My First Jackie

Guess who signed up for the Crossfit Games.

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Yup. This girl.

Last week I was nailed with a stomach bug. It was awful; I was out of commission for three days. Now I’m slowly resurfacing back to humanity with the help of all the bone broth.

Yesterday’s workout was super hard and super fun. It was my first “named” workout, Jackie! I’m glad I didn’t start with Fran, that’s all I’m saying.

After the usual mobility and drill warm-up, our strength skill was 5×5 back squats. I was super stoked, because it’s been forever since I’ve worked a skill that’s vaguely familiar to me, and back squats are my jam, next to bench press. I settled on a weight of 35kg. I probably could have gone more, but since I was sick week I figured I would keep it simple for now.

WOD: “Jackie” for time:

  • 1000m row
  • 50 thrusters with just the bar (15kg)
  • 30 pull-ups

My time: 8:48

I was stoked at my time! At first I figured I would still be out of it from three days of not eating and being bedridden, but once we started I was just feeling it. For the pull-ups I used both the black and red bands since there were so many of them and as it was I had a hard time getting my chin over the bar toward the last few reps. But I was the first one done in my heat, which amazed me. The secret? I’ve starting drinking coffee with my pre-workout meal! It makes such a difference in my energy during the workout. There is always time for coffee.

In food-related news, I roasted radishes for the first time. And cauliflower for the 47th time.

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For the radishes, I found a recipe in this month’s issue of Oxygen and it looked interesting. Roasting radishes? They’re are a veggie where while I don’t dislike them, I just never think to buy them and eat them. But roasted, they take on sort of a potato-like consistency and loose a bit of the peppery bite that sometimes turns folks off. Super good with a couple of fried eggs cracked on top!

And now what you’ve been waiting for, kiddo updates.

Little miss is now walking! One day about a month ago, she suddenly realized that walking is, like, a thing, and way faster than crawling. So she stood up, and never looked back.

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Squish has no big updates as of late, other than his obsession with sprinkle pancakes. On weekends I make the kids paleo pancakes, the kind that’s just banana and eggs. For Valentines’s Day, I made some festive heart-shaped pancakes with red and pink sprinkles. This sprinkle introduction opened new doors to what decorations may be requested on foodstuffs, and ever meal is preceeded with “can I have sprinkles on that?” Even on hamburger night.

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And that’s it for now. Go make it a great day!

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On the Brain Lately #1

Greetings, blog-land. Today felt like a good day to ramble about some stuff I’ve been enjoying lately. Sort of a “favorites” round-up without the link-up because I’m lazy and sort of anti-social, even in the blogosphere. But I do want to share some cool stuff with you.

This bowl. I just ordered a set of Calibowls on Amazon, and I’m loving it. True story, for the past 4 years or so we’ve been surviving with just 3 cereal bowls in our sparse little cupboard. First world problems, I know. But I had one too many moments of having to reach for a bowl with a hot or dripping something or other in my hands, and that was just unacceptable, especially if (when) I was in a less-than-rational mood. So now I can pile on the berries without spillage!

IMG_8590 Just missing some homemade whipped cream.

Next up, The Skimm: (<- kind of an affiliate link, I get a pat on the back if you use it to sign up). If you know me, you know I don’t follow the news. I just hate how it’s all just sensationalist stories and biased journalism. I do want to know what’s going on in the world good and bad, but to skim through your typical Google News and it just freaks me out and depresses me. Enter The Skimm. Just a quick and light-hearted dose of all the big stuff going on, with lots of adds guides and background info to get you caught up on, I don’t know, the Iran nuclear talks and stuff. It’s great, and the first thing I read in the morning. Yes, even before I check Instagram.

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And then there’s this article about female strength training. I think I found it from a Facebook link. The author, a guy, talks about how disappointing most of the women’s fitness media is when prescribing how women should train to look good. His stance is if you want to look like a badass, train like one. Don’t eat “rabbit food” while doing teeny muscle isolations with 3 lb dumbbells (not that there’s anything wrong with that if you do; just don’t expect physique miracles), but do whole body strength work. When you focus on strength, the rest will come. I found it very refreshing that a guy acknowledges how disappointing women’s fitness magazines and articles can be. The best line from the article:

“The nefarious old way of doing things is still the norm. And if Susan B. Anthony were alive and lifting—which I’m pretty sure she would be—she’d vomit a little in her mouth. I’m a dude and it pisses me off. I can’t imagine how angry and frustrated it makes women.”

Too much awesome there. Oh, and I totally perform and love the four strength goals he suggests. Keep it simple, kids.

