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Neglect

Hey, remember me?  Your newly transformed Paleo blogger?  I’ve been very neglectful about posting lately, so I wanted to give a quick update and motivational rant about how it all goes.  I passed my two month milestone last week, and I was officially down 14 pounds.  Yay!  Since then, however, I have had some trying times in my personal life (it happens), and I may have gotten off track a bit last weekend.  The cool thing is that I never stop thinking about how I should be eating, so ultimately, I don’t cheat as much as I probably condemn myself for doing.  I’ve also realized I have some very caring people in my life, who are not only there for me during some trying times, but also in attempting to cater to my paleo needs.  Seriously, they are the best.

As I move forward in my life, I will have more time to myself, which will be a very good thing for my workout schedule.  I am going to take some time to concentrate on me, which will only contribute positively to my health transformation.

And as the phrase goes… “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

p.s. if you happen to be looking for a great paleo restaurant in Chicago, I highly recommend The Gage – farm to table, and oh so delicious. 🙂

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Paleo Progress

Hey there paleo pals! It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but I thought I would throw out a quick post about my progression. Things are going well (minus the occasional hiccup – usually related to popcorn, goat cheese, or giving into the temptation of something fried in a flour batter). 80/20 right?!

One thing I have been noticing lately is that many people claim to be experts when it comes to the perfect paleo diet, but everyone seems to have some exceptions to the meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts platform. I blogged about how some think it is perfectly acceptable to partake in a little alcohol (namely red wine and tequila), while others are vehemently opposed. Some are ok with natural sweeteners such as honey and syrup; others advise to stay away from all sweeteners in order to curb your cravings. Most say that coffee is ok, but some feel as though caffeine should be avoided in order for your body to work most effectively. Some stay away from nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes…), while others make no note of nightshades at all.

Here’s what I think… There are going to be different levels of paleo, and there are nutritional benefits to any attempt to eat in a more clean way. Personally, I don’t think nightshades affect my system the way that wheat and dairy do. And I’m willing to deal with some of the setbacks that a glass of wine or my morning coffee may bring than to be miserable and grumpy. But that’s just me, and everybody is different. What I do know is that I no longer want to put chemical shit that I can’t pronounce inside of my body, so for me, it’s progress.

These are a couple of bloggers who lay out the pros and cons in a pretty decent way:

http://paleozonenutrition.com/6-week-paleo-trial/paleo-trial-rules/

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/chocolate-coffee-alcohol/

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Virtual high five from a lighter version of me! 🙂

As far as my weight loss progress goes, I’m past my 10 lbs milestone, which feels great! And I bought a pair of jeans last week that were not in my “fat size”, so that definitely made me smile.

p.s. Happy PI Day!

p.s.s. don’t eat pie to celebrate (unless it has a paleo crust)!

Birthday Debauchery

In the immortal words of Fiona Apple, I’ve been a bad, bad girl… I celebrated my birthday last week, which started a string of weekend cheats. First, I had to have my favorite chinese restaurant, and I had to order my favorite meal (Honey Walnut Shrimp from Rainbow).  The name alone doesn’t sound too bad, but I’m sure it is loaded with extra sugar, and the shrimp is battered in what I assume is a flour mix.  Oops.  Not to mention the cream cheese/peanut butter wonton appetizers.  Yes, let’s just say the entire meal was a paleo fail; however I ate well all day to prepare for my debauchery, and I’ll admit that the super full feeling I had at the end of the meal was enough to remind me why I am making the eating shift I have been making.

ImageThe rest of the weekend I managed to make pretty decent choices (including a Mexican dinner consisting of fajitas with no shells, but not including the slice of Diablo flourless chocolate cake – hey, at least it was flourless); then I decided to experiment with making some paleo margaritas, which may have been a mistake.  Tequila made from 100% Agave is agreed upon by many paleo participants as a drink of choice, because no grain is used in its production (http://www.paleoplan.com/2011/09-01/alcohol-and-paleo/).  So, as a recovering margarita lover, I had to do some experimenting… and I came up with a great blended combination consisting of tequila, Trader Joe’s sparkling lime mineral water, a little lime juice, and strawberries.  Truth be told, the tequila with some sparkling lime water alone wasn’t too bad either.  So, maybe it is technically paleo, but I probably didn’t need to have as many as I did.  Enough said.

Although my cheating could have been a lot worse, I’m feeling like I didn’t really make a dent in my weight loss over the last 4-5 days.  The good thing is that I’m aware of the mistakes I make along the way, rather than just ignoring my bad choices like I’ve done in the past.  I think being aware of what you are putting into your body is a step to success in itself.  And cheating is ok, as long as you get yourself back on track, which is exactly what I’m doing today!

