Getting Back in The Groove. March 25 2015

It's late March and we decided to start another Whole30. Life has taken over and I have been immersed in work for months now. I'll admit, I'm a total all or nothing person so when I make up my mind I go full throttle and most of the time it includes encouraging (making) all those around me join in on the fun (torture :) ), including the kids. This means - I don't typically wait until Mondays or the beginning of a month to start anything.  I just do it right away. I hate doing things half-assed and I despise when I feel my body isn't performing at 110% which is the way I've been feeling it was time to take the plunge to embark on my 3rd Whole30.  

For those not familiar with what a Whole30 is, please check out the amazing Whole30 site.  In layman's terms, this is a way to hit the reset button on your body.  It's a 30 day whole foods-eating plan nixing things such as sugar, processed foods, dairy, legumes, beans, grains and processed oils. Now, I typically eat this way but I have allowed myself to eat a little too many paleo-fied potato chips, gluten free pizzas, enjoy life chocolate chips and at times drink a little more alcohol than I'd like to admit. Lets just say I haven't eaten as clean as I'd like and my body was starting to give me signs it was time to hit that reset button.

Whole30s are not difficult if you follow a clean eating plan already.  However, if you eat a typical American diet this plan can be killer - but let me tell you one thing: you'll be glad you did it when you finish! Since we changed our eating lifestyle 2 years ago I have encouraged many people to try both a Whole30 and 21 Day Sugar Detox.  I have to say, not one person I encouraged through these programs have ended their program hating me for encouraging them! They have lost weight and inches, gained confidence, annihilated their cravings and reset their bodies and their taste buds. Some have cured illnesses they couldn't get rid of - some have even completed both programs multiple times and have reaped many heath benefits from sticking to the lifestyle.  Either way it's not necessary to apply this lifestyle 100% of the time (after the 30 days)- there is no sense in feeling deprived. That won't encourage anyone to stick to it - because that's no fun!  I however choose not to eat foods that don't make me feel great after eating them and trust me I've done lots of test runs on those foods and each time the end result isn't pretty. I don't eat gluten, beans, legumes or processed pre-packaged foods. Life is about moderation and listening to your bodies, I have learned to understand which foods my body needs me to stay away from and if you know me - you'll know I'm pretty strict about sticking to that.  I just don't like feeling tired after a meal or having a gluten baby (side affect of eating gluten and having your stomach swell making you look like you are 6 months preggos) for days on end.
If you need some food inspiration here are a few recipes I made this week: Breakfast Turkey Frittata and Chicken Fajitas Cabbage Salad. 

On top of the Whole30 I plan on working out a few days a week with Yoga in the mix as well.  I have been so busy with work that I've allowed myself to neglected this little aspect as well - and I'm craving some serious butt-whooping workouts!

Are you all familiar with these programs or follow a killer workout routine you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear from you! If you need recipe planning ideas follow my Whole30 board on Pinterest or check out Stupid Easy Paleo for some recipe ideas. 

Stay Healthy, Love Life & Honor Your Bodies.


Food Friday: The Perfect Paleo Taco January 27 2015

If you follow me on Instagram you are well aware of my love for tacos. I mean growing up in California spurred an affinity for this amazing Mexican street food, but since making the switch to Paleo most traditional Mexican dishes are a no-no. Well, in an effort to continue my love for Mexican food while sticking to my lifestyle, I play around with recipes - and I gotta say, I have perfected my Paleo friendly carnitas tacos. I will go as far as to say that everyone that has tried my Paleo carnitas tacos (whether they are Paleo or not) have loved every second of them. I can send you letters of raves reviews if you'd like :) They either love them OR I have super polite family and friends. I will however give major props to Simone over at Zen Belly for her amazing plantain tortillas.

So between my carnitas, Zen Belly's Plantain Tortillas topped with my awesome cabbage salad and guac on top of that, you got yourself the perfect Paleo friendly taco!! Enjoy...and if you happen to make them, hashtag me on Instagram at #kaiyadesigns. I'd love to see your deliciousness.

Super Awesome Carnitas:
Whole Foods Bone-in Pork Butt
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
3 scallions
1tsp salt (actually I suck at measuring my spices I always eyeball. I say flavor to taste)
1tsp pepper
1tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
3 tbs bacon grease

Instructions: slice, chop and mince onions and garlic. Place bacon grease in a large deepish pan or pressure cooker if you have one. Wait until it melts, add onions, garlic and spices, sauté. Get your pork, wash it off with cold water, and pat dry. When you buy your pork it should be a largish roast-looking thing. If they cannot cut it into cubes for you at the butcher, cut it into medium size chunks. Add all pork to pot/pressure cooker with the bone. Make sure you stir and get all the onions and garlic all over it. When it's seared on all sides you can transfer all of this into a crockpot on low for 8 hours. OR if you have a pressure cooker, cover and keep it in there on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes. After it's done, transfer all the meat to a large bowl, grab two forks and start shredding it. You can keep some of the juice and put it back with the meat to add some nice juiciness to the dish.

