Suprising Book Recommendation: Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track

bf cure A few weeks (crap, maybe months. OY!) a blog reader sent me an email after I posted about needing to get my weight loss jump started again. She recommended Jorge Cruise’s The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track and mentioned that she emailed me the recommendation because she didn’t want to write about it in the comments and risk people being critical.

Wait a minute, people being anonymously critical on the internet? THAT NEVER HAPPENS! :)

Well, luckily it doesn’t happen too much around here (LOVE YOU GUYS FOR THAT) but I knew where she was coming from. Especially because my first thought was “UGH. Jorge Cruise? Isn’t he the 8 Minute workout dude? I don’t know about this.”

I am kind of over Info-tainment health people, you know? Nutritionists on Good Morning America, Doctors hosting TV Shows, Celebrity Trainers — OH MAN, don’t even get me started on Dr. Oz. I am 100% NOT a fan, but that is a conversation for another day. Maybe never. Dang, it gets me riled just thinking about it. Anyway, all of that to say: I was a skeptic. But I also love blog-reader recommendations (Seriously. Email me anytime) and so I immediately put it on my Library Hold List like the good little book nerd that I am. No harm, no foul — if I hated it, I would just return it to the library. Win-win.

When I picked it up I was pleased to see that it looked fun: square and spiral bound — almost a mini-binder instead of a book — but it still had Jorge Cruise’s giant picture on it exclaiming we could all lose 14 lbs in 14 days. I mean, listen — I lost 30 lbs in a month when I first started eating Paleo, so I know it can happen, but when a diet-book puts that on it’s cover I am EVEN MORE skeptical. But I began flipping through the glossy pages…

The first thing I found was the foreward was by Christiane Northrup — who I LOVE LOVE LOVE. She’s a doctor who talks about chakras! Rock and roll! Such an awesome combination of women’s health/hippie healing and I love a good advocate like that. I have a bookshelf stocked with her books that have changed my understanding of my own body and I have to admit I was a little surprised to see her addressing what I thought was going to be a gimmicky diet book.

Next, the book delves right into the causes of weight gain and how to avoid it. I expected to read a mix of recommendations encompassing the Eat Less, Move More mentality, but lo and behold the entire first chapter explains simply and succintly that if you want to lose weight, you need to understand how insulin works in your body. Period. He immediately calls out sugar (and even more insidiously) hidden sugars as enemy number one. He doesn’t demonize carboyhdrates, but he does break down how they work in your body, and how they relate to weight gain. I was starting to get on board.

But this is also the chapter where he discusses the concept of “Losing 14 lbs in 14 days” and whether or not it is healthy, and I still wasn’t sure I’d be down with that. Right from the start though, he owns the fact that losing 14 lbs of fat in 14 days is NOT healthy or desirable (or frankly even possible, really.) But he talks about the idea that there are many things involved in weight gain, not only just fat. In this chapter he introduces a concept called “Hidden Belly Fat” that I can totally identified with and understood. He goes on to explain that “Hidden Belly Fat” isn’t really fat but it sure looks like it. (You may know it too — that soft spare tire layer that springs up out of nowhere after a few weeks of eating garbage.) In reality it is a sign of that metabollic disconnect that happens to a lot of people (myself included!) when they don’t keep the insulin/hormone situation in their body in check, and I have to applaud Jorge Cruise for discussing some of the consequences of Metabollic Derangement in such easy to understand terms. I think this is one of the most revolutionary concepts in his book and I was happy to think about it with new analogies. (Sidebar: Stacy from Paleo Parents wrote a great blog post on this exact topic of hidden belly fat, although from a different perspective, that I think is a really worthwhile read.)

The next section is pages and pages of testimonials and pictures of people who have completed the program (he has yet to outline it at this point, but of course all of the results pictures are pretty impressive) and then he finally gets on to outlining what the Fast Track program is based on. I was really intersted to see — would it be an elimination diet, would it be about timing your food intake, would it be more of this “eat 5 small meals a day by properly combining foods” crapola — WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE??? I was very curious at that point. Curious and surprised. Surprised that I was enjoying his voice and that so far all I had done was nod my head at his information and his references.

