Hello my little pumpkin spiced lattes! Long time no see.
I’ve decided I’m going to start calling friends food/drinks in this blog that I want incredibly badly but cant have (or can have in moderation), which is obviously a huge compliment and form of endearment from me. You’re welcome.
So much has gone on in the last month since I posted, and I’ve picked up this draft post like 10 times so just bear with me on the randomness/yet-another-lengthy-post.
First off….FALL IS HERE!!! (September didn’t count…mother nature’s going through menopause or something and the leaves aren’t changing until now) so FINALLY It’s time for me to take out my 100 flannel shirts and go apple picking…. And sing every word of the songs in the Nightmare before Christmas…quote Winnifred from Hocus Pocus and put an entirely pathetic amount of time into gathering my Halloween costume(s).
So what to do when it’s fall besides all of that stuff and to eat and drink everything pumpkin? Oktoberfest. The only reason I mentioned it is because I cheated really bad…and this deserves a shout out. Bear Mountain has Oktoberfest every year–with German food, music, beer steins, and some other stuff–if you haven’t gone yet you still have a few weekends. It was a blast–I went with some friends from Apple and we all stuffed our faces with Knotwurst, pretzels, beer….and this:
Belgian waffles with pumpkin pie ice cream. That, and a Dinkel Acker German beer. It felt like the adult equivalent of Christmas Morning…so it needed to be shared.
But onto the pumpkin food…I decided to make pumpkin turkey chili using my handy dandy slowcooker. I used this recipe and It came out really fantastic. I updated my spice rack completely as well (which for those of you who don’t know what that means, it just means burning your money…) but I know this will last me for a while. I got tamerin, paprika, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, chili powder, and some organic chicken/beef stock. I don’t know what half of those flavors even really taste like on their own, so it’s been kind of an adventure. I’ve been using my parents as guinea pigs, and the sheer look of terror they sport when I come at their face with a spoon full of paleo food should probably be documented. (In my defense, they’re always pleasantly surprised. They’re coming around–maybe soon my mom will actually figure out how to pronounce “Paleo” for me. I will feel like a proud mother hearing their child’s first word.)
The pumpkin turkey chili came out great–I just made entirely too much of it. I literally was pawning it off on my parents because my slow cooker has enough space to feed a college dorm full of hungry drunk girls. Looking back next time I should probably just freeze it…I also made butternut squash this month and it came out AMAZING-but I will make it in 2 weeks again for this group thing I go to so I will post about it then! 🙂
Another really great thing I came across was Chia seed pudding. For those of you who don’t know about Chia seeds-they have omega 3s, fiber, AND if you put them in water and let it sit for a little it helps your body to absorb the water better. I got together this past Sunday with my family at my aunts–and my cousin’s girlfriend told me about this Chia seed oatmeal she makes (she is gluten free) with gluten free oats, chia seeds, almond milk and a few other ingredients with fruit. I got to try a little and it was great, but obviously modifications had to be made–I found this recipe which looks great because it looks super hardy–I need a solid breakfast because coming back from Crossfit I’m so ravenously hungry that I can’t even get through getting ready for work without my stomach rudely interrupting my early morning shower singing. I haven’t cooked this recipe up yet–but I already have a large stock of pumpkin AND Chia seeds so when I do I’ll let you guys know how it goes!
It was really great to get together with my family and cook on Sunday…my aunt/uncle, mom, and my two cousins and their girlfriends. Earlier in the day my aunt, my cousins girlfriend and I went over to cheesecake factory for lunch (man this was a doozee…Cheesecake is essentially a diet bomb with menu entrees fit for the Hulk. I don’t physically understand how a plate that can fit a small child fits under normal food portioning standards…only in America.) Then, to add insult to injury they have a, “Skinnylicious” menu. First off, I can’t even read that without thinking about that stupid “housewife of I-don’t-care” state and her damn skinny martinis. I feel like a real asshole even reading it aloud to the waiter, and I purposely accented the word with heavy sarcasm to let him know that I was not amused. But they have a gluten-free menu which is actually kind of nice! So after reading I decided with all these stupid chemically processed ‘low fat dressings’ and literally, just normally portioned items, I decided to just make my own meal. I had them take the Kale salad (and dress it with balsamic instead of pepercorn dressing) with a burger, turkey and bacon on it…..it actually came out really amazing. I’ll probably order it everytime I’m there now–and then maybe they’ll call it the Carly and I’ll get famous so that I can finally reclaim my name and dignity from Carly Rae Jepson.
After brunch we headed over to Depiero’s farm in Woodcliff Lake (near where I used to work) so that my cousin’s girlfriend could get some veggies to bring back into the city and also so I could gallivant in the glory that is inexpensive, absolutely delicious produce. I always have a hard time finding good produce for cheap–and I’m really excited that a Fairway is now opening in Nanuet–it may make my hunting and gathering a lot easier now! But the entire time I was gathering things for zucchini spaghetti (I’ll get to that in a bit) I had the amazing aroma of Apple Cider donuts pretty much attacking my nose. The whole place smelled like sugary goodness.
And let me just say something about Apple Cider donuts…there aren’t many treats anymore that I would want to break my diet for anymore. Dunkin donuts look gross to me now….cakes don’t do it or cookies…or chocolates…occasionally candy, DEFINITELY fro-yo and then there are Apple Cider donuts. They 100% fall into their own category. They are like the best of dessert and the best of fall wrapped up together….and when you eat them you subconsciously are brought back to Halloweens of yester-year. It’s like seriously an out of body experience. (I don’t care how dramatic that sounded. I have a deep passion for food. DEEP.) So naturally, my aunt picked up a large quantity for us to have later with the entire family after dinner. (Fall legal ecstasy pictured below. Let the drooling commence.)
