Friday, June 15, 2018

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I Began By Eating, Not Starving

No Fuss, No Muss, Summer Burger Recipe!

Hey folks!

When I asked your greatest struggles with eating a paleo, keto, and/or low carb diet, a few common problems rose to the top:

  1. Folks do not have much time for cooking
  2. It’s hard to get kids to eat what is on the table.
  3. Folks think every meal needs to be a complex #foodporn affair


And I just wanted to let you know, good, healthy food can be quick, tasty for all palettes, and simple! To be honest with you, most meals we eat are all of the above. Just check out a recent dinner I whipped up at the Lazy Lobo Ranch…

This gives you a good sense of how and what we eat, particularly in the summer months. I HATE cooking a big meal and heating up our house when it’s already hot outside. So in the summer I do a lot of grilling and what is effectively “antipasti” sides.

Here is what I did with this meal:

Prepped the burgers—I made burgers using meat from ButcherBox ahead of time, seasoning them with salt and garlic powder. I just work this into the meat by hand, then try to make some uniform patties. I put that on a plate, threw it in the fridge (with another plate on top to keep it from drying out).

Then the artichokes…staging them in our Instant Pot sitting on top of a metal collapsible steamer with about 2″ of water in the bottom. I put the lid on but just left it as is, waiting for dinner later.

It was time to go picked up the girls from school. And when I rolled back into the house I started the Instant Pot on high pressure cook for 15 min (pretty good for medium sized artichokes) and started the grill.

Once the grill was hot I turned off the MIDDLE BURNER and put the meat there, leaving the side burners on medium. In this way I get an initial sear, but then cook with indirect heat. This reduces heterocyclic amine formation to virtually nothing. I set a timer for about 7 min on the burgers and then got out all the sides and condiments.

Now the rest of the accoutrements…

For the girls this included some sliced cantaloupe, some Primal Kitchen Foods mayo (both regular and chipotle) a couple flavors of Farmhouse kraut, and two varieties of fermented pickles, one from Sonoma Brinery and the other from Bubbies Pickles. They also get some cheddar cheese on their burgers.

For myself and Nicki I cut up some red onion and red bell-peppers. I add some sheep cheese to my burger and Nicki goes cheese-less.

Timer goes off, I flip the burgers…girls start setting the table (which is a guaranteed shit show with them fighting over who does what, but in theory this is teaching them something valuable…)

Timer goes off, I turn off the grill, let the burgers “rest” (no idea why meat needs to rest, it’s already dead…)

Everything gets plated up (at this point the artichokes are done) and the girls (and parents) absolutely smash this meal.

So, all in all, I did a little prep earlier in the day, but then throwing this meal together took mere minutes. During that time I’m visiting with the girls, learning about their day, and having them help in the kitchen when and where they can. Not to mention, the clean-up is almost non-existent.

In the cooler months I’ll take a little more time and cook a bit more complex meals, but this is 80-90% of the meals we prep in the summer months.


from The Paleo Diet

Baby: Halfway!

19 weeks in Richmond

During the first trimester I was literally counting down the hours between ultrasounds. I was so nervous about miscarriage and so sick that it was hard to be myself. Now that I’m in the second trimester, the time is flying by! I remember scheduling our 20 week ultrasound and thinking: That’s so long from now! And the next thing I knew I didn’t have time to count down days because it was already here!

Both Thomas and I were nervous going into the appointment because they scan all the baby’s major organs and look for anything abnormal. We both let out a huge breath we’d been holding when it looked like everything was healthy. I’m a lot more anxious about things going wrong this time around, and I’m well aware that even if they baby is born healthy, the worry never ends.

Baby B (which stands for Baby Brother, Baby Boy, Baby B versus Baby A) was wiggling around a lot in there. He was in a pike position with his hands shooting out in front of him nearly touching his toes! We weren’t able to get a good profile pic, but look at this leg!

