Why Paleo?

In September {a little over a month ago, I know, I should blog more} I started {or, continued} a clean eating / mostly Paleo challenge of sorts. For months prior, I had been eliminating processed foods, slowly but surely, ultimately getting to the point where I rarely eat out and almost never buy anything processed. The challenge went well, in that I purchased nothing but whole, clean foods at the grocery store or farmer’s market. However, I had a handful of “cheat days” here and there. Call the Paleo Police!  Overall, I resisted many of the temptations to pig out or booze it up either at home or during social outings – even birthday parties and baseball games! Great, right? Not just because most processed foods {especially the low fat or “vitamin fortified” ones} are pure garbage, but also because…

Prior to going pretty deep into my Paleo challenge, I was in the hospital {for the nth time} with extreme stomach pains.  To the point in which I couldn’t hold down food.  Or water. Multiple trips to the ER hooked up to IVs, and even more days spent at home hoping I’d just get better already.  Barely moving.  And on good days, I’d just be bloated for hours on end. Sometimes (sorry mom), I would just deal with an “outburst” and not even tell anyone what was going on.  Doctors tested for Celiac, Crohn’s, polyps, gall stones, and even cancer. Dodged all those bullets. At this point, my docs think that it could be gluten intolerance, inflammation, severe IBS, and/or other food allergies. Strangely, it all makes sense. My mom developed a gluten allergy late in life, while my sister grew up with peanut allergy and gets sick from eating beans. So, if you know anything about the Paleo diet, it would make sense that I eliminate gluten, beans, and other legumes. Surely, when I did, I started feeling better! Shocker.  Conversely, when I ate these things, I felt sick. Shock-er!  I wasn’t sure if the subsequent sickness was because I truly can’t process these foods, or a result of eliminating these items for so long and then suddenly reintroducing them. Maybe a little bit of both? Still not sure…

But, despite my cheat days, I’ve been feeling MUCH better following the principles of the Paleo diet.  I’m going to continue researching and reading up on the science behind food, nutrients, and digestion, so that I can make choices that are good for me. No, I’m not on a diet. No, I’m not pregnant. And no, I’m not down to eat foods with ingredients that I can’t pronounce or identify in a line-up. Like, what is Nigari? Oh, it’s “magnesium chloride, a natural firming agent” found in what used to be one of my favorite “organic” frozen dishes found at the local Whole Foods Market.  Bleh.  Too bad, I would probably eat any and all of this if you put it in front of me right now…

Mac n Cheese. FTW!

This too.

Not funnel cake. Red Velvet funnel cake.

Hungry now? You’re welcome!

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Twerkin in the kitchen!

I like having days off mid-week, because it gives me time to re-group before the weekend, and get things done! Today’s focus was on  to prep food for the rest of the week and weekend, while doing a few loads of laundry, Facebooking, Instagramming, and watching TV on the couch. A nice balance of relaxing and productivity, in my opinion. A friend of mine asked me about my strategy for today.  The weird thing was that I didn’t really have one. I just made something, plopped on the couch, then came up with another idea, and mosey’d back to the kitchen. {PS: this can totally be done on any day, obviously.} Next time, I’ll strategize more to save time, but here’s how it went today…

Egg No-Mc Muffins – See previous post! I made 12, so these will be great for breakfast or even a snack if needed!

Spaghetti “Zoodles” – I had about 12++ tomatoes in the fridge that I HAD to get rid of before they turned rotten, and I also had 2 zucchinis that I bought a week ago when my spiral slicer arrived. And some turkey in the freezer. I was going to make stir fry with it until I remembered the tomatoes, so I started with the sauce right away, because I wanted it to simmer all day. Meanwhile, I cranked out the zoodles, and saved them until I was ready for dinner, just steaming them a bit before serving. My 2nd go at homemade sauce and my 1st attempt at zoodles turned out great! Totally making this again and again! The zoodles will only last me for 1 more lunch. But I have enough sauce to eat with some steamed veggies if I want. I’m going to freeze most of it for a few quick meals later on!

Alkaline Juice – I made a batch of this that will last for the next 3 days or so. I don’t like to make much more, because I like it really fresh. But it stores well in a sealed container. The nutrients in this concoction help to balance the body’s pH levels, among other things. I found the recipe in the book that came with my juicer, and also read up on alkaline in the Raw Food Detox book that I mentioned in another post. PS: If you make it, I’ll warn you that you may have to get used to the taste. I like to drink it ice cold, and mixed with a little coconut water – all natural, of course. The ingredients are captured in the picture below.

