Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paleo During Power Outages

The weathermen are scaring Oklahomans. Word is a horrible winter storm will hit Wednesday night bringing an inch of ice and multiple inches of snow. This also means we are at a very high risk for power outages across the area due to thick ice accumulation. Tulsa had a horrible ice storm a couple years ago that left most of the city without power. We went without for three days. I had to throw out all of our food. The power outages were totally unexpected.

This time we have some warning. I hope the forecast is wrong and it will just be cold. I'm heading to the store today just in case. However, I started thinking about how I can stay on paleo if in fact I am stuck in my house with no power. I can't heat up meat, cook my veggies, etc. What to do?

Here are some items I am going to make sure to have on hand. I may have to make a few sacrifices, but I can still stay as clean as possible given the situation:
  • Enough pre cooked meats that are cooked well enough to eat cold (cooking tonight!)
  • Canned tuna
  • Beef Jerky (may have more salt and other stuff than I like, but an easy source of protein that will does not need to stay cold)
  • Larabars
  • Fruit (apples and oranges)
  • Veggies like carrots and celery that do not need to be cooked
  • Almond butter
  • Nuts
  • Bottled water
  • Hard boil eggs (making a batch tonight)
Knowing it will be super cold, I will store all my items that need to stay cold in an ice chest and keep in the garage where I know it will stay below 40 degrees. Foods that are perishable (meats, cheeses, eggs) that stay above 40 degrees longer than two hours should be discarded and not eaten. Be smart and don't make yourself sick! When in doubt, throw it out.

Here is a good site with information on how long certain foods are good in the fridge and freezer if the power goes out. It never hurt to be prepared. I hope everyone stays warm and enjoys lots of wonderful power so you can keep eating the way nature intended. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Inner Turmoil

I have this problem. I'm too competitive. Sure, I come off as a nice, sweet girl. Inside, I'm actually quite evil. Ok, I'm not evil, but I really really really like to win. I get very upset with myself when I do not "win". I want to be the best. Let me clarify what I mean by winning. I don't necessarily mean beating others, but I also mean bettering myself, setting PR's, etc. All my friends know this about me. I'm Jekyll and Hyde.

As my shoulder is slowly getting better, I am able to do more and more in the gym. Thank goodness. The past few months have been complete torture on me. Watching everyone else go for it, hit new PR's, get better...and I am...healing. I'm having trouble reeling myself in. Do I go for it and lift heavy because I feel "OK" or do I do the smart thing and continue to build back up slowly so I don't re-injure myself. Of course, my brain wins out, but believe me it is an inner battle every day I walk into that gym. To not be able to put "as Rx'd" by my time everyday anymore makes me want to scream.

I'm so lucky to workout with a phenomenal group of females. Seriously, I know some gyms have some good girls, but I know our group is one of the best. Any of us could beat another on any given day. It keeps us motivated and working hard. To all my fellow CFJ ladies, thank you for kicking butt. You are all awesome.

The inner turmoil doesn't just happen when I step into the gym, it happens every day when I think about what I put in my mouth. Every day a sales rep brings in a plate of cookies or bagels. Every time my boss brings in a new batch of twizzlers (my absolute favorite mind you). Mental toughness. That is what it takes to be great. Diligence, patience and flat out hard work.

You don't lose fat and get a six pack by eating well some of the time. You don't get a sub four minute Fran by going to the gym and working hard every now and then. Five seconds...I just need to drop five more seconds...Those are all things I'm still striving for and I will continue working hard to achieve. This inner turmoil will make me better. It is teaching me patience and that when you are down you are not out. You just have to be smart.

Slow and steady wins the race. Be awesome today.

Zucchini noodles for dinner tonight. Can't wait.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

When Life Gets In the Way

We all lead busy lives. In a perfect world we would always be able to make it to the gym, have perfect paleo meals and snacks and get our eight to nine hours of sleep all while balancing work and family. Today is not one of those weeks for me. I have a busy work week that will bring me in early and keep me late, plus other commitments that are going to keep me from getting the gym as much as I would like.

