Category Archives: clean eating

Baked Zucchini Chips

I don’t often post recipes, but this one has become a staple in my house! Now that I’ve perfected it, I think it’s time to share!! 


Ingredients:

1-2 organic green zucchini

Himalayan Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 230degrees (or just a hair higher than 225!) 

2. Slice zuchini thin, using a mandolin on the smaller setting is best (in my humble opinion)

I bought my mandoline slicer from Aldi for 4.99$ – best purchase ever!

3. Spray olive oil spray (or coat pan with oil of choice using a paper towel to spread oil thinly) on large baking sheet (may use parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up) 

4. Lay out zucchini slices. It’s ok if they overlap as they will get smaller when baked, try not to layer too much if your slices are thicker

5. Salt and pepper lightly – since they get smaller once baked be careful not to put too much or they will be too overpowering. You can also use a seasoning of your choice! 

6. Bake in oven for 1hr, check that they are brown, but not burnt. If your slices are thicker or uneven, check every 10-15 minutes after that. If very uneven, take out baked ones and leave the rest until they are all a brownish color. 

7. Let cool and eat! 
What’s your favorite recipe?

Would you like to see more recipes posted on here? 

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Welcome back: CrossFit

That’s right, after three months, and no real financial change, I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter how much money I need to spend, I need to go back to crossFit for both my health and my sanity. 

CrossFit is more than just a gym, or a sport. It’s a community, a hard as F workout with a coach that’s monitoring your movements so that you don’t get hurt and so you get stronger. I love the variation, the camaraderie, and the challenge. I’ve spent the last few months really missing the members and the gym(box) as well as feeling a sense of deep seated anger that my husband didn’t give up his gym membership but I did so that we had some extra money – and nothing really changed in the way of finances, so clearly crossfit wasn’t the reason we had been struggling. 

Anyway.. I digress…

My first week back has been a doozy! 

On Monday the workout was literally 160+ lunges… So. Many. Lunges. And the assault bike which if you’ve ever rode on that thing you know that it would feel better to stick cleavers into your quads (too dramatic?). There were so many lunges on Monday that I still couldn’t walk right on Wednesday, but by Thursday I was able to walk better! 

Thursday I went back in and what was written on the board was a cruel joke .. It had to be… 1 mile run, 2000m row, 1 mile run…. ๐Ÿ˜‘ …. I’m not a huge fan of running, mostly because I am not very good at it. But, I got through the workout and felt better about it at the end. I woke up in quite a crappy mood on Thursday morning so the second mile was hard mentally, it was difficult to get my head in the game and run for more than a few steps at a time. I finished the workout in 32:42 with a time cap of 35 minutes. I had planned to run the miles in around 10 minutes and the row in about 8:30 which didn’t workout but I was only about 4 minutes off. My first mile was 9:40, the row was about 9 minutes, and the rest of the 12 minutes was the mental mile that I barely ran. 

Overall I’m glad to be back, and plan to go tomorrow morning! The Festivus games are coming up in only a month and a half and it’s important I continue to get stronger and eat healthfully so that I can bring in my best for the comp! 

My ankle really hasn’t bothered me much this week which is great, although tonight I can’t say it’s been feeling great. Tomorrow I’m going to start stretching it after my workouts; doing specific stretches to help with mobility so I can squat better and take some pressure off this leg.

If anyone is wondering as a quick update more on this later  : I’m still gluten free and (mostly) paleo and feeling really good! 

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Liver, Sweet Potatoes, and Paleo!

