Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 34

Day 34
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso!
I used Chorizo instead of italian sausage and it was sooooo good!

Yesterday I made a delisious paleo lasagna.  No it was not traditional and did not have any pasta in it but it did have layers.  Layers of vegetable and meat.  Oh and did I mention it was super easy to make!!!?  What could be better than that???

I am constantly surprised by how yummy food can be and how much I am enjoying cooking ever since I decided to go paleo.  One of the biggest concerns I used to have with cooking was getting everything out on time at the same time.  Questions like, are the vegetables going to be done when the meat is done, did I forget to put an essential ingredient into the dish, did I put too much spice, etc. are not really a big concern for me for several reasons.  First, because I am enjoying cooking more, I am taking the time to really read the recipe and prepare as many of the ingredients before I get started with the actual cooking as I can.  Second, If I forget to put something in or add something else, most of the time the meal is still super tasty because I am using so many new and different spices.

There have been a couple times where a dish has turned out to be REALLY spicy because I put too much black pepper or cayenne pepper but luckily, my husband and I love spicy food so we just man up and chow down even if there are a few tears along the way! My lasagna was one of these cases.  I think it had to do with using Chorizo instead of Italian sausage.

A great tool to have in the kitchen and what I used to thinly slice my zucchini!  A Kyocera Adjustable Mandoline.  Under $30 and probably my new favorite kitchen toy!!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 32

Day 32!!

Sunday Funday!

Last night my husband and I ended up having a few glasses of wine because we ran into a college friend and her husband.  I must say that this morning both of us were not feeling great.  Everything else we ate or drank yesterday was paleo and strict.  It was in fact the wine.

On the one hand I was really interested in the fact that wine, which I absolutely love to drink would make me feel so hungover the next day.  The other side of me was definitely kind of bummed that wine is no longer the same kind of drink it used to be for me.  I quickly got over it however and made sure to get out into the sunshine and enjoy my sunday!

Completely changing your lifestyle in so far as your eating and drinking habits takes time and will have ups and downs.  Foods and beverages you thought were fine will give you tummy aches or headaches you never thought possible.

I try to stay positive in regards to all of this because it is all showing me that my body is greatly affected by sugars, carbs, and grains.  Be kind to yourself in the process and allow moments like this to happen so that you can really be sure that what you are putting in to your body and how much is exactly what you want.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-sauted onion
-salami
Bacon
1 cup of coffee with almond milk

Lunch:
Bunless Burgers BBQ'd

Snack:
Handful of Macadamia nuts

Dinner:
Enterprise Fish Company in Santa Monica
Grilled Wild Salmon
Steamed Asparagus
Sauteed Spinach

Cocktail:
Norcal Margarita

Desert:
Blueberries

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 30!!!!!!

Day 30!!!!

I have finally completed my 30 days of a strict paleo cleanse! WOOHOO!  The excitement isn't because now I can go and shove my face with cookies, cheese, and cosmos.  No, it is because I have not only committed and finished something but because I feel AMAZING!  There is no way I will go back to what is considered normal for most Americans and their eating habits.  Not even milk in my coffee!  That has probably been the hardest thing for me and yes, I am shocked that of everything you cannot eat milk in my coffee is the one thing that I never thought I would really and truly miss.

Nutty Cookies!!!! OMG!!!
If you are currently in the process of your own paleo cleanse or are thinking of starting one then I say good luck and you are not alone!  You can do it and it is worth a try.  Nothing comes easy in life but when you feel good about the way you look, how you feel, and just have an overall confidence that maybe wasn't there before you will be happy you at least gave a 30 day paleo cleanse a try!

Don't worry!  I plan on continuing my blog!  All of my uphills, downhills, successes, cheats, thrills, and scares will be here for you to know that not just exercise maniacs do this sort of thing.  Every day people can do this too!  If I can do it so can you!

