Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cheat week?

Ugh. Last week I had so many cheats that it felt like a cheat week. I probably ate 75% Paleo, according to Drew. I guess I'm hoping for a lot closer to 95-100% Paleo. However, I'm not going to get stuck feeling guilty. I'm getting back on the horse. I did notice that the cheats that I really can feel are gluten cheats. Dairy & sugar don't seem to make me feel so cruddy. Good to know.

So here's the menu for the upcoming week.

Breakfasts: Scrambles, though I'm getting a little tired of eggs.
Lunches: Leftovers or lunchmeat with nuts and fruit
- Almond Crusted Chicken (see below) with Bacon Brussels Sprouts (I LOVE them!)
Th - Lemon Pepper Tilapia & Veggies
F, Sa, Su - Visiting Gran (my grandma) - we'll eat as well (and as deliciously) as we can

Snacks: Apples, Clementines, Bananas with Almond Butter, Nuts, Left-over Paleo-Granola

Almond Crusted Chicken:
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Finely chop the almonds in a mini-chopper or food processor. Transfer the nuts to a shallow dish and stir in the paprika. Lightly whisk the egg whites in another shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, letting the excess fall back into the dish. Then press both sides of the chicken into the nuts to coat. Place on a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set the crust.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack on a baking sheet.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the butter. Place the chicken smooth-side down in the pan and then raise the heat to medium-high. Cook turning once, until the nuts set and turn golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer meat to the prepared pan and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the sides of the chicken registers 160 degrees F, about 20 minutes.

*Not a clue why the font in this paragraph is all messed up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Strep throat

Saturday Drew was diagnosed with a really rough variety of strep throat with fever, chills, body aches and generally flu-like symptoms. This morning was my turn for diagnosis. Thankfully my version is much more mild, closer to typical strep throat. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick it and Sam and Lucy will avoid it all together. All that to say, today will be a rest day - no WOD.

In good news, I weighed in at 162, with clothes and shoes on at the doctor... there's always a bright side!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Menu January 25-31

Breakfasts: Scrambles, Paleo Pancakes, Breakfast Carnitas (with leftover pulled pork)
Lunches: You guess.... Of course, leftovers! This may sound dull or unappetizing, but I find it much more appealing than eating the same quick lunchmeat/tuna salad day after day. This is where you've got to make it fit your own preferences.
- Taco Salad (didn't eat it because Drew got sick, so I ate a lot of left-overs)
- Pulled Pork with Guacamole (never ate it last week, mostly due to illness)
Th - Turkey Carrot Quiche, except I'll use ground beef, since I already have it
- Out of town at a women's retreat - I'll eat as well as I can.
Sa - Out of town at a women's retreat - I'll eat as well as I can.
Su - Might get barbeque at Whitt's (meat only, no sides) and steam some frozen veggies. I've got a feeling we'll all be spent when I get home.

Snacks: Fruit, Nuts, Left-over Paleo-Granola, Smoothies (I've been thinking of throwing veggies in with some frozen strawberries to add one more way to get us all, especially Sam, to eat more veggies.)

So Drew got strep throat Friday afternoon, so date night never materialized. However, I did have a very nasty cheat that I've been dreading to post about. It's funny how this blog gives me accountability even if no one ever reads it. My confession: Sonic cheeseburger, cheese tots and a vanilla Dr Pepper, followed by a Snickers bar. I think two junk food triggers for me are (1) exhaustion and (2) eating alone, or without another adult, I should say. Sam would prefer a corn dog any old day! To battle the exhaustion of taking care of Drew, Sam & Lucy I tried Diet Dr Pepper today, but quickly remembered that I just don't like it. About 5-8oz in, I got a terrible metallic taste in my mouth that lasted until dinner. I think that if I'm not going to have the real deal, I'm not going to have it at all.

So here's to a new week. Cheers!

Friday, January 22, 2010

WOD Jan 22 & Paleo Granola

Warm Up: 2x15 - Air Squats, Push Ups, Back Extensions, GHD Sit Ups

50 Hanging Cleans 67#
50 Push Jerks 45#
50 Box Jumps 20"


I made Paleo-Granola yesterday and it was even better than the last time I made it. Yum! Thanks to Sarah Murray at Crossfit Invictus. Here's the scoop:

  • 5 cups nuts and seeds (I used slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans*, and walnuts*; you can use whatever you want, but make sure you use at least 2 – 3 cups slivered almonds, as these take the place of what is normally oats)
  • 1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup or any other Paleo-approved sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup Paleo-friendly oil (I used coconut oil and highly recommend it)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
*I chopped most of my walnuts and pecans pretty fine this time and I think it caused the honey mixture to stick the fine nuts together a little & when it baked it became a little crunchy. Mmm-mmm. 

Mix honey, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a boil on the stove. Let it cool. Spread the nuts and seeds out on a greased baking sheet and pour the cooled honey mixture over the top. Mix it around to get everything covered, and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. Allow the pan to cool slightly and then put the mixture into a bowl. Mix in raisins and coconut, and enjoy!

