My New Secret Weapon

Alternate title: I Eat Giant Bowls of Food!

We picked them up on our little Ikea date and they’ve been wonderful as we’ve been working on eating according to our goals.

ikea bowl

Giant stainless steel “salad bowls.” Yeaah.

Things I couldn’t do it without:

  • sweet potatoes
  • spinach
  • spring salad mix
  • Tessemae’s hot sauce (available at Whole Foods, I wouldn’t reccomend ordering online. They have some issues)
  • Wholly Guacamole
  • Sun Prairie GF Beef and other high quality chicken & pork
  • The Original Brat Hans — Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage or Spicy Italian (available only at Whole Foods)
  • Applegate Organics bacon
  • coconut oil

paleo power bowl 1

I cook up entire  packages of The Original Brat Hans or Applegate Organics dinner sausages ahead of time so I can just microwave them and throw them into a little power bowl.

paleo power bowl 2

Ever since we bought a box full of grass-fed beef from Sun Prairie, we can’t go back. If you’re local, you should check it out. So worth it.

paleo power bowl 3

Oops. There was spinach in there too. It’s just very wilted. The fridge was really empty this day, but I was trying to eat a LOT of food. I’d been feeling really hungry DURING CrossFit workouts which isn’t cool. I sauteéd all the ingredients together in some coconut oil. It was delicious! My back squats thanked me — 2 reps & 185lbs. Plus the build-up to that and 9-7-5 reps at 135lbs during the wod.

paleo power bowl 4

PaleOMG chicken fajita slow cooker stew thrown on some spinach and topped with Wholly Guac.

almost paleo power bowls

ALMOST paleo. The pork was cooked in Tessemae’s (paleo) bbq sauce, but the dressing has dairy! Oh well. We had it in the fridge, and it’s still mostly good for you, in my opinion.

So that’s what I’ve been eating out of my giant bowl, and I’m feeling really good this week. I’m honestly already feeling better in my workouts (and after!!!!!!!) sinc re-dedicating myself to eating according to my goals. I’m also tracking (for a while until I get tired of it) my food on MyFitnessPal if you want to be friends. I know you want more chances to follow me. Just trying to make sure I get decent protein and that I’m eating enough before my workouts. It’s also a great reality check on SUGARRRR, and I’m actually trying to keep my carbs a bit higher because I’m pretty stinking active and it makes me feel better. :)

What’s your secret weapon when it comes to healthy eating? We’re actually thinking of buying a few more bowls because sometimes one is in the dishwasher (and we can’t be expected to hand wash!!!!!). And Kevin wants one for work. Awwa.

Sub-22 + You Can’t Train Everything At Once

Got it.

I didn’t waste any time. I woke up this morning feeling gooooooooood. Maybe it’s because it’s day #1 of vacation? My awesome boss  gave me the whole week off. Plus yesterday was a rest day, although technically I did run a 5k. But only because Pippa was being super annoying.

city 5k runkeeper

Full disclosure: this was a city 5k so I stopped at stoplights. I like my legs intact. Lucky for Pippa, there was a water bowl near one.

pippa slows me down

Baby Pippa looooooves fall weather. I have to admit that today’s temp was PERFECT for a run. I may have had a moment’s rest at stoplights, but Pippa definitely slowed me down. That little slacker. I’m not taking her on any more timed runs because I felt a little bit guilty that I was almost dragging her near the end. Seriously, I was cheerleading her,”You can do it, girl!!!!” Kevin is a big fan of when I do that too. Not.


5 mile run runkeeper

I ran the 5 miles at 2 sec per mile faster pace than the 5k after I dropped Pipperdoodle off at home. Haha. Whatever.

Next up: 20:45 5k and 42:30 10k. I’m gonna have to do those alone, unfortunately.

I guess my muscles aren’t hurting my running too much. :)

Lisa recently started using RunKeeper, and she was teasing me that all my times were so slow (mostly because I was awalking — haha). But I am a firm believer that you can’t train everything at once. Maybe Rich Froning can, but he has all the CrossFit prize money to keep home going. I have to work on occasion. So since I’ve been so crazy about CrossFit, that means if I want to actually be able to work on my 2 rep max on deadlifts in class — I can’t go out and run 10 miles at an 8 min pace the night before. Not that I’ve tried that before. :) I know this is going to sound crazy, but I also haven’t been registering for races because they’re usually on Saturdays, and I love going to the Sat AM CrossFit class with Kevin. It’s like our thing. 8 or 9AM CrossFit, then Starbucks, then big paleo brunch. We heart it.

