Paleo Recipe Recommendations from Plymouth, MN Personal Trainer

Following a paleo lifestyle has benefits for health, joint pain, and potential weight loss.  If you've adopting the paleo diet for a while, you may be looking for a few new recipes for some variety. 

Here are nine new recipes I've enjoyed recently.

These should all be gluten-free (all Paleo is supposed to be)...but there are a couple of treats in here!

Chili Lime Pork Spare Ribs (Keto-friendly)

 Source: https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/chili-lime-pork-spare-ribs/

Source: https://whatgreatgrandmaate.com/chili-lime-pork-spare-ribs/

 Sausage and Cauliflower Casserole (Keto friendly)

 Source: http://paleogrubs.com/sausage-and-cauliflower-casserole-recipe

Source: http://paleogrubs.com/sausage-and-cauliflower-casserole-recipe

Coconut Lime Chicken (Keto friendly)

 Source: https://www.asaucykitchen.com/coconut-lime-chicken/

Source: https://www.asaucykitchen.com/coconut-lime-chicken/

Paleo Twix Bars

 Source: https://www.bakerita.com/homemade-twix-bars/

Source: https://www.bakerita.com/homemade-twix-bars/

Paleo Breakfast Stacks

 Source: http://realeverything.com/guest-post-breakfast-stacks-hold-the-grain/

Source: http://realeverything.com/guest-post-breakfast-stacks-hold-the-grain/

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pesto Chicken (Keto friendly)

 Source: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/chicken-pesto-paleo.../

Source: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/chicken-pesto-paleo.../

Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup (Keto friendly)

 Source: https://www.savorylotus.com/30-minute-turkey-meatball.../

Source: https://www.savorylotus.com/30-minute-turkey-meatball.../


Healthy Breakfast Burrito Wraps (Keto friendly)

 Source: https://www.livingchirpy.com/.../low-carb-breakfast-burrito/

Source: https://www.livingchirpy.com/.../low-carb-breakfast-burrito/

Raspberry Crumb Bars (NOT Keto friendly)

 Source: http://www.wholesomelicious.com/paleo-raspberry-crumb-bars/

Source: http://www.wholesomelicious.com/paleo-raspberry-crumb-bars/

Looking for more tips to implement the paleo lifestyle?  I'm here to help!  

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips: Foam roller exercises for knee and hip pain

Knee and hip pain can keep the best of us from remaining active. But what if I told you about a few simple exercises that would help you feel better and remain active?  Even better, in less than 15 minutes a day you can be on your way to healthier joints and feeling great again. 

1. Foam Rolling Your Quads

This simple exercise will help you stretch out the muscles in your quads. 

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  • Start with foam roller on the floor or mat. 
  • Lie face down with your quads resting on roller and toes pointed straight down
  • Start just below your hips and crawl forward on your elbows to just above your knees. 
  • Keep elbows in the same place (forward so they don't bend under your torso)
  • Roll 10-15 times
  • Repeat with toes pointed to left and right

2. Foam Rolling Glutes (Medius)

Use this exercise in combination with quads and hamstrings

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  • Start with foam roller on mat on floor
  • Lean on roller putting pressure on your glute
  • If rolling right glute, your right leg should be bent under left leg and leaning on right elbow
  • Roll small area just below hip
  • Roll 10-15 times
  • Switch sides and repeat

3. Rolling Hamstrings

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  • Start with foam roller on mat or floor
  • Sit on roller just below your hips with feet off the floor
  • Support yourself with arms on floor behind you
  • Toes should be pointing towards ceiling
  • Roll from just below hips to top of the knee
  • Repeat 10-15 times
  • Point toes outward and repeat

If you're ready to start working on your knee and hip pain, using your foam roller with all three of these exercises can help.  I typically do all three exercises 3-4 times per week to help with joint pain. Here at Healthy Obsession, we're here to help.  We offer in-home personal training in Plymouth, MN customized your joint pain to help you get back to being active again. 

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips For Making Intentional Changes for a Healthy Life

Making changes to improve your health doesn't always come naturally.  Through my personal training business in Plymouth, MN, I see a variety of clients wanting to make changes to their diet, their exercise plans, and their mental health. 

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When we're wanting to make a change, we need to know and understand why that change matters.  Change that lasts is change that matters to us.  It's a change that will not only impact our lives, but sometimes can impact the lives of people we love. 

What matters to you? 

What we eat matters. How we sleep matters. How we exercise, if we exercise, how we de-stress, how we hit the reset button after a bad day or bad week...matters.

So how do we make intentional changes that matter?  I have a few tips to help us set goals that matter and see them through. 

1. Remind yourself of your why

Knowing our why motivates us to keep going when the change we want gets challenging. In the middle of our health journey, we need reminders of why we started and why it matters. We need things to prime us, to grab our attention when we are being pulled in a million directions, that how we take care of ourselves matters.

2. Decide to prioritize your health

Decide to make your health a priority. Remind yourself of the benefits you'll experience as you choose healthy consistently. 

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3. Make a plan

Knowing how you'll get there is half the battle.  Make a plan with your exercise. Make a plan for your meals. Execute on your plans.  I advise my clients to commit to meal planning and prep each week so when life gets crazy, the food choices can remain consistent. 

4. Add some fun

Find those things that you enjoy.  Schedule some fun into your life. Make sure you include some goodness into your intentional changes. 

5. Set an intention every day

As you start each day, choose an intention for your day when it comes to your health. Choose to follow your meal plan or schedule your workout. Ask yourself what are the important things you need to do to make today healthy. 

Making consistent changes to your health takes commitment. 

How do you and I start making those consistent changes? With reminders. Reminding ourselves of why we started.  Reminding ourselves of what matters when it comes to our health. 

 What reminders, quotes, photos, habits, and rituals do you use to keep on the path and stay focused?

What I’m asking is: how do you make it matter?

If you are ready to make it matter, then I'm here to help.  Contact me about personal training in Plymouth, MN. 

