We’re Baaaaaack!

11 Sep

I know that sounded super exciting…and many of you are just dyingggg to know where we’ve been right??

Ha, ok, we are not THAT vain.

But we do know we’ve been absent for a while. Life sometimes gets hectic and takes a few detours from the path you had planned to be on…. For me, Kristina, that is completely the case.

I started Girls Gone Healthy with the idea in mind that I, along with some fabulous women, would help inspire others to get on the healthy train. I promised myself I would become healthy in a way that didn’t change my entire way of life. Promises Shmomises.

Enter Paleo.

Paleo has changed my life. It has driven me to focus on ME and not the fast paced world I live in. I tended to stress and allow myself to get swallowed up by… well…life. Now, I sit back, breathe, and enjoy every minute. Of course, I won’t pretend that I never stress because let’s face it- stress is a part of life. But ever since I began feeding my body in this way, my mind and emotions have had a total makeover. Oh yea, and I dropped 2 pant sizes. Yeaaa…so that helps 🙂

So basically, that is where I’ve been. Making this change has required a lot of time (very well spent cooking, baking, and reading!). I had to put the posts on hold for a bit because the Paleo lifestyle came at me full force as soon as I committed to it wholeheartedly. I had to hold on with both hands and take it for a ride. (So excited that my bf Curtis is taking this ride with me!!)  Now that I’m pretty much in love and ready to commit for life, I can get back to blogging about the journey. And oh what a journey it’s gonna be…

I hope that all of my non-paleo friends will stick around and still continue to support Girls Gone Healthy! I promise it will guide anyone and everyone towards health and happiness- even if you don’t want to go Paleo. This blog will not EVER force anyone to live a certain way- it will simply document our journey..and if you like what you read, feel free to give it a try.
So…….Girls Gone Healthy is officially back! So tell ya friends…tell ya wife… tell.. um… everyone!! Just keep truckin along with us and watch as we change our lives and hopefully change yours in the process ❤

What the heck is Paleo?? Mystery solved…

16 Aug

Paleo, paleo, paleo..

You hear me talk about it, allude to it, show recipes and BBQ’s all related to it.

BUT WHAT IS IT??

I’m not going to try and pretend that I’m the Paleo expert. I can only share what I have learned though some links and blogs you can visit. What I do know is this-

If you are looking for a way to feel better, look better, do better, BE better- then this is the lifestyle that will make it happen. Our bodies know what they need to build strength, muscles, immunity, and all that other good stuff that keeps us ticking. For millions of years, we have survived. Do you think it’s just luck that caveman could outsmart, sometimes outrun, and even kill animals far far larger than they were? Do you think they were dying of heart disease, obesity, or diabetes? The only real things killing off our cave brothers and sisters was injury (no doctors out there so unfortunately a small problem for us turned deadly for them) or being eaten by some ginormous beasts. According to my man, Mark Sisson (I’ll send you in his direction later!), if it had not been for these factors, many of our ancestors would have had much longer life expectancy. Wanna know why?

They had the most nutrient rich foods at their fingertips! Nothing processed or messed with. They ran, jumped, climbed, lifted. They basked in the sun soaking up that vital vitamin D. They had little stress related to work and the like. Their biggest stress triggers were fleeting- like making quick decisions whether to run or kill when faced with wild animals. Now, let’s be honest- no one REALLY knows how happy a cave man was or if they were relatively stress free. But based simply on looking at their lifestyles, you can see that they vastly contrast ours. In all the ways that matter- health, exercise, etc.

Paleo is a way of living that mirrors all these important life choices. We HAVE these choices- the cavemen didn’t. It was simply the only way of life they knew.  Nowadays, we have Wendy’s telling us that we should buy their grade Z meat burgers and greasy fries rather than bringing our own homemade lunch to work. We have zillions of commercials everyday that convince us (me especially- I am an advertiser’s dream) that we MUST have those chips, we NEED to drink that sugary juice, and oh my gosh we just HAVE to order that greasy garlic bread pizza from Pizza Hut (a commercial that once would have taunted the hell out of me until I picked up the phone- now, I have NO desire to eat that. At all). Unfortunately, we are surrounded by “choices” that make life easier for the busy, stress-filled person in today’s society. Makes it REAL easy for us to just pick up the phone and order take out or run by McDonald’s on the way home to grab some chicken nuggets (holy crap, have you seen what those are REALLY made of??) for the kiddies and a burger for us.

