “high quality grains” such as quinoa & sweet potatoes. I should keep my diary intake to only high quality no-sugar added Greek yogurt. Otherwise, I should be consuming a diet in high protein & high fiber — this will be made up of lean meats, quality vegetables & MINIMAL fruit. There is such thing as too much fruit, go figure.

See, this is more than a fad diet or something silly, it’s a lifestyle change for me. I have always eaten very healthy & clean for the “old me”, but recently my eyes have been opened as to what clean eating means for the new me. Everyone’s bodies have different types/amounts of food they can and cannot tolerate, and unfortunately, my body is unable to tolerate those savory yummy carbohydrates. In order to have it be a true lifestyle change, I still need to enjoy life.  So, I plan to stick to Paleo 90% of the time and enjoy life 10% of the time. If I find that too hard, I’ll consider going 80/20, we’ll see how it goes. Cheat meals are real, and so are slip ups. I still kick myself when I slip up, but I need to learn NOT to. We are all human, we all make mistakes… it is OK.

Despite the fact that I have always eaten clean (and exercised like crazy) my visit to the PCOS clinic was overwhelming. I left the visit feeling defeated and unsure of where to go. I did not have this positive attitude when I left this visit. I wish there was a magic answer to fix all of my problems due to PCOS.  I cried, I lost it… I went to the gym to sweat it out & that helped. I talked to my best friends, they were all angry for me and were really empathetic. I think my mom cried for my frustration. One conversation really stuck with me… I talked to one of my best friends, Courtney, and she said something that totally helped me stay positive… “you inspire so many people, including me! and I love you for that”. Courtney, that helped me more than you can ever imagine. Thank you, I love you! >>> Shameless plug, check her out over at ataleoftwocs.com

You never know what battle someone is fighting. I am fortunate enough that I have a strong network of best friends and family that understand the struggles I have gone through. Each and every one of these amazing people has supported me thus far and I know they will continue to support me. Without them, I would be lost. Thanks guys, I love ya!

I will not let PCOS define me.

I will thank my stars every day for the amazing people in my life.

I will be a fierce Paleo dieter.

I will join Crossfit next week… oh, did I let that slip?! Ya, more to come on that. 😉

xo. P

Beer me.

I haven’t had one sip of alcohol since August 30th. Crazy? Ya. I am a huge fan of a nice cold craft beer. The last time I had a beer was right after I finished the 10-mile race in August. It was a Moat Mountain IPA & I was sitting in North Conway on the Saco River. It was picture perfect.

Training is frustrating. You have great runs, you have horrible runs. One day you will run 10 miles and feel awesome, a few days later you will run 3 miles and it will feel horrible. Running is completely unpredictable. You are unsure how your legs are going to feel, how your breathing will feel & if you are in the correct mental state to go for a run. Despite the fact that I find running to be a type of therapy for me, it is still a cause of frustration when I do not have a good run.

I actually found that most of my “bad” runs occurred after a night of drinking alcohol. I have never been one to binge drink often, nor have I been one to pop open a beer on a weeknight with dinner. But, when I did have a few drinks & when I did decide to run a day after drinking… my run was NOT good. I would feel sluggish and slow.

After my 10-mile race in August, I knew my training schedule was going to pick up. I knew I was going to have early Saturday morning runs & I knew I needed to be at my best for those runs. So, I decided to stop drinking all together. My Saturday morning runs were awesome. I rarely had a bad run. It was so rewarding when I finished that run and it felt GOOD!

Thankfully, my half marathon is the Smuttynose Half Marathon so there will be a beer tent at the end of the race!! All I have to say is that a Pumpkin Smuttynose beer is calling my name…

Would you ever consider “giving up” alcohol for a period of time?

xo. P

12 mile training run….

Hi!

When you are training for any run whether it be a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon – you have to get your weekly miles in. Some races require more miles than others. The longer the race, the more miles…

As you know based on my fitness goals, I am running a half marathon on October 5th. Right now, that puts me 3 weeks out from race day. Needless to say, I am getting VERY nervous. I have cut out all alcohol & dairy from my diet. I am also only drinking water and one cup of black coffee a day. I have significantly increased my carbohydrate intake as well. Yesterday was my longest training run to date at 12 miles and will be my last longest training run. After this, I will slowly taper off on my long run (10 miles & then 8 miles) and pull back on my total weekly miles.

On these long runs, you come across some funny scenarios, interesting people & really interesting thoughts. This is especially the case when running through Boston. I go through almost 4 zip codes on my long runs. What else do you have to do while you run for 2 hours? May as well people watch.

So, here is how my morning went on 9/13…

7:00 am – Alarm went off. Really, Paige? What you are thinking? Press snooze.

