Monday, August 23, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes

A full week of strict paleo down. Feeling awesome. I am feeling so awesome in fact I am going to keep it up another week. I guess to say I was on "strict" paleo would be a bit of a lie. That was the goal, but I did have a few deviations. Nevertheless, I was eating clean about 98% of the time and my slight deviations were very slight.

I already feel leaner and lighter. Muscle ups and handstand push ups towards the end of the week are a true testament to that. Maybe I was having a good day, but moving through those movements felt like a breeze compared to how they had been feeling. I'm not a scale girl, but I think if I were to get on a scale I would be happy with what I saw.

The steamer bags have been phenomenal! Get them now. The best news is that last week we sold our house! YAY! This means I can start destroying my kitchen again. Of course, I will be packing up my car and making the move north this weekend...fingers crossed. I fully plan on demolishing that kitchen when I get there though.

I've been eating a lot of shrimp. A LOT. Tonight I'm cooking up a pound of beautiful, lean pork chops. I have some gorgeous blackberries and raspberries as well. Eating good food just makes me feel exactly that...good! I've needed to feel like this again and I'm so thrilled that after only a week I'm getting there. It doesn't take much to get back into a good routine. Make the decision and do it. I dare you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Keep it Simple

I do what I can to keep my life simple. I have a tendency to stress and worry and if you know me then you probably know I plan and over analyze...a lot. The older I get the more I try to get away from this part of my personality and just relax, but I kind of love this part of me.

I say it over and over again, but the last few months have been stressful. Regionals, moving, selling our house, our house still not selling, being a thousand miles away from my spouse for two months and counting, etc, etc, etc.

Today I am starting a week of super strict paleo. Just a week! A kick start if you will. However, one of the reasons I haven't been as "on" as I like is because I'm trying to keep my house incredibly clean for showings. This means the George stays under the cabinet unless I am cooking a lot of protein at one time. My skillets haven't seen the light of day. I have all of them packed in boxes except for my mini that I use for my eggs! I know there are ways to get around these issues, but I just haven't been motivated enough to really try. I still eat pretty well most of the time, but I'm not cooking at home anymore so obviously there is more deviation than I like.

Today I am picking up these little guys at the store.

I used to use them a lot and then I used them all and they were gone. I kept forgetting to buy more. God created these just for me. He wants me to keep it simple. You can store your ready to go meal in the bag for up to two days before steaming and eating! This means tonight I can prep a couple bags for lunches at work this week and then heat them up at the office. It will be just like our great stir-fry that we kept in the freezer, but I don't need a stove top to cook them! I can have shrimp with fresh veggies almost everyday! Sure, my coworkers are going to hate me again, but whatever.

Here is what I am making tonight. I know, start drooling now! I'm going with the rosemary instead of the dill weed.

Go here for more great steam bag recipes or make up your own. All you have to do is add your meat, veggies, spices and heat. What could be easier?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Powerful Food Combinations

I get the "Eat This, Not That" e-newsletter from Men's Health. Sometimes they have some really great and interesting information. Today's e-newsletter talked about powerful food combination's. We all want to get the most out of what we eat, so I went through and grabbed the paleo friendly suggestions. Here is the article if you want to look for yourself. I paraphrased.

Combo #1
Tomatoes and Avocados
If you eat paleo I think it is a rule that you HAVE to like avocados. I wouldn't survive without them. The are my fat. Paired with one of my favorite fruit/veggies of all time (the tomato) you have got a powerful duo.

Tomatoes fight cancer and the fat in the avocado helps make the cancer fighting antioxidant in the tomato more viable. Can't beat that, right?

Combo #2
Broccoli and Tomatoes
Two great colors. Green and red! It is like Christmas on your plate. Basically, both of these help fight prostate cancer and when paired together they are even better. Experts don't really know why yet, but they say it does. I really don't think eating more broccoli or tomato is going to hurt you, so you might as well do it!

Combo #3
Blueberries and Grapes
Eating a variety of fruits gives you access to a variety of antioxidants. Blueberries and grapes are two of the best, so eat them together and you are doing great things for your body. If you are watching your sugar intake I would recommend to go heavier on the blueberry and lighter on the grape. Blueberries are a wonder food.

Combo #4
Lemon and Kale
I love lemon, but I have to admit I have only had kale one or two times thrown in a salad with numerous other things. Adding some vitamin C (from the lemon) to your plant based iron (kale) will help boost your immunity and muscle strength better (yay!) than if you were to eat these two things separately. Other good plant based sources of iron are leeks, beet greens, mustard greens and swiss chard. I haven't tried many of those so they are going on my list.

Combo #5
Red Meat and Rosemary
I feel smart because I do this one all the time. I throw rosemary on pretty much anything I cook protein wise. It is one of my favorite herbs. Many people are concerned about grilling because of the carcinogens that are produced on the charred meat. Rosemary contains two acids (rosmarinic and carnosic) that help lower the cancer causing stuff in charred meat.

Combo #6
Turmeric and Black Pepper
I do not like curry. I have not liked it since I was little and I do not like it to this day. Many people tell me I am missing out, but I just can't get into the flavor. However, if you are a curry fan you are in luck! Turmeric which is used in curry is known to fight cancer and help fight inflammation. Add black pepper to it and it helps make the spice more viable to your system. Curry lovers rejoice!

Combo #7
Garlic and Fish
Again, another staple of my diet...more the garlic than the fish, but I love both. Basically, eating your fish cooked with garlic helps lower cholesterol better than eating both alone. Does anyone actually eat garlic cloves alone? Hmmm...

Combo #8
Eggs and Cantaloupe
At first glace this combination does not sound too appealing, but if I think about it I pair these together at breakfast often. Cantaloupe was my favorite fruit growing up. I don't eat it as much now because I find it very time consuming to cut up, but when I visit my parents my mom always has a plate of cantaloupe cut up and ready to go! Basically, great proteins like eggs work better to when you pair them with good carbs like fruit, not other carbs like breads.

I hope you found this information interesting! Keep eating good food and you are bound to put together a great combination and not even know it!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Few Things I Have Learned and a Challange

This time last year I was embarking on a new adventure....a paleolithic adventure! I was only six days into my paleo challenge. I remember it being tough, but I remember being determined. A year later, I have learned a lot about nutrition and how the body works. I have learned that calories in and calories out are still important, but the quality of your food is just as important if not more. I have learned that splurge days are a must, splurge months (like what I have been on lately) are not. I have learned that I too can be lean and mean. I learned I like a lot of foods that I thought I didn't. I learned that playing with new flavors and spices in the kitchen can be fun even if it doesn't always turn into a "hit". I have learned you can eat fish for breakfast even if other people think it is weird.

Learning is fun.

I plan on reading the Primal Blueprint this month. I still haven't gotten around to it. Life kind of got in they way, but hey, that's life!

A new challenge to myself: I will only speak positively about myself! I have gotten into a very bad habit in the last few weeks of saying things like, "I suck", "I'm slow", "I'm huge". None of these things are true. I'm just in a valley after a very high peak. It happens. I will feel like me again soon. As my college coach used to tell me, "Only good hitters go into slumps...bad hitters are always in a slump!" I wouldn't say I'm in a slump...I'm just not on a streak! As fitness and health enthusiasts I think it is easy for us to be hard on ourselves when we have a bad day or two in the gym or eat something less that optimal for a few meals. We need to give ourselves a break. We need to remember that the ultimate goal is to lead a full and healthy life...not always win.

I'm a work in progress.