Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Today I want to take a minute to share with you an email that was sent to me over the past weekend by a dear friend who committed herself to health & new beginnings.  This message touched me deeply.  Indeed, I am always here to help and hopefully inspire but it is ultimately you who has to have the want/need to be the difference in your own life.  I am proud, so proud, of this friend's strength, determination, and focus.  Thank you all for continuing to inspire me  by your beauty.  ~Steph

"I used to think I ate pretty healthy.  Boy was I ever wrong.  My diet consisted of mainly carbohydrates.  But the "healthy" carbohydrates.  So I thought I had it all figured out.  I was eating whole grains and counting calories very closely.  But guess what, that was not working for me at all.
I was constantly tired and I was suffering from knee pain and chronic migraines.  I would also find myself completely unsatisfied and constantly hungry.  I was pretty much at the end of my rope.
I reached out to an old friend for help.  And through her I have found what I've been searching for.  She introduced me to Arbonne and a paleo lifestyle.  She was always there for me and still is.  Whether it be just a simple question or something bigger.  And no matter how stupid the question, she never made me feel silly for asking it.  And I had a lot of silly questions in the beginning.
She comes from the most loving and pure place.  No judgement whatsoever.  She just has a desire to help people become the best they can be.  Always making you feel comfortable.  And I could just sense how much she wanted me to succeed.  And now how proud she is of how far I've come.
She has taught me countless things about food.  I am no longer afraid of cooking with oils or eating avocados!!  Both things I avoided in the past.  Not knowing how very healthy these things were for me.  I could go on and on about food.  But basically I will NEVER go back to counting calories.  The paleo lifestyle is not a fad diet.  It is a lifestyle that is easy and fun to follow.  Stephanie has an abundance of information when it comes to health and wellness and the paleo way of living.  I'm so glad I have her in my corner helping me.
With Stephanie's help I have lost nearly 40 pounds since March 2011.  I also know I've lost a number of inches.  Stephanie told me to take my measurements in the beginning but I never did.  I didn't want to know those numbers.  Now I really wish I would of listened to her.  I finally feel comfortable in my own skin again.  And I feel healthier than ever.  Besides the weight loss I feel strong.  Both physically and mentally.  I can handle stress so much better.  I used to really struggle with anxiety.  Stephanie taught me how the foods we eat can affect our mental health also.
Stephanie once said to me "counting calories takes all the joy out of eating." That statement finally got me to stop counting calories.  If you think about it it really does take the joy out of it.  Thanks to her I now know that I am fueling my body with good, healthy food.  All you have to do is listen to your body.  And of course eat in moderation.
Thanks to Stephanie my dieting days are over.  And for that I will be forever grateful."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I don't know about you, but I could pretty much eat Mexican inspired foods for every meal and it would never get old.  Pre-Paleo days I could gorge myself on chips and salsa like no other.  In fact, I am pretty sure if I allowed myself to do it right now, the outcome would be the same.  I choose to not even find out because I know there is serious lack of control there!
This recipe came about because I wanted to find a way to incorporate 3 of my favorite Mexican recipes into 1. I was nervous the entire time that it wouldn't turn out. If it didn't turn out I would be disappointed that I didn't stick to Ol' Faithful.  I am very pleased to say, I am ecstatic with the results!  It is one of my favorite recipes to date!  It was soooo good that I made it again the very next day.  I wanted to be sure it tasted as awesome as I remembered and that I wasn't just hungry the first time around.  I am crazy like that.  The verdict....it's good, REAL GOOD!

-2 Tbsp. chili powder
-1.5 Tbsp. cumin
-1.5 Tbsp. paprika
-1 Tbsp. onion powder
-1 Tbsp. garlic powder
-2 tsp. oregano
-.5 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
-.5 tsp. chipotle powder (if you don't like smokey, this is optional)

Mix spices and store in a glass spice jar.  Great seasoning for any Mexican dish.  Also great in scrambled eggs and on sweet potato fries.