Some more body pics – he’s measuring nearly 3/4 of a pound in weight. Ultrasounds are crazy!


I’ve been feeling really good in general with one major symptom: the SI joint pain persists. I have now seen a body work specialist, a chiropractor (x3) and gotten a deep tissue prenatal massage. I’m trying all methods! My back doesn’t hurt when I’m still, but if I move after resting in a position for a while, particularly if I move fast, it feels like a knife in my lower back. I get off the couch like an old woman! Sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce is nearly impossible, and every time I roll over at night I’m in pain. Despite the fact that the pain is sharp and uncomfortable, I’d take back pain over nausea any day. I know there are much worse symptoms.

The chiropractor gave me lots of advice that I didn’t want to hear: take a break from strength class, wear tennis shoes at all times, sleep on my back (ugh!), get a new pillow, wear a belly band all day long. I know she is right, but I’m just feeling so normal otherwise that it’s hard for me to make so many (kind of annoying) changes at once. I took a break from strength class last week and I’ve been making the other changes day by day. I’m feeling so much better this week.

Interestingly, I don’t remember getting SI joint paint until 25-26 weeks last time, but in my 20 week recap on Baby KERF I wrote that I’d been having trouble with it since 15 weeks. I’m still amazed at how similar my two pregnancies have been thus far. (I even describe the urge to do deep stretches when I wake up in my old post and have been having those same crazy stretching cravings!)


I’ve been feeling something in there since about 15 weeks, but it was all very light and unpredictable. Kind of like someone thumping a bowl of Jello. Right at 20 weeks I started to feel real kicks and rolls nearly every hour. Thomas was even able to feel one from the outside!! I’m SO happy to be feeling the baby move now, and it’s my favorite part of pregnancy.

Sleep + Hunger

I am starting to edge out of being to sleep on my stomach, and therefore giant pillows have taken over my life. I’m sleeping with a king size pillow between my legs and up my stomach to lean against. It’s so annoying to have to move it under the covers when I need to roll over! The pillows also make me hot. My chiropractor wants me to sleep on my back as much as I can to avoid twisting my back, so that has been hard too. I feel so vulnerable on my back! Like Mazen might karate chop me in the throat or jump on my stomach in the middle of the night : )

I’ve also had a few nights when I have gone to bed feeling a little bit hungry (but didn’t really have any appetite or I was literally too tired to make a snack) and woke up with insomnia. One night I was awake for an hour before going downstairs and swigging some Gatorade from the fridge and that put me back to sleep.

Overall I’ve felt really hungry these past few weeks yet I haven’t had much of an appetite. I’ll go from not wanting to eat to being ravenous in a matter of minutes. It’s very odd. I’m trying to eat as mindfully as possible and going my hunger cues, plus making sure meals are adequately sized. Strangely I haven’t been craving sweets very much. (That could be related to warm weather.)

^^ I am so weirded out by how much I can make my shape change by sucking in and pushing out! Bodies are so strange! I love to suck in and then slowly push it all out for Thomas and Mazen – it’s like a pregnancy time lapse!

At 21 weeks, I’m feeling so much rounder. I’m turning ‘pregnant on the sides,’ meaning I can feel my uterus on the sides and I’m feeling more three dimensional instead of one flat plane.

Mazen told me the other day that he and Brother already love each other because they are connected through their brains. I have no idea where this idea came from, but it was the cutest thing he’s said so far! Maybe they are actually communicating already!?

According to Baby KERF I might go through a big growth spurt in the next few weeks. I think I started to look much more pregnant at about 24 weeks last time. I’m anxious to see if I follow the same path this time. Overall, I’m thankful that things have gone smoothly thus far. That is all one could ask for.

20 weeks with Mazen

21 weeks with Mazen


Oh Boy!

Oh Joy!

The First Trimester

On Healthy Living While Pregnant


Weeks 14-16

Weeks 17-18

Nervous + Excited

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from Kath Eats Real Food