Low-carb meatball casserole

Pasta used to be a staple in my diet and I cooked it almost weekly for my family. It was probably the one thing I didn’t think I was willing to go without. Turns out, I was wrong.

Low-carb meatball casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.5 pounds of meat (I used sausage and pork this time)
  • 1/4 cup Almond flour
  • 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Onion (optional)
  • Garlic, Salt, Pepper, Onion powder
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Heavy cream (see note below)

7583954640_IMG_4459

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grab a large bowl and add your meat, almond flour, parmesan cheese, egg, onion and spices. You’re going to have to use your hands and mix it all together. You can also add grated mozzarella cheese to the meatballs if you want. Roll the meat into balls. This is where I just kind of wing it. You don’t want them too big, they take too long to cook as it is. Sometimes they all fit in one 9×13 dish, this week I needed a second smaller dish.

7583954640_IMG_4458

Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes to start. While the meatballs are baking get your sauce simmering on the stove. I buy the unseasoned tomatoes (Cento brand) and add fresh basil, garlic, salt, pepper, whatever seasoning you have on hand. I also add a dash of heavy cream to up the fat content. I know that’s not an actual measurement. It’s not 1/4 cup, it’s maybe 2-3 tablespoons. And a splash of red wine if I have a bottle opened.

I usually buy the whole tomatoes, it’s the lowest carb for some reason. Always check your labels!

Then I use my stick blender to puree them.

7583954640_IMG_4461

After 30 minutes in the oven, remove the meatballs, pour the sauce over them and place back in the oven for 25-30 minutes. This is not an exact science as the length of cooking depends on the size of the meatballs. Mine usually take 70 minutes. If the sauce is bubbling too much cover your dish with foil.

7583954640_IMG_4466

The last 10 minutes pile the fresh spinach on the top and mozzarella cheese to cover the whole casserole. Bake until cheese is melted and slightly crisp. So good.

7583954640_IMG_4469 (1)

Serve with something green to keep this low carb. Green beans and bacon are always a great choice! And that’s just how it sounds. I cooked the bacon in the pan then add a bag of frozen green beans that I have cooked a little in the microwave. Add butter, salt and pepper. Serve quick because we all know green beans don’t stay warm!

7583954640_IMG_4467

Here’s the final plate. Our family really likes this dish! If you have carb eaters in your family you can always add pasta on the side for them. I don’t think they will miss it though!

7583954640_IMG_4471

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do! It makes great lunch leftovers if you have any. You can also make meatball subs using the fathead dough if you want to change things up.

Happy cooking!

Blog sig

 

Intermittent Fasting and Faith

This post is a little bit health and a little bit faith. I never, ever considered fasting. Ever. Like why would I skip a meal on purpose? I also didn’t see the connection to faith. Bear with me on this.

faith,family,fitness (2)

Since starting Keto a year ago the topic of intermittent fasting kept coming up. So, I did a little research and decided to try it some. I still wasn’t sure how it would work. How would I not starve or just be sitting there counting the minutes to when I could eat? So, I did a little experiment. I started out doing it from Saturday dinner to Sunday lunch. I don’t usually work out on Sunday morning so as long as I could make it through church service I’d be ok. Turns out my stomach can growl really loud when it’s empty.

Next time, I sorta joked about praying my way through it. “Please Lord don’t let my stomach growl during church.” It worked though. So, then I prayed it seriously and asked for guidance on keeping focused during church and not feeling hungry.  It worked even better.

Intermittent Fasting and Faith (1)

Now it’s become extra time during the day to focus and pray. Sometimes, I can’t find the words to pray so I just turn on some praise and worship music and sing (well, make a noise anyway).

The Bible talks a lot about fasting. It was used to repent, worship, show humility. Those are all very good reasons for me to fast as well. Not counting the health benefits to fasting.

