Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've been staring at this blank compose screen for the last hour. My head is being pulled in so many directions, and none of them equate to a thoughtful or coherent post. I guess bloggers-block happens to everyone at some point. Normally when I can't think of anything to write, I just don't. Today is different, I feel like I have something to put out there, no, something is struggling to get out, but it keeps hitting resistance.

I think I may be panicking a bit over my non-loss last week. Thoughts of Paleo-doubt keep creeping in as phrases uttered by friends and family replay in my head. "Oh, there is always some new fad out there" "eating too much protein isn't good for women" "is that sustainable?" "why can't you eat this?" "are you still doing that caveman thing?" And then to have a zero loss on the scale...has the penny lost its shine?

Yesterday after putting in a 10 hour day at work, I was hungry. I knew I was stopping at the grocery store on the way home, but couldn't think of anything I wanted to make for dinner (frozen pizza was in the back of my mind). At the last second, "turkey tacos" popped into my head. I got excited for that, but knew I would need some sort of snack to hold me over. It thought to the left over pork chop I had in the fridge...I could eat a few bites of that while dinner is cooking. Then I passed a Larabar display...I was so excited to see after reading the ingredients that they are Paleo! I grabbed a cherry pie bar and apple pie bar. They have a lot of carbs due to the high fruit content, but in a pinch (rather than splurging on pizza) they will do.

I ate the cherry pie bar on the way home, and all thoughts of pizza were erased from my mind. I know what I am doing is working for me. Yes, I could go back to my old ways of giving myself every thing I "want" but I do not want to go back to struggling to put on my jeans. Yes, not that much was different when I was eating a mainstream American diet, I still had the same boyfriend, the same house, the same car, the same dog, the same family, the same friends, the same job, but I was constantly beating myself up for things I would eat. Yes, it has been 30 days, and I only promised to try this for 30 days, yet, it's really not that hard to just keep going...

And so I did. I am. Right now I'm vowing to keep up Paleo for another 30 days until July 31st. I may have a glass (or three) of red wine on the 4th of July, but I KNOW I deserve that. And I swear my jeans are even looser.

Monday, June 28, 2010

182 Days

I started this blog 182 days ago. Twenty six weeks. Six months exactly. One half of one year. I owe a lot to this blog, because I know without it I wouldn't have kept on a steady path. Keeping up this blog has led me to find other blogs that inspire me greatly, and show me that food issues can be overcome, weight can be lost, and great feats of fitness can be accomplished. Most of all, this blog made me reach deep within, find what my triggers are, and let them go. With the sense of people following me (and some actually following me), it has kept me accountable for longer than I can remember ever holding myself accountable for. Basically, what I continue to realize is that I have a great life. My life only continues to improve as I learn what I am capable of, and see the results of my actions.

Today I head into my fourth week of Paleo. I did not lose any weight last week, but I knew that waking up this morning. I felt kinda blah. The weekend was filled with activities that made some of my eating choices "borderline." Still Paleo, yet I think ingested high amounts of naturally occurring sugars (fruit, tomatoes, carrots) and high amounts of sodium (bbqing natural chicken sausages). My plan for the rest of this week is to flush out all that salt, and eat plenty of veggies and lean protein.

Thursday is July 1st, and the end of 30 days. I decided over a week ago that I would be continuing this way of eating past the 30 day trial. I'm just so amazed at how well my body has taken to the elimination of grains, sugar, processed foods, legumes, and dairy. I am amazed at how easy it has been to find things to eat, and really good things at that. I am amazed at how little I care about food and eating now.

All that being said, there is still a chunk of being healthy that I have let go by the wayside as I figured out what fuel is best for me. Over the past 4 weeks, my exercise has been sparse to say the least. I'm going to resume my morning workouts, starting tomorrow. Being summer and all, it is light enough in the morning, and nice enough to run. I can mix it up a few mornings a week by doing Jillian style circuits to improve my strength.

Here's to the beginning of another great 6 months. Thank you for helping make my life so great.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Exactly one year ago:

I woke up and began getting ready for work. As I stepped onto the floor, I felt a slight tightness in my calves from my 2 mile run the night before. I was excited because it was a beautiful day, and I would be leaving work early to meet my friend C downtown to pick up our race packets for the next day. C flew up from California so we could run in the Seattle Rock n' Roll 1/2 marathon together. I grabbed a pair of tan corduroy jeans off the floor, wiggled a little to get them over my upper thighs and butt, and sucked in a deep breath to button them. The pants cut into my stomach, but so did all my pants, and I just put on a roomyish t-shirt to "cover" it. I slipped in a pair of flip-flops and headed out the door.

After my brief work day, I headed downtown and parked. I had about a mile to walk until I reached the Qwest Field Expo Center where I was meeting C. Half way to the Expo Center my legs were in excruciating pain. Sometimes when I ran, the outside of my lower legs (right above my ankle) would seize up, almost like a cramp. This was happening as I walked. I walked through it. I had too. I knew eventually it would relax, just when that would be I didn't know. I thought, wow, I hope this doesn't happen during the marathon tomorrow.

