OMP: Paleo meatloaf

 

It’s been a minute since I posted a recipe, huh?

Well, this is a good one, especially with the unseasonably cool weather we’re having here in Southwest Ohio!

Say what you want about meatloaf, I love it. My mom makes good meatloaf, and maybe that’s why. To me, it’s comforting. It goes with anything. And although it isn’t a super quick meal to make, it lasts a long time and it’s pretty easy.

When I changed my diet to being mostly paleo, I eventually went looking for a good meatloaf recipe. Meatloaf usually has breadcrumbs in it (strike one!), and the best ones are topped with that awesome ketchup based glaze (strike two, lots of sugar).

But man, I found a recipe that I like. If you want to try it, you can find it here. It’s pretty good… but I think I’ve improved on it a bit.

The last time I made this recipe, I forgot to buy tomato paste to help it knit together. I stewed, rather like my fictional tomatoes, trying to decide what to do.

And then I had a stroke of genius. I had canned pumpkin. I added most of the can of pumpkin to my meatloaf and baked it up. I also added quite a few eggs and as usual, kind of punted on the seasonings.

So now, we’ve got whole 30, AIP, Gluten free, paleo meatloaf! Woo!

The results were excellent. I made one full size meatloaf and two baby size ones, and I ate meatloaf for at least a week. But I love leftovers, so that was fine by me!

Here’s the complete recipe:

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Ground beef
  • 3 eggs
  • medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 8 ounces canned pumpkin (NOT pie filling. Don’t do that to yourself)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 T oregano

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. The better mixed, the better your results will be. Really get in there!
  3. Place meatloaf in greased loaf pans (I used one large and two small)
  4. Bake for an hour or until cooked through (less time for the little guys!)
  5. Top with a can of tomato sauce + 2 tsp italian seasoning, if desired.

 

Enjoy!

 

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How to Grocery Shop like Supergirl

Hi Superheroes! Happy Tuesday!

Today, we’re going to take a spin around my favorite grocery stores and see how we can make this regular task a little less… boring and awful.

To be fair, I don’t mind the grocery store. But I have a system (surprise!) that makes it pretty painless.

So let’s dig in!

First of all, make a plan. We’ve already talked about meal planning. That’s definitely how I make my grocery list. If I’m really on top of my game, I even organize my list by type of item, if not by department of the store. Once you’ve got your list, you can feel confident in what you need to get, and it’s easier to keep interlopers out of your cart!

Choose a time that doesn’t suck. There are times when the grocery store is more crowded. My recommendation is to avoid the store at those times. For me, that means I avoid the store like the plague from 5-7 pm on weekdays and completely on Saturdays. It just isn’t worth it. My favorite times are mid afternoon weekdays, evenings or Sunday afternoons.  Really, the less people in the store, the happier you’ll be. That also means you avoid upcoming holidays if at all possible, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Eat a snack before you go. You ever go to the grocery store hungry? And then you get to the checkout and you’ve spent $50 more than you intended and you get home and you just can’t understand how those donuts, cheetos or beer ended up in your kitchen. This is solved by eating before you go! Grab a kind bar or some beef jerky and get your shop on. On that same note, take a drink with you! I usually have water or club soda, but I’ve been known to pick up a drink at that super handy Starbucks kiosk in the front of my store when I need a pick me up.

Use headphones. My distraction of choice is almost always audiobooks, but good upbeat music works well too! Not so loud that people can’t get your attention if they need it- but enough to put you in a good mood!

Shop the outside of the store. This is an oldie but a goodie: nothing good happens in the inner aisles of the Grocery Store. Stick to the outer edges and avoid the treacherous ice cream and cookie aisles.

And as a bonus tip, find a grocery store you really like, but also one that is convenient for you. For example, I love Trader Joe’s… but the nearest one is a full 20 minute drive in the opposite direction of anything else I do. So I mostly shop at Kroger, which I like better than Meijer, and is more in my price range than Whole Foods.

And there you have it! 6 tips to make grocery store trips less painful! I hope this helps you out there!

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite Grocery Store? Why?Leave me a comment or let me know by using #Superheroliving on social media!