Here are just a few Bible references to fasting:

  • Matthew 6:16-18
  • Isaiah 58:3-7
  • Samuel 12:15-17
  • Psalm 35:13-14

Intermittent fasting on the Keto diet has health benefits as well. Fasting can help burn fat, and if you are eating a Keto diet you may not need breakfast. My husband rarely eats breakfast but he has a bulletproof coffee each morning. I don’t drink coffee, and I almost always eat breakfast. I am going to try fasting a few mornings a week though.

I have not gone over 18 hours, that includes sleeping. Most of the time I fast for 16-17 hours. I just downloaded and started using an app to track it. At least it’s a visual goal for me. Just make sure you break your fast with a healthy keto meal, not a carb loaded pizza.

We don’t actually need to eat 3, 4 or 5 times a day to lose weight or be healthy. It’s just what I trained my body to think it needs. With fasting, I’m not only re-training my body to only eat when I really need to but also relying on God for guidance and that extra time has been a blessing. I couldn’t see it before. I was just focused on the hunger. Focused on what I was going to eat next and when. It all goes back to my relationship with food. In case you missed that post, it’s here.

Have you tried fasting?

How long do you fast and how often?

What do you do during your fast?

Blog sig

Breakfast egg muffin recipe

Meal prep is a weekly occurrence in our house. One of the easiest and my favorite is the breakfast egg muffins. It’s so much easier for me to come home from a 5AM workout and have breakfast done. I just have to throw one or two in the microwave.

This recipe is low carb and keto friendly (of course depending on what you add that can change).

Breakfast egg muffin recipe

This recipe is very easy and you can customize it any way you want. I will give you the basics and you can add what you want.

Ingredient list:

  • 12 count Muffin tin
  • 8 eggs
  • Heavy cream, about 1/4 cup at the most
  • Cheese
  • Sausage or bacon or both
  • Spinach
  • Onion
  • Peppers
  • Muffin cups (I use the parchment ones)

7518821408_IMG_4358

I have a muffin pan that needs to be replaced so I use the parchment liners. They are perfect for this recipe. There’s just a little crispness to the outside of the eggs when I use these cups. They are optional though.

I asked Santa for a new pan, please don’t judge mine.

7518821408_IMG_4357

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I cook the breakfast sausage (1/2 a package) and beat the 8 eggs with heavy cream and a little water if you like, salt, pepper, whatever spices you like in your eggs. Once the sausage is done, spoon it into the muffin cups. If you are adding onion, spinach, peppers or anything else add them onto the sausage. Then pour just a little egg mixture into each cup and top with cheese. Sometimes I use cheddar, pepper jack, monterey jack, whatever I have on hand.

7518821408_IMG_4360

My favorite thing to add is the pureed poblano peppers if I have the time to do it. You can also use canned green chilies if you like.

7518821408_IMG_4361

Mine take about 27 minutes at 350. I typically set the timer for 25 minutes and check them. Let them cool off, store in the fridge and you have breakfast done for hopefully a few days. Most weeks I have to make a second batch.

7518821408_IMG_4363

Do you meal prep?

What’s always on your meal prep list?

Blog sig

My relationship with food

Hot topic alert. As far back as I can remember, I have loved to eat. Love food. Love the social part of eating out. I even love to cook and bake. I am not necessarily the greatest at it. But I love to cook for people.

It’s the love to eat part that has been the struggle.

My relationshipwith food and how it's evolved.

So much about food and eating is wrapped up in our social life, our family life, even our athletics and church life. We eat with friends, with team mates, with co-workers. It’s a big part of our lives. Growing up I was thin, very thin. People used to actually make fun of me for being so thin. Can you believe it? Kids are torturous and will pick on anyone just to make themselves feel better. I was called names. And it didn’t matter what I ate or how much, never gained weight. Until, about age 21, 22. I was married, working full time and teaching dance class a few nights a week. My husband worked late nights so we rarely had dinner together. When we did, we ate out a lot. I mean a lot. We had no kids, no mortgage, rent was dirt cheap and we spent our money on food. Sad, I know.

