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Jan
09

Healthy New Year with Good Friends & Paleo Sausage Recipe

Anyone who knows me knows that for most of my life I have lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. I have spent the better part of the last 20 years studying nutrition, I have always enjoyed participating in sports and outdoor recreation and in addition to participating I have also taught or coached a number of different sports or types of fitness. Most of my friends are healthy and active, but for the most part I have been on a solo journey. It wasn’t until meeting my now husband that I really had a true partner in crime! In fact when I started dating my husband my mother said to me: “oh thank goodness a man who can actually keep up with you!” Well, my wonderful husband has done far more than “keep up” with me over the years: he has challenged and inspired me to new levels! And I love him more and more for that every day! But this January my realm of healthy family is growing and I couldn’t be more excited! (NO, I am not pregnant again) This month we got together with a group of friends to do our own “Clean Eating Challenge” and there are 10 of us involved! Like most we were all feeling the after effects of holiday consumption and needed some motivation to get back to a healthy place. Typically it is just me struggling to battle my sugar demon alone, so I can not even begin to tell you how exciting it is to have this group of friends on this journey along with me! So with that said, world wide web you can now benefit from the journey my friends and I are on, as I know that after bringing friends down this path, I HAVE to share at least a few Paleo recipes…Today is one of my favorites! Paleo Sausage!!!

Sausage: Grain Free, Dairy Free & No refined Sugar

Ingredients:

1 lb. Ground Meat (Beef, Pork, Turkey or even combo of all!)

1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt

1 tsp. Sage

1 tsp. Thyme

1 tsp. Paprika

1 Tsp Fennel Seeds

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1-2 Cloves Finely Chopped Garlic

Directions:

  • Mix all of the spices together in a bowl.
  • Then add spice mixture & garlic to ground meat and mix together with your hands.
  • For mini-sausage balls, roll into 24 balls and place each one in mini-muffin tin. Bake at 350°F for about 22-22 minutes or until no longer pink in the center.
  • For sausage patties, form into 12 equal size patties. Then pan fry in cast iron skillet, on medium-high heat, 3-4 minutes per side or until no longer pink in the center.

Serving Suggestions:

For Breakfast, the patties goes well served on top of spinach leaves & sliced tomatoes with an egg over easy served on top.

For lunch, mini sausage balls taste great served on a bed of mixed greens (maybe an arugula & spinach mix!) with chopped tomatoes and avocado or even a homemade guacamole.

For Dinner, mini sausage balls or sausage patties broken up into crumbles and served with carmelized onions, sautéed broccoli rabe & garlic in a bowl of roasted spaghetti squash.

I find it best with recipes like this to double the recipe so I can make more than 1 meal…

Enjoy!!

Dec
03

Yoga at Lily Juliet Too!

Join Justagudlife Yoga & Wellness at our new Location:

The 2nd Floor Studio at Lily Juliet Too!
20 Wall Street, Madison Connecticut
Class Schedule:
Tuesdays 6-7am
Thursdays 9:30-10:45am
Saturdays 8-9:15am
Pricing:
$15 Drop In
$65 for 5 Class Pack
$115 for 10 Class Pack
$200 for 20 Class Pack
$10 = Discount for Students, Seniors & Military with Valid ID
Prices include CT Sales Tax, Packages Expire 6 months from Date of purchase
Cash Only, Credit Card purchases will be available soon

Join us for a fun friendly approach to Yoga. This strength based Hatha Yoga Practice contains a mixture of held and flowing poses with an emphasis on core stability & spinal alignment. Multi level class structure is designed to meet the needs of each individual student from 1st timer to experienced Yogi. Classes vary depending upon the students.
We look forward to seeing you on the mat soon!
Namaste

Oct
25

Grain Free Crȇpes…Endless Paleo Possibilities!

No matter what your diet is, it is very easy to get stuck in ruts. For example just about every morning my husband & I eat an omelet for breakfast, usually with browned ground turkey, spinach and whatever vegetables we have in the refrigerator. Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit, but traditional Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles, etc. that my parents always spoiled us with on the weekends are a big no-no on the Paleo diet. We have a great Paleo Pancake recipe, but it can be hard to balance your Protein and Carb intake eating just the pancake…we found this great Grain Free Crȇpes recipe that is Paleo friendly. I made these Crȇpes for my family this past Sunday and filled them with some browned Ground Turkey seasoned with some fresh Tarragon from our garden and sautéed up some sliced pears in a little bit of butter…SUPER YUMMY! Even my fussy eater 3 year old ate 2 with the filling and a few more without!
When I make Crȇpes I try to make a double batch so I have leftovers to make Sandwich Wraps. Suggestions for Sandwich Wraps include Grilled Chicken with Tomatoes & Cucumbers…Grilled Sirloin cut into strips with sautéed Onions & Peppers, Tuna Salad with Apples & Walnuts, etc.
Here is the Recipe for the basic Grain Free Crȇpes …Enjoy the endless possibilities!!