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-Spinach
-onion
-mushroom

Lunch:
Chipotle chicken salad

Snack:
handful of macadamia nuts
MY FAVORITE COOKBOOK!!!

Dinner:
BBQ'd Tri Tip
Green beans
Broccolini

Cocktail:
Paleo Margarita

Desert:
Paleo Cookies
Recipe in:
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 28 and 29 of 30

Day 28 and 29 of 30

As I said in my previous post, my mom was in town and so it was a little difficult for me to blog.  I did however stay completely strict paleo and went out to eat 4 different times!!!!

The biggest thing I can recommend for going out is ASK QUESTIONS!  Make sure to ask how the meat is cooked and how the vegetables are cooked.  Just because at home you might saute your veggies in olive oil or coconut oil does not mean they are going to be cooked that way when you are out!  Most of the time restaurants are cooking in butter!  Normally, that is not really the end of the world but when you are still in your cleanse it can be a bummer to work so gosh darn hard only to have butter on your veggies!

Also, don't feel bad about asking for things on the side or removed from your meal.  I cannot tell you how many times I asked for at least 3 ingredients to be taken off the dish so that I could make it paleo friendly.  Unless the dish is pre-prepared with those ingredients, most restaurants will have NO problem making sure your meal is paleo friendly.

Finally, now that I am one day away from completing my cleanse I have to tell you that this is a lifestyle worth trying and continuing.  As I keep saying and probably will continue to say going forward, I feel AWESOME!  I have lost weight, I am sleeping better, and I am all around much more confident about myself.  I feel like I am getting back to the woman I was when I met my husband; Fun, flirty, energetic, funny, and just happy!

Day 28

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with left over  meat loaf
fresh stone fruits from the farmers market

snack:
Apple muffin (paleo)
1 small fuji apple

Lunch:
Kale salad from True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica


Dinner:
James Beach in Venice California
Filet Medalions
Steamed Spinach
Norcal margarita

Desert:
Blueberries

Day 29:

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-onion
-mushroom
-spinach
Bacon

Snack:
1 small fuji apple
Nectarine

Dinner:
Salad
BBQ Chicken Pieces
BBQ Asparagus
BBQ Portabello Mushroom


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 27 of 30

Day 27!!

Today I am going to make it short due to the fact my mom is here to visit and I have been incredibly busy all day!  Not too busy to make some yummy muffins though!  Totally yummy and worth trying.  Not hard to make at all! Enjoy!

Breakfast:
Left over meat loaf with two poached eggs

Lunch:
2 Left over meat balls

Snack:
Paleo Apple Muffins
http://everydaypaleo.com/2010/07/07/server-problem-solved-and-paleo-apple-muffins/

2 1/4 cups almond meal
4 omega 3 enriched eggs
1 organic apple finely chopped
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
Pre heat oven to 350.  As pictured, have a two year old attack and kill an apple while you peel the banana and using a fork, mash the bananna in the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Using a hand held chopper if you have one, finely chop the freshly killed apple, and add to the bowl.  Add all other ingredients and mix by hand.  The batter will not be super thick, but more like a cake batter.  Using a bit more coconut oil, grease a muffin tin.  Fill the tins about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  You will know they are done when you can insert a toothpick into the middle of a muffin and it comes out clean.  Serve hot out of the oven with some ghee melted on top, accompanied by eggs over-easy, and hot black coffee. If you eat them all at once, don’t blame me…  Makes approximately 16 muffins.

Dinner:
R and D Kitchen: Santa Monica
Grilled Salmon
Steamed Broccoli



Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 26 of 30

Breakfast!



Day 26 of 30!

There are a couple of things I would like to discuss today.  First, Strawberries and then nuts.

Fruit in general is something that I definitely know that I need on a daily basis especially since I am not eating carbs in the form of sweet potatoes every night.  I mostly eat blueberries, apples, and the occasional Mango.  This weekend however I had some amazing raspberries and some really sweet strawberries.  After not eating a strawberry for the past 3 weeks I was actually able to recognize just how sweet they really are.  No, they were not dipped in chocolate or brown sugar like I used to eat as a kid which got me thinking about how sugar related items, candy for example would be undeniably sweet were I to eat any.

