Category Archives: paleo

Meal Planning – You can do this!

I’m proud to say that despite having a new baby in the house, my hubby and I have maintained our “make meals for the week in advance” schedule. We usually hit up the grocery as a family on Saturday or Sunday morning with our list in hand. We prepare lunches for both of us for 4 days and get ingredients for dinners as well for 4 nights. We also plan out what we’ll eat for  breakfast and make sure to have that prepped and ready, too.

If you are having trouble staying on track with whatever health goal you have and you AREN’T pre-planning your meals – my advice would be to start now! Even if your excuse is that your schedule is too hectic – I would argue that taking a few minutes to pre-select your meals, hit the grocery store ONCE and get all the goods and spending a few hours in the kitchen one day a week would help you have MORE time during the week. I can’t believe how much time I used to spend deciding what to eat on the day of before work. I would open my fridge and stare at the contents, look in the panty for any sign of something decent…and then struggle to think of anything  I could put together with what I had already. This often ended in frustration and I would just get something “out” which was typically unhealthy and more expensive than bringing food from home.

We have been doing this “meals in advance” thing for almost 4 years and we have definitely seen savings in terms of calories and dollars. And of course, time. If you aren’t a chef in the kitchen – there are so many resources for quick and easy meals available on the internet. Your meals don’t have to be gourmet!

Have I convinced you yet?

To get started you have to follow some rules:

1) Pre-select the meals. Check out some websites (eatingwell.com & cookinglight.com are 2 of my favs, as well as paleomg.com if you are looking for wheat free ideas) and select FOUR meals to make. You’ll pick 2 lunch style options and 2 dinner options.

  • You’ll be eating each meal twice which helps with the excuse of not wanting to buy a meal for just one person – because you’ll always be eating it twice. OR I guess if you don’t mind repetition – you could just pick 2 meals and eat them all 4 times instead (this would only work if you are doing this solo though)!
  • We give ourselves one lunch out and one dinner out each week so that we can still be social or attend work events that are over lunch/dinner, etc.
  • Make sure you consider your circumstances for lunch – do you have a fridge at work, a microwave? Toaster oven? Pick meals that will be easy to eat at work.

2) Make a LIST with all the ingredients you’ll need from each recipe BEFORE you set foot in the grocery store. Pick recipes that use the same ingredients to save even more money. So say you are going to make steak tacos and want to do a home made pizza – you could use the same cheese and vegetables for both. See?

3) This must be said: STICK TO THE LIST WHEN YOU SHOP. DO NOT VENTURE FROM THE LIST!

4) Pick a day, afternoon, night, morning (whatever) to prepare your meals. We always make our lunches in advance and put them in 1 serving containers so in the morning it’s a quick grab and go before work. Over the past year we’ve gone back and forth between making dinners in advance and waiting till the night of to make the dinner. It all depends on your schedule. But knowing what you are going to have for dinner and already having all the ingredients will save you tons of time and energy night of!

  • One thing we’ll do is do any prep work that might need to happen for dinner in advance. I’ll use the taco example again (we love tacos) – you could do that as a dinner but you could make the taco meat/veggies in advance so you just have to heat it up and crisp up the taco shells. Throw some beans on the side and you’ve got a meal.

Pyrex Storage Set from Amazon $25

One thing that really helps with this approach is to invest in some decent containers to store your portioned lunches/dinners. We use glass pyrex containers and we have a variety of sizes (small and large rectangles, different sizes of bowls, etc). Make sure whatever you get has lids that seal effectively to keep your food yummy.

The bottom line is that everyone is busy – but scheduling in time to eat healthy (or just to eat within a budget) is do-able. If we can do it in a family where we both work full time and have a new baby, you can do it, too! Start small – maybe just prepare lunches in advance and see how it goes!

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You Can’t Finish Without Starting

Ready?

Yesterday was my first day “back on the wagon” so to speak. I always feel more committed to sticking to my goals when I share it on this blogspace. So for what it’s worth, and to whoever may be reading this blog – thank you for helping me stay honest.