Not sure what year this was. Hard to believe this was me. Don’t get me started on that brown velour jacket.

IMG_1832

I can remember eating every meal like it was my last meal. I can’t remember when I realized I was gaining weight though. It was gradual, kept having to buy bigger pants, then suddenly it was double digit pants. That went on for several years. I worked out a little bit then gave that up. Then got pregnant at age 25, still overweight.

I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant with Ally. I wish I had the actual number, I’m sure I can get that from my OB. (mental note made).

Post baby I lost some, I got back down to some pre-pregnancy clothes, but then that number climbed again. I told myself I was happy. I wasn’t going to be that girl that counted every calorie she ate. Life was too short, etc, etc. I worked with a lady who did count every calorie and also proceeded to count mine as well. Ugh.

I even joined a gym with a friend, it lasted a few months. She quit so then I quit. I actually cried, I felt like a failure at that point. But didn’t change anything.

This destructive behavior continued until age 34 ish. I was closer to 35. I honestly don’t even know why or what it was that finally clicked with me. I woke up one day and decided that was enough. I got together with a good friend and we started walking and using an app to track all of our food. We were both on a new journey to lose weight and start exercising. Our girls were about 9 and 10 at the time. The girls would ride their bikes and we would walk 4 miles, almost every day of the week. It was a time I will treasure always.

That was June 2011, I was just a few months shy of my 35th birthday and I had 40 pounds to lose. My first goal was 30, I got that by walking and changing my diet. I did hit my birthday goal that October. I walked my first 5k with my friend and another dear friend who is a breast cancer survivor. We walked the Komen 5k that year.

This is October 2011.

How I Got Here

I had already been running a little bit just to try it on days when Paula and I couldn’t walk. Just a month later I RAN my first 5k on Thanksgiving Day with another friend. I still can’t believe she talked me into that!

Then I think I was pretty much hooked on running. I started running longer distance and signed up for the Cowtown 10k in February 2012. Then Alisha and I signed up for a half in May 2012.

Cowtown 10K, February 25, 2012 (Race report)

During this time my relationship with food had changed drastically. I hadn’t eliminated any food groups, just cut down over all. I just made better choices most of the time and it worked for me.

Over the next few years my running progressed and my eating went up and down. Nothing too terrible and there was enough running to keep my weight in check. Then I trained for 3 marathons in a year (don’t ask) and once that was done I kept eating like I was marathon training. That’s when the trouble started again. I put on just a little here and there. But keep in mind, I’m still running and working out 5-6 days a week. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. You just can’t.

Those bad habits seem to creep back so easily. The cake you eat because you had a bad day. Or you don’t feel like cooking so we go have a burger and cheese fries. Food makes me feel good. It’s comforting. From late 2014-2016, I gained about 15-20 pounds. It went up and down over those 2 years. I hid it well, most people wouldn’t even notice.

This is July 2016, just before we started keto. Most people would say that’s not overweight. But my frame and my body says otherwise. This was working out 5-6 days a week but eating the “standard American diet”. This was also 15-20 pounds heavier than the previous pictures. Most of it being in my mid section.

20160721_091433

November 2016 changed everything. I finally realized (after John said it and my doctor) that sugar and carbs might be the problem. I was seriously addicted. I went to the doctor in June 2016 hoping she would just put me on an appetite suppressor, or some pill. There had to be some reason I wasn’t losing weight. She said it might be carbs, that I might need to try lowering my intake. I left there thinking she was crazy. And kept going for a few months. I tried shakes (full of sugar), I counted calories (sort of) and just kept working out.

I would never have believed that sugar and my carb intake was the culprit until I actually broke the addiction and stopped eating it so much. I went cold turkey. Goal was 20 carbs a day. I wrote down everything, measured it all, and within a month I could tell it was working. Made it through the holidays without gaining any weight. I can confidently say I am thankful my husband took that first step and then I followed. I feel better, look better, sleep better and I don’t crave the sugar anymore. Now, on occasion I do eat pasta or a dessert. But when I do, I feel it. My whole body feels sluggish and hungover. It has to be worth it for me to eat it. I make a conscious choice to eat something.

