Tales of A Paleo Mom

Whole 30 (attempting again!) and Unsloppy Joes Meat Mixture Recipe

I had planned on writing a long post about handling my stomach issues, but that has all changed. So instead you get the short version, a quick what’s going on now and then a recipe if you stick around that long.

Short version…At the end of May, I started doing a “leaky gut” protocol which I learned about online. I bought a bunch of supplements and started taking them. Shortly after, I talked with a nutritionist-in-training who agreed with what I was taking and thought I should also take HCl for low stomach acid. So I started taking that as well. And I was feeling good. My stomach was “normal-ish”, but I was consumed with taking pills three times a day and it was not cheap. We went on several vacations, and I did pretty well hauling all 7 of my bottle with me even to Hawaii. It was the last vacation that messed things up with a bit of drinking and a lot of eating…some not so healthy. During the last vacation, my stomach did okay and I just gradually stopped taking the pills because I just got lazy.  My stomach has been acting up a bit but that’s because it doesn’t like the crap I’m eating.  Point taken, Stomach, and it’s time for a change 🙂

What’s going on now…The last three days I have been attempting my 2nd Whole 30. I think this might be attempt number 6 or 7. I have had three good days of eating. I don’t think I am eating enough which has been a problem in the past I think, but no slip ups yet. The thought of having something like a little sugar in my coffee or a little dark chocolate has crossed my mind but I have been able to distract myself with things other than food. I am trying to eat more fats but that is another area I need to work on too. So far so good though.  And no more P90X3.  Back to real weights for me…Strong Curves.

Recipe…My son loves Unsloppy Joes and had requested them several times over the last couple weeks. It is basically Sloppy Joe mix rolled up in a croissant with cheese sprinkled on it and then baked. That ain’t going on my plate! Instead, I made the sloppy Joe mix from scratch and served mine over half a baked potato and used the rest to make the Unsloppy Joes for the rest of the gang. Everyone was happy!

Unsloppy Joes Meat Mixture

What you need…

  • 1 lb. grassfed ground beef
  • 1 Tb. coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 TB. ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 heaping tsp. of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do…

  1. Heat coconut oil in frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is warm, add onion, bell pepper and crushed garlic.  Saute until soft, approximately 7-8 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook.
  4. Once the meat has been cooked, add the tomato sauce, chile powder, cumin and salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Yum!  If I wasn’t doing a Whole 30, I probably would have topped mine with a little raw cheddar cheese….mmmmmm!

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Weekly Meal Plan – Week of March 30th

Here are the meals planned for the week…

Week of March 29th30th (oops!)

  • Sunday:  burgers (buffalo burger for me), sweet potato fries, roasted Brussels sprouts and artichokes
  • Monday:  Balsamic Chicken, sauteed green beans, green salad
  • Tuesday:  Sausage, Artichokes, and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Pasta (zucchini pasta for me)
  • Wednesday:  Roasted Chicken Pieces
  • Thursday:  Pork Tenderloin for the family but not me since it has honey in it
  • Friday:  ?
  • Saturday:  out

Today, while out shopping, I sent my daughter a picture of the prepared salads from Costco she keeps asking me to buy.  The rest of the family is technically done with their healthy eating 30 day challenge tomorrow, so Sarah had asked for the salads for lunch because her BFF brings them for lunch and “they look so good!”  Her reply to the picture, “No I changed my mind.  I’m just going to keep eating turkey rollups.”  🙂  No argument from me!

And about the healthy eating 30 day challenge…overall, I would say it was pretty successful. It turned out that the family ate healthy during the week (for the most part, husband went off more than the kids during week) and then on the weekends they got to chose what they wanted.  Most of the time, it turned out only to be Saturday night’s meal which wasn’t too bad.  We talked about the challenge over the last few days, and they want to continue to eat healthy during the week and then be allowed to make their own choices on the weekend which I think is fine for now.

