Friday Faves

 

                            

                                                                                                         

  1. Poweradd Travel Power Adapter Kit

As you may have gathered by now, I love to travel. It feeds my soul. I know, so dramatic, but it’s true! So I have to bring you my best travel finds.  A travel adapter is a necessity when traveling abroad. So far I’ve used this particular one in Jordan, Israel, and Germany without incident…aka nothing was fried. I used it with my curling iron, straightener, iPhone, and travel steamer and it worked perfectly! This is big because when I studied abroad in Spain, I fried my straightener with a different converter.  Can you say frizzy hair? My sister-in-law got this one for me from Amazon and it comes with five adapters for the most common plug-ins. I also love that is has two USB ports. It makes charging my phone super easy. It comes in this great little drawstring bag to keep it all contained too.

NOTE: This is not a voltage converter. This adapter will work for your basic needs, but not for anything more powerful. Always check the voltage of the country you’re traveling to and see if you need a voltage converter. 

And when I’m not gallivanting around the world, I can use it at home for an easy charging station! 

2. Throat Coat Tea

This tea has been helping me get over a cold for the past week. First off, it’s organic which is always a must with tea. Second, it has lots of great herbs such as licorice root and marshmallow to soothe my throat as well as echinacea for it’s immune boosting properties. I like this one too because it has lemon in it. I also like to add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and a little Manuka honey.  Drink a couple cups of this and your throat will thank you! You can find it at most grocery stores or online at amazon.com or Thrive.com. 

3. Costco Organic Sweet Potatoes

Ok, I know this one might seem weird, but stay with me. Costco sells a 10b bag of ORGANIC sweet potatoes for $10.99. Now that’s a bargain! And with the way I go through sweet potatoes, this is a major score. I think sweet potatoes must be in my top ten favorite foods. They always sound good. And I can do so much with them! From straight up sweet potato fries, to baked and loaded, to noodles, to cubed for breakfast hash, the list goes on and on! Plus they’re an excellent source of vitamin A. These should be a staple in your pantry. I’ll get off my sweet potato soap box now. 

4. Perfect Bar- Dark Chocolate PB with a touch of sea salt

I’m sure you’re familiar with Perfect Bars by now, but have you tried this new flavor? It’ll rock your world. I mean how can you go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter? You can’t. Plus, somehow they sneak in 20 superfoods into each bar! Eating your veggies never tasted so good. They are always gluten-free, kosher, and non-gmo. Other flavors I love are Coconut PB, Carob Chip, and Fruit and Nut. They offer a vegan option as well. These are so great when on the go. You’ll find them in the refrigerated section at your grocery store. Costco also carries them but they only offer three flavors. Or you can order them directly from their site. Right now they are offering free shipping with your first order! Yay! 

Well that’s a wrap for this Friday! I’m going to be doing these every other week now. (I think I was a little over zealous at the beginning) 

Instant Pot Shredded Beef
Perfectly spiced shredded beef in an hour.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 pounds grassfed beef chuck roast, cut into large sections
  2. 1 onion chopped
  3. 6 garlic cloves
  4. 1 4oz can green chiles
  5. 1 TBLS oregano
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 tsp pepper
  8. 1 tsp chili powder
  9. 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  10. 1 TBLS cumin
  11. Juice of two limes
  12. 1/2 cup water
  13. 3 TBLS coconut aminos
  14. 1 can diced tomatoes
  15. 1 tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in your Instant Pot.
  2. Push the manual button and set the time for 60 minutes.
  3. Make sure the lid is securely on and the vent is set to closed.
  4. Let the Instant Pot work its magic and in an hour you'll have delicate, shredded beef.
  5. Be careful releasing the steam.
  6. Once done, shred with a fork and use for tacos, burrito bowls, salad or anything else!
I Am The Fit Baker http://iamthefitbaker.com/

This shredded beef lasts for days! The first night I used it for burrito bowls, then I used it for stuffed peppers, and I also took it for lunch. It’s so convenient to have good, quality meat on hand and ready to go.

Let me know what you think of this recipe and how you used your shredded beef!

