Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not Another Pumpkin Recipe

Hey Everyone....hope you still remember us. It's been non-stop craziness for the Feast team since our last post. I've been treading water at my new full-time job trying to get it all down-pat as fast as I can, while heading up the teacher training program over at Barre Bee Fit, and planning 3 massively awesome boot camps - oh and a November Sugar Detox! Scott has been pretty darn busy as well working away, studying for the CPA, and cheering on (the still undefeated!) Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Basically, between workouts, study sessions, daytime jobs, and extracurricular commitments, we've been spread preeetty thin lately.

Somewhere in there, we got to watch my ROCK STAR BRO run a 3:41 marathon!

It was seriously so awesome to watch him complete such a challenging athletic feat...and to watch all the other runners as well!

Anyway, somewhere in the midst of all this craziness, a new pumpkin recipe was born. Let's face it, fall is CRAWLING with pumpkin recipes, and paleo pumpkin recipes as well....but guys....this one is REAL yummy and we highly recommend you make it immediately...because you will

Ladies and Gentleman, Amazing Readers of 3,2,1 Feast! May we introduce:

Pay no attention to the Tostitos in the background. They're not ours ;)
When you host a football viewing party, people bring stuff too 

The Choco Coco Pumpkin Bar
1 cup almond meal
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup pumpkin puree (you can add more to taste)
4 eggs
2-4 TBSP Honey (add more to desired sweetness)
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips - We like Enjoy Life brand because they're dairy and soy free woo!
Organic Butter or Coconut Oil to grease 8x8 baking dish

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) In a bowl, combine almond meal, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and baking powder
3) Add in pumpkin puree, eggs, honey and vanilla extract. Combine until you have uniform mixture
4) Add in chocolate chips and mix.
5) Pour batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish (We greased ours with organic butter, coconut oil is a fine choice as well) 
6) Bake for approx 30-40 minutes. Tooth pick test the center. When the toothpick comes out clean it's done :)

We just baked up our THIRD batch of these! Tomorrow, I'm going down to Indianapolis for the weekend to get my USA Weightlifting certification (Level 1 Sports Performance Coach here I come!)! I'm staying with some of Scott's friends so I'm bringing down this fresh batch as a major thank you!

Well, that's all for now. We hope you try out this delicious fall-inspired dessert and let us know what you think!

~Scott & Lina

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Week Without Sugar is Sweet

Happy almost Friday!! I just wanted to check-in with you all about how my 21 Day Sugar Detox is going.

Well, I've got to say....I thought I would miss this:

Lina as Elmo circa 2009 Halloween

...but in reality, it's actually been REALLY simple! How? Well because the answer is always "no." There is no questioning of, "well i've had a really good/bad day so...." or  "but these are the best doughnuts in chicago," or "I have a fever and the only answer is more cowbell err sweets." It's easy. A craving comes along, I acknowledge it, and move on. Honestly, it's really liberating not to debate each craving with myself in my head. It's empowering to just acknowledge it, and continue on with my day.

In this past week I learned that everyday at 3pm I crave sugar. So, to combat said craving this has been UBER helpful:

Coconut Butter is the most AMAZING sugar craving battler!! It's naturally sweet with fairly little carbohydrate and it's chock full of healthy fats that satiate you quickly (seriously if you try to eat too much, you will feel nauseous. Gotta love nature's portion control)!!

Woah! I'm writing you at 3:35pm today and I just realized I missed my sugar craving all together today - my detox is working woo woo!!

If you are interested in participating in a Sugar Detox, I'm in the process of putting together my own protocol! Holler at us if you want in and we'll keep you posted with materials!

Scott and I are off to a yummy dinner tonight at one of our favorite Brazilian Steak Houses - Texas de Brazil! Stay tuned for a recap post tomorrow.

Have a great day!

~Scott & Lina

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Greek Islands

Greek Islands is a very authentic Greek restaurant in Greektown.  Both the ambiance and the food are second to none, at least according to us.  We went on a Friday night with a couple of friends, and had a great time tasting all of the amazing Greek fare the restaurant had to offer!

OUR Greek Islands Order:

1) Grilled Octopus Appetizer (with balsamic and tomato slices)

2) Arni Fournou (baked lamb shank with sliced potatoes)

3) Keftedes (beef and lamb meatballs)

All three dishes were incredible, but we agreed that our favorite was the arni fournou.  It was literally falling off the bone.  We also had a side greek salad that is not pictured, but was the perfect compliment to all of this meat!

Until next time,

~Scott & Lina

Friday, September 21, 2012

Goodbye Sugah!

Hey y'all! Happy FRIDAY!!! Lina here and I have a fun post for you all today...

First...More Tough Mudder Pics!!
 Happily Frolicking Through the Mud
 The couple that completely submerges themselves in ice water together, 
stays together right?
 After resurrecting myself from beneath the hay bales, 
I got a smart shock on the tush that propelled me to the finish line...
Scott making his way through some serious mud

We'll be on the look-out for some more in the "lost and found" bin on the site too!