And if you're having a hard time finding any ingredients, I recommend a trip to the organic or health food section of your neighborhood Kroger or Publix; and if you can't find it there, make a run to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I think I'll likely be making a WF/TJ run at least once a month.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

WOD Jan 20
(WOD stands for Work Out of the Day)

Press 3x6  65, 65, 65(failed after 3)
Push Press* 3x3 75, 80/75/75, 75
Push Jerk 3x1 80, 80, 80

As many sit ups as possible in 5 minutes: 68
We could pick any one exercise and do as many as possible in 5 minutes, being encouraged to do something that you're not great at. I chose sit ups because my abdominal muscles have not recovered from pregnancy.

*I think I counted the weights incorrectly, overestimating by 5 pounds, just on the push press. Not sure though.

And the coconut muffins were AMAZING!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There are good reasons to cheat

Last night Drew & I got into an important conversation with a dear friend and found ourselves out of time to cook fish tacos. I know, fish tacos are quick, but little ones necessitate a dinner no later than 6:45 at our house. So we had a big, ugly cheat meal: Papa John's thin crust pepperoni pizza with cheese sticks. It was tasty, but to my surprise, as I sat down I really didn't want to eat it. I reminded myself that important things in life SHOULD supersede what it is I put in my mouth. I fully expect some to disagree with that statement. That's ok. This is my blog, so here you'll get my take on things.

Thus, tonight we had the tasty fish tacos (ahi tuna, avocado, cabbage, lime, corn tortilla*, fish taco sauce*).

When you see that * you'll know that it's either not strictly Paleo or not at all Paleo. In this case, corn is gluten free but still a grain. And the fish taco sauce is made with sour cream & mayo. I have a recipe for Paleo mayo, but haven't tried it yet.

So tonight I'm feeling bloated. I have to say that I'm surprised that I really CAN tell a difference in how I feel when I eat grain and dairy and sugar (all in the pizza). Maybe there really is something to this Paleo thing after all.

The journey continues...

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Goals

4 months eating Paleo (w/ only rare & small cheats)
Get 8hrs+ sleep a night at least 4 nights a week
Track my nutrition and fitness progress

@ 6 months weigh 140 lbs. (Started at about 170 on Jan 1)

I want to be clear that I know that weight is not the golden standard. It's just an easily measurable proxy for the kind of fitness that I'm hoping to achieve. I know that I have weighed 145 and been in pretty good shape previously, yet still carrying around unnecessary fat. I will still be nursing (in all liklihood) so if I'm in great shape, but my weight isn't where I thought it would be, I'll have grace for that.
WOD Jan 18

Warm up:
15 K2E
15 Dumbbell Snatch 25#
Hurdle Over/Unders

1:30, 1:31, 1:41*, 1:37, 1:39, 1:39

* May have actually been 1:39

Monday Morning Weigh In: 164.5

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Menu January 18-24

I just want to say that all the recipes found on this blog are not original (unless I specifically say so). Many many thanks to those of you out there blogging away with your Paleo eating adventures. I am indebted to your generosity in sharing the recipes you've worked hard to adapt or create. Check out the "Connections" Corner if you want to find more ideas than you see here.

Breakfasts: Scrambles, Pumpkin Cranberry and/or Coconut Muffins, Breakfast Carnitas (with leftover pulled pork)
Lunches: Leftovers like always. If the leftovers run out we eat Boar's Head or other good deli lunch meat with a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds, cashews or pecans.
Fish Tacos with (not Paleo) Wickedly Good Fish Taco Sauce
- Mediterranean Chicken (see below) with Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Earl's Stew (see below)
Th Pulled Pork with Guacamole
Apple Glazed Turkey Breast with Steamed (& Buttered?) Broccoli
Sa - Date Night! I'll post afterward with details of what we eat.
Su - Taco Salad

Snacks: Fruit, Nuts, Paleo-Granola, Smoothies (I've been thinking of throwing veggies in with some frozen strawberries to add one more way to get us all, especially Sam, to eat more veggies.)

Mediterranean Chicken
·        4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (trimmed, cut in half and pounded)
·        dried parsley flakes
·        14 oz can quartered artichokes
·        14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
·        1 cup chicken broth
·        2 tsp olive oil
·        2-3 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After pounding chicken breasts, sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with parsley. Heat olive oil in a skillet, and in batches, brown chicken breasts on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Add to baking dish when finished. After all 8 chicken breasts are browned... add chicken broth to skillet and deglaze pan. Add all other ingredients to pan, and bring to a quick low boil, then pour over chicken. Sprinkle top with fresh Italian parsley and bake for about 30 minutes.

Earl’s Stew
·        6 pieces bacon
·        3 chicken breasts
·        1 large can of tomatoes in processor
·        1 package of frozen green beans
·        1 package of frozen onions
·        Garlic salt
·        2 bay leaves
·        1 link sausage

Boil chicken in small amounts of water,  pull chicken out and add the rest of the ingredients.  Dice chicken and add back.  Add the bacon at the end.  Boil for a while.
NOTE: I will probably cook the chicken breast in the crock pot for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. This makes the chicken simply fall apart & is one less step I have to do when I'm hungry and the kids are needy (inevitably at dinner-prep time).
Menu January 11-17

Crud. I just typed a great post with our menu from the whole week and it fell into the abyss. I hate it when you write something on the computer and -blip- it's just gone for some reason. I'll try to give at least a brief repost.

