Lots has happened since my January grokfest. Cave-baby is here (5 weeks now), I've gained a bit of weight back, though not as much as I lost. I've been sticking to gluten free, but eating more rice, beans and corn.
What will this reboot look like.
Dairy: Using butter will be fine, so will occasional Greek yogurts and whatnot.
Rice, corn and beans. Rice and corn very occasionally. Hominy and beans are go in chillis and stews.
There will be a bigger focus on fiber and eating more quantity of plants in general.
Planet Fitness is a "Judgement Free Zone". And yeah. The judgement, totally free. It's free right here, and you'll get my 2 cents to boot.
Free Judgement No. 1:
You're not gaining weight, endurance or any other measurable benefit while you're sitting on the work station. Maybe you're chatting, checking your iPhone, or keeping your towel off the floor while you "hydrate". Kick it into gear and do some dips, ab work, or curls. Do something. I've done my normal 20 minute workout and seen folks on the same workout bench they were on when I arrived. I know it's only 10 bucks a month, but I bet your chair at home is more comfortable to sit on than the bench or dip station you're keeping down.
Free Judgement No. 2:
If you're the overweight guy or gal on the elliptical, you can back the tempo and still get a nice workout. Promise. Lift some weight and get strong. If you do manage to lose weight, you'll want to hold onto some of that muscle you've earned just from the "weight bearing exercise" of being fat. No lie, bigger women are less likely to get osteoporosis for this same reason.
Free Judgement No. 3:
What's up with the 4 funky ab stations no-one uses, and the 1 combo dip/abs station and the 1 assisted chin-up/dips station.
Free Judgement No. 4:
Your iPhone App sucks, why are you advertising it so heavily.
I think the first 4 or 5 pounds were "Christmas and Thanksgiving" weight, however. You'll notice the dotted line (which represents my actual weight ins), drops sharply until 244 before taking a 2 day rebound and then another sharp drop. After the 11th, I think the real weight loss started and I was done with my fluff weight from yummy Christmas binge eating.
A review of my strategy:
No calorie counting
No carb, fat or protein counting either.
No grains, legumes or dairy.
No sweeteners, real or artificial
Only olive oil, coconut oil and various animal fats for cooking
Lots of veggies
10 - 20 minutes of "lifting heavy things" every 3 days or so
Sprints every 7 - 10 days.
Cooking my butt off
Blogging my butt off
Bars and bars of 85%+ dark chocolate
I ate a lot more fruit than I thought I could get away with.
Think 2 apples and a banana per day.
I feel good, though I do feel that eating out 2 - 3 meals a week would have made life a lot easier. I like how I feel when I eat my own food, real food, but sometimes it's a hassle. I ended up eating out 3 or 4 times total, when real life got in the way of "plans".
The graph above is an iPhone screenshot of the True Weight app. White line represents "true weight" whereas dotted line is actual recorded entries.
My wife said these are the best things I've cooked since she has been pregnant.
I cut up a potato while cooking 3 slices of uncured bacon, then fired the potato in bacon grease, and then popped the skillet in the oven at 300 degrees.
This stuff ain't rocket surgery.
I added salt and pepper because I'm frisky like that.
"But potatoes aren't paleo."
Well dudes, here's my take on it. Take your starchy plant organs and fruits like plantains, potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips and put them on a rotation. It'll be fine. Just eat real food.
My mom asked me if rice was on my diet the other day. "Not really". Well, what do you do when you get sushi? I eat rice with sushi.
Yeah, I said it. Providing you're like me, and you might get a good whack of raw fish every month (on a good month), you don't need to stress yourself about some white rice. But I'm not going to waste my monthly rice allowance on a California Roll either.
Bee tee dub, check out the cool new snapshot button I added. I LIKE IT!
A nice post-workout desert. Sweet Potato and Blueberries.
Despite overtime, my energy levels are good and I knocked out a "legs day" at the gym. I'll admit, arms are going to happen every 4 days or so, but legs haven't really been a focus beyond my weekly sprints.
Still, getting stronger is fast becoming a real goal of mine. I miss the strength I had when I was 16 and doing legit weightlifting.
I worry about "focusing on too many things at once" and getting discouraged as muscle gains "set back" my weight loss. In the end, though, I don't want to lose muscle as I lose weight, so I suppose it can't be helped. Perhaps I'll buy one of those scales and start tracking body fat instead of just weight.
Tasty, easy french fries. Fried 2 pieces of bacon for a snack as I cut up a medium sized white-skinned potato.
I quartered the potato length-wise, then in sheets, then diced the sheets into "fries". I also cut up half an onion.
I started the onion then added in the fries and coated with the bacon drippings. The whole thing went in the oven with a bit of salt and pepper at 350F and I finished them under the broiler for about 5 minutes.
These are softer (not crispy) than the deep fried in oil variety, but very tasty and a nice treat.
Cook and eat 2 pieces of bacon. Then cook half onion, and 1/4 bell pepper in the same pan. Pour in 3 eggs whisked well with salt and pepper. Turn heat off and let them set just a bit. Throw under the broiler for 5 minutes. Serve with chives.