I don’t really have a long term plan for my training at this point, but I am working on a spreadsheet. It will be beautiful. And I will share it with you. I might have to get my hot financial analyst husband to help me with the format since he is an excel wizard.

paleo power bowl

Giant paleo power bowl. The Original Brat Hans Apple Chicken Sausage, sweet potato, onions & peppers, spinach, and a little coconut oil. You don’t realize how large that bowl is. It’s huge. I needed it.

After my run, I hustled into open gym to work on my pull-ups for a few minutes (our box is super close to our house and they have chalk, and their bar doesn’t hurt my hands as much). I can’t say I made loads of progress, but I did some deliberate practice. The head coach was there and he gave me some pointers. He called me,”Hey Muscles!” Isn’t that nice? Haha. I guess I know I’m a CrossFitter since I took that as such a compliment.

I also want to say that even at open gym, all three coaches that were there (doing other things) stopped to give me advice or encouragement on something. Isn’t that nice? The head coach even asked me how many more skills I was going to work on because he didn’t want me to overtrain. I assured him that I wouldn’t. Our coaches take care of us. Just sayin’. My coach is better than your coach. Haha. Okay. That was a joke. Don’t beat me up. But they really are.

Have you ever tried to train more that one sport at a time? I know the triathlon people do, and it looks crazy hard. Especially since they have to swim. And bike. Running to the fridge and eating ice cream for time doesn’t count. :)

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Taco Tuesday: Coconut Flour Tortilllas

Ever since I took a second job for no apparent reason, we’ve been pretty religious about Taco Tuesdays. It’s quick. It’s a fave. And once you take out Thursday Date Night, I then have only left with 3 meals to plan!

Last night, two of my adult piano students bailed last minute which left me with some time to get a little crazy with dinner. Usually we just have taco salads or throw in some Red Hot blues. But I asked Kevin to pick up some egg whites, and I tried this recipe for coconut flour tortillas.

coconut flour tortillas

So easy to make, and they turned out great! Topped with spinach and guacamole – the best!

coconut tortillas

That’s what they looked like plain… a little ugly and a little eggy since we accidentally made the first one really thick. I would definitely try to make them thinner next time. But not at all noticeable once you have them stuffed with taco goodness.

spinach boyd

Boyd went crazy when I spilled some baby spinach in the kitchen.

pippa is the cutest

No, seriously, nothing is cuter than Sleeping Pippa. NOTHING!!!!!

Yes, it’s snowing like crazy up in here this morning. I’m just hoping it stops by the time I have to walk home from school this afternoon. But maybe it will keep the crazies away from me — I’ve had a lot of interesting walks lately. I think people think I’m in high school since it’s that time of day, and I have a backpack…. but you shouldn’t act that weird to high schoolers either!!! I’m ready to start riding bike so I can be more anti-social on my commute, but the weather is just not cooperating!!!!!

Here’s something interesting: 5 Reasons to Avoid Almond Flour. I try not to get too crazy with the coconut flour either  — I tend to use it the most on weekends when I have time to cook!

Also, I had a dream last night that my CrossFit coach told me I should be eating a cupcake a day. That was after I showed up at the gym, and no one was working out — I was furious that I woke up at 5am for nothing, and  I was stomping around. Haha. So hilarious. I’ll have to hold him to that.

Thirdly, I have in my drafts a post about how much I hate CrossFit. Should I post it? Haha. Maybe I’ll give it another month.

Do you have Taco Tuesday at your house? Any other special days of the week (preferably alliterative)? We’re kind of hit & miss with Meatless Monday, and in the summer we have grill days — but there’s no good name for that.

Any great Cinco de Mayo plans?? Word on the street is that my hood gets a little crazy. I just want to make a banner/bunting… is that any surprise?

Easy Tortilla-Crusted Broccoli & Spinach Quiche + My First Race of 2012

I love making a special breakfast on the weekends. And I always love finding ways to trick Kevin into eating spinach & broccoli. And for breakfast? That’s a major win!!!

