recipes

What the Paleo?!?

paleo-diet

Tis the season for resolutions. Adie wrote about some resolutions HERE. But I wanted to talk about one in particular that I’ve tried (along with my husband) that absolutely changed my life: changing my eating habits to paleo.
Adopting a paleo lifestyle was very hard work in the beginning. When you are used to eating every “food group” under the sun,it seems a first that you are being deprived…
until I looked up paleo recipes on Pinterest!!! You can make ANYTHING into a paleo dish. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Yes, it takes more prep, and yes it can be more expensive, but aren’t you and your loved ones worth it? Would I rather spend tons of money a year on medical bills and drugs, or take preventative steps by spending a little more money on food and supplements that will keep disease away and heal your gut? I know which one I would pick (and HAVE picked). Food is medicine.

For those of you who may not know what a paleo diet is all about, here is the gist: plants, nuts, and meats. Yep, that’s it! No processed foods like sugar, grains, or dairy, and no legumes. Some of you are already saying “No way,” or “I’m out! I can’t survive without my cheese.” And to tell you the truth, I was the same way! But do your research and hear me out. There are so many resources you can use to make it feel like you are not being deprived ONE BIT! In fact, the alternatives you use to replace the processed foods are so great for you that there is REALLY zero guilt when “treating” yourself to a paleo chocolate cupcake or almond butter and chocolate truffle. :)

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When I first began the lifestyle change, I did as much research as possible. I read books and looked up websites. Educating yourself on WHY this is a good decision is just as important as the decision itself. My favorite website is by Julie Bauer over a paleOMG.com. Please visit ASAP! As soon as you scroll through and see the yummy foods she prepares, you will see how possible this is for you!

 

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Now here is how it changed my life: I was sick for years and didn’t even know it. In fact, most of our society is sick in some way. Processed sugar, grains, and dairy feed the bad bacteria in our gut and cause overgrowth. This overgrowth damages our gut and allows toxins to get into our bodies through the blood stream (leaky gut).  This overgrowth and imbalance in the body leads to an endless list of issues.  Many issues we think are just part of who we are:  joint pain, acne, digestive issues, head aches…

But the truth is, we can change those symptoms forever.  That’s what they are:  SYMPTOMS.  Symptoms flaring up in your body because of imbalance, bad bacteria, and toxins taking over.  Our body doesn’t know how to process processed-foods and gets chronically inflamed when putting them into our body day after day, meal after meal.

If you are not willing to put in the time and effort to prepare for this change, then this is not for you.  It does take work and getting used to, but it does get easier.  If my rural in-laws from a town of 500 people, no health food stores, no book stores, no NOTHING, can do it, so can you!  (My father in law lost 30 pounds in 4 months by JUST changing the way he eats.)

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This won’t work if you are a family who asks “What’s for dinner” every night at 5 o’clock.  You must PREP with meal plans and grocery lists to be successful and stay on track.  Not to mention most of the food is NOT your average household items that are already in your pantry and fridge.  It’s WHOLE FOODS that are fresh, new, different, interesting, and WILL go badif you don’t eat them soon after buying it. That’s a good thing!

I’m not saying that I am a “strict” paleo.  Especially during pregnancy I’ve eaten my fair share of GF pretzels and bland, starchy foods.  But what always brings me back to the paleo way of life is how WELL I feel, how FIT I feel, and the changes I’ve seen in my mood, body, and health while following this lifestyle.

I encourage you to open up your mind and try this paleo lifestyle. You are worth the extra time and money and you will feel 100% better about yourself.  I promise!

If you want more information or want to join my “Heal Your Gut” challenge starting Jan 6, to help kickstart your paleo adventure and heal that LEAKY gut of yours, please email me at mviefhaus@gmail.com.

If you’ve ever tried the paleo lifestyle, I would LOVE to hear what you think!  Leave a comment below.

Signature Maggie

Grandma Vee’s Stuffed Peppers

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As most of you have noticed, my family is EXTREMELY close. We’re talking invite our 88 year old grandma to our Costume Karaoke Halloween party close. My dad still goes over to her house every day for his lunch break. She makes AMAZING meals and I’m so thankful that I get to go over to her place a couple of days a week and visit with her. It makes me a little sad to know that I won’t be able to do this when I get a full time job…hmmm. 😉
She makes yummy meals for us (after always checking with me if it’s “gluten free” of course) like meatloaf, soups, salads, chili, and recently STUFFED PEPPERS. They are so delicious that I had to get the recipe from her. I asked her how she made them and she told me all the ingredients and said “I don’t really measure anything,” in her high pitched grandma voice that I love. She explained that her mother used to make them and she just “threw everything together.” Such a grandma thing, right?! So I snooped through her things to get an idea of how I could make the same yummy peppers ASAP! Here’s the ingredient list:
• 4 green bell peppers
• 1.5 lbs of ground beef or other ground meat
• 1 small-medium onion chopped
• 2 eggs
• 48 oz. can of tomato juice
• Brown rice
• Spices to taste

Directions:

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1. Cut the tops off of the green peppers and clean out seeds. Set aside.

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2. In a large bowl, mix together raw beef, onion, eggs, any spices you would like, along with a couple handfuls of brown rice. Get your hands dirty and make a giant meatloaf mixture. Set aside.

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3. In a large sauce pan or pot (I used a chili pot), empty about 1/3 of the can of tomato juice and start heating over medium heat.

