Success, rewards, and the battle

So I woke up this morning and decided that I needed to weigh myself and take measurements. It’s been over 3 weeks since I started my 365 day life change. So far I have lost 14lbs and 4.5″ on my body. So then I decided to Tyron a pair of pants I ordered before Christmas that didn’t fit, but I was too lazy to send back. They fit! That was real success. Finally I can see big changes happen.

Improvements in the gym include getting my double unders, push ups, and box jumps back. I am finding that things at the gym are coming back a lot faster. It’s really picking up my mood.

Now people are usually skeptical when I talk about paleo. They want dairy, grains, peanuts, etc and question eating bacon, coconut oil, etc. I am telling you if I can eat things like this:
Bolognese sauce over zucchini noodles

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And this, coconut-ginger shrimp

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And this, banana coconut ice cream

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I mean how can you go wrong? I feel great, it tastes great, and I don’t feel like I am truly missing out on much. I know it’s only been 3 weeks and there have been temptations but I am pushing on. My overall goal is to eat healthy, workout hard, and not focus purely on the scale.

Here’s a great start to 2013!

The Mental Game

Another week down. Another week towards my overall goals. It’s not without its challenges though. First, there was national popcorn day the night I went to the movies with my friend. The good part was that I have talked to her about my goals and she’s very supportive. I feel in order to be successful you need to have support (friends & family). I am blessed with great friends both at the gym and outside it keeps me going.

And today was one of those days I needed the support. I went to the gym and we did back squats which I did well with. The coach, Arron, goes around and films you so you can see how you are doing. I love and hate it. I love to see where I need to improve but I hate it because it confirms that what I see in my mind is not what I see in the mirror. It’s frustrating. I tell myself that I didn’t make myself overweight in a night so I can’t expect to lose the weight in a night either, but it’s still hard. I know I am making small losses each day but its still hard to see myself like this. The thing that keeps me going is the support of others. The people at the gym don’t judge and encourage everyone to do well, it’s just hard being the last one done. To not be able to do things that I use to be able to do. It’s a constant battle and 3 steps forward and 1 back.

Ok enough with that, lets talk about good eats. Yesterday I had the day off so it meant another food prep day. I made Breakfast Lasagna and it was fantastic! Oh my goodness so yummy. It has sweet potatoes, sausage, mushrooms, and coconut milk, yum! I didn’t put the eggs on top and it still rocked!

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I also threw together some tomato basil soup and paleo scotch eggs. Yet another fantastic snack! I am very excited to eat them tomorrow!

I know I’ve been slack on posting but I will try to be better. Hope you are enjoying the recipes, struggles, and accomplishments.

Day 10 – recipes galore

So it’s day 10 now. Only 50 days left. Pssst that’s nothing, right? Well this week was eventful, I decided to change the way I make food by planning my “menu” ahead of time. So on Sunday I sat down with a warm mug of bone broth, my cookbooks, and iPad and began to plan. I got the inspiration from Melissa Joulwan’s book Well Fed. She talks about how she preps everything on Sunday. So I decided on a variety of meals:
Breakfast: acorn squash with sausage & breakfast lasagna.
Lunch: leftovers from the night before
Dinner: Beef fried fo-rice, smokey chicken thighs, Best Ever Chicken Wings, creamy spice market kale from Well Fed, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, and sautéed cabbage.
Snacks: Paleo crack dip (we will get to this) and sweet potato chips, roasted red peppers, and hard boiled eggs.

Afterwards I wrote out my grocery list and off to the store in went. People ask how you shop for paleo and the best tip I have is shop the outside. When you are at the grocery store stick to the outer edge of the store (produce and meat). The only times I venture down the aisles is A) when the husband needs something non-paleo or B) I need frozen veggies, spices or coconut/olive oil. When I was done I had about $100 of groceries and it looked like this:

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From there I spent a few hours prepping the food and making food. First I had to feed my belly as it was protesting. So I threw together my tried and true quick recipe, Beef Fried-fo Rice, courtesy of my friend Sunny! Miss her!

Chicken or Beef Fried Rice
1lb beef or chicken (sliced into strips)
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp (divided) coconut oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch or bag of broccoli
1 red pepper
2 eggs, scrambled
1inch of ginger, grated
3 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp fish sauce
Salt

Heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the beef or chicken. While it cooks prep your veggies and “rice” the cauliflower either by pulsing in a food processor or with a cheese grater. Once the meat is done remove from the pan and set aside. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to the pan and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs and set aside. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil and add the garlic. cook the garlic a minute, then add the veggies. Cook 5-7 min till done to your liking. Add ginger and cook another minute. Add the cauliflower and cook 3-4 min till soft but not mushy. Add the meat then add the coconut aminos and fish sauce. Add salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!

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So yummy!