Speaking of references, each chapter begins with a quote — and when he gets into the section about what to eat — guess what person he choses to quote?

Mark Sisson.

I was floored. Was Jorge Cruise about to espouse eating Paleo? I read on…

Turns out Jorge Cruise is all about an Ancestral Diet. Who knew? (I sure didn’t, clearly.) He leans more towards a Primal approach (including dairy and wine…woo hoo!) but his book outlines very well researched (the appendix at the end is large) nutrition advice that is not only completely sane and unscary or restrictive sounding, but the book also includes meal plans and recipes at the end that look really delicious. And he even talks a little bit about high intensity exercise and why it is such a more effective replacement for chronic cardio, so obviously he got some points for that!

The Belly Fat Cure: Fast Track is smart, easy to understand, and is a new interpretation of Paleo that isn’t so tied to food politics and nutrient density. It’s mostly just a functional weight loss book that doesn’t really espouse any food philosophy, so I think it might appeal to people who are scared off by the words Paleo or Primal but want an easy guide on how to lose weight that also explains how your body works. I’m obviously very pro-Paleo, so I don’t really mind that label, but not everyone is down for that so I think this book could have good mass appeal. I was so happy that I read it and really, really surprised I liked it. Maybe you know someone who might too?

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Fun Food Inspiration

Fun Food Inspiration // Holly Would If She Could

It always surprises me that with the arrival of fall I always feel pulled to get back into the kitchen. Probably the fact that it’s no longer 900 degrees outside and the oven is no longer the enemy has a little something to do with it — Guess that’s no surprise! :) But lately I’ve been pinning up a storm of food inspiration because I’m ready to get back to cooking for pleasure AND for health. WOOT!

Also, Garrett and I have decided to embark on another Whole 30 in September. We’ve been wanting to do one for a while and my friend Karie mentioned doing one recently and September seemed like a month that would work for us. Then of course there was that whole Circus Animal Ice Cream Situation so, you know, it’s probably time. Doing another Whole 30 could be (gasp) FUN!

The Whole 30 always requires planning so the other day I set out to reorganize my Pinterest boards. This is what I do when I have a week off of work…how sad is that? ha! It was so much fun though the entire time I was doing that I just kept thinking “OH DELICIOUS TIME SUCK, I LOVE YOU!” ha

The things we come to think of as luxuries. :)

Anyway, I did a little reshuffling and now my food Pinterest boards are nice and organized! Within them you will find Paleo recipes that fall in three camps:

*Strict Paleo recipes
*Primal recipes that include dairy (we eat dairy on occasion, though obviously not when we are doing a Whole 30) and
*Un-Paleo recipes that are very easy to adapt (ie: I’ll pin a recipe with soy sauce and call it paleo since coconut aminos are a super simple swap.)

******************Also, completely separate, if you are looking for a SUPER strict Paleo board I do have a Whole 30 board full of recipes and inspiration for completing a Whole 30. I plan to keep updating it as I prepare for September’s challenge.*************************

I was so pleased with them when I was finished (Organization FTW!) but I also wanted to share them here because when I deleted my old, giant, disorganized “Tasty Paleo Things” board I noticed there were thousands more people that followed that board than who are now follow the individual board. Maybe you were one of them? If so, or if you are just interested in some fun food inspiration, check out the boards I put together below:

*Paleo Recipes – Chicken
*Paleo Recipes – Beef + Bison
*Paleo Recipes – Pork
*Paleo Recipes – Turkey
*Paleo Recipes – Seafood
*Paleo Recipes – Treats
*Paleo Recipes – Breakfast
*Paleo Recipes – Vegetables
*Paleo Recipes – Soups + Stews
*Paleo Recipes – Bread Like Things
*Paleo Recipes – Condiments, Dressings + Sauces
*Paleo Recipes – Superfoods
*Paleo Recipes – Round Ups

Then let’s get cooking!

PS — You can follow any and all my Pinterest boards here.

Original Photo Source

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Paleo Bread

The world does not lack “Paleo” Cookbooks and lately I have one of two feelings about this:

For one, I think it is so exciting to see awesome glossy photos as inspiration for this way of eating that has truly changed my life. Three years ago when I started down this path, the inspiration was a little bit lackluster. It didn’t feel like having a shelf full of beautiful cookbooks could overlap with a Paleo diet. That has truly changed.

