Sesame Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sesame Roasted Brussels SproutsEat your Brussels sprouts! Really…because they’re awesome. Little mini cabbages just waiting to be popped into your mouth. So delicious! I paired these with some pork ribs that had a Chinese five-spice rub on them and the two went together perfectly.

Sometimes just a few touches at the end of cooking can transform the flavor and feel of your dish and turn what might be an ordinary vegetable dish into exactly the right vegetable for what you’re eating. In this case, the tiny additions were toasted sesame oil and scallions. The sesame oil immediately provides an Asian flair and you don’t need much at all. The toasted variety is warm and inviting and incredibly flavorful. It also provides a silkiness to the dish, enticing you to take just one more bite. The scallions, or spring onions, pop in your mouth and give a wonderful freshness to the dish.

I would have topped the whole thing with some toasted sesame seeds, but my husband doesn’t like them, and I really like him, so I left them off. But you don’t have to! This would be delicious with some chicken or shrimp on the side – no need to get fancy. Let the Brussies steal the show!

Sesame Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 scallion, sliced

pepper to taste

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Mix with the melted coconut oil and toss with salt.

2) Place the sprouts in a large glass baking dish and roast for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring regularly so they brown richly but don’t burn.

3) Remove when they are tender but not mushy and nicely caramelized. Add the sesame oil, scallions, and any additional salt or pepper to taste.

Serves 2-3

2014 New Year, New Whole30 – Day 23

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

This is not my first Whole30, but this time I want to focus on a couple of specific elements: 1) fewer nuts as snacks and 2) fewer snacks in general. I would like to find the right mix of meals and pre-/post-workout fuel to keep me steady throughout the day.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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This week’s focus: Daily yoga or meditation. I need to find my calm center again and I have let my regular practice slide. I’ve decided that if I don’t have enough time for yoga, I do have 5 minutes to sit calmly and breath.

5:00 Black coffee

6:30 Dilly green beans, 3 eggs

12:00 Salmon Nicoise salad, 1/2 apple

3:00 Salmon salad, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 purple sweet potato

9:00 A few bites of chicken soup

Food When I got home from my afternoon out I was hungry! I don’t think the salad was too small, I just think I was having a hungry day. I didn’t end up needing dinner, which worked out great because I had an evening workout.

Mood Feeling stable today. I’m missing some of the real ups, but I guess stable is better than the downs.

Sleep 7.5. Back to normal. Great, deep sleep. Stirred once in the night but went straight back to sleep. Finally.

Activity Yoga in the morning. Walk in the woods with my son and friends in the afternoon. Weights and TRX at night. Whew!

Focus Yoga – my favorite way to ground. I have been working on Half-Moon pose lately and felt stronger in it today than ever before. For me, yoga is not about actually achieving the pose, or perfection in the pose, it really is the process. Half-moon pose came to me as something I want to work on because when I see it and think of it, there is this feeling of lightness and openness combined with strength that I want to feel. As I work towards it, I get a sense of that, which makes me want to keep going.

2014 New Year, New Whole30 – Day 22

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

This is not my first Whole30, but this time I want to focus on a couple of specific elements: 1) fewer nuts as snacks and 2) fewer snacks in general. I would like to find the right mix of meals and pre-/post-workout fuel to keep me steady throughout the day.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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This week’s focus: Daily yoga or meditation. I need to find my calm center again and I have let my regular practice slide. I’ve decided that if I don’t have enough time for yoga, I do have 5 minutes to sit calmly and breath.

6:20 Black coffee

8:30 Dilly green beans with 2 eggs

11:30 Tuna cup, tuna salad, veggie sticks

1:00 Apple, handful of almonds and raisins

3:00 Guacamole and veggies

6:30 Baked salmon with mushroom-asparagus cream sauce

Food My food was a bit all over the place today. Between workout, soccer, football, friends, it simply had no regularity to it. Some things were a bit snacky, but I stuck to healthy food and feel good.

Mood Feeling good. I have a lot to do this week and I’m hoping for a bunch of energy to get it done.

Sleep 9 hours! Nearly 9 1/2. That’s what happens when you collapse really early and let yourself sleep in. My body and mind say thank you!!

Activity Tabata workout today: Biceps, Tricep dips, Reverse lunge with jump, Jump pull-ups, Medball cleans. So much fun.

Focus Spent a few minutes before heading to bed sitting and breathing. I am still missing the time for yoga and will find a way back to that this week.

2014 New Year, New Whole 30 – Day 21

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

This is not my first Whole30, but this time I want to focus on a couple of specific elements: 1) fewer nuts as snacks and 2) fewer snacks in general. I would like to find the right mix of meals and pre-/post-workout fuel to keep me steady throughout the day.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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This week’s focus: Daily yoga or meditation. I need to find my calm center again and I have let my regular practice slide. I’ve decided that if I don’t have enough time for yoga, I do have 5 minutes to sit calmly and breath.

6:15 Black coffee

8:00 Sunrise kale, 2 eggs

11:30 Mexican beef salad

1:00 Tuna cup and pineapple

3:00 Almonds and raisins

6:30 Fajitas with salsa and guac (none of the other stuff)

Food I am so happy with my dinner choice. There could have been chips and salsa, there could have been cheese and tortillas, but there weren’t. And honestly, it was not even difficult. I knew I wanted food that satisfied me without sending me face-first sliding into carb and sugar cravings. I still found myself pretty hungry during the earlier part of the day, but overall I feel like I am cruising towards something good. It feels entirely sustainable.