So, as I mentioned, my hubby and I are trying to get pack to more paleo/primal eating – so this week our meals are pretty on track! Here’s the run down:

Lunches:
Quick Chicken Enchiladas (with corn tortillas) from Cooking LightBeef Hamburgers with beans (no bun)

Dinners:
Shrimp-n-grits
Chicken Caesar Salad

So I had the hamburger and salad yesterday. I also made what is quickly becoming my signature breakfast dish and it was great once again. For 2 easy recipes – check out my old post about it over on my recipe blog. The great thing about both of them is that you can change up the ingredients to make it match what you like best! I don’t really follow a specific recipe anymore…and I feel like this is one of the few times in my life I am actually “cheffing it up” as my hubby would say!

For snacks, I indulged in some cashews, a small piece of 90% dark chocolate and greek yogurt. All pretty decent snacks in my opinion! And you know what? I was full and the food was good yesterday. I can do this! I still find myself looking to munch on processed crap – it will take a few weeks for those ridiculous cravings to go away, I know. Isn’t it terrible the bad habits we pick up and how food becomes an addiction that you have to kick?

While I wasn’t able to do much in terms of being active yesterday – I bet I burned a ton of calories breastfeeding since my little one had his 2 month shots and wanted nothing other than to eat and sleep in my arms all day long. I guess I can’t complain – I know that before too long he will be running around, uninterested in falling asleep in my arms. Savoring these moments while I can!

So, I could do it for one day, I can do it for another. The lesson here is that you can’t be successful at something unless you actually attempt it. What is stopping you from starting?

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New Beginnings & Fresh Goals

Life has so many chapters – mine has definitely started a new one with the addition of my son! He arrived a little over 5 weeks ago and the time has been flying by. It is absolutely crazy how upside down my life has been flipped since I saw that positive pregnancy test last August. I took a break from this blog since my goals were a bit different and not so weight loss focused. But now that my little guy is here – I have some work to do on myself! So it seemed like a good time to give this blog another go and hopefully I’ll find inspiration among my current followers to help me with this next chapter in my thirty story journey!

First off – you have to meet Daxton. He’s the cutest, right?

English Grant Photography

English Grant Photography

 

I know I’m a bit biased, but I can’t help but to think “we did a good job” every time I see him. It’s so crazy how people say “having kids will change your life!” – and you think, whatever. But it’s true. I agree. My life and my priorities….are just not as important anymore as taking care of him. But in saying that I also realize that taking good care of me means I can be around longer to take care of him. It’s a new type of inspiration – and it’s exactly what I need right now when finding time to exercise seems like an impossible task.

 

So here’s the update on me and some of my goals post-pregnancy. Here’s the cold, hard truth – I gained 46 pounds during my pregnancy. That was about 16 pounds more than I wanted to gain – but I can’t change that now. I guess the good news is, I didn’t really gain weight all over my body. It really was mostly belly. I know that because now that he’s here – I can wear most of my pre-pregnancy clothes with the exception of things that require buttoning up around my hips/belly area. The legs still fit fine. And of course, my shirts fit a bit differently as I’m now what my dad lovingly refers to as “mobile meals.” Thanks, dad.

I ended up having a c-section after a day of labor. It was unexpected, although not an emergency situation – but still, the recovery has been slow going. Especially since I’m not great at following instructions to “take it easy” and decided I should clean the house, do laundry and take care of my baby the first week I was home from the hospital. That put me right back to square one – and I’ve learned my lesson. Slow and steady in the beginning so I don’t set myself up for injury.

I got the go ahead from my doctor to start working out again – but I’m sure he doesn’t mean – go teach TURBO tomorrow sort of thing. Honestly, I couldn’t even if I wanted to – I’m just out of shape at this point. I’m happy to say I’ve already lost 37 pounds since delivery and that is with no working out. I also haven’t been eating “diet” type foods – but trying not to stuff my face with chocolate or anything.