Friday Faves- Foodie Edition

 

                  

This week I’m bringing you some of my fav food finds, and no, nothing contains pumpkin! I like pumpkin, but it gets kinda crazy this time of year. These are just a few random items that I’m really into right now. It was hard to narrow down just four! I’ll have many more to share in the future though!  

  1. Califia Cold Brew

I ordered this off of Thrive just to have on hand. At first it was kinda intense but now I add a little water to it and it’s perfect. I also add half and half to mine. Sorry, but I’m not giving up my cream!  I know it’s dairy, but I’ve yet to find anything as good as straight up half and half…organic of course. 🙂 This cold brew is great because it’s ready to go. No prep work here. I keep mine at the office so I can have a glass in the afternoon. No added sweetener either! You can find it on-line at Thrive or in select stores. 

2. Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo

THIS IS A STAPLE IN MY KITCHEN! I absolutely love this mayo!!!! It hits all the marks: paleo, clean, healthy, and allergy free. It’s sugar-free and made with avocado oil. It’s paleo and Whole30 approved! Just do me a favor and check them out on Thrive Market or directly through their website: www.primalkitchen.com Their regular mayo is delightful as well. I use them on my burgers. I dip my sweet potatoes in them. And you can feel good about no weird ingredients. You’ll get your healthy fats in by slathering this goodness on everything! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I can’t say enough good about this stuff. Just tell me you’ll try it…OK? 

3.  Siete Chips

Guilt-free chips? Yes, these are them. Grain free chips that are made with cassava flour. Score! It’s so great to finally have a chip that is actually good for you. They come in three different flavors…lime, sea salt, and nacho. My fav is sea salt. Nachos will never be the same. You can find them on Thrive or at Whole Foods. 

4. Herbamare 

This product was introduced to me by my sis-in-law. It’s a European staple. Herbamare uses salt from the south of France and combines that with organically grown herbs and spices to create this delightful seasoning salt. There’s no MSG. It’s gluten-free and is certified organic. I sprinkle it on my eggs, salad, sweet potato fries and basically anything that I’d usually salt. A little goes  a long way too. You can find it at Whole Foods or on line at Amazon or Thrive Market. 

Well that wraps up this week’s Friday Faves! I hope you enjoyed this special foodie edition. All these products can be found online at Thrive. Just click on the link on the right hand side bar and you’ll be taken directly there. The best part about Thrive is that it’s delivered straight to your door! That means less time spent roaming the grocery store aisles. 

Friday Faves

 

 

Hello and welcome to another week of Friday Faves! 

I think everyone is getting into a routine now that it’s September and school has started, but I’m over here like…I don’t have kids. Nothing has changed for this single sister, but I still think Fall is a good time to reset and get in a good routine. 

Without further adieu…”These are a few of my favorite things…” Cue the Sound of Music soundtrack. 🙂 

 

  1. Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig

Is it too dramatic to say this book has changed my life??? I don’t think so. Really the Whole30 program changed me, but this book dives deeper into food issues. This book helps you navigate how to live your life after the Whole30. As the title says, ” Letting go of bad habits, guilt and anxiety around food.” Yes it covers all of that and it’s magical. I think everyone has some degree of food issues. Some may be more evident or serious, but I think at some point everyone has dealt with this. I would highly recommend this book to everyone! Even if you’ve never done the Whole30, you can still benefit from reading this. I loved it so much I also bought the audiobook!

2. Aviator Flash Sunglasses by Ray Ban $203

I have had these sunglasses for probably four years and they are still in excellent condition. I need another pair in a different color because I’m always wearing them in pics. These sunglasses are definitley worth the money to me. I have the polarized ones which help protect your eyes and give you a clearer lens. I find that in other sunglasses I’m still squinting, but not in these. Aviators are such a classic look too, but the mirrored green lens give it a trendy update. I’ve worn them all around the world and for hours at a time and they don’t leave marks or dig in on my nose. They are light, yet protective. And if you get them from Sunglass Hut, they will fix them for free if something should happen or if you just need them adjusted. They come in many different colors or you can even build a custom pair. 