7:15 am – Second alarm I had set for myself went off. Ok fine, I’ll get up.

7:30 am – Water is boiling for oatmeal, coffee is on, emptying dish washer. I could still go back to bed if I wanted…. nope, nope – you told yourself you would run 12 miles today and you are going to do it.

7:45am – Relaxed on the couch to eat my oatmeal, drink my coffee, and drink a lot of water.

8 am – Made sure to pick out the cutest running outfit I had to make this long run a little more pleasant. Debated between shorts and a long sleeve, long pants and a tank top. It was cool day in Boston at 55 degrees, perfect running weather. They always say dress like it is 20 degrees warmer for a run – so I settled on capri spandex and a tank top. Not that you care….

8:30 am – Out the door. Camelbak running belt ready to go full of water, Honey Stinger gummies (review to come), chapstick (I literally cannot go anywhere without it), my Charlie Card (in case I change up my route and get lost), iPhone & apartment keys. Looking back, I should have probably put my ID in there. Oh well, next time!

Now begins the run…

Mile 1 – I think to myself, what am I doing? I’m tired, I would rather be in bed. But I guess I should keep going. By the way, the first mile is the hardest. There is something about getting your muscles up and running (literally) & helping them wake up. Your body is not into the motions yet.

Miles 2 & 3: I think I saw every young couple along Beacon St. making out. It looked like every guy was leaving his girlfriends, one night stands, or hook up buddies apartment. They all sealed the overnight deal with a kiss for ALL to see. I run by each of them as the sweat starts to run down my face. Considering I have the worst poker face ever, the look on my face probably told them exactly how I felt.. disgusted. Oh, that’s why I’m running at 8:30am on a Saturday, I went to bed last night at 10pm and didn’t do anything crazy to result in that fun Friday night… well, at least I can run? Who needs those fun Friday nights anyways, training is SO much more fun… 

Miles 4 & 5: This is where you body gets into auto pilot. At least my body does. I start to get into the motion of things and really warm up. I think that I can totally do this. I am motivated, and pick up my speed a little bit. I pop in a few Honey Stingers to give me the necessary carbs & take a swig of water to keep me hydrated. At this point, I am down by the Charles River. It was busy for a Saturday morning. I have come to expect that though. The running community is dedicated here in Boston.  It felt good to not be alone. Even the little smiles people throw at you when you run by them keeps you going.

Mile 6: This is my mental block. Up until August 30th, the longest road race I have ever run was a 10k. Mentally, I know I can do 10ks. But, my mind just shuts down at that point. I pop a few more Honey Stingers in to see if that will distract me. I start to lose motivation, especially when running alone…. What should I wear tonight? Wait, what’s going on today? Oh, MixFest! Oh.. he’s cute. Wait, did they just finish their run? I’m jealous.

Mile 7: Thank god for these babes to keep me going… the MIT crew team. At this point I had run the length of one side of the Charles, and then over the bridge into Cambridge, MA. I look to my left as I start to swear to myself & questioning my sanity and see about a dozen shirtless men rowing on stationary rowers. Let me tell you, I think mile 7 was my slowest mile… because I was looking left and wanted to slow down to stare a little longer. What if I just yell my number out to them? Will they look? Hm.

Mile 8: Oops, I have to go to the bathroom. I thought I went before I left. Well, I did. Oh, yup, I have to go to the bathroom bad now. Starbucks won’t let me in without buying something, those are probably locked. 7/11? Worth a shot. I literally ran into the 7/11, asked the clerk if I could use the bathroom, he pointed the back of the store & sweet relief. Probably too much information, but for you runners out there, I think you know what I mean. There is nothing worse than going for a long run and having to go to the bathroom so bad that it hurts and you think you can hold it but you can’t.

Mile 9: Really? They are still doing this? My pace picked up since I went to the bathroom and was MUCH more comfortable. As it picked up, I ran right through a Planned Parenthood protest. I got yelled at for simply being a woman. Head down, keep running, don’t look up

Mile 9.5: Oh sweet Jesus, a hill? There is no freaking way my legs can handle this right now, my hips are on fire. But what do you know, “Work Bitch” by my girl B.Spears came on… I could not have asked for any better timing. Not only did I dominate that hill, it got my heart rate right up which is great for endurance training.

Mile 10 & Mile 11 : I could turn left and end up home. I’m sure that would be a good idea, I could start to settle in and start homework. I should probably do that. My toes hurt.. oh and that toenail that looks like it is going to fall off just might fall off.. or so it feels. No, Paige. Keep going. So, I did. I continued to the Chesnut Hill Reservoir. One loop around is just about 1.5 miles. I knew if I ended at that, I would be able to hit my 12 miles….

Mile 12: Just let me finish.