The upsides of this week were the fact that my husband unhid the scale for one day and I had lost 8lbs! Yay! I have a long way to go but hey every pound is a victory! At the gym I managed to find my push ups and double unders. Not bad week so far! To be continued……

Tacos

So the last few days have been full of temptation and cravings. To decide your life style and say there aren’t any cravings would be lying. I definitely have been fighting the craving roller coaster. Ugh! Friday my hubby and I had dinner with a friend of ours. Luckily she is into clean eating as well so it wasn’t too difficult to find a paleo friendly restaurant. We settled on my favorite, Flat Top Grill. For those that aren’t familiar it is a Mongolian style restaurant where you pick your own veggies, meat, and sauces and they cook it up for you. So yummy. Great way to fill up on veggies and since I was going paleo it meant I could eat calamari and pork, as its not marinated and free of gluten. Well I made it through dinner without a drink, although the other 2 were. After dinner it was off to Old Chicago for a couple drinks, which of course meant a couple more waters for me. The next day my husband complimented me on being strong. Trust me it wasn’t easy, but it’s only 60 days, I’ve done 90 days no alcohol to win a bet so this should be easier, right?

Well Saturday meant leftovers from dinner and a quick drive up to the QCA for my friend’s baby shower. Temptations galore. The table was full of cupcakes, fluff, animal crackers, popcorn, all my favorites. The old me would have filled my plate, but seeing as this was the new me and I was fashionably late I focused on socializing and drinking my water I brought. Managed to make it through the shower unscathed.

Back track, it was time for WOD #3 at the gym. It was a doozy, The Filthy Fifty! Gross!!! Here is the workout:
For Time:
-50 Box Jumps 24″/20″
-50 Jumping Pull-Ups
-50 Kettlebell Swings 45#/35#
-50 Walking Lunges
-50 Knees To Elbows
-50 Push Press 45#
-50 Good Mornings 45#/35#
-50 Wall Balls 20#/14#
-50 Burpees
-50 Double Unders
Till the weight comes off knees to elbows (k2e) are a challenge I have problems holding myself on the bar. So it was to the floor for me. I hold onto a bar and lift my knees to my elbows. The challenge is my darn boobs always try to strangle me. Anyone who says they want bigger ones, please feel free to take some of mine, goodness! I definitely didn’t have a great time, but once again it’s a start.

Saturday night I decided I had a craving for tacos plus it was quick and easy. So my hubby made a quick run to the store to pick up the essentials: ground beef, tomato, onion, lettuce, cheese, taco seasoning, tortillas. Now simmer down not all of this was for me, some was for my non-paleo hubby. I started by browning 3 lbs of ground beef. Once it was cooked and the fat drained off, I took 2 cups and put in a separate frying pan for me. I then added 2 tbsps of taco seasoning, recipe below, along with some water. Once complete I served on a romaine lettuce “tortilla” with some chopped tomatoes and guacamole. Not too bad.

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Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt (more or less to taste)
1 tsp black pepper

Mix all together in a air tight container. Add 2-3 Tbsp of the mix plus 1/2-3/4 c water to 1 lb of meat. Simmer on the stove till liquid cooks off.

Day 3/4 – Fat Good or Bad?

Sorry for not posting yesterday, it was Day 5 of the month which means a crazy day at work. The good thing was the systems crashed so I was told to be on call till they were working correctly. Well maybe it was so good, but it meant I got to join my peeps at the gym for the noon class. Turns out a lot of the 4:30-ers had the same idea so it turned out to be a good group of people. We had to do our 2nd WOD (Workout of the Day) that will be used to measure our progress at the end of this challenge. That day’s WOD was…..ROWING!!! Yay, I’ll take rowing over running any day. It was the 2K meter row. Previously, I had been under 8 minutes, but I knew that I had to put that time behind me and just do the best I could. Best thing was Kirsten told me that she wanted to row with me so we could motivate each other. It’s always better when you have a friend to encourage and challenge you, in a fun way. I finished my row in 8:16.9, not too bad. Prior to that we had our back squat workout. Feel free to check out the daily wods ;here;. I don’t know if it was because I had bone broth and kicked my cold, if I got to sleep in, or that I was going to the noon class, but I felt great at the gym. I was happy, ready to take on the workout and had a great result.

Breakfast had been 1/2 a chicken breast with brussel sprouts, with an apple as a pre-workout snack.

Due to not going into work until 2:30p and working until 8pm my meals were thrown off. I did enjoy some of the Slow Cooker Kalua Pork that I had prepared and let cook the night before. It was fantastic, no BBQ sauce needed. I also made sure to throw in some slices of red pepper. When I showed up my boss had arrived with this glorious, dangerous treat called Scotcheroos. Definitely NOT paleo. I have attached a picture of the piece I brought home for my hubby below. I resisted. That’s pretty good since in the past I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Score one for me!
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Dinner on the other hand was a negative point. I succumbed to the desire to make some popcorn. The benefit is that it’s made with an air popper and not with all the harmful toxins in the bagged version, but still with the butter it was not on the paleo approved list. Oh well we are all human right, and it’s back on the wagon again.

