Food Games: In Tha’ Mother F#!%ing Zone!

Shaddup. It’s fine. I only blog when it’s about food. Or poop. It’s whatever.

Guess what? My packmates at Iron Wolf Crossfit have started this September nutrition challenge. Basically, you do Whole 30 (you remember that shit), Paleo, or The Zone for the whole month. And, so, I was like “Food Games? In!”

Might be the Hangry Games. Dunno.
Might be the Hangry Games. Dunno.

I did that Whole 30. I did that Paleo. I ain’t never did The Zone. My initial thought? The Zone sounds like sportsball. So, that’s confusing. But, it really isn’t. It’s portions. Lots of math. Lots of veggies. You can click the damn link and read about it. Essentially, it is quality foods at a ratio of 40:30:30 carb/protein/fat. Got it?

But we doooo. WE DO.
But we doooo. WE DO. We eat them VERY WELL. VERY.

So, today was day one. Now, mind you, I am used to NO grains when I engage in Food Games. I meander along the path of dietary righteousness, somewhere around quasi-Paleo. I eat no processed foods, hardly any dairy and feel super guilty when I eat a grain. Like, I will full-on weep about scarfing down some rice. But, The Zone? The Zone is all like, “No! Come on over! You can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT!!! Just check out this list! Good, good. Yes, step inside. Step. Inside. The ZONE.”

Fuck, yes!

And then you look at the list. FUCK YOU ZONE. 3 Almonds is a block of fat. 3? I mean, what? And 4 ounces of wine is a block. FOUR. Who drinks 4 ounces of wine? Not me. Wine glasses hold at least 8 ounces. Which, everyone knows, is a serving.

Stay with me. Just realize that The Zone does allow you to eat whatever you want–but in the “appropriate” (read: FU) portion.

Anyway. Day one. It was pretty good. It’s 10:30pm and I am not even hungry. I ate more vegetables that I have ever eaten in a day. I ate fish out of a can. I measured out a teaspoon of peanut butter.

And I saved a carb block for one of those shots of wine The Zone allows. Obviously.

Know what I'm sayin?
Know what I’m sayin?

I will be blogging periodically through this thing. I will be sharing recipes, food photos, my experiences, way too much information about my bowel movements…the usual.

Want to join me? If you are an Iron Wolf member, check out the Facebook page for details. If you aren’t: see that website I have linked 40 times. And read the book. It’s informative and poorly written.


Oh Hey, It Wasn’t You…It Was Me OR How I Squat When I Sleepwalk


Sorry I have been such a shitty bloggerfriend. The month of February was kind of a blur. Break ups are hard, right? Well, I broke up with my old job. I started a new job March 1st and so I have basically been a complete mess for the last 30 days while I came to terms with it. I was making good money, had great benefits, worked with great people, loved my clients…but, you know what? I wasn’t inspired. I was standing still. I was dying a little inside. So, I took a different job.

And, honestly, I was fucking terrified. But, like, totally in a good way. Really. But now, I am completely fucking excited.

So, the last 30 days were a little rough. My anxiety levels had gone through the roof. My insomnia was/is still terrible. I have also kind of been a shitty real-life friend too.

So….Sorry. It wasn’t you, it was me. You are all beautiful. And smart. And funny. And have nice teeth.

But, hey. I’m baaaaack. 

This post is already way too long, but I just have to tell you this story before I go. A fun part about my insomnia, is that it is sometimes accompanied by sleep walking. Especially when I am under a great deal of stress. Ya know…like..the last 30 days or so.

I am also a rare member of the sleepwalking club who can remember bits of the sleepwalking after I wake up. I think it has something to do with being able to direct my dreams too.


My Crossfit workouts often times feature this terrible exercise called Wall Balls. You squat, rise up, throwing a medicine ball up against a wall, like 9ft up, and then catch it, squatting back down and throwing it back up. It’s fucking awful. It works 11 muscle groups and, if you are lucky, the ball will only land on your face once or twice. For me, it’s a fucking nightmare…real life and in sleep.

Preach it

Cue: sleepwalking.