Training for a  half marathon is not exciting, but it is exhilarating. But above all, it is rewarding. I enjoy those long runs and the time I have to myself. I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with finishing one of those runs. Despite how much pain you might feel, it is worth it.

Do I want to put my body through a full marathon? Running & training for a race is addicting…. so maybe, just maybe, that will be my next goal. Anyone want to join me?

Now off to yoga to stretch out those hips!

Keep training. Keep smiling. You got this.

xo. P

Sprouts & Kale? Yum.

4 ingredients: Chicken. Kale. Carrots. Brussel Sprouts. That’s all you’ll need.

I haven’t bought kale in awhile. It is full of nutrients and can be made into so many fun things! This weekend, I decided to mix it in with some other clean eats to make a nutritious, healthy, and delicious dinner. The best part? It requires only 4 main ingredients!


Here’s what you will need:

Chicken, Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots

I wasn’t lying when I said 4 main ingredients.

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Cut chicken into slices

3. Let chicken sit in your marinade of choice (I chose a lite sodium soy sauce!)

4. Prep and chop your veggies (I chose brussel sprouts, kale & carrots)

  • Wash kale and set aside to dry
  • Chop carrots up
  • Cut Brussel sprouts in half

5. Once chicken has sat in the marinade for a little while (I w

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Vegetables on top of half-cooked chicken

as in a rush and only let it sit for about 10 minutes!) – place in oven safe dish.

       Hint: line the oven safe dish with tin foil – makes for an easier clean up!!

6. Place dish in the oven & let chicken cook about half way (10-15 minutes)

7. Pull the dish out and put kale, carrots & brussel sprouts on top of the chicken. Drizzle olive oil & lightly salt vegetables

8. Put dish with chicken and vegetables back in the oven to bake until chicken is fully cooked (another 10+ minutes) – this lets all the juices cook together! Talk about yum 🙂

9. When it’s done…. ENJOY!

As always, I make sure I have enough food for the week. This made about 3 dinners worth for me. The second night I chose to make brown rice to add some carbs & fiber to the meal to keep me full longer – a girl needs carbs when she’s lifting weights!

Done!

Done!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

xo. P

Spaghetti Squash

In my attempt to NOT eat carbs after lunch, I needed an alternative to spaghetti….. this is where spaghetti squash comes in! If you have not found a love for it yet, you will now. It is so easy and so delicious. It is definitely the best alternative to pasta!
Here’s what you’ll need:
– Spaghetti Squash
– Your favorite vegetables
– Olive oil
– Garlic
– Pesto or Spaghetti Sauce (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Prep/Bake Spaghetti Squash
  • cut in half the long way (this can be challenging!)
  • scoop out seeds

    photo 1

    Seeds all scooped out!

  • put face down (skin up) in a casserole dish – I add about 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the dish, not all recipes call for that
  • put on the middle rack of the oven
  • It will probably take 30-45 minutes to cook (depending on your oven)

3. Prep/Sautee veggies while spaghetti squash is cooking

  • Chop up any vegetables you like! I used mushrooms, peppers & brussel sprouts
  • Sautee them in a frying pan with olive oil & chopped garlic until done!

4. Time to make spaghetti out of squash!

  • If it is cooked all the way, the inside should be soft
  • Take a fork and pull it down the whole length of the squash – it will start to string off like spaghetti (kind of!)
  • Pull it down and off & put it in a bowl (or strainer if you think it looks watery)
  • Once it is all scooped out & in the bowl, add a quick splash of olive oil to loosen it up
  • I chose to add a little spoonful of pesto just for some flavor
5. Add veggies to squash & enjoy!
photo 3

Dinner is served!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

xo. P

Overnight Oats

I’m a sucker for breakfast, and a GOOD breakfast at that. You can’t start your day off right unless you have some fuel to get you going. What gets me going in the morning? Oatmeal. I mean seriously, how can you not love a food that’s slogan is “today is going to be epic”.

As part of my food prep Sundays I usually make myself some overnight oats. It is probably one of the easiest recipes. And, it tastes like you’re having pumpkin pie for breakfast!

Here’s what you’ll need…

– Mason Jar (or any Tupperware, I’m just obsessed with mason jars)

– 1/2 cup Quick Oats

– 1/4 cup Can of Pumpkin (PURE pumpkin)

– 1/2 tbsp Pumpkin Spice

– 1/2 cup Coconut (or almond) milk

– If you want… chia seeds, flax

Put all the ingredients into a jar, mix until fully combined. Put in refrigerator overnight & enjoy either cold or hot!

Feel free to double, half or triple the recipe! The amounts above are perfect for one meal.

Easy, quick, healthy and clean!

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Let me know what you think!

xo. P