Finally, PaleOMG is hosting a paleo retreat in Costa Rica. I think Juli Bower must have picked up on my “I need a tropical vacation” signals I’ve been sending to the universe. I am totally going, once I get financial approval from the Family CFO (aka Hulk). But since we bought a house and stuff, I probably have like a 9% chance of scraping the beans together to make it happen. In the meantime, I’ll just keep looking at this picture:

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Anyone want to come with me? Seriously, let’s do it.

Time to make the Friday magic happen. Go make it a great day, kids!

Regroup and Reset

Okay! So, after writing about my funk yesterday, I knew that something has to change. I thought back to when I felt really in control and good about my life, and the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” came to mind. I read it back in 2008, and it really helped me focus my energy on the things that I wanted to accomplish. When I think about the years that followed, those years included some of my biggest accomplishments. I received a big promotion at work, I completed two marathons and a half Ironman, Hulk and I chased our dreams to living in San Francisco, and we started our family. But when Squish was born, I sort of tossed my “7 Habits” habits of goal-setting and planning aside to enter the crisis mode that comes from taking care of a newborn. Over the past couple of years, I’ve slipped back into my old, reactive, wait-and-see habits instead of firing it up and going for what I want to do. I’m in a funk because I’ve lost focus on what I’m working towards in life, and it’s not a good place for me to be.

After having a good talk with Hulk, he reminded me that, “when was the last time your life was perfect, and you had no problems and were completely happy all the time?” Hmm, I’ll take “Never” for $1000, Alex. I have really let myself sink into this reactive, victim-like mindset, where I am no longer in control of my life and happiness. External forces and people determine if I have a good day or a bad day. And this is really annoying, because I know I’m better than this.

So, no more! I’m putting on my big-girl pants (which are growing bigger by the day, thank you Baby v2.0!) and going back to the drawing board to identify where I am and where I want to be. Big changes coming up soon, I’m sure!

Okay, enough with the heavy stuff. Despite being all cranky-pants and mopey, it was still a good day yesterday. Sometimes, I need to pay attention to the small things that make me happy. Like having my most favorite lunch ever for Whole30 Meal #2:

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Spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, hardboiled egg, tuna, and olive oil. I do my happy dance as I eat this, it is so delicious.

Pre-lunch coffee. I am so glad I decided to walk to Starbucks instead of grab a coffee from the break room, the weather was beautiful yesterday!

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Lately my neighbor friend Phillip and I have been teaming up to make dinner about once a week. We take turns picking out the recipe, gather/buy ingredients, then we prep and cook it together. It’s been really fun, and I like having a “kitchen buddy.”

Last night we made The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat. Ever from The Clothes Make the Girl. I wanted a Whole30 complaint recipe, and Phillip had never brined chicken before, so it was a win-win. This is one of my most favorite chicken recipes! So moist and flavorful. And yes, I said “moist.” *shudder*

Anyway, I also made some mashed sweet taters and a salad. Phillip made an incredible balsamic vinaigrette for the salad as well.

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Dig in! So tasty.

Time to clock in and get the work party started! Go make it a great day, everyone. And don’t forget to refuel:

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Mmm, coffee. Can’t get enough.

 

Book Review Sunday: “Eat the Yolks”

Good morning!

I’ve been reading up a storm lately, and I thought it would be fun to feature a book review on what I’ve been checking out lately. I tell you, since I found out that you can check out electronic books on a Kindle from the public library, my life has new meaning now. I have a list a mile long of books I’ve been meaning to read for ages. So many, they keep expiring before I have a chance to read them! #nerdproblems

Anyway, today’s book is actually a real book. One I bought with my own money. With pages and everything. I rarely have physical books anymore.

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As I may have mentioned before, I am cheap. Which is why I normally read library books. But when I heard on the Balanced Bites podcast a few months ago that Liz Wolfe’s new book Eat the Yolks was available for pre-order on Amazon, I bought it. Yes, me. Why? Because Liz is knowledgeable, down-to-earth, and hilarious and I knew if nothing else it would be a good read. And Liz did not disappoint. I actually read it twice on the plane, I found it so amusing. It would be a great book for someone wanting to know more about the paleo/primal/whole food movement and where all of today’s conventional wisdom comes from in an entertaining and non-threatening format.

It’s not a “diet” book. There’s no meal plans, no yes/no food lists, none of that stuff. It’s pure education. It’s all about what you should know about the food you put on your plate. It goes into the origins and details of the big food industries: oils, grains, and meat. And how they lie to us. They lie to convince us their products are good and healthy, when in fact they’re destructive and make us sick. Liz doesn’t tell you what to eat; she tells you what you need to know so you can make your own educated choices on what to eat.

