Monday, April 30, 2012

San Diego Weekend Fun

Happy Monday Folks! Lil B reporting today from here:


...my quaint little hotel room in San Diego California! 

I'm here for a sales conference this week, but this past weekend...I did something a little bit more fun in San Diego...


Waiting to Register on Day 1!

...I attended a Level 1 Crossfit Coaching Trainer!! That's right folks, pending the passing of my test, yours truly is going to be a certified Level 1 Crossfit Coach!!

I FULLY geeked out this weekend! We dove into the philosophy, the theory, the practice and so much more!

They even made us do Fran  (A Crossfit Benchmark Workout) which consists of Thrusters and Pull-ups 21 reps then 15 then 9 for time.

 Setting up the barbells for Fran

Fran in Action! I'm not in this pic :(  

Miranda Oldroyd, a Crossfit Superstar (and one of our trainers) 
giving pointers during Fran. Check out her guns!!

It was a whirlwind weekend full of learning! I was surrounded by some of the top Crossfitters in the Country, and even got to have a great side session with Coach Burgener who is a Senior International Weightlifting Coach for the US and runs a Regional Training Center for USA WeightliftingHe has also coached the Junior World Women's Weightlifting Team. Seriously the man is brilliant, it was incredible to even have 20 minutes to talk to him!

Anyway, long story short, it was awesome! I'm so excited to keep learning more and more about this stuff and sharing it with you all!!

Anywho -- I'm posting a YUMMY Paleo Cake recipe tomorrow so stay tuned!!




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sauteed Chopped Beef Liver Recipe!

Hey Folks! Busy, busy day at the office today, so I'm just gonna dive right into that recipe I promised you!

Sauteed Chopped Grassfed Beef Liver & Onions*
Ingredients
1lb Grassfed Beef Liver aka approx 1 whole liver (I, personally wouldn't mess around with a grainfed beef liver)
1/2-1 whole sweet onion diced (depends on how much you like sauteed onion)
2-3 tbsp Grassfed Organic Butter or Ghee
Sprinkle of Sea Salt
Tony's Creole Seasoning (optional)--or any other seasoning you like (experiment, have fun, just don't go overboard!)


Directions
1) Take the whole beef liver, wash it, and pat it dry
2) Place on a cutting board and slice it up into bite sized relatively equal sized pieces
3) Dice up that 1/2 or whole onion and place in a saute pan with the butter. Saute over medium to hi heat until the onions start to look a little translucent
4) In the mean time, place the chopped liver in a bowl and season with salt and other spices (I used Tony's Creole Seasoning). Add spices to taste!
4) Once seasoned and the onions start to look more translucent, place chopped liver into the saute pan along with the onions.
5) Saute until the liver is browned on each side. It should take between 5-7 minutes. Be careful!! Overcooking liver is gross! It starts to harden and lose its delicate texture! If you don't like any pink in the middle that's fine, but watch it closely so you don't over cook it.

6) Plate her up and enjoy all the wonderful nutrition and flavor!!


**Note this recipe was prepared to taste! No measurements were exact!

Alrighty people, go forth and include organ meat in your diet! Your body (and hopefully tastebuds) will thank you!!!


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Importance of Friends, Play, and Organ Meat!





As is always the case, Monday is here again much faster than any of us would have liked, and if you're in Chicago, it's a gloomy and SUPER windy one as well! My hair received such a lovely blow-out from the strong gusts of wind on my walk to the office this morning, wouldn't you say? haha



Anyway, I hope you all had weekends full of fun activities, awesome people, and delicious eats...because I DEFINITELY did!!

Friday night I got together with two of my best girlfriends from high school to celebrate one of their engagements!!! I'm telling you, there is just something so dang therapeutic about getting together with some of your dearest friends, after a stressful work week and catching up over some wine and delicious food!! It's a great reminder that it's not only food and exercise that make us healthy -- interacting with your close friends is also incredibly important to living a healthy and fulfilling life!

Saturday was such an incredible day!! The boy and I tried out a new brunch spot, 2 Sparrows, for a steak, egg, and mixed green breakfast! Afterwards, I headed down to The Foundry for my first nutritional consult there!! Y'all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE talking with people who are motivated to make healthy changes in their lives. If someone has committed to changing their lives for the better, there is NOTHING I won't do to help them reach their goals!