But as with all good things, there comes a bit of a saturation tipping point. And sometimes when I see the Next! Best! Paleo! Cookbook! I’m going to be honest — I get that cynical feeling like “Oh great, another book telling me to wrap bacon around something and pretending it’s a mind blowing idea.”

This is probably not a popular thing to say, and who knows, maybe the cookbooks I receive from publishers may slow down because I say it — but I have to think some of you may feel the same way. I think we are sort of in this tenuous time where the QUANTITY of books available is slightly disproportionate to the QUALITY.  This isn’t something I’m losing sleep over, and I’m certainly not the arbiter of good Paleo taste, so in the big scheme of things, who cares what I think. But I do think it is important to mention because I want you to know when I talk about a cookbook on this website, I am doing it because I appreciate the QUALITY of a cookbook, and not just because I just want to say HEY LOOK, I GOT THIS COOKBOOK TOO!

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.  I feel like we are all friends here, so I want you to know when I tell you about a cookbook I really enjoy (or anything else for that matter)  I want you to know that I mean it.


Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry  just recently came out, and it is blowing up the internet right now. But here’s the thing: Elana Amsterdam has been making Paleo Cooking look cool even before it was cool. In fact, the first grain free cookbook I ever bought was her Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook and when it showed up at my house I just remember sighing with relief. I could enjoy a slice of bread still! I could bake a tart! Gorgeous birthday cakes were at my fingertips without being full of crappy gluten and ridiculous amounts of sugar.

That sigh, of course, was because back then I thought Paleo was 100% or NOTHING, and while I have loosened up on those percentages, I still so appreciate the idea of  gorgeous food inspiration and dishes you once loved —  without the grains.

Amst_Paleo Cooking from Elanas Pantry


This is why, when I heard Elana was writing a Paleo cookbook I was ECSTATIC and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, instead of furrowing my brow and thinking “ho-hum, will these be more bacon wrapped recipes?” She makes very simple, delicious food that is incredibly accessible. And on a completely superficial note – I just love the way her cookbooks look and feel in my hands. They are square-ish, soft covered and with clean design and nice photos. It’s a cookbook you want to look at and use and it fits neatly in any kitchen cupboard. Also, her ice cream recipes are what helped me rationalize my recent ice cream maker purchase. Thanks, Elana! :)

OBVIOUSLY I was game to talk about it on the blog but I just want to be clear with my disclosure: I was provided a free copy and one to giveaway, but was in no way obligated to write post about it. All opinions are my own and no one is compensating me to give them  (although the Amazon link to her cookbook is an affiliate one. Thank you contributing to the coconut milk fund in our household. You are singlehandedly fueling our Paleo Ice Cream addiction.  OHMAHGAWD YUM!)

The Giveaway

If you are interested in owning this cookbook (and as you can tell, I think you should be:)) Ten Speed Press is giving away one copy to one of my readers.

  • This giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 and older.
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post telling me what your favorite flavor of ice cream is — or anything else you feel like, frankly.
  • One entry per person
  • The giveaway begins today June 20, 2013 and ends on June 24, 2013 at 12:00 am pacific time.

No purchase is necessary.  Odds of winning are based on the number of entries.  The winners will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email.  The winners will have 24 hours to respond.  If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen.

The Paleo Bread Recipe

I thought I would share Elana’s recipe for Paleo Bread. Don’t you just want to toast this and slather it with Kerrygold?  Meeeeeee toooooooo!PCEP Paleo Bread image p 35

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Makes 1 Loaf (12 slices)
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup golden flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 7 by 3-inch loaf pan with coconut oil.
  3. In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the eggs, coconut oil, honey, and vinegar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  6. Let the bread cool in the pan for 1 hour, then serve.


Happy cooking!

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5 Things To Do With: ZUCCHINI

5 Things To Do With Zucchini // Holly Would If She Could

There is nothing better than summer zucchini. Nothing, I tell ya.