Mood A little stress, a little anxiety. Just working through things. I still feel like these are all normal emotions and I definitely prefer that to the feeling of being driven by a sugar craving or hormonal surge.

Sleep 8 1/2 hours. Finally. It was a little disjointed – I fell asleep while my son was showering and then was up a while after that, woke up in the middle of the night a couple times, etc. – but I was able to fall back to sleep and feel rested today.

Activity Sprints Squats Sit-ups. Done!

Focus Day 1 of my new focus did not go perfectly. The entire day went by and only while I was lying in bed about to fall asleep did I manage to pause my thoughts. I learned, though, that if the whole day gets away from me, I can still tune in to my breath and center for mere minutes before I fall asleep, and it helps.

2014 New Year, New Whole30 – Day 20

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

This is not my first Whole30, but this time I want to focus on a couple of specific elements: 1) fewer nuts as snacks and 2) fewer snacks in general. I would like to find the right mix of meals and pre-/post-workout fuel to keep me steady throughout the day.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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This week’s focus: Post-workout nutrition.

4:00 Black coffee

6:30 Kale, 3 eggs, salsa, 1/4 avocado, 1 tuna cup, pineapple

12:00 Chicken Apple Basil salad

3:00 Bell pepper strips and 2 tuna cups

6:00 Mexican beef on cauliflower mash, Paleo calabacitas

Food Obviously quite hungry this morning. It could be my body replenishing from the low-food days this week or it could be that I didn’t sleep again and it knows we need some fuel to make it through. Either way, I was truly hungry and let that be my guide. And then I continued to be hungry all day – which might be the workout, the returned appetite, or the lack of sleep. Anyone’s guess at this point. I am just staying in tune and making healthy choices until it steadies again.

Mood Good! A little tired mid-day due to lack of sleep but I feel remarkably clear-headed and happy.

Sleep Well…so much for consistent sleep. 5 hours. This is the first Whole30 that I have done that has not produced deep, regular, restorative sleep. I know it is because my brain has been overly concerned with change – both the good and the bad – and that it will settle down. At least I hope it will! Perhaps the fact that I haven’t been consistent with my yoga is also impacting this. It might be time to restructure my days to make time for calm.

Activity Chest and back today in a rather disjointed workout, but my upper body feels completely done! I’ll be needing some cardio and legs this weekend!

Focus I brought my snack with me but got distracted running errands and didn’t get to it. Ended up just eating lunch as soon as I could – not too bad, but not great either.

Chicken Apple Basil Salad

Chicken Apple Basil SaladSalad. Some people think of it as diet food or rabbit food or boring or sad. I am not one of those people. I happen to love all kinds of salads and if I am ever in a situation where I am not getting enough veggies or haven’t had salad in a while, like on vacation for example, I start to really crave it. My son laughs at me because I have been known to have salad for breakfast on more than one occasion. I don’t know what it is exactly. I do like the freshness of it, it feels good to get a lot of veggies going in at once, but maybe it’s more about the variety. It is one of those marvelous things that you can do just about anything with. No matter what flavor profile you’re looking for, you can probably turn it into a salad. It’s totally customizable as well – no basil? Try parsley. Don’t like nuts? Skip ’em. Leftover beef instead of chicken? Yum!

If you are already a salad lover, then I hope you enjoy this one. If you aren’t, maybe you’ll come over to the green side!

Chicken Apple Basil Salad

8 oz. cooked chicken

1 large apple, chopped (I used an Ambrosia apple, which is fairly sweet)

1/4 c. fresh basil, slivered about 2 Tbsp.

1/8 of a red onion, thinly sliced

a few crunchy lettuce leaves, slivered

1 Tbsp. toasted almond slices

2 Tbsp. Paleo mayonnaise (I use this recipe with the immersion blender)

1 Tbsp. lime juice

salt and pepper

Directions

1) Stir together mayo and lime juice, add a pinch of salt.

2) Place all other ingredients in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Add pepper and additional salt to taste. That’s it!!

Serves 1-2

2014 New Year, New Whole30 – Day 19

Whole30 2014For the next 30+ days, I will be eating meat, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits and nuts. I will not be eating processed food, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes, and I won’t be consuming any alcohol.

This is not my first Whole30, but this time I want to focus on a couple of specific elements: 1) fewer nuts as snacks and 2) fewer snacks in general. I would like to find the right mix of meals and pre-/post-workout fuel to keep me steady throughout the day.

If you’re doing a Whole30 or other challenge, if you are living/exploring the Paleo lifestyle, or if you are simply looking for some tasty recipes to add to your repertoire, be sure to leave a comment to let me know you’re out there! I am so glad you stopped by!

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This week’s focus: Post-workout nutrition.

5:00 Black coffee

6:30 Kale, 3 eggs, cucumber-tomato-avocado salad

10:00 Tuna cup

11:30 Grilled chicken salad with lots of veggies

2:30 Post-workout Tuna cup

6:30 Five-spice pork ribs, Sesame Brussels sprouts, 1/2 banana, 1 orange

Food My hunger is coming back and I’m sure it has some making up to do! I’m trying to keep things steady and not go crazy.

Mood I am excited and happy about my new adventure. Still a bit overwhelmed with the number of things on my to-do list lately, but I’m checking them off one at a time.

Sleep 7 hours. I have some making up to do here as well but that felt great!

Activity CrossFit style workout for 25mins – dripping with sweat at the end. Then a few biceps and triceps just for fun.

Focus Tuna cup post-workout. I think I’m back in the habit of refueling and I’ve found something that really works for me. There will be a recipe for these coming soon because they are great pre- and post-workout as well as for a snack.