Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

I want to set resolutions.  I do.

I think I'll do the Dave Ramsey approach and set small, realistic goals instead of the huge, long-term goal. I definitely need to consider the long-term goal in determining my goals that will be the stepping stones towards the long-term goal.

The ultimate goal being that we live a purely natural lifestyle using only natural, organic foods as close to their natural state as possible.  However, living in our society today is challenging and we need to continue to remind ourselves that it's OK if we don't do it perfect.  It's not an all or nothing thing.  Just because I "accidentally" eat a jar of Nutella doesn't mean I can't continue on my journey to eating healthy, whole foods.

It's good right now since our baby (10.5 months old) is eating food and we are very careful to make sure she eats only whole foods.  Our son (3.5 years old) is a good eater as well but for some reason I continue to bring hidden treats for myself in to the house.  (Or my husband does with his nightly treat of Ben and Jerry's!)

Being more physically active is a goal too.  I am not sure what goal to set though.  I have talked to my husband about doing an intense 5-minute Crossfit style workout every other day.  Obviously I'll fit in a complete workout when I can or try to go for a nice walk, but unfortunately our schedule is something we are not good at managing and my workout time is always put on the back burner.  So he will be coming up with 10 5-minute workouts for me to rotate through as I can.  FIVE minutes - I can do that right?

Here's to 2012...and knocking out the tiny goals in pursuit of the larger, ultimate goal!

Friday, October 14, 2011

One of my problems with the Paleo diet made right.

I have a few issues with the Paleo diet/lifestyle.  A lot of it makes sense to me (whole foods in the form of lean meat, fresh veggies/fruit, nuts, etc.) but there are parts that don't make any sense whatsoever in our modern age.

One of my issues was that I was understanding the Paleo diet in the sense that you must eat a lean protein source at each meal plus plenty of leafy veggies and some source of quality fat.  Ok, fine. Great.  However, that is not Paleo....not in my definition.  You mean to tell me that a caveman kills an animal and he is thinking, "Oh, let me go find a plateful of leafy things to accompany this meat at every meal."  Heck no!  He's going to eat that animal from top to bottom until it's gone.  Then, there may be a week where he doesn't have any protein from an animal source.

So that was really throwing me for a loop.  I just did not understand how it was Paleo if your meals were perfectly proportioned.

Last night, my husband and I were discussing something about eating and I brought up my issue with the Paleo diet thinking.  He said something that made me understand SO much about it.  He said that the Paleo diet isn't about the proper proportion of protein, carbs, fats.  It's about the TYPE of food.  Duh.  Of course, that's it.  I get that.  That makes perfect sense.  I was just over I tend to do!

I guess what I was doing was combining the Zone diet with the Paleo diet.  Since we're doing this challenge through Crossfit, they obviously want the portions to be ideal if possible for maximum results in performance (both in the gym and in everyday life).  Since we are in the modern age, we can obviously do that because we don't have to kill an animal and eat it until it's gone immediately.

So I am now more ok with the Paleo diet.  I think after this challenge we'll probably be an 80/20 Paleo eating family.  Not that the 20% will be junk foods, but probably more along the lines of dairy, white potatoes, corn, beans, etc.  As long as things are as close to the natural source as possible, I am ok with that.

So although I am not a 100% on board with the Paleo diet lifestyle, I definitely think it's the best guideline out there for the health of our bodies/lives.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beets and a Paleo Problem

We are in week two of our Paleo Challenge.  I am not doing well.  Although some may think I'm doing extremely well since I lost 6 pounds the first week.  Which, to many, may be exactly what they want.  However, since I am still breastfeeding my eight-month old, it did not do well for me.  It affected my milk supply drastically.  Whereas my baby was waking around 2-3 a.m. to nurse before the challenge, she then started waking every 1.5 hours.  I was exhausted.

It's not that I'm not eating enough food ...or so I think.  I eat avocado at breakfast with eggs and always on any salad.  I eat bacon in the mornings.  I eat more beef than on a typical Paleo diet.  I eat more nuts than is recommended. I eat more protein than normal.  I eat more snacks throughout the day than recommended.  And STILL my body apparently needed more.  I freaked and bought some Nutella to eat. Not because I craved the sugar.  I actually am doing MUCH better this go around than before when the sugar cravings were killing me!  I got that because it was full of fat and at least I'd get a tiny bit of protein (yes, I realize it is made with lots o' sugar and milk) BUT let me tell you that the next two nights I slept so much better because my baby decided that my milk now was sufficient.  

