Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 5 of 30

Day 5!

Today was my first day back to Yoga after a week and a half of being away due to vacation.  Today's class was especially hard and had A LOT of twists going on; I felt like a pretzel at one point.  What does this have to do with my challenge you might be asking?

Research is telling me that day 5 can be extremely difficult in so far as your body releasing toxins into your blood stream.  Why? Well, from what I understand, your body has most likely purged the most recent toxins from your body but is now starting to work on the ones your body has basically been building up and storing in your system for your entire life.  This paired with yoga poses that are in essence squeezing and twisting your organs and essentially detoxing them has made for a not so great feeling day.  Here is the site that gave me the best description and explanation of what is going on. (you will notice.... it is one I refer to ALOT)

Here is a list of some of the detox symptoms you may be feeling by Neely

Mood swings 
Intense cravings 
Sinus drainage
Flu-like symptoms
Brain fog 
Increased urination
Increased appetite 
Increased thirst

I am experiencing 9 out of the 14!  Are you feeling any of these too?  Or if you have already made it through the detox stage and are in the "OMG I feel Amazing" stage, can you give any advice? Oh, and I have been drinking a TON of water today!!!  Peeing up a storm but hoping it will help me feel better.  Sorry for the not so happy toon to my blog today.  I am sure tomorrow will be better.

-left over trip tip
-left over veggies
* Throwing leftovers in makes it a more interesting scramble and if you are not a left overs kind of person this is a great way as to not waste anything!
Cup of coffee with almond milk

- Romaine hearts
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Cucumber
- Pine nuts
- Red bell pepper

-Apple pear
- 1 tablespoon nut butter (try to stay away from peanut butter.)
- 4 slices of salami
- Small handful of cashews
* Not all eaten at the same time!  I ate these snacks throughout my afternoon!
Homemade Pesto on baked salmon (make sure to salt the skin of the salmon!  It really helps with the flavor)
Lightly boiled Asparagus (3 minutes)
Bok Choy
**Here is a great recipe for Bok Choy!  It was easy, fast, and really tasty!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 4 of 30

Today is day 4!

It just so happens to be Sunday and usually Sunday mornings involve a walk with the dogs, a large brunch that usually includes mimosas or champagne, relaxing in the sunshine, and of course some sort of lazy dinner eaten in front of the TV. Not today however!

Starting the day off with a nice cup of coffee and a fresh breakfast eaten at the dining table makes for a totally different experience.  "Duh"! Is what you are probably saying right now and yes, sadly I agree with you.  Some of our bad habits have included eating on the couch in front of the TV.

Since day 1 of this challenge however, we are actually sitting down at the dinning table to eat our meals.  It makes a huge difference!  Again, some of you might be saying, "DUH"!  But for those of you who are not saying this I will tell you now from experience, sitting down at a table and eating your food without the TV on makes for a completely different experience.  You pay attention to what you are eating as well as to one another.  Even if you are not eating with someone else, the fact that you are taking the time to enjoy your meal which you just spent the time putting together is relaxing and quite frankly, tastier.

Another new and fun Sunday adventure that makes going Paleo a lot more fun... The farmers market!  With tons of local, fresh, organic, pesticide free fair in sight I actually became giddy over the very idea of the possible meals we could eat over the next week.  We even rode our bikes down which was a super fun way to spend the morning!

The afternoon did consist of lounging in the sunshine while my husband worked out in the back yard which lead to a later lunch which did involve some of our fresh farmers market produce and using the BBQ!

As for how I am feeling today.  Good.  Not dizzy or light headed once which is a great sign! Missing butter but not in an OMG I must have it now kind of way which is great.  And, at the farmers market there were all kinds of food stands offering fresh meals but most were fried and/or came with chips non of which appealed to me!  Woo Hoo!  I will take that as a win for paleo!

Something new I thought might help!  I am going to be adding photos of paleo friendly food!  I will show you how an anxious cook can in fact make a great meal!
1/2 avocado sliced and placed on plate
2 eggs over easy placed neatly on top
2 slices of salami (Applegate of course)
1 cup of coffee with Almond Milk

- Romaine hearts from the farmers market
- Cucumber
- Red Bell Pepper
- Chopped Walnuts
- Cherry Tomatoes- I prefer the cherry tomatoes over others due to their sweetness and size
- Homemade vinaigrette - stone ground mustard (1 tablespoon) add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste!

BBQ Chicken Pieces
- Spiced with Nomu "plucked" Totally paleo friendly and easy to use! You MUST get some!

And of course Sunday wouldn't be a Sunday without a little Cocktail action!
Paleo Margarita

BBQ Chicken breast (bone in skin on left over from lunch)
Sauteed Chinese broccoli, purple asparagus, onion, and garlic in coconut oil


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 3 of 30

Day 3!