Workouts have been few and far between if any.  I ran twice this week (I think) and that’s it.  I am hoping this next week slows down and I get a few lifting workouts in there.  It is hard when there is a lot going on at school and with the kids.  I just can’t get up at 5:15 right now to workout on the side yard in the cold and dark.  Maybe once things start to warm up.

Hoping this week is a little less hectic!

Off to fix dinner and prep mayo and Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole (with homemade sausage) for this week’s breakfast.


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Whole 30 – Day 2

I successfully made it through Day 1…barely.   After my lunch post, we had had to lock down at school which caused much chaos for students and teachers.  It’s a long story but made for an exciting and anxiety causing afternoon.  Following work, there was a bridal shower for one of my coworkers at Sonoma Chicken Coop.  I wasn’t looking forward to going but knew it was the right thing to do.  It had plates of appetizers which consisted of icky, greasy food “stuff” , so I opted to watch everyone eat and drink while I sipped water.  I even drove home with a red velvet cupcake in my hand (for my husband) without sneaking even a small nibble.  Dinner was boring…sauteed chicken and salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I was still hungry, so I ate a handful of pistachios.

After doing the dishes, I decided to make myself a cup of mint chocolate tea with coconut milk.  I was hoping this would hit the spot for “a treat” after dinner but it didn’t really do the trick.  I ended up eating a few more pistachios and an orange.  All in all…day 1 was a success!

Today…Day 2….hmm…I had nothing to pack for lunch which could have lead to me calling the WHOLE thing off (that’s my bad attempt at humor!).  I decided that wasn’t an option.  I am committed to doing this!  Meal 1 was easy to take care, and I decided to throw Applegate salami into Meal 2 bag and planned on running out for something else like a salad or something.  I ended up picking up sugar snap peas, baby carrots, and guac.   Once I got back to school, the salami wasn’t sounding like a great choice, so I had 2 hard-boiled eggs which I had left in the fridge overnight and my veggies and guac. along with a banana.  I can’t repeat enough how important prepping is…need to practice what I preach 😉  I will definitely be prepping this weekend.

I did wake up with a headache this morning which went away about 10:00 and I felt a bit nauseous for about a half hour.  Not sure if it’s related to changing my diet…it’s only been one day!  I did sleep all night without waking up sweating to death so I was happy about that!

That’s it.

Nothing too exciting.

I think I will wrap up my day by having a cup of red velvet chocolate tea in a bit, meal planning and prepping my grocery list, before calling it a night.

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A WHOLE Lot of Help Needed….

The last two days have been rough…

Yesterday, I was on a field trip from 10:15-1:55 (early dismissal-thank goodness). There were 84 students from third and fourth grades and only two teachers.  We did have lots of parent chaperones which definitely helped, but some parents are not comfortable speaking up if needed.  No one got lost, and the students behaved themselves for the most part 🙂  I forgot how much I hate riding on a school bus packed with LOUD children!

Following the field trip, we had a staff meeting where we went over training on how to administer the new assessment (CAASPP)  since shifting to Common Core this year.  My brain went into shutdown mode, and I was done for the day after that.  UNTIL…I found out that the GATE test I was administering the following day to all 3rd grade students still needed to be picked up by ME!  This was my first year giving the test, so I really had no idea what I was doing.  I missed the training due to conferences, so I had no idea that I was responsible for picking up the tests.  I called the district office, contacted the person in charge to confirm she was still there, and then rushed over before she left for the day.  While my brain was done, I still had more work to do after dinner and packing lunches for the next day.  Since I needed to be out of the class for the day to do the testing, I still needed to prep and type up sub plans.  I finally made it to bed at 11:45pm.

Oops…I left one thing out…I didn’t eat anything until 2:00pm.  I had my usual cup of coffee with coconut milk and a little coconut sugar.  I was too busy making sure everything was prepped for the field trip.  The students had to eat lunch at 9:45 am since we weren’t allowed to bring food or snacks with us.  I just wasn’t hungry, so I ended up eating once the students had been dismissed and I had a chance to sit down for a minute at our staff meeting.  After rushing around to pick up the tests, I was on anxiety overload and started eating anything and everything in sight.  After dinner, I consumed large amounts of sugar.  I went to bed on a sugar high and had a hard time sleeping.