3. The Health App-FREE!

Did you know that if you have an iPhone then your steps are being counted all the time??? Pretty cool. You don’t have to do anything. Just open up the app and it’ll tell you how far you walked today, how many steps you took, and how many flights of stairs you climbed. No need to download it either. It’s automatically on your phone when you get it. There’s a lot more that you can program the app for, but I use it just for tracking my steps. I’ve been walking at least 10,000 steps a day and it’s been perfect to have my phone track it all. I didn’t have to buy another gadget. Just make sure to put your phone on airplane mode while you walk so you’re not getting  radiation emitting from it. That would be counter productive. 🙂 Give it a go and tell me what you think!

4. Activ Whey Goat Protein Powder $3-$56

Guys, this protein powder is off the hook! It checks all the boxes for me. It’s about the cleanest protein powder you’re going to find out there. Now don’t be scared off by “goat whey”. Everyone has heard of whey, but not many are familiar with goat whey. It’s simple; it’s whey protein from goats. Using goat whey makes this protein powder super easy to digest. Lots of people have issues with the dairy in traditional whey, but using goat eliminates that because it’s one of the most easily digestible foods on the planet. I’ve never felt bloated after drinking this or had gas. Bonus: the goats are only grassfed and graze freely! No antibiotics. Insert score emoji here! This protein powder only has three ingredients: the grassfed goat whey, either unsweetened vanilla or cocoa powder, and stevia. That’s it! The chocolate comes in single serving packets which are super convenient post workout. I hear they are coming out with vanilla ones too! Of course, you can always buy the tub to have at home too. 

I’d love to hear if you have tried any of the Friday Faves suggestions and what you thought! You can find me on Instagram @iamthefitbaker

See you next week!

Whole30 Homemade Tostones~Plantain Chips

   For the past couple of years, I’ve been head over heels for plantains…especially in chip form. I used to eat the Trader Joe’s plantain chips but I got tired of those and just didn’t think they were as healthy as I was looking for. I saw some other Whole30 peeps on Instagram making Tostones (the Spanish name for fried plantains) and I knew I needed to try making these myself. I like how they aren’t as hard as the plantain chips you’d find in the store. They still get crispy but are thicker and stay just a bit soft on the inside. I love to dip mine in guacamole.

I’ve included the Whole30 recipe below as well as step by step photos and videos. They are a bit labor intensive, considering they are fried twice, but if you make a big batch at one time then you’re good to go for awhile.

I’d love to see what you eat  your tostones with! Tag me in your Whole30 pics! @iamthefitbaker

Whole30 Twice Fried Plantains

Ingredients

Green Plantains (find these by the bananas in your local grocery store)

Organic coconut oil

That’s it! Let’s get cooking…or should I say frying!

Make sure to get green plantains. They are firmer and will work better. Cut off both ends of the plantain. Then run your knife down the peel multiple times. Then peel the plantain. Note: this is not like peeling a banana. It will be a struggle.

Cut the plantain into rounds as shown

Click below for a quick video

How to Peel a Plantain

This is the coconut oil I use. It’s a great deal at Costco. Scoop about 1/4 cup in a skillet (preferably cast iron) and let it melt on medium high.

 Once the coconut oil has melted, place your sliced plantains in the skillet. Turn them after about 2 minutes or until they become just a touch brown and cook another 2 minutes. You just want to get them soft enough to smash easier later.

Once they have browned a bit, place them on a paper towel to cool.

Click the link below for a quick video

Browning the plantains

After the plantains have cooled, you’re going to smash them! So grab a small plate or you can use the bottom of a glass cup. Set one plantain on the cutting board and place the plate on top. Then you’re going to apply pressure and turn it to the right until it’s smashed flat. You may have to use a knife to scrap the flattened plantain off your plate. The key here is to only turn one direction. Don’t turn it back and forth or you’ll have a demolished plantain! No bueno. 🙂

Check out the link below for a quick video

Smashing Plantains

You’ve made it to the last step! Hooray! You’re about to taste the fruits of your labor!