We picked up our t-shirts and race numbers, I had a really nice dinner with C and her parents, and I went home to bed, ready as I could be for the big day. As I laid in bed, I was incredibly nervous, and my stomach was very acidic feeling (it was like that pretty much everyday as I went to bed, I now know that I was suffering from heartburn, and had been for over a year).


My alarm went off, and I was awake. I noticed my room was still somewhat dark, meaning it was a cloudy day. After a search of my drawers, hamper, and dryer, I couldn't find the cute capri cargo pants that I just discovered fit me to wear. Oh, well, I thought and grabbed the pair of pants that were sitting on top in my pants drawer- the tan corduroy jeans. As I slid them with incredible ease over my legs and didn't need to struggle to button them, I smiled. I threw on a fitted long sleeve shirt, only to find that it is no longer fitted. I smiled again, then headed to the mirror to see how I looked. I couldn't believe how much room I had in the shirt.

I thought about how it was not that long ago that I would force these pants to button. They would cut into me all day, but I still insisted they "fit." That was 10-20+ pounds ago. I was in denial. I could still button my pants (barely) but I was wearing them, so therefore my weight couldn't be that bad. I can't count how many times I've heard an obese person say "I just don't know how this happened!" It happens because of the things we decide to gauge our size on, whether it be a pants size or an athletic feat, or carrying on normal activities are still possible. When that one thing, whatever it is becomes impossible, we either a) start a new diet or plan or whatever, or b) find a new way to gauge. Constantly adjusting the gauge leads to people one day "waking up fat." Nobody wakes up fat, you trick yourself into justifying things based on arbitrary gauges. I am an expert on this for sure.

I grabbed my last portion of breakfast for the week, quickly threw leftovers from last nights dinner in some tupperware, and headed to work. I thought about the long work day I had ahead of me, and the huge deadline I had coming up in less than a week. I thought about how it was a Friday, but I would be spending time in the office all weekend.

Every once in awhile my eyes catch the registration receipt for the 1/2 marathon pinned to my bulletin board, and I feel guilty for spending that money and not running. Then I think about how there is no way I could leave work early today to pick up my packet. There is no way I can make my boyfriend wake up at 5am to drive me to the start (when he went to bed at 1am) again this year. Especially since this year I do not need to run to prove to myself that I am not fat. I know that I am fat, and I'm working on fixing that.

I'm 20+ pounds lighter than last year. My clothes are loose on me. I haven't had any heartburn in over 6 months. I went for a 3 mile run on Tuesday, and wasn't the least bit sore the next day. I haven't had that odd cramping in my lower legs during a run or walk in months. I feel fantastic.

Last year, finishing the run only allowed me to continue deceiving myself. I was SO impressed with myself that I finished a 1/2 marathon. It did not inspire me to run more. It did not make me lose weight in the coming months. All it did was give me a false sense of reality and kept up the lack of awareness of how large I had become. It was 6 months after the run that I woke up and realized how out of control I was.

Not running this year is me not fitting into my jeans. Yes, in the past 6 months I have made great strides. But I will no longer judge my progress on misinterpretations of events. Just as cramming myself into jeans is fooling myself into thinking they fit, finishing a 1/2 marathon in 3.5 hours is deceiving myself that I am in shape.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Here's the Scoop:

I'm not running the 1/2 marathon on Saturday. I have 50 'acceptable' reasons, but only 2 good ones. This is NOT pre-race anxiety, or an attempt at attention getting.

1. I'm not ready. Flat out. Running this marathon was a tactic from my previous "tried and failed many times" ways. I have completely revolutionized the way I eat, and now that I have that very important piece of the puzzle figured out, I need to come up with a new way to incorporate exercise into my routine. As I dove head first into this Paleo thing, my exercise sort of went out the window (apparently, I can't walk and chew gum at the same time). However, I FIRMLY believe that discovering Paleo is the BEST thing I have done for myself, and I was willing to sacrifice some cardio fitness and strength temporarily while I figured my shit out. My run on Tuesday proved that I did in fact lose some fitness over the past 3 weeks or so, and there is no way I can prepare for 13 miles in 4 days.

Now that I have a good grasp on the Paleo concept, I will begin working on getting myself back up to speed with running and my strength workouts. I have a new race to look forward to in October...the Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge in San Francisco.

2. I already proved to myself that I can do it. Last year, I completed this very same 1/2 marathon course on virtually no training and approximately 20 pounds heavier. I wanted the next time I participated (this year) to be different. I wanted to be able to run the whole way. If I'm not where I wanted to be (and I'm not), then all I'm going to be doing is the same as last year- proving that I can do it. No. That's not what I want. I want to be performing at a new level.

I'm not happy about this, but I know I'm doing the right thing. There will be more 1/2 marathons, I will get back to where I was. Sometimes I just have to take one step backwards to move two steps forward. You'll see, then LOOK OUT!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Sigh...

