Happy Holidays everyone!!
This year, my holidays have been a little different and I am so thankful for all the changes in my life. Living in NYC, I’ll have a pretty white Christmas! ( well… that is by the time i make it back before NYE).
But one major change for me has been that the last few years I have thrown some kick- ass Chanukkah parties full of dreidel games and latke making galore. And I’ve been lucky enough to do so with my awesome latke-chef, party hostess BFF by my side! We even brought the joy of the festival of lights to France one year!
This year she is on an exploratory, whirlwind amazing trip around Europe… the kind that everyone can only be jealous of. While she is out having the time of her life in Scotland this month, I didn’t feel it was right to throw an extravaganza without her. So i’ll have to relive it through pictures and start planning for next year’s!
Because Claudia is far away and I gotta drown my sorrows somehow, and I’m avoiding the gluten- filled sugar temptations that is Christmas , I’ve been making Christmas- inspired paleo treats instead! This one is my favorite, and only 4 ingredients!
1/2 heaping cup coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Nuke coconut butter in a microwave-safe bowl until melted, approx 30-40 seconds. Add other ingredients to bowl and mix well. I recommend adding sea salt at the very end. This mixture will be thick, so melt more if needed. Spread coconut mixture flat on a plate or small cookie tray covered in tin foil. Place in freezer 1-2 hours. Remove, crack in pieces ( use those forearms! It ain’t easy) and enjoy!
Other substitutions : use pistachios or walnuts instead of pecans, or add all-natural cocoa nibs !
Well I know that every Jew in America is out eating Chinese food on Christmas day, and I hate Chinese Food , My mom and I made this not-so-traditional Christmas entree using my Mom’s recipe.
( For paleo option, feel free to leave out the cheese)
3 small yellow or green zucchinis
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
1 small can tomato paste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Thickly shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees F. Peel zucchinis and cut in thick circular rounds or cubes. Using a thin sparing knife, carve insides out, setting the seed-inside mixture aside in a separate bowl.
Once all zucchini rounds are carved out, grease a glass baking dish with olive oil and spread zucchini cubes out, approx 1/2 – 1 inch apart. Put ground beef in a big bowl and add Italian seasoning, some basil, and salt, and pepper and mix well with your hands. Scoop out tiny bits of beef and stuff into empty zucchini holes. The beef should be stuffed so that it is overflowing over the zucchini bits, but not so much that it’s falling over the sides. Add the insides of the zucchini you just carved to the dish, placing them on the sides.
Sauce: Pour tomato paste into a small bowl, and mix with about 1/2 the can worth of water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil (depending how thick you want the tomato sauce). Add a generous amount of italian seasoning to tomato mixture and mix well. Pour tomato mixture over the beef-stuffed zucchini rounds so that everything is completely covered. Place in oven. After 20 minutes remove dish and sprinkle the cheese shreds over the top of the dish and put back in the oven for another 20 or so minutes, until beef is fully cooked through.
I love these served with a side of green beans!
Most gyms are on a Christmas schedule., and many may be closed all together for a period of time so you may need to get crafty in order to get your workout in. Here are a few of my do-anywhere workouts I did the last few days as my gym was closed.
I always travel with my jump rope and had my kettlebelll handy but feel free to improvise with what you have around.
Christmas- eve workout:
3 rounds of –
20 up-downs (almost like a burpee without the pushup) These are My favorite warm up exercise because you get a backstretch too!
5 rounds :
24 Double unders ( since I just started these, I aimed for them unbroken and re-did the set until i got them unbroken. Modifications : aim for 3 singles, one double under)
24 Kettle bell swings @ 16kg
24 windshield wipers
Christmas- Day Workout : No equipment necessary !
10 min warmup run
Then I set a timer on my watch and ran the same loop where every 30 seconds i Sprinted, and then jogged for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10 minutes
I rested and foam rolled for about 5 minutes.
Then 4 rounds of :
25 air squats
25 lunge jumps
These WODs take no time at all and are a great way to fuel all those christmas treats we’re all inhaling.