Saturday, January 7, 2012

Herbed beef and vegetable stew

Jesse has enlightened me on the benefits of the Paleo diet (basis: meat, veggies, grains, beans, wheat, dairy). So though I fought it for awhile (being that I was convinced of vegetarian), I've been trying out this new way of living (not diet). I have noticed that I feel fuller longer and much less energy dips. It's still wierd to eat meat. I'll admit: I like it.

Here's one of our new favorite recipes, Herbed beef and vegetable stew (adapated from

3/4 c. of almond flour (or any flour you choose...I make my almond flour with my wonderful Blendtec--just toss in the almonds and you're done in seconds!)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 lb. beef stew meat (always try to get grass fed, no hormones, no antibiotics)
2 tsp of coconut oil (you can substitute with olive oil or vegetable oil)
1 can (14.5 oz) of diced organic tomatoes
3 cups of organic beef broth
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary/marjoram (I didn't have rosemary, so substituted with marjoram)
1/2 tsp of black pepper
1 lb of carrots chopped in small chunks (I used about 8 medium sized carrots)
1/4 of a large yellow onion chopped in small pieces
2 bay leaves
4 large celery ribs chopped

Mix flour and salt together. Chop stew meat into small pieces if needed. Toss meat in flour/salt mixture and coat meat pieces evenly. Heat oil in Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Brown beef.
Stir in tomatoes, broth, garlic, herbs, pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery. Simmer on low for 2 hours. Let sit overnight.
Heat up slowly on medium, then serve warm. (**It's best to let it sit overnight to help the flavors soak in**)

Enjoy ;)

Up Next: Love the it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adrenal fatigue...what is it?

Adrenal fatigue=term coined by Dr. James Wilson in 1988="a group of signs and symptoms that people experience as a result of suboptimal adrenal function".

Adrenals: endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys; they are each about 1/2" by 3" long in a triangular shape
*the outer layer is the cortex, that's where steroid hormones are produced (cortisol, aldosterone, and testosterone
*the inner layer is the medulla, that's where epinehprine and norepinephrine is produced (more commonly called adrenaline and noradrenaline)

How did I come to this self-diagnosis? I'm reading Dr. Wilson's book "Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome" This is his list of signs & symptoms that your adrenals are fatigued:
1. You feel tired for no reason. (that's me)
2. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour. (definitely me0
3. You are feeling rundown and overwhelmed. (often)
4. You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness (hmmm...I've had ear pain for over 3 months...went to the doctor for the THIRD time for it today=ridiculous)
5. You crave salty and sweet snacks. (yeah...don't we all at some point ;))
6. You feel more awake, alert, and energetic after 6PM than you do all day. (actually, yeah, some days this is me; some days in the recent past I have gone to bed at 6:30 or so, so that's the opposite)

What am I doing to "treat" it?
a) Quit coffee. Coffee/caffeine is brutal to the adrenals.
b) Keep blood sugars, eat good nutritious meals with nutritious snacks
c) I've broken down and I'm taking a few supplements...I dislike supplement companies, I'm so skeptical...but I'm taking a Vitamin C & Rhodiola
d) I'm adding back in ACV (see my post on apple cider vinegar)

**Get the book or check out Dr. Wilson's website: for more information.**

Cheers to good health!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chili, Cornbread, and Cardinals

We are currently watching the 3rd game of the World Series...and the Cardinals are currently up. I love high scoring baseball games! Love the Cardinals...and makes us miss St. Louis all the more!

The weather has been absolutely beautiful here...fall is so wonderful in Boulder!

I've still been in my soup and bread making mood, so tonight it was a white chicken chili and quinoa cornbread. For those of you who know me fairly well, you know I've been mostly vegetarian for quite some time now. Long story short, Jesse and I have been really looking over our diet and have decided to bring in some meat. We have chosen to eat lean meat 2-3 times a week and keep it to quality meat--only non-antibiotic/hormone filled meat. Last week, we had some white fish, chicken on a fresh salad, and then tonight chicken chili. We just do not think we have been getting enough protein and nutrients in our fairly-strict vegetarian diet.

What are your thoughts on vegetarian/flexitarian?