Paleo Crȇpes
Ingredients:
5 Large Eggs, 10 Tbs Finely ground Almond Flour, 2 Tbs Water, 2 tsp Honey, melted butter to cook the crȇpes.
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk them together until well mixed,
Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes so mixture thickens before cooking. Pre-heat an 8” omelet pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with butter. Use approximately ½ tsp butter per crȇpe. Stir the batter before making each crȇpe to reincorporate any almond flour that settles. Pour 3 tbs of batter into pan and swirl it around until the bottom of pan is evenly coated. Cook for almost 1 minute until Crȇpes is set, but not brown. Loosen sides of the crepe with a spatula then turn and cook for only a few seconds more on the other side.
Remove from pan and stack on a plate between pieces of parchment paper.
Yield: 12-16 Crȇpes, Serving Size = 3-4 Crȇpes.
Nutrition Information: Calories 425, Protein 15 grams, Fat 24 grams, Carbs 15 grams.

Oct
22

Paleo Friendly BBQ Sauce…Make your own, it’s SO much better!!

I have a good friend who is just starting to dabble in the Paleo world and this morning her big question was about Condiments. My simple answer was MAKE YOUR OWN! There are lots of All Natural and/or Organic product lines out there that still add a good dose of Xanthum Gum or my husband’s favorite Calcium Disodium EDTA…
(Quick Chem lesson Xamthum Gum is used as a thickening agent or a stabilizer in foods and is made from fermented fructose, sucrose & lactose…3 things we are trying to avoid in the Paleo diet. And Calcium Disodium EDTA is a preservative that helps with flavor and color retention and has some wonderful side effects such as intestinal upsets, muscle cramps, kidney damage, and blood in urine…I know, right!)

One of my favorite GO TO Condiments is BBQ Sauce! Not only is BBQ Sauce extremely versatile, but it also helps satisfy sweet cravings and you don’t ever need too much of it! We use our Homemade BBQ sauce on Chicken, Burgers, Salmon, Turkey, pretty much anything you want!

Here’s the recipe…Enjoy!
Paleo Friendly Homemade BBQ Sauce
Ingredients:
6oz tomato puree, ½ Cup beef stock (make your own or try to stay all natural), 4 cloves garlic minced, ½ Cup onion finely diced, 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp EVOO, 2 tbsp chilli powder
Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan. Use less beef stock if you want a thicker BBQ sauce. Cover the pan with a lid (this is essential to contain the splatter) and bring the sauce to a low simmer. Simmer, stirring and tasting frequently for about 20-30 minutes.
Store in an air tight container. I reuse old glass sauce bottles.

Oct
21

Team Justagudbar finishes their 1st Beast of The East Competition!

Congratulations to Team Justagudbar for completing their 1st Beast of the East Competition October 8 & 9th, 2011!
Team included Jenna, Ed, Jess & Rob.
In the 1st Event Justagudbar had a 6th place team finish in the 5k event. With a Crossfit Endurance Coach, an avid Marathoner and a Police Officer on the team you knew this would be a strong event for the team!
In the 2nd event, a 1 rep max Clean & Jerk Jenna was the shining star with a 155# C&J!
As we started day 2, our 3rd event a 2k Team Row our Endurnace Coach Rob was our Superstar finishing his 1/4 of the row in 1:20!!!
And finishing up with the Atlas Stones, Pushups and Box Jumps the team had a ton of fun working together to chip away at our workload.
Congratulations to Team Justagudbar for an amazing showing at the 2011 Beast of the East!!!

We would also like to Congratulate Lauren Plumey for a 3rd place female finish and Team Shoreline Crossfit for their 1st place finish! And all of the many other athletes who competed from Shoreline Crossfit and around the Northeast! It was an amazing display of talent, strength and determination!
You can see more on The Beast of The East Competition by clicking on this link:

http://thebeastoftheeast.com/2011/

Oct
21

Paleo Kung Pao Chicken

Back to my Asian Food obsession!
We all know how yummy (and easy) Chinese delivery can be after a long day of work and/or fun, but it is not always the healthiest option. Here is a healthy Paleo Friendly version of one of my favorite Chinese Dishes that is actually pretty easy to throw together…Enjoy!

