Wednesday, November 27, 2013

the quest for TOTAL DOMINATION!

YES! I did it!
So this whole thing started with the torture box (crossfit) and their ridiculous 30 day paleo challenge. Those who eat a paleo diet regularly usually make small concessions as long as they are natural and a cave man could have produced them easily enough...but for these first 30 days I had to go balls to the wall. No nothing not a thing that was not animal or plant, and even then there were no nos. But I did it. I went 30 mother loving days with almost no cheating and with fairly regular crossfit workouts. And guess who won the whole shebang? Oh yeah, it's me!!!
All I can imagine is that these amazing people that work out regularly and can somehow magically lift their toes all the way to the bar just didn't follow the diet faithfully, or the supplements, or maybe they don't know how to add, because I don't know how I kicked their asses, but I did, I did kick their asses.
Do I sound a little prideful? Well good, because I am. This kicked my ass and I, the self proclaimed laziest person in the world, the most McDonald's obsessed chick, I did it. I lasted 30 days and I won!
If I can do this anyone can do it...cliché I know, but so totally true.
I have dieted for so long, and stayed fat for so long. And now, after roughly 60 days paleo I have lost just about 20 lbs now, and oh the inches have been coming off in droves. And I can do it. I have had moments where I thought this can go on no longer. McDonalds has a new bbq in the hell am I not supposed to eat that? But I haven't eaten it. I think this may be the longest I have held up a diet, and let me make this clear, when I say diet I actually mean what diet should mean and that is just the way I am eating. I don't have to weigh anything (at least not yet) I don't have to think too much about it. I don't go hungry. And I feel good.
I feel almost ridiculous saying it, but I have finally found the thing that has changed, and possibly saved my life!
I owe this all to the crossfit box in my neighborhood and the trainers there that I love to hate. Aaron and Carrie from Enabled Body Crossfit in Romeo. It was after seeing Carrie's crazy arms and shoulders at a booth at the Peach Festival that got me to even think about crossfit. And Aaron, even though I mostly want to punch him in the face when I see him, motivates me and keeps me going and makes me feel like I can do the things he thinks I can.
I love these guys and this box and this stupid, stupid paleo diet. Ok, enough mushiness....

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The quest for guidance

So starting a paleo diet is not something to do on the fly or without some serious direction. And I just didn't feel the internets, although so good to me most of the time, was the right fit for my trying to make a life altering change. So, I went to a bookstore...dun dun dun. Yes, I do have a Kindle, but that is for watching back seasons of Supernatural (love me some Dean Winchester). Anyway so to the bookstore I went, thinking I would pick up the book written by the paleo not mentioned here because I did not pick up his book, because, well, I really didn't like it or him. First off, I do judge books by their covers, and by their author faces and he looked like a cocky little twerp. Ok not nice, but if you know me, that was actually nicer than I would normally be. Anyway. everyone loves this guy, he's the king of the cave so I read a little on the inside. I am sure it had some great information, important information, but the writing style made me cringe. He tries to right "real" and with humor, but his humor just struck me as the kind you would hear from an overzealous meat head at the gym, and his lectures seemed like the kind of cocky you would get from a very serious Trekkie who knows everything from every episode and looks down on the people who like the new movies. I have a bad feeling I wrote Trekkie wrong and I will no doubt get in trouble for that...but enough about this guy.
So once I decided I would not be going with the number one book on paleo, I grabbed about 32 others from the same shelf and by varying authors, sat down with what would be my final venti non fat, no whip mocha, and dug in. Ugh. Book after book was filled full with words, so many words, and non of them related  to romance  while time travelling through the highlands of Scotland, so I grew tired very quickly. I need something that could appeal to me as an everyday, normal, no time on her hands mom of 2. Something with pictures, charts, words of course too, but the kind that are easy for my brain to digest. So I went to the cookbook section and found a beautiful brightly bound book with a picture of a woman who looked happy being skinny and not eating ice cream, so I looked further. I had found my very own guru! Diane Sanfilippo "Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle" was written for people like me. There are pictures, and tear out pages with easy to read information. She even has broken down 30 day menus by issue type, like if you are dealing with digestive issues, or autoimmune issues. She explains the why to everything but in a way that is easy enough to understand. Sure there are words, but not 101 pages of just words. Plus the lady has a good sense of humor, at least my kind and I found it an enjoyable journey. This book may not be for everyone, but it was the right fit for me, and the recipes are easy enough and freaking delicious.
Diane has not paid me to say of this(shh she does not even know I exist), and I can't even get my adsense to work on the side of this blog to advertise for her. But I love her and if you are new to paleo, or even if you have some health issues you think diet might help you with, I couldn't recommend this book more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