My coworkers think it’s funny and ask me if everything is paleo. “Hey Suz, is this paleo?” “Hey Suz, I’m eating out of a plastic container – totally paleo right?” “We’re having Chinese food tomorrow, is Chinese food paleo?” It’s light hearted and makes me laugh, but it makes me think about how some nutrition strategies can be so foreign to some. Paleo is pretty simple, but it’s going to be a learning process – I’m sure I’ll be eating things that aren’t totally paleo – until I learn the ins and outs. Also, before really making the decision to remove gluten and follow a more paleo style I purchased some meal replacement bars that are low carb but definitely not gluten free or paleo, and a box of quest bars – that are gluten free but probably wouldn’t meet the paleo standards. Being that I don’t have a lot of extra money laying around and I literally can not stand the thought of wasting food, I plan to continue to eat these bars until they are gone, and then look for alternative quick meal bars for work. As a licensed vet tech (vet nurse) I often have to eat on the run, and meal replacement bars become a staple – it’s either that or eating the donuts that were brought by a client.

For more info on paleo click here. There’s a lot of info out there – a simple google search will do, but the website in the link above is pretty comprehensive and also has a link with research. 

For more info on gluten free I really suggest you read the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. It explains why one would consider taking wheat (gluten) out of their diet even if they do not have celiac disease.

Anyway, yesterday I mentioned that I was going to try to make a recipe with liver… Well, I made it, and it’s not bad! I only tasted it warm so I’ve put it in the fridge to cool so I can try it as the dip/pรขtรฉ it’s meant to be! 


Want the recipe!!?? Check it out at healthfulpursuit.com it was a little bit messy but that’s because I don’t have a big blender! Shout out to my coworker Becca for the mason jar! 

For breakfast I had a beautiful veggie bowl that I concocted myself! I was so proud of myself I didn’t want to eat it it was so pretty! 


It consisted of alfalfa sprouts, kale and spinach sautรฉed with chopped onions, a half of a sweet potato, 1 egg, and 1 meatball that I got from the super market (it’s grassfed beef that comes in small round balls that I got at the local hannafords). It was so good! I’m really getting the hang of cooking! 

I ate my breakfast or first meal around 12, I wasn’t really hungry and sort of fasted without really intending to. Feels like eating this way will have me slowly and effortlessly easing into intermittent fasting as well. Anyway, I ate one of my bars for “lunch” and a few hours later had a banana and another bar. We were busy and a client brought us brownies so I was glad I had my bars as my emergency snack! 

For dinner I made some sweet potato and kale hash – I got the recipe from Fitfoodfinds.com and kind of just threw things in the hash – I didn’t have a red pepper so I used a green bell pepper, and I had some left over leeks from the liver pรขtรฉ so I threw those in there! The balsamic really gave it the kick it needed at the end and I added some chicken legs marinated in a chipotle seasoning packet (I made sure it didn’t have sugar – it was a store brand). 


My husband loved dinner so much he had to post a photo on instagram! Ha! 

All in all today was a pretty good day. I actually wasn’t even hungry for dinner. I will say I have to lighten up on the coffee at work, I have small cups but 2-3 is a bit too much. I wasn’t tired today at all, so I’m not sure what that was about but I’m taking it one day at a time and will be better tomorrow! 

Well, that’s it! Gluten free and paleo journey is just beginning and I feel pretty good! I can tell my energy is much better, my inflammation feels less and I feel lighter. I jumped on the scale today even though I didn’t want to just to see where I’m at and I wasn’t exactly happy with the number, but it didn’t upset me or make me want to give up. I feel like my mind has finally shifted, and this is do-able. Plus, I haven’t had a headache all week!! 

Not sure what recipes I have planned for tomorrow but I have some left over sweet potato hash from dinner so I’ll probably add an egg to it for breakfast or maybe some of that beef like this morning! My doc is buying the service Chinese food so I’ll have to see if I can navigate through that! 

I wonder if Chinese food is paleo? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Gluten free AND Paleo?

So it’s no secret that I have a history of dabbling with different diet and nutrition strategies. Recently I read a book called “Wheat Belly” have you heard of it? 

It really opened my eyes to what it is I really have been eating. If you’ve read the book, maybe you agree that the author should have gone with “Bagel Butt” as the title as its more catchy and I totally have a bagel butt! 