(Yup, that’s what is in your friendly neighborhood chicken nuggets. mmm)

We don’t realize how so many amazing options exist that don’t actually harm the crap out of our bodies. Too many of us are uninformed- I was one of them. We eat what we hear people telling us is healthy- whole grains, brown rice, etc. We go with the “norm” and think, hey it works for them. But Paleo teaches us something so different….

We learn that our bodies know they they need. Our digestive systems have not changed much in the past, oh, million years so we should be feeding it what it’s used to breaking down. When we shove processed food into our systems, our bodies sort of freak out. They know it’s not easily broken down and suddenly strange things begin to happen. I’m of the mind set that I’d rather know my body can handle what I”m giving it, rather than taking a chance with something that will only satisfy me for a moment, never really knowing whats going on once it gets inside.

Here’s what I’ve found out- the foods I have been eating, cooking, and baking since going Paleo are FAR more satisfying, less filling, and 100% more DELISH than what I used to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t changed EVERY SINGLE piece of my diet. I still eat so much of what I used to. However, little changes here and there are what make the difference. It’s simply knowing that instead of all the processed crap out there going into my body and wrecking havoc, I’m just eating the stuff that does GOOD in my body and keeps me in check. These foods are not only nutrient dense and beneficial, but they taste better than anything processed. Think marinated meats and fish, sauteed veggies, fresh fruit! What’s not to love??

Ok, so, that’s enough from me, the NON scientific one. I’ll direct you now over to some real experts to give you the skinny on this whole Paleo thing so you can really understand the health benefits. It wasn’t until I was introduced to Mark Sisson that I even understood or wanted to know about this lifestyle. But after reading the research, it all made perfect sense.

CLICK CLICK CLICK:

(These sites will educate you in what exactly Paleo is and HOW it benefits your body and your life. Be open-minded. There is a lot that may sound strange or wild to you- but trust science. And success stories!)

www.marksdailyapple.com

www.robbwolf.com

www.balancedbites.com

www.everydaypaleo.com

www.primal-palate.com

Now.. here are the sites (along with the ones above) that will make your mouth water! Even if you don’t think you are ready to make this leap, at least check out these sites to see the amazing, delicious meals that are at your fingertips!

www.fastpaleo.com

www.comfybelly.com

www.nomnompaleo.com

www.paleOMG.com

www.health-bent.com

There ya have it- Paleo. It may not seem like it’s for everyone. Especially for those who aren’t meat eaters or veggie loves. But take some time to read and learn- especially the success stories floating around out there. It’s amazing what Paleo has done for people and their health.

It’s so easy, a caveman can do it….. (yup, that just happened.)

Meet Krista!! My favorite cavegirl!

15 Aug

Hey friends!

Meet the amazing Krista! She introduced me to the world of Paleo and I wanted her to share her story of how she came to live this lifestyle.
In the coming days, look for a post on exactly what the heck Paleo is! I know lots of you are wondering…. I can’t wait to share the info with you so you can make some decisions with your own lifestyles and health. No pressure here. Never will be…just pure education that you can do what you want with.. for now…..

Take it away Krista:

Hello!!! My name is Krista and I am super excited Kristina has asked me to share my story for Girls Gone Healthy.
 
At first glance, I may look like an incredibly healthy person. However, over the past few years I have experienced changes in my health that finally required serious action. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hashimotos-disease/DS00567) and Hypothyroidism (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353/). I wasn’t entirely surprised by this since “it runs in the family”. My doctor referred me to a specialist, who gave me a pill to take for the rest of my life, and all was well in the world.
 
Fast forward to the present, married my man, settled into a new house, started a side business (The East Coast Bride – http://theeastcoastbride.com) on top of being a teacher during the day with a flute/piano studio most evenings. As you can imagine, my diet and lifestyle were not at all healthy. With so little time, I ate mostly prepackaged granola bars, cereals (especially for dinner when I was too tired to cook), leftovers from restaurants and sandwiches. I never cooked, never baked, and ate vegetables a couple times a month, all because I was running myself ragged with staying on top of everything I had to do. I never thought twice about what I was doing to my body…or when I did, I didn’t have time to care.
 