the quest for sweets

No sugar. nope, none. what the hell am I supposed to do without sugar? for without sugar, there can be no chocolate...right? RIGHT?
It is no fair that not only I can have no delicious creamy peanut butter, but now I can't wrap it in luscious milk chocolate either. What the hell was paleolithic man thinking?
Well thankfully, I found a few options that helped (if only a little) to curb my sweet tooth's major attitude problem.
You can have chocolate. Yes, when I found out I cried out in thanks to the gods. But this chocolate is not your Hershey's variety. it is very dark and very real and very bitter unsweetened cocoa. But here is where my new favorite thing, grade b maple syrup, comes in. This blessed nectar tastes like rock candy and is used in baking and is pure and natural and cave approved.
I found a few recipes that I set forth to make. Um, husband has decided that I should no longer be allowed to use cocoa in a paleo dessert process because all that happens is me screaming obscenities throughout the house because inevitably I miss an important ingredient, or I don't milk the chocolate correctly (believe me this makes a crazy huge difference) or I burn something. But, after many failed attempts, I did end up with something I could call chocolate and moderately satisfying. It is a bark made with unsweetened dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and gogi berries. What the hell are gogi berries you ask? I have no fricking idea and couldn't find them in my store so I found some dried currants that didn't contain added sugar and used those instead. Those little bastards taste an awful lot like raisins, but in my desperation I find them quite edible.
Dark chocolate is an acquired taste I think. I always thought I was a huge dark chocolate fan, until I had real dark chocolate...BITTER and strong, like burnt coffee. But, if you add enough syrup and other ingredients, it becomes decent and it is growing on me.
I find out of all the paleo sweets I have tried to make so far though, my favorite by far is a recipe for a berry crumble. I could eat that all day. I will post both these recipes in a later post, eh, maybe I will add a page just for recipes that I enjoy. It will be a work in progress.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Quest for bread...or something like it bread. specifically for me, no white bread. I mean you can't have any kind, but the only kind I enjoy is soft, often heavily buttered, white bread. AND I CAN'T HAVE ANY!!! I know it's not healthy for you anyway, blah blah blah, but I LOVE it...sigh
So what can I do to get my fix? Well I found two possible solutions. Nori and fricking paleo muffins.
So Nori works for me in a pinch, if I want to roll up some nitrite, nitrate free deli meats and cucumbers and hold something in my hands that feels almost sandwich like. This was the first time I had used nori in a way that was not sushi related (oh yes, nori is the kelp, green sea weedy stuff usually wrapped around your sushi rolls or hand rolls) I like it ok, but that fishy flavor is not always something I am looking for. The nice thing though, is that is it almost always readily available at the major grocery store chains around me. I find it at my local Kroger. Kroger has been good to me, but more about that in a later post.
On to paleo muffins....
So far, I just can't do it. I tried my first batch, a blueberry laden, egg soufflé type thing. I thought this would tide me over at first glance. But after the second batch, I just couldn't do it anymore. Too eggy, and more disgustingly to me, too coconut oily (can't stand the stuff).
My white bread craving has been left unsatisfied and I can see a binge just over the far so good, but I am not sure how long it will take for the feelings to subside. They so lie when they say if you haven't had it for a certain amount of time then you won't want it anymore. These people have obviously never, ever tried a good Italian bread!
So if you are reading this, and you know of something to keep me from falling head over heels off the wagon, please comment below. I haven't found anything yet, but I trust in you out there...
please help me