I mentioned on my Summer Bucket List that I need to work on not being depressed about our lack of garden this year, so part of my solution to that is buying COPIOUS amounts of zucchini at our farmers market.

And here is what I’m planning to do with it:

1. Make a Lasagna

Paleo Lasagna from Eat Drink Paleo

Paleo Zucchini Lasagna

I love a good zucchini noodle, and it is surprisingly delicious to make a lasagna without pasta! If you do well with dairy, you can DEFINITELY work in some cheesiness. If not, it is still really really awesome. And the smugness you get from eating a mostly vegetable dinner? AMAZING. :)

2. Make Zucchini Boats with Bacon Gremolata

Zucchini Boats with Bacon Gremolata from BHG

Zucchini Boats

I’ve avoided making a gremolata mostly because the name bugs me. Look, I don’t always make sense, ok? But gremolata just sounds a little bit gross. But bacon makes everything better, yes? Gremolata included, I think.

3. Make Chocolate Muffins Healthier

Chocolate Zucchini Paleo Muffins from Fresh for Five

chocolate muffins

This looks way more fun than your standard zucchini bread, right????

4. Make Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Paleo Pasta from Multiply Delicious

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Vegetable noodles are THE BOMB, you guys. I mean look, no one is ever going to convince me that spaghetti squash tastes like pasta, so I’m not trying to tell you that zucchini tastes just like spaghetti — but zucchini is freaking delicious! And throwing some other fun stuff together in a bowl completely increases both the yum and comfort factor.

5. Make Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes from Project Granola Mom

Zucchini -Pancakes

We at these ALL. SUMMER. LONG. last year and as a matter of fact, I don’t know why we stopped. I am going to rectify this soon.


Need even more inspiration?

*My friend Sarah recently posted her zucchini boat method
*I can show you the UGLIEST way ever to prep zucchini
*AndreAnna makes a mean zucchini garlic hummus

So tell me…what is YOUR favorite way to use up zucchini?

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Easy Detox Mocktail


Can I confess something? I don’t really love the word detox. It sounds like this magical transition that you can achieve by drinking some special tonic and well, the human body is so much more complicated than that! But Easy Summer Drink That’s An Alternative to Plain Water That Isn’t Full of Sugar Artificial and Otherwise That Can Also Help Support Some of Your Major Organs just didn’t have the same ring to it, so…Detox, it is!

A friend mentioned the combination on facebook the other day and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I mixed myself a glass and was completely sold. It’s tart, refreshing and kind of makes you want to drink it with your pinky in the air — which I can’t always say about a glass of ice water. See how easily influenced I am? Glad she wasn’t drinking a bourbon milkshake or it would have been straight to the liquor cabinet. :) Juuuuust kidding. OR AM I?

Anyway, here’s the method if you would like to try one for yourself:

Easy Detox Mocktail
  • 12-16 ounces of Ice Water
  • The Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 oz of Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Organic Ginger Juice
  • A Few Pinches of Cayenne Pepper
  1. Fill glass with ice water
  2. Add Juice of 1 Lemon
  3. Add Cranberry and Ginger Juice
  4. Add Cayenne
  5. Stir!

See? Totally NOT rocket science. Yet equally impressive, I’m sure. :)

I like the Ginger People Ginger Juice (in my grocery store it’s sold by the vinegars) and make sure to buy the UNsweetened cranberry juice. It’s very easy to find but somewhat expensive as far as juice goes, but it will last A LONG TIME because you just use the tiniest bit!

Ginger is full of anti-inflammatory compounds, lemon supports digestion and liver function, cranberry helps out your kidneys and lymphatic system and cayenne promotes healthy circulation. But let’s not get too academic about all of this — it is also just beautiful, delicious and easy to make and because it is basically a giant glass of fancy water (try it with sparkling water, too — YUM!) A little Cran-Raspberry La Croix action? AHHHH-MAZYING!

It’s very simple, and it’s a bit of a play on Liz Wolfe’s Skin Care Beverage that she recommends in The Skintervention Guide (GREAT read, by the way!) and something to shake up your everyday water drinking. If you enjoy it, let me know.

