Monday, August 3, 2015

Boat Season :: Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

It may be something about summer time that just makes ya wanna be on a boat, by a boat, stuffing a boat...oh wait. Well regardless of your boat desires, I've seen a lot of people creating stuffed zucchini boats lately and I needed to jump on board. This is an easy way to get a good combination of your macros and a quick way to combine whatever produce may be in your fridge. And hey, they're cute!

What I Used:
  • 3 Zucchinis
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups fresh arugula 
  • Homemade jalepeno ranch dressing
  • Avocado oil
  • FlavorGod Garlic Lovers Seasoning
  • Shredded or julienne sweet potato for garnish

Then What Happened:
  1. Preheat oven to 375*F
  2. Wash and slice zucchinis length wise and hollow out centers. I left the ends on to keep the structure in place. I used my zesting tool to help route out the centers.
  3. On a foil lined pan, I laid out my boats and sprinkled them with avocado oil and my Garlic Lovers. 
  4. Bake them for about 20 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, brown your meet of choice and throw in whatever other veggies you'd like to add in as well as your seasonings
  6. I add a layer of the shredded sweet potato to my baking pan for the last 5 minutes to get some crispy boat toppers!
  7. Pull the boats out and stuff with the meat mixture.
  8. Drizzle some dressing over the boats and top with your crispy's and enjoy!

    This is obviously a utensil situation...BUT that texture and flavor are a GREAT combo!
    So get to boating because it is STILL eight thousand degrees outside.

    Finding Fit, 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Do Something Jar :: My WholeLIFE101

Well I posted a teaser on Instagram on Sunday night and have peaked some interest as to what exactly my next adventure is. And I'm here to divulge.
Here's the thing. It's quite simple. Just DO SOMETHING.

I recapped my Whole101 challenge here. And, well, the gist was to make "clean", Whole30 food choices for 101 days without cheating. While it was a great step back in the right direction for me, the next thing missing is my consistency in (or complete lack of) regular exercise. <<To be caught up to speed on why I have had to *temporarily* give up Crossfit, refer to my PIVOT point post.>>

Knowing my challenge-driven-mentality, one of the besties (for the purpose of this challenge, we'll call her CoachBecca) stepped up to push me into my next 101 days. "I challenge you to do at least 10 minutes of working out EVERY day for the next 101 days".
STEP BACK. WE HAVE A WINNER! Let me assure you, I'm aware 10 minutes does not a full work out make. But the name of the game is consistency, people, and CoachBecca knows exactly how to cultivate that challenge for me. ...the Do Something Jar.
This magic jar is stocked full of forty 10-minute workouts designed by Coach Becca, which I can do even with the tear in my rotator cuff. Can't make it to the Addison Athletic Club? Pull a notecard out for a 10-minute workout easily done at my apartment gym or outside. Can't even get down there? Pull a pink card for a 10-minute workout easily completed in my own lil apartment. Here was tonight's little pink card:
Yall. I could not for the life of me, get this picture to consider it artsy.
Once a card is completed I toss it in my empty jar and wait to work through all of them, before repeating a round through them all again.
Again, it's artsy.
Lemme cut to the chase. For the next 101 days, I am going to get in at least 10 minutes of working out each and every day. On top of this challenge to actually DO something, I am repeating my Whole101 to be cheat free in my meals again. (A brief stint of vacation and gallivanting proved, once again, that my gut WAY prefers the clean-eatin, paleo life) All these powers combined, create the WholeLIFE101.

I'm hopeful that this will re-spark my love of workouts and craving for activity, while I'm sidelined from Crossfiting with my bum shoulder. Plus who doesn't love this adorable little magic jar full of colorful, life-giving activities, written out with love by CoachBecca??

"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in GOOD HEALTH as it goes WELL WITH YOUR SOUL" 3 John 1:2
So here's to good health friends, because I LIKE things that go well with my soul. :)

Venturing through my WholeLIFE101 and
Finding Fit, 

Friday, July 3, 2015

True Satiation :: The Whole101 Recap.