First few weeks progress...

First few weeks progress.week one on left, week 2 right..

The hubby and I are making slow progress back toward paleo/primal eating, but it’s slow as well since when people bring you meals you sort of eat whatever people bring you, right?

Here’s a list of my goals right now:
Get to pre-preggo weight: Lose 9 pounds
Find an easy at home work out routine to integrate into my crazy baby centric schedule: Thinking maybe a few sections of my TurboKick each day for maybe 20-30 minutes? Realize this may happen over the course of a few hours as it’s rare to get a huge chunk of interupted time!
Continue to move toward Paleo/Primal Lifestyle again: Already doing this with the meals we make for lunch/dinner. Shooting for an 80/20 pattern at this point.

I think that’s a good start. I am excited about making progress toward these goals. I know that I’m not going to ever be exactly as I was before – and even then, I was a work in progress. I need to not only lose the pounds (plus a few more after that as I wasn’t at my lowest when we got pregnant) but I need to work on adding back muscle and endurance!

Would love any advice or success stories from others in the same boat! Or if you are working on this right now as well – would love to have you join me on my new journey!

5 weeks postpartum (most recent pic!)

5 weeks postpartum (most recent pic!)

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Holiday Weight Gain – How are you preparing?

Happy Monday! There are a lot of reasons I hate the onset of colder weather, but lately I’ve been appreciating the lack of mosquitoes eating me alive every time I go outside to play Frisbee with my pups. As winter approaches, it’s easy to slack off on your fitness and healthy living goals. Putting on those comfortable sweaters instead of squeezing into your swim suit makes those extra pounds seem nonexistent. Trust me, they are still there!

Even though I’m not in weight loss mode now since I’m pregnant, I’m still trying to get my head focused on staying as healthy as possible during and after this pregnancy. And if you are like me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (and all the other holidays celebrated) all mean yummy food, tasty drinks and time NOT spent at the gym. So even though I’ve accepted that I will indeed be gaining weight over the next 6 months, I want to be gaining weight for the right reasons. Note to self: Giant Gingerbread Cookies & Triple Fudge Squares are not the right reasons. Continue reading

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Back to My Primal Ways…

Well, I’m starting to feel more energetic lately, so that is good news. I’m not grossed out immensely by certain foods so that is also going on the winner board. So what does this mean for my healthy eating lifestyle at this point? I think I’m going to make the leap and go back to eating primal/paleo inspired next week and see how it goes.

The last few weeks we have been trying to eat LESS of the bread/wheat stuff in an attempt to slowly help me move away from it now that I’m not on the verge of being sick all the time. I’ll admit that bread is just comforting to your stomach for whatever reason – or at least it helped me get past a lot of the sickness/queasy stuff in the first three months. BUT – man cannot live on bread alone, RIGHT!?

I was really digging my primal eating ways pre-pregnancy and saw improved energy, less cravings, feeling full on less food and I did experience some weight loss from naturally making better choices particularly when I went out to eat. So I’m going to re-focus and see how this goes. Of course, I’m planning on discussing this with my doctor on Monday during my next check in. I expect that I’ll still have the occasional weird craving and I’m not going to be all or nothing about this eating style while pregnant because what’s most important is that I’m eating what baby needs.

But I’m going to take a wild guess that baby does NOT need a chicken filet biscuit for breakfast…really ever. Okay, you only live once – so maybe just a few along the way. 🙂

I’ll still be eating dairy – so not true paleo style but still in alignment with Primal eating. I’m focusing on healthy fats like avocado, raw nuts, olives. And of course, moving back toward more lean protein and veggies as my main focus. So we’ll see how I do.

It’s funny because when I started this Paleo/Primal (wheat/grain free) back in the summer, my husband hated me for changing our diet. He hated eating wheat free. He hated all the things he saw as limitations and complained about it ALL THE TIME.