I do not want to eat that much sugar.  So I found several other high calorie/fat snacks to add in.  I feel as though my meals are sufficient since I'm eating more than average with the proteins and fats, so I feel making my in between small meals as fatty and high calorie as possible may help.    Who knows.  It's just not something I'm willing to play around with.  I am eating very healthy...well, much healthier than I was, so at least my milk is better for my baby.  I'm hoping the new way to get fat/calories will work.  If not, I will absolutely eat some more Nutella.  I need sleep and my baby does too.  And if Nutella is a way to do it, then fine.  It's MUCH less sugar/dairy than I ever have consumed in my life, so I'm okay with it for now.  After she weans, I'll definitely go back at it super strict.

Now....onto a new subject.  Beets.  Beets are weird.


It's the first time I've ever cooked beets and the first time I've ever tasted them.  I wasn't very impressed.  Well...I wasn't impressed with the taste. I was very impressed with the incredible color that came out of them.  I can see why people use beets as a source to color other things.

 I roasted them and then made a balsamic glaze to pour over.  They smelled very 'earthy' as they were cooking.  When I put them on a plate to try, I admit I was not excited about putting them in my mouth.  I made my husband taste them first!  :)  He didn't think they were bad.  In fact, he ate them again the next day.  Maybe he was just trying not to waste food!  I tasted one and although it was awful, it's just not something I thought was great.  I'll continue to try them. But until someone else makes them, I may just hold off for now.

I tried...but I could not make them look appealing at all.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Only 4 days in

This Paleo challenge is kicking my butt.  Seriously.

I am hungry all the time.  I eat additional snacks and eat more protein than a typical serving since I am still breastfeeding our daughter, but I feel like it's not enough.  I am going to make guacamole tomorrow to eat for breakfast in hopes that it'll help add some calories in.  It's a little tough since I have been dealing with a low supply for a few months now, so I hope this doesn't hurt it.

It doesn't help that we are up every night multiple times a night with our kids.  We simply don't get the sleep our bodies need.  We get plenty sleep time, it's just that it's interrupted.  I'm thinking if I were able to have more sleep, then it wouldn't be *as* hard.

I have been scouring the Internet for Paleo dessert recipes.  The fact that we can't even use honey is really hard. I'm not even sure why on this challenge we can't.  I did find tons of great dessert recipes that I've pinned for future use.

We have had some pretty good meals from the Paleo Plan.  Tonight we are having chicken in a mushroom sauce.  We'll also cook up veggies to go with it.   Tomorrow is some kind of roast.  I'm pretty excited about that!!!

The coconut milk in my coffee isn't great.  I wish it were, but it's just not.  We've let it thicken in the fridge overnight to see if it would help, but it didn't.  So I'm not drinking nearly the caffeine I was (which is great) but it's really affecting me.  I really hope I can make it at least the first week without a slip up.

Blah.  Day four.  Almost behind me.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Late night coffee...with half & half

I am going to enjoy a half cup of coffee so I can enjoy my half & half in it before I go 30 days without.  That is truly one thing I know I will miss in this 30-day Paleo challenge.  BUT I know I can do it.  Maybe.

Tomorrow officially begins the challenge.  You know what the worst part is?  I have to get my fat pinched.  Measured.  Yeah...not good.  I will be going to the gym in the a.m. to get the fatness pinched and then do our first challenge which is something called Crossfit Total.  It is the total (weight I'm guessing) of your one-rep max of each of the following: back squat, shoulder press, and deadlift.  Considering I haven't worked out since the baby was born over 7 months ago, this should be interesting.  It's great to have a starting point (and photos...don't forget the horrific "before" photos that must be taken) but honestly this won't really let me know how the Paleo diet affects my workouts since I'm starting it all at once! Haha!  So I only have room to improve, right?

I went grocery shopping today.  I got all of the food for our first week.  Except almond milk.  Not at Publix.  Yes...I do realize they actually do sell almond milk there, however, read the ingredients.  So much crap in those that there is no way it is Paleo.  So I'll try the natural food store tomorrow while we're downtown.  We are still allowing our son to eat cheese but we're not buying anymore milk for the 30 days.  We'll slowly wean him off dairy since he ate so much of it.