To date, the best frittata by far. The key is really chopping the veggies fine so that the eggs glue together well, and to make sure the eggs are well whisked. You'll note some of the whites separating on a bit of the top, you want to minimize this.
The 5 minutes of broiler time is a good opportunity to snack on yummy pig belly.
Had a company fun day event at Alamo Drafthouse and caved into some free Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, and then again at Luby's. If I was going to break my "cook it all" rule, why not make the whole day an eat-out-day. Still, I cooked some great sweet potatoes, recipe in next post.
When I was working as a UI Designer on Cook or Be Cooked I was clueless about most cooking and things like chopping onions or smashing garlic proved to be daunting tasks.
In case you are in the same boat I was, here's my 1 minute onion tip. First, cut the tips off of the onion. Then, you'll notice that the onion's center is usually off to one side. Cut through the onion so that it intersects the center of the onion as well as the center of it's "core". Geometry tip: For any circle, there is exactly one line that bisects the center and another given point.
Peel the yellow skin off and, if you are lazy like me, the layer underneath it.
The top and bottom of the onion should be top to bottom of the cutting board. Dice from right to left keeping the onion together as you go.
If your knife is sharp, you'll have a configuration that looks like my picture to the left.
Now, dice across your original cuts. You'll end up with nice, small slices as pictured below.
I haven't been officially cleared for exercise yet, but I'm five weeks postpartum and feeling great but need some more oxytocin, seratonin and adrenaline to help combat depression. So I'm looking for ways to get fit that don't seem like... well, exercise. Because who actually ENJOYS that stuff except for the crazies?
We took our daughter ice skating yesterday. I didn't think I'd get out there, but once I did (and made a refresher trip around the rink) I found how much I missed it- it was FUN! And exercise! If the clouds clear up today, I'll probably take Rowan to the park and chase her around a bit.
What really excited me though, and prompted me to write this post, is a meetup group I found. It's all about natural movement, which is what Mark Sisson advocates. Playing like our children naturally do, moving like our ancestors did- climbing rocks, trees, running and jumping. This group meets up at local parks, playgrounds, whatever. In fact, they have an upcoming meetup for trampoline dodgeball- how fun does that sound?
When I get full clearance to exercise again I will be easing my way into this. Maybe I'll eventually get into the more technical side of working out (weights, sprints, etc.) but for now I just need SOME sort of activity.
If you're local to the area, check out the meetup!
Finally, a chili without beer that I am ready to put my name on!
My work desk. Tupperware. Overtime. Thank god for spicy food. This month has been all about turning down free Jason's Deli, Jimmy John's and Austin's Pizza in favor homemade Near Years Resolution approved food.
My producers think I'm crazy.
- 1 onion
- 2 Pounds Deer
- 2 Squash (cut lengthwise, then the other way)
- Few stalks of celery (chopped).
- 2 cans whole tomatoes.
- Chili seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Rooster Sauce
Saute the onion until soft then add in the ground deer meat. Brown the meat and hit it with all of the dry spices.
Add in squash, celery, tomatoes, and rooster sauce. Simmer for a couple of hours. Taste often and aim just under your own preference for spice. (It always seems to build with time)
Plantains are magical. They hold up to frying better than bananas and, once you get the feel for the different amounts of ripeness they go through, you have a diverse palate of flavors to use.
The peel for these was nearly blackened, yielding an almost banana like flavor, but ripe plantains hold up to frying much better (they are less mushy).
Another plantain, slightly less aged had yellow and orange colors on its peel. I baked it whole and it tasted almost exactly like a fresh pan of biscuits.
The plantains, above, were fried in a bit of coconut oil and sprinkled lightly with a mix of salt, red and black pepper, with a bit of Sriracha on the side (I have been on a bit of a spicy kick). For a milder plantain, fry in coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon (or, if you must, brown sugar).
As a mom of two and now a student again as well, sometimes it's hard to find time to meal plan and all that it entails. I'm doing it right now, because I'm used to pasta. Really, I'm used to the quick and easy meals that I could have done in 15-20 min and that's it. But I'm having to learn new ways of cooking, without products with grains or HFCS in it (which is a LOT!). So I've had to find new recipes. Everything we've eaten in the past few weeks has been good, but there are a few that stand out to us as keepers and will probably go on a list of meals that we can rotate out.
One thing we LOVED from last week was fat guacamole devils. Think deviled eggs, but add some avocado:
Image courtesy of www.marksdailyapple.com
These are SO SIMPLE! Just hard boil your eggs, and for every 4 egg yolks, mix in 1 peeled and pitted avocado. A splash of lime juice, salt and pepper, and a splash of chili sauce- I used sriracha (or rooster sauce). Mush it all together, or be lazy like me and use a food processor, and spoon it back into the eggs. I add some crumbled bacon on top (REAL bacon! NOT bacos, those things will kill you!) and you have a high protein, high in healthy fat snack.