So, about two weeks ago, in the middle of the night I had a dream about Wall Balls. Only, sometime during the 3rd or 4th stage of my sleep cycle, I got out of bed and walked into the kitchen. What I thought I was doing was walking across the gym to do some fucking Wall Balls. Uhhhh…here’s a play by play of what I believe happened:

1. Stephanie leaves bed and heads to the kitchen/Stephanie walks across the gym noticing that the wall balls are all deflated.
2. Stephanie grabs a 14lb wall ball off the rack/Stephanie grabs a green stock pot out of the cabinet
3. Stephanie squats with the ball/Stephanie squats with the empty green stock pot several times
4. Stephanie notices her hands are stuck to the wall ball/stock pot and she cannot throw it
5. Stephanie put the wall ball/stock pot onto the ground and selects another ball/large black skillet
6. Stephanie squats with the new ball/skillet a few times
7. Stephanie notices that, again, she is unable to get the ball/skillet out of her hand
8. She puts it on the ground, returns to the cabinet…cycle starts over again

When I came to, I was standing in the kitchen in front of several pans and my dog was whining at me with genuine concern. I was mildly confused, embarrassed for some reason and my hamstrings were tired.

The next day…

Me to Drew: “So, do you like remember me doing wall balls in the kitchen with the stock pot?”

Drew: “What? No….”

Me: “Oh, I think I just might have done some sleep walking during my Wall Ball nightmare. It’s totally fine.”

Drew: “…….”

Me: *awkward change of subject*

I just hope that I don’t sleepwalk my reoccurring dream about punching my junior high social studies teacher in the face. He was such a twat.

Let’s talk again soon.

Now Let’s Talk: Surviving Valentine’s Day

You want to put hot wax where?

Joy and rapture: It is almost Valentine’s Day. Again. What. The. Hell.

I cannot even begin to describe how much I hate StupidDumbFucking Valentine’s Day. It’s more than I hate Christmas. Which, is saying a lot. Being a soul-sucking, commercialized piece of bunk, I am not even surprised that it is connected to a massacre. Listen up.

1. Do not get your privates waxed. Trust me on this. It is terrible. I know it’s called V-Day and that it seems like a good idea to remove all the hair from your vagina for a SuperSexySexKittenSurprise for Todd*, but it is not. Look, I have only done this once and, actually, the lady was really nice. She thought I was in college and she even told me that I had a young looking labia–but I can assure you that IT IS NOT WORTH IT. I have tattoos. I have run half marathons. But nothing compares to the discomfort that I felt on that day. Trust. Don’t do that to your LadyKitten.

You want to put hot wax where?
You want to put hot wax where?

2. Don’t buy new clothes. Just don’t. The salesperson, usually an alarmingly beautiful gay man named Geoff, will put all kinds of lady pressure on you. “Something sexy right?” Or “Oh my gawd, it has to be stilettos. RED STILETTOS.” He will force you into a very tiny black dress and suggest that you should “probably just like, not eat, for like, the day before” and mention that his best girlfriend, Ashley, did a Salt Cleanse the week before V-Day to make sure that her stomach was totally flat. You will look at your stomach and see it is not flat. You will google Salt Cleanse and realize that if you really loved Todd*, you would have a flat stomach and you would be willing to shit for 12 hours straight to achieve it. You will leave the store feeling exactly 33% less attractive, full of despair and you will reluctantly make an appointment to get your vag waxed (because Geoff has told you underwear is NOT an option underneath the black dress). You will buy a giant container of Epsom Salt.

3. Don’t buy gifts. Your gift sucks. After stripping all the hair and most of the skin from your HooHa, you will be delirious with pain and you will buy a gift and give it to Todd* over dinner and poor Todd* will just stare at it. He probably won’t even know what it is. He will ask if you saved the receipt. You will be emotionally ill-equipped to deal with the situation having just shit your brains out for 12 hours during the Salt Cleanse. You will Ugly Cry.