Add the flattened plantains to the hot coconut oil and fry until browned on each side…about 1 minute each side. It depends on how crispy you want them. Obviously, cook longer if you desire a crispier chip. You may have to add coconut oil to the pan as you continue frying all the plantains. Transfer the fried plantains to a paper towel again. While still warm, salt them and squeeze some fresh lime juice on them and give ’em a good toss.

Click below for a quick video

Twice Fried Plantain

You officially made tostones! Good work! And now for the best part! Eating them! Whip up some Whole30 approved guacamole or pull out the salsa or eat them straight up…whatever floats your boat. 🙂 I think they are best served slightly warm. They will get a bit soggy in the fridge,  but just pop them in a toaster oven for a minute and they’ll crisp right up.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to share it with your friends and family…especially those on the Whole30.

Tag me in your posts @iamthefitbaker

 

Whole 30 & Tips for Slaying the Sugar Dragon

Just when you think you got the sugar dragon licked, Christmas cookies show up. There’s been Christmas treats around since Thanksgiving and I never gave in, but on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I let myself have a few treats. I thought, after not having sugar for over 6 months, that I’d be able to stop eating the peanut butter balls no problem. But how quickly my body forgets the Whole30 plan and turns into a sugar dragon. It’s like this switch went off and all my body wanted was more and more sugar. I couldn’t satisfy the sugar dragon!!! All my Whole30 peeps out there know what I’m talking about! That was a scary feeling. Was all my hard work so far going to go down in flames because I couldn’t get control of my cravings? Was I going to gain all 14lbs I’d lost, back  in one weekend! It sends shivers down my spine!

Today I said no more. My mind and heart know what I truly want, but my body is taking a bit longer to convince. I haven’t had any sugar today. My body is screaming for it, but I know within a few days the sugar dragon will crawl back into its hole and I’ll be rocking the Whole30 without a second thought.

I also wanted to share a few things I’ve noticed since having sugar. I haven’t slept well the past two nights. Coincidence? I think not. Since starting the Whole30, I haven’t had a problem sleeping. As long as I stick to my usual bedtime routine of reading before I turn out the light, I fall asleep promptly. But since having sugar on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ve tossed and turned, and even though I was tired, I couldn’t fall asleep. Also, I usually go to Crossfit three days a week at 5AM. No, I’m not crazy. I just like to get it done and get on with my day. I’ve really grown to like the morning class actually. That is until this mornings class. The best way I know how to describe it is I felt like a slug. Somehow I could not catch my breath, and I could barely finish the workout! And I’ve been doing Crossfit for a couple years now! A light bulb went off in my head…SUGAR! Darn you sugar! You’re making me look like I’ve never exercised in my life. Isn’t that crazy? Don’t get me wrong. Crossfit is hard. But this was like my body would not do the movements I’ve done a hundred times. I never want to feel like that again. Sugar is no bueno.

All that to say, I’m back on the Whole30 full force! I don’t want to eat sugar because I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I’ve got a goal in mind and I’m going to press on toward. Bye, bye sugar dragon!

I’ve included a few tips below that I’ve implemented when I feel the sugar dragon coming on strong. I hope they help!

Tips for slaying the sugar dragon:

  1. Meal Prep– plan ahead of time what your going to eat the next day. Don’t think you’ll have enough willpower to say no to the snack machine or your coworkers leftover Christmas cookies. Go to the grocery store and get what you need to stay on track. Or at least have some healthy snack options at your desk so you don’t give in to the sugar dragon at work. Some Whole30 approved snacks are: RX Bars, oranges, apple and almond butter, celery and almond butter, Epic bars or other beef jerky.
  2. Exercise– After a weekend of giving in one too many times to the cookie jar, I make myself go to the gym. There’s something about working hard and sweating that makes me NOT want to eat unhealthy. It actually does the opposite! I want to fuel my body with the best since it just put out all that effort for me. Plus, I’m not going to waste all the time I spent in the gym by eating chips and donuts.
  3. Don’t be an island!-Surround yourself with like minded people who will keep you honest. Get an accountability partner. Whether it’s a friend, sister, husband, wife, whoever but get one! This has been one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed the course this time around on the Whole30. I have two friends that I check in with every week. And I’m honest with them. I tell them when I’ve gained weight and when I’ve lost weight. They are there for me to encourage me to keep going, but also to keep me on the straight and narrow. Don’t put this off! Find someone today! If you don’t know anyone, then contact me and I’ll keep you accountable. 🙂

