Paleo Sweet Orange Salmon

Last night I had someone tell me I had to step up my recipe game as they were running out of things to eat for dinner. So, Todd, I hope you like fish. Specifically, salmon. I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t like fish because it’s too “fishy”, but trust me – This recipe is meant for those people. I promise you it won’t taste like it leapt out of a stream and into your mouth.

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I will admit the one thing I don’t like about cooking fish is that it can make your house smell and make your hands smell when you clean off the dishes. Therefore, I always cook my fish in tinfoil (wrapped up and placed directly  on the oven rack) so I can immediately throw it out once I am done and there are no dishes. It also traps a lot of the scent.

What are the health benefits of salmon? Well there are a lot of them. First, it obviously is high in protein and provides you with healthy omega 3-fats, (reduces inflammation) but there is so much more than that. A 1/4 pound (4 oz) piece of salmon has a full days worth of vitamin D (yes, the vitamin that people think only comes from the sun), and large amounts of B12 and B6. Lastly, although a lot of people worry about mercury in fish, never fear – both wild and farmed salmon have very low levels of mercury.

So with that, I give you: Paleo Sweet Orange Salmon (I know I have a lot of “orange” recipes. what can I say? I like my citrus)

The picture also has kale (steamed), and carrots and squash that I also wrapped in tinfoil with some salt and pepper and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes. A well rounded meal!

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PALEO SWEET ORANGE SALMON

1 lb salmon

1 tsp chili powder

1 orange (grate 1 teaspoon of the orange rind and then save the rest of the orange for the juice)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp honey

1. Mix all dry ingredients (including orange rind) in a bowl

2. Place salmon onto piece of tin foil that is big enough to fully cover it once it is wrapped up.

3. Squeeze juice from the orange onto the salmon (as much or as little as you want)

4. Rub the dry mixture onto salmon.

5. Drizzle the teaspoon of honey on top of salmon

6. Put in the oven and bake at 350* for about 20 minutes, or turn oven broiler on and put in the oven for about 8 minutes. The salmon should turn from dark pink to light pink when done.

Going hiking after work today with my friend who did the partner plank push ups with me. Trying to get the most of the warm weather before it suddenly starts snowing in two months!

Paleo Tangy Chicken with Mango Jalapeño Lime Salsa + Fruit Flies (but not together)

Hey guys! Long time no talk. My bad on that one. I keep thinking about things I should write about, but then don’t have the mental energy to actually do it. But I’m finally well rested and ready for a steady stream of posts on how to foam roll, how to be happy, overpronation, some recipes, and more.

All week I was looking forward to Saturday for the sole purpose of being able to sleep in. You ever have one of those weeks? After a nice long snooze, I decided to get up to the mountains and went for a hike with my friend and my dog (who is 11 lbs and needed to be carried now and then, just adding an extra challenge!).

Image It was overcast and started sprinkling a little on the way back, but was still nice to get out and get some fresh air. That night I watched a documentary on Happiness, which was very interesting and I’ll talk more about in my next post. One hint: exercise was considered one of the best ways to improve your happiness level.

Today I had wanted to go tubing, but Mother Nature decided to bless us with 60 degrees and rain, so I did a quick speed workout with some negative splits.

ImageI’m trying to get my speed back up and, as much as I hate short fast runs, it’s the only way to improve my overall speed.  Good thing I had some yummy food waiting for me. I present you with…

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BAKED (or GRILLED) TANGY CHICKEN WITH MANGO JALAPEÑO LIME SALSA

1lb chicken breasts

1 jalapenos

2 limes

1 red onion

1 mango

salt/pepper

1 avocado

1. Dice the onion and jalapeño and stick them in a bag

2. Squeeze juice from limes and lemon into the bag

3. Cut up mango (without skin) and put it in the plastic bag

4.  Put chicken breasts in bag and let marinate for at least 45 minutes in the fridge

5. Put a dash of salt and pepper into the bag and shake

6. Back in the oven on 350* until done, about 25 minutes.

7. Serve with chopped up avocado

Now, since it’s in the title I have to mention the neat little trick I learned to get rid of fruit flies. Pour some apple cider vinegar and a piece of a banana into a water bottle. Take a piece of paper and roll it up, put it in the bottle.

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The flies will fly down, but won’t be able to fly out. Finally an easy way to get rid of the ever multiplying pests! Until next time, friends.

Outdoor Stair Master

Yesterday afternoon I got a call at work from my boyfriend asking if I wanted to go trail running after work. I have begged him to go trail running with me for ages, so I was super excited and immediately said yes, even though I had already lifted that morning.