Paleo Kung Pao Chicken
Ingredients:
5 Tbs Paleo Soy Sauce, 4 Cloves Garlic, 2 Tbs Grated Ginger (divided), Sichuan peppercorns, 20oz Chicken chopped, 1 Tbs White Wine Vinegar, 1 Tbs Honey, 2 Tbs Toasted Sesame Oil (divided), 1 Cup Red Bell Peppers cut into slices, 5 Dried Chiles, ½ Cup Unsalted Cashews.
Directions:
Combine the Sauce, Garlic, 1 Tbs of Ginger and Peppercorns in a large bowl. Mix in the Chicken pieces and marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the white wine vinegar, honey and 1Tbs of Sesame Oil, set aside.
In a wok or stiry fry pan heat the remaining 1 tbs sesame oil. Fry the Chiles, Red Bell Peppers and remaining Ginger for 1-2 minutes. Next add the marinated chicken and then the honey mixture.
Cook until Chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 15 minutes.
Add the Cashews, toss and cook for about 1 minute more.
Yield: 4 Servings
Nutrition Facts: Calories 460, Protein 49g, Fat 21g, Carbohydrates 20g
Serve with Mashed Cauliflower Rice (1 Cup is 28 Cal, 2g Protein, 0 Fat, 6 Carbs)
And Steamed Shredded Cabbage (1 Cup is 34 Cal, 2g Protein, 0 Fat, 8 Carbs)
Alternative: You can also add Hot Chile Paste and/or water chestnuts!

Oct
21

Paleo Soy Sauce Substitution

Hello Paleo People!
Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while…but work and the busy lives of the people in my family can sometimes get the best of me!
Anyway! My Crossfit Box is doing a Paleo/Zone Challenge this month, so I am not only re-inspired in the kitchen, but doing lots of sharing with my challenge mates. This month a huge area I used to struggle with as a Paleo devotee appears to be a huge area of frustration for a lot of people: that is Paleo Sauces and other fun flavors. If you are like me, over the last 15-20 years you have bought into the Asian Fusion cooking craze. There are lots of fresh healthy options and some wonderful flavors! However a good ‘go to’ in your Asian Pantry is NOT so Paleo: Soy Sauce! So Over the last couple of years I have come up with a pretty good Paleo Soy Sauce Substitution. Here’s the recipe for you…Enjoy!
Paleo Asian Sauce (Soy Sauce Substitution)
Ingredients:
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar, 4Tbs Honey, ¼ Tsp Minced Ginger, ¼Tsp Ground Black Pepper, 2 Cloves garlic finely chopped, 3 Cups Water, 1tsp Salt
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until reduced to a little more than 1/2 Cup. Bottle and Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional Facts: Per Tablespoon 33 Calories, 0g Protein, 0g Fat, 9g Carbohydrates

Jul
09

Paleo Friendly Pancakes the Whole Family will Love!

When we were first married, my husband travelled a ton, most weeks he was gone all week. So our weekends together have always been important to us, especially since having our first child in 2002. Because of this it was no surprise to me that before our oldest child was even a year old, my husband started the tradition of Pancake Saturdays.

Pancake Saturdays were always bitter sweet for me: While I love the sense of family tradition that we were building and as you are probably figuring out I have the biggest sweet tooth! But even well before we adopted our Paleo lifestyle, I have always been super sensitive to large quantities of grains and refined sugars so I was always left feeling pretty crappy after indulging in the sweet breakfast treat…Over the last few years we have been experimenting with a healthier version of the Pancake. For those of you who have tried, it can be difficult to find the balance of a nice fluffy texture AND a great taste. I am sometimes afraid to post a recipe until I have tried it several times and know that it will come out perfect for my readers, but this morning after trying this recipe again and feeding it to a very special family friend, I am confident you will enjoy this one as much as we do!!!

Almond-Hazelnut Pancakes-Paleo Friendly

Ingredients:

1 Cup Almond Flour, ¼ Cup Hazelnuts, 4 Eggs, 1 Tbs Agave Nectar, 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract, ¼ Tsp Baking Soda

Directions:

· Blend Together all ingredients in a food processor.

· Heat a cast iron pan or pancake griddle at low-medium heat, then melt butter in pan.

· Scoop Spoonfuls of batter onto the pan. The thinner you make the pancakes the more evenly they cook.

· Fry only until golden brown, flip and repeat on the other side.

Option: We like to add fresh blueberries to the batter for Blueberry Pancakes!

Yield: About a dozen small pancakes

Jun
02

Experimenting with Recipes: Paleo Banana Bread Recipe

Over ripened bananas on the counter…of course if you are like me you think BANANA BREAD!!! I have never been a big fan of bananas, but ALWAYS loved a good Banana Bread!