Danielle Allen
The Difference Between the Keto Diet Vs. Paleo

As a in-home personal trainer, I've traditionally encouraged my clients toward a paleo lifestyle as much as possible. But recently, I've been intrigued by the Keto diet and the results some of my clients are seeing with this eating plan.  If you're wondering whether you should make the jump to Keto, read on for an overview of the major differences. 

What is the Keto diet? 

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Originally developed to prevent and treat seizures, the keto diet can help you burn fat more efficiently by entering a metabolic state called ketosis. The benefits of keto include dramatic weight loss and improvement of blood sugars for those with Type 2 Diabetes. The diet follows a strict ratio of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Dieters eliminate carbs and sugars and replace them with healthy fats and sometimes dairy. 

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What is the paleo diet? 

The paleo diet, on the other hand, focuses on eating whole, unprocessed foods and is a grain and dairy free eating plan.  Unlike Keto, paleo can provide a more balanced macro nutrient balance with 35 % fat, 35 % carbohydrate and 30 % protein  Paleo focuses on support for digestive gut health and can improve autoimmune conditions, blood sugar imbalances and help with weight loss. 

What are the primary differences between the two eating plans? 

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The differences reside in the macro nutrient consumption. Keto tends to be a targeted approach eliminating foods most people crave. From your everyday carbs to some fruits and vegetables, your intake on keto is limited.  

I like to tell my clients that Keto is much more precise (hitting your marks on macros each day), and less forgiving (no cheats or bonus meals!). But is also better for fat loss. Paleo is better for anti-inflammatory (assuming dairy in the keto plan), and I think it is easier to maintain overall. 

So which plan is for you? 

It depends on you! Each plan has benefits for health and weight loss goals. The plan that will work for you is the plan you can stick with. Your eating plan is part of a healthy lifestyle and should be a plan you can maintain for lasting changes. 

Still unsure? Healthy Obsession is here to help.  Contact Adam to get started with in-home personal training. 

Adam Erwin
4 Lessons Our Newborn Baby Is (Re-)Teaching Me About Achieving Health Goals
 Our sweet baby girl is resting peacefully here as her personal trainer dad blogs about health change!

Our sweet baby girl is resting peacefully here as her personal trainer dad blogs about health change!

My wife gave birth to our brand new baby girl last week.  She's beautiful, a joy to cuddle with, and sounds like a kitten meowing when she's ready to be fed.  She's also an amazing teacher, taking her dad to school on life truths on an hourly basis.

If you have kids, you will relate both to what I am experiencing now and what I am learning (again).  If you don't have kids, God bless you and your awesome, quiet, free time.  And yes, you will certainly be able to connect with the truth shared here about cultivating winning habits for your health goals.

First, I'm a personal trainer.  I've been at it for fourteen years.  I spend most of my days going from home to home, helping clients achieve maximum health change across the Twin Cities (mostly west metro areas like Plymouth, Minnetonka, Edina, Eden Prairie, Chanhassen...and occasionally as far east as the Dellwood/White Bear Lake area).  So when I experience something profound (like becoming a dad again), it's through the lens of a personal trainer.  

It has become clear to me that caring for an infant is a lot like caring for newly born health change.  Here are the 4 lessons our newborn baby taught me about achieving health goals...

1) Nutrition is a priority, not an afterthought!  With a newborn, it is clear when it is time to for more nutrition.  They will cry until you feed them.  There's no skipping breakfast, working through lunch, or forgetting to eat dinner.  You gotta feed that baby several times a day! 

Our bodies are the same way.  When we don't eat, our body cries.  Blood sugar levels drop, mood changes, muscle tissue starts to break down...it's a sad story.  If you want to achieve your health goal, you need to make nutrition a priority.  You can't win without it!

2) Going out requires strict planning!  Ever try being social while caring for an infant?  You better plan like crazy.  What to feed them, when to feed them, extra diapers and wipes, change of clothes if a mess happens, proper blankets and clothing to protect against the elements, nap time considerations...so much planning.  

If you care about your health goal, planning is a MUST when going out with friends or colleagues.  If our goal is a priority, we need to plan our nutrition (eat in advance?), bring an extra diaper (a "friend" is going to crap on our goal because we refuse to lower our standard in their company), consider how long we may be out (healthy snack for the ride home?), and even manage expectations by telling someone in advance you won't be using the social time as a pre-diabetes party.  

In a country like the United States where over 60% of the population is overweight, going out requires strict planning!

3) Quality sleep is instrumental to quality health.  Life is all fun and games until your sleep schedules gets turned upside down.  As I slog through nights with severely interrupted sleep, I'm noticing that my workouts are not very good.  Strength is down, endurance is down.  My brain is foggy at times. 

And I crave...garbage!  Sleep is a primary vehicle for healing the body.  Food is another.  When we don't sleep well, our body says, "Guess we'll have to do this the hard way.  Bring on the calories!"  My cravings for unhelpful food are off the charts right now.  And how often does that happen to you when you don't get sleep?

Wanna win with your health goal?  Get good sleep.  Make it a priority!

4) Poop is going to happen, adapt accordingly!  It is amazing how many diapers we go through with our newborn.   And sometimes when she's fussy (gassy), she'll cry, then stop crying, stare me right in the eye, and destroy her diaper.  I can't believe how much poop this little thing can produce!

Ever experienced poop with a baby goal of yours?  You decide to make your paleo or keto menu and eat perfectly clean for the week...and on day two of your clean eating expedition you forget your lunch at home.  Poop!

Or you are going to workout every day this week, and you even pack your gym bag the night before and put it in your trunk so you can go to the gym right after work tomorrow.  Fool proof plan...until your spouse needs to borrow your vehicle the next morning and calls you as they drive away to remind you to take their car today.  Poop!

The reality is this:  whenever we make a health goal, that commitment will be tested!  Poop will happen!  We understand that babies poop, and we expect it.  Baby goals get poopy sometimes too...expect it.  When you find yourself without your healthy resources, become resourceful!  Adapt.  Make a change and get rid of the poop.  

Bringing it home...

