Paleo Crock Pot Brisket

I’ve been paleo-izing a bunch of recipes lately. I also finally got the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook I’ve been coveting. In it, Michele Tam (my personal paleo chef-crush) talks about where she sources her bacon. She mentions a company called Prather Ranch Meat Company. She goes to San Francisco’s Ferry Building to get their delightful cuts.
I too wanted to try some sugar free bacon and amazing delicious California grass-fed meats, so I googled them. As luck would have it, I don’t have to shlep myself all the way to SF to get their products because they have a stall at the Saturday farmer’s market in Danville, CA, which is just a few miles from where I live! Yay!
So I made it down there on Saturday. Unfortunately, I had also just been to Costco this week so our meat stores are pretty solid. To avoid redundancy, I picked up some bacon (because who can ever have too much bacon?) and a brisket because the hubs LOVES it and I had never cooked one. I asked the butcher whether I could throw it in the crock pot and he said, “Heck yes! It’s a tougher cut of meat so the slow cooker is a great idea!” I figured since I’ve had so much luck with slow cooking pork shoulders and ribs, a brisket should be great.
Truthfully, my tummy is grumbling just thinking about it!
I LOVE the slow cooker. Here’s why – as I’m making dinner or just before I go to bed, I set up my crock pot with the ingredients necessary for whatever we’ll be having the following evening. By the time I wake up in the morning, the house smells amazing and there’s a delicious something waiting for me!
Tonight, it’s a brisket.
To minimize dishes, I started by creating the BBQ sauce in the crock pot. I threw all the non-brisket ingredients together directly in the slow cooker and whisked them until smooth. I put the brisket on top and slathered it with sauce. Then I set the crock pot to low.
Set it and forget it. Smarter cooking words were never spoken.

Set it and forget it. Smarter cooking words were never spoken.

Looks good, right? All the flavors are combining in there and I'm hoping they'll be amazing in the morning.

Looks good, right? All the flavors are combining in there and I’m hoping they’ll be amazing in the morning.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow morning. Here’s something about which I’m pretty certain – there will be brisket on my plate for breakfast!

UPDATE! When I woke up this morning, the house DID smell ah-mazing! Before brushing my teeth or even washing my face, I ran downstairs to check out my creation.

The tender meat just FELL apart when I touched it with the fork!

The tender meat just FELL apart when I touched it with the fork!

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So I had a few bites with my breakfast. For lunch, I put some coconut oil in a saute pan and threw in some broccoli florets. I added a couple tablespoons of chicken bone broth, covered the pan and steamed the broccoli for a few minutes. Then I added some brisket, mixed it all up and this was my beautiful, hearty, yummy lunch!
Brisket, broccoli, bone broth and water. Yummy!

Brisket, broccoli, bone broth and water. Yummy!

CLEANING TIP: In case you noticed that my crock pot is FULL of charred bbq sauce and are concerned about the clean-up – I have a crock pot cleaning tip for you! If the dishwasher, scouring and scrubbing options have all been exhausted and you still need to get the junk off your crock (hee hee!), put about 1/4 cup of baking soda into the pot, fill with water and set your crock pot on high for 2-4 hours. This should save hours of cleaning as the heated baking soda will soak off all that baked on ickiness.



Paleo Crock Pot Brisket

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Paleo Crock Pot Brisket (adapted from Paleo Magazine)
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lb brisket
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons raw (local) honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or a dash mix of cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg)
  • You could add a pinch of cayenne, more salt and/or some red pepper flakes if you want your dish to be savorier or spicier…
Instructions
    1. Place all ingredients except the meat in the slow cooker and whisk to combine, until smooth.
    2. Add the brisket and cover with the sauce.
    3. Cook for 10-12 hours on low.
    4. Remove the brisket onto a platter or BPA free storage dish. Using 2 forks, shred the brisket to achieved “pulled” beef. Add salt to taste.
    5. SAVOR and enjoy!

I am perfect.

Maybe you already know this about me, but I’ll tell you that I’m a pretty hard driving person. I know what I want and I go after it with strong conviction. From falling in love to conceiving a child to planning a birthday party, I don’t like to go halfway.