It would seem that our bodies and specifically our taste buds become accustomed to different levels of sweetness and can become dulled to just how sweet something is if eaten often.  No, I am not going to run to the closest Starbucks and order a vanilla late to test my theory but it was nice to know that were I to pick up candy etc, I would probably stop eating it sooner rather than later due to the fact that my taste buds would be able to pick up on just how sweet it really is.

Now for nuts.  Why nuts you might ask?  Well, my husband has been pushing me to pay attention to what foods have Omega 6 vs Omega 3 in them.  Nuts are one item of food that in the paleo world are considered to be a great snack (NOT MEAL).  What the heck is Omega 6 and Omega 3? (One promotes inflammation and the other as anti-inflammation)

"Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids are 2 different classes of polyunsaturated fats. They are both important, because they are made into powerful regulatory hormones. Omega 6 fats are primarily converted into a range of pro- inflammatory hormones and omega 3 into anti-inflammatory hormones. Perhaps it would help to think of the analogy of hot and cold taps. Hot being omega 6 and cold being omega 3. We need a balance of hot and cold to get the right temperature. Due to the abundance of omega 6 in our diets from chemically extracted vegetable oils, (see graph below and the recent increase in salad oil, shortening and margarine) and a lack of food sources of omega 3 like cold water fish and grass fed / wild meat we have an imbalance. An ideal ratio is 4:1 up to 1:1 of omega 6 to omega 3. This is a long way from the standard American diet which gives 20:1. Imagine the hot tap (inflammation) on full and the cold tap (anti-inflammation) on a dribble. Inflammation is rampant" -Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition http://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/05/10/omega-6-and-3-in-nuts-oils-meat-and-fish-tools-to-get-it-right/

With this said, an important factor to keep in mind with nuts is the fact that they an make a great snack but are not something you necessarily want to be eating a lot of all the time.  They certainly should never replace a meal and it is not because of their fat content.  Here is another web page that discusses this in more detail and from where I got the nifty Omega 6 nut list.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/#axzz1vYKjA7HP


Omega-6 Content Various Nuts (1/4 cup)

Walnuts – 9.5 g
Almonds – 4.36 g
Cashews – 2.6 g
Macadamias – 0.5 g
Brazil nuts – 7.2 g
Hazelnuts – 2.7 g
Pistachio – 4.1 g
Pine nuts – 11.6 g
Pecans – 5.8 g
Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/#ixzz1vYNhK0m6

Again, all of this points to making sure you are researching what is appropriate to eat, what should be eaten in moderation, and what we should definitely stay away from.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-onion
-basil
-tomato
1/2 avocado
Hot Sausage

Lunch:
Two Left over meat balls from yesterday
small handful of macadamia nuts

Snack:
1 small fuji apple
4 slices salami
Recipe from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragaso


Dinner:
Green salad 
-avocado
-orange bell pepper
-cucumber
-romaine lettuce
Sweet Potato chips
*slice sweet potato into thin slices 
*place on parchment lined cookie sheet
*bake for 1 hour at 350
Meat Loaf
-recipe from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso
** My new favorite recipe book!

Desert:
Blueberries
Raspberries

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 23, 24, 25 of 30

Day 23, 24 and 25!

A weekend away proved to be interesting for my 30 day cleanse. Especially since this was a celebratory weekend with my husband for his birthday. I know that in so far as a paleo lifestyle this weekend wouldn't have been much of a challenge but because I am still cleansing my system I was a little worried in how the weekend was going to go. Mainly in dealing with dairy such as butter!