Dawson made an ugly cry too
Dawson made an ugly cry too

4. Actually, just do not even leave the house. So, let’s talk about that dinner. It’s going to be crowded. The restaurant will be full of strangers that you will have to awkwardly rub yourself against as you push through to the host stand, where you will find out that Todd* didn’t actually make the reservation. You will find out that you now have to eat at El Rancho. The last time you were there, you were 22. It was 3am and you took tequila shots with the employees in the stairwell. That’s not romance. Your feet hurt, your pantyless vagina is numb from being raw and unsheltered from the February wind. And, most of all, you hate Todd*. Todd*, who is now taking a selfie to send to his mother. To. His. Mother.

This is what you should do: Dump Todd*. Buy a fuck ton of wine, chocolate and Thai food. Get wine drunk. At home. Watch everything that Dan Stevens has ever appeared in. Fall asleep, spooning a dog/stuffed animal/pillow/your roommate.

You will wake up with considerably less self loathing, a normal set of labia, and an un-chafed asshole.

You are welcome.

Whole 30 Wrap Up: Or It’s a Whole 9 Life


It is finished!! My Whole 30! I feel great. And, I think, I look great too. Other than the little Oopsie in NYC, I rocked it. I am going to post before/after photos, but here is the breakdown of physical evidence:

Inches lost
Calves: .75
Thigh: 1.25
Hips: 1.25
Waist: .75

Whole30-Version-31-300x300Body Fat Percentage Lost: 3.53%

Pounds of body fat lost: 6
Pounds of muscle gained:

That’s pretty fucking impressive. I ate myself right into the “Fitness Level” percentage on the body composition charts. That’s right–and my frequency of physical activity didn’t change one bit. The only thing that changed was what I stuffed in my face.

Some of you may be wondering if I was tired? Low energy? Fuck no–unless I wasn’t eating enough. During Whole 30, I PR’d my deadlift, back squat, front squat, and my push press.

Now, let me tell you what happened the day after my Whole 30: Pizza. And a beer. It was good, ohhhh man. It was. But, can I tell you something? It wasn’t worth it. I slept like shit that night–like a total of 3.5 hours. And I had a headache the next day. And I was bloated. And…well, let’s just say that my bathroom and I got reaquainted.

Enter Whole 9. It’s a complete lifestyle, using Whole 30 ideas, stress management, healthy habits and more. I encourage you to read up on it, because it is right in line with my goals for 2015: Nutrition, SleepHealthy Movement, Fun and Play, Stress Management, Socialization, Natural Environment, Personal Growth and Temperance. I am all over this shit. For real.

Stay tuned for before/after photos, more recipes and Whole 9 information!

Whole 30 Days 17 & 18: Garbage Stuffed Mushrooms and Pull-ups are For Women

Hell yes!

Guys…I am just gonna go ahead and leave this right here:

Hell yes!
All the garbage on a mushroom? Hell yes, motherfuckers!

I will get to that recipe in just a second. But, first, we need to have a chat. I am really tired of *mostly* seeing men doing pull-ups. Pull-ups are for women. Yes, I know we have less muscle mass in our upper bodies (up to 40% less?!) and that we grow up thinking that women should not be stronger than men. And I know that in gym class, the girls always did the jump roping and the running and not the push-ups and the rope climbing. And, yes, I know that very few first dates are impressed if you can do more pull-ups than they can or dead lift their body weight (which is totally fucking lame, if you ask me…I mean…why isn’t that impressive?). But, hear me out….because pull-ups are for women.

Hey Momma, want to be able to swing your kiddos around and throw them across the room when they are bad? Want to open your own pickle jars?! Hey College Party Gal, want to do cool party tricks, like unassisted keg stands? And…hey All Women, want to have arms like Michelle Obama? Pull your ass up!

You know you want these arms
You know you want these arms. And those shoulders.

Okay…full disclosure…I cannot do even one pull-up unassisted (I use a band, like this). But, I am going to! I am trying, like, really hard. I bought a pull-up bar for my house and it is going to happen. Because, I want Michelle Obama arms. Join me.

Now, onto this recipe. I call it “Garbage Stuffed Mushrooms” because I just put all the leftover stuff in it. So easy. And you guys are extra lucky, because Drew Piester took these photos. So they are waaaay better than usual.