With my first marathon drifting further and further into the distance, I’ve been struggling with what to do next. I ran 1,100 miles in 2014. That number may not qualify me for elite marathoner status but it sounds staggering to me. I also turned 40 and started s business with my BFF.

Now that the new year is well underway and my huge training regimen is behind me, I haven’t really known what do with myself. To offset my now comparatively sedentary lifestyle, I started the Whole30 program early last month. It’s like a Paleo diet primer with a lot of restrictions.

I’ve always struggled with my body image and with disordered eating. Overeating in many of its forms have defined periods of my life. Bulimia in high school and college, anorexia early in my professional career and overeating throughout my adulthood. Like I said, I don’t go halfway.

The only problem with my whole-hearted guns-blazing approach is that I don’t leave myself much room to just be okay. I expect perfection out of myself. If I set a goal and achieve it (like fitting back into my pants after the holidays), I rewrite the goal in my head before celebrating the win. I ensure that I will never be good enough.

Today is the 30th day of my Whole30. I have fallen in love with this way of eating. I’ve followed the guidelines very strictly without cheating. Part of the program is to avoid the scale after an initial weigh in at the start. The idea is to make your body healthier with “whole” foods but to also overcome food’s psychological hold.

Emotional eating is a big thing for me. I love to eat similarly to how Pavarotti loved to sing. I love to cook, I love wine, I love restaurants. I just love everything about food. But I mostly just love to be eating. I love to be filling myself, but I’m never sure what the void is exactly that I’m replenishing.

Overachiever who I am, I think I may have managed to cheat on the Whole30 without officially cheating. Binge-worthy handfuls of nuts, seeds and dried fruit followed by meals with enough sweet potato to feed an NFL player are within the guidelines but possibly not within the “spirit” of the program.

So unsurprisingly when I went to my post-program weigh-in and body composition appointment today, I found that I’ve only lost 4 pounds.

I guess I expected to look like Christy Turlington after 30 days without wine, cheese or sugar. Truthfully I would LOVE to look like Christy Turlington. She’s so beautiful and she’s SO thin.

So instead of bingeing on nuts and dried apricots this afternoon, I went to yoga. I love this new Walnut Creek studio called “Just Be Yoga.” After procrastinating any kind of workout all week, I rolled out my mat this afternoon and cleared my mind. After an hour of sweat pouring off me, the instructor had the class sit in a big circle and hold hands while alternating between high and low boat poses. (Those are very strong abdominal exercises. Think sit ups with your feet off the floor.) She said to support our partners. After a few very hard rounds of that, we pivoted our bodies to one side and massaged the sweaty shoulders of the person next to us. Then we switched and did the same (returning the favor!) for the person who had been behind, massaging our shoulders. It was more lovely than I can put into words.

Finally, we ended with shavasana, the yoga resting pose. This is lying on our backs, with our legs long and our hands beside us, palms facing up. This is the pose where all the magic happens…in silence. Our bodies get to sink back into alignment after the challenge of stretching and strengthening.

As we settled, the instructor had us rest our hands on our bellies and hearts. She reminded us of how much love was surrounding us in the room. She reminded us of our circle and strangers fearlessly touched and supported one another.

I felt it all so strongly. I thought through my day. I remembered how disappointed I had been at seeing that I’d “only” lost 4 pounds. And then I remembered something wonderful. I am perfect. My body is a miracle. I can run marathons. I can “sit” in chair pose. I can hold my babies. I can love my husband. I can be a friend. I can encourage. I can support. I can love. I can go for 30 days without sugar, wheat or alcohol. I can heal myself.

Tears streamed down my face as I realized that I have everything need and it was all floating on top of that mat.

I am perfect.

And so are you.

Your body is a miracle. Just think of the amazing things you do all day long.

You. Are. Perfect.

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Drink More Water?

Today is January 27, which means we are almost 4 weeks into our new year’s resolutions. How are they coming? Have you cleaned out your garage yet? Are your finances looking fab? Yeah, maybe you’re not quite all the way there. The most important thing is that you are mindful, present and trying for baby steps.