We are only as good as our habits.  Going about health change requires a change in habits, a change in expectations we have for ourselves, and (often times) a change in the amount of intentional focus we put into the way each day plays out.   If we want to win with our new health goals, we need to be more intentional about food, planning social situations, sleep, and changing accordingly when poop happens in our day.  

If you'd like help making successful health change, I'd love to have a conversation with you.  Please fill out our little Contact Us form and I'll be glad to reach out to you!

Adam Erwin
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips for Paleo Superbowl Snacks During the Big Game

Remembering why you started is a great way to stay on track with becoming a healthier you.  In order to stay on track, I typically advise my clients to plan ahead and work the plan. 

You may have noticed that Super Bowl fever has hit Minnesota.  As you gather with friends or just watch at home, snacks can sometimes be an issue.  So whether you're going to a Super Bowl party or just craving a little something extra, finding snacks and treats that are on plan can go a long way in helping you execute a healthy week - week after week. 

The choice is yours

When it comes to snacking, we get to choose what we'll plan to eat.  You can choose to challenge Chester Cheetah when it comes to what you snack on....

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Or you can plan your way to healthier snacks.  When it comes to paleo snack ideas for the big game, I love these go-to ideas that help me stay healthy and still enjoy the party. 

Snack Idea # 1: These wings are life changing! 

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I love easy and simple and these wings deliver.  Do yourself a favor and ditch the drumsticks and buy wings instead. Baked entirely in the oven, these wings come out crispy and tasty for a snack everyone will love!  

Snack Idea # 2: Dipping Anything (Healthy) in Guacamole

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Who doesn't love guac?  Am I right?  I love dipping pieces of chicken and enjoying each bite.  Whether you make it from scratch or buy a paleo approved version, consider bringing a big bowl with dippers like raw veggies, homemade Applegate bacon chips or yes, chicken to your next party.  You can't go wrong when it's dipped in guacamole! 

Snack Idea #3: Hot Beverages

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Let's face it!  It's Minnesota and you may need a hot beverage to warm up.  These are 2 of my favorite go-to hot drinks.  On the left, Caribou Green Tea.  It's a great hot drink for a cold day. On the right, a paleo maple latte, which includes coffee, coconut cream, maple syrup, and Kerry Gold butter. Tastes like it came right from your favorite barista. Yum! 

Snack Idea # 4: Bring a bar

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Carry a paleo-friendly bar in your purse or pocket.  When heading to a party, you never know what kinds of foods will be served.  You can always be prepared to fill up on a healthier choice with paleo-friendly snacks that work for you and keep you on track.  Personally, I love the Epic bars which are all-natural and filled with protein.  Just grab a bar and go. 

Snack Idea # 5: Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I love these coconut flour chocolate chip muffins which are a healthy treat that satisfies your sweet tooth.  I make a couple of substitutions to make them paleo. Simply use Kerry Gold or another organic butter and enjoy life chocolate chips. These muffins are a great party or anytime snack to keep yourself on track. 

Need some help getting and staying on track when it comes to your health? 

Healthy Obsession is here to help!  Simply get in touch to find out more about our in-home personal training packages in Plymouth, MN. 

Adam Erwin
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips for Kickstarting Your Health Goals in 2018

Christmas is less than two weeks away! While you may be focused on the list of things to get done before Christmas like gift giving and planning that holiday party, you may also be thinking about 2018 and New Years' Resolutions. The most popular resolution this time of year is to get healthy.  And if you've been wanting to find a way to make healthy easier, then Plymouth-based personal trainer Healthy Obsession has some tips to get you started. 

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Personal Trainer Tips for kickstarting your health in 2018

You've been here before.  Maybe resolving to create a healthier you has become a New Years' tradition that is quickly forgotten by the 1st of February. Or maybe this is the first year you want to get serious about health and healing. Wherever you are, there are some simple tips that can help you be successful in 2018. 

Make sure you have a plan

 Having a plan, specifically a food plan, is like wearing blinders in a race. No distractions, just run the path in front of you. Easiest way to win with your body.

Having a plan, specifically a food plan, is like wearing blinders in a race. No distractions, just run the path in front of you. Easiest way to win with your body.

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  And while this is a quote popular in business circles, it's true when it comes to creating your healthy lifestyle, as well. I encourage clients to make a plan each week and stick to it.  This includes menu planning every week and committing to meal prep at the start of the week. 

How does this help? Having a plan on those crazy, busy days helps eliminate the temptation to grab your lunch from the drive-thru. When you've planned out each meal and executed it through meal prep in one day, you are ready to experience your healthiest week one week at a time. 

Change your perspective on the scale

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Your weight is like your tax refund. It’s one number that never tells the whole story. If you want the truth about your health direction, we must measure success in more ways than one.
— Adam Erwin, Healthy Obsession

If you're like most of us, you tend to start with the scale.  What do you weigh? How can you lose weight faster?  But what if I told you that the number on that scale doesn't give you the whole picture? Here at Healthy Obsession, I work with clients to reset their thinking and focus on planning, healthier choices, and workout routines that work for them while getting them to their goals, instead of solely focusing on the scale. The results? Most clients still drop that number on the scale all while focusing on healthy choices that make them feel great. 

Develop Your Fitness Game Plan

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A better fitness game plan will mean a better outcome for your health goals. Choose a fitness plan that works for you, accounts for any injuries you may be facing, and that works efficiently with your body. I typically custom design strength training routines that incorporate the best exercises for quick results. And an added bonus for Healthy Obsession clients? Video recaps so they can keep their fitness routine up between training sessions. 

 

Know when you need help 

Sometimes the best way to make progress on your health goals is to find someone who can help you focus and help with developing your new heathy life plan.  Here at Healthy Obsession, I meet with clients in their homes or at Anytime Fitness in Champlin and customize a health and fitness plan you can execute to get and stay healthy one week at a time. 

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Healthy Obsession Maintain Challenge is Here!

You've been working hard. You've been eating healthy and working out.  Your biggest challenge between now and Christmas when it comes to your health is maintaining all that good work you started.  Healthy Obsession, your Plymouth personal trainer, has you covered with our five week maintain challenge. You can maintain your success with some helpful tips. 