Anyway, after much deliberation, my husband and I have decided to go ahead and transition to a wheat free (gluten free), paleo lifestyle. Yup, that means no ice cream, soda, cake, cookies, brownies, popcorn, or bread. That means “heart healthy whole grains” are out. 

I’ve already begun feeling better and have started to experiment with different recipes! 

I found a recipe for Rosemary balsamic chicken liver pรขtรฉ but it takes 12-24 hours to marinate so I’ll be making that one tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the chicken liver recipe link and my opinion on chicken livers… I’m scared! 

I’ve read a lot that says paleo should be looked at like “if your great grandmother would eat that food and knows what it is, then it’s probably safe” and my great grandmother ate a lot of liver and onions, so I figured there has to be something to it! We shall see! Liver is supposedly super healthy for you, if it’s good maybe I’ll make it more often! 

Photos and recipe to come tomorrow so stay tuned! 

Anyway, we just started this adventure so stay tuned! I’m also going to start looking into a grain free/paleo style dog and cat food… I’d love to make my own for them if I can. I’m totally into experimenting right now! 

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Turning point

In my experience people tend to write about their successes most – of course they do, who wants to hear about their failures? I’ve been doing a whole lot of personal development/soul searching lately, reading a lot, and listening to motivational podcasts to and from work on my hour drive. During this time I’ve heard a lot of stories of triumph – most of which started by some series of events that was a turning point. I’ve come to realize that successful people tend not to harp on their failures but appreciate them as a step towards their success. 

But what about those moments where you’re deep in the throws of the failure? What about when you’re in the middle of that turning point where you have to make a decision – to stay the same, or to go down the road of success. 

For people with an eating disorder it’s not as cut and dry – and this goes for other mental disorders as well, but for me the eating disorder is the biggest thing that holds me back in my personal life. I feel that I’m in the middle of a turning point – I could continue down the path I’m in and gain back all of which I lost, or I could start now making small choices to slowly lose that of which I’ve already gained back before it becomes so much that it’s overwhelming. 

No one talks about this moment because it’s not always happy. The lowest of the low points are hard, but the only way to get through them is to take a really honest look at what’s been going on. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve been eating well, hitting the gym the way I’d like to, and really doing everything I could to be healthy. A real look at what’s been going on would be quite the opposite. So why have I fallen back into some really bad habits? 

I’ve allowed my eating disorder to be an excuse – “I have trouble losing weight because I have issues with eating.” My stressful job situation was also an easy excuse – “I am always on the go so I have no time for a break, and by the time I do i’m starving so i binge” well, I changed jobs so that can no longer be an excuse. 

I really feel that my jobs stress was weighing me down and although I wasn’t staying accountable for my own actions, and I was allowing excuses to reign over my life, I had a valid reason. But now that I’ve transferred, despite being changed to a hospital that seems to always have cake – I’m in a less stressful work environment and I can finally get a handle on my nutrition. 

So, I’m embarking on a change – a new one for me – a lifestyle change that I plan to do slowly – no quick fix plans allowed – and if you catch me doing something like that please call me out. The plan is to start with small and easy changes. The reason for this is because nothing I’ve ever done before has lasted for very long. Sure, 5 years ago I lost over 100lbs, but I was unable to sustain it. 

I’m going to document this journey on multiple social media platforms – here, on Instagram (@suz_rice) and (@pugs_and_pushups) and I may also restart my YouTube channel. 

Stay tuned. And if you want to join me, help keep me accountable – I need to change – I need to feel better, look better, and stop teaching health without living it. I’m done allowing my eating disorder control me – it’s time to be in control! 

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Happy New Year!

  
All of us here at Pugsandpushups.com would like to wish all of our followers a very happy and healthy New Year! We hope that 2016 brings you all of the things you hope for and that you will continue to work on becoming the best version of you! Thank you for following along our crazy story and look forward to continue to grow this blog! 

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Something weird happened today…

“Something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean”

This morning I had to substitute teach Body Pump at 6am for one of my friends so I had a banana on my way in (I’m really trying not to workout completely fasted). When I got home I had 1 egg, 1/2 cup egg whites, and 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts with a squirt or two of ketchup (finally a photo!)  