Day 4: Much better day today.

Breakfast: 2 eggs with diced red peppers, salt, & pepper
Lunch: 1 cup broccoli/kohlrabi soup
Snack: some Kahlua Pork leftover from lunch as I didn’t have time to finish it. I think part of my problem is that I get distracted and don’t focus on eating. I am going to have to focus on my food more.
Dinner: Chicken, roasted green beans, guacamole and of course a cup of bone broth. I feel a little tired and wonder if I am not getting enough fats in order to sustain my work out efforts. Going to try adding more to see if it helps.

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While browsing facebook I saw this link to this article and thought I would share. It talks about how chronic inflammation, not fat is the cause of heart disease and that the doctors, himself included, have had it all wrong. Now I get in many discussions with friends and family that talk about Paleo and Fat.

“What do you mean you eat bacon/coconut oil/etc? Isn’t that bad for you?”

Now for those that don’t know me, I’m heavy right now. I’m well over 50lbs (sad to admit) heavier than I would like to be, and I’ve been eating bacon, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, etc and cut out the other types of oil/processed food (canola, soybean, peanut, margarine, etc). My cholesterol and BP was in the normal range, and I was told was great. Yes I’m not that old, so it helps, but still the high fat diet I eat isn’t causing my cholesterol to be high.

In the article, Dr. Lundell, states,
“Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods…..Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent.”

I strongly recommend that you read the article, linked above, and consider it. Think about how do you feel? What are you eating? What is my body telling me? Consider making some small changes to your diet to eliminate processed foods and go back to eating a more natural diet. Yes, it takes longer to prepare, and yes you have to plan, but it is doable. What is more important? Spending 30 extra minutes preparing a meal or spending 5 more years with your family/friends?

Day 1

So here’s the run down of Day 1.

I’m still suffering from this nasty cold, so taking some allergy medication to keep the sneezing and nose blowing to a minimum. I did wake up and make breakfast, which I ate of course on my way to work.

7am: Breakfast consisted of 2 eggs fried up in a little coconut oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. I know, boring, but hey it’s quick and easy.

12:00p: A warm cup of Kombucha Green Tea from Yogi along with about 8oz of the Curry Broccoli/Kohlrabi soup with some diced chicken thrown in. Of course, I’ve been slurping down the water. The goal is to finish 1 34oz Nalgene bottle by lunchtime which I finished about 22oz, 1 by 4pm, 1 during/post workout, and 1 in the evening. This gives me about a gallon of water intake, some days I do it, some days not so much. If I’m thirst I drink, if I’m hungry I drink as well. Many times my body says it’s hungry but really it’s just dehydrated. So I try to get 8 oz of water in and then see if I’m still hungry prior to eating. It’s not too bad, and once my body gets use to all the water it starts craving it. The downside is running to the restroom, it feels like, every 30 min.

So by the end of work I had consumed 1.5 bottle of water, not the 2 I was hoping for but I wasn’t beating myself up over it. It was time to head to the gym. First mistake, not squeezing a snack in before the gym. I now know my body is hungry by the time I make it to the gym.

Today’s workout was:
Warm-up
20 min to find 1 rep max Clean & Jerk
Mini-WOD: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 of power cleans 95# & box jumps

I hit 135# Power Clean which wasn’t my life PR (personal record) but was a PR since getting back to the gym. So I was happy. In actuality I power cleaned the weight so I know I have more in me. Now I need to focus on getting my squat clean. It’s all mental and I know it!just need to beat that mental voice telling me no! The wod wasn’t great. I did step ups as my hamstring was tweaked during the warm up due to my legs being sore from FGB on sat so I decided to play it safe. I did do the 95# prescribed weight for the women and had no problems. Still battling this cold so my time was 12:01. Not great but it’s a start. The hardest critique of me is me as I know what I can do and I can’t seem to get my body to cooperate. So frustrating. But this where I change, day by day!

Post- workout snack was my apple.

Dinner: 1 chicken breast pounded to 1/2″ thickness, sprinkled with Magic Mushroom Powder. If you haven’t checked out Nom Nom Paleo you really should. Her app has fantastic recipes. One of these is her Magic Mushroom Powder. It’s great on chicken and steak. So far that’s what we have used it on. It’s quick and tasty.

I also roasted some Brussel sprouts.
2 Tbsp bacon grease
1 lb Brussel sprouts, cleaned
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Toss together the ingredients together.