 

A few words on spending time with people

Today, I had the unadulterated joy of spending the majority of my day with my (almost) 93 year old grandmother. She is a joy. Smart, funny, self deprecating, kind. We had a lovely afternoon catching up, and then, this evening, I went to a potluck dinner with some of the people from my church. I was the youngest one in the room by a solid twenty years. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And that made me think about how valuable it is to spend time with people from other generations. Whether it’s spending time with kids, or people older than you, I hope you find time to learn from these people.

There are a million things we can learn from people who are different than us, in general. But people with more life experience are a wealth of… well… experience!

And if I have to explain why that’s valuable… too bad, I can’t.

 

Superhero Action of the Day: Call your parents or grandparents, if you still can. Or think about a way to get to know someone of a different generation than you.

F(m)F Fridays: Crafted and Cured- www.superheroliving.blog

F(m)F Fridays: Crafted and Cured

If you live in the Dayton area and you haven’t been to Crafted and Cured yet, it’s way, way, way past time.

Full disclosure, I hadn’t been before last week. It had been on my list of “things to do”, but I just hadn’t gotten over there.

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Crafted and Cured is a craft beer and meat/cheese place in the Oregon District of downtown Dayton. It’s in the extended blocks of the district, on Wayne avenue in the Dietz building. There are several more stores going into that building, so it’s definitely a place to keep your eye on for the future.

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For now, though, Crafted and Cured is no slouch! The decor is funky in an antique-y way. The people are very friendly and very, very knowledgeable. The “Crafted” bar has 60 taps. Yes, 60. Many of them, although not all, are local, and they have a healthy variety of things, including two taps for non alcoholic drinks. There’s wine as well, although not as much. The “Cured” counter has a menu that includes a variety of different cheeses and meats. You can choose any combination of the meats and cheeses, and the chefs will put together a custom cheese board for you. And they are really works of art. I mean, look at this thing:IMG_1649IMG_1670

It is a little pricey for the evening, although I think well worth it. My one real complaint is that there aren’t any “pre built” cheese board options, and the menu is a little overwhelming. The things we chose for our board were all really superbly delicious, but I had no idea if they would go together well at all- still don’t, in fact. It would be nice to be able to choose from a few options that had been curated for the customer a little bit. img_1673.jpg

But really, that’s my only improvement. It’s a dynamite little spot- I can’t wait to go back!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: have you been anywhere new lately? I’d love to hear about it! Let me know in the comments!

Make the most of your time- www.superheroliving.blog

5 ways to make life easier

Hi Superheroes!

We’re all busy. Work, school, family, friends, working out, saving the world- how are we supposed to keep up? It’s hard! So here’s a couple of tips to help you out when things feel like you’ll never, ever, EVER catch up.

 

  1. Put your bills on auto pay. As many of them as possible. Yes, it is absolutely TERRIFYING to do that if you aren’t ABSOLUTELY sure there will be enough money in your account- but it is one less thing to think about (and forget about). Some examples might be: savings/retirement, cable/internet, electricity, gas, water, trash pickup, gym memberships, or (of course) subscription services. I try to leave the really big bills (for me that’s rent and student loans) up to me as to when exactly I pay them so I can double check that they’re not causing me a problem.  Almost everything else goes on auto pay, which makes my semi monthly bill paying sessions very quick and easy!
  2. While we’re at it… SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES. I’ve already told you I’m obsessed with Dollar Shave Club. But the other super handy subscription service I use is Amazon’s Subscribe and Save. I chose 5 products that I wanted to receive either every month or every other month, and I put them on subscribe and save. I get them for a slightly cheaper price AND I never have to remember to pick them up at the store. For me, those five products were dog treats, KIND bars, Larabars, tampons and face cloths. Five isn’t the limit either- the more you subscribe, the more you save! For me, these five products were something I either forgot to buy regularly but needed, or else i had to make a special trip just to get them. Either way, now they get delivered to my door.
  3. Plan ahead. I know this seems like a no brainer. But the more you plan ahead, the easier you’ll breathe. Find a calendar that works for you, and then use it! Maybe it’s your phone, maybe it’s on paper. Either way, schedule absolutely EVERYTHING in. Sometimes I even schedule in my travel time from point A to point B- and sometimes I add important listening or phone calls to that time. Also, plan your meals. You’ll feel so much better physically, and man, does it make you feel like an adult.
  4. Keep your home clean. This is SO hard when you’re busy. Believe me, I know. But it is so, so helpful to take 5-10 minutes at the end of your day, no matter what, and do one chore. Put away laundry. Swiffer the floors. Wipe down the surfaces in your bathroom. Oh, and try to do your dishes before bed too. Or at least load the dishwasher.
  5. Have a triage list. Sometimes, things just get too crazy. Hopefully these periods don’t last too long, but occasionally, all of us will have to let somethings go in order to get through a very busy time in our lives. I find it helpful to know which of my priorities and projects can get dropped in what order. For example, for me, my list looks like this: TV, pleasure reading or making, time with friends and family (sorry!), cleaning, side projects, exercise, sleep, cooking, work (because work is usually the thing sucking my time away). So, TV is the first thing I cut out, and work becomes my “must do, must finish on time” item. Although I really start to feel uncomfortable when I have to start cutting in on my cleaning, side projects or exercise, I know that if I have to, I can cut down on that stuff and come back to it when life slows down again. I don’t like it, but I can deal with it.