Today is day 102. I've officially completed my self-challenge of a Whole101. And let me tell you, it was ALL mental...  ...until it was all HABIT. 
Though the things I experienced and learned on this little challenge are no different from what I already knew to be true about "eating clean", I witnessed, yet again, how the mind game of "not cheating" becomes a mindful decision to create healthy habits, in all areas. 

You know how it is. It starts out a mental game of convincing yourself it's not worth that small cheat... the appetizer or dessert everyone is sharing...the happy hour indulgence...the free sample at Costco... It's not worth it and you know it. You've got friends keeping track of your days, and your answer needs to be "nope, still no cheats!". 

Well then something switches...and your heart and mind catch up to each other. You realize there is a reason you're doing this.You realize you feel really good about this. You realize your BODY feels really good about this. And the unwavering habit settles in. It doesn't make it easy. It doesn't make it automatic. There are still choices to be made, discernment to be had, and effort to be prepared. ALWAYS prepared.

As I've worked through this "season" of this challenge and the other events in my life over the past 101 days and 2015, I have seen over and over again, that this wasn't a food challenge. It was a focus challenge. Focus on health, focus on others, and first and foremost, focus on God. HE has given me strength and determination to do what I set out to do. HE has put people in my path to love on and pray for. HE has redirected my cravings from "non-clean" eats to a healthier me AND more hearts after HIM. 

"Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst is a book I started reading about a year ago; and, I admit, I'm terrible at finishing books I've started so I haven't finished it. BUT I found it fitting that in my last few days of this nutrition challenge, I came across the book and a quote I had pulled out:
Obviously, this had stuck out to me before, but this time, in a different way. I've seen the ups and downs of so many friends and myself over the last 101 days, both believers and non-believers struggling with all sorts of life obstacles. And while I've always been a good ear to listen, I've found myself wanting, NEEDING, CRAVING the Lord's sovereignty, grace and sufficiency in each and every situation for each and every person...and in my own life.
I restarted reading Dallas and Melissa Hartwig's "It Starts With Food". And while these first few chapters have been all science. Insulin, Leptin...hormones...satiety and satiation.... I've started to realize that these two books walk hand in hand. The Lord wants good things for our bodies. He wants healthy, fully functioning organs, rested and energetic bodies. But more than anything, He wants our only true SATIATION to come from HIM and HIS WORD. While I will always believe that a meal of balanced macros and sufficient water intake will help you be full and satisfied, TRUE satiation, comes from the knowing and seeking Jesus. 

He has walked with me through these 101 days. He has walked with me through the past 27.5 years. He already knows what's next and He is already there.

I sent a text to the old roommate about 5 days ago realizing that it had truly taken this whole 100 days to refocus and actually feel good about what I was doing and how my body was responding. Her response was genuine excitement and happiness for me. In that, I saw God's light too. He is excited for me, no matter what small or big progress I make. He uses her, and other amazing supportive friends and family, to show me this.
I leave you with a different translation of my fitness scripture, 1 Corinthians 6:19. I love the relaxed and direct wording of the Message translation and that it just felt so accurate for this wrap up of my Whole101:

"Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."  (The Message)

Cheers to the next 101 challenge and to a summer celebratory cocktail today!
Happy Independence Day, yall!
Finding Fit, 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nailing Pizza Night :: Perfect Paleo Pizza.

In the past 4ish years of my kitchen follies in Paleo cooking, I have always said I would try one of the ever-so-popular Paleo pizza crusts.Somehow, I have always found it too intimidating, seemingly complicated, or just not the adventure for that night. Well, this was the night!
My coworker, Karen, more affectionately called KSue, shared this link to a pizza crust from Paleo Spirit. She mentioned it being really easy, so I stocked up on the ingredients so that I could be ready to make it any point. Finally, last night, as I wrapped up day 98 of my Whole101, I decided it was time to try it.