Details on the Challenge

This is a five week challenge starting the week November 13th and running the week of December 11th. 

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Join the challenge and attend group fitness classes

When you join the challenge, you'll get the benefit of two group fitness classes with me and the other challenge members.  Additional group classes above 2 per week are just $ 5 per class.  All classes meet at Anytime Fitness in Champlin, MN. Choose from the following options: 

  • Mondays 6PM - 6:30 PM
  • Tuesdays 6PM - 6:45 PM
  • Wednesday 7PM -7:30 PM
  • Saturdays 8 AM - 8:45 AM 

Benefits of joining the challenge

What do you get when you officially join my maintain challenge? 

Discover healthy cooking made easier

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Learn how to make healthy cooking easier with sample meal plans, over 40 favorite recipes and cooking videos for many of the recipes. 

Get help with menu planning and cooking

Get help with your menus, cooking and more! Team cooking sessions will be held on Thursday's at Adam's house in Plymouth from 6:30 PM - 8PM (not meeting on Thanksgiving).

Execute better workouts on your own

Benefit from quick fitness videos you can follow to challenge yourself and get fit faster. 

Cash Prizes

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You can earn cash prizes both for winning the challenge and weighing in weekly! Here's how it works...Weigh in weekly and win cash weekly!  Step on the scale the same day each week (Saturdays for example). If you have maintained or improved upon from your first weigh in, you get $ 5. Those who make or exceed their weigh-in goal will also be entered into a weekly drawing. 

Win the big cash prize

Prizes are estimated and determined by number of participants.  For first place, $ 200. 

How cash prizes are determined

The participant with the most points wins! Points are awarded as follows

  • 1 point for every pound lost between first and last weigh-in
  • 10 points for every 1% of fat lost between first and last weigh-in
  • 5 points for every weekly menu that is submitted on time
  • 5 points for every weekly weigh-in where you maintain or lose weight

Your Investment

As a healthy obsession client, your investment is $ 45 and for non-clients $ 125.  There will be no refunds on challenge investment once it has been paid

Are you ready to join the challenge? 

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Fitness Challenge

What does it take to win a fitness challenge?  Here at Healthy Obsession, we are in week 4 of our weight loss and fitness challenge. Contestants in the challenge are seeking to execute their healthiest week 6 weeks in a row to feel great, get fit and lose weight. 

During week six of HOC, participating contestants can choose to earn bonus points toward their final score by competing in the 10-Minute Fitness Challenge. If you're just learning about the challenge now or are playing along at home, you too can choose to work on getting fit by playing along. 

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How the Fitness Challenge works 

Pick one exercise from the primary strength exercises (bench press, leg press, lat pulldown), one exercises from the secondary strength exercises (seated shoulder press, preacher curl, tricep pressdown), and one exercise from the cardio exercises (Jacob’s Ladder, stepper, row machine).

If you're participating in the challenge with us, you can use your ten minutes to hit performance benchmarks for each exercise to earn up to five bonus points per exercise (15 is the maximum amount one can earn).

Each participant must spend a minimum of two minutes at each station. And if you're doing this at home, make 2 minutes per station your goal as you set your own fitness challenge. 

Performance Benchmarks For Each Exercise:

Primary Strength

  • Bench Press-1 pt per 1,250 lbs pressed (Example: 20 reps x 62.5 lbs)
  • Leg Press-1 pt per 2,700 lbs pressed(Example: 20 reps@135 lbs)
  • Lat Pulldown-1 pt per 1,100 lbs pulled (Example: 20 reps x 55 lbs) 

Secondary Strength

  • Seated Shoulder Press-1 pt per 500 lbs pressed (Example: 20 reps x 25 lb bar)
  • Preacher Curl-1 pt per 500 lbs curled (Example: 20 reps @25 lb bar)
  • Tricep Pushdown-1 pt per 600 lbs pressed (Example: 20 reps@30 lbs (end station)

Cardio

  • Jacob’s Ladder-1 pt per 80 feet climbed
  • Stepper- 1 pt per 12 flights climbed
  • Row Machine-1 pt per 200M rowed
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I’ve chosen to set up this challenge so you can pick exercises that feature your strengths, or can work around an injury. If I were competing, I would build it with doing my primary exercise first, secondary exercise second, and cardio last. I would focus most of my ten minutes on the exercise(s) where I’m most likely to gain the most points.

For those trying these fitness challenges at home, focus on your strengths as you get fit and have fun. 

The best way to choose exercises (assuming you are injury-free) is to choose unique muscle groups for each exercise. If I’m doing bench, I’d probably pair it up with curls and the ladder or stepper, for example. Bench press, shoulder press, and tricep pushdown feature many of the same muscles. Likewise, lat pulldown and preach curls feature some of the same muscles. I’d avoid these pairings.

Start going after these exercises so you can get a handle on what your challenge should look like and have fun while you're doing it!  Questions? Let me know!

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips on A Successful Weight Loss Challenge

What does it take to experience a successful weight loss challenge? As a personal trainer located in Plymouth, MN I've personally competed in and run challenges for my clients. And in every challenge, I've observed the key habits that help participants achieve success on their goals throughout the challenge. 

1. Remember Why You Started

My goal for the Healthy Obsession Challenge is to help you execute your healthiest week, 6 weeks in a row.  How do we do that? We start with our why.  Why did you sign up for the challenge in the first place? Was your goal to be healthier? Lose weight?  Discover the energy to play with your kids?  Whatever your motivation was to press yes and enter the challenge, remind yourself daily this is why you started. 

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2. New is tougher than familiar

If you've been with us from the beginning, you are currently in week 2 of the challenge. The reality is that new things are tougher than what's familiar. It would be easy to go back to your old patterns. Instead, remind yourself that is going be tough but worth it.  Take this six week period as a time to try new things, get moving and experience results. You can't become who you've never been before without doing things you've never done before. 

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3. Make a plan and stick to it!