Today, I got to school after picking up pencils and brain food (Goldfish?  not my idea of brain food) for testing and needed to finish copying materials for the sub.  I quickly went over the plans with the sub, and I headed into the first classroom to give the GATE test.  Again, I didn’t eat breakfast because I was nervous about giving the test for the first time and was prepping for my sub and the test at the same time.  I tested three classes of 30 students back to back, but it wasn’t bad at all once I made it through the first group.  Lunch finally rolled around and I was able to sit down around 1:00 pm to eat some leftovers from Monday night’s dinner.  I left school briefly to watch my son’s play at school and then headed back for a planning meeting with my teammates.  On my way home, I stopped by Target to get sheets for my daughter’s new bed and grabbed a couple other items.  Got home and started snacking, snacking, snacking…ate dinner..then more snacking, snacking, snacking…

And no working out….

And…this is kind of gross…but I am SWEATING to death at night again…

The executive team will be coming to our school tomorrow for a meet and greet in addition to observing our classrooms…YIKES!…another nerve-wracking morning!

While I am not beating myself up over my poor food choices, I clearly need to get myself back on track.  I know everyone slips up now and again, but my slip ups can turn into downhill catastrophes quickly.  I feel like at least I know what is going on and why and maybe I can get things back under control.  So how am I going to do that you may be asking???


I have to.  I don’t see any other way to get things under control without following some sort of “plan”.  In the past, I said I wouldn’t do another Whole 30 or Sugar Detox, but the truth is sometimes you just need to reset your body and get healthy again.

I will not be cleaning out my house of off limit foods because I am the only one who will be doing this.  My mother in law still eats her “regular” diet and while the rest of the family is eating healthier, many of the items they are eating aren’t allowed on the Whole30.  I think this will be the biggest challenge along with food prep.  But I know I can do it because I did it once before!

So Whole30 starts tomorrow…

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Recipes I Have Made and You Should Too

Just a quick post because I wanted to be in bed an hour ago…

Not my recipes, but they are delicious and you should make them now…seriously!

Current favorite…Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta from Stupid Easy Paleo – I have been eating mine without the bacony goodness because I am too lazy to throw it in the oven.  Next time, which will be tomorrow because I at ate it all in two days…myself…no sharing.

Best Banana Bread ever…Coffee Cake Banana Bread from PaleOMG (random thought…why call it coffee cake if there’s no coffee in it???) – Everyone likes it (even my mother-in-law) which is actually not a good thing.  Less for me 😦

Weird but I loved it…Broccoli Bread from Purely Twins – sometimes you just need to try something new…ate this today for lunch with Applegate ham and LOVED it!  AND…my broccoli HATING husband ate this (his whole piece) and said it wasn’t that bad – that’s huge.  I successfully got him to eat a green veggie without gagging!

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Stitch Fix #4

I realized I never posted my third “fix”  but that’s okay because I didn’t like any.of.it!  My sister and I were supposed to get together for that one and do a photo shoot, but it happened to be the weekend my daughter broke her ankle.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

It still is exciting to get my box in the mail.  Not as exciting as the first couple times, but I am always interested in seeing what the stylist has picked out.  I received it on Saturday morning and opened it while on the phone with my sister.  A couple of the items looked promising, but I didn’t get them tried on until late Sunday night.  Here’s what was picked out…(Sorry in advance for my lack of posing.  I hate taking pictures,and it doesn’t help when my thirteen year old keeps telling me that I am standing weird!)