 

Super hero action of the day: How do you save time when you’re busy? And what’s your triage list look like?

7 ways to beat the heat- www.superheroliving.blog

7 ways to beat the heat

Happy first day of Summer, Northern Hemisphere! Was it hot today where you are? It was in the 90’s here today- not as hot as some places, I know, but plenty warm enough for me! Also, my superhero hideout does not have air conditioning, so by the end of the day, it is WARM up in here.

So today, let’s look at ways to stick it out in the heat!

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  1. Popsicles. I know this is probably pretty obvious, but man do I eat A LOT of popsicles during the summer. I usually buy these Outshine fruit bars. I regularly eat one before bed, and I at least FEEL cooler, even if my body temperature hasn’t gone down at all. 31oc1rk5z6l
  2. If you have one of these handy microwave rice bags, pop it in the freezer for about an hour to give yourself a nice chilly hug.
  3. TURN THE OVEN OFF. Again, maybe this is obvious, but if at all humanly possible, just don’t use the oven. Summer is a great time to use your crock pot to do your cooking, or to take a good look at salads and smoothies.
  4. Use cold water. Sometimes I drink a huge glass of it. Sometimes, even in the middle of the day, I take an ice cold shower for as long as I can stand it. Sometimes I just run my arms under cold water at the tap- or just my feet.
  5. Stay hydrated! When you’re hot, you’re sweating, and sweat uses a lot of liquid! Plus, sweat is the best way we have to cool our bodies. And water is good for you.
  6. Choose strategic times to exercise, and give yourself a proper cool down. My boxing gym is not air conditioned. When it’s 90 degrees outside, it’s about 100 in there. Sometimes that means I don’t go to a lot of boxing in the Summer. It’s just too hot. To avoid this, workout first thing in the morning, or after dark- or go someplace cool- just make sure to cool down properly when you’re done!
  7. If all else fails, get an ac unit. Last spring, I bought a portable room air conditioner unit (you can check them out here). It’s loud, it doubles my electric bill if I use it a lot, it’s a pain to store… but it gets the job done. Even better, I can choose when it’s hot enough to use it and when I can do without, because it doesn’t take up the entire window for the entire Summer. I can remove the vent when I want to, or push it into another room. Totally worth the inconvenience.

Superhero Action of the day: what’s your favorite way to stay cool when it’s hot outside? Drop me a comment- I’d love the new ideas!

how to get out of your comfort zone- www.superheroliving.blog

Get out of your comfort zone

I spent last weekend at the first annual Girl Redefined Retreat. I cannot WAIT to tell you ALL about it, but honestly, I need a little bit of time to process the whole thing. For now, though, let me say, it was one of the best weekends of my life and I have learned so much about who I am and the kind of person I want to be from my time there.

 

Perhaps the thing that was compounded into my head over and over again though, was the importance of getting out of our comfort zones.

This isn’t the first time that lesson has been jammed into my brain. Repeatedly, in my life, there have been times where staying comfortable cancels out any forward momentum.