It made sticking to the plan so much more difficult for me. But now he is the one who keeps asking if I’m ready to go back to eating Primal/Wheat Free because it made him feel so much better. Now we laugh after he gives in and eats a biscuit or something at breakfast because he is SO reactive to it – gets stuffy almost immediately. He wonders how he never noticed before (despite my constant attempts of explaining my theory!).

Amazing how much we don’t listen to our bodies even when we have pretty strong reactions to foods/drinks that we have on a regular basis. So this next week or so will be interesting to see how my body reacts to changing up my diet and getting back on track with eating good for me foods!

Of course, I’ll keep you posted.

 

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My Big Secret

It’s been a long 15 weeks in terms of trying to NOT tell you what’s really been going on with me on my blog. When I first started this blog – my goal was to help others be inspired to make healthier life choices, to create and meet goals for themselves so they could be happier people. My biggest focus was typically on losing weight in a healthy way, exploring different ways of buying and cooking foods, and picking physical challenges to keep myself (and hopefully others) motivated.

But the last few months – I’ve pulled a bit of a disappearing act. Not because things weren’t going on, but because I couldn’t really talk about losing weight or tackling vigorous work outs anymore. In fact, over the last few months, I’ve gained 4 pounds. I’ve incorporated wheat and grains back into my diet out of necessity. I have even had to quit teaching my fitness class – I’m not even allowed to do TurboKick right now. Doctor’s orders!

My whole life has changed.

And it will forever be changed because I’m going to be a mommy! 🙂

We finally made our announcement “facebook official” today – so I feel okay sharing my news here on my blog as well for the world to see. I guess part of my ThirtyStory was bound to include pregnancy, right? So now that I’m openly sharing my news – I hope to be able to share my attempts at trying to eat healthy and work out in low impact ways while I work on creating this little baby to be inside of me. It’s already been super challenging after 3 months of feeling like I could barely keep my eyes open, and dealing with the feeling of “I’m about to be sick” 24/7. Eating healthy has been a struggle, because for the most part – I’ve had an aversion to basically all the eating/food changes I had made prior to getting pregnant. I toughed it out the first month and refused to eat crackers or  bread to help settled my stomach.

But a woman can only take so much! So, I’ve been eating breads again – but trying to stay with non processed versions, so I’m not eating a ton of preservatives. I’m hoping that as I am now in the 2nd trimester I’ll be able to wean myself off a lot of the grains/wheats again so I can focus on getting my energy from healthy carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. It’s just been a bit of an uphill battle these last few weeks and I’m sure it’s far from over.  I’ve missed my Primal ways after working so hard to get there in the first place. I hope to find a balance between the cravings and my preferred eating styles.

I hope you’ll stick around so I can share with you my journey and as usual, I’ll tell you the wins and defeats along the way. And for those of you who have “been there, done that” – I’d love to hear your feedback and advice.

I’m excited about this next chapter of my life, and I’m so glad that you all are finally in on our secret and I don’t have to write mysteriously vague blogs anymore. Tonight I’ll be trying out my first water aerobics class – since I can’t do my high impact stuff, I thought heading to the pool might be a good option. I’ll give you the low down on how it goes next time!

Until then….thanks for hanging in there with me until I could be 100% with you again. I promise interesting and helpful content from here on out!

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Celebrating the BIG WIN

Last time, I talked about the little things along the way and how we shouldn’t overlook how important they are to us on our journey to being healthier. Today’s weigh in felt like a BIG WIN for me, and so I wanted to also properly celebrate that because all those little decisions I’ve been making this week paid off.

What I Did This Week:

I have been tracking my carbs a bit more – not writing down every single thing but paying a bit more attention to where I’m getting my carbs. I was surprised that one of the all natural fruit/nut bars I’ve been eating has like 23 carbs! That is a lot for such a small food item. I definitely want to be careful and not rely too heavily on those as a snack if I’m eating something starchy during the day (like my one allotted potato or corn based meal!). Just having that awareness has helped me make better decisions this week about what I should snack on based on what I had for lunch or what I’ll be having for dinner.