Next item on the agenda...An Announcement! I, Lina, am on day 1 of a 21 day sugar detox. Scott's out on this one, he doesn't have a sweet tooth issue like I do.

What's a sugar detox all about? Well, it's an opportunity to look my sugar cravings smack in the face and say NO! NO I don't need the extra insulin right now helping me to store energy,  NO I don't need the high and the crash, and NO my liver cannot come out and play right now, it needs a break from your hot mess self! - Oh and there's also a YES...YES I'd like to tap into my already existing energy stores (read: fat cells) for energy and become a lean, mean, fat burning machine with consistently high levels of energy.

Easier said than done? We'll just have to see. In the meantime, I will be following a strict Paleo protocol while keeping my carbohydrate intake to around 50g-100g per day. No fruit, no sugar, no gum/mints/fake sugar, and very limited starchy vegetables (like squash and sweet potatoes). Starchy carbs will only be consumed post mind-blowing workout :)

So what's left to eat, you ask? LOTS!! Quality meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocado (technically a fruit but doesn't count :p), coconut milk, coconut butter, and butter!! These are all my favorite foods anyway, that nourish and satisfy my body and provide me with ample amounts of energy...umm oh yeah...they area all SO DELICIOUS !!!

Trader Joe's Kobe Beef Burger (frozen section. buy it. trust us on this one.)
with sauteed asparagus and baby portabello mushrooms

So over the next 21 days, assume that you'll be hearing a lot from me...and we will be sharing a lot more savory recipes. In the works for couple of week -- a chicken curry soup, chili, and possibly some meat balls!!!

Anywho, what better way to kick-off a NO SUGAR challenge than by posting one last dessert recipe!


Choco Bites - adapted from Clothes Make the Girl
* 1 box pitted dates (approximately 30 dates)
* 2 cups raw pecans
* 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 tbsp raw honey (optional for added sweetness)
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* Dash of salt

* Food process pecans. We want them in small pieces, not turned into sawdust or paste
* Place food processed pecans into a mixing bowl
* Food process pitted dates, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and salt
* Pour mixture in with the pecans and combine
* Add shredded coconut and combine
* Roll into balls and place onto wax paper
* Refrigerate until serving.

Note: you can eat them right away, but I think they taste better after they've spent at least a few hours chillin' in the fridge.

And that my friends, is the last dessert recipe for 20 more days...ENJOY!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Post-Mudder Monday

Hey Everyone! So we survived!! We participated in a Tough Mudder this past Saturday and came out on top! It's so surreal that the first conversation we EVER had was about Tough Mudder and now, almost a year later, we've completed one together.

Since nutrition is such an integral part of our lives, we'll talk about what we ate while talking about the actual event. Without further ado, Mudder weekend play-by-play

Friday September 7th, 6:45pm:

 Trader Joe's Kobe Beef Burgers, Baked Sweet Potato Chips in Olive Oil, 
and Sauteed Mushrooms

Fueling up the night before is just as crucial as morning of. The night before a heavy workout session, it's good to top of glycogen stores with some natural, healthy, glucose based carbohydrate. In our case, the sweet potato. Plus you can never go wrong with some heart healthy grassfed beef for protein!!

Saturday September 8th 4:15am:

Organic Free Range Eggs cooked in Coconut Oil, Avocado, 
and Black Coffee!

This our go-to breakfast for Paleo champions! Protein and fat provide the body with long burning energy so that we wouldn't bottom-out mid race! Also, coffee is just a must...especially at 4:15am...woof! We kept this meal nice and plain and simple, so there would be no risk of it coming back up ;)

After breakfast, we drove 2.5 hrs north close to Sheboygan, Wisconsin for the race. Scott is quite the awesome driver, so we managed to get there in about 2 hours while listening to 2Chainz, Kanye, and some other awesome sauce rap to get pumped up for the race! 

7am We arrived at the Course!
 Scott, Arpun, and Alex (our team) walking to sign-in

Scott getting his number written on his forehead

 7:30am Mandatory "Before" Team Pic

Scott, Lina (with seksi hot pink compression sleeves), Alex, Arpun

We look surprisingly awake and excited!!

At 8am our heat (the first heat of the day) began!
We chanted the Tough Mudder Pledge, got pumped up, and ran through orange smoke at the start line. The race consisted of lots of running, obstacles, and opportunities to face our fears. We climbed over tall barricades, jumped from high heights, walked through fire and smoke, and got 2 opportunities to battle it out with electricity.

Approx 10:30am
We completed the 11+ mile course, and ran through the final gauntlet of electricity. On the other side of the finish line we were handed mudder tees, our coveted orange sweatbands and (non paleo) beer to celebrate the 2.5 hrs of hell we paid for and put ourselves through

Mandatory "After" Team Pic
Alex, Lina and her crazy electric shocked hair, Arpun, Scott

 I think we look just as happy, if not happier in our "after" photo. And we're definitely covered in more mud!!