 
Around 11am I was starving but knew I didn’t have any quick snack with me so I waited, but around 11:45 remembered I had thrown an Asian pear into my bag! So I chowed down on most of the pear – until my tummy felt better and then I headed back into work.

At 1:30 I had lunch which consisted of about 4-5 oz of chicken breast and about a cup of green beans. I added butter because there was nothing on either and it was totally flavorless.

At 4:30pm I had a grapefruit with a packet of stevia in the raw – I ate the whole thing since I didn’t have the half at breakfast due to time and, well, I’m not eating a grapefruit in my car! 

As I was leaving work (around 6:45pm) I decided to have 1/2 of an Italian cookie because one of my coworkers said they were the best she had ever had – it wasn’t that good so I didn’t finish it. 

Then I headed to go teach another body pump class and stopped by CVS to pick up a thing of laughing cow Swiss cheese. I ate one block and headed into class (7:30pm). After class I ate one of those really long cucumbers with two more of those laughing cow Swiss cheeses (9pm). Cucumbers and LC Swiss (or cream cheese) are probably one of my favorite snacks! 

Since I had yet to eat dinner I decided to head into the super market.  When I got there something weird happened… I walked around stop and shop and had no desire to buy or eat anything that wasn’t a whole food or considered clean. I bought an organic butternut squash soup, a honey Chobani yogurt, an organic almond bar, and a can of peas … I don’t know why but I wanted peas! 

When I got home (9:30pm) i had the butternut squash bisque soup and ate the small can of peas mixed with some shrimp (don’t judge me).  

I only had one moment today during work where I wanted to eat junk – it’s something about my work environment that makes everyone seek bad food. After I allowed that to pass I felt much better. Today was overall a good good day despite eating a bit more fruit than usual. I feel good and I’m interested to see if the food cravings continue to decline as I choose more clean/whole foods!

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Sweets everywhere๐Ÿ˜“

Today was the first day back to work after 4 days off – so you can imagine that I was less than excited to get back to my routine. Despite cookies and holiday goodies still making their way around the hospital (I work for a very high paced specialty animal hospital that seems to moonlight as a junk food safe house during the holidays) I kept my distance. Here’s how the day looked:

Breakfast (around 8am): 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet stevia in the raw, 1/2 cup egg whites and 1/2 cup shaved Brussels sprouts with a squirt of ketchup on top

Snack (around 11): 1/2 grapefruit  with 1 packet of stevia in the raw and the rest of the quinoa salad from yesterday which was probably about 1/2 cup.

Lunch (1:45pm): leftover chicken from last nights chicken stuffed peppers wrapped in lettuce wraps – probably had about 6 or 7 smal wraps

Snack(5pm): a handful of shrimp and a cup of green beans with a little butter melted on top  

 probably the most boring snack but I really like shrimp so – boring is where it’s at!

After eating this snack I tasted a small piece of a brownie that had been staring at me all day – I was happy with the small piece and didn’t go back for more.

Dinner(8:15pm): I didn’t feel like cooking so I headed to whole foods and got some ginger carrot bisque (soup) and vegan stew. I was also really craving peanut butter so I found these 5 ingredient organic chocolate peanuts butter Minis –  

 I had no idea organic chocolate that literally has 5 ingredients could be this good! Have you tried these!?  Not too shabby! 

In other news I sent out 4 clothing items that I sold from Facebook today! Who knew! Probably everyone, but I thought it was kind of cool that I could sell cloths that are just sitting in my closet! When I was there I asked the cashier for holiday stamps – they are to send my Christmas cards – and this is what he gave me  

 Lol! So my belated Christmas cards will have Hanukkah stamps! Oh well! Haha
Overall I felt good today. I definitely felt deprived around that second snack – I didn’t want shrimp and green beans, I wanted to eat the whole brownie, but I was proud of myself for choosing the green beans and shrimp while only having a small piece of the brownie… I’m sure in time this will get easier. Woke up with a little headache – I wonder if that will subside once my body is used to eating whole foods most of the time. 

