Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome Back + Best Ever Meat Sauce

Well it's been a long time.  And I have some excuses, but they're all rather lame: basically life has gotten the best of me this month.  Ever since I finished my Whole30 (no grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, or alcohol for 30 days), I've sort of gone off the deep end, alternating a few days of healthy eats with out-of-control binges.  Not good.  I think the biggest issue is that I viewed Whole30 as a strict month-long detox, when really I should have considered it as an avenue to create healthier habits for myself.  The Coach and I have lots of things planned this next month, so doing another Whole30 is just not realistic.  Instead I'm going to strive to live by the Whole9 guidelines.  Whole30 is the detox, based on the Whole9 lifestyle in general; in case you're curious checkout the website at  I plan on doing Whole30 for most meals, with the occasional exception.  Clearly for me, abstaining completely leads to me daydreaming about wine and gluten-free pizza with an inevitable binge-fest, so I'm hoping that this loose plan will work better for me.  And I'm going go try to keep up the blog better, so my 3 readers can help keep me honest :)

That being said, let's get back to the good stuff.


I've been doing my own thing at the gym lately.  The Coach wrote me a program, but I was in CT for a few days last week and was lucky enough to use my mom's gym.  From previous visits, I knew that things are set up pretty differently there, and the gym in general was way busier than my ghost-town gym so I wrote myself a quick program that would be more conducive to that space.  My work schedule this week shifted to the earlier side, so I decided to just do another round of the same program to keep things simple and speedy.  Today's workout looked like this: rear-foot elevated split squats, Bosu push-ups, jump squats, assisted pull-ups, and side-plank rows.  I finished up with a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill.  Quick but tough!


Part of what has made the past few weeks so challenging has been the fact that the Coach has been traveling for play-offs.  Knowing that I won't be sharing my meals with my favorite food critic made me very unmotivated to do any real cooking.  Last week I made a big batch of meat sauce before he left, which I then ate for a bunch of dinners spooned over steamed broccoli.  Holy yum.  Luckily for me (not for the team), play-offs are over and the Coach is back to enjoy some good eats, so stay tuned for some new recipes!  In the mean time, this is the so-good-I-could-drink-it-with-a-straw sauce that I made to tide me over last week--this stuff should come with a warning label, it's that addicting.  I pretty much followed the recipe exactly from Table for Two; I've made this twice and the second time I changed things up by using a combination of beef and hot Italian sausage which was also delicious.  Here's how the original went down:

Best ever meat sauce
1lb 80/20 ground beef
1 6oz can tomato paste
6oz water
1 24oz jar tomato puree
6 garlic cloves, minced
1t dried oregano
1t onion powder
1t garlic powder
1/2t cayenne
8-10 basil leaves, chopped
Optional: 1T sugar (I used sugar the first time, skipped it the second time without a noticeable difference)

Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat and brown your meat with S&p.  When meat is almost cooked all the way through, throw in your garlic and continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink.  Pour in the tomato paste, puree, and spices including the basil.  Then fill the 6oz tomato paste can with water and add that to the pot.  Let the whole thing simmer for about 2 hours to develop the flavors, but check about halfway through cooking to adjust your seasoning.

 This sauce is amazing.  Two hours sounds like a long cooking time, but really it doesn't take long to get the whole thing prepared and then you don't have to touch it for the length of two episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Yeah, I would know.  So if you're in the mood for some comfort food, try this.  The Coach ate his carb-style over pasta, and I had it over roasted broccoli which was a scary delicious combination.  Make this, make this now.

Hope you've all really missed me in my absence, and rest easy now because I'm back!


  1. You find any good gluten free pizza? Pretty much all of it I've tried sucks...

    1. I haven't really had a GF pizza that I didn't like, but I'm not too picky when it comes to the dough texture. Dan has disliked every one I've tried though.

  2. i have to admit that I look forward to going to my OB appointments so when I finish my weigh in I can eat whatever I want the rest of the day...which unfortunately for me turns into 4 days. Then I have 2 weeks til my next visit.