I also grilled some mini steaks & chicken breast, along with some fresh corn on the cob. These ingredients will make lettuce wrap “fajitas” tomorrow. I’ll scrape the corn kernels off and mix it with some cherry tomatoes and some black beans that I’ve been simmering (not from the can) to make salsa. I’ll sautee some colorful bell peppers and onions (already sliced) tomorrow for a Mexican-themed dinner. Leftovers will go over mixed greens for salad. PS: YES, I lit the grill and grilled everything – all on my own! The Mr. was at work while this all went down!!! I even have dirty charcoal hands to prove it!!

I’m going to try doing this more often. Just need to think of a few recipes in advance, and possibly use ingredients that can overlap dishes without making it boring.  My favorite thing about it all: it’s mostly paleo, but 100% clean! Nothing processed or packaged!

Anyone have any good ideas for weekly food prep? Cooking every night… Ain’t nobody got time for that! Oh, but there’s always time for twerkin! Thanks Deano!! ;)  

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Who wants a quickie for breakfast?

Get your mind out of the gutters, people. Sheesh!

So, I’m working on food prep today. Lots on the menu. To kick things off, I finally took a stab at these muffin-cup eggs baked in the oven. Like Egg Mc Muffins. Minus the Mc.

So anyway, super quick recipe, and I have breakfast for a week! Quick and yummy!

Ingredients: 8 eggs, 2 bell peppers, a little chopped red onion, handful of spinach, chopped, 4 slices of nitrate free turkey breast – or whatever ingredients you like, really! I mixed the peppers and onions and put about HALF into the eggs along with the spinach and turkey. Saved the leftovers for later!  This took me about 10 minutes to prep. I sprayed an olive oil cooking spray on a muffin pan, and heated the mixture at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. 

They turned out to be delicious, and I paired mine with some of the leftover veggies that I chopped. Super excited to have quick and easy breakfast, already prepped for the rest of the week!  

Nommmmm! I already ate 2, so I had to hide them in the fridge. Can’t wait for tomorrow!! What’s your favorite quickie recipe?? Keep it clean!  ;)

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Almost Paleo, Mostly Clean

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out what foods are good for me, and what balance of nutrients is best. Animal proteins, plant-based proteins, paleo, but I like greek yogurt, organic, grass fed, organic EVERYTHING? How do you figure out what works best FOR YOU? Without buying yet another book? Paying for a nutritionist? Well, I picked up a couple of books from the library – fo free…until I forget to turn them in and have to pay late fees!

 I picked up The Quick & Clean Diet, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox, and The Big Book of Abs just for fun.  Now hold on, I’m not going head first into the Raw Food diet, but I think that they might have some good recipes to help me keep it clean. Lately, I’ve been eliminating all packaged and processed foods from my grocery list, and have been cooking mostly paleo inspired foods, making them as clean as possible. Of course, when I eat out, all bets are off – but I hope to scale back on eating out, and boosting the amount of fresh foods that I’m taking in! If I find any good tips or recipes from these books, I’ll let you guys know!

 

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Back on the wagon…

I feel like I start every blog with “So it’s been a while… I know I haven’t worked out lately, but… I’m starting over. Again. For real this time.” What does it take to finally get on the wagon and stay there? I haven’t been to the gym since the 4th of July. And by “gym” I mean, can you believe that my gym has a pool bar. With bar tenders. And buckets of booze. Buckets.

So, not only has my ankle been slowly recovering from that big sprain… {Remember the Kim Kardashian crying episode?} …but I’ve also been like super gross sick. Unable to hold down any food or a sip of water. And no clue what’s going on with me. After multiple trips to the ER and multiple tests. I had an endoscopy done today, and while my doc found no major issues, there was some redness that he wants to look further into. I’ll know more in 7-10 days and have a 1-a-day script that I have to take in the meantime. Yuck, I know. But you know what’s funny? Me, just seconds before the anesthesia kicks in!

So here’s my point. It’s not a secret that I make excuses about not working out because I’m busy. I have so much going on. I just want to spend those extra minutes sleeping. But I want to look good and be healthy for years to come. So my husband can live with his wife until a happy, old age. So my niece can have her favorite auntie run around with her and actually keep up. I remember being on the couch eating soup and jello (gross) for days, and feeling so regretful about skipping the gym because I’d rather sit on the couch and watch TV. I can’t be that person anymore. 

So, once again, I’m making a promise to myself, my hub, and my Cam. A promise to think twice before I hit up McDonalds or skip the gym. But don’t worry, I’m not going on any crazy diets or trying to run a marathon any time soon. Just clean eats and an active lifestyle. And, some ab definition! LOL!!

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Staying hydrated?