RD Style…Gallagher Ombre Knit Sweater $68 – LOVE IT!  I love the color and it is super comfortable.  The back is kind of an open knit, so I have to wear a tank underneath.  I wasn’t crazy about the price…but I REALLY liked it.  I wore it today to work and got a few compliments on the color 🙂  Keeper.

photo 1(2)

Under Skies, Marlo Striped Knit Sweater Dress $68 – YUCK!  Olive green.  Horizontal stripes.  Enough said.  Not a keeper.

photo 3(2)


Fun2Fun, Montreal Arrow Printed Henley Blouse, $48 – I love the style of these tops.  My only issue is they seem to develop static cling once I put them on which is annoying.  I loved the way it looked and fit.  Keeper.

photo 2(2)

Kut From The Kloth, Simmons Bootcut Jeans $98 – I really liked the way these fit and, again, super comfortable.  I have A LOT of jeans, and I just purchased a nice pair of to wear out.  The price was a bit much…so…Not a keeper (which I am kind of bummed they went back)

photo 4(1)

My daughter told me to stop standing so weird and do something with my fingers like the peace sign…that’s all I could come up with!

Jill Michael, Marietta Nugget V Necklace, $48 – I was a little disappointed when I saw that I had gotten jewelry since I had requested no jewelry.  I am not a huge jewelry fan.  On a daily basis, I wear my wedding ring, engagement ring, diamond stud earrings (which are always in), and a necklace that my husband bought me last year with charms engraved with the kids’ names.  That’s it.  When I opened the box, the necklace was simple, and I was still sure it was going to go back.  I almost stuck it right into the return bag, but remembering that I said I would try everything on that was sent to me, I put the necklace on.  LOVED IT!  It is really simple, but I am a simple kind of gal, so it is perfect.  I have already worn it to work this week twice 🙂  Keeper.


Nothing special, but it is just my style….simple.

So overall, I am really happy with the items that I have kept.  My sister and I agree that the service would be better if you had the same stylist each time, so they could become familiar with your particular likes and dislikes.  I debated about waiting until late Spring to do my next fix, but decided against it and have another coming at the beginning of April.  It will be a birthday present to myself!  I did add a note that I do not want dresses or jeans.  The dresses in my “fix” have not been cute at all and, as mentioned before, I have too many pairs of jeans.  I am hoping they include some “springy” items in my next shipment!

Note: If you are thinking about trying Stitch Fix, please feel free to use the links in the post.  I was not paid for this post, however, the links to Stitch Fix are my affiliate links, so if you buy something using that link, I get a credit on my next Fix, and I will love you forever because I desperately need fashionable clothes. 🙂

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Happy Birthday Dad and Weekly Menu Plan

My dad turned 70 today!

To celebrate his birthday, my sister, brother in law, dad and I ran a 5k.  My goal was to run the whole thing, and I am happy to announce that I did it!


Headed for the finish line!


After the race..with our photographer and cheerleader, my mom


My sister and I

On the flip side, I was a little disappointed that my pace was 10:49 per mile (slow poke!), but you have to start somewhere I guess.

The race my dad really wants the gang to do is The Wharf to Wharf in Santa Cruz which is a 10k on July 27.  The original discussion was to run that one to celebrate his birthday.  Then this race popped up on his actual birthday, so we decided to do this one too.  This was just a warm-up race.  (I am in TrOuBle!)  I need to start training now 😉  Eeeek!

Weekly Menu Plan (Parent-Teacher conference week means it’s a slow cooker week!  All recipes are from “Easy Paleo Slow Cooker” by Arsy Vartanian – it was a free ebook on Amazon a few weeks ago and lifesaver for this busy week!)

  • Sunday:  dinner out with family to celebrate my dad’s birthday
  • Monday:  Chicken Verde
  • Tuesday:  Smoky BBQ Beef Brisket – from Scratch!
  • Wednesday:  my mother in law is cooking dinner
  • Thursday:  Chicken, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Friday:  Paleo Pizza night? (we may sneak out of town-my husband has a long weekend)

Later this week, I will be posting about my Stitch Fix #4.  I am still trying to decide which items to keep and which to send back…

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March Challenge Update and Smashingly Good Flank Steak in a Flash Recipe

I am happy to report things are going well with the family’s healthy eating (with the exception of pizza consumed by my husband at a work function).

My only complaint with the change is I am spending way too much time in the kitchen. I am fixing dinner and then prepping meals for the following day. I feel like I am in the kitchen from the time I walk in the door until I go to bed. I can’t complain too much because everyone is eating the foods I am making, so I know it’s worth the extra time. I will be trying to do more prep this weekend to avoid some of this during the upcoming week which is going to be crazy due to report cards and parent teacher conferences.