My only critique is that although the content is backed by science and actual studies, it is not written in a very “science-y” tone. Which is totally fine, it’s truly written in the author’s voice, which is what makes it entertaining. It’s more of a conversational tone, with lots of pop-culture-related analogies. If you’re someone that’s looking for the hard science facts and not being told a story about the science facts, you may leave wanting more. But if you’re a pop culture junkie just looking for a good time and to learn a little something too, then this is a great book to pick up.

You can learn more about Liz, her book, and her e-book The Skintervention Guide here, here and here!

I hope you enjoyed today’s deviation from our usual “here’s what I ate, oh look, a cute baby!” content. At least, it was fun for me.

Travel Food and Tips

Good Morning! Or afternoon/evening depending on from when and where you are reading this.

Yesterday was kind of “one of those days”, so I would like to quietly move on and look forward to the rest of the week. Well, it wasn’t all bad. I had an awesome lunch.

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Fried chicken, broccoli slaw, an entire raw bell pepper, and 1/2 an avocado. Plus a copious amount of strawberries.

So, moving on. Happy Monday!

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Some cheesy Facebook motivation for the week.

I started my day off right with a happy little scramble with bell pepper, zucchini, and Italian herbs.

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Today I want to talk about what I do for “healthy” food when I’m on the road. I like to use  quotes when talking about “healthy” food because we are all special and unique snowflakes, and one person’s version of healthy can be completely different than another person’s version. So play around and figure out what’s best for you, and make your own “healthy”!

I travel a lot for work, and usually during travel and at my destination my preferred food choices are limited at best. My first couple of trips consisted of a few days of sad salad bar salads and bun-less burgers with a sad side salad, until I would give up midweek and eat pizza and sandwiches and whatever else I wanted because I was so tired of sad salads. I am human, after all. I want my food to taste good.

Now when I travel, I prep some food to take with me to supplement the little good stuff I can find.

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(My stash of goodies on the airplane)

You’ll have to experiment with what works for your situation. I know I have a kitchenette in the hotel I usually stay at, so I’m okay with bringing stuff that requires refrigeration since I can stash it as soon as I get to the hotel.

Anyway, this is what’s in a typical “Emily Eats Weird Food” carry on:

  • Packs of tuna
  • Packs of almond butter
  • Olives
  • Homemade trail mix: nuts, coconut chips, dried fruit
  • Apples or cuties, or both
  • Hardboiled eggs (in a leak-proof container!)
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Other cut up raw veggies: bell peppers, cucumber, etc.
  • A small container of coconut oil (to replace margarine at some restaurants where I know they don’t have butter)
  • A water bottle!

I usually stick all my food in a reusable grocery bag in my carry-on, so if anything gets leaky my bag doesn’t stink like olive brine and hard-boiled eggs. Then on the plane when it’s snack time, I whip out my bag and feast! I can also supplement those sad salad dinners when I end up at some Pasta-R-Us restaurant or a fry-it-all sports bar during the week; when I get back to my hotel room, I can pound some tuna or a couple of eggs and finally feel like I’ve had a meal.

I hope that gives you some ideas the next time you’re trying to travel paleo or on a Whole30!

Do you have any travel food ideas to share?

Time to do my weekly prep, and get ready for a fabulous day! TTFN (ta-ta for now!)

Hamstring Heartbreak

Ahh! Super exciting news, you guys!

I’ve been asked to interview on the podcast The Lifestyle Accountability Show! Squeeeee!

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Go check them out. They do daily interviews of super awesome folks talking about how they take responsibility for their health and make it a priority. It’s okay to laugh at the irony of how I am being interviewed about making health a priority; Hulk did, so don’t feel too bad. Anyway, it’s a great resource for some motivation when you need it! I’ll let you know when my podcast will air. Again, squeeeeeee!