Easy Tortilla-Crusted Broccoli & Spinach Quiche (inspired by my favorite blogger @ CNC)


  • Four 7-inch whole wheat tortillas (I used 2 because mine were pretty thick)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms (about 1 1/2 cups)  1/2 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles (or mozzarella)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375* F. In a greased 9-inch pie plate, overlap the tortillas to make a crust; place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, steam broccoli until crisp-tender, about 1 minute in the microwave. In a skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes. Stir in the broccoli; season with salt and pepper.

Spread evenly in the tortilla crust, then crumble the cheese on top.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt and season with salt and pepper; pour into the tortilla crust.

Bake on the baking sheet until just set in the center and lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

So. That was easy! The tortilla crust was a little crispy to cut but tasted delicious. Of course, Kevin had to add the crushed red pepper & hot sauce, but still a winner!

Last night…

I think SMOOTHIES are the answer to one of my life’s great problems. It’s called — we generally don’t eat dinner till almost 9PM. Meaning I haven’t eaten in about 9 hours. 5 if I managed to sneak in a yogurt or something at work. I’ve struggled with getting really bad headaches and stomachaches while making dinner/waiting for it to cook. And then raging post-dinner hunger (that’s like 11PM – not cool!). So I’m hoping if I have a quick smoothie after the gym it can help control my blood sugar anger and hopefully I won’t be so hungry later on. I just have to be careful not to rack up an absurd amount of calories and cancel out my workouts. NO ADDED SUGAR. Yeah, I said added. Fruit has SUGAR in it, people!

This is a very green post! I made a little pizza for our Friday night in. The sauce was made in the blender with Greek yogurt, GARLIC, basil, and spinach! It was so good. We scarfed it while watching a few episodes of the West Wing.

In super important news: I think I’ve decided on my first race of 2012!!

I, of course, have chosen to do the 10 miler! It’s in 2 weeks, so I had better get crackin’. I’m excited because I don’t do very many races, and it will be good motivation for a nice long run!  I think I’ve almost decided on what my first marathon will be!!! I’ll keep you posted.

Do you like quiche? Seems like a weird senior citizen kinda food to me, but this one with the tortillas is pretty good!!!

Any races planned for January? Brrrrrr…. I really hope the weather is nice!

Meatless Greek Sloppy Joes + My Hidden Sporty Talent

Tonight was one of those nights when an extreme failure led to a new discovery.  I was attempting to make Greek Spinach Feta Burgers from Baked Bree, but I ended up with a mixture that could not be formed into patties of any kind. I think this may be due to the fact that I used fresh rather than frozen spinach. Hard to say. I even tried adding some garbanzo beans to thicken it up, but to no avail.

Meatless Greek Sloppy Joes (inspired by Baked Bree)

2 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 cup herb stuffing mix
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package fresh spinach
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
salt and pepper

The above ending up all being just mixed together and put in the frying pan for about 5 minutes. We served it with this cucumber sauce:

Cucumber Sauce

1 small container non fat greek yogurt
1 small cucumber chopped finely
1 minced garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh  lemon juice
salt and pepper

On top of a sandwich thin topped with red pepper + some more feta. We also had some oven-baked fries & hummus on the side!

We earned our dinner with a killer workout tonight. We finally made it to the Sports Training class. We started out with like 1000 ab exercises. We had to take turns counting 1-10. Because I have an extreme fear of speaking in public, I was actually nervous for my turn. Don’t ask me why. Trust me, I was far more annoying than that when I taugh High School P.E. I just don’t know what to do without my trusty whistle! Haha. It ended fine.

The BEST part was that we rotated between jumping rope for 2 minutes, and doing 30 second interval exercise with the trainer. I SCHOOLED that class on jumping rope. It was like my time to shine!! I couldn’t help but show off a little. I used to practice about 30 minutes a day when I went to VIP Fitness in the DR so I was so excited to pull out a rope again.I also tried to shame the other class members by jogging right over when the trainer called out “switch!” Everyone else was like… ambling. Kevin was like,”I knew you were trying to do that.” So predictable.

We got to do some partner exercises!! Lucky I had Good Looking with me or I would’ve had some stranger danger!!! Haha.

Don’t worry! I still embarrassed myself PLENTY before class. This is obviously not us but…

Kevin had been talking about the box jumps he did with the personal trainer last week, and I wanted a demo. And then, of course, I wanted to try. The box obviously was not as high as the crazy guy above is doing, but it was about knee-high on me. My first two attempts were complete body flails. Finally, I made Kevin hold my hand and gave it all I had. I made it up!!!!!!!! I didn’t know I had a crowd watching me. Of course, I had to attempt this at 5:30….. busiest gym hour ever… and while people were waiting for the Sports Training class to begin. Even the trainer saw me! She was all like,”Nice jump.” So mortifying.