Saturday afternoon involved two things that I REALLY love -- Meat (of the local, sustainable, grassfed variety) and Physical Activity! After picking up our box-o-meat from Wallace Farms, the boy and I went bowling!!


Playing, is something we sometimes forget to do as adults, but is so so so important for mental, physical, and social health!! I mean, seriously, who doesn't like having fun?!?! So whether it's bowling, going to the driving range, or practicing your cartwheels -- make sure you are finding time to play!!

Alrighty, I'm not going to go through my ENTIRE weekend hour by hour, but I will finish off with the AMAZING dinner we had Saturday night! Because we had picked up our box-o-meat from Wallace Farms earlier that day, I had 3 lbs of Grassfed Beef Liver on hand to make the most mouth watering, nutrient dense meal evah!! 


The boy, his roommate, and I feasted like kings on sauteed grassfed beef liver, brussel sprouts, and guacamole!! It was so good, that the first 5 minutes of the meal were spent in silence...literally.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. "LIVER?!?! Ok, Lina, maybe I could have gotten on board with the whole no grains and no dairy thing -- but you want me to eat animal organs now too?!?!"

And my answer to you is YES! DEFINITELY YES!! Eat them LOTS and eat them OFTEN!!!!

In a nutshell, courtesy of The Paleo Mom, here is why:
"Organ meats are the most concentrated source of just about every nutrient, including important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and essential amino acids. Compared to the muscle meat we are used to eating, organ meats are more densely packed with just about every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and the very important vitamin B12.  Organ meats are also loaded with minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc and manganese and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.  Organ meats are known to have some of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin D of any food source.  Organ meats also contain high amounts of essential fatty acids, including arachidonic acid and the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA.

Liver is known to be one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A of any foods.  In addition to containing dozens of important vitamins and minerals, it is an outstanding source of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and iron, which is in a form that is particularly easily absorbed and used by the body." -- The Paleo Mom at http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/04/why-everyone-should-be-eating-organ.html 

Aside from the numerous health benefits of consuming organ meat, it actually tastes pretty darn tasty as well!! So, for your culinary enjoyment, I will be posting my sauteed chopped beef liver recipe tomorrow!!

HAVE A WONDERFUL MONDAY Y'ALL!!!



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Eat, Train, Race, Boy


Hi Everyone!! Lil B here, back in the Chi safe and sound after a crazy day of travel yesterday! We were delayed 7 WHOLE hours and I didn't end up getting home until about 3am!! At least they gave us food vouchers for dinner and I ended up with this BEAUTY of a dinner:

1/4 Cage Free Rotisserie Chicken, Half Hass Avocado w/pesto cilantro and onion, 
and a cucumber salad! AT THE AIRPORT!!!

As promised, this post is dedicated to the awesome race I ran last weekend, and the amazing person I ran it with!

Seriously y'all, last weekend was one of the best weekends I've had in such a long time. It involved all of my favorite things: MEAT, SWEAT, COMPETITION, AND...

....THE BOY

Guys, I'm finally ready to introduce you to someone pretty darn awesome:




This is the guy who not only puts up with the way I eat, the way I train, and the way I - well - am....


....but he jumps in right along with me, matching tshirts and all! In fact, our first ever conversation was about Tough Mudder!!

So it's only natural that for his birthday, I entered the two of us in an obstacle race together, The Gladiator Assault Challenge up in Lake Geneva!! This past weekend, we ran that race, and I've never had more fun running a treacherous, 6.5 mile, 35 obstacle course race, in freezing cold weather, than I did with him right along side me :) (sorry for the nauseating cuteness, but bare with me!)

And with that, let me walk you through the most awesome sauce race weekend EVAH!!

Friday March 30: Day before the Race, night-before Prep!
The night before the race, we went to dinner at one of my all-time fave Chicago restaurants -- Prasino
We ordered a bunch of apps to split, and I even ordered myself one of these fancy dranks:

Prasino's Own Micro Brewed Kombucha

After Apps and my "drink," it was time for the main course...AKA, MEAT and VEGGIES!!

Beef Short Ribs with Wilted Greens

After a satisfying dinner, we headed back home and got ourselves to bed early -- we had a 5:15am race day wake up ahead of us!

Cana made sure we got tucked in....

Saturday March 31: RACE DAY!!!
When the alarm went off at 5:15am, I popped out of bed and headed into the kitchen to prep a special Paleo-licous race day breakfast!!