Our menu changed a couple nights this week. The pizza chicken rolls I had planned for Tuesday are a bit of work. So instead of butterflying, stuffing and rolling them, I pounded the breast so they were even in thickness, topped with pizza sauce and our toppings, and baked in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Just as tasty, even without the bacon, and a lot less work.

Last night my husband had his work function and asked that I save our smashed steak dinner for a night he was home, so I fixed burgers and subbed lettuce for buns.

Tonight was smashed steaks. Super easy, delicious and fast (recipe below). I served it with roasted peppers and onions and my balsamic sauce. Mmmmmm….

Tomorrow night will be pulled pork from Primal Cravings. My daughter is concerned it won’t be the same with out bread…hoping she will be pleasantly surprised.

Ahhhhhh…I’m running a 5k on Sunday with my sister, brother in law and dad, who is turning 70 on Sunday. I know it’s only three miles, but I HATE running and am running it with experienced runners. My training program fell apart when I got sick, and it’s been rough getting back into a routine. My goal is to run the whole thing…crossing my fingers and toes on that one.

Smashingly Good Flank Steak in a Flash

What you need…
-one flank steak (for a family of 5, I usually get a 1.5 to 2 lb. steak which usually doesn’t leave any leftovers)
-1-2 Tb. Kerrygold butter, melted
-salt and pepper

What you do…
1. Cut the flank steak lengthwise. Then cut each long strip into eight equal pieces. You will end up with 16 pieces total.
2. One at a time, take a piece of steak and stand it up on its side. Pound with a meat mallet until about 1/4 inch thick. Continue
with remaining pieces.
3. Take melted butter and brush the pounded steak. Salt and pepper if desired.
4. BBQ. They don’t take long since they aren’t very thick. Just a couple minutes. Don’t overcook!
5. Let rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
*I like mine just like this, but the rest of the family likes this steak with my balsamic sauce.

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“This Paleo Thing Isn’t So Bad” and Weekly Meal Plan

That’s what my daughter said tonight at the dinner table.  It’s only been two days, and she hasn’t complained once.  This is HUGE!  So far so good…for the most part…

Everyone is eating a much healthier diet these days in our house although we got off to a rocky start Saturday morning.  This was all due to poor planning on my part.  I thought I would just get up Saturday morning and whip up a batch of coconut flour pancakes or use my vertically challenged nut free load to make french toast sticks.  None of those appealed my husband or Sarah, so I dumped them and made Sarah two fried eggs and my husband chose a protein shake.  Joey opted for scrambled eggs, sausage and strawberries.  I spent a long time in the kitchen trying to get everyone fed.  By this time it was 11:00, and I was starving.  Fortunately, I had leftover chicken salad that I wrapped up in lettuce leaves and scarfed down along with having a cup of black coffee (was planning on doing my second Whole 30).  The rest of the day was uneventful except for dinner was prepared twice because my husband worked an extra shift and I didn’t really put much thought into having dinner on the table earlier than our normal time (poor planning at its finest again!).  Once I sat down for dinner,  I decided to have a glass of wine with dinner which isn’t something I do very often.  It was delicious with the steak, sweet potato and Romanesco cauliflower I fixed for dinner.  Only problem…no alcohol when completing the Whole 30…oops!

Sunday went much better in the morning and even lunch wasn’t an issue even though I really hadn’t done much shopping since returning from camping over the February break.  I was able to make my meal plan for the week and made three grocery lists (Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods).  I finally got home by 5:00 pm and started unloading groceries and getting everything put away.  I made Chik-Fil-A from The Domestic Man which was AMAZING!  My family kept requesting chicken nuggets which used to be coated in a flour-egg batter and deep fried in canola or some other yucky oil.  While the family said these weren’t the same, the bowl was empty and everyone commented on how good they were.  THE BEST PART… no one had any tummy trouble after eating the no garbage, clean chicken nuggets.