One thing I can definitely say is that you need to drink A LOT of WATER!  As my body is re-learning how to digest and become more efficient, I am finding that as long as I am consistently hydrated I feel much better.  Now, this could be just a good rule for anyone who eats in any particular way but remember, I am only on day three and I still feel like my body is detoxing.  Perhaps it is just a psychological thing but I feel like I am flushing out the bad and only putting in the good.  Sometimes finding the small things to keep you motivated is all it takes.  Other days of course the big things will be needed which is why I recommend doing this challenge with someone else or at least be chatting about it with some friends who are supportive.

On another note, I was thinking about how easy it can be to just do very basic cooking with this diet from an early stage.  Coming from someone who does NOT like to cook I can tell you it is worth checking out some fairly easy but tasty recipes. What I mean is, don't just start off eating a boiled egg for breakfast, salad for lunch with nothing on it, and just a sauteed chicken breast with salt and pepper for dinner.  This could lead to failure pretty quickly due to being bored with what you eat.  Leave the easy, plain, and low maintenance cooking for the days where you just absolutely can't stand to be in the kitchen for long or if you just run out of time and are all out of left overs.

There are a lot of great websites that have really easy (again, coming from someone who HATES cooking and gets completely stressed out in the kitchen) recipes!  I will make sure to share the ones that I find useful and where I might make variations!  I also think there are some tools and tips that can make cooking a lot easier. Such as:
- Non stick pan (just one can make a huge difference when cooking but make sure to only use wood or plastic utensils when cooking in this pan!  Otherwise you scrape off or scratch the bottom and defeat the purpose of the non stick)
-Cuisinart food processor (I make pesto, cauliflower rice, and so much more in this one machine)!
-Tupperware that doesn't leak (so you can pack a lunch or take snacks and not worry.)
- Coconut Oil (one jar will last a LONG time even if you cook with it ALL the time! So don't skimp on this product that can make your food taste better and is something other than olive oil to cook with)

1/2 avocado
Scrambled eggs
Sausage patties

-hearts of palm
-pine nuts
Also an item I found at Whole Foods Market.  Applegate Farms Genoa Salami. If you like a little kick then try the spicy flavor!

small handful of cashews (even though nuts are a great source of fat you want to be careful not to totally chow down on them due to the high calorie content)

Lamb Stew
- My Husband made this yesterday while he was making the tri tip roast!  It is a great thing to make the night before and keeps well in the fridge for later meals you don't really feel like cooking!  Just scoop into a bowl and enjoy!  Here is a website with a great recipe.  Feel free to try different veggies or even meat in it.  We certainly do.

Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower is something you are going to find in ALOT of paleo cookbooks.  It is an extremely versatile veggie and even works as a replacement for mashed potatoes!  There are a lot of paleo friendly recipes out there but the most basic way to make it is as follows
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Chop into small pieces
- put small pieces into a Cuisinart food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped (or when it looks like rice!)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- melt coconut oil into a frying pan
-saute cauliflower until starting to brown
-enjoy under stews, in soups, as a side with a little salt, pepper, spices, etc! The ideas are limitless

Paleo Margarita!
-coconut juice
-lime lime LIME!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 2 of 30

It is day 2 of my paleo challenge and I have to admit, I am tired and lightheaded.  Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely still staying super positive and have had no cravings to eat a baguette with cheese or a whole bag of Gold Fish crackers but was a little bummed that my 3 mile run today was a lot harder then usual.  I understand that my body is detoxing but was still caught off guard and of course research did ensue.

First things first, to be fair, my run may have been slightly more tasking then usual due to the fact that I literally got home from vacation the day before yesterday.  While on vacation I ate what I wanted and certainly drank whatever I wanted (this was not a week of 75% paleo. More like 0%).  This is not to say I binged all day and night but I wasn't about to feel bad about having a Mai Tai or chips and dip when I was away with friends in Hawaii.  That said, I did a little research this morning after I had a major head rush and found that being light headed and slightly lethargic when beginning this process is normal.  Here is the link:

One thing that was mentioned in the article is that carbs are NOT bad!  Especially if you are an athlete and not eating enough carbs while being paleo can actually hinder your performance.  

"If you’re an active person – that could include anyone from a city dweller who walks 5 miles a day to someone who’s training for a marathon – you may just need more carbohydrates if you’re failing on the Paleo diet." -Neely Quinn

Granted, this does not mean that processed carbs are all of a sudden ok or that you can just go and eat as much fruit as you want but it does mean that this is not a diet/lifestyle that is all meat and veggies and everything else in the world of food is bad.  Do you even know what a carbohydrate actually is?  I certainly didn't know nor did I even really think about it until I read the article.

The point is, even though I am on day 2 of 30 and am feeling slightly off does not mean I am going to give up.  There are answers to questions and/or concerns as you go along and I hope that through this blog I can not only support others who are doing the same thing but also find support for myself.

Scrambled eggs with sauteed onion and mushrooms.  Sausage patties found at Whole Foods Market "Mulays" (completely paleo friendly and really tasty)

Pink Lady Apple
After my run I felt like I could fall over and water was not helping so I ate the apple.  It took about 15 minutes but after which I was feeling much much better but boy was I glad I ate it.  I never would have thought to bring one with me if I hadn't done a little research this morning!