I'm pretty sure it was just yesterday I had a month until my 1/2 marathon. Today, it is 3 days away. Fuck. Double fuck. I feel as if I'm going to take a final for a class in which I never attended. Oh, well. I cannot stress about things that I cannot change. I just have to take comfort in the fact that I am in a better place than last year, although not by much.

I read an article yesterday on MSNBC's website that has sort of been bothering me. It was about the "new Atkins diet" and whether or not it was healthy. I clicked on it although I am not on the Atkins diet, my diet is high in protein, low in carbohydrates which is similar to Atkins. Atkins however restricts fruit and vegetable intake, allows for dairy, and processed foods, as long as they are "carb free."

What I keep thinking about is this: "In fact, a recent two-year study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that reduced-calorie diets led to weight loss in overweight adults regardless of which macronutrients — protein, fat, or carbohydrate — were emphasized.

And a just published follow-up study in the Annals of Internal Medicine noted that obese people who followed either a low-carbohydrate or a low-fat diet for one year maintained a modest weight loss — 5 pounds and 9.5 pounds, respectively — at three years. While those who followed a low-carb diet lost more weight initially, they tended to regain more weight by the end of three years.

'These results highlight the difficulty in sticking to a low-carbohydrate diet, as carbohydrate intake did not differ between the low-carbohydrate or low-fat dieters by three years,' according to Dr. Marion Vetter, R.D., one of the study authors. 'For some people, low-fat diets may be easier to sustain over time.'"

Ok, so that is kind of annoying, but then the article went on to say: "protein does appear to satiate more than carbs or other fats, triggering hormones and other chemicals to send “feel full” messages to the brain. Some research has shown that boosting protein in your diet increases fullness and reduces how many calories you consume. Consuming dietary protein also increases thermogenesis, meaning more calories are used to digest, absorb, and metabolize protein than for either carbohydrate or fat. It also helps you hold on to lean muscle mass that often shrinks while dieting.

Consuming more protein (while reducing carbohydrate and/or fat intake) has also been shown in studies to improve insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, blood lipids (including cholesterol), and other cardiovascular risk factors. A high-protein diet has also been shown to control blood pressure, especially when the protein comes from plant sources. In older people, adequate protein intake also protects against age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass."

So, let me get this straight. According to these "studies" there is no difference in long term weight loss between restricting certain macronutrients and weigh will come off as long as calories are reduced. But, a high protein diet satiates more, triggers a "feel full" hormone, causing a reduction in calories consumed and takes more calories to metabolize, and helps you hold onto lean muscle? That's exactly what I want. Oh, and consuming more protein improves insulin sensitivity, controls blood pressure and many other good things? That's exactly what I want.

I think the real problem is this sobering statistic: Only about 20 percent of obese or overweight people who lose at least 10 percent of their initial body weight can keep it off for at least a year (Elisa Zied, R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, MSNBC online, 2010).

Since January I've lost 12% of my initial body weight (and I plan on losing more). That means I have a 20 percent chance of keeping this weight, and any future weight I lose off. That kept me awake last night, with stupid fears mostly. Is all this for naught? Am I destined to be battling this statistic my whole life, because, so far I have been. Really? Only 20%? I'm betting everyone knows at LEAST one person who has lost a lot of weight, only to gain it all back.

Don't worry, I shut myself up pretty quickly. I have already decided that I am going to be in the 20%. I just find it incredibly interesting how much the odds are against me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is This Forever?

Yesterday, I was catching up with a friend of mine, and she had so many questions about my new way of eating. Her questions followed in line with pretty much every other person I have told, as if everyone has a script to read off of once they hear someone has "gone Paleo." Once she grasped the concept fully (which is more then I can so for some) she asked me " you got to your ideal weight, can you allow other things in.. or relaxing to a point where it's part paleo, part.. other things like hummus or sugar in your coffee.. or whatever, know what I mean?"

Yes, I knew exactly what she meant. For me this whole process is about regulating my insulin levels and finding out what foods my body has adverse reactions to. Now, since I went sort of crazy and eliminated everything at once, I have no idea if my body was reacting to sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, or a combination of some of those items. I'm not interested in finding out for quite awhile. When the time comes, and I feel ready (solid, strong) I will one at a time introduce those elements into my diet and see what, if any reaction occurs. The more time I give myself without them, I'm hoping that the more pronounced the reaction will be.

If I find from all this "testing" that I can isolate gluten as my problem, do you know how excited I will be? That means sweet potatoes, hummus, quinoa, lattes, and chocolate can be welcomed back into my life! However, I am prepared to face a life of strict Paleo if it turns out that my body can not deal with grains or any of the other eliminated foods. I'm interested in whatever it is that keeps me feeling this way, and keeps me from that mind-prison of food obsession and cravings.

Oh, and funny side note- my sister sent me a text yesterday saying she had spoken to our mom the day before. My mom asked her if I was still doing that "caveman thing." It was less than a week since I had returned home. What the eff did she think, that I was just doing it for attention when I was visiting? I explained to her when I was there that this was for life. Again, with the votes of confidence! Luckily, my sister keeps up on my blog, and was like, "hell yes she is!" This is, or some version of this, is forever.

