Monday, January 25, 2016

Bubblin Over :: Paleo Pizza Spaghetti Pie

If you happen to follow me on good ole SnappyChat (designerlisa), you may have seen some bubbling goodness last night.
Well that goodness has become a staple for me in the past few years, especially when it comes to meal prep. It's easy to prepare while prepping other dishes, and it reheats like a dream!

This Paleo Pizza Spaghetti Pie is full of flavor, yummy ingredients, and feels decadent when squeaky clean!
The original recipe came from one of my favorite blogs, PaleOMG, and I've just adapted to how my taste buds crave this concoction. 

What I use:
  • one spaghetti squash
  • one pound ground meat (grassfed beef or buffalo is my favorite, but turkey works great too)
  • one full jar marinara or pizza sauce (be sure to pick a compliant sauce. Trader Joe's and Sprouts have great tomato basil sauces with no sugar)
  • one package or jar of sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 eggs
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil to flavor
  • you can play with other veggies or "pizza" ingredients to add into the mixture as well!
 Then What:
  1.  Cook the spaghetti squash...there are a lot of methods for this but here's what I did this time:
    1. Microwave the whole squash for about 4-5 minutes to get some give from the skin to make slicing open easier. Slice length-wise
    2. Scoop out all seeds from each long half. I generally use a paring knife along the edges then a spoon to dig it all out.
    3. Microwave each half turned upside down in half inch of water for about 8-9 minutes depending on the size of your squash...until the skin has some give. The other option would be to bake the two halves open side down for about 25 minutes at 415*
    4. Use a fork to shred out all the "noodles" from the squash halves.
  2. While the squash is prepping, brown the meat in a fry pan and coat with garlic powder and some dried basil as it cooks
  3. Once browned, throw in the sun-dried tomatoes, and whole jar of sauce. 
  4. In a 9x13 pyrex, mix the noodles and meat sauce mixture all together. 
  5. Whisk the 3 eggs and pour into your spaghetti mixture and integrate completely using a fork. (the eggs serve as a cheese-like bonding agent)
  6. Add some salt and pepper and more basil, then bake in the oven at 415* for about 25 minutes
  7. I like to broil for about 5-7 minutes at the end to get the top nice, crispy, and bubbly.
  8. Let sit and then divvy up for the week or enjoy hot!
The number of servings depends on the size of your squash...and the appetite...
When prepping for guys, this stretched about 4 meals, while when serving females, it goes at least 6 servings. And, of course, now that my stomach has a much smaller storage space, I got about 9 containers worth out of it....sooo this week is pretty much covered...

I love serving this up for meal preps or when having people over. The ingredients are simple and clean, but the flavor is good and dirty. 
Finding Fit, 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut :: Hitting the Bag...and the Floor.

Tonight we tried something totally new. Boxing!
Sitting at just over 6 weeks post-op here (if you missed my big ole 2016 announcement on that surgery...snuggle in here), I am DYING to get back into working out. I still have a good 3-4 weeks (give or take) until I'm cleared to do pretty much any exercise my body, specifically my abdomen, can take. But I am SO ready to get into some routine again, so I have waited, with baited breath, for 6 weeks to pass to be able to dive into something.

I'm not cleared to use weights or do any core specific workouts yet, so my brain kept going back to boxing!
While I know there are tons of great ways to get workouts in at home, or the athletic club or what not, I've realized the community and the consistency of showing up somewhere are best...err necessary...for me. So since boxing kept coming to mind, Becca and I decided to take on a lil free trial and see what it's all about!

We got all mummified up the arms with our wraps...seriously they are like 3 miles long.
Mummy hands in our fancy new wraps!
Then jumped into the "15 minute warm-up". Let me tell you. This was NOT just a warm up. My arms and legs were already giving out mid warm-up to the point of me laughing hysterically at myself.
Picture it. Get down for a burpee. Go to scale it by walking yourself up. Can't even use arms to push chest off ground. I. Am. Stuck. And I'm supposed to do another one.

As we tried to catch on to each set and combo, when to jab, when to hook and when to duck, I noticed the room around us. Everyone was in their own punching bag world. Doing their own version. Pushing however they could. Yet, we were still doing it all together. Not the same, but a taste of my beloved Crossfit world. PLUS there were some excellent jams that I did NOT mind doing high knees and upper cuts to. Let's be honest.

While there were a lot of things I couldn't quite do yet, and a lot of things that my scaling looked more laying on the floor... I could feel the rush of endorphins and soreness rush over my body all at once. And, MAN, did I miss that feeling.
We had "15 minute Core" time at the end...which again...looked more like me on the floor hugging a medicine ball. But laying there, I just knew this could be good for me.  
Drenched in sweat but we look GOOD in giant boxing gloves!
Also. An excellent release of tension...if you ever have any...
Becca and I left agreeing that this is a wise next step for me and something I can stick to in order to see the next results on this crazy ride!
Now don't you fret my Crossfit fam, you can't keep me out much longer. I hope to be cleared and back at it in a few months because my heart longs for it, and my dead lift and push press PR's have probably halved themselves at this point. But I digress...

I'm one happy girl to have tried something new, mostly sucked at it, and be ready to go back for more. Now excuse my t-rex arms for the next few days...

Finding Fit,

Sunday, January 3, 2016

All The Things :: Making 2016 My Own.

August 3rd. That's the last time I shared anything here about my journey to Finding Fit. I'm constantly reminded that when I visit the blog of one of my besties and see the link to my "Boat Season" post still hangin out there all sad and abandoned...
That's a big long time people and it is certainly not boating weather anymore. 

