Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Little About Me and a Side of Paleo Breakfast Pizza

          I always thought I would be a writer. I wanted to write books and travel the world. As I have gotten older, my dreams, of course, have changed. I have found a passion for health and fitness through my own life experiences. Two years ago, I had a series of scary health problems that completely changed my perspective. While I typically do not talk about this openly, I was terrified about what could happen to me. I first had surgery to remove a lesion on my scalp that was 2 by 3 inches in size. This lesion left me with approximately 40 staples in my scalp. I had previously had this place removed twice, but it had grown too large to be simply removed in a Dermatologist's office again. Dr. Stephen Miller, a plastic surgeon, was sought to remove the lesion. Whenever I first met Dr. Miller, I was instantly at ease. He was incredibly kind and kept all nerves at rest. Little did I know, his wife was going to be one of my great Crossfit friends in the future. My surgery went wonderfully, and I didn't even have to have my head shaved. ;) Dr. Miller made the experience as perfect as it could be. While I could not have done anything health wise to prevent this lesion from growing, this experience planted the seed of nutrition knowledge in my mind. I began to wonder what I could do to better myself and prevent health complications for myself and others.

          That surgery took place on December 14, 2012. My recovery went well, but it took a while for me to be able to participate in physical activities without feeling dizzy or getting a severe headache. Around April/May of that following year, I went to the doctor for my third case of strep throat in the matter of just a few weeks. While they concluded that it may be time for the tonsils and adenoids to be taken out, they also discovered a heart murmur. I knew heart murmurs were common, but I had never had one before. They immediately set me up an appointment with a Cardiologist. About a week later, I went to the Cardiologist and had my first EKG. It was so weird to me to be attached to all of these electrodes. While I assumed this would probably be my last trip to the Cardiologist, I was very wrong. My EKG came back as abnormal, and I was scheduled an ultrasound of my heart for the following week. The ultrasound gave us a lot of helpful information. They concluded that I have two  leaks in my heart, which is nothing to be concerned with for the time being. Overtime, they can worsen and need surgery, but for now, I can continue living my life as I usually do. After going through those two weeks of my heart scare, I decided that I was going to do my best to keep my body and my heart healthy. Perhaps, I won't actually have to go back to the Cardiologist, but if I do, it will not be because of my own irresponsible actions. I joined Crossfit Thunder shortly after these incidents. While I was always an athlete in high school, these health problems had broken my spirit a bit. I looked for something to pour my heart into, and I found just that in Crossfit. I made so many amazing friends there, and I found my best friend and boyfriend there as well. Tom deserves far more credit than he receives for everything he does for others. He is the most loving and giving person I have ever met. When I say he would do anything for anyone, I mean that. He loves and forgives in the way God wants all of us to. He makes me a better person each and every day. I only hope to become half the person he is.

          My goals now are to better myself through health and fitness, so I can in turn, help others. I see so many people who love health and fitness, but they just don't know where to begin. I was like that once, and I want to be able to help others grow with knowledge of nutrition. While I am still working on bettering myself, I am thankful to have a strong support system. Throughout everything I have been through, God has placed his own perfect people to help get me through. How can you get down on yourself when everyone around me you is ready to instantly pick you back up? That tells me one thing, and one thing only, I have chosen a great group of people to surround myself with and I am truly blessed.

         In light of all of this, some exciting news awaits! While many of you may already know, Tom and I have recently been blessed with an incredible opportunity. We will be coaching at the new Crossfit opening here in my hometown. Crossfit Huntington will have our soft opening January 1st. For those who are already signed up as members in December, you all will be able to help us build our gym and get some killer workouts in. I am so thankful for all of my friends that I have made in the Crossfit world thus far, and I can't wait to see where my journey is headed. I am thankful for each and every person who has supported me, and I am thankful for every kind word spoken. I thank Mark, Ann, Amy, and Jeff for wanting me to be a part of their business. I can't wait to embark on something life changing with them. This a chance for me to grow as a person and as a coach in the sport that I hold dearly to my heart. I wanted everyone to hear about why I chose Dietetics as my career field and why Crossfit is so important to me. It was something I could run to during a tough time in my life. For that, I am eternally grateful. God has a plan for us all, but we must never lose our faith in him. If our God is for us then what will ever stop us?

         Now, finally, onto a recipe! I have a spin on my other Paleo Pizza Recipes, a Paleo Breakfast Pizza! Like my other pizza, choice the toppings you are craving. I went with bacon, eggs, and sausage. I can not forget the Paleo gravy in which I made just for this recipe! Next up, Paleo Biscuits and Gravy. You all may notice that many of my recent recipes have not included any added sugar. By this, I mean from agave, honey, etc. I have been cooking without these for the most part. I will be adding a little extra sweetness soon. Be ready for some yummy holiday sweets coming your all's way!

Paleo Breakfast Pizza (I promise it is easier than it looks!)

Ingredients for Cauliflower Crust:
  • 2 packages of Kroger Fresh Selections Cauliflower (Refrigerated, not frozen. You could also just buy a head of cauliflower if they do not have this.)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Begin to boil a pot of water, and rip the cauliflower into smaller pieces. After about 20 minutes, drain the cauliflower and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Next,  mash the cauliflower by hand. You could easily use a food processor, but I gave this method a try and it worked out great! Do not worry about making sure it is all completely grated. 
  3. Add the eggs, almond flour, sea salt, and pepper.
  4. Lather the baking sheet in olive oil. (I literally poured it onto the sheet and spread it with a paper towel. This helps keep the crust from sticking!) Spread the batter evenly on your baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
Ingredients for the "Gravy Sauce":
  • 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/4 c coconut milk (Add more or less until you develop a creamy texture.)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Mix all of these ingredients in a pan. You will want the gravy to be creamy like the good ol' fashion gravy we are all used to. Adding more pepper will give it an extra little kick!
Topping Ingredients for Breakfast Pizza:
  1. 1 package of nitrate free sausage
  2. 5-6 pieces of nitrate free bacon
  3. 5-6 eggs
  4. Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Grand Preparation:

  1. First, follow the steps above to create your crust. While the crust is baking, prepare your toppings and gravy!
  2. Start your gravy in a side pan, while stirring frequently.
  3. While the gravy cooks, begin cooking sausage in a separate pan. Break it up into small pieces with your spatula and make sure it cooks thoroughly.
  4. Once the sausage is finished, I poured it into a bowl and set it to the side.
  5. Next, cook the bacon in the same pan or you can get a new one out for this ingredient.
  6. Finally, cook the eggs once you have finished cooking your meats. I made mine scrambled. They were delicious!
  7. Once the crust is finished baking, and light golden brown, lather your gravy over the crust with a spoon or knife.
  8. Finally, spread your sausage, bacon, and eggs evenly across your pizza. I created a protein packed pizza here. What was I missing? My veggies! Add spinach, kale, onions, peppers, or whatever you choose to incorporate extra vitamins and minerals to your morning breakfasts. Enjoy the recipe and enjoy your day everyone!

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