Apparently, it worked! I had gained a bit of weight last week unfortunately. But I sort of saw it coming because I just wasn’t on the bandwagon as much as I should have been. I had Mexican food twice PLUS a day at a baseball game where lunch was wings, popcorn and hot dogs. While I didn’t indulge in a bun with hot dog and  I passed on the cookies -there just is no recovery from so many off plan meals in one week. My weight REALLY fluctuated last Friday and it was depressing, but great motivation to pay more attention this week so I can meet my goals. So I was down about 4 pounds this week from my number last week which was a major win! I know a lot of it was probably just inflammation from eating the wrong types of food last week, but I think at least 1-2 pounds of it is reflective of my hard work this week.

Results

Either way, I am now about 7.4 pounds away from my first mini weight loss goal!!! 7.4 pounds away from my “wedding weight” as I like to call it. I’ve come a long way – I’ve lost about 10.6 pound since my initial visit with a nutritionist to do my metabolism testing back in December. My TurboFire program definitely helped light a fire under me again to take control of my situation instead of just being mad about it. And now my 30 Day Food Challenge has given me the tools I needed to make some life changing changes by really helping me focus on what I’m eating.

I’m finding that what Mark Sission (from marksdailyapple.com) says is true…80% of your fitness/health comes from your diet, 20% from exercising. I definitely think I had this ratio mixed up in the past. I was trying to work out all the time to compensate for some bad eating habits. Now I’m focused on making good decisions with my eating I can work out and not feel like I have to kill myself every time. I can be active in an enjoyable way – like on a hike, a walk with the dogs (although sometimes walking Yoshi is a nightmare!). Last night I wasn’t feeling that great so I didn’t do my strength training program (on the agenda for tonight!). But I decided to do a few sprint type things in the house – I did 50 jumping jacks and then jumped rope for 30 seconds. I did walking lunges and then quick feet drills. I ran up and down my stairs about 20 times as fast as I could (with my dog Peach running right along side me haha!). Something was better than nothing.

I feel like this new way of eating is very empowering. I am finally in control – and it’s a really good feeling. And today was definitely a reminder that all the little decisions along the way can pay off for a big win.

image

This is my BIG WIN Dance

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My LAB (Life After Bread)

A few short weeks ago, if someone would have told me that I would not be eating bread or most of my typical snack choices (Goldfish Crackers, Triscuits, Granola Bars…etc), I probably would have thought it impossible. Truly, when my chiropractor first gave me an article on some of the positive impacts of removing wheat from your diet I read it – but it seemed so far out and crazy that I didn’t even consider it.

As many of you know, I decided to take the plunge and do a 30 Day Food Challenge that mostly centered around a Primal/Wheat Free foods. All of a sudden, 30 days have flown by and I’ve officially entered a new stage of my life: Life After Bread.

My husband asked me over the weekend, “So what’s next?” as he knows I’m constantly looking for fun and challenging ways to be more active, eat healthier, etc. I replied, “Nothing – this is it. This is good.” And it made me happy to finally have found something that doesn’t feel like deprivation. It doesn’t feel like a diet. It’s not boring, I’m not starving and I’m also not kicking my butt in the gym every single day until I’m reduced to a puddle of sweat on the floor.

It does mean that I put a lot more thought into what meals I’m preparing, the ingredients I use and my “usual snacks.” But I was already thinking a lot about those things to begin with – so it’s just been a bit of a learning curve to think a DIFFERENT way about food. Understanding that there IS life after bread is certainly step 1. I didn’t think I would ever say that – but when I’m not eating it all the time, I don’t crave it. It’s really that simple. In fact, a LOT of my cravings have vanished. It’s not perfect – of course I’m still tempted when I see sugary, carb loaded desserts – but it’s really not as all-consuming as it was before to me. It felt like before – I just didn’t have the will power to say no to cake, cookies, bread baskets…etc. And now it’s just a bit easier to take a pass.