I have decided that there is no way in the world I can do a Whole 30 this month while trying to focus on cleaning up the rest of the gang’s’ diet.  It requires too much planning.  Planning my meals and the rest of the families meals takes more time than what I have right now.  I have definitely cleaned up my diet and am working on eliminating sweets and treats as much as possible.  But Whole 30 is on hold until maybe April or May.

Here’s the meal plan and links if available for this week:

  • Sunday:  Chik-Fil-A, mashed potatoes, artichokes, leftover Romanesco cauliflower
  • Monday:  meatloaf (added an egg, 1 Tb. almond flour and placed bacon slices on top), sweet potato fries, sauteed green beans – prepared Cincinnati Chili from Paleo Indulgences and sweet potatoes for tomorrow’s lunch
  • Tuesday:  Chicken Pizza Rolls, salad
  • Wednesday:  Smashed Flank Steak unsure of the sides
  • Thursday:  pulled pork with slaw
  • Friday: Paleo Pizza Night (crust from The Domestic Man)
  • Saturday:


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Sick of Being Sick

10 days to be exact.

I was under the weather for 10 freaking days.  Ridiculous if you ask me because there was no reason for me to feel like crap for that long.  What started out as a cold, turned into a sinus infection last Tuesday and I KNEW I had a sinus infection.  I called the advice nurse and described my symptoms which were all clear signs of a sinus infection.  I was directed to take Sudafed and Advil (I hate taking medication!) which I reluctantly did only because I was feeling so crappy and was hoping that it would cure whatever was going on.  And it did help, but only slightly.  I kept getting headaches and my teeth were killing me.  So I called the advice nurse again Friday afternoon and describe what was going on which included brightly colored tissues that clearly displayed signs of an infection (sorry…gross).  After explaining all of this, I was told since I did not have a fever and it had not been 10 days, I should try doing a saline spray to clear out whatever was going on in my nose.  So while I knew it was an infection, I followed their instructions which again helped temporarily but only for a short period of time.  I finally ended up in the doctor’s office yesterday with guess what…A SINUS INFECTION.

I am taking medication for five days and spraying more stuff up my nose in hopes that this all goes away.  The good news is I didn’t have a headache today and just a little tooth pain, so crossing my fingers that finally I am on the road to being healthy and can get my butt back into a workout routine.

While all this has been going on with me, my daughter ended up seriously injured in her soccer game on Sunday.  We initially thought that it was a very bad sprain, but after a considerable amount of swelling on the way home from the game, we decided to take her in to the minor injury clinic.  They quickly got her into x-ray and while waiting for the doctor to see us, I got an email from the orthopedic department confirming an appointment for the following day.  So when they doctor walked in and told us it was broken, I wasn’t totally surprised.  So she got a boot and crutches until our follow up appointment at which she was outfitted with a lovely purple cast and informed not only did she have a fracture but it was a very bad sprain as well.  Four weeks in the cast followed by the boot, but total time off the field recovering is going to be 8-10 weeks.  😦  It’s going to be a long 8+ weeks!

Why am I writing about all this?!?

  1. I am not working out due to being sick, and I am not happy about that.  My workout page looks like this…sick…sick again…no workout…no workout…ditto…you get the point.
  2. My running program is non-existent because of the sinus infection…3 weeks of running/walking down the drain.  I am running a 5k in approximately 3 weeks.  I can currently run a total of 5 minutes without dying…and that’s at a snail’s pace.
  3. My diet has been less than ideal, and I am not happy about that either. (This is an understatement – “less than ideal” – FYI!)
  4. I haven’t planned meals which is adding to the less “than ideal diet”…not happy.
  5. I am SUPER stressed with work related issues and am using food to comfort myself…ughhhh!

Bottom line is I need to get back on track and sitting and complaining about it ain’t going to do the trick.  So tomorrow I will be posting my eats for the day (it is WIAW) and will be trying to squeeze in a quickie workout (have to take my son to ice hockey practice right after school gets out for and hour and a half).

See you tomorrow!

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