Garbage Stuffed Mushrooms 

4 medium portabella mushroom capsDSC_0033
2 Fuji apples, peeled and diced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
1/4 cup diced sweet yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tsp dried sage
2 tbsp ghee
salt & pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place an aluminum foil lined baking sheet on the middle rack
  • Get those shrooms, wash ’em, remove the stems and scrape out the gills with a spoon.
  • Flip over your cleaned mushrooms and make a shallow “x” in the bottom center (that’s the smooth rounded part).
  • Take the rest of the ghee (around one 1tbsp) and melt it. Brush the prepared mushroom caps with ghee, top and bottom.
  • Stick the mushrooms only into the oven on the sheet and bake for 10 minutes, gill side up. Then, flip and bake another 5 minutes, gills down.DSC_0003
  • Remove mushrooms when done and let them come to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile, sautee onions and garlic in 1 tbsp ghee in a large skillet. When onions are soft, add butternut squash.
  • When squash is soft, add apples, sage, salt and pepper. Cook until apples are slightly soft. Don’t let them get yucky mushy.
  • Throw in that crumbled bacon and stir it around. Set the stuffing aside.DSC_0005
  • Get that oven on broil, if you want browned stuffing, otherwise keep it on 400.
  • Take your cooled mushrooms and spoon the mixture into the caps. If you aren’t eating Whole 30/Paleo you can add goat cheese or real Parmesan cheese (if you use that shaker kind, I will find you and cut you!). Drizzle with any remaining ghee.
  • Stick those caps back onto a new foil lined baking sheet (or swap the juicy foil for fresh foil) and pop into the oven. If you have it on broil, 5 minutes…then rotate…then 5 minutes. If you left it on 400 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes should be adequate.
  • Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes. I served mine over greens with some cauliflower puree.

Note: These do fall apart as soon as you cut them, but they are tasty!

Hell yes!

Emergency Underwear and Whole 30 Sweet and Sticky Cashew Chicken


Friends, I wasn’t planning on writing to you again so soon…but I made some really fucking good food last night. And, I didn’t want you to miss out on it. Because, you should make it right now. Like, seriously. Right. Now.

My BFF is in town and we usually go on some sort of wine drinking binge (which I cannot do on the Whole 30) so instead I made some Whole 30 Approved Sweet and Sticky Cashew Chicken. Oh, man. It was good.

But before I get to the recipe, I have to ask something…do you guys carry around spare underwear? This was a topic of discussion last night…because, I do. I think it’s leftover from junior high school paranoia about getting my period in the middle of class, unexpectedly. So, when I asked the BFF, she stared at me for a second and said, “Well, I can understand the logic behind it, but I don’t think that’s something people do.”

Well. Huh.

Okay, on to the recipe!

Whole 30 Sticky and Sweet Cashew Chicken
Whole 30 Sticky and Sweet Cashew Chicken

Whole 30 Sweet and Sticky Cashew Chicken
for the sauce:
1/4c Whole30/Paleo Ketchup
1/2c + 1tbsp Coconut Aminos
1/4c Coconut Vinegar (or sub Apple Cider Vinegar, but Coconut is best)
5 pitted dates
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger powder, or equivalent of fresh ginger root
1 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt

for the rest:
2-2.5lbs chicken thighs, diced
coconut oil
1c cashews (I used sea salt, unroasted. If you get roasted, check the ingredients)
cauliflower rice
finely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (or sub dried, duh)


  • Put diced chicken in deep skillet with coconut oil and brown on all sides, usually a few minutes per side.
  • Once chicken in browned all over, take off heat and set aside while you make the sauce.
  • Put all the sauce ingredients into your blender or food processor and pulse/process until they make a saucey-sauce
  • Return chicken to the skillet with 1/2 the sauce
  • Toss the chicken to coat and cover the skillet. Cook for another 8 minutes or so until the pieces are cooked through, putting in the cashews and the rest of the sauce the last few minutes.
  • Sprinkle with minced cilantro and serve over cauliflower rice.

Day 15 of Whole 30: Tiger Blood and Coconut Aminos Giveaway?! Whaaaa?!

Kids. It’s Day 15 of the Whole 30 and I have Tiger Blood! You know, Charlie Sheen Tiger Blood? Yes, I know he is a cocaine addict, but we are sugar addicts…so…

I have been sleeping really well since about Day 7 and not getting up in the middle of the night for an hour like I usually do. But starting a few days ago, my energy levels kicked into overdrive.