No more eating like it’s my last meal.

No more eating just because it’s in front of me.

No more eating because I feel sad, tired or bored.

My hope is that I’ve made enough changes over the years that Ally will see healthy habits and not go through her early adult years overweight and out of shape like I did.

Blog sig

Gifts for the low-carb love in your life

I love this time of year! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are my favorite! The food (oh so much of it), the parties, the decorations, the music, family, friends, all of it. Shopping has evolved for me a little over the years. I now much prefer to shop online and I’m more careful about what I spend our money on. I’d rather buy someone something they really want than 5 things that they maybe want. So, I’m going to do a 2 part series on a few Christmas ideas that I would love and maybe someone you know would love as well.

This post contains affiliate links. 

First up, are the low carb / keto people. Do you or someone you know eat low carb? I’ve made a list of a few things my husband and I use and have tried, they would make great gifts for someone watching their carbs and sugar.

I LOVE Mexican food. Specifically, tortillas. Imagine my dismay when I realized tortillas aren’t exactly keto friendly. I was beyond ecstatic to come across these wraps that are only 9 net carbs for a 12 inch wrap. We have used them for quesadillas (both for dinner and breakfast), chicken salad wraps and I really love them fried as chips. I just cut them into strips or triangles if you are fancy and very quickly fry them in coconut oil. I’ve also seen some people bake them. There are tons of ways to use these wraps from Cut da Carb. There’s usually a buy 1 get 1 free coupon on Instagram too!

Here’s a photo of fajitas and the chips. So good!

IMG_1751

 

Next would have to be Good Dee’s Baking mixes. SO GOOD. I think I tried her Blondie’s first, I’m not even sure what my favorite is anymore. I currently have Blondie’s, yellow cake mix and pancake mix at home. The Yellow cake mix is amazing with lemon extract, and I added a powdered sugar glaze made with Swerve. The pancakes were a game changer for us. I really, really miss pancakes. These are a good substitute though. The muffins are unflavored, you can customize with your own ingredients and extracts or eat them plain with butter!

I have a 15% off code for any of Good Dee’s mixes, use HMWR15.

Here’s the Yellow Cake Mix with the Swerve Confectioner’s drizzle.

IMG_2277

And my half eaten pancakes!

Pancakes

Next on my list is a book called Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore. I read this book while on our cruise this summer. I learned a lot! And there’s so much research being done on how the keto diet can help. I found it very interesting and helpful. Not just for newbies either!

IMG_2914

Next favorite is MCT oil and MCT Powder. John prefers the oil for his coffee, but since I don’t drink coffee I prefer the powder. The kind we buy is unflavored from Perfect Keto. I actually mix it with my Crystal Light. I’m actually on auto-ship every 30 days for the MCT oil powder.

The MCT oil is Bulletproof. John did some research and found this company on Amazon. They do not use palm oil. Some companies that use palm oil are cutting down rain forests which in turn destroys orangutan habitat. The bottle says “100% orangutan friendly oil”.

MCT oil has many benefits, including healthy fats (Medium chain triglycerides), and eating healthy fat can help you lose fat (hence the Keto diet). Also claims to aid in digestion, helps clear your mind, keep you focused, improve mood as well as a few other benefits.

  IMG_2896

The next one is Swerve Sweetener. I tried a few others to bake with and nothing has tasted as good as Swerve. I’ve seen several bakers that mix their own, I have not tried that yet. There is a “cooling” effect with Swerve, it’s less than others I’ve tried. Stevia is awful to bake with, in my opinion. They have a granulated version and confectioners version. I have made cream cheese frosting and a drizzle with the confectioners. See below muffin with frosting. So good! They sell them each individually or as a 2 pack.

swerve

That’s my list of favorites! These would make great gifts for yourself or someone else. We have really adapted to this life and normally I don’t even think twice about skipping the sugar or carb-laden foods. These items can make that easier and hopefully you don’t feel deprived.