So what do you do when life throws your perfectly balanced life out of whack? Fight back. This week will not throw my nutrition into the toilet not matter how easy it might be for that to happen. I will not suffer from lack of sleep and I will get to the gym at least a couple days.

Since I knew in advance that this week was going to be chaotic, I planned ahead. I have five separate four ounce servings of pork cooked and waiting for me in my fridge. This will keep me from dreading cooking and hitting a drive thru late at night when I finally make my way home. I have apples and pears because they travel well and I don't need to keep them a fridge all day. I have mini bags of carrots and a couple of Larabars for when I am in a pinch and need fuel.

I may not be in a gym as much this week as I like, but my nutrition will be stellar and I will keep up with my sleep which is more important than most people realize. If I don't get a good nights sleep (less than eight hours) and can only make it to the gym at 6AM then I forego the gym. As much as I hate that, I know it does my body more good to get an extra two hours of sleep than to suffer through a pitiful work out. This doesn't mean I use that as an excuse, I love being at the gym. I just know my body will benefit more from rest at this point. Rest does a body good.

Some other quick, no prep needed snacks I have on hand this week:
Almond butter
Unsalted, raw cashews
Water...lots and lots of water!

Remember, preparation is the key.

What do you do to make sure you stay on track when you get busy with work, kids, family...life?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lecture and Fruit

It has been over a week since my last post. No, I have not fallen off the wagon, it has just been a crazy week.

Tomorrow at CrossFit Jenks there will be a nutrition lecture. There will be lots of good information about the zone and then I will be speaking briefly about paleo. I'm really looking forward to it. I have a brief outline ready to go, but I'm hoping a lot of it will be Q&A. There is so much information it is kind of hard to know exactly what to say so I am going with the basics.

I've been enjoying some great fruit this week. Kumquats and grapefruit. I love my citrus. If you haven't had a kumquat before they are a pretty fun fruit. However, they are pretty high in sugar so eat them sparingly. They are a fun snack though if you need some quick carbs. I have never been able to find them before and I found them Monday at Reasors! Apparently they are in their prime December through June. Enjoy!

On a personal note, this week I have started using both arms again!! I know, it is very exciting. I have been resting my right arm for two entire months. I'm feeling great and using lighter weight to get back in the groove. I've got to build my muscle back up. Today we are doing Jackie. This will be a great benchmark for me since it is light weight. The last time I did was in August when I was feeling great. Hopefully I won't be too far off my PR.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Miss the Pasta?

I came across an interesting concept as I was CrossFit blog hopping today. Zucchini noodles. Thanks CrossFit OKC! I'm not a huge pasta fan. It was a fairly easy thing for me to give up since I don't eat it too often. However, I love love love some good tomato sauce so occasionally I'll find myself craving a spicy marinara. I think these "noodles" just might help satisfy! An added plus is that I like zucchini. There are lots of variations of this recipe as I discovered, but this is the only one I found that uses olive oil instead of butter. I think some added shrimp would make it just divine!

Zucchini Noodles

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Take a Dip

It can be hard to get in all your veggies. Sometime it can be hard to make snacking on them interesting. I get that. I'm constantly laughed at during work for walking around with a bag of baby carrots or a tub of cut celery. Yes, my office tends to smell like an orchard/produce aisle, but you do what you gotta go, right? I've never been a big fan of ranch dressing (thank goodness) or other veggie dips. What I am a fan of though is SALSA! I love me some good salsa. Hot salsa, mild salsa, chunky salsa, I love it all. I usually keep a jar of it in the fridge for my carrots if I want to add some flavor.

I'm also a huge fan of hummus. Even though hummus is made with chickpeas (not paleo my friends) it has loads of good fat from the olive oil. If you aren't going 100% paleo then I think hummus is fine in moderation with veggies. I had some the other night. Roasted Red Pepper...my favorite. If you are eating cups of it at a time, however, you might want to think about finding an alternative. I found this great hummus substitute from Son of Gork back in August. Here is the recipe:

Not really Hummus but could be Hummus

If you are looking for something fun to dip your apples or celery in, grab some almond butter. Always check your labels. It should have one ingredient...almonds. Lots of paleo followers rave about Sunbutter (sunflower seeds), but I have yet to try it. I can't find the organic stuff in the store...only the kind with added cane juice (sugar).

