Paleo Recipes - Squash Salad

New Starts, Summer And A Squash Salad Recipe

20120731-112604.jpg I just got an email from my friend Sarah, yep the one who makes the awesome egg scrambles, announcing that Qi (my beloved community(so much more than a gym) in Colorado even though I don’t live there anymore nor have for two years) is doing their first ever paleo challenge. I am psyched!!! SO incredibly psyched!!!

Why am I so excited, because this is a place that I love with people I love who are about to experience the positive effects of eating Paleo. For some folks it will be life changing as they realize that some of their lifelong maladies aren’t “just the way it needs to be”. Others will shed pounds and others will just feel better, more energetic, more empowered, more connected to first the food choices they make then other choices as this empowerment expands. Everyone’s experience will be different and that’s what is so darn cool.

As you begin this new start with paleo I’ll share how Qi was a new start for me. I had just moved back to Denver with my husband Steve and new daughter from New York City(Raised in Pueblo though- Woot woot Guerrero girls!!!). I wandered in one day after Steve had joined(to begin training for his first Ironman, he has now done 4) and met Brad who immediately became my trainer whipping me back in to shape. I cooked for him in trade- true story:) Before this I could never even do a proper squat and had no desire for any weight training, etc. I was a skinny fat yoga teacher who ran. I thought I was in good shape but had no desire to ever really push myself.

Over the next few months Brad and Dawnelle and Kylie and Chris and everyone else at Qi pushed me to levels of fitness I never knew existed within myself. I became a regular at noon spin yoga and started teaching yoga a few times a week. I really fell in love with everybody.My favorite time of week was each Monday teaching restorative on Colfax. We helped with the second summer triathlon training program and had a blast at Rattlesnake with everyone. When we moved back to Connecticut I am not lying when I say one of the hardest adjustments I had to make was leaving Qi and the Denver community as whole behind. It still stings at times. I have since found a great CrossFit box at 033 in Glastonbury, CT but miss all of the other offerings and community of Qi. I also really miss teaching…

Now I look at Qi and a lot has changed. When I was there I was one of the only moms- CRAZY! It would be great to have M there now standing in as the senior of all the kiddos and now Cal who could be exhibiting his l-sits on the gymnastic rings…

Steve and I were on again off again paleo in Colorado and even shared a book or two with people in the community then. Everyone was intrigued but give up pasta, bread, really? So psyched to hear there are over 80 people now willing to participate in the challenge.

A few tips as you embark on your first 30 day paleo challenge-

  • Focus on what you can have- Lean good quality meats, veggies(lots of greens), fruit and nuts/seeds, and certain fats(olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, and bacon grease are all great options). You already know you’re avoiding grains, legumes, and dairy, so what, go after what you can.
  • Keep it simple- eat the foods in their simplest form whenever possible. Yes this blog has recipes for waffles and pies and pancakes and all forms of “paleo” treats but at the end of the day these are still treats. If you’re really struggling and need to indulge go for it or if you know that breakfasts need to be grab and go make a batch of paleo waffles but first ask yourself if hard boiled eggs wouldn’t work just as well. If you really want to see results and get the most out of this keep it as simple as possible in the beginning.
  • Like success with any healthy eating- plan and pack your meals. It’s not easy to find “paleo” options on the fly every where you go.
  • Keep your eye on the prize. This isn’t just about diet, it’s about overall health. I wrote a blog on consistency and contentment yesterday and at the end of the day if we want to reach optimal health, I truly believe that Paleo nutrition is the way to go.
  • If you get off track it’s like everything in life, just get back on and keep moving forward.

I’ve been pretty strict paleo now for over two years with 3 years of “experimenting” before that. I can tell you it was the best thing I ever did. I used to have horrible stomach and respiratory issues that are now largely gone and my energy levels are through the roof(that’s important with 2 kids, a job, a business, and keeping fit- I still fall in to bed at night but without good nutrition would not be able to do what I do). I just did an Ironman and didn’t even eat any of the crap cookies or pretzels on the course- I have to say that was one of my defining moments in this journey. Yes at times I go off track, indulge in some Blue Moons or corn chips, some hot tameles or gummi bears with the kids, even some fried treats at time. However when I make these choices I can tell you that I feel the worse for them and am immediately inspired to get “clean” again.

So welcome. Here’s to New Starts and the remainder of summer. To start you off I am also including a super easy Squash Salad Recipe I made last night.

Paleo Summer Squash Recipe

  • Wash the veggies
  • Slice the squash as you like. I have a spiral slicer that I love to use for zucchini “noodles”. I made Paleo “Pasta” and Clams on Saturday so I had some of the zucchini left and used this. The patty pan I chopped into large thin pieces.
  • Dice the tomato into 1/2″ chunks
  • Chop the basil
  • Blanch the patty pan in boiling water for a minute or microwave with a bit of water for 1 minute
  • Toss all of the vegetables in a bowl
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

We had this with Paleo Pulled Pork I made Sunday night and it was a nice alternative to slaw.

Feel free to message me any questions or recipe requests and I would be happy to help. I’ll always be a Qi yogi in spirit whether I’m there geographically or not.

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