There will eventually be links to recipes but if I don't just get started, the details of getting it perfect are going to keep me from ever getting started. So here goes...

Breakfasts: Egg Scrambles with some combination of pears, bell peppers, onion, sausage, or bacon, Egg Torte on Sunday

Lunches: Leftovers from dinner meals. Saves time in the kitchen with little ones.

M - Burgers with Spinach, Egg & Feta* cooked in, no bun, dipped in Brianna's New American Dressing with Sweet Potato Fries
T - Vegetable Chicken Soup
W - Shrimp Stir Fry
Th - Chicken Spaghetti (made with Spaghetti Squash)
F - Ladies Night at Newk's for me (Newk's Favorite Salad**), Drew had BBQ pork from Whitt's and leftover spaghetti squash
Sa - Tri Tip Steak with Roasted Butternut Squash
Su - Random Cut of Pork with Fennel/Anise and Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon

Accidental cheat at Around the Way Dog on Saturday at lunch: I was ordering and got distracted with the kids and forgot to ask them to hold the brown sugar on the sweet potato fries. They were great, but by no means paleo. Ah well!

Snacks this week: pears, bananas, almonds, pecans, coconut bliss "ice cream", almond butter, apples

* Not Paleo but eating it out of the pantry/fridge
** Salad had some likely not-Paleo items: Sherry Viniagrette, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola cheese. I opted out of croutons. Next time I'll get 1/2 dressing and cranberries. With all the other tasty things in it, I'll never miss it.

I've been going to bed between 9 and 10pm most nights and I'm feeling good and energized. Good sleep is helping SO much with curbing my Dr Pepper cravings. I even drove right by a Sonic at 3pm (the middle of happy hour) without feeling the need to pull in. That's saying something!
Workouts January 9-16

These are my workouts but I'm not listing my warm ups. More details can be found at the CF Murfreesboro Site

Fri Jan 9: As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) 5x3min with 1 min rest - 3:38
   3 Deadlifts (DL) at 95 lbs, I think - felt easy
   6 Burpees
   9 Knees to Elbows (K2E) - I stink at these. Barely could be called knees to elbows: more like "teeny tiny air crunch"

Mon Jan 11: Back Squats
  (I did mine out of order) 115lbx3, 115x3, 95x5, 95x5, 95x5, 120-failed, 115x3

Wed Jan 13:
   DL 3x3 137, ? had to nurse Lucy & meant to finish these at home, but forgot
   5 rounds: 15 pull ups with blue or green band,
    5 hanging cleans with 67# then 60# when it got too heavy

Fri Jan 15: Deck of Cards - 26:30 (I think this is the slowest I've ever done this workout)
   Do the number on the card. Face card = 10, Ace = 11
   diamonds - pull up with blue or green band
   hearts - push up (from knees)
   club - air squat
   spade - 20" box jump

Sat Jan 16: Pleasant 3+/- mile run, just to work out some muscle soreness and for psychological fitness: running clears my mind.

These times and weights are a bit of a bummer for me to see and admit to, but I'm trying to relax about it, remember that I haven't been crossfitting full force for over a year (since I found out I was pregnant with Lucy, who is now 5 1/2 months old). I am keeping track mostly because I hope to be encouraged by the rapid progress I make. I really hope to be able to do push ups from my toes, but my crazy car accident makes the push ups and ring dips more of a challenge for me. I really want to do kipping pull ups with no bands, too! All in good time...
Eating Paleo is a long time coming...

I don't have the drive to share the whole story at this point, but I'll cut to the chase. Drew (my husband) has been encouraging us to eat healthier. I have been clinging desperately to my Dr Pepper and milk chocolate. Even despite being insulin resistant, having difficulty conceiving (PCOS) and having slight hypothyroidism, I have been reluctant to change my eating habits. I have been finding comfort in these foods that are not good for my body. I haven't been able to dig up the reason within myself for rejecting good foods and choosing poor quality foods pumped up with high fructose corn syrup. And not in moderation, mind you, I was eating quite a bit of crap food. I love working out to "offset" my junk eating. But seriously, does that make any sense at all? It really doesn't. I often felt frustration with my grandfather (a type 2 diabetic) as he ate pies, candy and just about anything else he desired. Yet here I have been, taking that same path.

But not anymore.

I have set a goal to eat Paleo for 4 months, starting January 1, 2010. I'm not splitting hairs at this point. Occasionally, I'll probably eat a little dairy or have a little sugar, but as my friend and mentor Jordan Morchat quoted (maybe) Robb Wolf: I'm, "getting out of the way of the bus." My hope is not that I would break the deal on May 1 with a Sonic Dr Pepper, but that these four months would act as a training ground for a new way of eating and living that become life-nourishing and life-long.

...and maybe some day I can kick my daily 2000mg Metformin and 75mg Levothyroxine!