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Q2 Check In // Staying Inspired + The Primal Life Kit

You guys, it is already April. How the heck did that happen? I feel like we just set some 2013 goals and already we are down one quarter of the year. I’ve been talking a lot lately about how I’m feeling out of sorts and so when I woke up yesterday morning I was determined to get re-inspired and re-energized. Enough was enough, it was time to get the train back on track!

This might sound silly, but for or me, the quickest way to turn my frown upside down is to learn something new. The act of feeding my brain new information often jump starts my creativity, which always has a positive trickle-down effect on my attitude and accomplishments. So as I was drinking my morning coffee, I flipped through The Science of Good Cooking. I don’t have hours to experiment in my kitchen right now, but I figured I’d just stockpile that info for later, which got me excited for the next time I do have a spare second.

Then at work today I caught up on some episodes of the Balanced Bites Podcast. What I love about that podcast is that it isn’t dogmatic at all, and it’s mostly just FULL of useful information. I get a lot of great suggestions and “crazy” ideas from that podcast because they talk about things in such a casual way that it is actually really easy to understand. Seeking out a little bit of new information already has my brain spinning, my synapses firing, and I’m starting to feel more like myself.

Curiosity: It works every time.
Plutarch Quote

On the off chance that you are similar What Am I Doing/Where Is Time Going kind of place, I wanted to share something that my friends over at Paleo Plan have put together. I know these bundle sales show up everywhere at the same time and sometimes that can be a turn off, but you guys know I don’t write here to sell tupperware and shit, so let me tell you why I wanted to participate.

I met Neely of Paleo Plan back in September when I was in Colorado speaking and I always love when a new post pops up over there. She is a smart cookie, has a really fresh perspective and a no apologies attitude about healthy living IN REALITY. I love that about her! And she has gathered an awesome bundle of information that may snap you right out of that second quarter funk. Or if you aren’t in a funk, the information (and OMG the discounts!) will totally make your day, I promise. Retail therapy FOR THE WIN, Alex!

Introducing The Primal Life Kit: 30 Products and 8 Discounts for $39

What’s The Primal Life Kit?

So…what the heck is included? Well, I’m glad you asked. When you purchase the $39 Primal Life Kit, you get $485 worth of the most popular and life-changing Primal and Paleo products. There are a ton of useful tools and resources, not to mention great food for thought. Here is a small list of what’s included:

  • 22 ebooks
  • 2 meal plans
  • 3 magazine subscriptions
  • 2 fitness programs
  • 1 short audio book
  • and 8 discount codes

As you know, with bundles like these, you are getting a serious bargain. All of the materials are being sold at more than 90% off their original retail value for one week only – April 2 through April 9!

Specifically included in this awesome bundle is a meal plan made by Primal Blueprint, a recipe ebook from Bill and Hayley over at, a fitness program by Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo, and a subscription to Paleo Magazine, among many other awesome products. If you have been bopping around the Paleo Blogosphere for any amount of time, you know these people really know their stuff.

(Sidenote for my mom: All the ebooks are in pdf format, so you can read them on your computer or the e-reader of your choice. :))

Here’s the full list of what you’ll get when you purchase this bundle:

This $39 kit will give you all the tools you need to eat, cook, work out, and live Primally.

12 Recipe and Meal Planning eBooks


4 Autoimmune and PCOS eBooks


5 Informational and How-To eBooks


2 Meal Plans

  • 6-week Paleo Meal Plan – 1 free 6-Week Paleo Meal Plan from Paleoista, by Nell Stephenson (author of Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat and co-author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook) at ($59)


2 Fitness Programs


3 Magazines (Online Subscriptions)

  • Paleo Magazine – Free 6-month online subscription (3 issues) and access to all back issues ($29)


2 Bonuses


8 Discounts

  • Primal Life Organics – 20% off organic, Paleo, gluten-free, vegan skincare products, hair care products, and deodorant until May 1st, 2013
  • Squatty Potty – 15% off all products through April and 10% for the rest of 2013.
  • Sport Journals – 20% off WODbooks (for recording your workouts) until May 11, 2013


It’s a retail value $485 (and not in a sleazy infomercial kind of way) for just $39.