What treats do you allow yourself?

Do you find it hard to say no when there’s treats everywhere? What is your fail safe plan?

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Food journal: the beginning

I mentioned this morning that I was starting a new plan. The plan consists of eating mostly vegetables and lean protein. I’m not counting calories or macros because in my experience doing these things tends to exacerbate my binge eating disorder. So, without further ado – here’s what I’ve eaten today. 

Woke up: around 7-7:30am

Breakfast (around 8:30am) : 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup shaved Brussels sprouts, squirt of ketchup, 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw 

Taught Body Pump 10am-11am

Post workout Snack (11:30am): venti cafe americano 1/2 grapefruit with 1 packet of stevia in the raw, 1 cup quinoa salad with cranberries and cashews

Lunch (3:30pm): shrimp, eggs, salsa, and shaved Brussels sprouts mixed together in salad boats and two organic carrot sticks  

 

Dinner (7:20pm): 1 yellow pepper stuffed with shredded chicken, onions, green peppers, and black beans, topped with shredded taco cheese and 2tsp guacamole

 

  1. Snack (9pm): 1 med banana with 1tbsp nut butter 

Thoughts:

As I round out my day, I reflect on what I’ve eaten today and how I’ve felt. I feel like I could add more veggies to my meals – but I wasn’t really hungry. My main carb sources were eaten before and after my workout and I felt good throughout. I didn’t feel overly hungry or feel the need to search for food. My only real craving was for the banana but mostly because I’ve walked past them all day. I stayed pretty busy most of the day despite being home. I sold some clothes online and washed dishes. I also spent some extra time playing with the pups and laughing at Louie (my cat) who decided it would be fun to fall asleep in my laundry basket  

 Silly boy.
It’s been an overall good day with no real thoughts of binging. My focus has shifted from needing something to work towards – some event, competition, race, etc – to wanting to lose some extra weight to be happy with my own body and be healthy. I feel this will both be good for myself but also for my clients – to see that I’ve struggled but have managed to focus on myself and heal myself before putting any extra or excess stress on my system by doing anything drastic to lose weight for some other reason other than health!

Do you struggle with finding a balance between weight loss for health and weight loss for some idea body image?

What is your favorite healthy recipe?

What is your favorite vegetable?

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I’ve decided not to compete

Over the summer I wrote about my road to recovery with my ankle fracture, but the reality is that I haven’t given it much time to recover. I probably took a week off after my injury, and then went back to training – pretty much back to normal. I spent about a month in the last 6 months with little to no pain in my ankle but over the last 6 weeks (coinciding with my powerlifting training) my ankle has gotten to the point of pain where now both my knee and hip are giving me issues during simple movements. I’ve also found it harder to warm up enough to get to a point of no pain and I feel that I’m compensating and using my right leg more to lift up for most squat lifts. 

The problem with all of this is that if I continue this way one of two things will happen – I will either get injured to the point that I can’t do anything, or I will inevitably cause enough damage that I won’t ever be able to reach my potential. 

So, with my teeth clenched, and my heart heavy, I have decided not to compete in what was to be my first powerlifting meet in January. 

This in no way means my dreams of competition are over – but just on hold for a bit.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m competitive and always trying to do more – but this time I need to be realistic and take note that there will be more powerlifting meet opportunities and more opportunities to master a craft such as powerlifting. I feel that if I give my ankle more time to actually heal (I’m going back to the doctor for a second opinion and will actually ask for an MRI this time) and do a bit more research to get a plan and coach that will help me reach a potential rather than trying to be a know it all and figuring it out on my own …. I will be more successful in the future.

Have you ever had to put a dream on hold due to injury? How did you cope with your decision to step away? 


Thanks for stopping by and all of your support! โค๏ธ

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