Contact me if you have any questions about any of the products here. Keep in mind there are affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing you help keep this little blog up and running. Thanks for stopping by!

Blog sig

 

Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

We have adjusted very well to our low-carb lifestyle. I do get asked if I miss carbs. It’s a loaded question. If I place emotion on food, then yes I’d say I miss it. But, I don’t miss how I felt. I don’t miss being overweight despite working out 6 days a week. I don’t miss feeling like crap, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. Plus, I’ve adjusted a lot of recipes to work for us and there are TONS online, so many bloggers cooking and baking low carb, it’s hard to feel like I’m missing something.

This is a lazy enchilada casserole. I used to make it with tortillas and corn. This one replaces the tortillas with poblano peppers and just recently I added a few sheets of the Fathead dough, recipe found here. No corn at all. The Fathead dough can be used for so many things! It does have carbs, but it’s low.

Low-carb Enchilada Casserole

Ingredient list:

  • Poblano peppers, leave whole without seeds and stem
  • Ground beef, turkey or chicken. Whatever your preference.
  • Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Pepper jack cheese, again preference.
  • Ro-tel tomatoes. I buy the brand at Aldi, it’s the lowest carb I found.
  • Fathead crust. I made 3 sheets for my 8×8 pan.
  • Cream Cheese. Philadelphia is the lowest carb I’ve found.
  • Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning. Whatever you like to use.
  • 8×8 pan
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (optional)
  • Salsa (optional)

Check your brands. So many off brands add carbs, even if it’s the full fat version. I don’t quite understand that. Also, some name brands are higher than store brand. I check constantly for something better.

enchilada 13

Here’s the carb count of the Philadelphia, less than 1 carb so we round up. The Kroger brand I was buying had 3 carbs per serving.

enchilada 12

Start by roasting the poblano peppers. You can do this in advance to save time. I buy these several weeks during the month, we use them a lot. They can be roasted and frozen whole (minus the seeds and skin) or pureed for all kinds of recipes. Mostly not spicy. I did buy one batch that was!

Here’s how I roast my peppers.

enchilada 10

I already had Fathead dough made, in the fridge. I usually double this recipe when I make it. It freezes well. Just throw it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to warm it up so you can roll it out.

No, it’s not perfect. 🙂

enchilada 14

Here it is out of the oven! Watch it closely, it will burn quick. I start mine at 5-6 minutes.

enchilada 11

On the stove top, cook your meat, add ro-tel and cream cheese, cook until it’s melted. I did use 1.5 packages of cream cheese last time. Depends on how much sauce you want. If you have a larger family you may want to double this whole recipe.

enchilada 9

So yummy!

enchilada 8

Next, grab your 8×8 dish and all your ingredients to start assembling. Start with Fathead dough on the bottom, layer the meat sauce, peppers and cheese.

enchilada 5

This is what I mean when I say leave it whole, in “sheets”.

enchilada 4

Now cheese. This time I did pepper jack in the casserole.

enchilada 3

Now continue your layers. I topped it with monterey jack slices since I ran out of shredded pepper jack.

enchilada 2

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Everything is hot and cooked, it just needs to set up. I turned the broiler on at the end to get some color on the cheese.

enchilada done

I served it with a salad this time. Guacamole, sour cream and salsa go great with this dish! If you have family members not watching their carbs, give them tortilla chips. I’m sure that would be tasty!

It may not be pretty, but it tastes good!

enchilada

We love our Tex-Mex food and I am so happy to be able to convert some of our favorite recipes!

Do you have a favorite Tex-Mex recipe?

Are you low-carb?