That’s normally the price of just one or two of these products! I bought it for myself just for the Primal Life Organics discount, I mean HELLO!  haha I’ve raved about many of these products already right here on this blog (ahem Well Fed ahem) and what excites me a ton is the opportunity to balance some of the food stuff with FITNESS STUFF! You know I love my CrossFit gym, but I get that not everyone wants to pay that kind of money. Here is a GREAT opportunity to get not only meal plans, recipes and info — but also WORKOUTS! (And WODbooks! I’m so excited about WODbooks!) Ok, I’ll stop now. :)

But seriously: GET THIS STUFF!

*When you click here to purchase the kit, you’ll be sent an email with a link to all of the downloadable products, as well as the coupon codes for all of the discounted products.

NOTE: It goes without saying, but since The Law requires me to, these are affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting this website of mine if you do purchase all of this awesome stuff! Due to the short duration of this sale, there will be no refunds. These products are downloadable ebooks, online magazine subscriptions, and discount codes. You will not be shipped any physical goods with your purchase of the Primal Life Kit. Please contact with any questions about the Primal Life Kit.

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Random Things I Learned From The Everyday Paleo Seminar

Cooking demo this morning with @everydaypaleo over at @arcfit

On Saturday I spent most of the day at the Everyday Paleo Seminar that my gym hosted listening to Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib speak about the science behind Paleo and real life strategies for incorporating it into your life. Since I’ve embraced Paleo living for almost 3 years now I wasn’t expecting to go in and have my mind blown, but I was hoping to get a little re-energized.

For about 6 months I’ve been feeling stuck, health wise. I guess you could say I’ve been in a little bit of a rut. Mostly, to me, this means that I am making less forward progress than I would like and instead am doing more floundering than usual. But every time I start to feel upset with myself about all the floundering I’m doing, I think of this:


This is so true, right?

When I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels I try to realize that it is all a part of the process and then I just look for an opportunity to re-energize myself to move forward. This seminar really helped me do that.

It is a pretty great introduction to Paleo if you are not super familiar with it, but like I said, I already came pretty armed with the basics. I did write down a few notes and found myself evaluating a things I could do a little differently moving forward so I thought I’d share my random list of things that made me say “Oh, really?” This isn’t chronological in any way, or even good cliffs notes, but rather just a few facts I learned and bullets that got me thinking:

*I should to get back to my Vitamin D supplement
I used to be super good about this and then I got a little lazy. It’s pretty important though, so I’ll probably start supplementing again. I’m actually mostly anti-supplements (unless they are targeted and temporary), but this is an exception – and the dosage I used to take was recommended by my Naturopath so it wasn’t arbitrary. Jason recommended Liquid Vitamin D drops as the bio-availability is far superior.

*Chicken/Pork and Turkey are slightly higher in Omega 6s than Beef & Seafood
I thought this was interesting. Their recommendation for the best protein sources were good beef and wild caught cold water fish. Of course they weren’t saying ONLY eat those two things, but to just consider that when selecting your variety.

*Selenium makes the Mercury in fish inert
This was kind of a fun fact too, I thought. If you are getting enough selenium, you really don’t need to be fraught with worry about mercury in your fish.

*Focus on Fat Loss and not Weight Loss
I’ve mentioned this sentiment numerous times here but the more I hear it, the more I want to pump my fist in the air when people say it. And Jason walked through the science of why lifting weights is so good for your body and why “cardio” does a lot more harm than good when it comes to getting healthy. Of course I can’t explain it in an articulate way, but it did make me feel a little more energized to lift.

*Skinny is not the opposite of fat. Healthy is the opposite of fat. Healthy is also the opposite of skinny.
Pursue health over aesthetics and the aesthetics will come.

*You can eat super clean and work out really hard but if you are not managing stress and getting good sleep, none of it matters
This was especially powerful for me to hear. It is something I know, and something that I have worked hard on in the past (especially getting good sleep — and now I’m a pro! haha) but definitely with this new job I need to make sure I am keeping my stress in check! Jason recommended this book and I ordered it from Amazon while I was still at the seminar. I love technology!


So, like I said — not great cliffs notes or anything, but just a few of the things I left thinking about. It’s nice to get re-energized about your health and this definitely gave me some new food for thought. It’s nice to be thinking about some of this stuff again.