Here are the recipes for tonight great meal: (Jesse again said, "this is the best meal you've made in a long time" I said "uh, you just said that recently..." :))

White Chicken Chili (adapted from


1 tsp olive oil
2/3 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 seeded, jalapeno pepper, chopped (I used two!)
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis (I used one large fresh Anaheim chile pepper, chopped)
2/3 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning
pinch of ground cloves (didn't have it, didn't use it!)
pinch cayenne pepper
2 cans of white beans (drained; one whole beans and one can blended)
2 cups of chicken broth (I only had vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups of shredded baked chicken
1/2 cup of graded Monterey or white cheddar cheese ( always, organic is best for all dairy products ;))

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the onion and cook until teander-about 4 to 7 minutes.
Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayene.
Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender-about 3 mintues.
Mix in the broth, chicken, and white beans (both the whole bean can and blended beans).
Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.
Garnish with cheese, cilantro, fresh tomatoes--whatever!
Below is a dark picture of this great creation!!

Quinoa cornbread I've had!!

3 cups of corn flour (not cornmeal)
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups low fat buttermilk (I used almond milk boiled)
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x9 pan, set aside.
Stir together flour, 1 cup of quinoa, baking soda, and salt until combined.
In a second bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs, then add to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Transfer batter to prepared pan, spread out evenly, then scatter remaining quinoa on top (1/4 cup). Bake until cooked through and golden brown....about 25-30 minutes. Serve with honey (local honey preferred--helps with those fall allergies! ;)).
Sorry about the shadow on the picture.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back to the blog world. Pumpkin-blueberry corn muffins.

I don't think anyone was following me on tumblr, besides my sweet, faithful sister...but I'm making the switch back to this blogspot, instead of ( blogging on tumblr. I thought it'd be easier, but I don't like the set up. I'll try to keep up the blog...

Much has happened since a year ago when I was blogging...most notably, we went to Italy in September, love living in Colorado (lots of summer visitors out here ;)), and I've got a lot of recipes to share...;)

I think I'm finding an answer for the fatigue I've been experiencing...more on that in a later post.

For now, let me share with you one of my new recipes. I'm trying to replace Clif/Lara/"granola" bars with nutrient dense, low-sugar's one of my favorites I've just about mastered--I may tweak it a bit next time...

Pumpkin-Blueberry Corn Muffins

½ cup cooked, mashed fresh, or canned pumpkin
2 eggs
¼ cup plan nonfat yogurt
3 Tbsp of organic applesauce
⅓ cup canola oil (or butter)
1 ¼ cups of yellow corn flour
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp flaxseed (ground)*
1 Tbsp chia seed (ground)*
⅓ cup sucanat (sugar cane)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil/spray or use muffins tins (yield 12-15 muffins).
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, and oil/butter.
In a separate bowl, combine corn flour, w/w flour, flaxseed*, chia seed*, sucanat/sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, stirring just to combine. Gently stir in blueberries. Do not over-stir or beat.
Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and the toothpick comes out clean ;)

(this photo shows some of my favorite things: sweet nieces Sophia and Olivia (miss them so!), lululemon (sticker on my nalgene), "Health Master" emulsifier, and these wonderful muffins!)

Note: the * stands for "optional". Chia and flaxseed are easily found at your health food store...are inexpensive...and pack in nutrients. You cannot taste it...but your insides love it!!

I must also just give a "Go, Cards!!"...listening to the game on the internet--it reminds me of growing up and listening to baseball on the radio at the house and while driving. Good times.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bear Chase Trail Run

About a month ago, I spontaneously decided to run the inaugural "Bear Chase Trail Run". I signed up, then I started to run some local trails. Then, I realized this was going to require some trail shoes. Days before the race--my last "long" run, I rolled my ankle while running at Marshall Mesa trail. Oops...bottomline: my ankles and stabilizing muscles just AREN'T used to this...and that is what I found out on race day too! Eeek!

We woke up at 4:30am and hit the road after grabbing a bite of bagel + almond butter + normal pre-race food. The race was down in Lakewood, CO--just south of Denver. We got to the race site in plenty of time. I had sweats on over my running tights and top, but I was FREEZING! We were right off this lake, so the breeze was particuarly cold to me. I really wished I had a pair of gloves!

The event also had a 50-miler and 50k, so those (crazy) runners started at 6:30am. It was fun to watch the little group go off.

Jesse and Maxwell came to cheer me on. It was fun to be with them before the race. Max was crazy. Jesse is patient and very brave to even consider the idea. :)

Half marathoners started at 7am sharp. We went out on this quick loop, back through the start then out into the trails. I started off feeling great. I positioned myself in the middle of the pack and I was passing people, while keeping a comfortable pace.