It hasn’t been an easy lesson for me to learn. In fact, most of the time, I get dragged out of my comfort zone like a baby bird getting flung out of the nest. It’s SCARY to get out there, try something new. It’s terrifying to realize that getting from point A to point B is going to take something new. It’s going to take something scary. It’s going to make you uncomfortable. It’s going to require a level of vulnerability that you’re not used to.

This is true in many areas of our lives: it’s true in our careers, in our relationships, in our goals and dreams. It’s true with our pet baby projects that we’re scared to show the world. It’s true with our health, our fitness goals and our struggles.

There are several ways we can work on getting out of our comfort zones in small ways so we can be more prepared for the big, scary leaps.

 

  1. Try new things. This can be a variety of things! New foods, new hobbies, new experiences, new places. Heck, maybe it’s enough to try a new grocery store!
  2. Reach out to people. Sometimes, it can be uncomfortable for us to do this, especially if it’s strangers! My favorite way to practice this skill is to compliment strangers. “hey, your hair is really lovely!” “Oh my gosh, that jacket is SO CUTE!” You’ll be amazed at how people will react to this. It’s a sure fire way to lift people up, and it will make you feel UNSTOPPABLE. No one is going to say much of anything besides “oh, thanks!” when you do this. You’ll build confidence, and you’ll build their confidence. Win-win. Of course, there are lots of ways to reach out to people that will stretch your comfort zone. Call an old friend and catch up. Go out of your way to be nice to someone- especially someone who needs it extra bad.
  3. Find a challenge- or create your own! There are lots of online challenges you can be a part of that look SO fun- check this one out: comfortzonecrusher.com

So that’s just a few ways to work on stretching the size of your comfort zone. But what are the benefits of living on the edge of our comfort zone?

First, I think it’s important to live there, so we aren’t afraid of doing things. Superheroes are brave, and we want that! And living on the edge of our comfort zone is an important part of that. If you haven’t read my post on the meaning of the word brave, you should! Secondly, living on the edge of our comfort zone keeps us on our toes. Complacency is the enemy of forward movement, and we have to move forward, always. Finally, living on the edges of our comfort zone helps us to be ready to say yes to unexpected opportunities.

 

And that, my friends, is how we become superheroes. We stay on our toes, we stay brave, and we say yes, unflinchingly, and without fear. We build each other up. We speak our truths, even when we’re scared. That’s superhero living. You in?

 

Superhero Action of the Day: Make a plan to get out of your comfort zone today. Even if it’s just a random compliment, find that place of discomfort, and reach for it. You can do it!

Sunday Night rituals- www.superheroliving.blog

Sunday Night Rituals

I know, we aren’t even ready to start thinking about Sunday night yet- it’s only Saturday night! But hopefully this will give you some time to schedule this for yourself and let it help you.

A couple of years ago, I was looking for a way to be more ready to start my week. What kinds of things did I need to do on Sunday so that Monday didn’t suck so much? I found this post  on a blog called Blair Blogs. Boy, did it help! I tried her way now and then for a while, and I did notice myself feeling better about my weeks. Over time, though, I’ve adapted her routine and turned it into my own. Here’s what I do on Sundays to make sure I’m ready for the week ahead.

 

  1. Sit with my planner & make goals

I sit down with my planner, make sure I’ve got all of my meetings, teaching days, etc. scheduled in. Then, I go back in and fill the rest of the days up. When am I going to exercise? Clean my apartment? Do my laundry? Run errands? Take long walks with Penelope? Yes, I write ALL of that down in my planner. I also write out weekly goals- how am I going to get where I want to be at the end of the month? I write it all down.

  1. Ten minute tidy & dishes

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I spend 10 minutes tidying up my apartment, and I make sure all of the dishes are clean. The week starts better when my space is clean. Ten minutes may not seem like much, but you’ll be surprised at what you can get done in that brief amount of time if you focus!

  1. Make sure the laundry is put away. Similar to a ten minute tidy, knowing where all of my clothes are makes life just a little easier. Besides, it clears up the clutter in my bedroom, which I like!

