It’s official – I can row a 5k much, much faster than I can run one. Heck, the fact that I finished the row puts me light years ahead of my pathetic running attempts. But yeah, as you can imagine, 20+ minutes on the rower sucks.
When I saw a recipe for Carnitas on Mark’s Daily Apple earlier this month, I wasn’t really that intrigued. But then I read the part about how you “carameliz[e] the pork in its own fat until the outside is perfectly browned and crisp” and suddenly my interest was piqued. Pork, cooked – nay, caramelized! in its own fat sounds like my kind of party. And so when I found myself in the pork section of my supermarket a few days later, I had plans for what I could do with a big hunk of meat if I were to bring it home.
Into the crock pot it went on a Saturday afternoon, and by the end of the day my house smelled warm, smokey, and delicious. And then the not so pleasant part came – I had bought a bone-in cut of meat, not the boneless variety that the recipe called for. So I spent a good half an hour with a fork in each hand, tearing the pork to bits, memories of the past week’s kettlebell workouts screaming in my forearms. In other words, don’t be like me. Buy boneless.
Mark’s Crispy Carnitas
Adapted from this recipe
Large boneless (3-4 pounds) or bone-in (6-8 pounds) pork shoulder
1 tbsp Salt
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Bay Leaf
6 Garlic Cloves, halved
2 Yellow Onions, sliced
- Combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Rub half of the mixture all over the meat; reserve the other half.
- Place the meat in your slow cooker and top with the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garlic cloves, and onions. Pour in ¾ cup water and cover.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or until tender and the fat has released from the meat.
- Using two forks and a bit of fortitude, shred the pork into bite sized pieces, and toss the shredded pork with the remaining seasoning. (If making ahead of time or saving for leftovers, stop and refrigerate here.)
- On a cookie sheet, toss the pork with some of the fat from your slow cooker. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-20 minutes or until as crispy as you’d like.
I served this with a big ol’ pile of pico de gallo and some guacamole. Delicious! And it only looked slightly odd when I packed that same awesome combo for lunch the next day.
My husband warmed up some corn tortillas and made them into tacos. And for leftovers one day, he tossed in some barbecue sauce and ate it as pulled pork. The three step process of slow cooking, shredding, and baking may take some time, but you’ll be rewarded with a big pile of savory goodness to last you the week.
I had kicked around the idea of doing another Whole 30 in mid-February as a way to get a jump start on the summer limited-clothing season and to attempt, however feebly, a quest toward six pack abs. Or a four pack, I could live with that. Or just for my love handles to disappear – why don’t we start there.
But then these past few weeks I’ve been slipping a lot diet-wise. There has been a lot of ice cream, a few binge eating sessions, too much Nutella, a renewed love affair with cheese, and a whole lot of grains.
So it should come as no surprise when I report that my allergies and congestion level are on overdrive, my clothes are getting a little too snug, and I’m not enjoying my workouts quite as much. Surprise, surprise. So instead of waiting until mid-February, I’m going to do a little Whole 14. Why 14? Because I leave for San Francisco on February 4th and will dive into a week of meetings where every meal and snack and waking moment has been pre-planned.
Are there ways around this? Sure. I could falsely claim to have all sorts of food intolerances (which I haven’t claimed in previous years) in the hopes of getting grain-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, oil-free meals. I could make the 1.5 mile roundtrip walk to Whole Foods on my lunch break since their hours are the same as my meetings and group dinners. Or I could starve myself, throwing all unnecessary brain function out the window as I attempt to lean out a-la Tom Hanks in Cast Away.
Yeah, I’m not that crazy. I’ll be maneuvering the buffet lines and making the best choices I can. Luckily, a coworker who is in the midst of her third Whole30 will be with me and we can both encourage and judge each other for any good or bad choices we make.
And with the whole idea that an object in motion stays in motion, I’m going into that week of meetings on good footing. Whole14 here I go.
You know what’s really hard?
Preparing for your company’s annual meeting.
Doing both your old job and your new job at the same time.
Making presentations to big wigs.
Scheduling meetings for two different continents.
Fitting in workouts.
Not giving into stress eating demons.
Keeping your pets alive.
Keeping your husband fed (with real food).
Having clean underwear every day.
Sleeping enough to avoid this flu thing that’s going around.
All at the same damn time.
Life is a bit hectic right now so I have been neglecting you, lovely blog lurkers. But it’s not because I don’t love you. I’m just busy prioritizing that list above your needs (a girl has to have clean underwear).
But I will give you some randomness. My work gym plays an awful lot of Nickelback. I can understand – I’m sure they’re pumping in some generic musak station from somewhere. But why is the Nickelback always on when I don’t have my headphones in? When I’m signing in, when I’m getting dressed, when I’m in the shower. It’s like those Canadian bastards know and they’re trying to get me.
Also in the world of randomness, I hit a new PR on my strict overhead press! During today’s 5/3/1 workout, I did 10 reps at 70 pounds all super strict and with super good form. Six months ago I couldn’t do one at that weight, and my previous record was one measly struggling one at 85. I’m excited to see how I do going heavier in my next cycle. I followed these up with drop sets of a side raise, going all the way down to the 3 pound weights at my gym. Picture yourself in front of the mirror straining to raise 3 pound peach dumbbells. A humbling moment.
My new-mom friend came to the gym with me at lunch today which meant I got to make inappropriate jokes about farts and pelvic thrusting. Gym buddies don’t always have to push you to do more – sometimes they can just be comic relief.
I also just realized I have not been in my office bathroom once today. I think that’s a sign that I need to drink more water. TMI, I am probably dehydrated. I’m gonna go take care of that.
It would certainly appear that way. Secretly keeping my fingers crossed that the gym stays this empty all week!
But also hoping that the newbies haven’t given up so soon. Get back in there!
Heard a fun remix of a favorite Bingo Players song and thought I’d share a few others. They’ll get you moving!