4. Using your hands, stuff the peppers with the meat mixture. Place them into the heating juice.

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5. Any extra meat can be used as meat balls around the peppers. Grandma also explained how she sprinkled some rice around in the juice as well. The more rice you add, the less soupy it will be. Brown rice especially soaks up a lot of moisture so if you want it juicy, use less rice.

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6. Pour the remainder of the tomato juice into the pot and over the peppers. It’s okay if they are submerged.
7. Cover and bring to a bubble. As soon as it bubbles, turn down the heat to medium-low or low and slow cook for about an hour.

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*I turned the peppers on their sides and turned them every once in a while to make sure the juice was getting in and cooking the meat evenly.

It took me about 10 minutes to mix everything together and throw it into the pot. It’s so easy and DELICIOUS! It’s a total grandma meal :)
When they are ready, I just scooped a pepper and juice with rice into my bowl and scarfed it down. If you want just a little bit of seconds, the meatballs and rice on the sides are PERFECT! You HAVE to try this ASAP and let us know what you think!
Happy Pepper Stuffing!

Signature Maggie

Motivation Monday 30 Day Challenges

Happy Veteran’s Day fit friends.  So glad you stopped by to visit today and check out what is motivating us at the Four Fit Sisters site.  As many of you know, the four of us sisters enjoy the opportunity to share what we have learned in our 25+  years in regards to health and fitness, motherhood, teaching, and life in general.  We do not pretend to be experts in anything other than our educated fields of interest, and enjoy the opportunity to share what life has taught us through the hands we have been dealt and the experiences we have had.  Whether we are talking about organizing a home, Celiac Disease, our new favorite workouts, or sharing personal life stories, we are thankful for your interest and appreciate the feedback and kind words that are left through comments and emails.

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Outside of sharing what life has taught us, we also enjoy taking the time to help others find their way through the often lonely battle with getting fit and healthy.  For some, getting healthier means losing weight, and for others, getting stronger or more active, and some just needing education about what foods are most beneficial to their body; everyone has their own set of specific goals.  We are excited to find ways to help anyone with whatever goals they have set for themselves – and we have found success in the 30 Day Challenge setting.  I wanted to take time today to explain exactly what we do during our challenges, and what we think has made our challengers so successful.

First, challengers are invited into a private Facebook support group.  I think this is a key component in the success of challengers.  They are not alone in the journey.  They are working with 5 – 12 other people who are working towards like goals and are fighting through the same path.  Some people can find success without a challenge setting.  Especially if they have a spouse or close friend or family member that is accompanying or supporting them on their journey.  We are able to reproduce this advantage through a private setting, and find members to create a safe and supportive system for success.

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I can’t say enough about accountability.  This is the next big success driver.  During our challenges, we create opportunities for daily check-ins and interactions to keep our members engaged and accountable.  Small, yet simple tasks that keep the members sharing, active and on task for 30 days straight.  They say it takes 21 days to create a habit – it isn’t easy to keep people engaged for 30 days straight, but we work hard to keep the members motivated and inspired during our time together, so that they leave us with the knowledge and confidence to know that they can continue their new healthier habits long after our 30 days are over.

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Next, I have found requiring challengers to take before and after pictures and their measurements some of the most influential aspects of the challenge.  You would be surprised at the shock and awe when our challengers are able to see a side-by-side shot of themselves and truly appreciate the changes that their bodies have started to make in just 30 days.  Many of my challengers are horrified at the though of taking a picture of themselves in their “before” state – which is sad, but true.  I think this step is an honest piece that has to happen in order to find success.  If you begin your journey without a real evaluation of where you are starting, it is hard to move forward with 100% honesty.  It is humbling and a reality check for most challengers, and for ME, the number one motivator for success.  Knowing that there was a before shot of me lying around was so inspiring.  I knew I was going to put 110% effort into making real changes so that when I stood to take my afters that I would have something to be very proud of.

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Lastly, a combination of nutrition and movement is critical for success in our challenges.  We work hard to help our challengers truly understand what it takes to create a deficit in their calorie intake and find a way to manage their food and exercise together to make changes in a healthy way – no starving yourself or working out for 2 hours a day.  I truly believe that if weightloss is the goal, your success is 70% due to the foods you are eating and 30% due to the exercise habits you are introducing.  Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t outrun your fork”.  So true.  You can workout really hard, and see little results if the food isn’t right.  We work hard on healthy meal planning, and guide our challengers to find ways to eat healthy and whole foods that keep them full and satisfied throughout their days with us, and hopefully inspire lifelong changes moving forward once the challenge setting is done.

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We are so excited each month to hold challenges for people that are interested and ready to make changes in their life.  The challengers are inspiration to us and are a huge reason that we are able to keep motivated and keeping up with our own healthy choices.  Everyone knows how the beginning of a new year allows for people to start fresh and set new goals for themselves.  We would love for you to keep us in mind for your New Years Resolution if health and fitness is a place where you struggle.  We would love to support you with a system that has proven to be successful for others just like you.  If you have the desire within you, we can help you meet your goals in a healthy and fun way through our 30 day challenge setting. 

Email us at fourfitsisters@gmail.com for info on any of our 30 day challenges – not limited just to New Years!  Or visit our individual Facebook pages to see when new challenge opportunities become available. 

This eCard made me laugh so hard:

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Thanks for visiting today. We hope your week is off to a great start.  Enjoy your Monday!

Signature Adie