Apparently, removing wine and milk duds from my diet actually eliminated that nasty afternoon slump. Who would’ve guessed?

Anyway, this is a special blog post. This weekend I am going to be kicking out some new recipes, but today…TODAY…I am announcing that I have the go-ahead from the Leslie and the rest of the folks who make Coconut Aminos to give away a bottle of their special sauce and talk about how I use it in my recipes and much I love it! Details will be coming soon, but make sure and subscribe to my blog and Facebook page in the meantime. Trust, you want the Coconut Aminos in your mouth: Whole 30 Approved, 100% Organic, Non-GMO, Soy Free, No MSG, Vegan, Amino Acid and Mineral Rich deliciousness!

Now, go like my Facebook Page, Subscribe to this blog and stay tuned for Whole 30 Dolmas and Sweet and Sticky Cashew Chicken in the next post!

Whole 30 Days 10 and 11: Failure in New York City…But Whole 30 Fries!

Photography by Drew Piester Photography...don't get spoiled with these photos. You will have to suffer through my shitty camera phone photos most of the time.

Oh, gawd. I am just going to say it. I cheated on my Whole 30.

I know! Fuck! How can I write this blog for you without being absolutely perfect?! Why did I slip up after completing two successful Whole 30s previously? I am a sinner! A deviant! A BIGFATZERO!!!

No, I am not. 

I am an adult. I am an adult who made a conscious and deliberate decision to enjoy an experience in New York City, with some beautiful people.

My loves.
My loves

My cheat items, dear readers? Some drinks, a few bites of dessert items, and sushi.

And, I am not sorry. Not the least bit. 

It was my first time in New York City and I went to Carnegie Deli–and ate veggies and eggs, instead of a big goddamn beautifulsandwichsmotheredincheeseandsauce. I turned down dairy and I said no to crustybreadaliciousness. I said no to a gyro. I said no to a lot of things. And then, I made a choice. I had some drinks, I ate a few bites of dessert and I had some sushi. Because life is too short.

And, with no regrets, I move on. And if you mess up, please don’t beat yourself up. Most likely your slip-up is so minor compared to what you were feeding yourself before. And, because a “perfect” Whole 30 is different for everyone. You are changing habits and that is really fucking difficult. Who really cares if you ate an entire bag of grapes to avoid eating that Snickers? Or if you ate a piece of cake that your 90 year old grandmother baked just for you? Did you regret it? Maybe. But, it is more important that we just accept it and move on and cross the finish line.

Deep breath. Are you with me? Good. 

Now let’s talk Whole 30 Fries. I am really sick of sweet potatoes right now. Like, I cannot even look at a sweet potato’s face without wanting to punch it. And, even though they are now approved, a white potato just seemed really boring. So, the day before I left for NYC, I was meal prepping (I will link recipes I used at the bottom of this post) with my handsome, very understanding dishwasher/talented artist/Sous Chef…

I highly recommend everyone get one of these.
Sous Chef: Will work for food. I highly recommend everyone get one of these.

…and remembered that my Root Cellar Bounty Box contained Jerusalem Artichokes, otherwise known as Sunchokes. The knobby, little tubers are very rich in inulin, a carbohydrate linked with good intestinal health due to its prebiotic (bacteria promoting) properties…and we know how much I love a happy gut! Fair warning though, if your gut isn’t already getting good prebiotics, eating the sunchokes will likely result in some increased…uh…wind. From…the southern region. Which reminds me, I should tell you guys some stories about dating during the Whole 30/eating Paleo. Uh…ahem. Moving on.

You can roast Sunchokes with some fat, herbs and S&P and get some yummy artichoke-ish tasting fries for your Whole 30 Approved Apple Rosemary Turkey Sliders! I enjoy mine with kale and an over easy egg piled on top for a different breakfast option. YUM!!

Roasted Sunchokes (or) Whole 30 Fries

Photography by Drew Piester Photography...don't get spoiled with these photos. You will have to suffer through my shitty camera phone photos most of the time.
Photography by Drew Piester Photography…don’t get spoiled with these photos. You will have to suffer through my shitty camera phone photos most of the time.