Last night I made quite possibly the best Paleo meal so far:

I washed some gorgeous Romaine leaves (inside leaves), chopped some green onion, sliced some lime and some avocado, picked up some all natural Pico de Gallo...

Turkey Tacos. I seasoned the ground turkey with fresh garlic, onion, and green bell pepper, then added some cumin, chili powder and black pepper. Ta Da!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Food Lobotomy

Before I started eating Paleo, I should have done a better job of chronicling and describing my daily thoughts about food. The struggles that took place inside my head between what my brain said I wanted, and what I knew was wrong for me were constant. Cravings, planning, needing, feeling guilty, feeling high, feeling low, all were a part of a normal day. I let my stomach and my cravings dictate my day. Foods would just pop into my head, and I HAD to have them. Sometimes I could put it off for a few days, but they were always in the back of my mind until I ate them. Even after I just ate, I could think about a certain food and be hungry all over again. I knew I was a slave to something bigger than me. I knew there had to be another way to live.

Over the past few weeks I have noticed here and there how my cravings have subsided, and I don't eat as much or as often, and that I don't think about food anymore. I never really stopped to think about any of these facts until just now. These are HUGE steps away from the prison I was in. These are HUGE steps towards the life I want to be living.

It really hit me this weekend, when I was making coffee, and I spotted something odd on top of the refrigerator. A closer inspection revealed it was a container of donut holes...coconut crunch donut holes. I thought to myself "Dave must have gone shopping." I went about the rest of my morning. A few hours later, as I passed by the container again, I kinda said "oh, yeah..." to myself because I had FORGOT they were there.

This may not seem like a big deal to anyone else out there, but let me explain how prior to Paleo eating my reaction to the donuts would have been different. First off, donuts are like crack to me. I absolutely cannot refuse a donut, and seem to have a bottomless pit of a stomach when eating them. Secondly, whenever I find something in the cupboards or in the house that appears to be "hidden" from me (presumably so I won't eat it all) that makes me want to eat it all. I know, nucking futs, right? So, upon seeing the package, I would have either a) immediately grabbed a few to snack on, felt good, then a few hours later felt bad (both physically and mentally) and gone back for more. This would have repeated until they were gone. b) resisted having one, knowing that "a" would happen. Also, they were out of sight for a reason, so I can't eat them all. I would have thought like this until I had a valid rationalization and then ate most or all of them.

Instead of my whole day being dictated by a sighting of donuts on top of my fridge, I completely forgot about them! If that isn't proof of a food lobotomy, I don't know what is. Oh, and I'm down one more pound this week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Suburban Olympics

Its POURING outside for the 6th day in a row, and instead of working on my tan or my cardio endurance, I'm inside blogging. Grrrr. Sometimes I want to punch Seattle in the rainy face. Its the mother f-ing 20th of JUNE!!! Its supposed to be blue skies and sunshine till September. End Rant.

This weekend has been incredibly productive. First off, I attmepted my first shot at some "Paleo baking." I know, it sounds like an oxymoron given the restrictions/definition of Paleo, but like I have said before, I'm just ignoring the agricultural revolution, not the technical revolution. I purchased some almond flour (very expensive) and pulled out an old favorite recipe for banana bread of mine, and began substituing. I used eggs, honey, baking powder, lemon zest, coconut milk, coconut oil, almond flour, tapioca starch (not low carb, but gluten free) and macadamia nuts. I was shooting for a Lemon-coconut Macadamia Nut Bread. I mixed it all up, poured into a bread pan, and baked it. It rose and browned nicely. When it cooled, I sliced it, and...not bad. I did not account for the oils in the almond flour, and it was pretty greasy. I think with some adjustments it can be palatable. Boyfriend found it edible, so that is a plus for sure. When I nail down a good recipe, I'll post it.

Next up, we went mattress shopping and bought a new mattress! Yay! For the past year, I have been fighting the "valley" created by my boyfriend, and wake up with a crazy sore back. Mattress should be delivered today! I finished the mini-remodel on the bathroom yesterday, and some other various odd jobs. The house is coming along nicely.

This morning, I realized I was missing a huge chunk of my clothes since the move, so I asked the boyfriend to pull a box down from storage. Sure enough, there were my clothes, along with a whole bunch of summer clothes that have been WAY too tight for 4 years now. I began trying some things on, and I just doubled my wardrobe! That is exciting to me. I remember trying some of the shorts on not too long ago and thinking "how did I ever fit into these? And will it be impossible to fit into them again?" I got my answer. No. If I continue at the pace I'm going, I'll be wearing most of that box in a few weeks.

Baking, shopping, fixing-up, organizing, I am for sure an Olympic athlete. A Suburban Olympic Athlete.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Testing Paleo, Take #1

If you don't know me, there are a few things you should know about me before I continue with the rest of today's post:

-I like to tell people what to do, and what is best for them. Especially if its something that works for me (i.e., Paleo) So, I might be a little overly excited about the effect/benefits of Paleo when explaining to people. I've noticed this tends to have the opposite effect, and make them think I'm lying.

