Come follow along! I’ve rebranded!

Over time, we decide to update our tech, our lives, our wardrobe. All the things.  I started my blogging here on paleoptimistic and will continue to use and share these original posts, but I am transitioning my ‘brand’ over to my page. I’m SO excited to broaden my post offerings!! Join me there for everything that falls into the foodie, fitness, and feelin’ fancy categories!  Time to have some new-fangled fun!

follow your butterflies

As always, I am obsessively grateful to all of my followers who started with me as a new blogger! Make sure to click that ‘follow’ button on my new page! I follow back!



Meal Prep Recipe: BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli

This is a hearty meal perfect for a heavy workout day, or when you need a little extra fuel. Tip: Look for Sweet Potatoes that are perfectly sized for your containers and your portions so you don’t have to cut them.

BBQ stuffed sweet potatoes (makes 6 servings): 

  • Sweet potatoes, 6
  • favorite seasoning,
  • Jack Daniels BBQ pulled pork (got ours from BJ’s Club),
  • 3 heads broccoli raw,
  • Coconut oil spray, found ours at Marshall’s
  • salt & pepper to taste.


  1. Preheat oven 350*.  Bake sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 1-1.5 hours or until soft.
  2. Once baked, slice sweet potatoes down the middle and season liberally with your favorite seasoning.
  3. Stuff pulled pork into sweet potato
  4. Fill rest of container with broccoli
  5. Spray broccoli with coconut oil spray, and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  6. Allow meal to cool before putting lid on and storing in the refrigerator.

Stores safely for 5 days.




Meal Prep Recipes Coming Soon!

Ya’ll asked and I’m delivering! Everyone has asked for help with meal prepping, recipes, how to do the thing, etc, so here we go! I’ll be posting each recipe I make as its own separate post.  You can always return to the top banner and click ‘Meal Prep’ to see all of them.

Meal Prep Basics:

Let’s get started on some basics.  Meal prepping isn’t rocket science and it’s definitely not brain surgery, but it does take a little planning.  Oh boy… planning… That’s what I’m here for.

First, you’ll need some containers.  The OCD in me requires all the containers to be the same size so the stack and store well whether in the refrigerator/freezer, or in the cabinet. If you aren’t as neurotic as I am, any freezer and microwave safe containers will do.  I found the ones we use at BJ’s Wholesale Club, but Amazon also has a ton of great options (like these).  Make sure you get enough for as many meals as you’ll be preparing. 🙂

Second, if you’re a planner freak like me, I LOVE my Erin Condren Meal Planning planner insert.  I write on it with a Vis-a-Vis marker (you know like for the overhead projectors!).  I plan out the different meals I will mass prep and on the back I create my shopping list. Get yours here.

Third, consider downloading the app Flipp.  This is where I scour the circulars for the best deals on the items on my list.  This app has saved me so much money and I love how everything is in one place!

I usually choose 3 different lunch/dinner meals to prep and a breakfast for 2 adults for the week.  Whatever we don’t eat, we toss in the freezer.

Now that we have the 3 most important things out in the open, make sure to subscribe to my email list and share this post with your friends so ya’ll never miss out on a meal prep update.  Start thinking about some meals you LOVE! and let’s get to prepping!  Hit me with all your questions and your favorite meals and I’ll help you mass prep!!



Paleo Shrimp & Grits

Growing up in the south has instilled some deep southern culture in me.  I say y’all, wear flip flops pretty much in any season, & love some hearty comfort food.  For example, the quintessential southern dish, Shrimp & Grits, has been my favorite favorite dish ever since I learned to love grits.

Continue reading “Paleo Shrimp & Grits”

Spicy Kale & Chicken Frittata {21DSD Compliant}

Frittata’s are so simple.  Easy grab and go breakfast, make a huge batch at once then cut and store.  Easy peasy. I’m all about easy real food meals. So many people believe that eating healthy is more difficult and takes too much time to prepare, which in turn keeps them from even trying this lifestyle.  Well, I’m here to tell you that if I can do it… YOU CAN! It’s all about planning ahead, taking about 2 hours on a sunday to prep everything for the week, that way when the time comes to make dinner for the day, you’ve already chopped/diced/sliced everything and all you have to do is cook.  The only things you have to dirty are the dishes you eat off of and the pans you cook the stuff up in.  You can do this.  Your health is worth it.