The crust was super easy and straight forward. I may play with adding some spices and herbs next time to mix up the flavor, but trust me, it was good just as is! I left the pan in the oven while it preheated so it was nice and toasty when I transferred the parchment paper over to the hot pan. I baked my crust for 10 minutes before taking it out to add toppings and this is what it looked like.
 I added a thick slather of Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara (check your labels!), followed by a full layer of fresh arugula. Boiled chicken from the weekend was easy to cut into thin slices to add some protein and then a nice sprinkle of sun dried tomatoes and some more sauce topped it all off.
 While I think this was a great combo of flavors to start, I went ahead and added a dusting of Flavor God's "Everything Seasoning" and a little extra dried basil to the top for full flavor optimization!
 Back in the oven for about 5-6 more minutes...I just watched to see the toppings crisp up a little and make sure the crust didn't burn.
The crust edge was perfectly crispy around the edges while the toppings all molded together like one big smear of flavor. So much so, that I didn't even notice the absence of cheese! Sorry boutcha, Dairy! The center was not to crispy while sturdy enough to still allow me to eat it just like a slice of pizza.

Yall. Some experiments take some refining and spice testing to get something worthy of bragging about. This pizza? Nailed it on the first try. I can't wait to experiment with different toppings and possibly even venture into new creations out of the crust.

So bring on days 100 and 101 of my Whole101. This pizza is comin with me into the next 100 and I'm PUMPED about it.

Pizza Night On, Friends!
Finding Fit,

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kitchen MVP Spotlight :: The Emulsion Blender.

As an artist and designer, I have my hands-down favorite pens (which are stashed in every nook and cranny of my life), my go-to brushes, and the favored paper consistency. Naturally. So when it comes to the kitchen follies, there are obviously going to be some key important tools and devices, this "chef" gravitates towards for her clean eatin masterpieces. Obviously.

While there are a few things that my meal prep could not survive without, I had to start with a particular such Cuisinart Hand Held Emulsion Blender.
Once upon a time, I was desperate to create a "paleo" mayo or other form of bonding agent for yummy dishes like chicken salad, deviled eggs and the like. But the "slowly drizzle your oil" step in every recipe was quite the turn off. When I'm meal prepping, time is golden, okay?? I finally got my hands on one of these bad boys as a present from my sister and my life is forever changed! ...or at least my dips, dressings and mayo's...
Finally I can dump it all in one spot and in less than 10 seconds, I have a perfect consistency, all natural, homemade dressing of any kind.
I mean, it's literally magic.
You've seen me rave about the jalapeno ranch. Well this is the tool that makes that happen and that's just the start of it.
The base of any sort of "mayo" is as easy as
  • 2/3 cup of Avocado oil (or any other light tasting oil...EVOO...)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
From there, it's just about spices. Dill, Parsley and some Cayenne have become a go-to for a little kick of flavor. The jalapeno, garlic powder and a little extra lemon juice make that delicious jalapeno ranch dip. Experiment with any spices, hot sauces and other flavors to produce all sorts of dips and dressings.

It seems bizarre but it truly is a matter of just throwing everything in the tall container, starting the blender on low at the base and slowly raising to the top for perfection. My friends have literally seen this happen and gone "what just happened??" The response? Magic.

I store my dressings and dips in these easy little 2 ounce plastic cups with lids for easy grab and go.
While this act of magic is enough for this little guy to make the MVP list, there is actually an entire manual of other things to be done with it. With an additional whisk attachment, variable speed dial and easy to use and wash body, this tool is well worth making the kitchen cabinet cut.

So run, don't saunter, and grab your own little magic machine. Your meal-prep deserves it. And so do you.

Finding Fit,

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Avocado Swag :: Chicken Stuffed Avocados.

So I posted a picture of my dinner a couple weeks ago (I know. No surprise there.) and you'da thought I had cured stupidity or something. While I'd love to take complete credit for those avocado dream boats, I was inspired by other clean cooking master minds!
The inspiration for these shredded chicken stuffed avocados came from a find on none other than Instagram. I get the majority of my inspiration from Instagram and all the amazing Paleo, Clean-eating, Whole30 accounts out there. There are so many people sharing their kitchen follies, their weight loss journeys, and just healthy lifestyle in general; and, Instagram makes it so easy to find them. As ridiculous as #hashtags can be since, let's face it, they really just started as commentary on our own commentary, they truly are helpful in connecting with other posts and blogs to get creative juices flowing. <Insta Paleo Community Plug Over>

Back to those stuffed avocados...

The idea came from Fed & Fit. Find her easy to follow instructions HERE. Her method of making easily shredded chicken is seriously awesome. I always end up chopping my chicken when it won't shred but this shredded perfectly with two forks and stayed perfectly moist.  Will definitely be using this method for more kitchen play in the future.