As we've just welcomed 2016, I have to admit, I'm excited to put 2015 in the books and keep movin forward. But I want my community to take those steps forward with me.
There were a lot of ups and downs this past year, as I think a lot of us end up feeling at the end of each December.
It's just. This time, 2015 seemed to serve up a giant helping of those downs. Back in May I posted about my PIVOT to adjust my year, my attitude, my approach and my goals. Well, within a few months of that post, right about the time I last shared my kitchen follies, I felt the Lord open doors for a SIGNIFICANT pivot in my life. And I walked right on through that door, yall.

Because a lot of my closest friends are aware of this change, I'm just going cut to the chase. On Tuesday, November 24th, I had a permanent, life-altering surgery. The VSG, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, better known as the Gastric Sleeve. This is a laparoscopic procedure where they permanently remove up to 80% of your stomach, without rerouting any intestines or messing with digestion or nutrient absorption, leaving a small 2-4 ounce pouch or "sleeve" shaped stomach.

So if you've been following my journey or read my story here, you may be asking why? Why now? How did we get here?
Friend, that is a GREAT question.

I've thought for the past month how I wanted to go about sharing this part of my fitness journey, so while not being prepared to share with the interwebs, I started journaling. Yes. Like old school. Pen to Paper. Journaling. Perhaps not-so-ironically, I had this beauty of a journal I'd been waiting for the perfect topic to fill its pages with. And THIS was it. All The Things.
So at the risk of being long-winded, which let's face it, is pretty much always my game, I'm going to share exerts from this journal. The hope is to communicate why and how I got to this point...and also why I'm so excited about moving forward into 2016.
I guess it all started when my oldest sister, Jen, called me back in August and told me she decided to have gastric sleeve surgery. I was somehow not surprised. She poured over all the details of her research, accumulated documents, her Q&A sessions and the many people she called for reference points. I had no question. This was the right thing for her to do; and, for the first time, I thought it may be the right thing for me. Jen emailed me a bunch of her documents she had organized all her research into. Well, they may as well have been medical research documents. Charts, graphs, comparative data of percentages and complications all leading any reasonable person to the sleeve making the most sense.
Suddenly, I was obsessed with researching all the weight loss surgeries out there and anyone and everyone's results and experiences. It started to consume my thoughts. The idea of something being able to step in and help me for sure actually get to that light at the end of the tunnel I've been chasing for 5 years...errr...27 years. How could that not appeal to me??
Of course, I had thought of surgery options before but was just never at that point...I even had a conversation with the ole roomie at one point. I value her opinion on all of my health journey so much, and at that time, we both knew there was more for me to try do on my own. Becca said "what if you did everything you know to do and can already do for a year straight?" and that seemed ideal to both of us at the time. We both knew that I could take off what I had regained, and break through that stupid plateau. But would it be enough? I mean, I had taken off 130 pounds on my own so why couldn't I do the rest on my own? There was still a genetically slow metabolism and a body carrying a steady number of fat cells guaranteed to fight me and my efforts. So what would it take? Would it take another 5 years?
More than a year after that conversation with Becca, this idea of permanent alteration was coming up again. In the past my pride could only fathom following through with this whole "Finding Fit" on my own. My. Own.
But this time was different.

When I started pouring over all the research and talking more with my sister, I realized I was so exhausted and broken down.
The past 5 years of fighting my weight had been some of the sweetest victories and some of the hardest heart breaks. And I was just tired.

I had been doing what I needed to do. I was seeing results but I was searching for my limit...
And I finally found it.

The research made sense. The push to use this as a TOOL to aid in the healthy lifestyle I was already passionate about started to grow stronger. I finally saw the surgery option as just that. A tool. Not a fix. Not a cure. Not a solution or a cop-out. A tool that my poor struggling body needed, paired with exercise and smart eating, to find consistency in results and finality in these changes and physical victories.

Conversations with a couple close friends, and again with Becca this time, confirmed that I was indeed a great candidate for this! I already love cooking and eating clean, nutritious foods, and I certainly love working out. With this in my arsenal, I could take on all the things I longed to do and achieve physically, growing in Crossfit, becoming a runner (maybe), outdoor adventures and so much more. Having gained the support and encouragement of sweet friends, I knew this was to be my next step and I set out to make it happen.
Of course once I wanted to have the surgery, I wanted it like...yesterday.
The waiting period for my surgery was drawn out with many-a insurance hoop to jump through. I guess I could only look at it as God refining me and preparing my story for this rather weighty alteration.

Wading through the two week pre-op and the Christmas Eve feeling the night before my 5:00am check-in time, and even through a very difficult recovery after, one Psalm has stood out to me:

|| Psalm 46 ||
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fail; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fail; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

I won't pretend this has been an easy process, a simple decision, or a fix-it-all solution. However, the God of Jacob has been my ever present help and reassurance that this was indeed HIS plan for wrapping up my 2015.
Yes, there's so much more to it. Yes, I've had to make a lot of changes. No, I don't won't be drinking for the year. No, I cannot have La Croix (there's already been a mourning period). Yes, my meal is great...but the majority of it will be coming to-go with me...for 8 more meals. Yes, I'm already seeing great results. Yes, I'm so thankful to have my sister 3 months ahead of me, to walk through this together. No, it doesn't bother me to answer questions or talk about it.

YES, 2016 is going to be a record year for me.

I'm so thankful for the unending support of family and friends who have supported me through making this decision, crazy pre and post-op diets, and walking through recovery, into a whole new life.

Here's to making 2016 my own...and finally revitalizing my little piece of the blogosphere...

More to Come in Finding Fit,