Continue reading “Spicy Kale & Chicken Frittata {21DSD Compliant}”

Partially Paleo Shrimp Scampi/Alfredo 

I love shrimp. So much so that I think Bubba, Forrest, and I would have been the coolest shrimp slingin’ Wolfpack to ever be. 





You get the idea. 

That being said, I was super excited when shrimp was on sale at the store, which is what brought about this recipe. Shrimps. And wine. I also love wine. (Which is why this is a ‘partially Paleo’ recipe. Don’t go callin the Paleo Police cuz I love wine. I’m not sorry about that. 😉


 What you need:

1# shrimp

1 medium sized acorn squash, roasted and puréed. 

1 can full fat coconut milk

1 cup white wine (I used a nice Sauvignon Blanc, you can omit this if you want to be a better cave-person than I am. Sub it out by using the entire can of coconut milk and 1/4 cup lemon juice)

1 pint grape tomatoes, whole

6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

2/3 cup basil, fresh, chopped

Asparagus, diced. (Use as much as you’d like. I used one entire bundle)

1 TBS red pepper flakes (if you can’t handle the heat, edit or omit)

1 TBS onion powder

2 tsp parsley flakes

2 tsp oregano flakes



4 TBS ghee or coconut oil

(1 medium spaghetti squash or 1 head of cauliflower, riced)
What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Slice and remove seeds of acorn squash, (I cut mine into 1 inch thick slices which helped expedite the roasting process) bake for 20 min. 
  3. Slice and remove seeds of spaghetti squash (if you chose to use it) and place in oven with acorn squash. Bake for 25-30 min. 
  4. In a saucepan, bring coconut cream (the thick white stuff in the can of coconut milk) to a boil. Add spices and garlic. 
  5. Peel skin off of acorn squash and add to the coconut cream. Reduce heat to simmer and with and immersion blender, blend until smooth. 
  6. Remove spaghetti squash strands from skin and set to the side. 
  7. Add grape tomatoes and wine to sauce. Continue to simmer. 
  8. While sauce simmers, take your cauli rice or spaghetti squash strands, as well as your diced asparagus, in a large hot skillet with 4 TBS ghee/coconut oil and sautée. 
  9. Once a nice sautée is reached, add sauce and shrimp to skillet. Reduce heat to medium heat and cover. Cook until shrimp are opaque and no longer grey. 
  10. ENJOY! && Make sure you smash the tomatoes!! 

This is by far one of my favorite dishes I’ve made, to date! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 


Venison Barbacoa Burrito Bowls & a Spartan Sprint!

Hola Amigos!

Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve posted any recipes l, I was working on THIS recipe for Paleo Living Magazine, completed my first Spartan Race (Charlotte Sprint) along with wedding planning. Lots and lots of wedding planning… to the point where I had decided that if I could cater my own wedding, I damn well would, and EVERYONE would love it. 😉 P.S. If I were to cater my own wedding, this recipe would be what I served.

We used venison, but you can also use beef or pork, whatever suits your fancy! The major star of this dish is the marinade, which if I’m being honest, you could put it on cardboard and LOVE it. I don’t recommend doing that, but that’s just how darn good this marinade is. Now, word of caution before you dive into the recipe… I have made the instructions to where you can make the whole meal in the picture. Don’t get overwhelmed! I highly suggest reading through the instructions before you start cooking so you know the time line of prep and cooking instead of having to try to figure it out as you go along.

Even the prep makes your mouth water:


Venison Barbacoa Burrito Bowls


1-2, 16oz Jars of Canned Venison (if you don’t readily have canned venison, you can use 2-4lbs chuck roast cook in slow cooker on low for 4-6 hours)

Marinade: MAKE 24 HOURS AHEAD OF TIME (double this if you use 2 jars of venison or 4# beef/pork)

8 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp lime juice

½ cup raw organic honey

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

¾ cup fresh cilantro

4 garlic cloves

4 green onions

2 TBS coconut sugar

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

½ cup avocado oil

Sweet Potato Rice

3 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized and pulsed through a food processor

½ cup bone broth

2 TBS lime juice

½ cup cilantro, chopped

2 TBS coconut oil

Sauteed Veggies

Mushrooms, diced

Onions, diced

Green peppers, diced

2 TBS coconut oil

Guacamole (recipe here)