Blog sig

Our low-carb life

I’ve touched a little bit on John and I eating low carb. Some people think we are crazy but it also surprises me how many people are eating this way and I just didn’t know. Besides the weight loss, we sleep better (he says I don’t snore), feel better, and no, I don’t have the crazy sweet cravings. Every once in a while I’ll make a low-carb treat because I still like to bake and so does Ally. And there are plenty of yummy low carb/sugar free desserts out there.

There are some links in this post, I don’t get anything from you clicking on them. 🙂

Our low-carb life (1)

 

John started us on the road last October and I followed in November. He really keeps me in line most of the time. I have had days where I have extra carbs, like vacation, for instance. It doesn’t take too long to get back on track though, we were strict from day 1 once we got home. Most days I don’t even think twice about it. It’s our new norm. Not a fad diet, but a lifestyle change.

I got my physical this month with x-rays, EKG, full blood panel. Everything from cholesterol to liver and all the numbers are normal or better than normal. So no, eating bacon and butter is not going to kill me. My doctor still takes a second glance at my resting heart rate and said “you don’t look 40.” Thanks, I don’t feel or act it either!

She did ask about my diet and for 2 seconds I hesitated. But she said, if it’s working for you, keep doing it. It does take a lot of self control. You really have to want it. You have to be so ready for a change that you are willing to put in the work. No matter what diet, or lifestyle change, you have to work. Anyone that tells you it’s easy is lying. Easy is ordering pizza or eating cheese fries instead of a salad with your bun-less burger.

Zucchini cheese bread (recipe here) Served with ranch or tomato sauce.

zucchini

I’ve been tossing around the idea of carb cycling or re-feed days, rarely though. I am at my goal weight but I don’t want to just start adding carbs in and start feeling like crap. I’m not talking about loaves of bread and cheesecake every week. I’m talking about rare date nights having pizza instead of chicken, or making whole wheat pancakes, something along those lines. I do not like how I feel when I over-eat on carbs and sugar. My body doesn’t like it and it tells me so.

We don’t use ketone supplements to get our bodies into ketosis, we do it with diet. Eating the right foods will do that without supplements. Yes, we eat bacon, butter, full fat dairy, cheese, beef, chicken, veggies and fruit. We steer clear of starchy veggies like potatoes and corn. We eat fruit in moderation like strawberries and blueberries. Lots of meat and veggies. Probably more veggies than I’ve ever eaten in my life.

add butter

I can guarantee we aren’t deprived of good food. These are beef fajitas on low carb flat bread (found here) with homemade queso (NOT velveeta), guacamole under there and chips I made from the flat bread.

IMG_1751

I do meal prep, every week. If not, we will be eating take out. I make a breakfast casserole or egg muffins, hamburger patties, bacon, cut up lettuce and fruit and anything else I can think of. Ally has to take her breakfast to school to eat after morning practice. So she gets an egg muffin and this year she wanted sausage rolls. She gets them homemade and they are made with a low carb dough. Score! And before you ask, no her carbs are not restricted. If she wants pasta she gets it. She has chosen to cut her sugar and sweets way down and has been eating less pasta and bread lately. She’s a runner and I think she finally realized that the professional runners probably aren’t eating ice cream and brownies every night, or chips for that matter. She has made a few choices on her own. We don’t shame her or restrict her diet in any way.

Homemade meatballs served over spaghetti squash. One word, yummy.

IMG_1635

Some of our favorite recipes we got from Pinterest, other bloggers and every day people just trying to make this work for them. I will include a few below.

Anyone else eating low carb / keto?

Blog sig

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

What’s new?

The date is May 16, 2017. I honestly can’t believe it’s been this long since I’ve written anything. So much has happened in the last few years. Good, bad and everything in between.

I have so much to say, but where do I start? Injury, oh yeah, that. I started running in late 2011 and ran injury free until about May 2016. Something happened, still not sure what. But I’ve been fighting an achilles issue for almost a year now. I ran off and on, took breaks, walked, did intervals. Thought I was good and then November 2016 after limping for 2 days following a 10 miler, I knew I was done. I have been to several doctors and rehab, nothing was helping. So, I hit the gym full on, got my eating under control (more on that later!) and got strong and healthy. Stronger than I’ve been in a long time.