As most of you already know, I’m on the tail-end of a Whole 30 Program. If you’ve ever considered an elimination diet, I highly recommend the Whole 30. It doesn’t cost anything, the whole program is online and free. If you choose to sign up for the program’s 30 days of emails (which I also recommend), you won’t be sorry. (At the time of this writing, I paid $14.95 for 30 days of supportive emails.) The book written by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the program founders is called “It Starts With Food.” The book is an excellent overview of why many of the foods in our SAD (Standard American Diet) make us sick and keep us hungry for more.

The Whole 30 wasn’t exactly a resolution for me, it was more like a challenge. I really wanted to know how foods like dairy products, soy, beans in general, grains, etc. effect my body. My family medical history reads like a rap sheet, including high blood pressure, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other life threatening “lifestyle” conditions. Diabetes is the one that worries me the most as I had GD (gestational diabetes) when I was pregnant with my first child. My doctors warned me that that version of diabetes should be viewed as a wake-up call because the incidence of type II diabetes in women who once suffered from GD is much higher than the general population (up to 74%).

So I’m a huge advocate of this program and am considering a long term Paleo lifestyle.

In the meantime, what has all of that got to do with WATER?

Well, even if drinking more water hasn’t been one of your resolutions up to now, I’d like you to consider adding it your personal challenge list. The benefits of drinking water are nearly endless:

  • Our bodies are made from 60-70% water. Keeping those fluid levels up means more of you working at top capacity!
  • Want to lose weight? (Who doesn’t, right?!?) Water can help you manage cravings. Try a big glass of water if you’re craving something you may later regret. It may fill you up and help distract you away from the craving. Before your meal, drink some water to help you feel full before you go powering into your meal.
  • Working out? Obviously, you get dehydrated (sweat!). Your muscles will thank you for the hydrating boost as well!
  • Feeling a little constipated? You guessed it! Drink more water to get your colon and its contents moving in the right direction.
  • Got zits? I hate those. Your skin loves hydrating nourishment too!

So drink up!

WAIT!?!?! You say??!?!? You’re tired of water. It’s essentially the only thing you drink and you’re ready for something new? Or, it’s January and you’re feeling more like enjoying a warm beverage?

Well, I’m right there with you. I LOVE coffee but I only drink decaf because caffeine turns me into a shaky psycho mess! But I’ve been learning recently that decaffeinated coffee is easily as bad, if not WORSE than the leaded stuff.

Well, much like generations of human beings before me…I’m drinking tea. I love herbal tea. So, with the word “treat” somewhat banned from my vocabulary (at least in terms of sweet, food treats), I’m soaking in some of my water through warm mugs of herbal goodness. Today I decided to TREAT myself with a new tea infuser, a cute new tea kettle and a couple of new flavors.

So go! Go find your herbal tea nirvana. Boil it, steep it, pour it and sip it. I promise you won’t be sorry!

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I bought myself from Wildberry Hibiscus loose herbal tea, a cast iron tea kettle, an adorable “Teacher’s Pet” nerdy owl shaped silicone tea infuser and a I brewed up some bright red deliciousness.

What’s your favorite flavor?

T&T 2015 – Dynomite!

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Tina and I just spent the weekend focused on the future of Fun Fabulous Fierce. Long story short? We’re on FIRE!

After 2 days of soul searching, hard work and a lot of giggles, we have a ton of new ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Since FFF’s very first day, we’ve been profoundly inspired by each of you, the women who have chosen to invest your precious ‘you-time’ with us. It’s neither a secret nor a surprise to us that this is our privilege. As busy mothers, we’re both aware of how little time there is left in our own lives for us, so we know what it means for you to do something special for YOU!

So what’s our next direction all about? You guessed it! It’s about digging even deeper into you. More intimacy, more raw honesty, more fearlessness, more putting yourself first, more you doing YOU and more you LOVING YOU.

Every day I hear my little girl say, “I am strong and brave and girl power!” Let’s join her. Let’s harness your strength, my strength and the abundant strength that we share within our beautiful community of FFF ladies.

You are a FORCE! We want to help you rock the best version of yourself.