A couple weeks ago at our local farmer's market, we picked up a 3 pound pork loin from a local farmer. We have heard great things about The Phelps Family Farm and their healthy meats - non-GMO, no antibiotics, grassfed, etc. We knew this would be a perfect addition to our weekly meal plan, providing a couple dinners and leftovers for lunch throughout the week.
I decided to prepare the pork loin in the crockpot, and also added some great veggies for extra flavor.
3 sweet potatoes
4-6 large carrots
1 white onion
3-6 garlic cloves
seasoning to taste
- Season the pork tenderloin to your liking
- Cut your veggies into medium to larger chunks (if cut too small they could shrink down to nothing in the slow cooker)
- Place the pork loin in the crockpot
- Place veggies around the pork loin in the crockpot (I even tucked some garlic and onion in a few slits I made in the pork for extra flavor)
- Add about a cup of water to the crockpot
- Season to taste
- Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours
- Do not stir if you don't want the meat to fall apart
Serve and enjoy!
Confession: We loved this so much that we went back to the Carmel farmers market and stocked up on more of the delicious local meat from Phelps Family Farm!
Note: This recipe is Paleo-friendly!
Last weekend, my husband and I decided to set out on a hike. We had a few local spots in mind that we have been wanting to try. We decided not to take the puppers this time, as we did not know what to expect or know how far we wanted to go. Once we arrived, we ended up choosing the 7 mile hiking route that looped around the park. I went a little crazy with the photos, so I hope you enjoy this photo dump of our scenic hike..
We had such a wonderful time exploring a new place. We are already planning another new adventure for this weekend!
With still being pretty new to CrossFit, I am still trying to find my groove, especially in the CrossFit equipment area. I have been trying out a few different things here and there, but today I want to share with you some quality pieces I have been using and loving.
The folks at JerkFit sent me one of their Combo Kits, which has both the WODies for your hands/wrists and Nubs for your thumbs…and a cute little bag to keep them all in.
One of my favorite things about the WODies is that you size them yourself! You choose a size based on your hand measurements, but you cut the finger holes to fit YOUR hand.
These are great for any movements on the rig. Get them chalked up too. Besides saving my hands from unsightly callouses and rips, the wrist supports help sooo much during overhead movements like snatching and overhead squats. They’re easily adjustable, comfortable and washable.
In addition the Nubs provide amazing protection when you use the hook grip. I still forcing myself to try and use the hook grip every chance I get.. taking some getting used to for me!
So, if you are on the lookout for some great CrossFit accessories, check out JerkFit. Follow the links to see more information, pricing, and sizing (and rad color options!) about the WODies and the Nubs.
Disclosure: JerkFit provided me with free product in exchange for a review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have been wondering the answer to this question for quite some time now, so I finally decided to do some research of my own. What is the difference between cocoa and cacao?
Truthfully, there really isn't that much of a difference.
Generally, cacao has come to mean the raw, unroasted form whereas cocoa means the more processed, roasted form.
So, you often see hot chocolate powder being called cocoa powder because cocoa powder is typically more processed, the beans used to make the cocoa powder have been roasted, and there’s often sugar or cacao butter added into it.
However, if you purchase raw cacao powder, it’s generally unroasted, unprocessed, and doesn’t contain cacao butter or added sugar. This is also the form that is generally touted to have various health benefits (e.g., due to its high concentration of antioxidants and flavonols).
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cacoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacoa and removes the fat (cacao butter).
Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Sadly, roasting changes the molecular structure of the cacoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.
Benefits of raw cacao
You can use cocoa powder and cacao powder interchangeably in baking recipes, smoothies,oatmeal, cookies, homemade raw treats, or even stir them into your coffee for a homemade mocha.
In conclusion, both cacao and cocoa are highly nutritious for you and are sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings around the clock. If you want more nutrients, I would suggest you choose cacao, but if you want less calories and and decent source of antioxidants, then definitely go with cocoa powder.
Which do you prefer?
I should really change this series title to, 'What I Recently Listened To", considering the last few books I completed were books on tape during road trips. Oh well, you get the gist.
The most recent book I completed is, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever. These books by Bill O'Reilly (Killing Jesus, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Patton) are honestly only on my radar because my husband enjoys them. He is a history guru - so it is nice to discuss these things that interest him as we listen to the books together on long car trips.
I actually liked this one more than Killing Jesus. The historical details were vividly relayed, and it really does read like a thrilling page-turner. Definitely worth a read - or a listen.
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly
The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history—how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.