I always forget that it stays late till at least 8 o’clock during the summer, leaving plenty of time for outdoor activities after work.  We headed to Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, excited to run some trails.

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We probably should have read a description, as what we encountered was more like an outdoor stair master.

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We ran any part that didn’t have stairs, but the stairs were too high/un even to fully run up. Even without running, it hurt my poor sore legs. I definitely had to put my head down and power through towards the end, but we made it to the top in just under 26 minutes.

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And it was all worth it for the great view of our beautiful city.

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We ran down the other side, which is a little longer but far less steep. We made it back just as some dark clouds were rolling in and lightning was dancing in the sky around the mountains. It was a great way to end a stressful day, getting out into the wilderness, pushing any worries out of my mind and focusing solely on forcing my body to its limits.

I strike, you strike, all beginners heel strike

Have you ever heard the term “Heel Strike”? It is when your heel touches the ground first when you run. In a recent study, 890 of 903 novice runners were heel strikers. That means if you are reading this and you haven’t worked to correct your form, you are most likely a heel striker.

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However, this is not one of those cases where the majority rules. A New York Times Article wrote about a Harvard Study that compared heel strike runners to fore front runners and tracked their injuries. The study found that the amount of injuries in the heel strike runners was twofold greater than in the fore foot runners. Not to say the fore foot runners didn’t have any injuries, they did, but they had 50% less.

Now, the article does state that if you run a lot and have never had any injuries then it’s not necessary to change your stride. If, however, you have repeated shin splints, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, or other hip related pains you might want to try to change up your gait to see if it reduces injury for you. I am by no means saying one is better than the other, as some studies didn’t show as big of a difference, but it’s a good thing to experiment with and see which one feels better for you. Another useful article on tips for running form can be found here

I also just found out the results of the Fourth of July 5K, which placed me at 4th in my age group and 13th female overall. While I am still disappointed because I knew I could have done better, it’s always good to have a reminder not to be too hard on yourself and give your body a little credit for what it accomplishes, even if it’s not what you wanted.

I think it’s time to sign up for another half….

PALEO Spicy Orange Roasted Chicken

I’m on a kick with the roasted chicken lately. It gives me lunch for almost the whole week, especially when I throw in some sweet potato, carrots, and onions to cook. Also, it’s super easy, which is a perk during the weekdays. I’ll keep this short and simple, here’s the recipe!

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SPICY ORANGE ROASTED CHICKEN

One whole chicken

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp chile powder

1 tbs chipotle powder

3 cloves garlic

1tsp onion

2 tsp Herbs de Provence

1 cup orange juice (fresh)

Pinch of salt and pinch pepper

1. Place bird in a baking dish.Pour orange juice onto bird to wet it, saving juice in pan.

2. Mix all dry ingredients (and honey) together and rub onto the chicken, using the wetness from the orange juice to make it stick.

3. Put the pan with the bird and the orange juice it in the fridge to marinate for at least three hours. (if it doesn’t fit, mine didn’t, put it in a ziploc bag and let it marinate)

4. After the bird has marinated, put it in a roasting pan  (one with a lid). I cut up sweet potato and onions to cook with it.

5.  Cook in oven at 350 for about 60 minutes (20 min per lb) or until done.

Quick. Easy. Delicious. Enjoy!

Earning My Independence (5K Race)

I hope everyone had a fun, safe and indulgent Fourth of July Weekend. I feel like I’ve been go-go-going for the past month so it was nice to be able to have time to sit back, relax and just breathe for a couple days. But not before I earned it…

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I got up at 6:30 on the 4th of July to run a 5K at the Boulder Reservoir to “Earn my Independence”. I had asked my friend, who just happens to be an MMA fighter and is in great shape, to run it with me expecting him to say no and for me to give an “eh, I tried but no one would do it with me” type excuse. To my surprise he was really into it (mainly for the tank top), so I had to haul my butt out of bed bright and early.

This race wasn’t the best. I had never run a 5K race before and definitely didn’t run smart. Since I was running with a friend, I didn’t bring any type of garmin/pace tracker. I made the mistake of trying to keep up with my friend and went out way too fast. Based on his finishing time, I’m guessing the first mile was about 7:10, which is not really my pace right now, even for a 5K. I told him to go ahead and leave me and then proceeded to die the next 2.2 miles. I think I was more happy to see the finish line for this race than for any half marathon I have done, which is pretty pathetic.