How to build your taco: tortilla, carnitas, cabbage salald, guac or a sliced avocado and hot sauce.

That's it ya'll - enjoy!


Food Friday: Oven Roasted Citrus Chicken September 19 2014

When it comes to food, I tend to stick to quick, easy and (hopefully) yummy.

Each week, I make a variation of a family favorite -whole chicken roasted in the oven.

On Tuesday, I decided to pop this guy into the oven and left for yoga. Needless to say I came home to a half eaten bird and no after picture for you guys! Just take my word for it, this recipe is easy and tasty. And depending on how many people you are feeding you'll have some leftovers. These left overs taste great in a salad. Save the bones can make homemade bone broth with them (I'll post a recipe on that later).

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What you need:

Whole Organic Chicken
3 limes
1 orange
Borsari seasoning (sold at Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons of bacon grease

The following steps will require you to touch raw chicken - FYI.

What you do:
•Preheat oven to 425 on bake
•Melt the bacon grease and pour over chicken (get it everywhere- even inside)
•Squeeze the limes and orange over the entire chicken even inside.
•Season the bird with the Borsari evenly. Yes- you got it...even inside.
•Cover with foil and place in oven.
•Set oven for 35 minutes. After the 35 mins are up you will flip and baste the chicken - cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Once that's up - uncover and cook on each side for 15 minutes.

You can skip the oven step and just add to your crockpot. Set it on low for 8 hours.



Food Friday: Spaghetti Squash Bolognese September 12 2014

Howdy Peeps!

So, I have to admit. There aren't many things I "miss" in terms of food since going Paleo.  However, there is one thing I loved and sometimes miss every once in a while - PASTA!  I'm not sure if it's so much the pasta itself, but more the comforting taste of good bolognese sauce. Since I love me some good hearty sauce, I decided to take a stab at my own paleo-friendly pasta rendition and this is what I came up with. Best part of this recipe is I have found a way to hide veggies from my <del datetime="2014-09-12T03:40:21+00:00">husbands</del> kids in the sauce - it doesn't change the taste of it at all either...which is great!

For the "Pasta":
1 large spaghetti squash.  Cut the ends off, then cut in half.  Scoop the seeds out and add a little EVOO to each half. Place in oven, skin side up, for 40 minutes at 420 Degrees. When it's done, remove from oven and allow it to cool. Once cooled, scoop out the squash and transfer to a large bowl or directly to the plate you are eating out of in equal portions.

For the Sauce:
1/2 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 package mild italian chicken sausage ( I use Greenwise from Publix)
1 package of ground chicken (I use Greenwise from Publix)
5 slices of bacon
3 cups of raw baby spinach
1/2 head of cauliflower
3 carrots
1.5 jars of Monte Bene Farm Fresh Pasta Sauce the tomatoe basil kind ( I buy it at Whole Foods)

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1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

Mince garlic and onions. In large pot, heat up 3 tablespoons of EVOO in medium heat,  add bacon to heated EVOO. Let the bacon cook through but not get crunchy...and add the garlic and onions.  Once the onions have cooked add the sausage. Brown the sausage on all sides. When browned, remove from pot and slice up into 1/2 slices. Add ground chicken to pot while you cut the sausage up. Once sausage is cut up, add it back to the pot to cook through.  In a food processor, process your carrots, cauliflower and spinach, all separately and only until finely chopped up. When the chicken/sausages have cooked through, add the veggies. Stir the veggies around until evenly mixed in pot.  Add the pasta sauce and stir.  Cover and set stove to low. Let it cook until the oven beeps telling and your squash is ready.   

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While both squash and sauce are hot scoop as much as you want on top of your spaghetti squash and that's it! You can top it with cheese and voila!! You are ready to enjoy some paleo-friendly "pasta" bolognese!

I apparently was so hungry when this was done that I forgot to take a picture of my finished product.  So here is a picture of my leftovers the next day (which taste amazing by the way).  Doesn't look very pretty but I promise it taste very yummy!!

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If you make this, or any of my recipes, please tag me in pictures! I'd love to see your yumminess!












Food Friday: Two-Minute Pancakes September 05 2014

Howdy Y'all!!

So happy it's Friday I cannot even stand it! I have to say thank you to everyone that took advantage of the KD apparel SALE! I had a wonderful time meeting so many new people, and getting to meet so many of you through my Skype and FaceTime cyber-shopping sessions. It was fun to be able to take advantage of technology and have the ability to give you a little bit of the Kaiya Designs studio experience. I sincerely appreciate your support and business.

This week, and every week really since school started, mornings are cray-cray. I try to expedite the process by making breakfast that is quick, nutritious (always paleo) and will provide my two kids with full bellies until lunch rolls around (well mostly for my 2nd grader...Max just eats every second of his life).