ANYWAY, I chose to use some of my new limited edition "Cajun Lovers Seasoning" from FlavorGod. You've heard me rave about these amazing seasonings and this one is no different. I gave a nice coating to the chicken after shredding it for some serious flavor!
The next steps say to stuff your avocado halves with the chicken and bake for 5 minutes at 400* while prepping your drizzle.
I opted to use my go-to Paleo Jalapeno Ranch because I find it so easy to make and have on hand and I just love the flavor :) I posted the link to this dressing back here and highly recommend getting on that!

My side of choice was my Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts and I even sprinkled some crispy bacon pieces over the avocados for some added texture.
Fresh out the oven, yall
With a drizzle of the ranch and along side a scoop of sprouts, these stuffed avocados brought some serious game to dinner. I can see these making great appetizers or great Super Bowl or otherwise entertainment centered delicatessen. I even liked them cold for easy leftovers!
So get your avocado swag on, get your Instagram inspiration ignited, and...ya know...always add bacon.

Stuffing Avocados and Finding Fit,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Lather, Rinse, Whole30, Repeat :: My Whole101.

Most people have seen my post from last weekend about the recent setbacks for me in 2015. Well, one area I didn't really address was nutrition. You can probably guess that inconsistency in circumstances can cause some serious wavering in focus in all areas.

As I started to truly see back-spliding in my weightloss and determination, it was one of my best friends who, as usual, spoke some truth to me. My friends and I love the "paleo", "clean eating" take on nutrition because it truly is feasible AND healthy at the same time. I truly believe you can turn a Whole30 into a lifestyle that is adaptable for anyone and their goals. The problem, as she pointed out, is that at THIS point in my weightloss journey, I am still not ready for a "lifestyle" approach. Not yet. And she's right.

In my first few months of  Crossfit, one of my coaches looked at me as I paused to catch my breath during a workout. She said "You should be working harder than anyone here". While someone else may have wanted to slug her, I found myself thankful. Thankful for coaches who recognize how to push me. Thankful for the acknowledgement of a hard truth. And thankful for that community I had found.

I can't help but think of that moment when thinking of my "not yet". To continue my personal fitness journey that is my own and unlike anyone else's, I have to work unlike anyone else. I've noticed a lot of "not yet's" in my twenties and am continually spurred to press into God's plan when mine isn't going as plannd...and this time, I couldn't help but feel spurred to (yes, yet another) WHOLE30! But this time, it's not just a challenge to eat perfectly well for 30 days...I'm goin for 101!

Why 101? Well a Whole100 sounds really cool, so I started with the thought of get another Whole30 out of the way and then continue into a Whole100. And if the goal is a refocused mindset and a continued determination, then the 1 day more than 100 just sounds like a good step towards perpetuating forward.

For now, I am working my way through event after event, traveling, banquets, holidays and celebrations, without straying to a "cheat", and proving to myself and others that there truly are "NO EXCUSES". Sitting at Day 46 as I write, I know that my focus this time isn't necessarily weight loss as much as complacency loss. A calendar by my door counts the days for a visual accountability and prepped meals, snacks, and friends and family prevent that complacency from setting in.
While I'd like to say that this will be all it takes, my "not yet" has proven a serious discipline is necessary for results. SO lather, rinse, Whole30, REPEAT...because a reset is in progress, PEOPLE!

Whole 101-ing AND
Finding Fit,

Sunday, May 3, 2015

PIVOT :: Adjusting 2015.

Well hey there. I almost didn't recognize ya there...I know. That's on me.

I'd like to blink my eyes and open them to see that I've been faithfully sharing my journey here...that I have written more than maybe three posts in 2015...that I haven't let the valleys of this year suppress my love for sharing in this type of fit community. But the truth stares me in the face on the other side of this blink. It's been a trying year so far and I've let it distract me from my goals, my determination, and my community.

Now before you go thinking this is a boo-hoo pity party post, let me assure you, I would NOT be posting if I had not found hope and perspective in all of it. If sharing this story of trial encourages one person, that's all I can ask.