With thoughts of starting a family, a new attention was brought to my health. I noticed that I was still having symptoms of hypothyroidism – fatigue, mental cloudiness, and irregular cycles. My doctor assured me I was fine because my blood levels looked good, but I didn’t feel fine.
 
Bring on the course of events that will forever change my life. It started with a massage from a new therapist, a holistic and spiritual woman named Shari. Towards the end of our session, we started talking about medications and how I took Synthroid for my thyroid condition. She mentioned alternative medicines, including Chinese doctors and acupuncture. I had always been interested, and since regular doctors weren’t of any help, I kept her suggestion in the back of my mind.
 
A couple weeks later (after my first acupuncture experience), I was reading a blog on natural fertility and came across a guest post by Liz Schau (http://lizschau.com/), a holistic counselor living in Texas. She wrote a two part series on her battle with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism (http://www.naturallyknockedup.com/healing-hashimotos/) and how she sent her disease into remission, naturally, by getting healthy, eliminating certain foods, adding nutritious foods, and treating her disease instead of masking her symptoms with a pill. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed by the article and the thought that I could cure myself without relying on medication everyday. I contacted Liz, and she started me on the journey of a lifetime.
 

I am not a doctor, nor am I going to bring you through everything that I learned from Liz (since it’s best to see a functional nutritionist to prepare a plan that’s best for you). I am, however, hoping to give you a new perspective on all the ways you can treat your body as your temple, inside and out. I look forward to sharing my experiences with all you girls going healthy!s

First ever Paleo BBQ- Heaven on Earth…

6 Aug

Just stoppin by to tell ya’ll (I think this “word” just works so much better sometimes.. this is what happens when you date a southern boy) about my wonderful paleo-fied day!

My beautiful friend Krista whom I’ve spoken a lot about- the reason I’ve begun the Paleo lifestyle- had a small bbq today for some Paleo pals and all I can say is- MEEAAATTTT.

We had some of the most fantastic meat I’ve ever had! It was pot luck style so we all brought some yummy treats. Curtis spent ALL day yesterday cooking pork shoulder to make homemade Paleo BBQ Pulled Pork! It was seriously amazing! He had to first make Paleo ketchup and mustard, which in itself is a feat. So impressed and excited that he’s taking such a liking to this new journey and lifestyle! He was so proud of his pork when it was finished and I think it sparked a whole new fire in him…. we spent time today looking for new Paleo recipes and snack ideas. He’s ready to make this change, which of course, makes it THAT much easier and more exciting for me 🙂

K, back to the BBQ…

On top of our delish BBQ pulled pork, the awesome Lisa and Brian made another type of pulled pork with red wine sauce/gravy which was mouth watering!! Lisa whipped up a huge tray of mashed cauliflower which honestly was OUT OF THIS WORLD! As a Paleo, I was def worried about missing out on mashed potatoes- creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. Now, I have this delish dish and I would gladly replace mashed taters anyday! Our hosts, Krista and Brian grilled juicy chicken skewers with peppers and onions… the chicken was marinaded in a deliciously simple garlic lime marinade. They also grilled the most flavorful lamb with an another simple but perfect basil garlic marinade.  (forgot my camera at home so we snapped these with Krista’s phone- guess we were all toooo excited about meat to worry about fancy pics lol)

IS YOUR MOUTH WATERING???

That was just dinner.

Once we had room in our bellies, we brought out the dessert. Who said Paleos can’t eat dessert???

Lisa made moist banana muffins with dried fruit and dark chocolate chips- SUGAR FREE 🙂 She then made the most awesome “candy” that consisted of nuts, coconut flakes, and dark chocolate- SUGAR FREE 🙂 Krista rocked our world with Paleo brownies! So. freakin. good. Moist, chocolatey- oh yea- SUGAR FREE  🙂 Do you see a pattern here??? You don’t have to sacrifice dessert when going Paleo.. it’s all about replacing. Want something sweet? Exchange sugar for honey or maple syrup. And VOILA!