After this weekend, I have found that sustainability is so important for creating a positive weekend as well as a positive lifestyle.  You have to be able to go out and eat at restaurants, with friends, and for special occasions.  I am not going to lie and tell you that I was perfect because I wasn't.  I did have champagne and I did have red wine but for the most part I stayed away from dairy, grains, and processed carbs!  I am going to go ahead and say this was a successful weekend away!

Day 23
Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-saut├ęd onion and mushroom
1/2 avocado
Bacon

Snack: 
* I packed a bag of paleo friendly snacks for the drive down!
Small handful of cashews
Blueberries
Prosciutto
Cucumber
Red bell pepper

Cocktails:
NorCal Margarita
-tequila
-LIME LIME LIME
-Soda water

Dinner: Eddie V's Prime Seafood La Jolla CA
Oysters
Roasted Asparagus
Halibut
Red Wine

After drinking wine for the first time in a couple of weeks I have to admit I woke up the next day with a headache.  Yes, there were a few NorCal margaritas involved as well which I am sure did not help but it was really interesting being able to actually feel a HUGE difference in the way I felt going from strict paleo to slightly off paleo.  
Day 24
Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs ( I made sure to ask for the eggs to NOT be cooked in butter)
Bacon
Sausage
Berries

Lunch: La Valencia Hotel Poolside La Jolla CA
Tuna tartar with avocado
Green Salad with almonds
Champagne (I know this was cheating but I want to be honest with all of you)

Dinner:
Cured meat plate with pickled veggies
Scallops
Filet Minion with fingerling potatoes and asparagus
Red Wine (Again, I know I was cheating)

Desert:
Dark chocolate Gelato (NOT PALEO AT ALL and after a few bites I couldn't eat any more!)

Even though I felt much better waking up on day 25 then I did the day before I did notice that my sense of clarity was not really there.  Both my husband and I were walking around most of the morning with what can be described as a "hazy" feeling.  I never noticed just how clear my head felt while being on paleo until I was no longer feeling that way.  It just goes to show what our bodies and our minds get used to when ingesting so many toxins.  It really does take an honest to goodness cleanse in order to recognize how much better you can feel. (at least for me)
Day 25
Breakfast: Codys La Jolla CA
Scrambled eggs
Sausage
Bacon
coffee

Lunch:
Skipped it

Snack:
Small handful of cashews
4 slices salami

Dinner:
Garden Meat Balls
Dijon Mustard Beef with Kale
*recipes from:
Every Day Paleo by Sarah Fragaso

Desert:
Mango
Blueberries

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 22 of 30

Day 22!!!

Today I put on a pair of jeans I haven't worn in about 2 years. You need to know that I am not the type to keep clothing that doesn't fit. I think keeping clothing that is too small is just another way in which you can feel bad about yourself and a reminder of the fact that you have gained weight. These jeans that I am wearing right now I thought I had lost. I found them about a month ago mixed in with my husbands jeans. Today I decided to give them a try and they fit! It seems so silly but being able to wear these jeans again has given me even more resolve to stick with paleo!

Even though the weight loss has slowed down (or at least seems to have slowed down) I know that I am continuing to become healthier and healthier every day.  My clothing is fitting amazingly, my moods are better, and my workouts are a lot more fun.


Breakfast:
1 scrambled egg
1/2 avocado
2 slices bacon
1 cup coffee with almond milk

Lunch:
Left over taco meat with raw cucumber and bell pepper
1 small fuji apple
2 tablespoons nut butter

Snack:
Small handful of cashews

Dinner:
Green Beans
BBQ'd asparagus
BBQ'd chicken pieces
hearts of palm salad

Desert:
Blueberries
1/2 orange

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 21 of 30

Day 21!

I am in the final count down to my 30 day paleo cleanse and I am not only happy, feeling good and proud of myself but I am also a little nervous.  The issue I am struggling with currently is whether or not to start adding back dairy and other paleo friendly (but not 30 day cleanse friendly) foods.  I have had so much success in just 3 weeks that I am afraid all of it will go to waste should I start adding in new foods.  I also can't help but think about the fact that if I have had this much success in 3 weeks what will 6 weeks look like? Perhaps a little research is necessary in regards to how people feel after the cleanse and what they added back in to their diets.  A task for tomorrow.