The long story short-ish...
One sunny Sunday afternoon in January, I was headed home, when suddenly a giant hovercraft, in the form of a Honda Pilot, came crashing into my poor innocent Camry's backseat. While my confidence in Dallas drivers was at an all-time high (only Dallas-sites share my sentiments), I watched as they towed off my now totaled 13 year-old ole faithful CamCam. At that moment, I was forced to search for any feeling besides helplessness, not knowing how much this little crash would affect me for months to come...but also knowing that the Lord knew that crash was going to happen and was preparing me for many shifts in my life.
With a bad bout of whiplash (which I will hence forth never underestimate the significance of...EVER again) and some shoulder pain from the impact of my seat belt, I held off about 4 weeks before heading back to CrossFit in February. And within a week, I realized something was not right with my shoulder. Again, I walked away pretty unscathed from this wreck and was so thankful it wasn't worse, so I had no idea the possible lingering repercussions.

When Strep throat, a virus, and a sinus infection all took up residence with me in the first few weeks of March, I had made up my mind that 2015 had a personal vendetta out against Lisa Marie Sorenson and would stop at nothing to suck my joy and ensure I saw nothing of my Crossfit box or consistency in my weight loss journey with very evident consequences. 

It wasn't until just recently, with the end of April, that I finally got some concrete answers from an MRI showing that I have a partial insertion tear in my rotator cuff and some aggravation and tendonitis in my bicep from the accident (I won't pretend to really understand what he showed me on the screen but I've gathered the gist). Thankful for an answer and a not-so-terrible one at that, my heart still sank. My head spent the last 3 months somewhere between "I'll get back to Crossfit soon enough" and "oh woe is me, when will I get back to Crossfit". And now there is a reality that my journey to fit has to take on a different look. A different strategy. A different heart posture.

It was the very day that I took on the weight of my upsetting news, that I sat down in a coffee shop to prepare for that night's Bible study, drowning my sorrow in the Word with a giant side of French press. We've been studying James and learning of a genuine faith. As I read over the week's readings, I did a double and triple take as the words of James 5:11 resonated through my being.

"As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. 
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

I won't equate my trials to those of Job, but I do believe that God uses his story to bring comfort to those in trials, big and small, and to refine our hearts and minds to turn only to HIM for strength, endurance and expectation that HE is being glorified in it all. We are not promised sunshine and lollipops. We are promised there WILL BE trials, but; my Lord IS compassionate and merciful and IN CONTROL. Where my type-A, control freak side is screaming with weakness, He is made strong. 

It has taken the outpouring love and wisdom of several gospel-sound friends and loved ones to spur me towards the understanding that this shift in my life is in God's Will and, as long as I walk openly with Him in this, He will be glorified. He has interjected over and over again in this season, this year of 2015, and shown me where I can be pressing so much further into Him. 

So I press into this season as the first days of May come trickling in. I won't pretend this isn't taking a daily humbling and that I'm not having to strive for a desire to seek my fitness goals in other ways. I am positive my pride will take a hit when this once PR'ing push press girl will be doing simple movements with tiny weights in physical therapy starting this week. But with a community of support and a shiny new membership to the Addison Athletic club (swanky, I know), this girl is ready to continue her journey with a slight pivot (PIVOT). 

I've been perpetually reminded of the lyrics of a song from Elevation Worship, that seem so fitting and the chorus is such:

I will look up for there is none above you
I will bow down to tell you that I need you
Jesus, Lord of all
Jesus, Lord of all
I will look back and see that you are faithful
I look ahead believing you are able
Jesus, Lord of all
Jesus, Lord of All

While my circumstances are ever-changing. He is ever faithful, ever present, ever able. 

New strategy. Same Girl. Same Goals. Same journey. Same God.
Still Finding Fit,

OH and I promise to be more faithful in posting.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Best Part of Wakin Up :: The Breakfast Bowl.

The best part of wakin up? Well there better be some folgers...or otherwise strong black my cup because this girl is NOT a morning person. What does that mean for morning time meals? BE PREPARED. <In the most non-scary-evil-uncle-lion-Mufasa scenario possible.> While typical breakfasts foods run the gamete of sugary cereals to sticky syrup drenched other forms of grains and carbs, take heart! There are many a fun ways to get your clean on in the AM hours.