Sunday, November 3, 2013

the quest for understanding, or, you want me to eat what?

so what is paleo? you probably all know by now. it's super faddy and everyone is doing it. paleo, or "the caveman diet", or "you can't have cheese?! hell no!" But if you aren't quite in the know ( I certainly wasn't) I thought I would give you a little overview.
Paleo is basically eating whole, "clean" foods. This mean protein, fruits and veggies. No grains, no sugars, no processed foods, no dairy (well some dairy, but restricted, I shall explain later) no legumes, that's right, no damn beans, or chickpeas or peanuts. It's probably easier to say what you can eat then what you can't.
You can have red meat (most preferably, grass fed), poultry (the disgusting free range kind), fish (wild caught of course), pork (although some will argue that this is hard to digest because it is too close to our own human digestive gross), and eggs. I have been lucky enough to find a good source of grass fed beef, and nitrite and nitrate free bacon and sausages, huzzah!
you can have almost all real, true veggies, not legumes though, no beans or peas. and no corn, oh my goodness don't eat the corn! I don't want to get all Monsanto is the devil up in here.
and you can have fruit...if you are going for weight loss though it's best to watch your intake on this. Just like you can have potatoes, in moderation, but since I am unpleasantly plump, I avoid them like the potato plague.
And healthy fats, boy do they love their healthy fats. Coconut oil. Seriously. Invest in this shit. The paleo world in neck deep in it. Then of course there is ghee, clarified butter, olive oil, walnut oil, almond oil. None of that vegetable oil, canola, grapeseed, safflower, lard, none of it.
Of course things are most strict on the challenge where they want you to go hard core paleo for 30 days. After that things go a little more 50 shades of grey and you will find yourself making out with a gallon of raw milk if you can get your hands on it.
I feel like I could be missing quite a bit, but that is the gist.
Yes, I knew these rules and I still signed up. I have to carry around a little book and write down everything I eat and subtract points for everything silly modern man would eat. I am stupidly honest too, so with only 7 days left, I most likely won't win the challenge, but I will have won something much more important, and that is my battle of the bulge!

the quest for something smaller than myself...

it wasn't always this way... my jeans weren't always in the double digits. I can't blame it on the kids, I was gaining weight before they added to it. I just really, really love to eat...for whatever the reason, either it tastes good, or it quells my boredom, or it hugs me when i'm feeling blue. but it's time, time to change that, time to get into smaller jeans, time to stop running out of breath just looking for something to satiate my frustrated emotions in the refrigerator.
yes, whatevs, I've said it all before. I've tried it all, I've counted calories, points, ounces, shakes, carbs...and if y'all know me, you know i'm horrible at math.
so what is different this time? well, I have a secret...I started something that has actually made my brain change a little. I have started something that I actually think I can do, no matter how angry it makes me. I've started eating paleo!
it all started with a misguided attempt at cross fit. if you are familiar, then you are now laughing at the thought of me doing anything active, let alone the  extreme torture dealt to you in a cross fit box. but no, really, I went for a free class and I enrolled right at the end of that damn thing, even though I felt like puking and I wanted to punch that trainer. yep, I signed my life away for at least 10 more sessions, no refunds, so I had to take part.
so not only were they relishing in torturing me physically, then they want me to try a 30 day paleo challenge...a laughed, but once again found myself signing on the dotted line, and next thing I new I was setting out on a horrible journey, filled with, well, no sugar dammit!
throughout all this though, I was surprised to find some inner strength that had gone missing some time ago, and I found that even I could handle what this lifestyle had to throw at me...and as the saying goes...if I can do it, anyone can.
a wise woman once told me "you should blog about this" and so it has come to pass. maybe I can help you out on your own journey. maybe I can make you laugh a bit. maybe I can surprise you with some tasty recipes. maybe I can scare you away from paleo altogether. or maybe, just maybe, I can inspire you to jump on the cave woman band wagon.