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4 Recipes / 3 TV Shows / 2 Movies / 1 Book

4 Recipes

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

I’ve discovered some keepers lately and thought I would share the inspiration.

Chicken Marbella sent to me by Bethany (one of my favorite people on the internet!) because she knows I love a good chicken recipe.

Caveman Crunch (AKA PALEO CRACK) passed on my friend Heather. Such a delicious little snack to have on hand. A little bit dangerous, but also incredibly portable.

Green Goddess Cauliflower Rice Tara left this link as a comment on my 5 Things To Do With: Cauliflower post. It’s the bomb! Really easy and creative.

Easy Raspberry Chipotle Sauce I don’t remember how I came across this one, but I’m glad I did. I’m getting really excited for grilling season so I can reinvigorate my grilled chicken thigh obsession.

3 TV Shows


Dateline – I am having a Dateline Renaissance (I was a big fan in the Stone (fox) Phillips/Jane Pauley days and I have watched it a lot through the years, but recently the new Datelines have become my favorite part of my weekend ritual. (I blame my coworker Kelly!) I love a good true crime story and they actually do a good job on their Facebook page of teasing the mystery all week so I really enjoy curling up on the couch on Friday nights and decompressing with a mystery. Add this to the reasons why I am becoming a senior citizen, but I DON’T CARE!

Dawson’s Creek – The Venn Diagram overlap of TV that both Garrett and I want to watch is, well…not large. We’ve had fun making our way through old series shows on Netflix together and a few months back I mentioned Dawson’s Creek. He hardly remembered it which shocked me, but when we watched the pilot I realized why: this is kind of a chick show and it came out during Garrett’s high school years when he was doing god knows what, but clearly not getting wrapped up in angsty, over-wrought teen drama. But something about the first episode clicked for both of us: 90s nostalgia, celebrities before they were famous, and yeah…a little bit of the teen angst. And we have been hooked and watching together ever since.

House of Cards – So I’m not actually watching this. Yet. But I am highly intrigued by the idea of a show made specifically by Netflix to be consumed all at once. Media Binging is the future, apparently, and I’m just curious to see what happens with this show from a sociological perspective. Are you watching it?

2 Movies

Queen of Versailles

The Queen of Versailles – This documentary was simultaneously inspiring and Really Effing Depressing all at once. It’s interesting and obnoxious and completely riveting from start to finish.

Pitch Perfect
Pitch Perfect – I asked Garrett if he wanted to watch this with me and he was like “No thanks. Have fun Glee-ing it up on your own. I’ll be killing zombies if you need me.” But after about 15 minutes of overhearing me snort with laughter he got curious. We ended up watching the whole movie together and seriously, it was riot. It’s kind of an oddball genre, part dark humor, part family style comedy, part musical? I mean, labeling it would be a challenge. But it’s hilarious and I highly recommend it.

1 Book

dark places Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Poor Gillian Flynn. Every book she writes from now on is going to have to answer to the question of “Will this scratch the Gone Girl itch?” I mean yes, there are worse questions to be asked than “Will this book be as good as your completely awesome page turning book of Summer 2012?” but I do feel like she set the bar pretty high for creepy, smart thrillers. The good news though, this one totally lived up to it. It was actually written before Gone Girl (along with Sharp Objects, which I liked, but to me wasn’t quite as good as the other two) but honestly if you are into this genre, READ THIS. Time will fly by and you won’t even notice because your nose will be perpetually stuck in the book until it’s finished.

Extra Credit Reading:

**Gillian Flynn talks about the ending of Gone Girl
**Gillian Flynn on how she writes

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Paleo Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites

Paleo Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites

I’ve been wanting to post a treat for a while but with so many doing the Whole 30 it seemed like it would be kind of a jerk move. But now that it’s over…BRING ON THE TREATS! Ok, let’s not go HOG WILD, but this one is worth a share. I made these for my CrossFit buddies and they got rave reviews, so then I tried them again at Super Bowl and they are a keeper.

I got the inspiration from the Best Damn Brownie Recipe over at WOD Fuel, made a few tweaks and then turned it into Brownie Bites because, for me, having an entire tray of brownies sitting around is DANGEROUS. (Pass me a fork!) But having “bites” around force me to have a little more self control.

