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The sun in Michigan finally decided to brave it and come out today!  It made for a beautiful drive to work this morning, and looked much warmer than the -30 reported on the news.
Not a bad view on my drive to work, eh?

Last night's throw together dinner:

In an effort to avoid grocery shopping and use up what I have around the house, I decided to try my hand at Paleo coconut shrimp.  I de-thawed a package of pre-cooked shrimp, then coated them in a mixture of 1/3 cashew flour to 2/3 unsweetened coconut.  I first dipped each shrimp into a bowl of beaten egg then into the coconut mixture, before eventually tossing them into some hot coconut oil.
While I thought this recipe left a little to desire on the sweetness front, the shrimp did taste pretty good on my 'throw everything in the fridge together' salad.  When I am making a non-whole30 version I might use sweetened coconut, or find another way to up the sweetness of the shrimp.
What's one recipe you are dying to have while following a Paleo diet?  Have you tried to recreate it?
 
 
I recently posted in a 'Friday Favorite' about how much I like these Twistband hair bands.  They are cute, perfect for working out, and best of all-they don't pull out your hair. 

While browsing through Pinterest I found an article on how to make your own, and thought I would try it out.  (I can't find the exact article anymore, but fyi the idea was not my own.)
I visited www.sunshineshoppesupply.com to purchase the elastic needed to make these hair bands.  Browse through or skip straight to the elastic by choosing the 'stretch elastic and lace' tab. 

I measured mine to fit my wrist comfortably, left a little extra room for the knot, and cut across the elastic at an angle.  In order to make the knot, keep both ends of the elastic together, and create one knot.  So easy!
For Christmas gifts I snuck a few hairbands into holiday cards that I sent to friends and family. 

As for my own, a (clean) empty candle holder houses all of my hairbands and headbands.  (I have a slight candle obsession, so reusing candle holders is a must!)

Hope you get the chance to try this out, much cheaper than the Anthropologie or Twistband versions, and simple to make!
 
 
I wasn't quite ready to roll out of bed and head to the gym when I woke up this morning (I know can you believe it?)  So instead, I ran through this circuit workout at home.

By breaking this workout into half it really made it fly by.  I completed the full workout 2 times through with the heaviest weights I could handle (8 minutes/9minutes/rest/8 minutes/9 minutes done!)
Here is how the $100 challenge is going-

Sunday:

Breakfast-
Coffee and pineapple
Brunch-
Breakfast tacos:
-sweet potato
-ground beef (taco seasoned)
-scrambled eggs
-homemade pico de gallo
Dinner-
Lettuce wrap tacos:
-leftover taco meat
-pico de gallo
-guacamole (from avocados)
So far so good, but we are only a day in!  On tomorrow's menu?  Pulled pork!
 
 
The challenge is on!  The 7-Day $100 challenge that is.  As a recent follower of the Paleo diet, I am constantly hearing, "it's too expensive to eat that way."  I'm here to set the record straight, and prove that you can follow this diet without leaving a giant dent in your bank account.

Below I have documented my food purchases for the week, totaling up to $104.00 (I lost track at some point, and I'm going for honesty.)  Throughout the week I will recap what I'm cooking each and every meal, and will hopefully prove by the end of the week that it is possible to feed 2 grown adults on $100.
Stay tuned!

Eastern Market

Eastern Market is where the majority of the money went this week.  As far as meat for the week, I purchased;

(1) ham hock
(2) pounds of bacon
(4.5) pounds of pork butt
(4) Italian sausages 
                                                                                                                Total: 30.00

Fruit & Veggie Purchases;
(1) pineapple
(5) apples
(5) bananas
(4) oranges
(5) carrots
(1) red onion
(1) bag romaine lettuce
(1) pomegranate
(1) head cauliflower
(2) heads broccoli
(5) tomatoes
(5) sweet potatoes
(3) cucumbers
(1) celery
(2) bags of spinach
                                    Total: 34.00

Whole Foods

I passed on my favorite Suja juices this week, at $7.00 a pop  they are NOT going to fit into this challenge.  I guess I will have to get out the juicer and create my own mixes this week if the craving hits.

While at WF I made the following purchases;
(3) avocados                        
(1) carton organic chicken broth
(3) cans fire roasted tomatoes
(1) rotisserie chicken
(1) can organic pumpkin puree
                                                                                                                 total: $22.00

Devries

At Devries we got in and got out with our coffee.  No stops at the cheese counter this week...we will meet again after the Whole 30 my delicious Cotswald.