-I am competitive, and do not like losing.

-Rarely will I ever turn down a bet.

-I am always right (heh).

Yesterday I got home from work, and it was my boyfriends day off, so we were chatting in the kitchen about our days. Somehow (ha) paleo came up, and I mentioned how I still couldn't believe that my allergies disappeared. He gave me a look like "I'm listening to you because I like you, but I don't believe you." So then the following exchange took place:
Boyfriend: "How about we test out that theory of yours?"
Me: "How?"
Boyfriend picks up our cat, Zoe, and says "Let's rub Zoe all over your face and see."
Me: Already face deep in soft white cat fur "Sure thing!"

So there you have it. Last night, in order to prove to my boyfriend that Paleo has in fact rid me of once bad allergies, I let him rub our cat all over my face. What happened to me after that? Absolutely nothing. Not one sneeze, not one swollen eye, not one sniffle, not one cough. I just don't know what else to say, this is phenomenal.

Oh, and check out this dinner last night: Beef Meatloaf with Oven Dried Tomatoes, and Roasted Cauliflower.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Half Weigh Point

That's right, I had bacon wrapped avocado for breakfast. My 30 day Paleo Challenge is half way over. Well, half way over if I decide to stop eating like our ancient relatives on July 1st. If I feel the way I do today on June 30th, I will not be stopping. The past 15 days have been beyond eye opening for me.

I never thought it was possible to feel this way. ALL. THE. TIME. I never thought my skin could look so good. I never thought my body could change shape so fast. I never thought that food would stop being in the forefront of my mind. I never thought that I would be sitting with plates of food I used to LOVE in front of me and not give them a second though. I never thought I wouldn't feel deprived. I never thought my allergies would disappear after a week. I never thought I would stop having cravings. I never thought this would come so easily. I never thought I would ever think of fruit as being "too sweet."

So, yeah. As of right now, I don't see any reason for stopping. I lost 2 pounds last week, and I feel so good about that. I'm not comfortable losing more than 2-3 pounds a week, to me, any more than that is scary. If eating Paleo actually causes the reactions in my body that it claims to, the weight I lose should be mostly or all fat. If I were eating a typical American diet and just restricting my calories and exercising more, my loss would be comprised of a combination of lean muscle mass and fat. I do not want to lose any lean muscle mass.

The half-marathon is a little more than one week away. Yikes! I'm very excited to see how the changes in my body affect my performance (if at all). I also decided to sign up for a race in California in October to run with some of my very best friends and supporters. By October I could be dangerous, look out!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"This Better Work"

My trip home to California was pretty standard. I remained 100% Paleo the whole time (the only thing that may have been iffy was a small glass of organic orange juice, but I was so thirsty and water just wasn't doing it) and I survived many potential food situation disasters. I received the exact reaction from my mom I anticipated- feigned happiness, followed by suggestions of what I should do when "this doesn't work." Awesome. Luckily, I had my sister there for support. My sister is really the only other person on the planet that can truly understand what I go through with my mom, since she has similar experiences.

It is always educational seeing a large chunk of my family together. I see where a lot of my behaviors and habits come from, I see what I don't want to be like, and I see the craziness that I never noticed before. As the younger generation of cousins grow up, it is fun to see them discover themselves, and begin to resist the family tendencies. My 20 year old cousin is taking a swim class this summer in the mornings with my mom. My cousin LJ is not fat or even overweight at all. She may be a little out of shape. I watched my mom make similar comments to her about her food choices and what she "needed" to do. My cousin is a lot more polite to my mom then I was, and I'm sure its because the stuff is coming from an aunt, and not her mom. Anyway, my cousin was so excited about this new routine of swimming, and said "this better work."

I laughed inside my head, because it was a cute notion...similar to how a 5 year old packs a backpack and proclaims they are running away from home. Without realizing it, I had zero confidence that simply taking a 6 week swimming class would give her the body she was picturing in her head. I had zero confidence because I myself had made that statement at least 1,000 times in my life, only to find myself here time and time again. I then thought to my 30-day Paleo challenge. Was this any different? I get it- the way I saw my cousins naivete towards swimming class was how my mom sees my Paleo eating. As if it was cute that I was trying, but was not getting the whole picture. That the bad habits that got me here were suppressed but not gone, and eventually they would resurface.

Perhaps. But what if my cousin falls in love with swimming so much, it triggers a chain reaction of better eating and more exercise? How do I, (or my mom) know that this is not the thing that will work for her? We don't. Just like I don't know that Paleo will be the thing that "works" for me. But, I will keep trying things. I will continue to experiment with my body until I get it right. Eventually, I will figure it out, and so will my cousin.

