18 August 2012

Pure Paleo Week 1

Initial thoughts: This is going quite well...
My first week of Paleo is nearing an end and so far, so good!  I've been fuller longer (which means I haven't been snacking... like, at all) and I've been eating way healthier than previously.  I haven't eaten out at all the last week - everything I've eaten has been made at home.  Plus, they've all been real foods.  Real, whole foods.  True, they're not necessarily organic and I can't afford grass fed protein, but I do what I can.  Most of my protein is organic, which is better than the alternative!

My knee hasn't bothered me at all in the past week, either.  Normally it's achy or sore but not this week!  And I've had WAY more energy, which my poor boyfriend has to then deal with after he gets home from a long day at work.

I've also been working out more consistently.  I've done 3 workouts this week, all of which were hard core strength routines.  I suppose that I'll have to wait a few more weeks to see if I'm truly "consistent" but for now I'm counting it as a win.  I'm not working out today, because my muscles need a rest, but I sure will tomorrow!

I'd love to take a cross-fit class, too, but I'm not quite there yet.  I've been looking into them and they're not terribly expensive. I could probably afford one, but physically I don't think I'm ready.  I need to get back in the routine first, and I'd like to improve my fitness a little bit before I attempt it.  Plus, I've got half marathon training that I have to start at the end of September, so that should keep me busy through the beginning of December.

I've also noticed my weight has started to go down.  When I decided to go pure Paleo, my weight had managed to creep up to 202 pounds. YUCK! I swore I'd never be above 200 again, and while my weight has fluctuated over the last several months and gone up to 198, it has never crossed 200 until these last few weeks.

Well, I'm pleased to report that my weight is now down to 196.5 - yeah!  Now, do I actually believe that I lost almost 6 pounds in one week? No, that would be silly.  I'm pretty sure that the majority of my weight loss is due to the fact that I'm not eating gross processed foods and so my body is balancing out its water weight etc.  Do I believe that I lost a few pounds? Sure!  But I'm attributing most of it to a balancing act.

I am curious, however, to see what next week will look like.  I'm hoping for at least a 1 pound loss - that would be so great!

Regardless, I feel better and that's whats important!!

A lot of people ask me what I eat on Paleo.  Don't you get bored? It's just meat and potatoes, right? Ancient man didn't have access to a lot of the stuff we do now, so what do you eat? 

Well, below are a few examples of my Paleo meals:
Grilled chicken & baked Brussels sprouts

Baked chicken & asparagus (the coating is spices & coconut oil)

Czech meatballs, zucchini pancakes & kalamata olives

Here's a personal favorite, I made it yesterday.  It's basically a chopped salad, with a spicy dressing twist.  (Sorry for the all centered layout - I don't have the patience to try to organize it otherwise haha)
mmmm spices!

Add your olive oil & mix!

let it marinate!
chop these!

mix it up!

add your dressing

mix some more!
Dinner! with some meatballs, of course.

I've also been eating:
mashed up for faux-tatoes!

Czech & Chirizo style meatballs

Home-made Paleo Peanut Butter cups!

So, there you have it.  I haven't been starving.  In fact, I've been eating quite well.  That doesn't include most of my meals, of course.  I make baked bacon at least 3 times a week, and I'll have scrambled eggs with veggies or something else delicious for breakfast.  Dinner and Lunch are usually left overs.

Now, Paleo for my boyfriend hasn't been nearly as enjoyable.  He doesn't like a lot of the things I like (and I'm not terribly picky) so feeding him has been interesting.  He doesn't like faux-tatoes (made with cauliflower) or most of the veggie dishes I make.  I didn't bother getting him to try the chopped salad, because it's mostly onions and he is not a fan.  So I've been making him salads with the meat (which he has loved) and that's been going over pretty well so far.  Unless I make something simple like broccoli it's iffy as to whether or not he'll like it.

He does always try it, though, so kudos to him for that.

I've been trying to motivate him to lead a healthier lifestyle, and I can't say whether or not it's working.  I think that the only thing that can really motivate him to truly make some drastic changes will be my results.  Now, granted, he eats pretty darn healthy.  Pretty much whatever I make him when he's at home (I do pretty much all the cooking) and he tries to make healthy choices when he's out and about, for which I commend him.  He has a gym membership, but he's not really that into working out.  He needs to be more active, but I don't want to push him so for now I'm going to let it be.  As he notices my results I'm sure he'll want to have similar ones and will make more solid changes to his routine.

Plus, he just started a new job, so he's kind of stressed and very drained at the end of the day, and I don't want to add to that stress or make him feel bad about himself.  I only want him to be healthy so he can live a long, adventurous life with me.  =)

Anyway, that's what's been going on this week.  I'm going to continue eating Paleo (starting my 30 day meal plan on September 1) and working out, for sure doing my strength routines because that's the best way to build muscle and drop fat.