Of course, I still had to get my run in afterwards. Even though I was totally wiped, I hung in there for 30 minutes and ran 3.58 miles.

I think I passed my test!!!! My raw score was quite a bit above the minimum passing score for CO, but I won’t have my official results for a bit. Predictably, I aced the English section and performed miserably in math/science. I’m so thankful I didn’t study any more. It was a total waste of time. I’ve taken four CLEP tests, and those were all straight from the book. Verbatim. I memorized the book the day before and passed them all. The Praxis II for Elementary Content Knowledge was totally random. I felt like I could have studied for months and never hit a question on the exam. I’m totally thrilled to have it off my mind though. It was stressing me for no apparent reason.

Have you ever tried a box jump? Harder than it looks. I knew I would stink because I have super bad depth perception so I get really nervous. Especially sans glasses.

Do you like jumping rope? It’s really good exercise. It’s a good thing for me to mix up with running because my body gets sooo adjusted to running that I know it burns a lot fewer calories. My body is a little too efficient for my own good! I used to watch tons of YouTube videos, and that’s where I learned all my fancy tricks. I’m not good at double jumps, but I have a few routines. :)

Have you ever failed a recipe & turned it into something else? Those sloppy joes were like… the trifle of hamburgers. You know, because if you ruin a cake by crumbling it, you can save with a trifle? That makes sense to me anyways!





Earning Couch Time + Turkey-Spinach Spaghetti

My husband had the bright idea to hit the gym before work today so we could watch The Biggest Loser. That meant a 5:55AM wake-up call. I actually woke up BEFORE the alarm? Can you believe that? It probably helped that we went to bed before 11PM.  I was a little tired after my first day @ the office.

I didn’t run 4 miles in 30 seconds… haha… more like 35 minutes. That workout was pretty easy by my standards, but it felt killer at 6AM! It was nice to think about the fact that it got my metabolism revved nice and early!


Are you noticing an animal print trend? I’ve never been to that office (including for my interview) NOT clad in animal print. I think I’m fresh out so tomorrow I’m going for hot pink!

Two things I never dreamed I’d use for work. A red pen & a calculator! I prefer gold stars and Crayola markers, but I’m working with what I got!

Look who found the stairs today!

My Toms are now permanently stored in my big work tote bag for stair trips. I totally prefer taking the stairs to riding in an elevator stuffed full of stuffy business people. It’s so annoying. My legs were actually twitchy when I got down. I can’t wait for my first time going up!

Denver has a forecast for a snow storm!

It’s not even Halloween. I’m gonna die! But maybe I can get a snow day! They asked if I wanted some auditing work to take home “just in case.” And I was like, no way, Jose. If the weather’s that bad I’m taking the day off! I’ve already put in 16 hours this week. I don’t want to overdo it!

I knew I needed some comfort food so I went for “healthy spaghetti.” I browned some lean ground turkey with a yellow onion and half a package of baby spinach. I added some sugar-free tomato sauce  and a can of diced tomatoes. We served it with whole wheat pasta and bread. I couldn’t resist the bread tonight. I’m such a carb loverrrr!

Our little beggar Boyd! He only pays that much attention to us when we have food in our hands!

What time do you get up? I’ve been getting up at around 7:20 since we’ve been married. I’m so not a morning person! Weekends we usually get up around 8-8:30.

How do you like your spaghetti? I honestly like it without meat, but the turkey was pretty delicious. The spinach wasn’t even noticeable, but it made me feel nice that I was eating vegetables.

Do you like snow? I used to have a soft spot for snowball fights. And I’m curious to see how Boyd will behave in the snow. But other than that, I’m mostly not a fan. Except that you must have snow on Christmas!

The Biggest Loser this week said that Americans eat an average of 24 pounds of candy each year. Do you think you think that’s accurate for you? No. I sometimes go for months without eating candy. But I think I did eat around a pound of candy corn pumpkins while I was in Minnesota.






