CHOCOLATE CHIP CRANBERRY N’OATMEAL COOKIES

Well I’ve been on a bit of a cookie kick lately. Probably because I’ve made them for my teammates a few times now and they’ve started to expect them when I turn up for training. I also bribe Mark Bell with them so he’ll teach me how to powerlift. It seems to be working. He helped me bench press 200lbs over the weekend and made a really nice video about my deadlift. I think he referred to my form as “a dog crapping on a front lawn” you can check it out here: Fixing Ashley Beaver’s Deadlift. Other then that my life has been busy with work and training. I’ve been training at WarriorZ CrossFit in Elk Grove on their Caffeine and Kilos NorCal Regional team. It’s been an amazing experience to say the least. The athletes I’ve had the pleasure of working with are experienced, knowledgeable and a lot of fun to be around. We push each other, coach one anther, and hang out when we’re finished. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of friends to be training with every day. I made these cookies for a BBQ we had last weekend. Considering the fact that they were gone in 2 seconds, I’m gonna say they were liked somewhat. So you’ll probably want to make them. Enjoy and happy weekend!

Noatmeal cookies

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MEATLOAF

I’ve been dying to post a recipe for paleo meatloaf because it’s one of my favorite things to make and eat. It’s so easy and so tasty. The problem is, my pictures always turn out like crap. Well this is still the case, but I’ve given in because this is probably as good as it’s going to get. It’s delicious though, I promise! Yea I know, you’re just going to have to trust me on this one. I seriously make this like once a week, it’s that good and that easy. And if you didn’t already know, I’m kind of a lazy cook, so I work hard to create things that are super simple and super delicious just like this.

meatloaf

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BUFFINS (aka Protein Muffins)

My baking skills were put to the test by my amazing but skeptical teammate Drew Canavero last week after I posted a picture of myself eating mass amounts of ribs. Why my eating ribs lead to me baking muffins for my team seems a bit strange, but Drew’s a bit strange, so I guess it kind of makes sense. You might also be wondering why I would call someone both strange and amazing but he did help me snatch 170lbs, so he’s not so bad. Okay I’m getting off topic here. So how did these buffins come about? Well Drew blackmailed me. I can’t really explain that part any further, but he wanted rib muffins so I had to make them. I acted confident in my ability to produce delicious rib muffins, but inside I was a little worried. I’d never made a protein muffin before and I had no idea how to cook with protein, but I was determined to figure it out. I also procrastinated and was short on ingredients, so after I whipped these together I didn’t even have enough to try them before I fed them to my guinea pigs. I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I guess I got lucky because they were gobbled up before I knew it. I’ll have to come prepared with more next time. Thank you to my Caffeine and Kilos team for being so great and supportive. Feel free to put in your requests for the next team recipe.

Buffins

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SIMPLE PANCAKES EVEN BETTER

I’ve come to the conclusion that life is confusing and decisions are hard to make. I’m sorry if I just blew your mind with this discovery. I’ll hang on a second while you regroup. I read a quote the other day from Charles Bukowski that said “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” This quote may be a bit extreme, but I’d like to think I’m fairly intelligent, yes I have my dumb moments, but I certainly doubt myself and my ability more then I should. What am I afraid of? Failing? Well, if we don’t try, we’ll certainly never succeed. I read another quote, likely on Pinterest because that’s where I waste the majority of my time, that said “Ability is nothing without opportunity”. Okay you’re probably wondering what I’m rambling on about at this point, but basically, I’ve taken some risk in the past, leaving the corporate world to pursue my passion as a CrossFit trainer and athlete, which has also given me more time to focus on my blog and nutrition which I’m extremely passionate about. But what else lies ahead for me? I have a lot of goals and things I’d like to accomplish, but how am I going to get there? Someone has given me the opportunity to turn my dreams into a reality, and I’d be silly not to take the risk and try. Am I worried I’m going to hurt someones feelings? Yes, that’s just who I am. Does that mean I shouldn’t do what I know is best for me? No. I’m going to take a leap of faith, I’m going to work hard, and I’m going to make it happen. I believe in myself, and I have people who believe in me. Playing it safe is dangerous, and in my opinion, if there’s something you just can’t stop thinking about, you need to go out and do it. Suck it up and get out there, you’re worth all that you imagine. If you have the ability to do something great, and opportunity knocks on your door, you better be ready to take the reigns and roll. Stay positive, stay motivated, work hard, and as always…eat pancakes.