Breakfast:
Scrambled Eggs
2 slices bacon
1/2 small avocado

Lunch:
left over pesto chicken breast
small handful of cashews

Snack:
Nectarine
small handful of cashews
Cherries
Dinner:
Taco Salad
-Grass fed organic ground beef
*Added home made fajita seasoning**check out my blog from day 10 for that!
-home made salsa
*1 garlic clove
*1 jalapeno pepper de-seeded
*1 small red onion
*5 medium tomatoes
put first two ingredients into a cuisinart and mince then ad red onion until finely chopped.  Finally, add tomatoes and pulse until chunky.  Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste
-Guacamole
-cucumber
-red bell pepper

Desert:
Blueberries

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 20 of 30

Day 20!

Sometimes it is hard to know what foods are primal vs not.  Do you know which of these is primal and which is not?
1.Coconut water
2.Chocolate Milk
3.Milk Chocolate
4.Cocoa Mass
5. Cocoa Butter
6.Goat Whey Protein
7.Sacha Inchi Seeds
8.Hominy
9.Glycomaize
10.Banana Flower

Check if you were right or wrong and why?

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-it-primal-10-foods-scrutinized/#axzz1uzKkfN7q


Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with Onion and Mushroom
1/2 avocado
2 slices turkey bacon

Lunch:
Small bowl Chicken curry

Snack:
2 Tablespoons nut butter
1 small pear
4 slices salami
small handful of cashews

Dinner:
Homemade Pesto Chicken
-2 packed cups basil
-1/2 cup pine nuts
-3 garlic cloves
*chop/mix ingredients in cusinart
-1/3 cup olive oil (feel free to add a little more if you prefer)
*add olive oil right before you are ready and mix in cuisinart until smooth.
Bok Choy
Cucumber salad

Desert:
1/2 Orange

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 19 of 30

Day 19!

Are you someone who has a hard time getting up in the morning and keeping your energy up all day?  I used to be that way but ever since I started paleo I have had more energy then ever before.  Waking up is not nearly as hard as it used to be.  My internal clock is getting really good at waking me up naturally and I am not feeling the morning grogginess I used to feel. I no longer drink a cup of coffee in the morning because I am desperate to wake up.  I drink a cup of coffee in the morning because I actually really enjoy it.

I think that for most people and especially for myself, I was so used to having to struggle every morning to get out of bed that I never really thought about it being a problem until it wasn't one any more.  This is often the way it is with a lot of things in life especially as an adult.  The assumption that certain aches and pains, lethargy, etc is just a normal part of life and getting older is the cause was the norm for me.

Getting older is not a cause it is an excuse.  Yes, as you get older I understand that your body changes but to blame everything that is going wrong with you on your age just isn't going to cut it for me any more.  The fact that I have seen so much improvement in my life due to the change in diet says to me that nutrition is so important and the majority of what you are told is good for you by the government is crap.  I never would have said this had I not tried paleo.  It has made a huge difference for me in the last 19 days then anything else has ever before.

On another note, I have found a really great website that has not only motivational success stories but a lot of really great information.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com

One thing in particular that I would like to point out is a great article on fruit.
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/best-and-worst-fruits/#axzz1um18EkQa

In a nut shell:
Good Fruit:
Berries
Cherries
Apple
Pears
Grapefruit
Apricots
Peaches
Figs

Bad Fruit (enjoyed in moderation)
Melons
Mangoes
Papayas
Pineapples


Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
1/2 avocado
1 cup coffee with almond milk

Lunch:
Salad with turkey slices

Turkey Kebab
Salted Baked Branzino before it went in to the oven


Snack:
Small handful of cashews
1 medium iced black tea


Dinner:
Baked Cauliflower Poppers
-1 cauliflower
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons olive oil
*pre-heat oven to 400
*cut off cauliflower stem and discard. 
*cut cauliflower into small pieces after washing
*mix salt, pepper, and oil in a bowl
*pour cauliflower pieces into the bowl and coat well
*bake for 1 hour turning cauliflower over at least three different times
*once cauliflower is nice and brown it is done!