In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth—charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist—murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions—including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.
Well, I have been participating in CrossFit for about 6 months now, so I figured it was time for an update. The last time I blogged about CrossFit was during the open. I survived that and even went back for more! I have included a few things I have learned throughout my CrossFit journey so far this year. These are all things that I find to be critical in my training and successes.
Having a coach is critical: I know that I will take it easy on things I’m not good at or comfortable with, and I know that I avoid things I don’t like or things I am not good at (I still despise snatches and overheard squats, particularly because I am not good at them). Having a coach means having someone who has much more knowledge than you to push you to do things you don’t like and aren’t good at. They will be there again and again encouraging you until you make progress. Do I really want to do snatches? No. Do I need to do snatches to get better? Yes. Helping me achieve that is just one of the many things a coach is for. A fellow member at my CrossFit gym recently told me, "Even the best athletes in the world still need coaches." SO TRUE.
Good programming is key: I am very thankful that I am at a place where the coaches are knowledgeable and care about making each member better, faster, and stronger. Not to mention they help us to get actual, functional results. Being able to do the movements properly and safely is SO important. I think it is necessary for anyone interested in trying CrossFit to find a box that has programming that is purposeful, designed by a knowledgeable coach, and that is in line with your philosophy on fitness.
Recovery and nutrition are important: It is amazing to see that what I eat affects my performance. On that same note, I am actually noticing how important food is to recovery. If I eat like crap, my body feels like crap, and I don’t perform well. So I’m trying to make sure I’m eating good, clean foods and eating enough of it. I am actually back on Paleo for this month and increasing my protein intake. I can honestly say I feel a positive difference so far.
Get out of your own head: This could possibly be my biggest obstacle by far. I let my head, my fear, and all the other stuff get in the way. This is something I have struggled with in all of my years playing sports, and even off the field. Research shows pretty consistently that the mind fails before the body in most situations, and that is definitely true for me. If I approach the bar thinking negative thoughts, I’m going to fail that lift. If I go up the bar thinking “I got this” and then put it out my mind, I will probably make the lift - unless it really is too heavy. I truly perform better when I have a positive mindset. This goes for all areas of life, not just CrossFit.
To sum up: I am more confident. I am stronger. I am hitting goals, and creating new ones. I can't wait to see what the next 6 months of CrossFit have in store for me!
Several months ago, a friend of mine recommended a facial cleanser to me. I have always been one to buy normal everyday brands, such as Neutrogena, which I still think is fine. However, I am 27 years old and I am here to tell you that I still get acne. That's right - I break out every so often, and sometimes I just need something stronger to help me keep the break outs at bay. DERMAdoctor Ain't Misbehavin' has been my go-to facial cleanser since first trying it a few months ago. Not only has it helped improve my complexion, but I love that it is free of fragrances and dyes!
Ain’t Misbehavin’ medicated aha/bha acne cleanser is formulated to clear blemishes and work synergistically with your daily acne control regimen. This soothing, non-foaming formula is ideal for anyone looking to reduce excess oiliness, mattify shine, or simply refresh their complexion.
What it is:
A highly effective, medicated, soap free, pH balanced, creamy acne cleanser.
What it is formulated to do:
Deep cleans without drying. Helps eliminate the breakouts while removing excess oil, makeup, and bacteria. Penetrates pores to eliminate, clear up, and prevent the development of new acne blemishes while allowing skin to heal.
What else you need to know:
Dermatologist-tested and approved. pH balanced. Non-comedogenic. Soap, oil, fragrance, and dye-free. No animal testing.
This soap free, oil free, pH balanced, buffered glycolic acid cleanser is enriched and enhanced by:
Skin stops acting out and blemishes are rapidly brought under control. Continued use provides positive reinforcement - keeping skin clear, radiant and free of unsightly blemishes. Appropriate for most skin types.
Dermatologist Tested & Approved
Allergy Tested, Non Irritating, Non-Drying, Non Comedogenic, pH Balanced, Soap Free, Oil Free, Fragrance Free, Dye Free, No Animal Testing, Formulated & Filled in the U.S.A.
Where to buy: direct ($27), sephora ($27), ulta ($27), amazon ($33), nordstrom ($27) - I'm sure there are more places too.
This is another book that I listened to while road tripping in the car. I think my husband described it best when he said, "I feel like I'm watching a movie as we listed to this book." He usually only prefers factual books, so it was interesting to hear his opinions. Then we realized that this book was actually turned into a move, so we might have to rent it at some point since we enjoyed the book so much.
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer.
In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"