I have noticed that certain  foods impact me in ways I never knew they did. I think I was so accustomed to eating wheat and grains and processed foods that I didn’t even notice that they were making me feel low energy, congested, or upset my stomach. Now it’s pretty crystal clear to me when I eat something that probably should be on my “extreme moderation list.” And it’s easier to avoid those foods when you can physically FEEL the negative impact of eating them. I would associate it with people who avoid foods they are allergic to – the food is usually not worth the reaction.

Shrimp Vindaloo served with Cauliflower Rice

I still am figuring out how to make it work and still participate in real life. For the most part, I’ve found it fairly easy to find things when we go out to eat. It helps that I don’t have Celiac Disease or something that would make me SUPER sick if I make a mistake, but when you are trying to avoid wheat/grain in restaurants there are still good options at most places. I tend to order meat & veggies for the most part. Still super delicious and actually pretty different from what I’d order in the past so it is giving me some variety that I didn’t have before. Another bonus!

There are times when it’s hard – and I make an exception. That is one thing that I’ve enjoyed about the Primal Blueprint book by Mark Sisson – he promotes adopting an 80/20 rule because it’s hard to be perfect and strict all the time. Sometimes you just want to eat cake, or you are in a situation where people are basically insulted if you don’t try their food. But I think i can live with following this plan 80% of the time. And most likely, it will be more like 90% of the time because I do feel like I can control most situations since I’m already in the habit of bringing my lunch to work, not eating out super often, etc.

I’m getting to the part in Mark’s book that discusses primal lifestyle in the weight loss mode and I think that will be helpful for me to focus in on things I can do (or avoid) so I can really reap the benefits of Primal eating. Then once I’m where I want to be – maintaining won’t be as strict as long as I’m still on the 80/20 bandwagon and staying active.

Some goals I have for the next few weeks:

  • For the best weight loss results, I need to be keeping my carb intake between 50-100. I’m going to track my meals for a few days to see where I am already just to be sure I’m not accidentally eating something that is blowing me out of the water with carbs. I’ve never paid that much attention, and I SHOULD be in this zone already by eliminating wheat but  I just want to be sure. I am currently signed up on paleotrack.com but am also going to look into fitday.com.  We’ll see which one i like better!
  • I’m going to focus on adding more moderate cardio to my week. It’s still been a struggle to figure out exactly what I should be doing. The strength training is going well! I’m doing that 2x a week already. Last week I went to the trampoline airobics class and it was a fun workout – I could see myself doing that once a week again!
  • I want to have a focus this month on backing off the corn and potato – corn is definitely troublesome for me so I need to make sure I’m not overdoing it. I think I may set a rule of one corn and one potato serving every week (if at all) while I’m really pursuing weight loss!

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Live & Learn

Encouragement for the day!

First, a quick update (i know this is probably more for me than you, but just pretend to care!)  This is from my Monday Lift Heavy Things session.

Circuit 1           C 2
Push Up (Goal: 30) 17                     13   (still doing knee push ups)
Pull Up (Goal 20)      20                     20    (used assisted machine which I’m still not thrilled with)
Squats (Goal 50)        50                      50   (I think I’m going to keep at this level for awhile since i’m already doing the essential move, it’s still hard to get to 50 on the C2!)
Plank (90 seconds)   60                     46  (knee/forearm style)
Left Side plank            45                     45   (knee/forearm)
Right Side Plank        45                      35

Notes: I’m still amazed at how hard it is to do push ups and pull ups. I have a lot of work to do before i even think about moving on in both of those areas. I know that i’m hitting my goal with the pull ups – but I’ve used the assisted pull up machine at the gym which is basically cheating I think. I’m supposed to be doing the 2 leg assisted with a pull up bar – so I bought a pull up bar for my house. Tonight I’ll be doing the lift heavy things session at home so i can see how I go with the actual 2 leg assisted versus the machine. I have a feeling it’s going to be WAY harder and I’ll see those numbers come down before they will go back up.