The best way to be successful in any fitness challenge is to make a plan and stick to it.  Take the time each week to sit down and plan your meals, your snacks and your workout schedule. Do some meal prep on Sunday so you're not caught off guard when life gets crazy busy.  Prepare some go-to snacks and meals that you can just grab and have with you when that meeting goes long. Commit ahead of time to when and how you will work out.

After you've made all those plans - don't forget to stick to them. Stick you meal plan on your fridge. Put your workouts in your phone. And execute your healthiest week six weeks in a row for a more fit and healthy you! 

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Personal Trainer Healthy Obsession Challenge

Welcome to Healthy Obsession Challenge!

Each year I issue a challenge this time of year.  Execute your healthiest week for 6 weeks in a row as you compete for the best improvement and cash prizes.  My mission in all this is to make healthy easy and fun as we encourage each other in the challenge. 

The challenge starts this week on September 25th and runs for 6 week.  It's not too late to get started.  Simply e-mail me and I'll send you a packet with all the details. 

For those who are already in and ready to get started, I am THRILLED to get started with you. 

First, the Packet...

Once you've registered, I will be sending out your starter packet.  This is our first and best conversation on getting started.  The packet shares insight and strategy on food, fitness, habits, and hormones.  Please read this ASAP!

 

Need an RSVP...

I'm looking to get some dates for Week 1 on your calendar.  In our first seven days we have six group workout opportunities and one cooking class.  Please RSVP for the following dates/events:

 

RSVP #1-Group Training (pick up to two of the following dates/times):

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  • Monday-6am-6:45am, 6pm-6:30pm
  • Tuesday-6pm-6:45pm
  • Thursday-6am-6:45am
  • Saturday-7:30am-8:15am, 8:15am-9am

 

 

 

RSVP #2-Cooking Class

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9/30/17-10:30am-12:30pm-Cooking Class at Adam's in Plymouth-We will be cooking entrees from the week two menu (which you will receive during week one...around 9/27).  Not only will we learn how to cook cool stuff, we will complete most of the week 2 cooking in ninety minutes (with extra time to package and clean up if need be)!  Can I get an amen?

 

Important to note: cooking class includes your share of the cost of groceries.  If you are participating, expect to spend $85-$100 or so on groceries.  I will do my best (Costco, etc.) to find great deals to be a good steward of your funds.  

 

Materials to Follow

I wanted this to hit your inbox quickly.  The next email will include:

1) Week one menu (a list of ideas, and not necessarily what you should do...I will be expecting you to create your personal menu...and I'm glad to help!), 

2) Recipe list of 20+ awesome Paleo recipes

3) An invite to join the private Healthy Obsession Challenge Facebook Group (where cooking videos, exercise videos, and other items will be posted).

 

Ready to RSVP to Group Fitness Classes and Cooking Class?

 

Danielle Allen
Plymouth Trainer Healthy Obsession Challenge is Back

Are you looking for a good fitness or weight loss challenge?  Look no more!  My Team Challenge is back running for six weeks started September 25th. My goal is to help you have your healthiest week- six weeks in a row! 

The Team Challenge Benefits

Ever team challenge member receives added tools to help you on your healthy journey.  Check out what you can take advantage of: 

Group Fitness Classes

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We want to making working out fun and offer group fitness classes at Anytime Fitness in Champlin for any team challenge members.  Choose from the following classes: 

  • Monday Mornings 6-6:30 AM
  • Monday Nights 6-6:30 PM
  • Tuesday Nights 6-6:45 PM
  • Thursday Mornings 6-6:30 AM
  • Saturday Mornings 7:30-8:15 AM and 8:15-9 AM

Save Time & Money on Meals

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Team cooking in Hyvee's Cooking Lab in Brooklyn Park.  These are tentatively scheduled for two Saturdays during the challenge at 10 AM. 

Make Healthy Cooking Easier

We'll provide menu plans, recipes and cooking videos each week. 

Better Workouts

You'll benefit from our quick fitness videos each week so you can follow the challenge at home and get fitter faster. 

Give Back to the Community

Give back to the community while you get fit as we use our newfound energy and strength to do some lifting (serving) in the community. We'll provide 2 dates where you can serve. 

Compete for Weekly Drawings & Prizes

You can compete for our weekly drawings and cash prizes. Our prizes are determined by the number of participants. Cash prizes are $ 450 for 1st place, $350 for 2nd place and $ 200 for 3rd place. 

Cash prizes are determined by...

  • 1 point for every pound lost between first and last weigh-in
  • 10 points for every 1% of fat lost between first and last measurement
  • 5 points for every weekly menu that is submitted on time
  • Up to 15 bonus points earned at the 10-minute fitness challenge completed at the last weigh-in

Your Investment

So what's all this cost? $ 45 for Healthy Obsession clients and $ 145 for non-clients. No refunds. 

Are you ready to get started on living your healthiest week, six weeks in a row? 



 

Adam Erwin
Plymouth Personal Trainer Meal Planning Tips

My goal with clients is always the same. Let's make healthier easier.  One of the ways we can get stuck is failing to plan our meals for the week.  So here are some quick and easy tips for planning a successful week on plan. 

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Set up a meal plan calendar

Find a way to do your planning.  Use an excel worksheet or your day planner and pick your day. I like to use my own meal planning woksheet: 

Evaluate you weekly schedule so you can plan for any unique events. 

Research recipes

One of the best keys to sticking to a meal plan is to keep it filled with foods you love.  Consider a mixture of go-to paleo meals and adding a new recipe or two to your plan. 

Write Everything Down

When we fail to plan, we will plan to fail.  Make sure you have written down everything from your breakfast meal to your late snack.  Knowing what you are going to eat at every meal will help with those derailing, last minute cravings. 

Time To Prep

Once I've got the plan on paper and finished the shopping, I get to work and meal prep for the entire week.  Staying on track is easier on those extra busy days when I can grab all my pre-made meals and snacks as I head out the door. 

Not every week can be a perfect week. Having a meal plan ALWAYS beats not having a meal plan. 

Need help with meal planning? I can help!

Adam Erwin
Paleo Breakfast Ideas

What's for breakfast?