I’m about fed up with my hamstrings. I emailed a couple of my very smart besties yesterday because I am so fed up. I can’t run anymore. I don’t like the pain that accompanies the running. And I can’t do squats or deadlifts, so my gym routine is getting really, really boring. It’s like this:

  • Bike for 20 min while watching old “Alias” episodes on Netflix
  • Then pick 5 exercises:
    • Bench press
    • Incline bench press
    • Bicep curl
    • Military press
    • Chin ups
    • Bench Dips
    • Bent over rows
    • Tricep extensions
    • Lat pulls
    • Ab work: plank, leg lifts, stability ball crap
    • Foam roll the hammies (every time)

So I’m getting really, really bored with my workout routine. I try to make it to dance class when I can, but the times that work for me are only Friday and Sunday nights, so I need something to do for the rest of the week. When I try to squat or deadlift, my hammies throb for days. I was trying to go to yoga, but all the hammie stretching was giving me the same problems. Which is a bummer, because I really, really like yoga. And I can’t sit for too long at work with stabby mc stab stab pains in the back of my legs. So, I can’t run, I can’t lift, I can’t yoga, and I can’t sit at work without pain. I’m thinking my quality of life is slowly becoming affected, and it’s time to do something about it. Any suggestions?

Meanwhile. I found Squish going to town eating a stick of butter. Makes a “paleo” mom proud.

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It feels good to know I’m doing something right with parenting.

It started raining in NorCal this week. Hooray! That means I’m driving to work, because I’m too much of a wimp to ride in the rain. Boo.

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Look at all the pretty red lights! Yeah, I hate driving so I worked from home today. The problem is, I was traveling last week and spent this week at the office. Which means my home office looked like this when I tried to “go to work” this morning.

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I like to think all that crap is really “presents” from my family. You know, like how a cat brings in a dead/mostly dead bird as a gift for you. It makes me want to kill them less. Anyway, 20 minutes later I was fully functional.

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The best part of working from home: breakfast and lunch on real plates. Enjoyed with a view.

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Breakfast: eggs scrambled with chicken apple sausage, spinach, and goat cheese

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Lunch: red thai curry with chicken and mixed veggies.

Finally, it’s Friiiidaaaay! You know what that means …

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And this is where you, again, can chuckle at the irony of my podcast interview.

 

 

The Toddler “Off” Button

What’s up, my bloggies?

We had a super chill lazy weekend. Apparently there was a football game or something. I’m not sure; all I know is I’m waiting for esurance to tell me I won my $1.5 million.

Squish and I made a farmer’s market run,

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I wore him out at the playground,

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Yeah, he just decided to lay down on top of the slide. Apparently I had found the toddler ‘off” button.

I was up later than I wanted to be frantically finishing up food prep for the week. I procrastinated on it all Sunday, thinking that if I started it would be bad timing, or something would come up like an invitation to do something while I had an oven full of roasting, two pots boiling over on the range, and a pile of half-chopped veggies. Of course nothing happened all day except me literally spinning in circles because I had so much to do but nothing to do but if I started to do something then is wouldn’t have time to finish it because I have so much to do. Gah, good think Hulk was working all weekend. I’m exhausting to live with.

Anyway, I did make some yummy food.

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And I made a bomb-diggidy lunch to bring to the office.

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Grass fed beef, b’nut squash, brussel sprouts FTW. 1/2 an avo with some raw veggies and a pack of AB for when the munchies strike.

Okay, now time for the confessions.

I didn’t eat enough on Friday or Saturday. One thing I know when you switch to a paleo-whole-food eating thing is you have to EAT. Skipping and restricting isn’t an option. So, I sort of was too lazy to buy food and cook it, and by Sunday night I was through-the-bones ravenous. It want the “sugar shakes”, and it wasn’t the growly-in-the-tummy hungry. It was an all-consuming fatigue I felt in my bones. So crazy. So, of course, I lost it and shoved a whole bunch of food in my face, food I didn’t want to eat on this plan but wasn’t the deal-breakers of dairy and gluten. I had about 4 chocolates that our CouchSurfing friends left, dove into the tortilla chips bowl, and drank about 4 beers during the Super Bowl. Then after my food prep I had a slice of a pork loin roast while I cleaned up the kitchen. Hardly a leisurely and satisfying meal. Anyway, that happened.

Time to move on with Monday. Can you believe I wrote most of this post in between sets at the gym? It’s a good use of time.

 

All the Salads

Oh my gosh, you guys. I am really, really tired. And tired of salads. But mostly just tired. Darn jet lag.

Because this is the only interesting content that’s happened to me in the past 48 hours, let me show you all the food. That’s mostly salad.

Hotel breakfast buffet of sausage patty, some sort of sausage-potato-pepper hash, and fruit.

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This looks like it would be a good salad, but the chicken was so dry I might as well have eaten the styrofoam container. Plus, I put the beets over the strawberries, and that was a mistake.

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Banana and AB snack

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Dinner #1: lettuce salad, fruit, and the olives and artichoke off of the Mediterranean skewers.