Here is my go-to recipe for quick, easy and super yummy pancakes that my kids devour! Max loves them so much he is known to eat 6 at a time. I honestly don't feel bad since they are literally all made of clean ingredients. Best part, you can double the recipe and A. freezer them, and thaw as needed or B. freeze half and put half in the fridge. Either way, you can't go wrong with these badboys...unless you HATE bananas!

Two Minute Pancake Recipe:

3 eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 baking soda
3 tbsp coconut flour
coconut oil for greasing griddle.

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I put the eggs and bananas in a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Then I add all other ingredients and that's it. I grab a tablespoon and I spoon 1 spoonful at a time onto a hot greased griddle ( this is the griddle I use). Then I get the bottom of the spoon and spread out the mixture to spread them out evenly. I can fit a good amount of my griddle which literally saves a ton of time.
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I love making these with my little guy. He's a little obsessed with helping "mama" out in the kitchen...and eating as we cook. Best sous chef ever!

I hope you enjoy them, and they help expedite your breakfast...oh and if you add enjoy life chocolate chips to each pancake, they are even yummier :) A side of bacon, eggs and fruit of choice and your and your littles are good to go.

If you make these, let me know how they come out! Would love to hear from you guys.


The Prepping Game! April 14 2014

Howdy Peeps!

This weekend was filled with relaxation followed by rapid preparation.  I know, kind of confusing right? Well this is the thing, I vowed to relax and enjoy the kids on Saturday, well all weekend really.  Playing UNO, lounging by the pool, doing a little swimming…just some good ol’ fashioned family-fun! While the kids swam with Dad this momma chillaxed outside and took a nap.  You know when the Masters (or any golf for that matter) is on TV at my house, a nap is gonna happen. Nothing makes me fall asleep quicker than golf does.  No offense to the sport, seriously. I blame it on the lack of verbal excitement.  These guys could literally be kicking some a$@ out there and you wouldn’t know…the announcers' voices are so smooth and quiet they rock you to sleep. Ok, they rock ME to sleep. Either way, this momma admittedly napped and trust me, I needed it! I have been waking up almost every single morning at 4 am (after falling asleep past midnight), and if you know me, you know that once my sleep gets interrupted it is O V E R! So that little snooze felt pretty much ahmazing!! photo (25)Lets just say, I woke up happy, productive and eager to get myself/family organized so that I can enjoy more moments with my littles.  It’s crazy how resetting my clock and feeling renewed and refreshed can do that to me.  I will admit, once the kids went to bed I stayed up and worked.  There are so many aspects of my business (any business when you are self-employed really) that have to get done on a daily basis.  I am not quite at the point just yet where I could put my work on hold 100% on the weekends because if I do, I will fall behind.  So, I worked and prepared myself for the next day and fell asleep prepared and ready to tackle the next day and week ahead.

Sunday we dubbed preparation day. Whether it would be by preparing food or for work it would get done and good to go on Sundays from here on out. I will gladly post all my recipes for you all to have. Who knows, it might help you better plan for your week ahead so you too wont feel like you are drowning on certain days.

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I have to say, since going Paleo my time spent in the kitchen is long and exhausting. There are no convenience foods in Paleo.  You have to make snacks and all meals from scratch. Not exactly easy when you have a full-time job and two very hungry kids.  There are days when I feel like I have spent my entire day in the kitchen. Not only cooking, but cleaning for hours (nothing frustrates me more than a dirty kitchen/home). I decided that in order to make my life 110% easier I would get back on my schedule of prepping for my week on Sunday. Weekly groceries and menus would get done, the food would be made and things would start to run in an orderly fashion. I figured if If I just whip up the waffles, muffins, breads and pancakes for the week I would save myself a TON of time every other day of the week. This is time I can concentrate entirely on hanging with the kids or getting work done for that day.

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So for me, the baking frenzy is going to be the way to go on Sundays. I will admit, I don’t love to bake.  I am very impatient about it.  For one, when I cook I don’t measure or calculate. I eyeball everything.  Even when recipes call for specific measurements I typically do my own thing.  For those of you who are baking aficionados you know this doesn’t exactly work here.  So for me baking is a huge chore.

My weekly menu planning is an excellent way to take the guess work out of dinner and save some money on groceries every week.  As you can see, I got elaborate on the chalkboard so if by chance McHubs can tackle dinner on a busy workday for me he knows what the plan is.  He knows where the recipe is coming from and he can totally throw me a bone.

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It makes me happy to know I am fully prepared for this new week. I am excited to tackle it knowing that this girl has a plan.  The wonders of what getting a little rest can do for you. Sleeping is the essence of health and is essential to be the most productive and clear-minded.  That’s what I firmly believe at least. I hope you had a blessed weekend and got a chance to reset, renew and rejoice in the moments with your loved ones. I know, I sure did.

Til’ next time.