Like millions of Americans, many of us are in a rush when it comes to starting our day and getting to work. I recommend paleo breakfast ideas for a quick and easy start to your day. 

Not Your Mama's Breakfast

I typically recommend throwing your ideas about typical breakfast foods out the window.  Yes, there are plenty of paleo options for pancakes and egg bakes. But what if I told you that breakfast can be easier on those rushed mornings? 

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Grab some lean protein and veggies and top it with pesto or guac for a great meal. Recently, I put together an amazing breakfast of chicken with zoodles pesto.  Yes for breakfast! It tasted amazing and kept me satisfied for a great and healthy start to my day. 

Consider eating those great tasting non-breakfast items for a meal that satisfies all morning long! 

What is your quick and easy go-to breakfast for staying on plan all day long?  I'd love to hear from you so comment here

 

 

Adam Erwin
Plymouth Personal Trainer Tips: Healthy Obsession Challenge

What the best way to be successful at the Healthy Obsession Challenge? 

That's what most of my clients ask me.  My answer is the same as my typical routine. 

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Every week, I sip some green tea while I crank out menus and recipes.  Just like me, you can invest in your health and do the same. Succeeding at my Healthy Obsession Challenge can be simple. 

Meal Planning is the place to start

If you fail to plan, you may be planning to fail. Invest in you and plan and prepare your meals for the entire week. A one hour investment in planning your meals for the week will go a long way to helping you succeed. 

Get Moving

Once you've planned and prepared your amazing meals for the week, schedule your workouts. Join the Healthy Obsession Challenge community with my group workouts. 

Combining these two quick tips will help you execute your healthiest week, six weeks in a row! 

Interested in locking down the next six week of food and fitness with me? We begin on September 25th. 

I'd love to hear what helps you create success when it comes to your health. Simply comment here as we help each other make healthy easier. 

Adam Erwin
Paleo Recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Guacamole Chicken

Simple, delicious, and healthy.  It's where I live!  When I come across a paleo recipe that meets my criteria, I tend to lean on it quite a bit.  As an in-home personal trainer based out of Plymouth, MN, I am relied upon by my clients to make their cooking time shorter and easier.  This dish is a "MUST ADD" to your paleo recipe list.

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A few quick words on what I do to make this dish as healthy as it needs to be...

1) I use Applegate-brand bacon.  It is uncured, antibiotic-free, nitrate-free, humanely raised, etc.  It's a quality slab of bacon without all the extra garbage added to it.

2) I use Smart Chicken breasts.  Smart Chick is also hormone-free, antibiotic-free, etc.  From what it eats to how it is treated, what goes into a chicken impacts the quality of the meat we eat.  Smart Chicken is a brand that does a nice job, so I trust them when I buy chicken.

3) Guac is almost always paleo, so I usually buy it pre-made.  Make sure you read the ingredients just to be sure nothing silly is lurking on that label!

Ingredients

-4(6 ounce) chicken breasts, butterflied or pounded thin -salt and pepper to taste

-1/2 cup guacamole                             

-8 slices bacon 

Cooking Instructions

1.       Lay the chicken flat, season the outside with salt and pepper, spread 1/4 of the guacamole on each of the chicken breasts, roll them up and wrap each in 2 slices of bacon

2.       Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid down, until the bacon is crispy and the chicken is cooked (160F to 165F), about 20-30 minutes, or bake in a preheated 400F/200C oven on a wire rack on a baking pan until cooked, about 20-30 minutes, turning the oven to broil for the last 5-10 minutes to ensure that the bacon is crispy.

3.  Add a veggie to it (salad, grilled asparagus perhaps), and you are ready to eat!

As always, I want to make sure I credit the source of the genius.  I found this recipe here:

http://www.closetcooking.com/2015/07/bacon-wrapped-guacamole-stuffed-chicken.html

 

 

How to Win At DietBet
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How to Win at DietBet

I bought a new softball glove this week.  It is beautiful!  The smell of the leather, the feel of the laces.  The best thing about my new glove?  I paid for it with my winnings from DietBet competitions I won in March.  I’ve competed in four DietBets in 2017, and I’ve won money in all four. 

I love to compete.  I love to win.  Most of all, I love strategy!  To win a dietbet, strategy is key.

 

I make my living as a personal trainer in Plymouth MN helping people win with the scale.  In a 4-week game like DietBet, the challenge is to have a steady approach for the first three weeks.  We can’t win a 4-week DietBet in the first three weeks, but we can sure lose during that time.

I want to help you win your DietBet (and if you want to compete in our current game, click here to join our DietBet Challenge).   Weight loss can be a million-piece puzzle, so I’m going to distill the process for you to help you focus your efforts on a few strategies that are likely to put you in the best position to win.  If you want to win this scale game, here’s where I’d encourage you to invest your efforts:

1) Write out a meal plan in advance of each week (with Paleo recipes!).  

Obvious tip, right?  It’s so obvious that most people won’t do it. 

A written meal plan is a written goal.  It’s also a contract…an agreement you make with yourself. It is much more difficult to fall off the food wagon after you’ve gone through the effort to write out a meal plan.  Because your brain knows better.  If you eat fast food when you specifically wrote down that you were going to eat bacon-wrapped guacamole chicken (yes, I’ll send you the recipe AND the cooking video), you experience specified disappointment.   You know exactly what you should have done, and you did something you know you shouldn’t have done.  If we don’t have a plan, we don’t feel as bad about our decision because we didn’t choose against a specific good food.  Without a plan, it’s almost as if our brain gives us permission to behave badly.  “It was late and I was so tired, and I didn’t know what to eat, so I drove thru Wendy’s,” our brain says. 

Fast food restaurants exist because they are counting on us not having a plan.  They are counting on us forgetting that we get hungry each morning, midday, and evening.   Fast food chains want our predictable bouts of hunger to take us by surprise, rendering us helpless as we pull up to their window.