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

 

Hello beautiful people! It’s almost been a week since I posted the cauliflower fried rice story on my Instagram account and I promised a recipe forthcoming. So here it is! I love any kind of Asian food. From Thai, to Chinese, to Japanese, Korean and on and on…they always hit the spot. Growing up, my family would go to Happy Teriyaki all the time, and we thought it was healthy! We weren’t quite up on MSG. Yikes! Since then, I’ve come across so many healthy, paleo recipes for classic Asian dishes that are just as delicious and flavorful as I remember. One of the best Asian cookbooks I’ve found is “Paleo Takeout“. Every recipe I’ve made so far has been exactly as I remember it tasting. I would highly recommend it!

Anyways, on to the recipe! This is one of my staple recipes. It can be made with whatever veggies you have on hand. I always keep a bag of cauliflower rice in the freezer for an easy, quick meal. Trader Joe’s carries frozen and fresh cauli-rice. Since you aren’t using rice, you’re essentially eating an entire bowl of veggies! Score!

Cauli-Fried Rice

Ingredients

2 tsp minced garlic

2 TBLS coconut oil

1 cup sliced onions

1 cup peppers

1 cups sliced carrots

1 cup broccoli

1 cup cooked cubed chicken

1 TBLS Thai and True green curry paste

1 package of cauli-rice

1/2 cup toasted chopped cashews

2 scrambled egg

(You can add whatever veggies you want)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Heat the coconut oil and garlic in a large skillet until it starts to sizzle.

Then add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add all the veggies and cook, stirring frequently, for 7 minutes. Next, add the cauli-rice, chicken, and curry paste and cook another 7 minutes. While the stir fry is cooking, spread the cashew pieces on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant. Lastly, scramble the eggs in a frying pan. Once cooked, cut into small pieces and add to the stir-fry. Remove the stir-fry from the heat and spoon some into a bowl and top with some of the toasted cashews.

I’d love to see what veggies you put in your stir-fry! Tag me in your pics! @iamthefitbaker

 

 

 

 

 

Frustration Nation

One of the most frustrating things in the world has got to be trying to lose weight. And when I say trying, I mean when your eating is on point and your doing things like crossfit, interval sprints and two a days and the scale stays the same! Not cool. I haven’t always been this dedicated. I don’t want you to get the wrong picture. 🙂 But for about the past three years, I’ve been become more and more dedicated to figuring out what is going on with my body. (autoimmune issues, effects of yo-yo dieting, etc…I’ll save that for another post) And let me tell you, it’s quite the mystery! With all the crossfit and exercising I’ve been doing, I’ve definitely built muscle and toned up, but I haven’t lost weight. I’d like the fat off so you can see the muscles! The only way I’ve ever lost weight is by seriously restricting my calories and that only messed up my metabolism. That’s not the way to healthfully shed pounds. Slow and steady is the way to keep it off. I know we all like quick results. Believe me, I’m the queen of trying any diet for quick results, but I finally realized that wasn’t working. I wanted to change my lifestyle. I just wanted to eat  clean and not be consumed with feeling bad after eating something that wasn’t on my current diet. I wanted peace. I was tired of food ruling me. It’s been quite the journey. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly I began to get the hang of listening to my body. I didn’t see any changes in the beginning, but that was ok because I was learning my body. I thought it was odd that I wasn’t losing ANY weight. Even just one pound a month would have been amazing! I knew I still had food issues, and my sugar addiction would still creep up on me so I decided to get some professional help. I started talking with a counselor and she helped me through so much!!! It’s great to get an outside perspective because we can be so consumed with ourselves and not see the real issues. She gave me hope that I could overcome my body issues. She helped me see the “why” behind my continual food relapses. It was the most freeing thing. I met with her periodically for about a year. I still go back to my journal and look over those notes I took from her and they give me strength and hope and remind me I can do this even when it seems impossible. I look back now and realize this was just another step in my journey. Side note: I would encourage everyone to get counseling. I was scared and apprehensive at first but it ended up being the best thing ever! Promise me you’ll give it a shot?