My aunt had mentioned apple crisp, so we picked up some apples for that–and naturally I started Pinterest-ing recipes in order to Paleo-ify it–we were having pasta for dinner and I needed to somehow salvage my amount of cheating for the day haha….We settled upon this recipe. I liked it because you don’t cut the apples the normal way…you do slices. This recipe called for pears, but I decided to switch off with tart granny smith and sweet fuji apples to give it an interesting mix. Now, this recipe has some butter and rolled gluten free oats so its not 100 percent paleo–but if you subbed coconut oil for the butter and then figured out some substitutes for the rolled oats like some nuts…I think it would be great as well. (The girls cutting the apples, and of course some apple cider)
The finished product was amazing–it really had perfect flavor and wasn’t overwhelming at all. We didn’t have pecans which would probably really kicked it up a notch, but it was good nonetheless. Sadly, I kept thinking about how amazing it would be with ice cream–but I have been on a ROLL the past week landsliding my 80% paleo 20% ratio (in the past week it was more like 40% i-eat-what-i-want) so I stayed good. The apple caramelized really nicely!
Later in the evening, I was telling my Aunt about how I kept seeing a mandolin on all these paleo blogs–(I had to put a link to what it is…NO it’s not a four string guitar. its so much better) and later in the evening, she took out one she bought and hadn’t used and gave it to me! (If you’re reading this Aunt Denise THANK YOU I’m obsessed…) you can probably get them online or from Bed bath and beyond or Macys. So when I got home I took my fresh squash and went to town. There came a point where I was having so much fun I started looking for vegetables to grate through this thing! (Also…the Nutty Professor was on and so naturally I was in a great mood. HERCULES, HERCULES!…i love the music montage when he’s in the sweatsuit below)
Anyways, it was a really magical moment. You can interchange the blades too–and make things like butterfly fries with sweet potatoes. I gotta start looking up some more recipes. Upon making my lunch for the week, I decided I was gonna grill up some plain chicken and make something I’ve always wanted to try: homemade pesto. I was surprised how easy it was–just pine nuts, olive oil, baby spinach and basil blended up. The ratios of ingredients aren’t always exact though, so you may have to play around! I got the pesto recipe in preparation for THIS dish (minus the cheese, duh) that I made and added chicken for lunch this week. The great thing about using the mandolin for the squash is that the squash only takes 2-3 minutes in a saute pan to cook up! So easy for lazy people haha this recipe was really interesting, the squash in spaghetti form mixes it up rather then just cutting it in coins so I would recommend it to anyone on the Paleo diet! You can make so many different types of sauces/veggies mixed in!
Well thats it food wise…now to switch over to some Crossfit progress 🙂 So last time I said that I was starting to Crossfit in the morning before work instead of after. I am going into my third week of going about 4-5 days a week, mostly before work. Is it as hard as I thought it would be? Yes and no…it’s actually really awesome to get the workout overwith and it really gets your blood flowing. I’ve also been tracking my progress with this App called, “Daily WOD” and I track my PRS, weight, times, and the daily WODS. It will be nice in a few months to see where I’m at!
I’ve also noticed that even though I have an almost 4 hour commute everyday, a 9-5 job and Crossfit…that I actually have more energy everyday to do things! I know part of it is the Paleo diet but part of it is definitely Crossfit. I usually end the workouts every morning with my back on the floor cause they kill me haha but later on in the day I usually feel peppy–even without coffee! I can also feel myself getting stronger–now when I do push ups or go grab the barbell it doesn’t feel quite as heavy as when I first started. That in itself–is an indescribable feeling.
I’ve also signed up to do the Scream and Clean competition with 3 of my new friends at Crossfit 🙂 Essentially its in Danbury, CT and there is Rx which is the one thats waaaay harder…and the scaled Intermediate one. You pretty much just do a WOD mixed with Crossfit movements (Including obviously clean and jerks, thrusters, box jumps [I LOVE!] double unders and burpees [i loathe]) with a team (2 girls and 2 guys) for time against other Crossfit gyms–and because it is near Halloween you get to dress up 🙂 We have a costume and I’m sure I’ll post next time–but for now I’m gonna keep it under wraps haha
In terms of the competition… I’m honestly not super competitive like I’ve mentioned in previous posts and was a little reluctant to sign up because I was afraid the other gyms might be a little crazy/over the top— and then it wouldn’t be fun–But after thinking about it, I just decided I really couldn’t muster up a shit to give about teams that would do that– I’m just happy to go with my Crossfit people and hopefully everyone at Rebel can hit new records or just make the gym proud, and I’m okay with that 🙂 I am hoping I’ll have a good experience and I know that most Crossfitters are a big community, so hopefully I’ll be able to see some of that.
Last, I’ve had many people tell me because I’m doing Crossift 4-5 days a week now that I’m now, “Sippin the Kool Aid”. (for anyone under a rock, this refers to cult-like tendencies which is just dumb…people go to the gym everyday don’t they?!)
But the only thing I have to say to them is I can’t even HAVE Kool Aid….it’s not Paleo 🙂
Okay on that incredibly corny line….have a nice long weekend everyone! Drink for Christopher Columbus–I’m sure he had a LOT of drinks when he realized the earth was not flat.