Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Non-Paleo Dining

Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! It was a fabulous day and an even better weekend :-) We had some incredible meals and are already planning when we can go back - and take some of you with us! Saturday night we ate at Tango, in Bryn Mawr. I will begin by saying we ate a LOT of food! We started with crab cocktail and spicy shrimp with a mango salsa and guacamole. It was delish, and we both thought it tasted like summer. I then enjoyed a delicious bowl of shrimp bisque, while Sheldon ordered a 2nd margarita (alright, I ordered another glass of
wine too). For our entrees, Sheldon surprisingly enough ordered a steak - a NY strip to be exact - with a side of veggies and sweet potato fries. I ordered crab and spinach stuffed orange roughy with homemade potato gnocchi and vodka sauce. Yum yum yum. Topped off the meal with creme brulee and berries. Birthday dinner = a success!

Sunday we planned to celebrate Valentine's Day. Sheldon booked us massages at a spa in Wynnewood where we had been before. They were oh-so-good and we left feeling relaxed and sleepy.....and a little hungry, so off to brunch we went. Friends had told us about a new place in Wayne called the White Dog Cafe (above picture) , so we decided to check it out. Very glad we did! I loved the decor and ambience and wish we had walked around more to see all the different rooms. I started with butternut squash soup which was simply TO. DIE. FOR. So so good that I really had to resist licking the bowl. I even got Sheldon to try it, to which he replied " mmm it tastes like liquid pumpkin pie". Mind you he has referred to
my homemade butternut squash soup as "baby food". Anyway, Sheldon started with an arugula salad with sliced pear and hazlenuts which he thoroughly enjoyed. For our meals, I ordered the french toast bread pudding with caramelized apples, raisins, grande marnier and cream, while Sheldon ordered sweet potato pancakes with bacon and pepper & sage sausage. As Sheldon polished off his last bite while saying out loud "we're fat", the waiter came over, looked at BOTH of our empty plates and said "wow, nice work guys". So proud. Once we got home, we were both pretty much useless for a good hour+ as we digested our meals and lounged around with Emmers. Later that night, Sheldon weighed himself and was extremely proud to see he had gained 8 pounds in 12 hours.

I went no where near the scale.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spaghetti & Meatballs

So, it's about 10 pm right now, I just finished devouring that plate of food in the picture, and Erin still isn't home from her 12-hour shift that was supposed to end at 7:30 pm. Luckily, she has a delicious meal to come home to! Can I get a golf clap for the Husband of the Day?!

I actually wanted to post this recipe because it's a great example of how to turn traditional comfort food meals into Paleo-friendly ones. I'm currently participating in a Paleo Challenge at our gym ( in which you keep a food log and earn points based on how strictly you adhere to the dietary guidelines. Remember those? No grains, no legumes, no gluten, no dairy, and no added sugar! This has forced me to get creative in the kitchen and try a bunch of new recipes, which is actually pretty fun when you have time to do it.

Let's start with the most obvious offender, the spaghetti. What you see in the picture is actually spaghetti squash, and it's downright awesome. When properly prepared, it has a slight crunch and sweetness to it. Once you cover it with some organic marinara sauce, it's a legit substitute for the real thing. A quick sidenote about marinara sauce and all packaged foods for that matter...if you can't pronounce the ingredients, you probably shouldn't be eating it. Preparing spaghetti squash is so easy a caveman could do it (you see what I did there?). Simply cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, lay the halves face down in a baking dish, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for 8-12 minutes depending on the size of it. Remove from microwave and scrape out the insides with a fork. It just shreds into spaghetti-like strands right before your eyes, thus the name.

Last but not least, the MEATBALLS! Traditional meatball recipes always include bread crumbs. In this recipe, we replace them with almond meal or almond flour which I buy by the bag at Trader Joe's. I started with a pre-packaged "meatloaf" bundle with 1 lb of ground beef, 1/2 lb of ground veal, and 1/2 lb of ground pork. That wasn't enough meat for this guy, so I added another 1 lb of ground beef to make sure I had leftovers. See the rest of the ingredients below. This made 19 meatballs for me which I pan-fried in some coconut oil and then baked for a few minutes at 375.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground veal
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • Generous amounts of garlic powder, italian seasoning, and sea salt. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Setting Records!

It's no secret that I am addicted to CrossFit and the Paleo Diet, but I'm going to try NOT to make this a workout log. I will limit posts pertaining to CrossFit to new personal records (PRs) or competition results only. I will limit posts pertaining to the Paleo Diet to recipes or meals that we whip up that I think people will genuinely enjoy. This post falls into the Personal Record category, but I should probably summarize CrossFit and the Paleo Diet briefly.

CrossFit is a general physical preparedness program that combines functional movements from gymnastics, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, kettlebell training, and other odd object lifting into short (usually) intense workouts. The goal is to optimize and balance performance across ten facets of fitness: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. The program started in the early 2000's and gained popularity through military, law enforcement, and fire departments and grew to over 2000 affiliated gyms throughout the world. Every year, they hold a competition in California to determine the "Fittest Man and Woman on Earth". In order to make it to said competition, you must qualify at the local and regional level. More on this later.

The Paleo Diet suggests that we should all be eating like our pre-Agricultural Revolution ancestors because we are genetically identical to them yet they experienced little to none of the maladies that top the "causes of death" charts today. What did these people consume? Lean, wild game meats, seafood, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruit. Things like grains, dairy, legumes and sugar didn't enter our diets until mass farming was popularized. Along with these foods came obesity, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancers, and a slew of other hideous auto-immune diseases. I could preach all day on this stuff but no one will believe me until they read a few books from esteemed professionals (something I wish I was, but am not). I will suggest some of these books later.

This brings me to the aforementioned Personal Record. I have a bunch of goals I'm currently working on and one of them is to Clean and Jerk a 235 pound barbell. In that quest, I was working on the Jerk portion of that lift the other night and hit a personal record of 225 pounds. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just watch the video below.


It's official :-) Tickets to London are BOOKED! We (as well as Lauren and Matt) will be flying out of Philly on Friday, March 4th, arriving in London Saturday morning and staying until the following Sunday. Since neither Sheldon or I have been to Europe, we are pretty psyched for this trip. It was also on our list of "Things to do Before Babies", so I guess the timing to move to London not only worked out perfectly for Mom and Dad, but for us as well. Obviously though, the main reason for the trip is to see them and Layah - whom we haven't seen since October! As far as what all the week will entail, we are still deciding aka debating. I really want to go to Paris, but Sheldon and my sister want to go to Ireland. Matt, of course, "doesn't care". He will be spending time over there this summer though, so I guess he feels it doesn't matter as much where we go now since he will be back in a few months. Anyway, we will most likely spend the majority of the week in London/Sunningdale (where my parent's house is) and take a trip mid-week for a few days to visit somewhere else. More details to come as we figure out where that "somewhere" is......

Friday, January 21, 2011

Welcome to our Blog!

Since anyone reading this probably already knows who we are, this is more of a preview post. First, I have to give credit where credit is due. Our old Ardmore neighbors Larry and Kara used to keep an account of their fun activities called The Adventures of LarKar, which may or may not be where I got the idea for this little blog. It's a fun and easy way to share stories, pictures, and videos with our friends and family. Everything from what we ate for dinner to pictures of our travels. With lots of things coming up in the next 6 months, it should be easy to find material. We've got parties, trips, weddings, and competitions galore! We hope you enjoy!

Just one more semantics item. To make it easy to distinguish between Erin's posts and my posts, all of my entires will be in this stylish text you are reading now, and all of Erin's posts will be in this beautiful font.