Oh, also, if you're interested, I've been making the majority of my Paleo meals from the following two books (I highly recommend them!):

Stay shiny!

13 August 2012

Purely Paleo x3 Days!

Well, it’s been an interesting weekend.
Friday night, as I was cleaning furiously to get ready for my boyfriends return home (after 3 weeks in Georgia for training), the washer decided enough was enough and my bed-sheets have been stuck in there all weekend.  Seriously.  Basically the sheet is wrapped around under the base of the agitator and nothing I can do will remove it.  You need a special “key” to unscrew the agitator and I don’t have one, and our maintenance has been on loan to another apartment complex on Saturdays, so there was no one to come and fix it.  I have been assured that someone will be over first thing this morning to take a look at the washer.

So then I go pick up my boyfriend from the airport on Saturday, and that was great.  We ran errands, bought groceries, he unpacked (and fumed about the washer) and all was merry and good.  I started cooking purely Paleo and it was amazing.  More on that later, though.

Saturday night I tried to flush the toilet and nothing happened.  Come to find out the little plastic strip that connects the flush mechanism to the little doo-dad that controls the water release had snapped. Awesome.  So every time I’ve had to flush the toilet the last 2 days I’ve had to stick my hand in the tank. Ucky.  And a light bulb burned out in our bathroom. When it rains it pours, right?

So then Sunday comes along, and I’m making breakfast (Zucchini pancakes!) and Garen is terrified of the pancakes I’m making but vows to try one anyway, when I get a phone call.  It’s my Dad.  I figure I haven’t talked to him all week, he’s probably calling to check in.  But no.  My Grandma died.  My Dad’s parents are really the only Grandparents I’ve ever had.  My Mothers’ Mother is crazy and never bothered to write or call or anything and I only saw her one or two times in my life.  My Grandpa died a few years ago, and now my Grandma, and I’m pretty upset.  My poor Dad is super upset, too.  He said she was doing better earlier in the week and then… well.  The funeral is later this week. Garen and I are going to drive out to Albuquerque. I just hope it’s on Saturday so he can go.  I’m ok… I’m just sad.

It was not a terribly great weekend, with the exception of my eating habits.  I did work out on Sunday, prior to starting breakfast, so that’s a good thing, but other than that I sat around on my butt and cooked.

Speaking of cooking, let’s talk about my Paleo weekend, shall we?  I ate really, really well this weekend.  Saturday I made Pecan Sponge Cake for breakfast (it’s mostly egg) and had that with some real bacon.  I don’t remember what I made for lunch, but it was Paleo! I think it was just left overs.  Dinner, however, was awesome.  I made Czech-style Meatballs and faux-tatoes (cauliflower!).  Garen was not super impressed with the mashed cauliflower, but it won me over!  The Czech-style meatballs are delicious, as well.  I made some Moroccan dipping sauce and drizzled it on top and it was perfect.

For breakfast on Sunday I made Zucchini pancakes (basically egg and zucchini with a dash of coconut flour) and bacon.  Lunch was fun, too.  I made southern-style ribs for Garen with a smoky, spicy paleo sauce and I had left over meatballs and mashed cauliflower.  Dinner was my favorite meal, though.  Rogan Josh.  If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend it!  I couldn’t get lamb, so I made it with beef, and I baked some sliced Brussels sprouts and fennel, too.  It was my first time cooking with fennel so we had to look up a video on how to cut it.  haha.

All in all, awesome.  I have some killer left overs for this week so I’m pretty thrilled about that.  I’ve been eating purely Paleo for the last 3 days, and I feel great.  Tonight I’m going to go home and do some cardio and enjoy my boyfriend’s company.

Stay Shiny.

10 August 2012

Time to Level Up!

Drastic Changes 3…2…1…
So my boyfriend has been in Georgia for the last 3 weeks training for his new job.  Some of you may be thinking “YEAH! 3 weeks at home by myself?! I can work out whenever I want, eat exactly what I want, when I want… this is going to be great!”

Not so much.  My boyfriend, while not the healthiest head of broccoli in the bunch, is a really big motivator in my life.  He’s always telling me how I “can” and reminds me that I shouldn’t eat something bad for me (usually when I’m PMS and try to pick up junk food at the grocery store).  Plus he happened to be gone during “that time” and I was super moody and emo and lonely.  It was just not good.

Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve not lost any weight. I have, in fact, gained weight.  This is very disturbing to me.  I know WHY – I didn’t eat as well as I should have and I certainly didn’t work out as much as I should have.  Couple those with long hours sitting on my behind or laying down reading… and well, boom go my hips, ya dig?