 

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  1. Meal plan/prep for the week. Whether or not I do the actual meal planning on Sunday, I try to spend a few minutes meal prepping on Sunday afternoons. On very busy weeks, this includes bagging snacks for easy grab and go, and all of my meals. If it’s a less full week, just knowing what I’m going to eat when can be enough. Sometimes I spend all Sunday afternoon doing some batch cooking. This makes for a super easy week, and I’m always thrilled to have it done. (check back tomorrow for a how-to post on this!

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  1. Make a weekly to do list. Usually, in fact, I make several of them. Frequently I start by writing down absolutely everything that needs to get done that week, regardless of project or type. Then, I go through and rewrite it according to what project it belongs to: work, personal, blog, etc. Sometimes, I then go through and rewrite those sub lists in order of importance. Yes, I am a little ridiculous about my lists!

 

  1. Take some time to relax. Sometimes that means vegging in front of my TV watching reruns. Sometimes it means a nice long walk. Sometimes it means a nap, or a book, or a marathon cooking session or organizing time. Sometimes I treat myself to a bath and a home mani pedi. Whatever it is, I try to find some time to relax and refocus for the week.

 

And that’s pretty much it! I know it seems like a lot, but the basics can be done in about 30 minutes, and I get so much more than 30 minutes back. Taking the time to build some structure into my life is what keeps my forward momentum ticking, and let’s me focus on how I want my week to go: productivity wise and personally. Having a solid support structure helps me manage everything and live life the way I want to.

 

Superhero action of the Day: What are some of your Sunday Night Rituals? If you don’t have any yet, what are some things that would help make your week go more smoothly? Can you do any of them before bedtime on Sunday?

 

 

Fun and (Mostly) Free Fridays: go for a hike

If you haven’t gone hiking yet, you, my friend, are missing out. The great outdoors is called Great for a reason. And more than beautiful scenery, there’s something about time outside that helps us remember who we are. It helps us reconnect with our instincts, and become… well… superheroes. There’s a reason the Fortress of Solitude is in the middle of nowhere. There’s a reason Bruce Wayne trained on the top of a dang mountain. The reasons are two fold:

Reason number one: physical exertion helps us learn about ourselves. Any time you wear your body out, it teaches you what your limits are. Obviously, this is true physically, but it shows us our mental limits too. And once we know where those limits are, we can find a way to break through them.

The second reason is that the outdoors teaches those same lessons. And when we combine the two, magical things happen. Reconnecting with nature helps us find our basic, biological selves, and teaches us how to grow. When we do that, we are unstoppable.

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We find things we never knew we were missing.

So this summer, I’m trying to do more hiking. And this week, I found myself at George Rogers Clark Park, right outside of Springfield, Ohio.

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George Rogers Clark Park is a VERY interesting place to begin with, featuring a house you can tour (which, apparently, is haunted, if that’s your thing). There are also a bunch of cool old (or old style, truth be known I’m not sure) buildings- a fort with a log cabin, and a Native American village. The hiking paths are not too long, but there are a fair number of small hills, some lovely water features and lots of beautiful woods. The trails are very rugged and rustic. There were hoof prints in the mud, too, so apparently horse back riding happens there too.

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We hiked almost four miles, and although it was a little bit muddy, it was a lovely, lovely morning adventure.

And then, of course, we had post hike ice cream.

If you’ve never gone for a hike before, you may find these helpful:

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-if you’re going alone, tell someone where you are and make sure you have a map, even if you think it’s no big deal

-wear comfortable shoes, and dress for the weather. I prefer leggings and layers of shirts, a hat and sunglasses. My personal rule is no jeans! If you get wet, they take forever to dry, and they have a tendency to chafe.

-I always bring a pack with a water bottle, collapsible bowl for Penelope, a couple snacks, sunscreen and bugspray, just in case. This also gives me somewhere to put my car keys!

-take note of the weather and the trail- if it’s been rainy, expect mud, etc.

-leave no trace! This is ALWAYS a good idea when you’re outside, but it bears reminding. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but tracks.

Superhero Action of the Day: Spend some time outside today- even if it’s just 15 minutes, enjoy the world today.

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10 Products I’m loving for June

Happy June 1st, superheroes!