Quick update – the Parsley tea is interesting. I’m on day 2 – just doing one glass in the morning. I don’t feel any different but it’s gotta be working, right? I have an entire pitcher of it, so I’m hoping it doesn’t get gross before it’s all gone.  I haven’t found any information on how much and how often to drink it. But, I also didn’t page through the websites that I initially found – so maybe the information is out there and I need to do more reading. Anyway, I’m going to stick to this little “ritual” just in case it actually works. And by “ritual” I mean… only drinking it through a straw, pinching my nose, chugging it down, and then chasing it with a glass of fresh water.  

I also started popping into Baltimore Nutrition lately, and getting an awesome combination of Aloe water, Protein Shake, and calorie-burning tea! It’s a cool new shop that offers Herbalife products, which are pretty fab!  I bought my own Aloe, and will stock up on the protein shake mix and a few other things once my current mixes and vitamins run out. So in the meantime, I stop by at least a couple of times a week.  And I can’t remember the last time I made my own protein shake, so I’m not exactly sure how this is replacement plan going to work out.  Anybody want some leftover GNC protein shakes?? But in the meantime, I bought the Aloe and made a batch of the “aloe shots” to last me through the week. It helps with digestion, and you only need a “shot” in the morning. Or more if you want, I guess.  

Parsley Tea on the left, Aloe Shots up front, water w/ lemon slices hanging out in the back! *Made a lemon/herb marinade for some chicken & saved a few lemon slices*

Speaking of drinks, it’s Friday… There’s a little outdoor HH that I may go to around 5. Then meeting some friends for dinner…at a tequila bar. Then going to a fundraiser… at a bar. Someone remind me later how dirty tequila is later on tonight!!!    

 

Ohhhh, and I broke in my new kicks today! Cute & comfy!

 

XO! Happy Weekend!!!

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Procrastinating like a MOFO, with ….Parsley?

It’s finals week, and so I’m making parsley tea. Senioritis and ADD are raging like mofos right now.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and again on a friend’s Facebook page, so I figured I’d try it! These days, you know I’m always looking for something new to try related to health and wellness. And, since I don’t ever try any of the complicated recipes that I find on Pinterest, I went with this one. I’m good at throwing things into water, if you can’t tell. PS, that raspberry/lime water was delish!

I don’t have any particular reason to cleanse my kidneys, but some google-machine search results have also suggested that it may help with the liver. Cheers to that!  I’m making it now and will let it cool overnight. So, I’ll have to tell you tomorrow if I like it or not. Oh, and because I found the recipe on Pinterest, I went to WebMD  in a half-assed effort to further validate this recipe. And continue avoiding this 10 page paper of mine. 

Anywho, I’ll let you all know how it tastes!!!! Has anyone else every tried any home-cooked/natural cleansing remedies like this?

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Sweat. Every. Day.

I didn’t want to take a rest day, but I guess the Universe had different plans for me. After a week of consistent workouts, I realized that I hadn’t planned in a rest day, and I told myself that I wasn’t gonna! Until I fell down the stairs. Let’s paint the picture…

I’m on my way home with some groceries, planning on making a special dinner for the Hub, since he had been out of town for a week. I put the groceries down by the door, run to the bathroom, and then head back downstairs. I’m not in a rush, but excited to put the food away, tidy up the house, and get everything ready before Mr. Fab’s arrival. So, I’m making my way down the stairs, miss the last few, and wind up on the floor. Crying. Hysterically. Kim Kardashian ugly cry. 

After about 15 minutes, I pull myself up and hop over to my couch. I text a couple of neighbors and no one’s at home. Hub works over an hour away and I knew he wasn’t planning on leaving any time soon. So I call him anyway, still hysterical. So much so that he leaves work early. Because I can’t stop crying.

PS: I LOVE Kim Kardashian. Not just because she’s my celebrity doppelgänger .

So, I’m hopping around the house to search for an ice pack, Ibuprofen, and my cell phone charger. Can’t be stuck on the couch with no power! Grrr, can’t find the Ibuprofen!!! That’s what you’re supposed to take to kill the pain and thin the blood (to reduce swelling), right? That’s what I thought, so I grabbed the next best thing: a bottle of red wine. Pretty much the same medicinal benefits.

What’s funny is that for a moment I thought: what if I have to go to the ER or Patient First for this? Could I have broken a bone? OMG, I need to take off this nail polish on my toes. It’s chipped. I wore ballet flats for a reason – can’t let anyone see my chipped polish! So I’m sitting there with a bottle of wine and nail polish remover like it’s a girl’s night in. Still ugly crying, btw.  Oh, and I can’t go get a pedicure, because this cankle of mine is embarrassing too. More ugly tears.