Here is a past post on a fun topic:
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

I had some tortilla soup during lunch at McAlister's today with my salad. It was a cup and I ate about half. 13 grams carbs, 4 grams sugar and 10 grams of protein for a serving. Let's get real, it wasn't that horrible of an off paleo meal, but it did have some cheese. I did have them leave off the tortila strips. Since I'm keeping my paleo about 90/10 right now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What is For Dinner Tonight!

I'm in the mood for something tangy to go with my Biggest Loser season premiere.

I posted this recipe back in August.
REALLY AWESOME SHRIMP I made this up so it is not a very technical recipe!
1 TBS olive oil
minced garlic (eye ball it...I like a lot)
chopped cilantro
1 cup peeled shrimp
1/2 avocado (chopped)
Fresh lime juice
Pico de Gallo

Heat Olive oil, garlic and cilantro. Add shrimp. When fully cooked place shrimp in bowl. Add pico de gallo and chopped avocado. I bought my pico pre made. Make sure to check the label for added salt! Squeeze a fresh lime over the shrimp and eat. Oh my, so yummy. It is really good the next morning cold.

Your Questions:
If you post a question in the comments I will answer it in that same comment sections. Some questions may need more explanation/research. If that is the case, I'll let you know that I'll be posting information on it later in the week!

Really Great Balsamic Vinaigrette

I'm doing my best to keep my paleo up about about a 90/10 ratio. That is a percentage that I can live with and follow with a lot of ease. Today for lunch I went to the Reasor's salad bar, my favorite lunch stop. I did grab a little bit of their tabouli salad because I think it is wonderful. When I say little, I mean little. It was probably only about 1/4 of a cup. I loaded up with greens, grilled chicken, broccoli, mushrooms and sunflower seeds.

I know a lot of people struggle with what dressing to use when trying to keep salads healthy and interesting. I confess that when I started on the paleo journey five months ago I got burnt out on olive oil pretty fast. I know balsamic vinegar is full of sodium, but I love it so so much. I have found a great Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing that is exceptional in taste and nutrition. Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette. Pick up a bottle next time you are at the store. It comes in a glass bottle. Five calories per serving, no fat, no sugar and pretty low in sodium as far as balsamic can go. I always have a bottle of it on hand at work for when I need a break from the olive oil.

So if you are new to Paleo, CrossFit, The Zone, or just trying to get your health in order for the first time in your life I hope you'll use this blog and myself as a resource. I don't know everything, I'm still learning as I go. Check out my past entries and links for good information on veggies, recipes and the thought behind paleo. Feel free to ask me questions and I'll try to find an answer. I don't have a degree in nutrition, but I know how important nutrition is to my training and everyday life so I am passionate about it. That is all you need!

For you Lynne....
Baked Walnut-Cinnamon Apples

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fit Day

My Fit Day journal is back up and running and it will stay that way as much as possible. Over the last five months I have definitely learned what is a proper portion size and how to shop "clean" at the store. However, writing down everything you eat is a great way to get back on track if you have been floundering a bit. I'm sure we are all in need of a bit of help after the holidays no matter how good you are on a regular basis about your diet.

I don't think it is necessary to weigh, measure and write down everything you put in your mouth all the time. I do think it is a great way to figure out what you are doing wrong and right. If you feel like the holidays just destroyed your diet, then keep a journal for the next two weeks. It will keep you mindful of what you are putting into your body. You'll think twice before snapping a cookie in half and telling yourself "it is just half a cookie!". Trust me, I am as guilty of that as anyone...and one half of a cookie can turn into about four full cookies in no time.

Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other food driven holidays are over. No more excuses. Take the new two weeks and be diligent. I will be too. Keep tabs on what I'm doing through my Fit Day journal in the sidebar. All comments and criticisms are welcome.

Happy New Year!