Total: 10.18 (Not included in the food budget for the week)

Rocky's

Rocky's, Rocky's, Rocky's...you da best!   If you haven't been, Rocky's is a bulk store in Eastern Market that has just about anything you could want.  This week we came out with;

(1) pound of almond
(1/2) pound of walnuts
(1/2) dried apricots
(1) pound walnut meal
                                                                                                                Total: 18.00

GRAND TOTAL FOR THE CHALLENGE: $104
(sorry my math was off at some point, but go with me.)
Pictured:
1. organic pumpkin                  
2. organic chicken broth         
3. fire roasted tomatoes          
4. 1 pound coffee                     
5. rotisserie chicken                 
6. 2 bags of spinach                  
7. 5 sweet potatoes                    
8. walnuts, almonds,
walnut meal                             
9. pineapple                               
10. bananas                                
11. pomegranate                        

12. 4 oranges                            
13. 3 avocados                          
14. 5 apples                                
15. 5 roma tomatoes                
16. 2 cartons of eggs                
17. 2 heads broccoli               
18. 5 carrots                              
19. 3 cucumbers                        
20. cauliflower                         
21. romaine lettuce                  
22. celery                                    
Off to prep some food and create some meals, time to get this challenge rolling!

Do you set a food budget for the week?
 
 
Have you ever  washed a pen with your laundry.  Don't do it!  After a late night laundry session (I lead a crazy life) I woke up to all blue splattered workout clothes.  D'oh!

So me and my blue jacket, pants, and socks are heading off to tackle the $100 challenge at Eastern Market. (More on this is a minute)

First, let's take a peak at this morning's eats;

Breakfast this morning was a mish-mash of what we had left in the house.
Eggs. Bacon, and homemade sweet potato fries. It wasn't amazing, but it got the job done.

Breakfast:

So on the Paleo front everything has been going pretty well.  I have been cooking almost all of my meals at home, and haven't had too many crazy cravings.

For this week I decided to challenge myself to a 7-Day $100 challenge to see if it is possible to feed 2 grown adults, 3meals a day, only spending $100 on groceries for the week.   I'll keep you updated on how it's going, and what I am cooking.
Off to Eastern Market now, check in later this afternoon to see what I bought and my food prep for the week.

Adios!
 
 
My thoughts exactly.
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Previous Friday Favorites Posts:

(1)
(2)

What am I loving this week?  Read on to find out...

1. Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo

What would I do without this dry shampoo? 

This is the only brand I have found that does not leave my hair feeling sticky or like it is stiff with product.  This is my go-to for running out the door in the morning, or after a quick workout.
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2. Great Lakes Coffee

Have you tried Great Lakes Coffee?  This Michigan based coffee company makes the BEST coffee around.  Corktown blend is a favorite of Rob's, and I always pick up a bag when it's featured at Eastern Market. 

If you get a chance, check out their Midtown, Detroit location (featured in the pictures below.)  It is a clean, organic space with a barista, full bar, and delicious food options.  I'm hoping to see more locations pop up soon!
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3. Funny Flask Tampons

I picked up a few packs of these 'flasks' to give as gag bachelorette gifts.   Have you ever seen anything like these?  Hilarious!
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4. Ski Season

These pictures are from spring skiing last year in Jackson Hole, WY.  It was so sunny and beautiful, and everything in sight was breath taking.  I have only gotten the chance to ski once so far this year, but I can't wait to get back out there!
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5. Victoria's Secret tunics

I am loving these comfy and casual tunics from Victoria's Secret.  Anything long enough to wear without pants is a win in my book (with leggings of course.) 

The tunic in the last picture is a little gift to myself before our vacation to Florida this April.
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Off to enjoy my Friday night!

What are you loving this week?
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So week 2 has come and gone along with several temptations.  My dad
celebrated his 59th birthday this week, and I could barely stay away from the
carrot cake, chocolate lave cake, chocolate moose tracks ice-cream and all of
the delicious drinks, but somehow I managed to sneak by.  I am still
noticing sugar cravings late at night, but so far I have been able to satisfy
them with snacking on nuts and fruit.

Overall I am still really enjoying the Whole 30 experience, and plan on continuing to follow a primal plan through the end of January.  Starting in February I will be completing a Whole 30 Monday-Friday, and a more lenient plan on the weekend (still primal, but with a few treats and indulgences such as wine, dark chocolate, and some maple syrup or honey sweetened desserts.)  Hey, I gotta live a little!