I have been eating Paleo pretty strictly for 14 days now. I feel great. Most notably, the horrible allergies (cat) I have when I go home to California were completely absent. In past visits, I could only be in the house for a few hours before my lungs would seize up, and get congested. I had to take 24-hour allergy pills just to tolerate it. This time? I never took one pill. I sneezed a few times, but that is about it. That in itself was worth every bit of Paleo eating. I never once uttered or thought to myself the words of regret my family members did for "eating so much" or "eating all those cookies" I was free of highs and lows- even keeled the whole time. I went hours without eating and didn't want to kill anyone. The funny thing was, anytime someone would forget and offer me something non-Paleo, they would apologize. Ha! Don't be sorry for me, be sorry for you, because I FEEL GREAT.

I didn't have time to weigh in this morning, but I'm pretty sure I lost more weight, cause my clothes are even more loose. I will update tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Going Going Back Back to Cali Cali

I'm headed home tomorrow to sunny (hopefully) California. I haven't been home in over a year. Mostly because going home is not an enjoyable experience for me. I would feel bad if my mom ever read this, but its true. In fact, the only reason why I've made the time in my schedule to go is because it is my cousins high school graduation, and my grandma is flying out from Connecticut to see it. There will be a solid representation of family present, and graduations are in my opinion, something to be celebrated.

Each time I go home, I'm surprised by a) how different my parents are from how I remembered them b) how annoyingly ostentatious Marin County is c) how different I am from the person I was when I lived at home. For example, two years ago it was my other cousin graduating from high school, and my boyfriend and I flew down for the ceremony. We arrived at 11am (the graduation started at 3pm) and my mom was frantically cooking for the after-graduation party at my aunt's house. She was saying over and over how she would not be attending the ceremony because she had to finish the food. I was like WHAT? This pissed me off to no end, and I wanted to do whatever it was possible so that she could go to the ceremony. Because, um, what's more important? The ceremony or the food? I guarantee you that my cousin will remember the fact that my mom didn't attend her ceremony more than she will remember what she ate afterwards! My family is asinine.

My mom made a brief appearance at the ceremony. And you know what? I don't even remember what we ate afterwards, but I certainly remember how irritated I was that she was pulling some martyr bullshit about possibly not going to the ceremony. Fast forward to this year...I can only imagine what this trip has in store for me. All I know is nearly every time I return home from a trip to California, I'm crazy. Crazy with all the thoughts of how my family is so crazy, and disbelief that I'm cut from the same fabric.

I'm thinking that I chose a really bad time to begin my Paleo 30 day trial. I should have waited until after my trip so that I didn't have to constantly explain myself. So I don't have to put up with those sarcastic comments about a "fad" diet, and foods that I chose not to eat being pushed my way. Getting the unsolicited advice from people that have been unhealthy and/or fat the majority of their lives about "what I should be eating." Oh, what fun it will be!

But then I thought to myself, fuck them. Fuck all of them. If they can't be supportive of me, that is a problem with them, not me. I have been conducting "experiments" on my body for years now, trying to figure out what works for me. This is another one of those experiments. It may last, it may not. In fact, this is probably the best possible test I could give myself since I will be faced with so many factors: being out of my routine, cooking in a foreign kitchen, family that is skeptical of my choices, familiar habits that come with home, and a special occasion. If I can survive this weekend, I can do anything!

Of course, I may be overreacting. Perhaps nothing will happen, and my family will be so happy to see me and embrace whatever it is I choose to do! LOLHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHALOL. I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Week Down...

Today marks one full week of Paleo eating completed. According to my iPhone, here is my average nutrient intake for the week:
Fat- 68.6g
Saturated Fat- 17.4g
Sodium- 860mg
Carbohydrates- 39.9g
Fiber- 12.9g
Sugars- 20.7g
Protein- 94.2g

What a change! And as I mentioned yesterday, I got the results on the scale like I have never seen before. I've also noticed a few positive things: I get full faster, and stay full longer. I'm not thinking about food as much. I feel good, overall (no headaches, alert, etc.) I've also notice a few things just in the past 2 days that are new: I'm super thirsty, always. If I don't eat regularly, I run out of energy FAST (but, I don't get grouchy like I used to). For example, over the weekend, I really didn't eat that much. I was just kinda "meh" about food, and kept saying "I'll eat later" then, all of a sudden I was SO tired I had to nap. I took two naps this weekend, and I can't remember the last time I've done that!

Enough of that...I've already been accused of being a "Paleo-pusher" from now, on, I'll just let the results speak for themselves.

One of my biggest fans sent me an adorable gift celebrating my birthday/20lb loss. I was so happy that I received this gift after I had lost an additional 4 pounds, so it felt truly deserved. I will be taking this to Whole Foods, and to the gym. I was trying to get Pedro to warm up to the idea suggested on the bag:

I think he's into it! Thanks C.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Holy S*#t...

I'm sure many of you have noticed I sort of fell out of my habit of reporting the results of my weigh-ins on Monday mornings. About the time I stopped reporting them was oh, about the time I stopped losing weight regularly, as my routine got tossed out the window. That doesn't mean I wasn't still weighing in every Monday.