I still have quite a ways to go with the plank series as well. I’ve improved my time since last week, but adding another 30 seconds to my first plank is a big jump to shoot for..and then I have to double my time right now on the second circuit plank. I’ll get there! Still struggling a bit to get on a good schedule with things. Trying to do the lift heavy things series 2x a week and then sprint 1x a week. The other days are for the moderate cardio days. Tomorrow I’m going to my airobics class which will be fun. I’ll categorize that as a Play Day – but it will double as a good workout.

A Few Lessons I’m Learning

Warning: This section is wildly random and not very well written. I apologize in advance, my friends!

I feel like I’ve been totally off track this week, even though I really haven’t. I just had my 2 eat out days yesterday for lunch and dinner and that always makes me feel sort of gross because I’m just not eating what I had in mind. We had a work event yesterday and it included tickets to a skybox for a local baseball game. I was super proud of myself for not eating a bun along side my hotdog – totally ignoring the cookies (they even had chocolate chip, my fav!) and I tried to eat carrots and broccoli as my big snack vs. the wings. But still – totally not food that I would have eaten if I brought my lunch yesterday. But sometimes, life happens and you are at a work event and you just eat what they have and make it work even if it’s not ideal.

Met friends for dinner last night at a Mexican place and had a salad. So that was good. Then today our admin is celebrating her birthday so we went to lunch to celebrate. I ate my lunch before I went, but had this fear that I was going to be starving later on in the day so I ordered a little snack to eat while I was there and walked away feeling totally overfull. I’m not sure what happened – I just had a slight mental break even though I really haven’t struggled with being super hungry in between meals. It was like a flashback moment to how I used to be….and I’m sure some of those old habits will take a little longer to go away completely. Live and learn, right?

Even though our 30 day Challenge is almost up, I’m definitely not going back to how I used to eat. I feel SO much better avoiding most grains and processed foods. We haven’t even been as strict with all the processed stuff because we didn’t eat a whole lot of that to begin with – but I can really tell a difference when I’m eating food that we’ve prepared at the house versus what we have when we go to a restaurant. There are some places that are an exception because we are lucky to have some great local joints in Charlotte who use really good quality food. It’s easy to tell the difference between those places, as well!

I do think a personal challenge I may take on after this is to do a better job of avoiding more corn products. I can live without most of the breads and rolls and things like that. I didn’t think I would be okay, but really it’s not that bad. I don’t miss it for the most part. But as usual – chips and salsa are my personal krptonite. And I feel like if I go to a Mexican place to eat (which I do pretty often as it’s a common fav among my friends and family) – I can carefully order my meal but I really ruin it with too many tortilla chips. I need to get to a place where having just like 6-7 chips is plenty. I sometimes feel like I could sit in a room full of fresh tortilla chips and eat my way out of there with no problem. Okay, maybe not – but what I’m trying to say is: it seems like an addiction for me. So I gotta do something about it. Of course, most paleo/primal folks say to avoid corn products in general or encourage you to use “moderation” – but I think I can’t utilize moderation until I stop feeling like I have to have them, right?

If you could see me right now, I’d be making a super sad face. But because the idea of not having chips and salsa makes me so sad, it shows me even more that I have a problem. 🙂

“Hello, my name is Dre and I’m addicted to tortilla chips.” I guess that’s step 1, right?

Oh well, another lesson learned! More tomorrow folks….and maybe tomorrow’s post won’t be so scattered with random musings.

 

 

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Waking Up The Dead

I never could relate very much to those people who seemed so “in tune” with their bodies and their senses. People who taste something and can say things like, “Is their aspartame in that?” or “wow, is that a bit of brown sugar?”

I would look at them in confusion and have to look at the actual ingredients in order to confirm or deny. I’d think: Really,? How do you taste things like that?

It’s like my senses have been dead all this time. Totally and completely rendered useless by eating fake ingredients and “filler” items filled with wheat and grains.