*Note: I said A LITTLE. :)

Anyway, super simple ingredients and method. Try them the next time you are craving a sweet treat! With only half a cup of honey for about 20 servings, it’s not too crazy.

Paleo Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites 2

5.0 from 2 reviews
Paleo Chocolate Chunk Brownie Bites
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 ounces 50% or higher Dark Chocolate, broken into squares
  • ½ Cup Ghee
  • ½ Cup Honey
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup Almond Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3.5 ounces 70% or higher Dark Chocolate, chopped into chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a mini muffin pan
  2. In a microwave safe dish, melt your ghee with the first 3 oz of dark chocolate squares until just melted.
  3. Stir honey into the chocolate/ghee mixture
  4. Stir in the beaten eggs along with the almond flour, vanilla and sea salt and mix until smooth
  5. Fold the chunked chocolate into the batter
  6. Scoop batter into the muffin pan filling each with a little over a Tablespoon of batter
  7. Bake for 17-19 minutes
  8. Cool for 15 minutes and serve
  9. Store in the refrigerator before serving if you prefer harder brownies, leave out if you prefer softer
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5 Things To Do With: SPINACH

5 Things To Do With Spinach // Holly Would If She Could

I was going to start this post by saying that I am not a huge fan of spinach, but that’s not 100% true. If this website was called into evidence, it would obviously reveal that I do like spinach salad covered in warm bacon dressing. I mean, duh. Also, I don’t think they let you even HAVE a blog these days if you don’t have a recipe for a green smoothie that you endorse, so there is always that. I finally developed a taste for warm spinach in a breakfast casserole and then I branched out to eating it in a dinner appropriate egg dish that, while delicious, is ugly as sin.

(Oh man, Joe’s Special is just so darn ugly. But you all, it has helped me embrace TWO ingredients I don’t normally love – spinach AND mushrooms. WHAT? I’m convinced it’s a Miracle Food. A really ugly Miracle Food.)

Anyway, the fact is though, my brain always defaults to thinking about how I can “hide” the spinach. Maybe you can love a side dish of sauteed spinach, but I have to be honest, it makes me feel like I’m eating wilted grass. I just can. not. abide. So I hide! And now I’ve made a spinach poem. We may be at an all time low here, you all. If you are a hider too (no need to be a poet) here are my 5 favorite ways to get some spinach in your meal without it having to be the main act:

1. Stuff It In A Muffin

Meat and Spinach Muffins (from The Clothes Make The Girl)
Meat Spinach Muffins - The Clothes Make The Girl dot Com

This recipe is a gem (as is Mel’s cookbook Well Fed) and I love the novelty of having a muffin that isn’t overly eggy and is packed with a protein/veggie punch.

2. Add It To A Soup

Paleo Stracciatella (from Goddess Lifestyle Plan)
Paleo Stracciatella

Recently my mom made me a batch of chicken soup and she just happened to throw in spinach because she had some…BRILLIANT! This led me down a rabbit hold of spinach-type soups and I found this recipe for Paleo Stracciatella which looks delicious!

3. Prep A New Pesto

Lemon Thyme Chive Spinach Pesto (from Caveman Connoisseur)

lemon thyme spinach pesto

Such a versatile and verdant little change up, right? I can’t wait to try this. I may substitute something for the pecorino, or find some raw parmesan, but regardless this will be making its way on to my menu soon.

4. Change Up Your Chimichurri

Grilled Skirt Steak with Spinach Chimichurri (from Cooking In Red Socks)


Grilling season is right around the corner and Chimichurri is one of my favorite toppers for grilled meat and vegetables. How about getting creative and working in some greens?

5. Mix It Into A Burger

Turkey Spanikopita Burgers (from Tastebook)

spanikopita burger

This is in pretty regular rotation at our house, sometimes with raw feta, sometimes without and let me tell you it is delicious either way! Definitely worth trying, and if you serve it over a bed of raw spinach: EXTRA CREDIT! :)


What’s your favorite way to hide spinach? Have a good recipe? Don’t forget to share!


Original Spinach Image Source


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