  1. 24 hours ahead of time, make the marinade and cook the chuck roast if you do not have canned venison on hand (2-4lb chuck roast on low in a crock pot for 4-6 hours or until cooked through, pour ½ of the prepared marinade over chuck roast while it cooks). Break up the chunks of venison.
  2. Marinade Simmer the ACV, balsamic vinegar, and honey in a sauce pan until combined.
  3. Marinade Blend the vinegar and honey mixture, macadamia nuts, cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin in a food processor until a pesto-like consistency is reached.
  4. Marinade Pour your ‘pesto’ into a bowl and stir in the avocado oil.
  5. Once marinade is finished, displace ½ of the residual juice in the venison can(s) and fill jar with marinade. Re cap, and shake shake shake!! Place can(s) in refrigerator to get happy overnight. Store remaining marinade in container to use as sauce for your burrito bowl.
  6. Day of: prepare the sweet potato rice. Peel, spiralize, and pulse in a food processor until ‘rice-like’ shapes are produced.
  7. Sweet Potato Rice Heat up a large skillet with coconut oil, toss in sweet potato ‘rice’ and cook stirring occasionally for 3 minutes, then add bone broth and cook for 5-10 minutes or until soft. Once rice is finished, add cilantro and lime juice and stir.
  8. Optional make the guacamole.
  9. Sauteed veggies In a large skillet with 2 TBS coconut oil, sautee your veggies. Sprinkle salt and pepper over and cook until onions are transparent.
  10. Venison While the veggies are sautéing, pour the contents of your venison can(s) into a skillet and heat.
  11. Serve! Serve up a scoop of sweet potato rice, guacamole, sautéed veggies, venison barbacoa and your favorite salsa over a bed of lettuce! Drizzle some marinade/sauce over top as a dressing & Enjoy!

4venison 5venison

This recipe is slightly high maintenance, but it doesn’t disappoint! My whole family was ranting and raving about this for weeks. We’ll definitely be keeping the sauce on hand for quite a while!

Even Sully was trying to get some noms!

1venisonsully check out the post on Paleo Living Magazine, here!

Now to fill you in on my first Spartan Race! Mud, mud water, climbing, AROO-ing, and so much fun! John was a sweetheart and stayed with me the whole time, which was rather helpful for the walls since without him pushing my butt over them, I’d probably have had to do more burpees! All the ‘difficult’ obstacles weren’t bad–we beasted the traverse wall and the tarzan jungle gym, but those darn climbing obstacles that were higher than 10 feet off the ground threw me for a LOOP! I knew I was scared of heights before, but I didn’t know it was that bad–I’m talking shaking and other people were very aware how terrified I was, to the point that they were giving me sweet words of encouragement! lol, I’m a mess! We finished our 4.3 miles and 22 obstacles in 2 hours and 5 minutes, which was right around the average time! My goal was to FINISH and not incur any broken bones, and I succeeded!  We are signed up for our next Spartan Race for September 19th, here at Fort Bragg (Sprint), and this time, my goal is a faster time, and be able to do the walls and rope climb all by myself!

John looking all badass after going under the wall through the mud water, and me in the background being mildly dramatic while accounting for my contacts. lol
fire = finish! WOOHOO!
Nice face, right? I refused to roll, like everyone else, until I kept finding ALL the rocks. After this point, I started rolling.
John rolling through the barbed wire like a boss

Anyone else training for a Spartan Race?



21DSD: Day 6


“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Truth. This quote is similar to something I always tell my classes: ‘Leave that comfort zone, that’s how we improve! Challenge yourselves to get better!’ Continue reading “21DSD: Day 6”

New Year ‘New’ You

Happy New Year!!!

In light of the new year and the basic resolution of getting fit and losing weight this year, why don’t we instead resolve to change our lifestyles?… Weight loss is more than just buying that gym membership, donning those sweet new nikes, throwing out the sugary cereal in your pantry, and getting rid of your secret stash of chocolate in your desk drawer at work… It’s a commitment. A lifestyle.

Some of us need an intervention from our unhealthy lifestyles, which is nothing to be ashamed of… Instead, fix it. Continue reading “New Year ‘New’ You”

A Quote for the day

I’m so excited and thankful to have received so many new followers in the last few days! Thank you all for reading and following along with my rants, recipes, and rambunctiousness! And to my dad who has my blog as his homepage on his computer. 🙂 Hi Dad!

As you go about your days today, remember that YOU can make someone else’s day… Just like you’ve made mine by following me.  I’d love to hear from you all!

Go do something amazing!