And while I plan to share several breakfast options, it would be a crime for me to start anywhere but with the beloved Breakfast Bowl! The tasty combo of meat, eggs and hash has become a staple in the foodie community as many a hot-foodie-spot have their own version of this here in Dallas. And, I mean, what's not to like?? Meat? Good. Eggs? Good. Sweet potato hash? Gooood.

So to take the restaurant lovin home, I started making my own Breakfast Bowl a few years ago and continue to adapt it to my meal preps. It's very straight forward, stores easily, and reheats beautifully.

THE Breakfast Bowl...

What I use:
  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound of ground meat (bison, beef, turkey all work perfectly!)
  • 12 eggs
  • Seasonings of choice (I use FlavorGod "Everything Spicy")
  • Avocado oil for cooking (You can sub whatever oil you are comfortable with. I would stick to Avocado or Coconut though as these cook at higher heats and retain nutrients better than olive oil)
  • A few strips of bacon for garnish and some grease factor

Then What Happens:
  1. Wash and dry your sweet potatoes. Chop them into about 1/4"-1/2" sized cubes as evenly as possible to help them cook consistently. (you can peel but I prefer the texture of the skin on)
  2. Heat a large skillet about with some avocado oil coating the base over medium-high heat.
  3. Dump in your sweet potatoes and toss around in the oil. Simmer for a minute and then stir around before covering with a lid to allow to steam for a small bit. 
  4. Coat in your seasonings (if you don't have Flavor God, fix that. In the meantime...garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin and coriander make a great combo!)
  5. Continue to stir and simmer, turning the heat down after about 5 minutes of the potatoes steaming.       
  6. Meanwhile get your meat cooking in another skillet. Coat the meat in same seasonings and brown meat completely.
  7. Once the meat is brown, dump into the sweet potato pan to mix up.
  8. I use the same meat pan and the left over juice to scramble up a dozen eggs
  9. Add seasonings to the eggs and cook completely, flipping around.
  10. Dump the eggs in and let everything simmer together on low for a couple minutes!
  11. The last thing I like to do is add in some crispy bacon all broken up in and over my divided up bowls. to add a little bacon grease and some crunch!
Add either some avocado slices or guacamole to the top along with a little salsa if you like for some sweet flavor!

It truly is an simple prep and a great way to be prepared to not fall victim to "breakfast foods" and start the day out right!

Love and Bacon Garnish,
Finding Fit,

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Life Hack :: Makin the Most of Brown Bananas.

While bananas aren't as mean as avocados, getting the perfect bushel with the perfect lasting ripeness is still quite the feat. Too green and you wait a lifetime to eat one, too yellow and brown spots for days! I mean who eats all their bananas in one day?! <don't do that. They are full of vitamins but also lots of naturally occurring sugar> Shortly into the week, you may encounter the all too common case of the browning nanners...something like this:
Well I'm here to give you a couple tasty life hacks to put those ripe nanas to good use and not waste anything...while still keepin it clean!

One favorite trick is these frozen almond butter banana bites. How often do you just need one little treat to end your evening with? Ladies, am I right? Well these are guilt-free and delicious and use your browning bananas. Simply slice your nanner into thin discs and then layer almond butter between two discs.<Don't forget to be checking your almond butter labels to ensure you're only getting ALMONDS and maybe sea salt if you prefer it>
I line a flat plastic container with them and stick them in the freezer. They'll be ready as soon as an hour or two later. Easy to grab a few after a meal and nip that lil sweet tooth in the butt.

Second hack with those brown bananas also involves a frozen treat. Ever miss ice cream?!? Again, I somehow feel it appropriate to direct that question at the ladies... Well this is the easiest faux "ice cream" you'll ever make and it's awesome!
When the bananas are brown, peel them and break them into 3 or 4 pieces each and drop them in a gallon size freezer ziplock bag. I try to always have bananas in the freezer to be prepared to whip up this little treat. Depending on how many people you're making it for, throw 1 or 2 bananas worth of frozen pieces into a food processor. The taste of the over-ripe bananas is already sweet so you can scoop it out and eat as is:
OR you can toss in some other optional items. Sometimes I mix in unsweetened cocoa powder, a spoon of almond butter, or even frozen cherries for some zing! I mean look at these pictures. You would never know this wasn't real ice cream...and you can leave the guilt with BlueBell.