YUP… those are PALEO brownies!

So obviously, this BBQ was a huge success! I suggest anyone who is interested in trying to this lifestyle (it’s not for everyone and I’m certainly NOT pushing it on anyone- just sharing some of the exciting things I’m gettin into!) have a little get together like this and have friends cook and share. It’s a great way to try new things and hear about new recipes.

Happy Sunday ya’ll! 🙂

The BIG Healthy Haul- Trader Joes/Whole Foods Excursion

3 Aug

Have you ever gone somewhere and or tried something new and uttered the phrase, “Where have you been all my life???”

Yea, my Trader Joe’s/ Whole Foods day was THAT moment for me. I have been saying it ever since I returned from the shopping trip…..and I’m counting the days until I can go again.

Is that normal???

Well, I’ve already accepted that I’m not exactly normal (proud of that fact too!) so I’m cool with my Trader Joe daydreams..

So let’s see what I snagged on this trip- WAY MORE goodies here than my first outing. And I’ve already made such amazing dishes with much of the ingredients so it’s already been a super successful excursion!

Ok so obviously fruits and veggies are at the top of any healthy shopping list.. Grabbed some of my faves: broccoli, zucchini, squash, green beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, etc… I even bought some kale with the hopes of trying to make kale chips- I hear they are pretty yummy…

Bob’s Red Mill is just amazing. He has everything and anything you could need for a healthy lifestyle! I chose some all natural baking soda, flaxseed meal, shredded coconut (for some of Krista’s homemade granola bars that I’m dying to make!), and ALMOND MEAL!! Changed my life! I bake with this puppy and it easily replaces flour. Baking with almond meal AND coconut oil is simply perfect 🙂

And there she is- Coconut Oil! Ahhh, isn’t she beautiful?? If you haven’t tried baking or cooking with this lady yet- DO IT! It made my breakfast cookies so rich and almost buttery tasting- and there is NO butter to be seen! Also grabbed apple cider vinegar and sesame seeds. I have this vision of using sesame seeds in lots of dishes so as soon as I find some recipes, this little bottle will be opened and put to good use 🙂

Over the past year and a half (since meeting the BF) I have fallen madly in love with hummus. Thank you Curtis ❤ Up until now, I had a committed relationship with Sabra. But I had to let Sabra go. We were growing apart. All because I found Trader Joe’s Hummus. NEVER. TURNING. BACK. This is the smoothest, most delicious hummus I’ve ever had. Ok, it’s only 9:29am and now I’m craving it….

As I’m learning slowly about living clean and healthy, I am finding out new things that blow my mind. For 31 years (no shame in admitted my age!) I’ve lived on peanut butter. Madly in love with peanut butter. Lately, I had switched to all natural peanut butter. THEN… I learn that peanuts are not even considered nuts and that nut butters are far better for you. Cue Whole Foods fresh nut butter bar…. While they do have fresh peanut butter, I opted for almond butter. Let’s just say that since I brought it home, I’ve yet to put it on anything but a spoon. It is THAT good. I also use it to bake and in smoothies. I’ll be getting the larger size on my next trip back…oh yea, by the way, it comes out of the machine WARM!

Originally I had grabbed these two items for baking purposes.. I knew I loved butter and still wanted to include it in my life. However, finding coconut oil has replaced butter in my baking. So when I need butter, like on my sweet potatoes, I grab this delish GRASS FED butter. If I’m going to eat dairy, I want to make sure it’s grass fed. Little food for thought…literally. 🙂

Sugar bad- Honey GOOD! Used it to replace honey in baking recipes and found that it worked perfectly!! Nuts, dried fruits, and seeds are a important part of any healthy diet so I grabbed some almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Made my own trail mix and carry it with me wherever I go!

Here is my pride and joy of my shopping trip! Beautiful basil plant! Cant wait to create amazing dishes with this baby!