1lb sunchokes
1 Tblsp coconut oil or ghee
salt & pepper to taste
herbs of your choice (I dig parsley)


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Scrub the sunchokes like a potato to clean
  • Cut into bite sized pieces or into long fries
  • Toss them into a bowl with the oil and S&P to coat
  • Scatter on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes
  • Let cool for a few minutes and then sprinkle with fresh herbs
Photo by Drew Piester Photography
Photo by Drew Piester Photography

Make sure and subscribe in the box to your right to receive updates and more recipes!

 Recipes that I meal prepped this week:
Chocolate Chili:
Ginger-Lime Chicken Thighs with Sesame Green Beans (my recipe, coming soon)
Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup:
Whole 30 Dolmas (my recipe, coming soon)
Sweet Potato Hash:
Whole 30 Sunchoke Fries (see above) 

Whole 30 Days 6 and 7: Egg Hater!! OR Beating a Cold

Whole 30 compliant and oh-so-delicious

Friends, I know that it has been a few days. That is because I was in a coma.

Not really, but it felt like it.

After wanting to punch everyone on days 4 and 5…days 6 and 7 of this Whole 30 were a completely different, unpleasant experience.

It started on day 5 when I felt a little tickle in my nose. I sneezed. And, I never sneeze–hand to Britney.

In summary, by the morning of day 6, I had a full-blown cold. Now, what I am about to tell you will literally explode your mind. The average cold lasts 7 to 10 days, potentially longer. My colds last 2 to 3 days, tops. I swear. What is this black magic, you ask?

Dietary modification, lots of sleep, Elderberry and Vitamin D.

As soon as I sneeze, I start on a regimen of no sugar (doing this already with Whole 30) and tons of greens, Elderberry juice or lozenges every 4 hours, and extra Vitamin D3 twice a day. Plus, I sleep as much as possible. If you aren’t familiar with the proven effectiveness of elderberry, how Vitamin D3 can boost your immune system, and how sugar effects your body, please read up. It will actually change your life. And you can send me a lovely thank you gift when your next cold/flu/illness time is cut in half. Note: I like yarn, dark chocolate and books.

So, anyway, I had this cold for two days. Yes, I was zapped from that–but I was also really tired in general. On Day 6, I slept all day. I stayed home from work and read Longreads blogs. But, by the start of day 7–I was back to 95% of normal. I even went to Iron Wolf Crossfit and knocked out some Power Cleans and team rowing. So, trust, my little recipe for beating a cold works.

Now, let’s talk food. 

If you are also on Day 7 or 8 of a Whole 30…are you really fucking sick of eating eggs by now? I bet you are. I was. And, I love eggs. Like, I might actually looooove them. A true, deep, abiding kind of love. But on day 7, I never wanted to see another egg again. So, I whipped up some Apple Rosemary Turkey Breakfast Patties. And, I had a mouth-gasm.

Like, for serious. It was like when Harry Met Sally…you know…that scene.

Whole 30 compliant and oh-so-delicious
Whole 30 compliant and oh-so-delicious. 

Whole 30 Compliant: Apple Rosemary Breakfast Patties


1lb ground turkey
1/2 large apple, peeled, cored and minced or finely diced
1 to 2 tablespoons of rosemary (depends on your taste)
1/2 to 1tbsp minced garlic (depends on how much you hate other people)
salt and pepper to taste
*I added about two tablespoons of leftover, finely chopped red onion


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Prep baking tray with aluminum foil and cover lightly with EVOO, ghee or coconut oil
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  • Gently combine with hands
  • Make into 8 or so small sliders
  • Press onto prepped tray into tasty little sliders
  • Bake for 20ish minutes total, flipping halfway through
  • Thank-Fucking-Maude you are not eating another hard-boiled egg! Ugly-Laugh-Cry because you are so happy! Send thank you gift to Stephanie!

Now, you can easily make several batches and freeze or refrigerate. When you reheat them, you can brown them in the skillet for looks. I made mine into little towers with (leftover) tasty sweet potato mash nestled in between and some sautéed zucchini on top. Really, the possibilities are endless.