Fortunately, 2 really good things happened to me this week: I ate real ice cream and muffins and felt totally, completely awful for days.  I know you’re thinking that those don’t sound like good things.  And normally, yeah, they’re bad.  But in this case it made me fully understand that what I put into my body matters – for real.  It was like a physical punch in the gut – that’s how truly real it became to me, all of a sudden.

As luck would have it, I had pre-ordered a copy of Practical Paleo, which arrived on Wednesday.  I devoured the book – excited to find that it wasn’t just a cookbook, but an easy to understand guide to the Paleo lifestyle.  I’ve been trying to eat as Paleo as possible the last 6 months or so, and I haven’t been doing that well.  But this book, paired with its awesome and easy recipes, really made me feel like “hey – I can totally do this!”

So, armed with Practical Paleo, I cleaned out my cabinets, cupboards and shelves.  I still have to go through the fridge, but there are only a few things in there that are no-no’s.  I did keep a few things that my boyfriend likes, of course.  He’s not going totally Paleo with me (yet).  But those things are easy for me to resist.  I ordered a baking rack (for perfectly baked bacon!) and a set of 12, 4 oz mason jars so I can pre-mix spice blends, salt mixes and Paleo mayo.  These items should be arriving on Saturday so I can get mixing!

I also received my copy of Well Fed this week.  I’m really excited about that book as well.  I love cook books and armed with both of these I feel like I can get a really, well, practical start on Paleo.  For real this time.  I’m sick of feeling sick, I’m tired of feeling tired, and I’m so over being overweight.

One of the things I’m most excited about is that Practical Paleo has a whole section of 30-day meal plans for various conditions.  There’s a meal plan for inflammation, a meal plan for cancer recover, a meal plan for mental health, etc, etc.  The meal plan I’m going to follow is the Fat Loss meal plan (perhaps followed by the Squeaky Clean Paleo plan).   These meal plans are pretty comprehensive, and the great thing about them is that they utilize the left over’s that you will, inevitably, have!  I’m so thrilled about that.

I’m debating when I’m going to start the meal plan.  I’d like to start as soon as possible, but I’d also like to have the opportunity to stock up on some of the big ticket items and buy in bulk.  This means having a comprehensive grocery list.  According to Practical Paleo, there are grocery lists available on the author’s website, but they have yet to be uploaded (I’ve been checking every hour like a crazy person since I read that part in the book).  I could put together a grocery list for myself, but it would take a lot of time and effort and, of course, I wouldn’t be able to start right away.

So my plan is to put together a list this weekend and figure out what I can buy in bulk and what I can’t.  That shouldn’t be too difficult.  I can probably buy a lot of the meats in bulk and freeze them.  I’ve already picked up most of the spices I need for my pantry, so I just need to make the spice mixes to have on hand.  The other big thing will be to find Coconut Aminos (Whole Foods apparently had a recall on the product) and Red Palm Oil.  I need to order a few things in bulk online (like nuts!) and then I’m good to go!  I’d like to start on September 1st.  Which happens to be a Saturday, which is so perfect (because I'm crazy and like to start things on the first of the month and weekends, ok?).

That doesn’t mean I’m going to gorge myself on bread and pasta and candy during the month of August though, oh no.  Far from it.  I’m armed with cookbooks, people.   My plan for August is to eat as Paleo as possible and start to make the recipes in the book that I think look good.  This way when it comes to making them during my 30 days, I’ll already have a good idea of how long prep takes and I might even have a few tricks up my sleeve to make the whole process not so terrifying!  I mean really, eating at home for 30 days – three meals each day – that’s kind of terrifying if you don’t cook a lot!  I cook pretty often… but I don’t follow recipes.  So this will be new for me.  Precision, that is.  I’m also hoping that over the month of August I can convince my boyfriend to try the 30 day meal plan with me, but we’ll see.

I need to have a maniacal focus on my food and fitness in order to finally drop the pounds and be fit and healthy – which has been my goal for, to put it nicely, years.  It’s no longer a matter of “I want to do this”, it’s “I need to do this”.  I need to be healthy and happy and fit in order to live a long, fulfilling life.  Besides, there are things I want to do that require a rockin’ bod.  Long term, I would love to learn Parkour, do a real handstand and fit into a size 8 dress.

To help myself along the way, I’m going to be sure to record my nutrition info in SparkPeople, to help keep an eye on my food.  I’m going to record my fitness minutes in several places: SparkPeople, DigiFit (which is automatic) and Fitocracy (Level up my life for real!).  I’m also going to subscribe to a NerdFitness "class" – the Assassin. I’m going to try to do workouts that would help me be the best Assassin class nerd I can be. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s nerdy and awesome and makes me smile.

Stay Shiny!