It’s Summer time! I know, I know, it won’t actually be Summer for a couple of weeks yet, but the weather is warm, the days are long, and schools are out!

Today, I’ve got a list of some of my favorite products that can set your Summer off to a great start.

Disclaimer: as of now, I get no money from anyone for talking about products I like. These are honestly just things I like and I think maybe you’ll like them too. Links are not affiliated to me at all, they’re just convenient! Cool!

  1. Tarte Tarteguard SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

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I got this in my Sephora Play! Box a month or so ago, and I have to say, I really like it! I’ve used it the last couple of times I’ve been out hiking or outside in the sun (I’m really pale, and it doesn’t take much!). It’s nice and light on the face, it doesn’t feel greasy, I haven’t broken out, and it’s giving me some good quality spf! Also, I don’t notice that it smells, which is an added bonus for me!

2. Tory Burch- Love Relentlessly Eau de Parfum

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I LOVE THIS SCENT. This is another one I got in my Sephora Play! Box, and I am crazy about it. I mean, first of all, the name is excellent! Love relentlessly is one of my personal mottos- SO superhero. Also, the scent itself is wonderful, light, spicy, complex, seriously, I like it. It balances notes of pink pepper, patchouli, amber and, rose. Individually, those are scents I’m not always fond of, but somehow, this manages to be sweet without being nauseating, spicy without making me sneeze and sexy without being overbearing.

 

3. Dollar Shave Club

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If you are still buying razors like a regular person, I hate to say it, but you’re doing it wrong. These blades are awesome, cheap and consistent. Every month, I get four new razor blades mailed directly to me. You can also get them every other month, which is handy. This comes in VERY handy when you’ve got a last minute pool date or you want to wear a sun dress without warning. (Of course, you should do whatever you like with your body hair, but I like shaving, personally)

 

4. Plantain Chips

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I Love Plantain Chips. Salty, crunchy, delicious. They’re a staple on my grocery list. I love them so much, in fact, that I gave them up during my Whole30 because sometimes I can’t stop eating them. A perfect addition to your beach bag, road trip, or boring old work day!

 

5. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

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Another Sephora Play! win. This lip color has become my go to daily color. It feels great on the lips, and the shade is a nice pinky red without being opaque. It’s also not sticky, which is a huge thing for me and lip colors. It doesn’t last as long as I would like, but it also doesn’t leave anything behind, like some lipsticks, so I don’t even mind that very much.

 

6. California Dreaming OPI nail collection

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I love fresh nail colors to go with the season- and these bright colors remind me fo a beachy sunset- perfect for this time of year. Also, I’m always California Dreaming, so these got my attention right away. I’m in love with the This is Not Whine Country and the Sweet Caramel Sunday colors especially. Yum.

 

7. Pineapple corer and slicer

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I love, love, love fresh pineapple. On everything. Pizza, tacos, heck, even ice cream sometimes. Pineapple hot sauce, barbecue sauce, juice with my club soda… getting the picture?

But cutting a fresh pineapple, that’s the WORST. Until this thing. If you can open a bottle of wine, you can use this thing. Just cut the top off the pineapple, and twist this thing down through the pineapple until you get to the bottom. Then wiggle the tool back out, with your fresh pineapple cut in a spiral on top. I’ll never do this another way again.

Get you one.

 

8. Traveler Grapefruit Shandy

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I’m declaring this the Summer of Grapefruit Shandy. Shandy is the perfect Summer brew, always. Sweet, but refreshing, casual, fun… and this citrusy spin on it? It’s wonderful. Even if you’re not normally a beer drinker, you should try one of these. They’re wonderful.

 

9. Cat Eye Sunglasses

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Cat eye sunglasses. They are SO cute. Dramatic, feminine, funky, retro. They’re the perfect blend of ridiculous and fun hearted. They’re perfect for summer. I just picked up this pair of cuties are at Target for only $16. Score!

 

10. Krave Chili Lime Beef Jerky

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This is my other go to snack. Road trips, quick lunch, afternoon energy punch? This is your friend. It’s sweet and spicy, tender, not tough, and completely addictive. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

 

So there you have it! Ten products to kick your summer off right. Get out there, live big- and bring these things with you!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What are your go to products? I’d love to get your recommendations!