Fast forward to today and I’m doing some interval running, very low mileage. Some days I want to cry, thinking about the progress I’ve lost. But I have so much to be thankful for and the gym is growing on me!

The achilles injury really made me stop and reevaluate my priorities. I love running, but I love the social aspect of it more. That’s what I was missing so badly. My running group is also my gym group so it’s not the end of the world. I have figured out if I keep my mileage low, my pace low and my stride short I can run and not hurt. So for now, it’s what I’m doing. And I’m actually learning to love it!

2017-01-14 07.31.07

And the gym dates with John aren’t so bad either! We got a new Planet Fitness near us (aka The Purple Palace), anyone else a PF member? It is a lot of purple.

2017-03-05 12.43.59-1

John and I celebrated 20 years last year with friends in California. Definitely more on that to come! We have a driver in the house now. (yikes) We got a puppy. (double yikes)

2017-01-04 14.22.46

Meet Bear. He’s about a year and half now. Molly isn’t a fan, but they have their moments.

2017-04-16 00.13.09

Ally had her first high school cross country season, track season and we are sooooo close to the end of 9th grade! We are all ready for summer. So proud of this girl and how she handled her academics and athletics. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for her!

2017-04-30 01.51.58

John and I started eating low carb / high fat or keto last fall. He started in October and I dragged my feet for about a month or so. Still couldn’t let go of my carbs, even after my doctor suggesting it last summer. Fast forward 8 months and we are doing great! Hubby is down 50+ pounds and I got that 18 or so off that I gained during marathon training and life happening.

LOVE this guy!

2017-04-16 08.00.32

Just got an Apple Watch, still trying to get it set up and figure out how to use it. I got the Nike version, it didn’t cost any extra and I used to run with a Nike Watch so I’m hoping it’s similar. I ran with it this morning but the Apple workout app didn’t collect any of my run info. I’m sure it was user error but I’m not impressed with that just yet. I’m going to try it at the gym tomorrow. I still have my Garmin and will go back to it if this watch doesn’t get any better. I have 2 weeks to decide!

2017-05-16 10.30.47

Anyone else workout at Planet Fitness?

What watch do you run with?

Blog sig

Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna {recipe}

Remember I’m not great at writing recipes, so just stay with me. This one is good. We started the Keto/Low Carb High Fat diet last fall. John started it in October and I dragged my feet for another month before getting on board. I didn’t want to tell him he was right. Last summer when I went for my check up my doctor even said that I may need to try cutting carbs or whatever it was in my diet that was adding the weight. I workout 5-6 days a week and was gaining weight. News flash: you can’t out exercise a bad diet. In case anyone was unsure.

So here we are 6 months or so in and hubby is down 50+ pounds and I’m down about 18, both of us lots of inches! Funny thing is I/we don’t really miss the carbs and sugar that much. Every once in a while I have a craving but John has some serious self control.

A lot of the recipes we use are ones other people have tried and perfected. This is one I created, although someone out there has probably done something similar. I just kinda threw some things together. A friend of mine puts green chilies in her lasagna and she brought it to me one night and it was so good! That’s what made me think to put the poblano peppers in this lasagna. Plus we’ve been using poblano peppers in a lot of recipes lately.

This recipe is low carb when compared to regular pasta lasagna, but depending on your ingredients could still be 8-10 carbs per serving. That’s way, way less than lasagna noodles! It all depends on your goal for the day.