A few other dishes we loved:
Bacon, Chicken, and Avocado Salad
Image courtesy of marksdailyapple
Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro Pesto
Image courtesy of marksdailyapple
These will definitely be entering the rotation. Through the recipes from last week, I really learned how much I love avocado- it's the perfect food. Smooth, buttery, and rich!
My husband has this friend. A best friend, to be exact- you guys know him as Rusty, the creator of this blog. And these guys, they're like two peas in a pod. They find something cool and they share it with each other; not only that, but they OBSESS over it. Such is the case with the primal lifestyle. So several months ago, they picked up some serious interest in it.
How do I handle this, you ask? Usually I just smile and nod, say 'boys will be boys'. This time in particular however, I thought they were crazy. I thought they were extremists, and that this idea of theirs was just too much. I didn't want to go along with it. But I can't, and won't, stop my husband from doing his thing. However, this time there was something different. Rusty lost a TON of weight. Patrick lost the little extra he had. Both men had energy to spare, and Patrick's stomach issues disappeared (we've since learned he has a pretty severe gluten intolerance). This discovery made me decide that we, as a household, at least had to be gluten-free. And let's face it, gluten-free grains (like pasta, bread, and pastries, my favorite) are just not the same. They're sub-par, at best.
Once I went gluten-free, it was easy to make the shift to no grains at all. And as someone who has dealt with depression for a few years and gone through 2 pregnancies, I could stand to lose a few pounds. I decided that our family would go fully primal once the new year started. And in the meantime, I would cut out as many grains as possible while still indulging occasionally, because I knew I wouldn't want to once I made the full switch.
Even mostly cutting out grains made a huge difference in my life. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and was eating SO MUCH- but didn't gain the weight most pregnant women do. I had just gotten over some pretty severe hyperemesis which left me at a loss of 10 lbs. Over the course of the rest of the pregnancy, I put that back on, but only 3 lbs more. So when my son was born, I was lighter than I was pre-pregnancy. We have now been fully primal for 2 weeks, and my son is a month old; I've lost 9 more pounds since then! Of course, I am not worried about weight loss at the moment as I have a newborn that I am breastfeeding. But seeing numbers I haven't seen in 3 years? It's pretty exciting.
So now I'm being a good wife- a good primal wife. It's been 2 weeks since we went hardcore primal, at least in the dietary sense of the word. I am awaiting clearance to exercise. This greatly excites me! I love to cook, so we're eating really well- not that primal *isn't* that, period. I'm just going a bit more... gourmet, I suppose for now.
So from me, you'll be seeing some meal ideas and recipes (many of which may be stolen from elsewhere, in which case credit will be given!) and ways in which it's affecting my life. As of right now, aside from the weight, the improvements are awesome. I have more energy than any mom of a newborn should have, the acne I've dealt with my whole life is non-existent, and I get to eat as much bacon as I want. I really can't complain!
I'm from the south... the Deep South - and that means I was raised on a plethora of things that have turned out to be far from healthy. The truly sneaky downside of foods like these... fried chicken, fried okra, biscuits and gravy, corn flake covered casseroles, etc... are that they just taste so dang good.
Overall, it's not a big problem because as anyone who has been eating a paleo/primal diet knows, real food is every bit as good; but sometimes you get a craving for the foods you grew up on... sometimes you just want fried chicken.
Sure, I guess you could indulge and still safely make your goal of 80% compliance - but if you're like me and have a nasty gluten intolerance, things get a bit more difficult. Fortunately though, I have a wife who loves to cook healthy meals, and she has the Primal Blueprint Reader Created Cookbook. A cookbook which has a recipe titled:
Crispy Nut and Herb Fried Chicken with Creamy Avocado
Oh yes. Life is good.
I'm not going to go into how this was prepared -- that will be for my wife to do (as she is joining the Cave Thought team) but they turned out fantastic. Instead, I'd like to briefly point out that before we WENT ON THIS DIET, our dinners consisted of a pack of ramen, or we'd get a pizza, or maybe boil some spaghetti. Now, we actually eat more food than before. On top of that, it's healthier food, we frequently cook it together, and always eat it together.
It feels good to feel good. And our family is getting there. We are nearing the halfway point of a successful 30-day challenge. Our next step is making the commitment to be active. My wife has an excuse currently, as she gave birth to our son December 12th, so she's just now a month post-partum (and already 20lbs below her pre-pregnancy weight but there's more to that story for her to relate) -- for me however, there is no good excuse so I am committing to fixing that (and my lapse of posting) next week.
Of course there has to be a plan associated with this "fix" as well. I can't just say I'll fix it, so here it is:
Step 1 - Clean the Garage. This will make my wife happy and be a workout in itself.
Step 2 - Set up the mats in the garage and resume my martial arts training (and instruction)
Step 3 - Join Rusty for his sprints!
This week I'll also begin cataloging my weight fluctuation and try to track down a way to accurately measure body fat %. Time to see what the Primal lifestyle will actually do to me.