Tastebuds: A little reminder for you…

Doing this whole wheat free thing is changing me – it’s like I’m waking up all my previously dead senses. It’s weirdly exciting to be able to identify more flavors naturally. To appreciate real food. It’s also scary to think that for a long time, I wasn’t really aware of how salty something was, or how overly sweet things were. They just were categorized in my mind as “snacky” or “dessert!” I had a hard time discerning when something was sweet vs. sour, or rich in flavor. I’ve also just become more aware of how I feel after I eat something that is either “good for me” or “off track.”

A Few Instances

I’ve noticed a considerable decrease in my need for salt over the past few weeks. I come from a family of “salters” – and my hubby used to hassle me about it all the time. I made a major effort to decrease my need to salt things over the last few years – but it was more because I knew I shouldn’t eat so much salt, not because I didn’t want it. But this month – I just don’t need as much. I don’t want things to be so salty. And for really what may be the first time in my life I’ve said this: Sometimes, things are TOO salty!

For instance, the other night I went out with my good friend to catch up – we had some wine and ordered a few appetizers to share. It was pretty limited because I’m on a no wheat thing and she’s doing no dairy. Fortunately, they had some olives and smoked almonds – so that’s what we ordered. I’m not a huge fan of almonds, but compared to some of the other choices, it seemed like the safest bet. They were actually pretty good – but way too salty. I found myself wanting to roll them around on a napkin first (which I didn’t really do because it was a nice place and I didn’t want people to look at me weird).

This weekend – we had sort of a crazy few days of eating “out of the ordinary” because we visited my family (Unless you consider eating ice cream cake “ordinary” of course).

At the beginning of our challenge – hubby and I agreed we would have 2 cheat days where you could eat whatever you wanted with no judgement from the other.  I hadn’t cheated until this weekend and I just took both my cheat days in a row and now it’s over with. The weird part? I’m glad that I won’t be cheating any this week – because I actually feel sort of crappy today.

Sort of like a fog is in my brain, and despite having more sleep than usual (like 8.5 hours) – I woke up groggy and tired. And I’m still tired now even after a cup of coffee. *sigh*

I felt sort of like that yesterday when I woke up as well. My husband and I kept saying – why are we tired? We both slept a decent amount! It wasn’t until this morning  we realized we were feeling the impact of eating “off plan.” After all, I had bread last night! We went out for our city’s restaurant week where a bunch of nice places offer a 3 course meal for $30/person. So it’s a good chance to try a new place, or a place that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. It was DELICIOUS, but I did order for my first course this Crab Pimento Cheese dip and it came with pita chips. Of course, they also brought bread to our table and since I was cheating – I had a slice. It was weird – it tasted super sweet to me.

So – that was my cheat yesterday. The day before we had 2 slices of oreo cookie ice cream cake (it was my nephew’s birthday and NO the 2 slices were not in a row!). And I guess I’m paying the price today. Weird how just a few weeks can really change your body, your senses, and create a lot of awareness about how your body is impacted by certain ingredients. It’s like I’m having this new awareness ABOUT my new level of awareness and it’s sort of cool. Things are starting to come together – the pieces of the puzzle (if you will) are starting to form a picture.

I’m learning to listen to my body. And while that may not always be enough to get me to actually make the BEST decision – it’s way better than I was before! And I know that there is something to this when my husband actually says this morning: “Have you noticed me snoring at night lately? I know I snored last night because my throat hurts.” And I realized – he hasn’t been snoring as much since we started this whole thing – almost like he could breathe better while avoiding the wheat products. And last night – he had wheat and work up with a sore throat from snoring. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

I guess sometimes we don’t even realize we are harming our bodies, or are suffering unnecessarily until you actually change something and realize you feel better without it. Despite feeling a little foggy today – this new understanding about my body and how different food impacts it has never been clearer. Best thing of all: I’m totally looking forward to all my wheat free meals this week because I know they will help me feel more focused at work, more energetic during the day/during my workouts and help me to avoid senseless snacking on bad for me foods.

It’s almost like magic – except it’s real. Real Food, who would have thought?

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