Just a quick treat tip to look like a brown banana boss.
Finding Fit AND Frozen Treats,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Veggies on Veggies on Veggies :: Just add Paleo Jalapeno Ranch.

I posted a photo recently on my Instagram (@designerlisa) professing my desire to include more raw veggies in my meals.
Hopefully the reasoning is somewhat common sense to most. Anything in it's truest form is going to be the most beneficial to your body. That is, afterall, the overriding point of eating in a "clean" or "paleo" style lifestyle. We were intended to consume real, true food and it was intended to fuel our bodies in a medicinal way...and any time the food is morphed or modified or manipulated into something processed and different, it becomes just the opposite of medicine...harmful to the body. Now, don't hear me saying that we can't cook and create beautiful culinary delishness in the kitchen...I'm simply referring to using real, whole foods in the way that we create the concoctions.

While that may seem a bit of a rabbit trail, it is true that the more you cook, steam, bake, fry your beautifully healthy and fresh produce, the more your nutrients are forced out of the food. It is not reasonable to assume you can just simply eat raw veggies all the time and not go a little insane. Cooking and making fun variety out of real foods is still HEALTHY and good for your body. BUT, the point of this post is to encourage mixing in plenty of RAW veggies. The raw, pure forms of vegetables and fruit are so full of wonderful vitamins and minerals, natural anti-inflammatorys and anti-oxidants, that you'd be crazy to not want to feed your body with these natural medicines.

This past week, I decided to start adding in more salads in my meal preps, in effort to get more raw produce in my daily intake. But salads don't have to be flavorless, mundane or boring...

No way that's a "healthy" salad, right? WRONG. This colorful beautiful salad is full of real, fresh, raw ingredients, and...incidentally, has been the object of much desire in the office kitchen too! Fresh veggies, clean meat, and a delicious home-made dressing to top make this a healthy and flavorful lunch.
So here's what I tossed in here to keep it simple, from bottom to top:
  • Cherry Tomatoes 
  • pre-chopped Veggie Mix from Trader Joe's (cabage, celery, radishes, jicama, carrots...all kinds of goodies)
  • Broccoli Slaw also from Trader Joe's
  • Arugula, and/or other power greens (spinach, kale, chard...)
Notice the name of the game is pre-done...while it is great to have time to prep, chop and dice all the veggies, I also have to admit that I find HUGE value in the ready-to-go various veggie options at Trader Joe's. This makes this meal so fast and easy...

With the base of the salad easily done, I just cook up some meat to put with the salad. In this instance, I cooked up some ground turkey doused in some Flavor God seasoning. I store separately to either heat or mix in cold when I dump it at work. Any kind of good quality meat you like with your salads will do from tuna and chicken to turkey, beef or bison. Pick your poison!

The other element of prep is the salad dressing. I go through phases of liking just some olive oil and lime juice or vinegar...but lately (as seen in a lot of my posts) I've become addicted to a tasty homemade concoction that I came across on the Living Loving Paleo blog! She has a wonderful variety of delicious recipes. And her jalapeno ranch has rocked my world! I've included a link the the recipe HERE! It is truly delicious and adds great flavor to anything instantly! With an avocado oil base, it is a great source of healthy fat and a small bit goes a long way.
For the purpose of my salads on the go, I have divided mine into small 2oz containers. I also bring a little container with some Frank's Red Hot Sauce as I have a sudden obsession with a lil kick and love the mix of a little Frank's in my salad too.
I bring my mason jar, my meat, and my little condiments to work. I keep a large mixing bowl there which I use and wash each time I bring a salad so I can easily just dump everything together, mix it well, and ENJOY!

It's a seriously wonderful way to change up the ole salad and bring in lots of nutrients and LIFE to your meal prep!

Mix and dump yall!
Finding Fit,

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolving to Resolve in 2015.

You wouldn't want to leave a James Bond movie, not knowing if Bond saved the day AND got the girl.
You wouldn't want to make it through a mystery novel to find the last chapter missing with all your answers.
And we all definitely needed to know if Rachel got off the plane (spoiler...she did.)
Common thread? Resolution.