Here's what he thought of the new and improved fridge contents:

Haha, just kidding.  He wanted to take a silly photo and this is what I got.  Just happened to be as I was putting the groceries away!  :)  Seriously, after our last challenge, he started eating more of the vegetables he'd gotten away from.  Now he sword fights me with asparagus spears before we eat them. That was one food he used to love and then after we let too many crackers, bread, etc. come into play, he has started losing his taste for veggies.  Slowly but surely we are bringing it back! to have my last cup of coffee full of yummy cream and milk.  For 30 days at least!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Enough already

I've had it with these intense sugar cravings.  I'm over it.  I don't think I necessarily want to be over sugar forever, but I'd love not to consume it every day.

I overheard last night at the Paleo Potluck we had at the Crossfit gym where my husband coaches that  craving sugar could be an indicator you aren't getting enough sleep.  Well, that explains it.  Considering both of my children think it's hysterical to start out as newborns sleeping wonderfully and then after 4 months of age decide to mix it up a bit and start waking every 3 hours after going to sleep.  So yeah...sleep deprivation is definitely at play here.  I've never heard of a sugar craving having anything to do with it, so I'm definitely going to ask more.  It makes sense because it's been very strong after the births of each my children.  But...I also love sugar.  So it could just be that!

Anyways, we'll be starting our 30-day Paleo Challenge soon.  Yes...again.  However, this time we are giving up dairy.  One - I want to eliminate it to see if it helps with the congestion/allergies I've suffered from since being a kid.  Two - I've mentioned our daughter's skin issues.  So hopefully this challenge will help see if the dairy is the culprit.  We're getting a little help from the folks over at Paleo Plan.  They seriously make it too easy to NOT at least try Paleo for 30 days.  Such a great site. So very easy to navigate (and it has pretty photos, so that's always a plus in my opinion!).

I am also truly starting to workout again.  A friend of mine is currently doing the intro classes at the gym and she'll be finished next week.  We've already got our twice a week workouts on the calendar.  I really have no excuses.

So here we go.  Again.  I did it for 6 weeks last time...surely I can do another 30 days...with no dairy...which means no cheese.  Ugh.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Must. Focus.

As I sit here and eat straight out of the jar of Nutella with a spoon, I realize I'm not following the diet I started several months ago.

I did awesome on my 30-day challenge. I never cheated.  Not once.  I even made it to 6-weeks before I had something with grains/sugar.  Even after that, it was fine.  We continued to shop for good meats, veggies, and the good fats.  We did allow some grains/sugar back into our diet, but it was outside of our house.  That I didn't mind.  However, now Nutella makes an appearance *at least* once a week. We have snack bars for our son, cookies, ice cream...yeah...we lost focus.

Our son's behavior has also reflected it.  He's not a bad kid by any means.  He's 3, which sometimes makes me want to go hide away for the next year, but all in all, he's actually pretty well behaved.  However, getting the sugar and more grain back into his diet has also brought back the unfocused, poor listening, etc.  He doesn't even ask for bread any more at the house (we still don't have it here), but he is expecting sweet treats a lot.  And, yes, I know I can make sweet Paleo-ish treats, but of course busy lives take over and convenience crap products enter in.

So, we're back to having to refocus.  It's tough because you have it so realize you CAN do this...and then you slip, which is fine, but then you do it again and again.  And then, because you and your husband are trying to work multiple jobs, keep the house at just above the gross level, entertain a 3 year old and a 7 month old, the food becomes back burner and you're back to eating pure crap.  Honestly, we still eat better than the SAD, but it's a noticeable difference when we were eating clean.

Now, we're considering taking dairy out.  At least I am.  Our daughter (7 months) has been battling eczema since she was 2 months old.  It's been awful on her cheeks.  We've realized we have to cover her hands at night to prevent her from scratching her cheeks so that has helped. But in reading, I've realized that much of the skin issues deal with eczema can come from food related issues.  Dairy is one of the major culprits.  So I'm going to try and try and try to remove it from my diet.  I LOVE dairy.  Love it.  It's one of my favorite things ever.  I've cut back on drinking straight milk already.  I am going to have the biggest issue with cheese....and cream in my coffee.  I am already OK with no sugar (thanks to my challenge in the summer of no sugar) in my coffee although I occasionally add a tiny bit of honey to change things up from time to time, so I am hoping to take the cream away may not be as difficult.  I know I can use coconut milk.  We'll see....

So, I don't even have a plan this time.  Basically our plan is to spend at least 30 minutes each week making a complete meal plan (to include all meals and snacks) so we have no room for error.  We've done it before so I know we can do it again.