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Once again, it made me realize just how out of  running shape I have gotten (well really, poor shape I have stayed in since my ankle injury). Runner Ritsa talked about it as well, but it’s really hard to balance lifting and trying to build muscle with getting the miles in you need to stay in good running shape. I’m still trying to find a good balance. I ran every day this weekend, trying to get back in the habit. I plan on running some, even if it’s just two miles, every day from now on (except rest days).

I also spent a lot of time with friends this weekend, including a BBQ on the Fourth at my boyfriend’s client’s house,. They have horses, so we had to do some late night horse whispering after the fireworks…

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I also spent lots of time by the pool, at the farmer’s market and watching the UFC fights on Saturday with some of my besties.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready to get back into it!

Anyone else find it hard to balance all the different types of fitness you want to do (running and lifting for example)? How do you  find the time and energy to do it all?

Debunking the Paleo Diet… Or not.

There’s a video that has been floating around the interwebs recently. Christina Warinner, an anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma, gave a Tedx talk on “Debunking the Paleo Diet”that had me yelling out-loud as I listened to it during the 12 hour drive to Iowa last weekend.

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I was annoyed, then angry then downright confused at the point she was trying to make. So I thought I would Debunk this Debunking, while also showing that what she ends up describing as an ideal diet, from an anthropological sense, IS the Paleo Diet.

First Problem: Warinner seemed to get hung up on the idea that people who eat Paleo think they are literally eating the exact food that people in the paleolithic era ate. She completely misses the point that the Paleo Diet is a logical framework, not a historical reenactment. (Thanks Rob Wolf)

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Second Problem: Warinner refers to Paleo as a diet fad. Paleo is, in fact, considered a life style. The main purpose is not to loose weight, as is pretty much the definition of a diet fad, but in fact a way to regulate digestion and maximize nutrient absorption. She also claims it has been around since the 70’s. While a version of the Paleo diet has been, the most recent contemporary version, made famous by Dr. Loren Cordain/CrossFit increased the recommended carb ration to 30%, not 20% as was originally claimed. She also claims that there is no scientific proof that the Paleo diet is beneficial. That is simply not true.

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Third Problem: Warinner seems to have a personal problem with meat being eaten. She makes it seem as if all Paleo people eat is red meat, without discussing the balance between red meat and lean meat, as well as getting at least 30% of your diet from vegetables/fruits. She then talks about how Paleolithic people would have consumed meat, and the whole animal, because it is ao nutrient rich. Paleolithic people would have gotten more nutrients from a handful of meat (including vitamin C) than a hand full of barely. Even after that contradictory statement she tries to justify the difference by saying that the meat eaten is not true to Paleo as Paleolithic people would have eaten the bone marrow as well. Obviously she has never opened a Paleo cookbook, as there are always recipes for bone marrow.

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Fourth Problem: Warinner claims it is impossible to eat Paleo as the plants have evolved/been breed out since then. Therefore, eating broccoli today isn’t the exact same as eating Paleolithic broccoli. Well, no shit, Sherlock. I don’t expect to be eating the exact same plant as someone who lived 10,000 years ago. The point is to try to get the most natural vegetables and fruits that you can, free of pesticides.

Fifth “Problem”: At the end of the talk, Warinner describes what she believes to be an ideal diet, oh, wait it’s a Paleo Diet. She talks about how modern diets contain high levels of soy and wheat and are highly processed and harmful to one’s health. She then recommends eating a diet rich in natural fruits, vegetables, and meats. A diet rich in variety, with limited processed foods. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR? Oh, maybe because it’s the basis of the Paleo Diet. She uses examples of modern processed foods and how unnatural they are. For instance, to consume the same amount of sugar in one coke you would have to eat 8 feet of sugar cane.

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No. Overall, Warinner’s talk does not make sense, is poorley researched, and seems to be constructed solely based on her distaste for the name “Paleo” as the idea behind it. I know that there are plenty of people who have issues with Paleo, and I respect that. There are people who have “scientific evidence” against any way of eating, from vegetarian to Atkins to Gluten Free to the normal American Diet. I am pro Paleo solely based on my own experiments with different types of eating and how they have made me feel.

I also can understand an anthropologist not liking the term Paleo, and having issue with the idea that people during the Paleolithic period had various diets depending on where they lived. That’s the truth. However, that doesn’t mean you are “debunking” the Paleo Diet, the reasoning behind it or the benefits of an unprocessed diet, by telling me that no northern paleolithic people would have eaten Avocado and therefore the whole Paleo Diet is debunked. Homie don’t play that. Next time, do proper research first, Dr. Christina Warinner.