Pancakes3

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CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD

Okay this might be one of the best things I’ve ever made, and unfortunately I can’t take credit for it. I recently went to an event where Danielle Walker from Against All Grain was speaking and had the pleasure of meeting her and buying her new book. It’s a stunning book full of delicious paleo recipes. This was the first recipe I decided to try out and it was amazing. I brought it to a Friendsgiving party and it was a hit! Honestly, this recipe is the real deal. I made a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had in my cupboard and it came out perfect. Hope you enjoy it. And be sure to eat a lot. I’d like to attribute the mass quantities I ate to the weight I’ve been picking up in training lately. What is that saying? Lift big, eat big.

banana bread

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PUMPKIN PIE

Well it’s November already! And although I’m not a huge fan (actually make that not a fan at all) of the cold weather, I do enjoy the holiday season and spending time with friends and family. There’s something about the cold weather that brings everyone together. Maybe it’s the common consensus that we should all be locked in the house with our heaters on, I don’t know, but it’s definitely a fun time to share food and gifts with the ones we care about. So of course when I think of November, I think of Thanksgiving, and then I think of stomach pain from all of the food I know I’m going to eat. But maybe, just maybe, if we had a few healthier options around, I wouldn’t dread the upset so much. Yes, I will still stuff my face with too much food, but hopefully the aftermath will be slightly less painful. The first order of business? A paleo pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Pie

Why? Because it’s one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving, and I thought, it shouldn’t be that hard to modify. And really, when you think about the main feast, you can eat pretty healthy on Thanksgiving if that’s something you want to do. There’s turkey (yum!), mashed potatoes (which really aren’t that bad, since they’re gluten and grain free, just pass on putting dairy in them if that upsets your stomach), and plenty of side dishes like salad, roasted vegetables, etc, etc. Really all that’s left is the perfect dessert, which I’m about to share with you now. So who’s up for taking the paleo Thanksgiving challenge with me?

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CAPPELLO’S SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE DOUGH

I had the pleasure of taste testing one of the newest and most exciting things since, well, since forever. Slice and bake paleo cookie dough. Yes you heard me right. You order it online, slice it, bake it, and devour it. Or you just open the package and eat the dough if you see fit.

Cappello's 2

So what exactly is this paleo cookie dough I speak of? It’s the latest creation from one of my favorite grain free brands Cappello’s. I’ve written about their delicious pasta in the past. They make gluten and grain free Gnocchi, Fettuccine and Lasagna sheets out of almond flour. But cookie dough? That’s just a whole new ballgame. They teamed up with one of my favorite paleo bloggers Primal Palate to create this treat and I’m pretty sure they’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. The majority of the dough is made from almond flour and they are sweetened with Organic Grade B Vermont Maple Syrup. There are a few other ingredients which I’m sure the paleo police will attack, specifically the evaporated cane juice in the chocolate chunks and the debatable use of arrowroot flour in the paleo diet, but you know what, if you’re going to eat cookies on the paleo diet, then you’ve already condemned yourself to the backlash of the paleo police and you just need to move on and eat what fits your lifestyle. For me, I try to keep the largest part of my diet focused around meat, healthy fats, fresh vegetables and fruit. But on occasion I like to enjoy a treat like this, and knowing that one or two of these won’t upset my stomach like a gluten filled one would makes me jump for joy!

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GARLIC ESCAROLE SWEET POTATO NOODLES WITH SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE

I’m very excited to share this post with you because it’s my first guest post! And the best part is, she’s amazing. I mean, she makes noodles out of vegetables. How great is that? And all, I mean ALL, of her recipes are fantastic. The second best part about this recipe, well besides the fact that it’s absolutely delicious, its extremely simple to make. If you’ve been following me for a while now, you know I’m a big fan of simple and quick recipes. We’re all busy, I know that, but your health shouldn’t have to go out the window because of it. If you have the right tools and resources eating healthy is easy. My suggestions? Experiment with recipes on the weekends and stock up on fresh meat and vegetables, meal prep on Monday, and keep your cabinet stocked with a variety of oils and spices. You’ll always be prepared!

Garlic Escarole Sweet Potato Noodles with Sweet Italian Sausage

So who’s this mysterious guest blogger? Her name is Ali and she’s the genius behind the website Inspiralized where she turns vegetables into noodles and makes to die for recipes. Spiralizing completely revolutionizes the way we think about vegetables and allows us to eat giant bowls of pasta guiltessly! Sounds like a Paleo dieter’s dream if you ask me. Spiralized veggie pasta is not only nutritious and filling, it’s easy to make. Healthy  noodles in minutes? I’m sold!

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HOW TO MAKE BACON IN THE OVEN

I’m simply  sharing this because its the easiest and most simple way to make bacon. It also tastes the best this way, and has the easiest clean up. Crazy how that all works out together. Enjoy!

Bacon

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PESTO GNOCCHI WITH SHRIMP AND ASPARAGUS

So I’ve been dying to make a killer dish with the Cappello’s gluten and grain free pasta that’s been chillin’ in my freezer and a friend invited me to a paleo dinner party last night and I knew it was the perfect time to whip something up. I wanted something light and fresh with lots of protein and veggies so I came up with this super simple, fast and delicious recipe. And I’m not kidding, it was so easy! I procrastinated until about 20 minutes before I had to leave for the party and I still made it in time.

Another reason I’m super excited about this recipe? Because I’ve been extra busy lately and I know the simplicity and quick prep will help me stay on track with my diet. I’ve been training a lot more lately with my sights set on competing at the CrossFit Games next year and nutrition is so important. Obviously nutrition is always important, but it can really separate a good athlete from a great one. I want to make sure that when the time comes I’ve done everything I possibly could have to prepare. From my training, to my diet, to the amount of sleep I get, no stone will be unturned. Only then will I truly know I’ve done everything I could. And I hope this yummy recipe keeps you on track whatever your goals might be!

Gnocchi

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