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Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-30 min. Yum!

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I can tell I am going to need another snack as my tummy is rumbling a little now. Good signs that my body is starting to process food faster, in my opinion. Hopefully I can start burning this insulation off!

For my evening snack I warmed up a cup of bone broth.  Once you take the layer of fat off your prepared bone broth it is really good, not greasy as I originally thought.  Plus it’s full of great benefits (healthy hair and skin, helps heal your gut, and helps your joints).  Overall I finished 3.5 Nalgene Bottles totaling about 124oz of water.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s on the menu tomorrow!

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Eve of Day 1

So it’s the eve of the first day of the challenge.  Here is what has happened the last week.

1) Prior to the new year I enjoyed/gorged on food that I use to enjoy in my “old life”.  I wanted to get the cravings/desires out of my system.

2) Had my Wellness Evaluation at Crossfit North Peoria.  This meant I had my fasting cholesterol and blood pressure taken so I could see what the diet does internally.  I feel like we all focus so much on the external appearance that we don’t acknowledge the internal changes that are happening to us.  I mean that’s really what matters, right?  It isn’t our fat that’s going to kill us necessarily, it’s the cholesterol, it’s the high blood pressure, it’s the stress on our heart, etc.  Not only that, but you can still be “skinny-fat”, man I wish I had that problem.  LOL!  So the numbers weren’t bad.  I was within the normal percentiles, so at least that’s good.  I know that I’m over weight, but I’m not as internally “unhealthy” as I thought.

3) The gym decided that a good “base” workout to evaluate our progress would be Fight Gone Bad.  Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with this workout it’s a BEAST!  It is a named workout.  What does that mean?!  It’s exceptionally hard and suppose to make you suffer.  (Well at least that’s my opinion of the named workouts).  Anyways, it’s 3 rounds.  Each round you complete 1 minute each of Wall Balls, Sumo-High Pulls, Box Jumps, Push Presses, and Rowing.  The reps are counted for each exercise except for rowing which is for calories.  Then you get 1 min rest and repeat for 3x total.  Your score is the total of reps/calories for all 3 rounds.  (There are a large number of videos on the internet to show Fight Gone Bad, should you want to see the pain.)  Back in my Fit days I broke 300 and was very proud of it.  I knew going into the workout that breaking 300 would be very, very challenging.  Put on top of that I had to fast prior to this workout for the cholesterol test, it was going to be extra-challenging.  Yea I could have eaten between the test and the workout but I had not desire to see my breakfast a 2nd time as it came back up.  So let the pain begin.  I started out doing well with the wall balls and High Pulls.  55# is the prescribed weight, which is really easy for me.  Enter the box jumps, ugh!!  I took off on my first one and thought OMG!  I had no strength in my legs.  I had no gas in the tank and knew I had 2 options.  Continue jumping and pray I didn’t miss the box and split open my shins, or suck it up and do step-ups. I decided to do step-ups.  I finished the workout with a score of 243.  Not bad for not eating and being out of shape, but not great either.  Well at least I knew what my starting point was.

4) I weighed and took measurements, gag me!!  Never felt so disappointed in myself when I took the measurements.  But I keep telling myself, this is the starting point and the numbers are going to go down from now on.  I took a number of measurements: neck, arms, waist, hips, thigh.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a loss, because even if the weight isn’t decreasing as much if the inches are coming off then I know fat is being replaced by muscle.  I think that’s one of my biggest struggles is getting sucked into the vortex of the scale.

5) That brings me to the next achievement  which was to make my husband hide the scale.  I promised myself I wasn’t going to weigh myself for 1 month.  This allows me to focus on my food, my body, my mind, and my workouts and not on the scale. I tend to weigh myself daily to see how food effects me and then reward or punish myself accordingly.  Time to get off that roller coaster.

Well at least now I have all my starting points and I’m ready to tackle this beast.  During the prep-week I’ve also been focusing on making healthier choices, eating breakfast, not eating when I’m not hungry just because, and pitching the crap food in the house.  I’ve received 2 new cookbooks that I’m adding to my collect (Everyday Paleo & Make It Paleo).  I have enjoyed flipping through the cookbooks and planning yummy meals to make.
Cookbooks

Oh and add to this the fact that I’ve caught the nasty cold that everyone has been getting.  So the constant sneezing, runny nose, and cough is extra fun!!! 😛  It makes my asthma flair up with the addition of the cold air outside.  Luckily it’s suppose to warm up some (~40 degrees) so hopefully it should help curb some of the coughing.  Just going to have to listen to my body, as I try to take it easy with chest colds.  Head colds are one thing, but chest colds are not fun as it takes my air away.

So enough of my ramblings.  It’s time to start the new life of 2013.  Let the games begin!! Thank you all for your encouragement!