Starting a New Year

Congrats everyone, and happy new year! We made it to 2012, and I’m so excited about what’s going to be happening this coming year. This year has a lot in store for my family, and it’s starting this month.

Just a little background of my family and my husband’s family. My family, on both my mom’s and my dad’s, have heart disease. My dad had a heart attack when I was 12 years old. He was only 39. Thankfully, he made it to the hospital in time. He’s not the only one in his family to have heart problems. My grandfather, my uncles, and my aunts either suffer from some form of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or all of the above. That’s just on my dad’s side! My mom has struggled with high blood pressure, and my grandfather has had a stroke. There are also other issues in the family such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity. That is a lot of health issues all bearing down on me, and staring me in the face saying, “You could be in big danger, missy!”

My husband’s side of the family has a known disease called Celiac. In a nutshell, it is a reaction to gluten that damages the gut. When your gut is damaged so is your immune system, and everything could shut down or you could end up with colon cancer. Celiac disease has recently started to become a big deal, because our tests are becoming more sophisticated. Most people live with Celiac and never show any symptoms until they are older.  My mother-in-law used to suffer from Celiac symptoms until she changed to a gluten-free diet. We believe that my husband also suffers from Celiac and also a chemical imbalance that messes with his skin.

All in all, this has accumulated to me sitting down and realizing that we need a lifestyle change. Not a diet, not some fad, but a serious lifestyle change. I was first introduced to the Paleo lifestyle by my Uncle D. All of my dad’s side are very strong willed, and Uncle D went in with a vengeance. He lost a ton of weight, and looks like a he could run the Iron Man competition. My MIL (mother-in-law) then heard about it from a friend of hers and started cooking that way for more recipe ideas. Since we were over there a lot, we were able to taste how good everything was!

This started the change, since my husband and I had moved into our own home we had already started eating at home a lot more. We would eat really healthy one week, have a busy week, and start going to the easy stuff. I began to notice that the weeks we ate things like corn dogs, ordered pizza, or had lots of sugar we would feel awful. Our stomachs would get messed up, the baby was grumpier, I was short-tempered and exhausted, and Michael was distracted. When we ate good, everything changed. So, for Christmas I asked for the Paleo cookbooks. On that note, I love cookbooks, and I collect them (a habit from my mom).

Low and behold, I got two of the Paleo cookbooks. I received Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso, and Primal Blueprint: Quick & Easy Meals by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. They are both fantastic, but I especially love the Everyday Paleo. It has a host of everything, from personal stories, to recipes, to menus, and finally exercises. Reading through Sarah’s book inspired me. Not only had she changed her life, but she had also changed her family’s. These recipes are kid-friendly, fun, and delicious. They are basic, and easy, and wholesome, and they leave room for your own flare. If you are interested in the Paleo lifestyle, I highly recommend starting with that book.

So here it goes. On January second of the year two thousand and twelve, I am making a lifestyle change with my family. My husband is on board, my 18 month old son doesn’t really care as long as he has food, and I want to get my body back and fight against genetics. Our goal for the month is to eat all of our meals at home. If we do go out with friends we will be packing our own food. It seems a bit drastic, but we need to do this. If we can do this for a month then we can do it for the rest of our lives. There will be times where we will go out to eat in the year, but we will have our confidence and be able to choose wisely and Paleo.

As my blog goes, I will always post a picture of something that I made either from a cookbook or something of my own invention. My pride, and personal favorite so far was a portabella mushroom “sandwich.” Here is a picture of our half-sandwich.

You can find the recipe for the sandwich on page 201 of the Everyday Paleo cookbook in the snack section.

Though she may never read this, I would really like to thank the author of Everyday Paleo for truly inspiring me to get started on this. Sarah, you have an amazing story, and it really shows how to change not only your lifestyle but your perspective on food. Thank you, Sarah Fragoso.

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First Post – Ground Venison Hash

You know blogs seem to be the new and upcoming thing for just about everyone. Whether it be DIY, cooks, personal journals, or political statements everyone has a blog. Well, here is my blog. It’s an attempt at something that has food, crazy moments, laughs, crafts, and even some oops.

I guess this is the part where I write a little about myself. I’m a stay-at-home mom, which is in no way easy. It is a full time job of booboo fixer, chef, baker, craftsman, leader, impromptu guru, and the all important chauffeur. This is all for a 16 month old little boy and a 23 year old husband. I love to cook, crochet, read, color and doodle, and love on my boys.

I guess my goal for this blog is to mainly post recipes that I try or may even invent. Our diet consists a lot of the Clean Eating mentality that became big because of Tosca Reno (who is one hot mama, by the way). So, each day, or week depending on what’s going on my life, I will try to post some recipe on this blog. Just to warn you, I may post some craft that I may have completed. My current project is a crocheted vest for R’s gnome costume for Halloween 🙂

Ok, so my first recipe is a take on a hash that I saw on All Recipes <– excellent resource

1 LB ground meat <– I used venison
1/2 onion, diced
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
2 small golden potatoes, cubed
Diced carrots <– I did not have the large carrots so I put organic baby carrots in
Root Vegetables (radishes, turnips, parsnips), cubed
Beef broth and water to cover
Salt & Pepper to taste
Corn starch to thicken

So, this is quite a simple recipe, really. Add a little oil to the bottom of your pan, and turn heat to medium-hi, or a 7 on the numbered stoves. Brown your meat, and drain the fat. Add your onions, garlic powder, and other vegetables to the pan, and cover with beef broth and water until vegetables are just covered. Add your salt and pepper to the mixture. You can also add other seasonings. I added some sage and a little cumin. Bring mix to a boil, reduce to a simmer (a 1 on the numbered), and let cook for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Mix some a tablespoon of corn starch with a little warm water and add to the hash. Stir in, and let it simmer until the mixture has thickened. Serve hot!

My boys loved this hash, and gobbled it up! R, my baby, even ate it for lunch while it was cold.

I hope you enjoy what I have posted, and more to come. Eventually, I will start posting pictures with what I do 🙂

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