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Dinner #2 (after I worked out and was ravenous). Much better! Take-out salmon, taters, and mixed veggies. French onion soup for dessert (yes, I splurged on the cheese and croutons).

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Breakfast buffet #2: canadian bacon and oh, more fruit. Plus 2 hb eggs I had in my room.

Hmm, thought I had a picture. Oh, well.

Lunch was the same as yesterday, only more eggplant and less beets.

Dinner: hamburger patty and veggies. Much, much better.

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And the obligatory post-work-but-still-working glass of complimentary chablis.

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Not pictured: several packets of tuna, and some fruit smuggled to work from the breakfast buffet as afternoon snacks.

Still making the food plan work on the road. It’s frustrating at times. I was so ready to throw in the towel yesterday and dive in to all of the appetizers the hotel buffet was serving that would have totally derailed me and given me a stomach ache. The difference now is that I really want to feel healthy again, and the only way to do that is to stay away from the stuff that I know makes me crappy.

I’m rather spent, so here’s an appropriate meme I found on Pinterest. Fortunately it didn’t apply to me today, but there are always those days …

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Happy hump day!

A Wiggle and a Jiggle

It’s sort of refreshing to start posting again. Exciting, even. I really don’t know what I’m going to talk about, but I’m sure something will happen that’s blog-worthy. Until a cohesive topic strikes, here is some randomness. I got a haircut. And some cute new gym clothes. I needed some motivation to get back to […]

Lunch at One Rincon

Happy Friday to y’all! Who else is doing the Friday dance?

Speaking of dancing, Squish busted out some moves last night while we were playing Pandora after dinner.

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It’s blurry because he wouldn’t stop. Can’t stop the music.

Anyway, I had something new (*gasp!*) for breakfast after my run yesterday. A delicious grapefruit:

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And the pumpkin “cereal” that Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake mentioned in her eggless breakfast ideas post the other day. I used up the last half of the can of pumpkin with a dollop of almond butter, honey, coconut, sesame seeds, and raisins.

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It was okay. While it was nice to change up breakfast, I didn’t find it horribly delicious or life-changing. I’ll do it again if I have some pumpkin to use up.

I had to tour another potential day care for Squish in the morning, which took twice as long as I thought it would. Good thing I picked up a Starbucks short latte ahead of time.

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Since the tour took longer than expected, I was in a crunch to grab lunch. I was nearby the Rincon Center I went to with my boss the other day, so I decided to sneak some pictures while I grabbed some take out.

All right, so I do not have a vast lexicon for describing architecture and style, so bear with me while I do this. The Rincon Center was an old post office back in the day but has been converted to an office complex with a huge food court. The design is really cool; they kept a lot of the original post office features.

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The food court has a huge ceiling with a fountain that rains down from the top, surrounded by windows. It’s soooo light and airy! I love light.

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The fountain falls from the ceiling,

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To a pool on the ground. So cool. I don’t think I’ll bring Squish here; he’ll want to repeatedly run through the fountain puddle.

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Anyway, I was craving some Indian, so I picked up a chicken tikka masala lunch special to go. On my way out I found this place tucked in the corner:

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And when I passed by, I saw that they serve Paleo options! I haven’t seen that yet, how crazy. Maybe next time I’ll check it out.

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These are sort of crummy pics because  I had to cut through the line of hungry customers to get a shot of the food, and it was a little awkward. #bloggerproblems

Anyway, here’s lunch. Chicken tikka masala with no rice and a salad, naan, and meat samosas.

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I was soooooo stuffed from lunch. Uncomfortably stuffed. Definitely a treat for the week.

Dinner was already prepped to go. I marinated frozen chicken breasts in the Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat, Ever brining chicken recipe from Well Fed. Then I baked them with some pepper and fresh squeezed lemon.

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We have, like, no veggies left in the fridge so I scrounged frozen bags of butternut squash and okra. I have never had okra before, but I’ve heard it’s slimy. To be honest, I was really scared to try it (I’m a texture wimp sometimes). But veggies with dinner we must had, so I heated up half the bag with copious amounts of butter. Because everything is better with butter.

Squish POUNDED the okra. Like, hand-over-fist plowed it down. I guess he likes okra. Mom win! I didn’t think it was too bad. Definitely the slime factor took some mental happy place to get through, but the taste and texture was all right. Especially with Squish’s encouragement I think I’ll include okra in our veggie rotation in the future.

It’s Gym Day, so I’d better get my fitness on and get the morning started. Have a most wonderful Friday, and weekend if I don’t see you later!