I've been strict Paleo for 6 days now. I've lost 8 pounds. Never, ever, ever have I lost 8 pounds in one week, on any other sort of "plan" or "diet" or "kick" or "new lifestyle" change. I know its most likely water that I was retaining from my previous bad habits. Whatever. I'll take it. Today I saw a number on the "scale" (my Wii) that I haven't seen in 2 years.

How do I feel about Paleo? I love it. I've been eating bacon wrapped avocado, skin-on chicken, cauliflower "pasta", turkey meatloaf, not counting calories (just protein and carbs) and still losing weight. Yes, I had to give up latte's. Yes, I had to give up bread. Yes, I had to tell my co-worker today that made me a birthday cake (from scratch) I couldn't eat any because of my new diet. Yes, I sat at dinner last night with my boyfriend and watched him eat dinner rolls and then have chocolate cake for dessert. As long as I see results like I did today, all of this doesn't matter. I've had enough of that stuff to last me a lifetime.

Yesterday I went for a LONG run. It was my first attempt at cardio activity since starting Paleo. I was unsure how my body would perform under its new energy sources (I've heard it takes a little while for your body to convert from using carbs as energy to using fat). My run was nice. Definitely a difference in my energy levels, but I think I can fix this by carrying some nuts with me. The more I get into the Paleo lifestyle, my energy will return. Probably the most noticeable thing is that I ran for 60 minutes, and then walked for 45 minutes after that (did 8 miles total), and then painted my bathroom, and I'm not sore today. At all. I was definitely wiped out yesterday and could not quench my thirst for the life of me, but like I said, I think I will adjust.

Here is another meal I was quite proud of. With food like this, who needs grains, dairy, sugar, salt, or legumes?
Cauliflower "Pasta":

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting Un-spoiled

Seeing as how I have a fairly unhealthy relationship with food, its rarely something that I'm not thinking about. What am I going to have for breakfast? What's next? What about dinner? Always thinking, planning, wanting. Part of this I know is learned, because that's how it was growing up in my house. Nothing could be done until we knew what the menu was.

Eating healthy has always been a challenge, because in addition to thinking about what and when my next meal would be, I had to factor in that it had to be "good" for me too. A few years ago I began eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast because as far as I knew, it was healthy, and that was one less meal I had to plan. Unless I had ready to go, planned out meals for lunch and dinner, my choices tended to stray from better to worse. I can't count how many times I said "oh, we have nothing to eat, let's just go out." When, in reality, there was plenty of food to eat, I just didn't want to eat it.

Enter in more awareness of our Paleolithic ancestors: Did they have choices like this? Could they pass up the kill they had been feasting on for the past 2 days because they were "sick of it?" No. They ate what they could, when they could. So basically, I've been being a whiny baby when it comes to food, and giving into my every whim and desire. Spoiled.

This experiment is much more then giving up sugar, grains, dairy and legumes for 30 days. This is about re-learning many of my behaviors regarding food and food choices. There are fewer choices of what I can eat. I will be eating a lot of the same foods, day in, and day out. Because I am a Generation Xer I will inevitably get bored of this at some point. Well? I'm going to just have to tell my brain tough shit, and get over it. Perhaps that can be when I re-try lamb, or a kohlrabi, or buffalo. But I think the real solution to the problem is learning how to be happy with what I can have, which is more than enough to keep me alive, and certainly WAY more then my ancient relatives had.

This week has worked out pretty nicely for me. Making my breakfast for the whole week in one big batch has taken the guess work out of that meal. My lunches have been leftovers from dinner the night before, so, in reality, I'm only thinking about/preparing one meal a day. Last nights dinner, and today's lunch:

Skin-on free range, hormone free chicken thighs with pepper, dusting of sea salt, and lemon. Asparagus tossed in olive oil and pepper, with lemon slices on top (I used to use balsamic vinegar). Yes, it was as good as it looks.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 3 Observations

I feel good
(I think I was expecting a heroin style withdrawl- shakes, pains, the full deal).
For the past 2 days I have had NO problem getting out of bed
(normally I have to snooze 3,000 times).
I've been waking up in the middle of the night to pee
(I'm mentioned before that usually means weight/excess water is coming off me).
I haven't missed sugar/salt/carbs as much as I thought I would
(my food has been really good!).
So far, this diet seems sustainable for quite a long time
(again, my food has been really good, and I feel good).
Each day I have more energy than the previous day
(I didn't want to attempt a run on day one or two, but I'm ready now).

I know, I know. I've only completed 2 full days. It could be placebo effect. But whatever it is, I guarantee you its going to get me to do another 2 days. That's what it is all about right? Being able to keep going. I don't feel deprived, at all. I like (really like) the food I've eaten so far. Preparation for eating this way hasn't really been any harder then any other time I've been careful about my food choices.

Last night I made my first attempt at Paleoturkeymeatloaf, and some caveman broccoli as a side. It was good, and my boyfriend even ate it too (after a ketchup bath).
Ground Turkey
2 eggs (cage free)
2 tbps ground flaxseed
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 pieces uncured, all natural, beef bacon cut finely
zest from one lemon

I mixed all these together and placed in a 8X8 glass pan and cooked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until thermometer reads 165).