A little less than 2 years ago my 3rd child was born and I was in the worst shape of my life. I had used the pregnancy and the stress of an interstate move (while pregnant) as my excuse to slack on physical fitness and eat whatever the heck I wanted. For about a decade I had been trying to maintain a high protein diet and I spent most of my 20’s studying nutrition, so experimenting with recipes to get rid of white flours and sugars was 2nd nature to me, but it had always been a solo journey. My family (my husband especially) always mocked my gluten free/sugar free concoctions asking “why can’t you just leave a good recipe alone!” It wasn’t until that August when my husband started Crossfit that he understood what I was trying to achieve! Only Crossfit took it to the next level: PALEO!! I do not believe I would have been able to shed the excess “ME” that had accumulated without Paleo, plus it was VERY helpful that I was no longer in it alone…

So like any good Paleo Mom, when I see over-ripened bananas on the counter, I grab my bag of Almond Flour and hope that my Paleo Banana Bread is ½ as good as it’s non-Paleo cousin…We actually think it’s better!

Now I know Bananas are a grey area for us Paleo Peeps, but this Paleo Banana Bread is a great alternative when our sweet tooth takes over!

 Paleo Banana Bread

 Bread Ingredients

2 cups Almond Flour

1/4 cup Flaxseed Meal

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

2/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

4 really ripe bananas (mashed well)

2 tbsp Agave Nectar

4 Large Eggs

1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Streusel Topping Ingredients:

1½ cups Chopped Walnuts
1/3 cup Almond Flour
3 Tbs Agave Nextar
½ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
4 Tbs Butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, add the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla and mix well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until combined. Normally with breads or muffin recipes, you don’t want to overmix, but since there’s no gluten here, mix to your heart’s content. The muffins won’t get gummy or icky.

Fill greased loaf pan about 3/4 full.

Mix together all ingredients for Spread Streusel Topping and Spread evenly over bread mix.

Bake loaves for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool slightly before removing from pan. Tastes great with almond butter!

May
10

Tough Mudder and Friendship

This past weekend I completed the Tough Mudder in VT with my husband, my nephew and close to 40 others from our Crossfit. In the weeks leading up to this event I was quite nervous, I mean they make you sign a death waiver! For the last few months I added swimming, hill repeats and running with a weighted vest to my usual routine of Running, Yoga & Crossfit. Every time I took my kids to the playground I would practice climbing across the monkey bars and crawling through the tunnels. And I was STILL SCARED! Do I need to remind you they make you sign a DEATH WAIVER!

However, when we arrived at Mount Snow on Saturday morning it was a completely different story. I saw all of the smiling friendly faces of my team mates, no one looked as nervous as I felt, they were all happy and excited for the adventure that was ahead of us. Then I signed the infamous “Death Waiver” and it was really just your standard hold harmless…As we started out on the course it was exactly what I expected: a steep hill climb to the top of Mount Snow. I held a nice steady strong hike while chatting & laughing with a few of my team mates. Because of my training, I probably could have even run most of it but the closer we got to the top, the more I knew that was not what it was all about! None of the hill climbs or the obstacles were impossible, I was well conditioned and ready for every single one of them. This race wasn’t about finishing first or even fast for that matter. This race was about the people we chose to surround ourselves with.

As I stood at the top of that 1st hill and watched as my remaining team mates reached our 1stof many summits, I looked at each of them closely and knew that each one of these individuals brought a different strength to our team and that we would all need each other at some point along the way: There was Doug & Rob, our fearless Endurance Coaches who tried to keep the team together and made sure everyone was safe and having fun; Chu, another Coach who helped push me up the wall for walk the plank; my nephew Matt who I ran the initial Braveheart with, Annie who I chatted with on the Death March, Lindsey who I laughed with as we slid around on the Killa Gorilla, the many tall members of our team who helped on the Devils Beard, Bill who had an even more disgusted look on his face than I did before the Boa Constrictor, Robb who I was amazed could keep his sunglasses on from start to finish, Lee who braved the entire course in his Vibrams, Pete who always stays so calm & cool, Mark who kept me from freaking out in the FREEZING COLD water in the Ball Shrinker and made me laugh many times along the way, Rich & Bobby who never stopped smiling! Eddie who held my hand when I was afraid to jump into the cold water (AGAIN), Jenna for hanging with the old ladies, Ryan the most hard core of us all! Carly for climbing the glacier with me, Big John for lifting me up the Evil Knevil wall, the nameless person who unstuck my shirt from the barbed wire in the Kiss of Mud, Gayle who blew the man with the fire hose a kiss in the Gauntlet, Annalisa who was just as impatient as I was with the Blood Bath, and SO MANY MORE!!!

This day was amazing, not because this was the biggest mountain I had ever climbed or the furthest distance I had ever run, or even the most challenging adventure I have ever been on, but because we completed it together, as a team and that was the greatest challenge of the day! There were many new friendships made along this course and other friendships that were confirmed….I know now, that if I ever had to walk to the end of the earth that these are the people I would want to do it with.

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