Basil Gnocchi & Whole-Wheat Foccacia + Race Results

This one’s for you, Ramundos! My old roommate, Megan, used to make these using her Italian grandmother’s recipe. So my eyes perked up when I saw this recipe for Basil Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu in Fitness magazine. Of course, I tweaked it like c-razy because I obviously hate mushrooms. I mean, who doesn’t? :)

Basil-Spinach Gnocchi


  • 2    large russet potatoes, baked, skins removed (Hint: microwave!)
  • 3    egg yolks
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt plus additional to taste
  • 1/2  cup  fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, shredded (You could use a food processor if you’re a normal person with a real kitchen!)
  • 1 1/4  cups  flour plus more for dusting
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/4  cup  freshly grated Parmesan

Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes until there are no lumps. Fold in the egg yolks and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, spinach, and 1/4 cup of the basil. Sift in 1 cup of the flour; knead gently until dough forms. Add remaining flour; knead until dough is soft, not sticky. (Don’t overwork dough.) Form into a disk.

Transfer dough to a floured work surface and divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll pieces lengthwise until they are 3/4 inch in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Spread gnocchi on a floured baking sheet and let sit 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add gnocchi to boiling water. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, until all the dumplings rise to the surface. Using a slotted spoon (to allow all excess water to drain off), transfer to a bowl and toss with remaining olive oil and salt to taste. Garnish with the remaining basil and Parmesan.

When Kevin got home, he thought it was from a bag of frozen ravioli. He didn’t know I could make pasta. Neither did I. I was a little nervous because I had no back-up plan!

With a side of Wholesome & Easy Focaccia Bread. I followed the recipe for the most part except that I didn’t have some of the spices on hand so I just used olive oil, minced garlic, and grated Parmesan to top it.

Those were some difficult Italian (right?) words to pronounce. I decided to watch some YouTube videos so I could brag to Kevin properly! Click these so you don’t sound like a loser when you try my recipes:  focaccia & gnocchi.

I love all things dippable!

Today was a personal record in lunch making. I got home from the gym at 11 (just couldn’t pull myself a way from finishing 5.08 miles), and I managed to make homemade pasta and homemade bread in an hour. I’m so awesome. It’s because I mentally plot out my multi-tasking while on the treamill. Lol.

Ok. So to bring myself down a few notches, let me tell you what else I did at the gym. I fell off the treamill. Pride comes before the fall. My nightmare finally came true. Except it wasn’t that bad. I was walking. I had paused for some reason, and I was reading my email. But this is me. I can’t just walk. If I’m going to go that slow, the incline has to be at least 7.5. That’s my rule. Plus I heard that Jennifer Aniston does that. So anyhow. I was reading my email, and I just slid right off the back. Thankfully, I realized the last second and didn’t actually fall on my face. I just kind of did a backwards hop, and didn’t die at all. And nobody saw it!!! So it’s like it didn’t even happen!! There was someone in the gym almost the entire time except for that moment. Yay!! Well, I’m still feeling humbled.

Totally random, but look what the stupid pop machine gave us. Two regular Cokes. One for Lisa, and one for Josiah. But they’re not here. We clearly pressed Diet Coke both times. I totally want a refund. Can you see my face in the Coke?!!??! Haha. I know. Diet Coke is unhealthy. It’s definitely the vice I’m most guilty of. The good news is that I cut back during days where I’m running a lot because I don’t want the fizz to bother my stomach.

Yeah. Carrie. Even after I crossed out the “a” and wrote an “o” underneath. Oh well.  There were 477 racers so we hit the top of the middle pack which is what we were aiming for! Of course, technically, I did better than Kevin, but we won’t get into that. :) Especially since he was so nice about watching out for me on the treacherous downhills!

Next year I hope to get in under 50 minutes with the help of better shoes and less clothes! First place in my division was 42:25. First place in Kevin’s was 34:32. So we have a little work to do.

Still trying to decide which race to do next.  I’d like to do the Rock & Roll Half in Denver, but it is so expensive! My other pick is the Bear Creek 10-Spot – another trail run which MAY include a water crossing!! Uh… Kevin didn’t think I would be a fan of that. He probably doesn’t want to run for an hour with me whining about wet socks and the cold! There’s also a Skirt Chaser race this weekend. The ladies get a 3-minute head start. And if you’re single, you get to wear a special sticker so you can mingle. Hahaha. Sounds hilarious!

Hope you  are having a sweet Monday!

P.S. Just so you know – this is going to be a great FOOD WEEK on the blog. I bought groceries last night for 5 new dinners! Get excited!