Biking and climbing + ribs, rubs and dips

It has been quite a few days since my last blog entry and I have been willing to write something for almost every day, but at the same time I did not feel like writing on my iPod 🙂 June started and I decided not to get a bus pass but use my bike instead. Saturday I bought a used bike (did not see point of getting new one, because we don’t know how long we gonna stay here blah blah). It goes so much faster with my new bike and even those horrifying hills don’t seem that horrifying anymore and quite manageable. I have been increasing my arrival time to my work place every day. Tuesday I made it in 60mins, Wednesday – 55mins. Thursday – 54mins. I am proud of myself to go each time faster and faster, means my legs are getting stronger. And I also reached fastest time to go down the hill: 52.5km/h 🙂 I also have been very good girls and already went to climb 3 times this week. It is so much more easy to go to climbing gym when I am on the bike, rather than bus, because I don’t have to get out of the bus, walk to the gym, walk back to the bus, take bus, walk home….It takes loads of time…With bike I arrive faster than with bus, plus I can leave work half an hour earlier than before, because I don’t depend on bus schedule, so it is very simple to take a little turn on the way home for the climbing gym. They also made new routes and some are really interesting and powerful. For the first two times I was climbing routes that are more of my level and does not require too much concentration and effort, because I was forgetting to take tape for my fingers, and my tendon is still not o.k. As much as I know it might take even a year for tendon to heal, so I don’t have any other choice as wait patently and climb using support. Yesterday I decided to climb routes that are higher than my level, because I want to improve and I was switching between overhanging climbing (powerful movements) and crimps (endurance and finger strength). That was super nice session that I really enjoyed. On Wednesday, when I did not go to climb, I made a little workout for the abs from Skimble app, called Ab-Bootcamp. Today was my rest day as I have Crossfit tomorrow, first time after a week break (seems like ages ago 🙂 ).

Obviously, I had to make something sweet and nice today, so I chose to make the chocolate cake that was actually my first paleo dessert which I made for my birthday 🙂 It is still cooling down and waiting its turn to be tasted. It is super delicious, just takes time to deal with those dates 🙂

This week I discovered ribs. Last time I ate ribs back in Lithuania and when I saw humane raised ribs for fair price in the shop I decided to take a chance and to make something out of it. It is absolutely delicious. Keven now is just dreaming about ribs 🙂 So, today I made a load of rub from “Paleo Comfort Foods” that probably will be enough for a year. The rub consist of:

  • thyme
  • four peppercorn blend
  • grilled sweet pepper
  • hickory salt
  • sea salt
  • black and white pepper
  • onion powder
  • ground cumin
  • chilli powder
  • turmeric
  • garlic powder
  • sweet paprika
  • rosemary
  • mustard powder
  • cayenne powder

Uff…It was easier to make than to write it down 🙂 But now I will have rub for all the rest of the year. In the original recipe there was no grilled sweet pepper and no hickory salt, but I found these smokey ingredients in some other recipe, tried it out and fall in love. I was checking many recipes to find how to make the ribs in the oven (most of them offer you to use grill, which I don’t have), so after checking probably 10 websites or more (all of them required roasting ribs in the oven for at least 3 hours), I came up with this preparation of Pork Back Ribs in the Oven:

Remove filmy membrane of the back of the ribs. Spread the dry rub all over. Leave it to marinate in refrigerator, covered with plastic film or aluminum foil for at least 2-3 hour or best overnight. Cut the ribs into 3-4 rib chunks. Preheat the oven to 450F. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan on high and both sides until nicely browned. It’s quite fast process, but it will give that amazing crunchiness afterwards. Place ribs on roasting pan and put in the oven for 50-60mins, turning over half time. This is much faster than having them in the oven for a longer period on smaller heat and I found it very nicely cooked and crispy.

It is also nice to have sweet potato chips along with ribs and some nice dip. I was using roasted red pepper dip from paleOMG and I loved it. Definitely recommend to try it out. It goes also really well with roasted cauliflower and broccoli. The other dip that I also used with ribs was Tahini dip ( good with veggies and fish as well) which is super easy to make:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water (start by adding less to check for the desired thickness)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce (optional)
I like hot sauces, so I do add hot sauce and as cumin is one of my favourite spices, I never forget this one 🙂
For my lunch when I am working, I am still stuck with Tuna salad (tuna, celery, apple, chive, spinach or kale, sometimes avocado, some nuts (pecan is super nice) and the dressing), because I just can’t get over it. It is easy to make and I just love the taste of it and sauce is really good with anything actually and I use it sometimes with other salads as well:
  • 1-2 tbsp of home made mayo
  • 1 tsp of mustard (I use old-fashioned)
  • 1 tsp of apple sider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
So much from my food and exercise world this week 🙂 I hope you will try out some recipes and enjoy them as much as I do.
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Sunday Breakfast and Sunny Day Climbing Experience