After the race we stuck around for a little bit, watched some other people get shocked and then cleaned up and drove home. Scott and I had one thing on our minds....well for me it was food...for Scott it was Notre Dame football and food battling it out for top priority.

I settled on Lilli's Q dry rub ribs and a salad for lunch...Scott went with Piece Pizza and Beer (falling into his 20% of non paleo food choices :p)

Overall, we had a GREAT time racing with our team. We accomplished a challenge together and as a team, faced our fears, and got an awesome workout! I'd be lying if I said that nutrition wasn't part of being able to fully enjoy the experience. Because we fueled properly, no one was lagging behind because of lack of energy, no one was wanting to vom on the course, no one's stomach was upset with eating the wrong foods. We provided our bodies with the proper nutrition, so that we could get the most out of our Tough Mudder experience. Oh -- and the best part about fueling for can still be pretty darn tasty!!

We wrapped up our Saturday evening with watching College football, some DVR'd shows and an AMAZING "Milk Shake"

Scott's Chocolate Coconut Milk Shake
*1 Can Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk (mixes easier than full fat, only reason we used light)
*1 Scoop Vitrol Vanilla Egg White Protein Powder
* 2 heaping tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
* 1 tsp honey
* Ice!

1) Combine all ingredients in the blender
2) Add Ice and blend again
3) Split into two cups and enjoy!!!

We can't wait to share photos from the course with you as soon as they become available! Have a wonderful  Monday and stay tuned for a fun bite sized chocolate dessert recipe coming at you later this week!!

~Scott & Lina

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back in Business!

Hey there everyone! We hope you didn't forget about us. It's been a crazy couple of weeks for us over here - SOOO MUCH going on. We'll try to keep this recap nice and quick for you :)

New News:

1) Scott was the Best Man at a beautiful wedding! We had such a great time spending the weekend with his friends and family - and we even got to take some fun pics in a photo booth!

2) Scott went to Ireland for the Notre Dame v Navy game in Dublin. He spent the week before the game touring the country with three of his friends. Though there was plenty of non-paleo beer and food to be had, Scott did a good job of eating healthfully most of the time. Eating healthy isn't about restricting yourself "just cuz," it's about providing your body with the right nourishment so you can enjoy and have the energy for site seeing and exploring.

3) I gave my 2 weeks notice at my current job.

That's right! I will be shifting gears in my career (yet again), trying out something that's a little more people focused -- recruiting and account management for a tech recruiting firm. So, if you are an IT specialist, programmer, Engineer, or Hiring Manager, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll see what I can do for yah ;)

4) Scott and I are doing it again -- We are taking on another Tough Mudder...

...this time, TOGETHER! We'll be racing mudder with 4 other awesome dudes! One of them, is doing his 3rd race with me!! Metro dash to Urbanathlon and now to Mudder :) Wish us luck we'll need it this weekend in Wisconsin!

5) Scott and I have entered into a Semi-Pro Crossfit competition in Chicago the 1st weekend of December! We'll be competing as individuals among 100 competitors in our region!! Here a link to the details and strength requirements:

Alrighty I think we've caught you up on all the nonsense going on in our lives...stay tuned for a post this Friday about how we prep for races...aka eating for performance!

Happy Hump Day everyone!

~Scott & Lina

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Power Snack Shake

The stretch between lunch and dinner can sometimes feel a little long (well, it almost always feels that way to me), especially on days that I work out in the early AM and  my metabolism is still revved up from my workout. On these days at around 3-4PM I'm usually left looking for something to get me through until dinner.

A quick fix that we've recently come up with is just a twist on the ol' reliable protein shake. Ideally, when choosing a snack, you want something with both protein AND healthy fats -- that killer combo is what actually satiates you and doesn't take you for a ride on the blood sugar roller coaster.  The protein was easy, as protein powder is readily available, but what's really good fat source to add to the mix? The answer....coconut milk.

Aside from its amazing taste and creamy texture, coconut is a GREAT source of energy! It actually consists of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), that break down a little bit quicker and give you a similar buzz that carbs would give you except the buzz sustains itself A LOT longer so you end up with more stable energy. Win - Win -Win.

Coconut Milk Protein Shake
* 7 oz Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk (they don't sell anything other than the light, or we'd use it)

* One scoop 100% Egg White Protein Powder - we really dig this brand because it's free from synthetic crap and actually tastes good. The ingredients literally are egg protein, some digestive enzymes (papain and bromlain) to help with the assimilation of said protein, energized with bee pollen, and it's stevia sweetened - that's it. Definitely doesn't give you a bloated feeling!

* About 5 oz water

Making a shake is pretty self explanatory, but I have found that it mixes together best this way:
1) Add the protein to about 5 oz of water and stir until blended
2) Next, stir in the coconut milk
3) Savor this indulgent snack

The end result is a filling afternoon snack packed with the protein and fat to get you through the rest of the day.

Let us know what you think!