So that was yesterday.  I’m feeling a little better today and can finally {barely} walk. It’s more like a hobble. Just yesterday, during Shavasana, I was (quietly) thanking the Universe for my health and for my ability to finish such a challenging workout. Now I’m just bummed, because I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to go for a run, or take a boot camp class. As much as I’ve been a slacker in the past {last week}, being confined to a couch with an ice pack is a really humbling experience. Makes me realize how much of a blessing it is to be able-bodied. So, while I took it easy for most of the day (aside from showering and doing a load of dishes & laundry), I am searching for ways to exercise while giving my ankle time to heal. I have to #sweateveryday, bro!

Does anyone have any good ideas for workouts? I guess I could do like 1,000 bicep curls?

And then I’d be like:

 

OK, but seriously – if anyone has any good workouts that are low impact, let me know!!! 

 

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Did you know that diets don’t work???

News. Flash.

A few weeks ago, I told you all about the Shredder diet. I know, I know… “diets” don’t work. You need to create a healthy lifestyle.  But, I thought that I needed a little something to kick-start me in the right direction.   “Shredding” really did that for me.  It reminded me to put good foods into my body… yes, I needed a reminder.  The thing is: I had GREAT results during week 1 – I lost 5 pounds. Probably the “water weight” that you always hear about. In week 2, I may have (but not confirmed) lost another L-B before the weekend kicked in and all hell broke loose. Week 3 was non-existent in terms of dieting… I ate OK (just OK) foods, worked out a little, and “gained” 2 pounds. I put “gained” in quotation marks, because I only counted 3 of my original -5 as a true loss. I figured that I fluctuate a good 2 lbs in either direction just about every day.

The point is… in 3 weeks, I really only lost 3 pounds. I could’ve done that WITHOUT looking at a f***ing food schedule every single hour. No offense, Shredders, but I’m over that sh!  With that, I’m pretty much going to do my own thing, but not the whole “eat what I want and hit up McDonald’s” thing, and get back to creating a healthy lifestyle and eating right. Sounds easy, but I’ve done it this way before. Again, story of my life.  Every time I re-set, I say that I won’t fall off the wagon. I usually do, obvs… but I’m really going to give it extra effort. This time.  I mean, pool season is basically HERE, and it’s never fun trying to get into a bikini and thinking that you should’ve been working out all winter. Woops! 

So today, after my workout, I tried my first Pinterest recipe. The easiest one out there, I’m sure! It’s just flavored water – and even though I don’t have a problem drinking tons of water, I think it would be cool to have a flavored alternative since I never buy juice or soda. It turned out delish! Maybe I’ll even try a crockpot recipe next. Woah there… Baby steps. The “recipe” is easy, but here’s the info if you want to try it! I went with Raspberry Lime!

Here’s the recipe, with my version on the right!

A few additional tips…

  • Once the mixture sits overnight, use a fine mesh strainer to scoop out the fruit & herbs. I tried something similar once before and the fruit makes the water too sour after a while. {In my opinion}
  • Feel free to keep the fruit in sealed tupperware, and throw a few pieces into the water to keep it fun. That’s what I did, after I rinsed off the mint. 
Final step: Pour the water into a WINE GLASS, kick your feet up on the deck, aaaand sip!

Now, I’m on my way to Whole Foods to pick up some healthy snacks and something special for dinner tonight. I’m thinking of a surf & turf with steamed or broiled veggies…

Happy Friday! XOXO!! 

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Low fat muffins!

The last two weeks have been crazy! After the race, I kept up with my diet & workouts – but last week was hectic. I was a little stressed, because of a heavy workload as the Spring semester winds down! I didn’t work out at all, and I ate junk! I guess I’m “all or nothing” like that! Finally made it to the gym this morning for cardio and my weekly Buns of Steel ritual. I have a few events & parties this weekend, and I’m going to enjoy them – but I’ll be back on track with healthy foods & workouts next week. I’m down about 4-5 pounds, so I need to keep it going. We have exactly 1 month until Memorial Day weekend… the official start to the summertime!

In other news, I’ve been thinking about posting “before/after” pics of my weight-loss, but I’m a little afraid to post the “before” until there’s a legit after. I took some at the start Shredding/Week 1 along with my weight & measurements, but IDK… maybe I’ll get the guts to post my muffin top after another -5lbs. In the meantime, I’ll just wear clothes that actually fit me. Just say no to the muffin top, brah!!

Quick post, catch ya tomorrow! Primping now for a wine tasting/silent auction… followed by birthday fun with grad school kids!

X to the O! Happy Friday, loves!

 

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