I'm feeling good at this point! Seeing Jesse and Max was really fun here.

Then we started running through this "sandy, silkly dirt". I heard someone behind me say "are we on the beach??" It really felt like that. Little did we know, 50% of the race was like that.

Then we hit the enormous hills. Bottomline: we climbed 1,000 ft of elevation and descended the same amount. It was brutal. On top of the highest point, I begin to have issues. I had an immediate headache and my calves started to cramp. I was really careful about taking in water and also started eating some CliffBar ShotBlocks, but my stomach was also churning. I was very frustrated at this point. The trails were really windy, so you couldn't really see many people...and I knew I was really slowing up. I've never had "issues" like this on a half marathon distance, so I was mentally negative.

Then we hit the "creek". Now when I think "creek", I think we'll kinda splash through and it'll be fun. Now, this water was up to my knees...we crossed it 4 times. Now my shoes feel like they weigh a ton! Squish, squish the rest of the way...

Towards the end I met a nice lady from Denver. We chatted til the end--she's in the photos below. It was her first trail race too and she thought the same as me! Oh, what a relief and encouragement to run with her :) Unfortunately that didn't cure my leg the end I was trying to push it in, but both calves and hamstrings were cramping--I literally couldn't straighten my legs fully. But I finished. I kinda felt like I ran 50!

My new friend, Danielle (I think that's her name! ha :)) We are just around the corner to the finish. My calves were goin' crazy at this point!!

Yay for altitude. Yay for hills. Yay for rocks, sand, roots, creeks, and the like that you run through when running a trail race. Hmm...we'll see about another one...maybe again. Looking back it was of those good, "Colorado" experiences. ;)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hiking Mt. Evans

We hiked Mt. Evans last weekend.

On our way, we drove through Golden, CO. I had never been there--lovely little town! We got coffee at this cute little coffee shop. Jesse thought it'd be awkward to take a photo, no photo :( haha

I'm just going to share a bunch of photos with you (captions are BELOW photos)--it was a blast!

Mt. Evans

Summit Lake. It was so beautiful.

First snow! was like 1/2 inch here, the most we hiked through was like 2 inches, but it got cold up there!

Here we are on the way up to summit this mountain!

My mountain man.

Keep following the rock pyramid piles...the guide across the mountain.

Jesse now has the camera...

"action shot, Bri" somehow it looks like I'm playing football.

This photo is to show how much faster Jesse hikes than I do. At this point, I think I was really cold too. So I was telling Jesse he might have to cut my frozen hands off. (We made a lot of "mistakes" this go around...gloves will be taken next time ;))

Summit Photo!

If you're still reading, you get to hear the full story. So we didn't know we could actually summit Mt. Evans...we knew the road leading up to the top was closed due to snow fall. The trails were open (as you just saw :)). But this meant that we didn't have quite the water and food needed to summit and then return back down the mountain the long way we came.

So we hiked down the side of the mountain...aka trail blazed our own.

The last photo shows what we hiked down.

May have been restricted land.

We made it ready for the next 14er!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

catching up...again...

So, here I am at this place again...behind on the blogworld.

Work has been a lot. I don't get home until 8:15-8:30 every Tuesday/Thursday when I work at CPTI and I have had a TON of paperwork to do in the evenings for home health care. Excuses, excuses...;)

Vegetable Curry I made (at least 1 1/2 weeks ago :/). Simple, easy. "Seeds of Change" curry sauce is the base...simmer with veggies (I just used frozen edamame, corn, and peas and fresh butternut squash--a little random combo, but it's what we had on hand). Served over quinoa with a side of broccoli. Jesse loved it.
The great outdoors. This is practically our backyard (just a few miles away from our apartment) This is the Four Mile Canyon where the "Boulder fire" was. You couldn't even see the foothills it was soo smoky. We were always fine...and I think everyone has moved back into their houses.
being artsy with the bike on a long ride.

CU-Boulder campus. I rode through on all these fun bike trails through campus and downtown Boulder. Loved it!

Again, artsy...:) We get to live in a beautiful place!!
I've been running on "real trails" aka no pavement involved :) to prepare for my half marathon in a few weeks. Sore feet/ankles due to actual rocks and roots, but lots of fun! I'll have to take my camera on a run soon to show you all! Hope I make it through the race...trail running is tough for a little city road running girl like me ;)
I think we might hike Long's Peak (one of the "14ers" Estes Park) on Saturday.
I'll try to keep up on postings...that is, if anyone reads this thing :)