It is easier to win with food when you make your food decisions in advance (and I’m assuming that, along with your written plan, you went ahead and made some meals in advance).  When I get home at night and I’m tired after a long day, if I know what I have planned to eat and it is already waiting for me, I’m going to win.  If I do not have my plan ready and food prepped, I am going to lose with my food.   It’s as simple as that.  And I’m going to jump out on a limb and guess that you may operate the same way I do sometimes.  When you are hungry and tired (or hungry and busy, or hungry with kids hanging on you), you will reach for whatever is closest and easiest.  If you have planned for healthy to be close and easy, you will eat healthy.   

I have a meal plan template I’m ready to send you.  All you need to do is email me and ask for it (adam@myhealthyobsession.com).   To win this scale game, you need a meal plan created in advance of your week.  If you do this, you are very likely to be in position to win.

2) Exercise with intensity for at least 9 minutes a day. 

According to volumes of research, when weight loss is the goal, most forms of cardio are for suckers.   I can hear you thinking, “that’s a little dramatic, Adam, don’t you think?”  Yes, it is.  Cardio has value for our health, but it does not have near the amount of value for weight loss as most people lend to it.  If we jog two miles (at a 10-minute pace), we will burn somewhere around 200 calories.  Big deal.  If we lift weights at a moderate pace for twenty minutes, we will probably burn less than a 100 calories

Winning a scale game is not about how many calories we burn during exercise.  Winning a scale game is about how many calories we burn BECAUSE we exercised.  The person who lifts weights at a moderate pace is likely to burn several hundred more calories in the 24 hours post- exercise than the person who performed moderate cardio for the same time duration.   I don’t care how many calories I burn during my short workout.  I care very much about how many calories I burn in the 24 hours after my workout.  That’s the number that matters more.

To burn the most calories post-exercise, the duration and modality are not nearly as important as the intensity.  Exercising with intensity is how we win a scale game.   I recommend applying a Tabata interval to your exercise.  It is an easy interval format that will help you win with the scale.

A Tabata interval works like this: 20 seconds of exercise (bicep curls, for example), followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Then 20 seconds more seconds of bicep curls ,followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Repeat this format for 8 sets, which will take four minutes.  Guess what?  In four minutes you have destroyed your biceps for the day.   Rest for a minute, then do another Tabata interval with another exercise that challenges anything but biceps (mountain climbers, perhaps). 

In this example, you crushed biceps for four minutes, rested for one minute, then tore it up with mountain climbers for four minutes.  In nine minutes you broke a sweat, provided great work to some muscle groups, and did so with reasonable intensity.  You just won the scale game for today in the workout department.

Most people don’t exercise as often as they should, and part of the problem is their rigid definition of exercise.  For most people, the exercise experience is defined by a change of clothes, a drive to the gym, a warm up, 30-40 minutes of structured moving around, followed by a drive home and shower.   

Do the 9-minute thing.  If you have time for more, great.  If not, you at least crushed it for 9 minutes and DID SOMETHING.  Leave your “I don’t have time to exercise because I don’t have an hour to burn” excuse at the door.  Tackle 9 minutes with some intensity and reap the rewards of your effort.

3) Sleep like it is your job!  

If we break down weight loss into categories and percentages, I believe it looks like this:  70% of weigh loss is about food, 20% is about exercise, 5% is about habits, and 5% is about hormones.  The funny thing is, you can get 95% of the equation correct, but if your hormones aren’t in agreement, losing weight is going to be incredibly difficult.  And nothing helps regulate hormones like sleep.

Quality sleep helps balance hormones like cortisol (our fat-storing hormone) and leptin (the master hormone, which tells us how hungry we are and how much energy we have…amongst other things).   Sleep also helps aid in recovery from exercise.   If we sleep well, our muscle tissues and connective tissues recovery much more quickly than if we don’t sleep soundly.   

If we do not sleep well (enough hours, or deep quality REM sleep), our body uses our “backup” system to help repair muscles and tendons: food.  When we don’t use sleep to recover, our body will crank up our appetite in hopes that we consume more nutrients and achieve recovery from increased nutrition. 

I encourage you to take a hard look at your sleep habits and winding down process at night.  If you focus on getting more quality sleep, it will help you win your scale game!

Weight loss is a million-piece puzzle.  I do believe that writing out a meal plan, exercising with intensity with a few muscle groups for 9 minutes or more each day (or most days), and nailing down your sleep schedule will put you in position to win from the start!

Here’s to your healthy success with your scale game!

Adam Erwin
Why "Everything In Moderation" Is Bad for Weight Loss Goals
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Minneapolis Personal Trainer hosting Weight Loss Challenge in January and February 2017

Ever heard someone say, “Everything in moderation…”?  I hate that saying.

As a fitness and nutrition coach, it is probably my least favorite saying.  EVERYTHING in moderation? How much cocaine should one ingest daily to achieve a moderate amount of intake? The correct answer is zero, of course. How much sleep is moderate? Five hours, eight hours, or maybe eleven hours? What about sugar? There is no recommended daily allowance of sugar suggestion in the United States. How are we supposed to know how much sugar one should consume? When it comes to health, we struggle to define what healthy moderation and balance should look like.

I believe the body gives us clues that help us to determine how to moderately consume our treats. For example, it takes the kidneys and liver about five days to make a doughnut binge or a night on the town “like it never happened.” Five days. If we want to balance our treats with healthy foods, we’d better execute five consecutive days of clean eating for every one gluttonous meal. 

The real reason I can’t handle “everything in moderation” is because it is worse than the truth. It sounds good, and maybe even sounds true. The most damaging part is that it really does is cast a long shadow on the truth, which makes the truth more difficult to see.   "Everything in moderation" makes it seem like we should celebrate with birthday cake a few times a week. We must look beyond the cake to find the truth!

 Even little Emma must learn how to achieve a  healthy balance with her treats!

Even little Emma must learn how to achieve a  healthy balance with her treats!

The Truth About Weight Loss

Here’s the truth: In health and in life, if we execute moderately well, we will achieve only moderate success. Think about that. Want to lose a tenth of a pound per week? Eat everything in moderation. For every bottle of water, consume a soft drink. Salad for lunch? You deserve a burger and fries for dinner. After all, you earned it, right? Eye roll.