There are two things that really love to eat: goat cheese and spinach…Oh yeah…and prosciutto….these are sooo good that I can die for….So, I decided to combine all that for my breakfast, especially because Keven was asleep after working night shift, so there was no way I would be making my morning smoothie and interrupt his sleep 🙂 Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet 

  • 1 egg + egg whites (or 2-3 whole eggs) 
  • 1 tsp of ghee (or butter if you are fine with dairy)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 oz of goat cheese
  • sliced tomato
  • 2 slices of prosciutto

Heat ghee in a non stick pan over medium heat. Mix eggs in bowl and season. Pour in skillet and cook until almost set. Place spinach and goat cheese over half of the omelet, and fold the opposite side over top of the filling. Slide the omelet onto your plate, top with prosciutto and sliced tomatoes. Heavenly good. Then later on I decided to make a photo session with Nora as she is growing so fast and I don’t want to miss her still being puppy. Isn’t she gorgeous?   


  

Camera made her crazy excited (I know that from pictures she looks like extremely calm puppy, and usually she is…), so it was time to leave home. There is a huge park in Quebec where lots of people are going there to have picnics, play sport and just shill out. There is also a former defence wall that is made out of rocks, so it is perfect for climbing. Why to go to climb in a gym when you can go to climb outside, especially when it is so warm (27C). So, we took Nora, met with our friend Noemi and went to the park. It is really beautiful there, especially now when spring is blooming and everything is so green. Climbing wall also has an amazing view to the river.

Having in mind my thorn hands from yesterday, I could climb, suprisingly, with no problems as there are no big hold on the wall where I would need to use my palm. And, what is more important, my tendon was not bothering me (probably the hold were not that small at the end 🙂 ). It is such a different experience to climb outdoors, it is definitely weird after climbing indoors to be searching for the holds as they are not obvious and searching for the way to climb, not just following and adapting yourself to the holds. I had a blast today….Climbing outdoors with my lovely husband and my beautiful puppy, while it is super warm and I got really tanned…Could there be any better way to spend Sunday?

   

 

Roasted chicken with cauliflower curry and mint and parsley pesto

Since I started to eat paleo and especially since I started to check all the labels and eliminate everything that contains words that I don’t understand or that sounds unnatural I had to get rid of a lot of things in my kitchen or simply stop using them. One of them is stock. So, I decided today to make my own chicken stock, so we got some nice grain fed chicken and couple of chicken quarters. My intentions were to roast chicken and use carcase for the stock and use quarters for the stock as well. So, I dug into almighty Internet and came up with a mixed recipe (I never can follow just one recipe, except when I am making desserts). So, my chicken stock is being made in crock pot on the slow and consist of:

  • 2 chicken quarters
  • carcase of roasted chicken
  • 2 carrots (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 3 celery sticks (with leaves)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, bay leaf, oregano
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 7 cup of water

While I was roasting chicken ( I made a dressing of almond butter, olive oil, chopped mint, salt and pepper that I rubbed into the skin) I started searching what I could accompany it with that I still haven’t made yet (and I haven’t made a lot, as usually my recipes would consist of some type of diary, grains, legumes and pasta or some other wheat products, so to have raw carbohydrates is a new thing for me).

I had some pineapple in fridge that I definitely wanted finish and I bought today a lot of cauliflower as they were on sale and cauliflower is carb-dense veggie. So, I used for inspiration recipe from Melisa’s amazing website where I am quite an often guest now. The recipe that inspired me is called Curry Fried F’rice and it ws super delicious:

Ingredients20120422-092121.jpg

  • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
  • 2 leafs of baby bok choy (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground curry powder
  • dash of coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat nonstick pan to medium-high, add 1/2 tsp of oil and sautee pineapple until lightly brown in some spots. remove from the pan and set aside. Then sautee almond slivers until lightly browned. Remove from pan and add to pineapple slices.Heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the same pan, add cauliflower and stir-fry 2-3 minutes,until it starts getting a bit roasted. Add chopped bok choy, curry powder, salt & pepper, pineapple, and almonds. Fry until it is all heated and nicely mixed. Add a dash of coconut milk and mix in through.

I also had some fresh mint that I bough yesterday and that reminds me of my life in Barcelona and mojitos that we used to make. In Barcelona you can get bunch of mint for 1 euro or less. I used to go get my fruits and vegetables in Boqueria market where I would get pull hands and spend maximum 20 euros. Here in Canada it is at least twice more expensive…So, anyways, I decided to use Melisa blog again and her recipe for Medditeranian Mint and Parsley Pesto, I just modified it a little bit.