Caveman Broccoli:
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 small heads broccoli cut into pieces

Heat olive oil, lightly toast garlic, add broccoli to pan and cover. I accidentally ended up carmelizing (read: burned) some of the broccoli, so I added some water to the pan to get a little more steam effect. But, I kinda liked the taste of it a little toasty, and imagined if I were a caveman, and all I had was fire to cook with, that is how my broccoli would be.

Next time, I may place some oven dried tomatoes on top of the cooking meatloaf. Meatloaf really does need some form of tomato accompaniment. I forgot to take pics, next time!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What I'm Eating

Yesterday I was 100% Paleome (a word I made up, meaning me eating Paleo). I'm sure that every single person who decides to eat similar to our Paleolithic ancestors has their own way of interpreting the diet. Some people (like me) include coffee, even though by just about every definition, it is not Paleo. Some people use sea-salt, or cane sugar, or honey, or cream or other minimally processed naturally occurring items (for me cream is out, but I may occasionally use the others). I took a few photos yesterday of some of the things I was eating, how I interpret Paleo:

This is my "breakfast scramble." I heated up some olive oil in a pan, added chopped red onion and galic, sauteed till soft and clear, then browned ground beef on top. I dumped the mixture into a separate bowl when it was done browning, and poured 6 beaten eggs into the same pan (didn't need to add any additional oil) and scrambled those. When the eggs were almost done, I put the beef mixture back in, ground pepper, and added a whole bag of spinach. I mixed it up, let the spinach wilt, and divided it into 4 portions for the week. At work, I brought an avocado and sliced 1/4 of it over the top. It was good, and honestly kept me full for over 4 hours. Something my oatmeal did NOT do.

Throughout the day, I snacked on a few walnuts, and ate this incredible organic peach from Whole Foods after my lunch salad (didn't take any pics of the salad).

When I got home last night, my boyfriend had this flank steak marinating for me in olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, and garlic. I grabbed some fresh rosemary from outside, placed it on top, and cooked the steaks. I ate a whole unpeeled organic carrot while I was waiting. was strange- I got home a little later then usual last night, and I wasn't ready to rip someone's head off with hunger like usual. I patiently ate my carrot, prepared and cooked the steak, and didn't hunt through the cupboards looking for anything else. Sometimes if I'm so hungry when I get home, I'll snack on a whole meal while dinner is cooking, then eat! I'm not sure if it was day 1 strength, or the actual diet.

I put my daily food into my iPhone app, and got the following summary:
June 1, 2010:
Fat- 80.2g (yikes?!)
Saturated Fat- 18.5g (phew)
Sodium- 451.2mg
Carbohydrates- 36.9g
Fiber- 14.3g
Sugars- 17.5g
Protein- 102.9g
Total calories- 1,272

I flipped back through my log to find a day previously with similar calories consumed for a comparison:
March 3, 2010
Fat- 35.2g
Saturated Fat- 6.1g
Sodium- 1954.2mg (holy crap)
Carbohydrates- 160g (ummmm...)
Fiber- 16.6g
Sugars- 38.1g
Protein- 82.6g
Total calories- 1,284

Quite a difference. Actually, it is kind of cool to have a log to go back through. I found that my sodium intake was ranging between 1200 mg and 3000mg! My carbohydrates were never less than 150g and my protein averaged around 60g. My targets for Paleome are slightly different...protein- over 100g, carbohydrates- less than 50g. I don't have any targets for the other various nutrients since the elimination of foods will take care of keeping those in check.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Introducing: Paleome

Hello! As I logged in to begin this post, I noticed that I was about to write my 100th post. On June 1st. On the day I decided last week that I would try going Paleo for 30 days. That just seems cool to me for some reason. far so good. I've got my breakfast scramble and coffee under my belt, and I'm just going to wait until my stomach growls before I eat my lunch (salad with chicken, nuts, avocado, roasted red pepper, and lemon-olive oil dressing). Normally I see 12:00 and I just eat. I don't think cavemen had watches...

I've had plenty of time over the past week to mentally prepare myself for today and the rest of this month. I think perhaps the most prevalent/annoying thing will be explaining it to people. There are a lot of gray areas wrapped into this diet, beginning with the name. Nobody can say with any accuracy what a Paleolithic man REALLY ate, the assumption is that they hunted meat, foraged for nuts and berries, and had occasional vegetables and fruit. Because I live in the 21st century, a true/complete "Paleolithic" lifestyle is not practical. Enter the gray areas. I will be getting my food at a grocery store. I will be sitting at a desk for at least 8 hours a day. I will be driving in a car. I will be wearing clothes from the GAP. I will be using my iPhone to tell me just about get the point. However, I do not need to be eating overly processed, cultivated, genetically modified, preservative laden, nutrient lacking foods.

Food is fuel for my muscles, fuel for my body to function. Doesn't matter what term is coined for this way of eating, I'm putting in only what my body needs and what it was designed to eat. End of story.