No shopping trip or meal for that matter is complete (in my opinion) without chocolate. I have this weird thing where I legitimately CRAVE chocolate after every meal- even breakfast. I feel like it just completes me and my belly. So, here we go! Dark chocolate candy bars!! As long as they are 85% cacao or higher they are good to munch. As with anything, eat in moderation. But if you need that little chocolate punch in your diet, turn to this dark, velvety chocolate treat 🙂

What do you think??? I felt amazing when I came home and put it all away. I smiled like a fool the entire time. I’m a weirdo, I know. But my life is changing and these little steps take me closer and closer to where I want to be. Every healthy tidbit I put into my body is welcomed….and as a thank you, my body gives me crazy energy and an overall feeling of well being. Never thought I’d thank my body (since up until now, I’ve generally hated it lol).

See anything on here that you have? Or want? Comment below and share you thoughts!

Simple PButter and Nana Smoothie

2 Aug

Simple PButter and Nana Smoothie

 

THIS smoothie right here is my go to. It fills me up and keeps me going with out thinking about snacking from about 7 am to 12pm. Its thick and perfectly yummy. The calories are there, but its healthy and filling.

1 FROZEN* Banana (aprox 105 cal)

1 Cup Soy Milk (100 cal)

1 heaping Tbs Peanut butter (creamy is better @ 100 cal)

Sprinkle of cinnamon and blend

Total : 305 calories

*** When I go food shopping I usually get enough bananas to have some out of the fridge and to freeze. Just peel the banana and put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer for when you need a smoothie.

xxkim

Breakfast Cookies

2 Aug

So since we last spoke ( a whole couple days ago), I have decided to make a valiant effort to go Paleo. My cavegirl friend Krista will be schooling everyone on this lifestyle soon here on Girls Gone Healthy. Until then, all you need to know is this:

If it’s from a plant- GOOD!

If it’s made IN a plant- BAD!

There is obviously far more to it, but that is the gist. I, however, am going to follow it about 80%…. simply because there are a few things that I’m just NOT willing to let go of (cue Sunday pasta dinner)…

Monday, Krista and I make our trip to Trader Joes and Whole Foods and I was in heaven. I will be posting that trip and the goodies I snagged in the next few days!!

For now, I am going to share a DELISH recipe that I found on www.comfybelly.com which is a super wonderful site with super fantastic recipes for clean, healthy eating. PERFECTION for this girl! 🙂

In the morning, I tend to debate (when I don’t have work… when I do, I don’t have much time to think about what I”m going to eat. Which is sort of why these cookies are stinkin perfect for me) on what I’m going to eat for breakfast. I end up with a healthy take on a western omelette (eggs, peppers, spinach) and it’s extremely fulfilling and delicious! But really, how many mornings can you eat the same thing? However healthy it may be, it gets old after a while. I was asking Krista what she tends to eat for breakfast and she immediately said, “OH! I just made breakfast cookies!!” and that ended that. I’m pretty easily convinced when the word “cookie” is in the conversation…

So here is my version of ComfyBelly’s Breakfast Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients (makes about 25 cookies)

  • 2 1/2 cups of almond meal or almond flour (either works, but I used almond meal. If you’d rather a smoother cookie, go for the flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of all natural baking soda (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil (my new obsession!!!!!!)
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon of almond butter (this is my little addition because, well, I LOVE almond butter)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of all natural vanilla extract
  • about 2 cups of nuts, dried fruit, seeds (I used sunflower seeds, raisins, dark chocolate chunks that I broke off from trader joe’s chocolate bar, and some flaxseed meal- you can throw in anything you’d like!)

Hmm, ya think I made out good at Trader Joe’s?? Oh hey, coconut oil- you looking mighty fiiiine…. 😉

Can’t go wrong with Flaxseed! Put it on anything, everything- does only good things for your body 🙂

Mmmmmm fresh Whole Foods Almond Butter!!! Drooling???

OK- Time to make the cookies!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend with a spoon.

3. Add the wet ingredients and blend it well with a spoon.

4. Drop about a tablespoon of batter in each cookie spot on the cookie sheets. Space them about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are starting to brown around the edges.

6. Cool and enjoy!!! Store in a sealed container.

Let us know how it goes when you try these puppies! All I can say is- breakfast tomorrow won’t be a challenge. 2 breakfast cookies and half a grapefruit? YES PLEASE! Enjoy!!

xoxokristina