Some Paleo Recipe Love

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Baking Essentials

Yo! I spent a bit of last weekend doing some experimenting with paleo recipes I found via Pinterest. I had previously attempted some paleo baking that ended up not very appetizing (verdict = too much coconut oil leaves things very mushy). I was pleasantly surprised that each of the items I made over the weekend turned out deliciously yummy with no mush factor, so I would like to share those with you. Even if you aren’t making a conscious effort to eat paleo (or gluten free/dairy free), these recipes are definitely worth a go!

Paleo Crackers – great with some almond butter or guacamole! http://pinterest.com/pin/37154765647877065/

Almond Butter Cookies – not overly sweet, but sweet enough to get a good fix. http://pinterest.com/pin/37154765647893156/

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites – heaven might taste like these. http://pinterest.com/pin/37154765647972459/

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Crockpot Chicken and Tomato Soup – I will be making this every Sunday. It ended up more thick and stew-like, but it tasted so good! http://pinterest.com/pin/37154765647972459/

Happy baking/cooking!

My next post might be on my new fascination with coconut. Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream… this stuff is amazing, folks. 🙂

One Month of Paleo!

Hey peeps! Well, I officially made it one month on my Paleo diet. Yay, me!

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you are aware that I’m feeling great, but I thought I would give more of a specific update about my overall results after a full month.

  • I’ve lost 8 pounds (I was aiming for at least 10, but I’m starting to wonder if some of my fat is turning to muscle)
  • My clothes are fitting better, and my mid-section doesn’t seem so blechy. I’ve got a ways to go until I’m satisfied, but I can definitely see a difference.
  • I feel less bloated and “heavy” after a meal. I get full, but I don’t have that gross, stuffed feeling anymore.
  • I have noticeably more energy throughout the day.
  • I feel like I’m sleeping better at night. I don’t have any data to support this, but it does seem that I’m falling to sleep a little faster and sleeping through the night a little better.
  • I’m not craving processed foods. Sure, I still give into temptation a little, but I’d much rather have some fruit or nuts for a snack, instead of a kit kat or chips.
  • I’m experimenting with food more than I ever have before. I think I’ve spent more time in the kitchen over the past month, than I had over the last year. Eating paleo isn’t as convenient as eating crap, but it’s made me more excited to get home to cook a nice meal or experiment with new baking ingredients.
  • Food tastes better! For too long I’ve been covering up the deliciousness of natural foods with cheese, sauce, butter, salt, and sugar. I’ve realized that most vegetables are better cooked in a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon (or just au naturale).

Here are a few of my favorite easy meals to give you a little inspiration. Long live paleo!

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Taco Salad

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Shrimp Marinara w/ Veggies

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Almond crusted pork chops w/ honey mustard

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Spaghetti squash with grilled chicken

 

Families & Diets Don’t Mix

Well, it was a rough weekend for Paleo eating… If your family is anything like mine, you will relate to the fact that family get togethers usually revolve around food. Lots of food of the comfort variety.photo-wine So, as you can imagine, getting together with my family over the weekend consisted of temptations like cheesy potatoes, corn mac, tortellini salad, and desserts consisting of peanut butter brownies, banana cream pie, apple pie, and whipped oreo mousse. I am pleased to say that I only gave in to the cheesy potatoes and a small bite or two of the brownie. Oh, and sangria… enough sangria to make the rest not matter all that much. We had a special occasion to toast, so how could I not partake?! Luckily, there were other options like bbq ribs and turkey to keep me somewhat true to plan. Needless to say, I haven’t weighed myself upon returning from my weekend of excess. I am pleased to say that I got back on track as of Sunday, and I’m still not craving any of the crap I used to feed myself (well, at least when it isn’t staring me in the face). I have learned that it would be to my advantage to actually bring some of my own snack options when visiting family to help avoid the inevitable temptations: LaCroix, mixed fruit, almonds, and a little coconut milk for my morning coffee. Problem solved.

On a more positive note, I’ve managed to go almost a month (this Thursday will be day 30) on a mostly Paleo plan, and I plan on keeping it up. As I’ve said before, I plan on moving more to an 80/20 lifestyle (80% paleo with a little room to “cheat”). I also plan on doing a better job incorporating activity into my routine. Although I have been trying to get in more workouts, I allow myself to come up with excuses way too often. This will be my new focus.

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