-4 to 5 lbs organic, bone in, chicken thighs
-4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend (recipe above)
-1 rounded Tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
-2 yellow onions, diced
-4 large garlic cloves, minced
-1 entire jalapeno, diced  (if nervous about heat, remove seeds.  It really isn't very hot after cooking.)
-12 oz. Frontera Tomatillo Salsa (That is my favorite Salsa Verde but use what you like)
-1 can Muir Glen Organic, No Salt Added, Fire Roasted, Tomatoes
-1/2 cup chicken bone broth

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Preheat dutch oven on med.-high with 1 rounded Tbsp. Coconut Oil and evenly distribute.
-Thoroughly rinse chicken thighs and pat dry with a paper towel.
-Pre-season thighs with sea salt and cracked pepper
-In a large Ziploc bag, toss chicken thighs in 4 Tbsp. Mexican Spice Blend until well coated.
-Transfer chicken thighs to hot dutch oven, skin side down and brown.  Do this in batches, careful not to  crowd your pan or they won't get brown and crispy. Brown about 5-7 minutes per side.
-After browning, flip chicken over, skin side up, and add all remaining ingredients.
-Put lid on dutch oven and transfer to preheated oven
-Bake for 1.5hrs.
-After baking, remove from oven and let cool just enough to touch
-Remove bones from chicken and shred.  I remove any fatty parts of skin that may be remaining but shred the  crispy parts into the mixture for added depth and flavor.
-Mix shredded chicken into everything remaining in the dutch oven for a delicious stew!

We enjoyed ours over a bed of sauteed shredded cabbage and garnished with cilantro & avocado.  This would also be excellent over sweet potatoes, on a salad, or in a romaine lettuce leaf taco.

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I know we are well into January and who the heck wants to hear about Christmas, right?  Well, I am for warning you that this post is a brief recap of our Christmas.  I needed to do this post for me, so I can always remember how special it was!  I love to entertain.  Did I mention LOVE?  I love it!  Our tiny condo filled with family, conversing, and sharing great food!  It does my heart good!
We hosted Christmas day around dinner time for the Packer game.  I wanted our menu to be not so "serious"....just fun, game-day, Paleo eats.  That is exactly what we did.  Finger foods.  Let me tell you right now that if you plan to entertain in this fashion and think it will be quick and easy to prepare, think again.  It's a time consuming ordeal.  But still fun.  Unless you ask my husband, who questioned why it was necessary to make everything down to our own bbq sauce, mayo, and buns from scratch.  Bless this patient man.  I love him because he gets me, knows I don't take short cuts, grins and bares it, and just helps me til' the end with all my crazy ideas.  Let's just say I get crazy in a "Type A" sort of way when it comes to entertaining.  Does this happen to anyone else or just me?  At all cost everything MUST be perfect or I may not exist another darn day:)  I will lose sleep over it, obsess about it, and think what I should have done differently if something doesn't turn out.  I plan the menu for about 5 months prior and change it 500 times in between.  This is me.  Don't judge. (how could you not..haha)  All in all everything came together great.  We only spent about 10 hrs. preparing and the Blessed Bee ( hubs) only had to remake the Paleo buns 3 times until they were perfect.  I wish I was joking but that is the truth.  We had to play around with that concoction a lot for them to be just right.  Every single thing you see is Paleo and made from scratch.

Walnut Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
Holiday Spiced Nuts
Herb Marinated Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, & Raw Goat Cheese
Horseradish, Dill Deviled Eggs
The Blessed Bee's Perfect Paleo Buns
Slider toppings:  Maple Bacon, Pickles, & Balsamic Onions 
Sweet & Spicy BBQ Ribs
Stuffed Mushrooms
Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes
Handsome Calvin
Calvin soaking up all the loving from Grandpa

All was Merry and Bright!
Wishing you a Happy & Healthy Year ahead!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Happy 2012' my Health Honey's!  I am just realizing that this is my very first post of 2012'...sad, I know.  I have chatted with fellow blogger friends in regards to blogging and staying active with posts.  It can be difficult to find a healthy balance of everyday life and blogging because of the time element.  The conclusion: KEEP IT SHORT!  That is just what I intend to do in hopes of connecting and sharing more often.  If you are like me, you probably tend to skip right to the recipes and pictures first anyway:)

THE MIGHTY GREEN MACHINE is a delicious burger bite recipe I found here.  Perfect size for on the go protein/veg combo with incredible flavor.  We have enjoyed these burgers throughout the week several different ways.  My favorite was to serve them was over a bed of sauteed shredded brussels sprouts and broccoli slaw.  I sauteed this combo in coconut oil on med-high heat.  Finished it off with a dash of sea salt, cracked pepper, & a splash of Fig Balsamic Vinegar.  Super easy, healthy, and delicious!  I did end up topping our burgers with a few slices of avocado too....that was after I took the pic.  Sorry! 

(Every Chef needs Happy Ugg Feet:)  

ENJOY!  Eat Well & Be Happy!