Incase you missed it, you can find my week 1 recap here!

Browsing Material:

 
 
As promised, here is my (good as the original) recipe for Paleo Split Pea (free) Soup.

Ingredients:
-3 cups of broccoli
-3 cups of cauliflower
-2 cups of chopped carrots
-1 cup of chopped celery
-2 cups (+1/4 cup) organic chicken broth
-1 smoked ham hock
-1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

Step 1:  Boil (or steam) the broccoli and cauliflower until you are able to easily mash it with a fork.

Step 2:  Drain the majority of water from the pot, use either a blender or food
processor to blend the broccoli and cauliflower (use about 1/4 of the hot water from the pan to keep things moving.)  

Step 3: Add all of the blended broccoli/cauliflower mix to your slow cooker, adjust the heat on your slow cooked depending on how long you want to cook it.  If I am at home I will set it to high for 4 hours, if I am leaving it to cook while at work, I will set it on low for about 8 hours.

Step 4: Add in 2 cups of organic chicken broth & the olive oil, stir to mix.
Step 5: Add in 2 cups of chopped carrots, 1 cup of chopped celery, and
the ham hock.

Step 6: Let the soup cook for 4-5 hours (on high) or 6-8 hours (on low.)
Step 7:  Once your soup is fully cooked, remove the ham hock and shred the meat from the bone.  Add the meat back into the soup the additional 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

Step 8:  Give the soup a good stir, and let the soup cook for another 10 minutes.
Enjoy!
 
 
Good Morning, Happy Monday!

This morning at the gym, I wasn't really in the mood to run, join a spin class, or lift weights, so I decided to mix it up with a circuit workout.  This workout kept me entertained, kept my heart rate up, and worked up a sweat.
As for the arm work on 1 leg, , I mixed it up each round with a different exercise.  I changed between shoulder presses, skull crushers, and curls (while balancing on 1 leg on the flat side of the Bosu.)

Paleo Split-Pea (free) Soup

Last night I prepped a new recipe I have been working on; Paleo split pea (free) soup!  Every winter my mom makes large batches of her famous split pea soup, and sends my brother and I home with several soup jars full to freeze and eat later.

I have been missing the taste and warmth of her homemade soups, so I decided I was going to come up with a Paleo-friendly recipe of my own.  I threw everything into the crockpot last night, and woke up to a ready-to-go lunch.

Here is a sneak peak!
(Not the prettiest looking, but it turned out so good!)
Look forward to the full recipe this evening!

Do you have a favorite family recipe to share?  Please do!
 
 
Java java java java, woo coffee!
This morning started with 2 large go-juices, and a good filling breakfast.

We brewed a new coffee this morning, Brew la la Coffee's Organic Vanilla Nut Roast.  It smells AMAZING while brewing, and was just as delicious in the cup.
After getting a little food in my belly, I was ready to head out for a
run.  The weather today is actually much warmer than it has been all week,
so Rob and I headed out to Belle Isle to explore and get an outdoor run in. (I think this is our first outdoor run since the beginning of December, d'oh!)
Oh, hey Canada:)
We got in a good 3 mile run and walked a couple of miles, stopping a few times along the way to snap some pictures. Every time I am on Belle Isle I am amazed that there aren't more people out and about enjoying its beauty.  (Granted today it was a mix between a giant puddle and an ice skating pond.) 

Just recently the state took over Belle Isle, which had been previously owned and operated by the city of Detroit.  I have mixed emotions about this, while it will be nice to have everything fixed-up so that more people can enjoy the island, right now it feels like my own personal playground.  Total we might have run into 3? 4? people today.  Nothing much is open on the island other than the conservatory and aquarium, and everything is pretty much open to explore on your own.

To put it into perspective, Belle Isle (was) the largest city owned park in the nation, larger even than New York City's Central Park.  During the winter months, it does not see much action, other than those looking to run, bike, or members of the DYC.  But, during the summer it is packed with fishers. picnickers, and the occasional large event (think music festivals, Indy races etc.)  So to be out there alone, being able to go 8 straight miles without hardly seeing a soul is a very freeing feeling.
We are back home now and plan on getting in a little food prep before relaxing for the evening.  Look forward to new recipes this week!  I have a lot planned, and quite a few of them are slow-cooker recipes (can't get enough soup and stew like meals during the winter.)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!