There is a constant need for resolve in our lives. Even if books, movies and Friends episodes aren't your pick (though you should reconsider the FRIENDS thing. I mean, come on, she got off the plane!!!), there is a need to finish, complete or tie off all the loose ends in our lives, whatever they may be. We seek to see a before and after, a beginning and an end, a final result to give validation to whatever journey or process it took to get to that point.

You're probably a sharp cookie and can see where this is going...yes, I referenced cookies...and yes, I'm forging head first towards a talking-to about New Year's "Resolutions"...
Now before you think I'm ringing in the new year as some cynical party pooper, let me assure you I am your glass half-full, rainbows and butterflies (and compromise), goal setting, dream chasing, everyone's foam-finger-waving-cheerleader, let the good times roll, girl.
With that said, I admit I have a hint of scoffed eye-roll reaction any time I see the ads for "New Year's Resolutions" and the posts pop up on social media outlets. How many of us have set a lofty New Year's Resolution, fallen short, messed up or jumped the tracks within weeks, subsequently taking on either disappointment in your own failure or a laugh-at-yourself attitude in celebration of the reality that we knew we set ourselves up to fail anyways?? I heard my pastor say "if we succeed, it goes to our head and if we fail, it goes to our heart". He was talking about the building of character in regards to trial and perseverance through failures and successes. Rather than skeptically laughing at our inevitable let downs, why don't we fix our hearts on joys and lessons of each up and down. Rather than posting some formulated list (I'm a list maker, so I'm not hating on my fellow kind), start focusing on the small adjustments that will posture your heart and mind in a place to truly be in God's Will and I truly believe your personal best will just become a side effect of that!

It's the list of resolutions put out there as some pretty veneer of what we think others believe our lives should look like. It's the list of ideals we see as missing from our lives, even if they may not truly be reasonable for ourselves. It's the comparison to what others have done and what others may have that paints a rosy picture in our heads of what we have to do to get there. My issue with it is just that...when we are searching to match our lives to others' rosy picture lives and set grand "resolutions" that truly won't have the resolve we search for.

I do not want to discourage goal setting here. I just know that it is easy to decide that January 1st starts some grand gesture to completely change your life...and it often comes with no resolve by the following December. So why don't we think of ways we need to better our behaviors, our thoughts, and our habits, our prayer life, our attitudes...and start to work towards that character. After all, "where the ideal is lacking, Grace abounds" so even as we fall short, God's grace has already stepped in as more than enough.
As the quirky Kathleen Kelly said in You've Got Mail, "Whatever anything is, it oughta begin by being personal". And while we have to forgive Meg Ryan for strutting like a dude that whole movie, the girl has a point. Is it personal? Does it come from a place of wanting yourself to be better for you, or moreover, better because you know you were made for more? Because you are not your own? To make strides towards taking on your role as child of God?  The process of "becoming" is a gritty one and there is no true final moment of "oh I'm done". Your button doesn't pop. The timer doesn't ding.
We are not promised a garden of roses in this life. But we did have 365 days in 2014 and what will be the difference over the next 365 days until we are ringing in 2016 with a whole new list of resolutions? Character. Character is to be built in trial, perseverance, and endurance as in Hebrews 12: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us".

With the top five resolutions set each year being the following...
  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less/Save More 
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Stay Fit and Healthy
How could there possibly be anything wrong with picking New Years Resolutions? Especially coming from a girl who started a blog about seeking her personal best? There isn't. I am all for working to better yourself especially if you can recognize the season you're in as God's refinement and gritty work in your life.
But my plea here today, is that while listing off all the wonderful new beginnings 2015 will bring you, you remember we were made for more. Our worth and value is not in our goals and resolutions and whether we see the outcome desired. Our worth and value is in our Creator. And. Well, my heart skips a giddy beat when I think of the best and ultimate resolve that is spelled out in Revelation. And even then, it's a eternity with my Jesus. This is the only resolution which my identity and worth reside within and I couldn't be more thankful.

So ring it in guys, For Auld Lang Syne,
Finding Fit....even in the new year,