Anyways, (I got a  bit sidetracked there) my whole point of this post is to encourage you to not give up when you don’t see results right away. I’ve been tempted to throw in the towel (and sometimes I have…hello pint of ice cream) when my jeans only seem to be getting tighter despite being totally on track with my diet and exercise. I feel like people must think I hop from diet to diet and that I’m forever trying to lose weight. That’s the most frustrating part for me. I know it doesn’t matter what other people think, but for once I’d like to prove that all this hard work is paying off and that I’m serious about my health!

The journey continues.

Thoughts?

Whole30 take two!

      

So I started the Whole 30 last Monday. So far, so good. I’ve done it once before and had great results. My sugar cravings subsided, my skin was clear, I wasn’t obsessing over everything I put in my mouth and on top of all that, I lost 12lbs! Sometimes I wonder why I ever went back to my old ways. I felt so great, but those old habits slowly crept back. I generally eat healthy, but must confess that sugar is my downfall. I end up in a sugar tailspin if I start eating it. That’s the main reason I wanted to do the Whole30 again.

Before I started the Whole30, I was counting my macros-protein, fat, and carbs. You may have heard the term “flexible dieting”, which is macro counting. I know people who have had great success with this type of eating, and I know it works*, but after doing it for a couple months I realized my cravings didn’t subside. I wasn’t truly changing my eating habits. I was working cookies, crackers, and sugars into my macro count, and it dawned on me that I wasn’t really changing. I was doing the same old thing and going through the same cycle of cravings. I was still emotionally tied to food and I want to be done with that! I’m so tired of food controlling me!!!

So, that’s why I decided to start the Whole30.  I want to slay my sugar dragon. I don’t want to give sugar a foothold in my life any longer. Isn’t it exhausting to be a slave to your cravings?

*I think macro counting is awesome and I don’t want anyone to think I’m discounting it. I’ve seen firsthand the results it produces and it’s phenomenal. I’ll probably try it again once I conquer my food issues. 🙂

Long Time, No See

So here I am again…three years later. It’s kind of ridiculous how long it’s taken me to write another post. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been so busy and my career and baking business has just taken off that I haven’t had time. But let’s be real…I’m single, no kids, and yes, our baking business has given me a run for my money, but I’ve had some downtime. The thing is; it’s hard to put yourself out there. I know deep down that I want to help as many people as possible switch to a healthy lifestyle. I want to help people believe in themselves again because I know what it feels like to give up on yourself. Maybe that’s part of the reason it’s hard to be vulnerable…because deep down there’s part of me that still holds onto the self doubt. Yikes…it’s just got real up in here. Anyhow, I’ve begun again!

“Even though I fall, I shall arise!”

So here’s what has been going on lately in my life. I joined a weight-loss challenge with my friend that our local fitness center is putting on. It’s already been going a couple weeks and ends March 22nd. The first week out of the gate was great! I summoned the motivation to go to Crossfit at 5AM, then to work, then I worked out with my friend after work, then went home and planned my meals out for the next day, and got ready to do it all over again. I was a machine! And so proud of myself for sticking with it! But as life goes, (not as planned) my routine came to a screeching halt…I got the flu. It struck on Saturday afternoon and I was out until Wednesday! I had a fever of 101 degrees for three days! It was the most frustrating thing to be couch-ridden for days upon end. Here I had just hit my groove only to be sucker punched down again. Arrghh! But instead of letting it get me down and throwing in the towel, I took it as an opportunity to keep my eye on the prize. (In this case, weight-loss and prize money) I told myself, “This is life.” The only thing that you can count on in life is the unexpected. I can plan all I want, but some things are simply out of my hands. Things like the weather, sickness, an injury, last minute change of plans etc. When these things come crashing into our perfectly planned week, that’s when we must learn to let it go, take a deep breath and move on. Start again the next day. You’ve only failed if you don’t get back up again.

What do you do to stay motivated when you get knocked down?