Zucchini-Poblano Lasagna

First, roast the poblano peppers. Here’s info on how to roast the peppers. I roasted mine about 20 minutes in my oven, this recipe says 30-40. Depends on how charred you want them. Definitely place them in a covered dish and let them cool before peeling the skin and taking the seeds out.
Roast the peppers. I pureed some (more on that later) and left some in flat “sheets”. Here they are straight from the oven. Cover them and let them steam, it makes it easier to peel later.
Make your meat and sauce like normal. I typically use Jennie O’ Turkey sausage. You can use ground turkey, Italian sausage or go meatless if you prefer!
So far, the Kroger Organic 4 cheese spaghetti sauce is the lowest carb I’ve found so far in the store, already seasoned. I bought San Marzano whole tomatoes in a can this weekend and made sauce. It’s 3 carbs compared to 5 + in most jars. I found a brand called Rao’s, but it was $9.29 at Kroger. I don’t have that kind of budget!
Try not to add any other liquid because the zucchini has lots of water.
Next up, the Zucchini.
I cut up 6 this last time, but only needed 5. You may want more depending on how many people you are feeding. Roughly peel it, cut the ends off, slice very thin strips top to bottom. Don’t use the core. Cut strips all the way around. I use a trash bowl when I’m peeling and cutting veggies. Surely I’m not the only one!
Lay all the strips out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels and try to squeeze the water out. Mine sat out for several hours and still had water in them. I baked the strips for a few minutes too. Just watch them, they will burn.
Back to the peppers. Peel the charred skin, remove the core and seeds. You can see what I mean by “flat sheets”. These make good replacements for tortillas in a mexican casserole as well. Then I pureed some of the peppers in my food processor.
Pureed peppers! I save the extra for breakfast casserole, soup, just about anything you want to make yummy!
Ricotta cheese mixed with the puréed poblano peppers, if you want. I added Parmesan cheese. You can add basil, spinach, oregano, whatever you like. We have fresh basil growing in our kitchen window. I use it whenever I remember to grab it. It smells amazing!
The sauce is simmering while all this other prep is happening.
I did 3 layers total in my 8×8 pan. I started with zucchini on the bottom.
Then a layer of meat sauce.
Then add ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Then I did a layer of the pepper “sheets”.
Then more meat sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. Bottom and top was zucchini with the middle being poblano.
I baked mine for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remember the zucchini is watery, so the dish may be too. Once it sits in the fridge over night it does hold up better, but right out of the oven you will notice the water. It still tastes good, trust me! If I wasn’t in such a hurry to eat it, it might be better if it rested a little on the counter before serving. Y’all let me know if anyone tries that!
This recipe is time consuming, I’ve only made it twice and it was on my day off.  I initially cut it into 6 servings but we ended up with closer to 8 servings.
Anyone tried a zucchini lasagna?

 

Marathon Monday: it’s taper week!

It’s finally here, less than a week to go. And guess what? I woke up congested and not able to take in deep breaths. I’m going to the doctor this afternoon.

grumpy cat

I got a new book and running journal. I’m excited to get into it.

Books

marathon training

Training last week: January 11-17

Sunday: Gym day, 3 treadmill miles plus weights

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: 5 miles

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: 7 miles

Friday: Rest day

Saturday: 6.4 miles, hills, at Nola race pace. This group rocked those hills!

group pic

I’m participating in the #SweatPink #NoExcuses challenge this month. Last week included burpees, squats and planks. There’s something new every day.

Sweat pink no excuses

I haven’t done burpees in a looooonnnnnggggg time.

Burpees

Saturday we shared our favorite healthy snack. I came across these apples last month and love them. The new health/organic food store here is carrying them.

Peeled snacks

Today’s challenge is 30 seconds of mountain climbers. My goal is to get that done tonight, after seeing the doctor. Right now I’m struggling to take in a deep breath.

Got my Nuun on board and my new Kate Spade tumbler. Someone (not naming names) dropped my chevron tumbler and it cracked.

Kate Spade tumbler

This week is all about water, Vitamin C and good food! Hubby grilled chicken last night, I made a home made turkey pot pie for dinner tonight. I got the McCormick Thyme in my #FrostyVoxBox in December. We are starting this week off right with food prep!

pot pie

Do you food prep?

Anyone use a running log or journal?

Happy running,

Blog sig

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1