Chicken Parm Squash bowl

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This turned out amazing! Dinner for two. Here’s what you do:

– 1 small squash (not sure what it’s called but its yellow with green or orange stripes on side), looks like a mini pumpkin shape.
– 2 chicken breasts
– spices to taste (I used cayenne pepper, pepper, garlic, crushed red pepper – I like it hot)
– olive oil
– organic marinara (get the expensive kind – it tastes so much better and doesn’t have scientific crap in it)
– Parmesan cheese to taste (optional – but then it wouldn’t be Chicken Parm now would it? :) )

Preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half and scoop out the pulp. Brush olive oil onto cut sides of squash. Season chicken with olive oil and spices.

Bake chicken and squash halves at same time. Place squash on pan cut-side down. Bake for 20 mins.

Turn chicken. Bake for another 10 mins.

Take tray out of oven. Flip squash over to form 2 bowls, slice chicken and fill bowls, top with marinara and cheese.

Put back in oven for 5 mins. Enjoy!!

Mini squash taco bowls

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These are delicious and very simple to make! Here’s what you need:

– 1 mini squash. I’m not sure what they are called – they are small yellow squash with green or orange stripes on the side.
– 1/2 lb ground beef
– chopped onions and green peppers
– Mexican spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper)
– taco toppings (lettuce, tomato, a little cheese is optional)

Cut the raw squash in half, gut the insides. Coat insides with olive oil. Place both halves face down on baking sheet, bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

While that’s cooking, brown ground beef, drain grease. Add spices and a little water, and simmer while squash is cooking – stirring occasionally.

Pull squash out of oven. Fill cavities with taco meat, top with lettuce, tomato, and a little cheese. I added a little Sriracha for extra heat.

Using a fork, Eat everything but the skin. Enjoy this delicious healthy meal!

Back in the saddle

Well hello there earthlings it’s been a long crazy summer of debauchery of my diet. I had a blast this summer but I did fall off the Paleo train for the most part. I also quit running and working out at some point this past summer and trust me my mind and body are certainly feeling the effects.

So I’ve decided to get back on track – part of that will be keeping this blog up-to-date again. Although I did blog quite a bit last year it was kind of a pain in the ass to put entries in, but I’ve noticed this new WordPress app on my iPhone is actually pretty sweet here a year later. I’m actually speaking into my phone right now which is typing this for me – pretty cool huh?

I didn’t totally quit the Paleo / real food world this past summer as I did eat pretty good at home but I went out a lot – I ate out a lot. But that being said I did learn some really cool very healthy new recipes the summer and I’ll share a few of those as I re-create them here in the coming months this winter.

So anyway that’s it – I’m back. If you enjoyed reading my blog last year, you’ll be happy to see more updates in the coming months this winter. I’ll see around!

— T

Rock Boat XIV

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I could go on a very long dialogue about all my amazing experiences with the best friends in the world, post pictures out the wazoo, talk about the new bands I discovered, recount my smiles, high fives, hugs, kisses, and every “wow” moment I had – but I can sum all of that up in one simple thought. It’s about the people, especially the ones who you just exchange a simple “hello” with and move on. The thing is, that “hello” lasts a lot longer than it seems.

A passing “hello” and a smile goes a lot further than one would first think. I saw familiar faces everywhere – we may not be the closest friends in the world, we may not even talk more than a simple “good to see you” each year.. but the impact is so much more than that. After 11 years, I see so many familiar faces at every corner of the ship – every one of you are important to me – you are part of the magic that is the Rock Boat. Just seeing you across the crowd, I feel like I know you whether we speak or not.

So to my closest friends in the world – my Indy crew – we are a good 15 or 20 strong now – I love you all. To my Chicago friends, I embrace you all as a 2nd family. To all of the veterans around the country – the ones I’ve become friends with over the years – I love you all! To the new people I’ve met in the past year or two – welcome to my world, you’re a big part of it!  To the people who are there every year who I just exchange casual hellos and smiles with – you’re just as important in the grand scheme that is the Rock Boat – See you all next year :)

Blackened Chicken Breast

 

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ok so here is a delicious Paleo chicken recipe I whipped up for lunch today!

ingredients:

  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • dry rub Cajun seasoning of your choice

Make sure chicken is thoroughly thawed. Coat skin side of chicken breasts with coconut oil. Apply very generous amount of Cajun seasoning to chicken breasts. Throw a bunch on there – to where it looks like it may be way too much.

Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered, for 50 mins. Serve piping hot – enjoy this delicious juicy chicken breast with crunchy Cajun skin!!

So it’s 2014…

Here we are, year 2014. It’s kind of mind boggling, isn’t it? I remember when I was a kid, the year 1988 seemed SO.. FAR.. AWAY. The year I graduate high school, the year I can do anything I want and start molding my life. It’s amazing how time flies, right? The 80’s came and went, I finished college in the mid 90’s and started my career. The first decade of the new century came and went, along with it my 30’s. Here I sit in year 2014, I’ll be 44 years old later this year. Who’d have thunk it?

So with the new year comes new goals for me. It’s well documented that I’m already on a great transformation path (the whole reason for this blog, actually). I’ve totally changed my diet and exercise lifestyle, and have seen unthinkable awesome results. But I know I can’t just stop there and be happy with that – because I know for a fact that as soon as I do, December 2014 might as well be August 2013 – the day I realized I was at the lowest of all low points in my life, health & fitness wise.