Chipotle Chicken Salad
Yes,... again!  Not on purpose mind you but because I met up with a girlfriend who didn't realize I was going paleo and this seemed like the easiest way both of us could enjoy lunch!

Tequila, Lime, and coconut water!
Tastes like a margarita without being too sweet!
Yes there are Paleo alcoholic beverages and I will absolutely be making sure to test them out seeing as I won't be able to drink wine for a while!

Same as the night before minus the avocado
Seared sea scallops
Trip tip roast
Broiled asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper

Nut Butter

Thursday, April 26, 2012

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Day 1

Today marks the first day of my 30 days of living Paleo.  My husband and I have been eating what I would call a 75% Paleo lifestyle for about 2 years and even though we both can see the benefits of eating this way it has been really hard to give up things like bread, cheese, beer, and rice.  Knowing the benefits as well as not feeling as good about myself as I did when we first met has lead me to a personal challenge.  30 days of a strict Paleo diet.  I am a bread lover who is jumping in 100% fully committed to this lifestyle choice and this is my journey to what I hope will be a success.

What are my goals?  In order to explain this I feel some background information on me will help.
I met my husband three years ago and in that time I have gained somewhere around 30lbs.  The reason I say “somewhere” is because 4 months ago I decided all scales in the house needed to go.  I was addicted to weighing myself.  When I say addicted I literally mean that every day I weighed myself at a minimum of 3 times a day and if I didn’t weigh myself I would get incredibly anxious until I could find a scale to jump on.  Obviously, this was incredibly unhealthy as well as unproductive and so the only way I was able to kick the addiction was when we moved. The scales were packed and once they were found my husband immediately threw them in the trash.  This may be extreme but my attachment was something I still can’t quite find the words for. This leads to my first and most obvious reason for my challenge.

1. To Lose Weight

No this will not be something I will be able to measure on a scale due to the fact I am fearful I may fall back into my old unhealthy habits and obsession.  So, this will have to be measured by how tight or hopefully how loose my clothing fits. If I can manage to be brave enough I will take a before picture tonight and an after picture in 30 days. This leads to my 2nd goal:

2. To feel confident and happy in my body

Going from wearing a size 2 to now a size 10 has done some serious damage to my confidence.  Even though my husband thinks I am beautiful and wonderful, the idea of being able to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see again pushes me forward towards my challenge.

3. To have more energy

I work out.  When I say this I don’t mean I have a gym membership and go maybe once every two weeks and am still confused as to why I am not more fit.  I go to Yoga 3 times a week as well as run 4 miles 2-3 times a week.  On top of all of this I still walk the dogs every day around 2 miles.  So being active is not something new to me. Working out has been a way of life for me since I was a little girl.  I used to be a year round club swimmer and did so for a very long time as well as became an avid runner in college running up to 6 miles a day at one point.  I have tried crossfit, which my husband absolutely adores and does all the time and truly believe it is an amazing sport (which also lead to research into Paleo and sparked his original interest which lead to my participation).

So when I talk about wanting to have more energy what I mean is, I don’t want to feel that automatic shut down after every meal.  I want to be more energized to continue my day with a smile.  Perhaps have a little more bounce in my step?!

My daily struggles, triumphs, questions, research, etc. are all going to be part of my 30 day challenge and all of which I will be blogging about.  And so to end my first entry with how my first day has been going

Day 1:
Coffee with almond milk:
I definitely missed my morning coffee with milk and sugar but if you have a decent roast and brand of coffee then it really isn’t so bad.  Also the almond milk wasn’t bad but definitely is not as creamy  as regular milk so don’t try to trick yourself into thinking it is.

Chipotle Chicken Salad:
An amazing place where you can get a D-lish meal and stay Paleo!  I ordered the chicken salad with salsa and guacamole.  No cheese, sour cream, beans, rice, or corn.  I used to order this salad with sour cream and I can honestly say I didn’t miss it today!  Perhaps that will change on day 10?

Salad: Romaine lettuce with avocado, cucumber, red bell pepper, and a plain balsamic vinegar dressing:
This is not anything new for me.  My husband and I often start dinner off with a salad.  Often times I don't put lettuce but because I felt I needed more actual food I added in romaine lettuce.  I am also not a big salad dressing fan hence the balsamic.  If you really love dressing I recommend this one.  About 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.  It helps to make this in a small Tupperware so when you go to mix it you just close the lid and shake it over the sink.

Home made Paleo Pesto Chicken:
We first seared the chicken in a frying pan using coconut oil after which poured the home made pesto over the top and finished it by baking it in the oven.

Here is the Paleo Pesto recipe : * I did NOT use Parmesan cheese and it was still yummy!

Finally, we had lightly boiled green beans (3 minutes) lightly tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

The pesto is my new best friend for dishes and is super easy to make if you have a Cuisinart! 

Websites that are useful and interesting:
This is a great place to start!  There is even a section that tells you what the biggest reasons are for people failing which I think if you are aware of you can hopefully avoid.

Day 1 completed! 29 to go!