Here’s more truth. In getting healthy (specifically with weight loss), there are two main phases: pursuit phase and maintenance phase. These two phases have dramatically different rules. 

The pursuit phase is strict for my clients. For the nutrition plan, we eat very clean for six-and-a-half days a week. Then, for half a day, my clients go to town with a bonus meal. I always say, “Go to town with your bonus meal, just don’t go to Vegas!”  

If the pursuit phase is strict, the maintenance phase is a bit more laid back. By maintenance phase, my clients have hit their goal weight, and are consistently and successfully maintaining their goal weight for a month or more. In addition to nutritional alignment, because of a successful execution of our fitness plan, my clients have their hormones on track. This results in a fired-up metabolism. Because of the weight stability, hormone stability, and metabolic strength, my clients in maintenance phase have more liberty on their bonus meals. Less rules, more fun.

Consider four of my clients from 2016 (three of my newest clients, and one who I worked with for all of 2016):

Client #1 started working with me in August of 2016. She has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which means she has a chronic hormonal imbalance. Two main symptoms of PCOS are weight gain and extreme difficulty in losing weight. The primary care doctor for Client #1 told her: “I just don’t know what to do with you. I can’t wait until you are diabetic, because then I’ll know what to do.” 

How frustrating is that? Your doctor doesn’t have any hope. Why should you? And to that end, Client #1 was very frustrated with her body when I first met with her. Every time she tried to lose weight, she would gain weight.

Guess what? In five months of working with me, Client #1 is down 45 pounds!  Her hormones have regulated, and her health is improving rapidly!

 Client #2 started in mid-October of 2016. She doesn’t have a lot of weight to lose, but wanted to get toned up for a trip. Her goal was to lose thirty pounds in six months. As of this writing (January of 2017), she has lost twenty pounds in three months. Client #2 is much stronger and leaner, and is very happy with her progress.

Client #3 started working with me in mid-November of 2016. She is in her late forties, and has been stuck for awhile with her body. She is down thirteen pounds in two months, feels fantastic, and loves the way her clothes fit!

Client #4 worked with me for the vast majority of 2016. From our work in January (when she was 16 weeks postpartum) through December, she lost over 40 pounds! Client #4 now weighs less than she did before she got pregnant and is in great shape.

These four client snapshots are the tip of the iceberg for 2016. As I look back on the clients I worked with last year, we really had some unbelievable health wins! The reason why my clients succeeded so much in 2016 and in the early stages of 2017: we don’t abide by an “everything in moderation” philosophy. We crush our pursuit phase by executing our fitness and nutrition plan extraordinarily well, and therefore achieve extraordinary success.

How to Achieve Healthy Weight Loss in 2017

As you consider your health goals for 2017, I encourage you to scrap an “everything in moderation” mentality. You are in pursuit phase.  Crush pursuit phase. Execute at a high level to succeed at a high level.

If you would like help succeeding with your health goals, I would like to introduce three ways I may be able to partner with you…

For those who live near Plymouth, MN and can access this Minneapolis-area personal trainer :

1)      Healthy Obsession Team Challenge - This six-week weight loss challenge starts next week (the week of January 23rd) and is an intensive fitness and nutrition experience. We win as a team, and we win big!  It is cost effective and results oriented. Want more details, click here!

2)      Partner with me for 1-on-1 for your fitness and nutrition-I love helping people who are ready and willing to get to work on their health goals.  Give me two weeks.  We will win enough in two weeks for you to see the path to longer term success.  Contact me to start a conversation about starting NOW so you can look and feel your best faster than you imagined possible.

For those of you living outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area:

3)      Virtual fitness and nutrition coaching-By leveraging the power of smart phones and social media live outlets, we are able to accomplish more with today’s technology in our virtual sessions. We can nail down a concrete meal plan and map out a successful fitness plan. If you are hungry to win now, contact me to start a conversation!

Whether I work with you or not in 2017, I hope you achieve health success this year. I hope you scrap the “everything in moderation” mentality and pursue your goal with a high-level of execution! 

To your health,

Adam

 

Bacon-Wrapped Guacamole Chicken Breast Recipe

Paleo Chicken Recipes

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Bacon-Wrapped Guacamole Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

-4(6 ounce) chicken breasts, butterflied or pounded thin        

-salt and pepper to taste

-1/2 cup guacamole                    

-8 slices bacon

Cooking Instructions

1.      Lay the chicken flat, season the outside with salt and pepper, spread 1/4 of the guacamole on each of the chicken breasts, roll them up and wrap each in 2 slices of bacon.

2.      Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid down, until the bacon is crispy and the chicken is cooked (160F to 165F), about 20-30 minutes, or (and this is what we do...) bake in a preheated 400F/200C oven on a wire rack on a baking pan until cooked, about 20-30 minutes, turning the oven to broil for the last few minutes to ensure that the bacon is crispy.

3.  Add to a salad or with some veggies and enjoy!

RecipesAdam Erwin
Simple Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Recipe

Paleo Recipes

 Paleo Spaghetti Squash

Paleo Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

 

This is one of my favorites. Any time I can cook something once and have it feed me several times, I consider it a winner. 

Ingredients: one spaghetti squash, marina sauce (preferably a brand without added sugar...check the ingredients!), ground turkey/ground beef or chopped up chicken breasts are optional

Cooking Instructions

1.      Cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Be careful, go slow, and cautiously slice the squash in half.

2.      Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place squash halves cut side down on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Pour water into pan so that it is about an inch deep.

3.      Roast for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a fork punctures the peel of the squash easily.

4.      Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool just enough so you can handle it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the flesh from the squash into wonderful, stringy "noodles" with a sturdy fork and place in a small serving bowl. If some of the strands clump or gather together, simply separate them using your hands.

5.      Serve squash with a marina sauce (there are several brands that are without sugar, that’s what we use!).

6.      BONUS STEP:  cook ground turkey or ground beef in a pan and add to dish.

 

You will have several servings extra.  We put leftover spaghetti squash in a mason jar (and pour marina sauce and ground turkey in a separate jar).  Healthy and tasty is ready to go!

RecipesAdam Erwin