Ingredients:20120422-092052.jpg

  • 1 bunch of fresh mint (about 2 cups)
  • 1 big handful of fresh parsley (about 1.5 cup)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree until desired consistence. It came out so fragrant and delicious and it worked really well with curry cauliflower. It was just missing some sort of the dessert, but I am not allowed any sugar during my Whole30 challenge, so just had some nuts with raisins and loads of tea. I have to admit that sugar dragon is definitely killing me softly and I would like so much to indulge into some paleo treat or have a glass of wine. But I haven’t even yet finished my first week of challenge, so just have to toughen up….Even though….cashew butter is gone…I won’t buy new one as probably I would finish it in a week and it would not be that good for me…

 

WOD April 20 and follow up on Whole30 challenge

My days off are my training days and usually then I have to plan my food much more than usual, especially now that I am do Whole30 challenge and can’t use protein powder and dairy (cottage cheese with berries in the morning used to be my source of proteins), soI start feeling a bit low in motivation as I get bored of having omelet for breakfast or smoothie (that’s if I don’t have training before as pre-workout meal has to be proteins and fats). I wasn’t feeling that well this morning and I had CF training at 9a.m., and I felt really tempted just to stay in bed and chill out…but I just could not. So, instead of whining I decided to have avocado devilled eggs for breakfast as my pre-workout meal. The are super delicious and easy to make. For the recipe you will need (however I made only half of the amount, because Keven still would not eat boiled egg):

Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out yolks. Mash yolks with a fork. Stir in diced avocados, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Fill egg whites with yolk mixture and place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with cayenne or fresh, chopped parsley, add salt and pepper to taste. So that made my pre-workout meal all by the book.

I accompanied that with cup of unsweetened coffee with coconut milk. As I knew that I will do challenge I started a week before to make myself get used of drinking unsweetened coffee as I have never done that in my life, so I really wanted to take it step by step instead of jumping into the strict diet.

After having a training it is advised to have a post-workout meal within 15-45mins. after workout, so I had to prep to take something to the gym as I definitely would not make home in that time. The post-workout meal consists of easily digestible proteins and high density carbs (no fruits). That fruits are not allowed put me again into dilemma. Last time I had salmon with baked sweet potatoes (yummy), today I decided to stick to egg white omelet with sautéed bok choy and mushrooms and some fresh cherry tomatoes.

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I also had to prepare my lunch box, because I did not plan to come back home until evening. After Crossfit I hit to climbing gym and after that I had to pick up a Alexis (little boy that I occasionally babysit) from nursery and take him home, so I got home just for dinner.

So, my lunch box consisted of tuna salad (I love tuna):

  • can of tuna20120420-232426.jpg1/2 apple diced
  • some chopped parsley
  • 5 chopped pecans and walnuts
  • 1/2 diced avocado (used the other half left from devilled eggs 🙂 )
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp paleo mayo
  • 1 tsp apple sider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place apples, scallion tops, nuts, and celery in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. Drain liquid from tuna and add tuna to the boil. Mash with a fork to break up tuna and blend ingredients. Add mustard and mayo, then mix with a rubber spatula until well-blended. If you can stand it, let the tuna salad sit for 15 minutes so the flavors can meld.

I just did not mix them at home and mixed in climbing gym and ate right away. I think they had enough time to mix being in tupperware 🙂

So, my todays WOD was:
Tabata challenge 8rounds (20sec. on/10sec.of) of the following:

  • Pull-ups (chin to bar)
  • Power press (65lbs)
  • Kettlebell swing – 35 lbs
  • burpee box jump
  • ring push-ups

we had to submit the total score of repetitions made and mine was 232.

My palms were really sore ofter KB swings and in climbing gym muzzle exploded.

So, after my Crossfit training I went to climbing gym. Last time I was there on Sunday and felt totally out of motivation. maybe because I am progressing slowly and I don’t like too much when there are a lot of people around me. Today I was lucky, there were only 5 people in whole gym, so I could just climb and relax. I made some nice stretching and did not push myself to climb hard, simply work on the movements and technique, climbing difficult routes and really easy ones. So, I had really nice climbing session of 1.5 hour until skin on my finger tips got really sore and it meant that it’s time to finish. So, I had my tuna salad with blackberries for a dessert. However, I also grabbed a banana on my way to nursery, because I felt that I need more carbs than I got with salad and berries, bouldering is really energy consuming activity.

My day finished with oven roasted chicken and sweet potato chips with little salad. And I allowed myself to indulge into cashew butter. I know that I am not supposed to do that, but I was craving for more fats :))))