Here are some major goals for me in 2014:

  • sell my house (thank GOD). I was a victim of the housing crisis, my home lost a TON of value, but thankfully has rebounded. I can finally sell this Spring! My renter is moving out April 1, and it’s being listed for sale shortly thereafter.
  • Run the Mini Marathon. Indianapolis has the largest half marathon in the world, it’s at the beginning of May. That gives me 4 months to train for that kind of distance. (I can currently knock out 3-5 mile runs, so I just have to up that a little each week… baby steps).
  • Get back into weight training. I’ve lost ALL of this weight with zero weight training. However I know that weight training is an excellent way of reshaping your body (burning fat/gaining muscle) – so at this point I’m going to introduce a weight training program into my arsenal for year 2014.
  • I’m going to relax the “Paleo” moniker a little bit this year. I’ve done EXTREMELY well losing weight on the Paleo diet. However I’m finding that the main reason for this is the avoidance of processed foods, and by eating mostly real, whole foods from quality sources. I’ll probably have a little more bread/cheese/pasta once in awhile without guilt tripping myself over it, but I will absolutely stick to mostly whole/real foods as my primary source of nutrition. I figure I’m at a point now where I can slow down the “weight loss” rate and not be so strict on myself – but I won’t lose sight on the main goal of maintaining my healthy mind and body – by eating whole/real foods most of the time.
  • To not drink any soft drink/soda of any kind in 2014. I personally haven’t had any since August 2013 and I don’t miss it at all, so this should be an attainable goal.
  • play more golf. It’s so easy for me to go 2 or 3 months without playing – I’m going to make a goal to play at least once or twice per month once Spring rolls around.
  • Learn to play my guitar. I’ve had this electric guitar for about 10 years. I’ve tried to learn to play it many times, and always get frustrated and quit. I vow to pick up my guitar and learn how to play it this year. I will set up a personal schedule, block out the time, and stick to it a night or two each week when I’m at home doing nothing else but watch TV. Don’t worry, I have zero aspirations to be able to play in a band or even an amateur open mic night – I just want to say that I’ve learned an artsy skill, something I’ve never done before.

These are the things on my mind today – I’m sure others will pop up as the year goes on, but this is a good start.

Happy 2014 everyone, make it your best year yet!

Terry

Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Ok so I bought this amazing book called Practical Paleo, written by an amazing nutritionist named Diane Sanfilippo. She is a very successful author, wellness blogger, and dietitian. Check out her website, , it’s a goldmine of healthy information. I haven’t read her book yet, but the first several chapters of the book are about how different kinds of food affect your body, and stressing the importance of eating real whole foods. She also has a “21 Day Sugar Detox” book, which is a 3 week program to eliminate sugar from your diet.

Anyway I just love the “Practical Paleo” book, it has gorgeous pictures accompanying the 100+ Paleo recipes in it. I got the idea for tonight’s dinner from this book. I didn’t use Diane’s specific recipe, I kind of went on my own, but I got the general idea from this book. I highly recommend picking this book up on Amazon (or Costco or any book store) if you are interested in learning more about the Paleo lifestyle – it’s considered the “bible” in Paleo circles, it’s a NY Times best seller.

Ingredients:
– 1 large bell pepper (red, green, or yellow – your choice)
– 6oz ground meat of your choice (I used a combo of ground pork and ground chicken)
– several fresh spinach leaves
– 1 can organic no-salt-added diced tomatoes
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 1/2c chopped onion
– 1 chopped jalapeno pepper
– sliced almonds
– sunflower seeds
– pepper
– italian seasoning
– 1 tbsp coconut oil
– feta cheese crumbles (optional – not Paleo)

Start by preheating oven to 350. Slice your pepper in half (long-ways), cut off the stem and gut the insides, wash away the seeds. Put both halves on a baking sheet in oven for about 10 mins (while you are preparing your meat).

I used whole pork and chicken and ground them with a food processor – however you can just buy pre-ground meat if you wish. If you have a food processor, throw the following ingredients in processor (meat, spinach, garlic, onion, pepper, jalapeno, italian seasoning). Pulse it up until it’s all mixed together.

Preheat a frying pan with some coconut oil. Dump in your meat mixture and cook thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Once it’s fully cooked, pull bell peppers out of oven. Put a few tablespoons of diced tomato in each half. Next, pack the pepper with the meat mixture. Next, add more tomato on the top. (save a little tomato for later). Put this back in oven for about 15 minutes.

Heat up your remaining sauce in microwave or on stove. Pull peppers from oven, and top peppers with more of your sauce. If you’re feeling rebellious (this isn’t Paleo but I occasionally will eat a little good cheese), top each half with a little feta cheese. Sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top of everything for a little added texture.

Grab a steak knife and fork, and EAT my friend!

Pocket full of change….

So I was getting ready for work this morning, and noticed my “change jar” I keep on my dresser. I saw that it’s been collecting dust – it then occurred to me that I haven’t put any change (like none at all) into the “change jar” in several months. This seemed kind of odd to me as in my former life, part of my every day routine was to “empty my change” out of my pockets each night. I ALWAYS had change in my pocket from the day, pretty much every day. I’d always even dig into the change jar each morning to make sure I “had change on me” for the day.

Now back then it wasn’t a big deal, you buy things here and there, you accumulate change, you throw it in the jar at the end of the day and you don’t even think about it. This morning I was thinking about my lack of “pocket full of change” in recent months. It then occurred to me there’s a reason I don’t have a “pocket full of change” at the end of each day anymore – it’s because I don’t buy crap food and snacks anymore! Thinking back now, I’m like “where did I always get change from?” – well, it was always fast food joints, convenience stores, bagel shops, or any other place I’d pick up random crap meals/snacks on the go.

So that is an interesting byproduct of living healthy – I no longer have a “pocket full of change”.

Terry

Ps…. Oh, and since we’re on the subject – here’s an outstanding video of Will Hoge on last year’s Rock Boat, of course singing his awesome song “Pocket Full of Change” :)