Scrambled Cage-free Eggs with Spinach, Coconut Oil, and Black Coffee
AKA: Protein, Fat, & Caffeine!!

We ate, suited-up, and drove our butts 1.5 hrs north to race in the first heat of the day!!
Pre Race Photo-Op in the car! We were excited...
but also clinging on to the last bit of warmth
from the seat warmers cuz it was 36 degrees outside!!!

More Excitement, while trying to keep warm in the lodge!!

I've got to tell you guys, I was nervous to run a race with the boy! He's done 2 Tough Mudders, trains like a maniac, and is just an all around strong dude! Now i'm no slouch myself, but I had this fear of holding him back, and lookin' like a hot mess in the process lol!

I've got to say though, he is THE BEST race partner! We bumped fists after every obstacle, he held me to a steady pace, helped me out of the mud, and encouraged me to push harder and faster. I never once felt inadequate, I never once worried about the mud all over my body (ok, at one point I tried to wipe the mud from my face to no avail so I forgot about it), and I never once regretted racing with this special guy!

Unfortunately, the actual race pics haven't been posted yet, so I'll have to share those once they become available.

But to quickly recap the course: We slipped and slid into ice cold water, we ran uphill and downhill, we climbed steep uphills with the help of ropes, we ran -- a bunch -- we climbed cargo nets, and crawled under barbed wire and fish nets. We carried logs, climbed walls, navigated through tires, and trudged through swampy waist deep water/mud. Hell, we even ran through fire together -- literally!

1hr38m15s later, we ran through the finish line!! We could barely feel or even move our fingers, but we were grinning like winners haha!! As we cupped our finish line beers (full of gluten and chemical crap whooops) with our stiff frozen hands, and ran inside...I couldn't help but feel so damn happy. Yes, I couldn't feel my fingers, but at least I felt the pride of running such a tough race with my special someone :)

Post Race -- Dripping with water, sweat, and mud -- frozen stiff -- but happy!

After the race, we didn't really stick around for the after party on account of being frackin freeeeezing, so we headed home to clean up and veg for a little while...

....And what can be a more fitting end to a day spent challenging our bodies physically, than a dinner full of ALL YOU CAN EAT MEAT!!!

That's right, this guy knows me SoOOOOO well, that he made a dinner reservation for us at a Brazilian Steakhouse -- Texas de Brazil!!!

Y'all -- this is a Paleo gal's dream come true!! Waiters literally walk around with 15 different kinds of meat that they slice for you right at the table -- and -- YOU CAN EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT!!!!


Needless to say, it was so satisfying to chow-down on some quality meat after such a physically taxing day! And -- we did it right. We spent a full hour and half, chewing, savoring, and indulging in the savory meats at Texas de Brazil! That's right folks, no meat sweats for us!! We ate our fill, but no one had to unbutton their pants post meal :)

Overall, it was a wonderful pre through post race weekend! I can't wait to run our next Tough Mudder together in September! But for now, I'll just tend to my "war casualties..."

Disclaimer: My boyfriend DOES NOT Beat Me -- Obstacle Course Races Do ;)


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Delayed in San Fran!

Happy Hump Day People!!

Lil B reporting to you live from the San Francisco Airport! My coworker and I are UBER delayed...so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to reach out to my favorite people.

Sunday evening, I flew to San Fran with a coworker to visit our company headquarters and go through corporate orientation. It was a great trip and I'll tell you why:


San Francisco Seafood!!!!!!!!!! We went to an amazing and fresh seafood place for dinner last night, sooo dang delish! Seriously, NOTHING is better than fresh seafood!! I ordered this seafood stew that you see above! Fresh scallops, mussels, clams, fish, calamari, and shrimpies all in a lightly spicy tomato broth....YUMMMMM!

You know what else is pretty awesome?


....the San Francisco Airport serves GRASSFED BEEF BURGERS!!!! So naturally, this was lunch today (before we knew our flight was delayed 10 million hours)


Overall, it was a great trip! It was nice to meet those people I communicate with everyday over email and phone, and it was also great to see headquarters and eat some super yummy West Coast grub!!

I know this is a super lame post, but stay tuned for tomorrow! I'll tell you all about the fun race I ran last weekend....AND introduce you to someone PRETTY DARN SPECIAL :)

Alrighty, back to being a grumpy delayed passenger now! I'm seriously about to start doing Airsquats and laps around the terminal -- this girl CANNOT sit still for long!!!