Turkey Kebabs
Salt Baked Branzino
Recipe for the kebabs and Branzino found in the cookbook, "The Primal Blueprint Cookbook" by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Mei

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 17 and 18 of 30

Day 17! And Day 18!

Today was a great day! Had an awesome strength training workout this morning, a nice bike ride in the afternoon and then a movie and dinner this evening. I definitely had a moment at the theater when I missed eating popcorn while watching the movie but I realized that I was just hungry and made sure to fill up on prime rib at dinner!

I would definitely recommend either eating a snack before you head out for an afternoon or bring healthy paleo friendly options with you especially to the movies.  That way, when you get hungry or are having a moment of missing popcorn and/or candy you will have something yummy to nosh on instead.  Especially if you are working out, you need to remember to feed your body!  I have found that if I don't eat a snack or bring a snack to eat when I am out for the afternoon, I get irritated easily.  This is not to be confused with getting tired in the afternoon like I used to!  Instead of being in need of a power nap I am just suffering from low blood sugar and can usually fix that right up with an apple or a small handful of nuts.

Making sure to get enough food in throughout the day is not to be confused with over eating.  When I started this 30 day challenge I was concerned that I was eating alot of food in comparison to how I used to eat.  The true difference is that I am eating healthier food that my body can properly digest vs eating less food that may have been higher in calories/sugar/carbohydrates.

I have no more lows throughout the day but I do get irritable when I am noticing that my blood sugar is low.  I fix this by getting in a quick snack of sorts that will hold me over until dinner.  Being kind to your body involves making sure you are feeding yourself enough food throughout the day.  It may feel like you are eating a lot more while on paleo then you did before but as long as you are following the strict rules of paleo eating then you can be assured that you are putting good nutrition in and as a result will have more energy coming out.


My Husband had the filet and a baked potato. Not very 30 day  challenge friendly but definitely paleo friendly!




Day 17
Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with leftover tri-tip
1/2 avocado
1 cup coffee with almond milk

Lunch:
Salad with turkey and salami

Snack:
1 small Apple

Dinner:


*Hillstone restaurant!

Ahi Tuna Salad
Prime rib and broccoli
Prime rib with real horseradish

Ahi Tuna Salad with the dressing on the side

Desert:

Blueberries

Weekend workout summary! Saturday: Strength training with the hubby! Sunday Santa Monica Run!

Day 18

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
-onion
-mushroom
-salami
Chipotle chicken salad with salsa and guacamole on the side

Lunch:
Chipotle chicken salad

Snack:
1 small fuji apple
Chicken and Shrimp Curry

Dinner:
chicken and shrimp curry



Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 16 of 30

Day 16!


Have you read this article, "Why the Campaign to Stop America's Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing", by Gary Taubes?  The title really says it all.  The article talks about how the government has been approaching Americas obesity problem incorrectly for way too long. Fat is not bad, sugar is toxic, and the old calories in vs. calories out mantra is not true!  It also explains what is most likely making people, especially children fatter than ever before.  


http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/06/why-the-campaign-to-stop-america-s-obesity-crisis-keeps-failing.html


This article is directly related to Paleo principals and if you are currently thinking about giving paleo a try then read the article, look up what the basic rules of paleo are about, and get started already.  


My workout recap for the week:
Monday and Wednesday : YOGA
Tuesday : Run
Thursday: Run in the AM YOGA in the PM
Friday: Day off!


Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with mushroom and onion
Sausage patty
1/2 small avocado

Lunch:
Salad with turkey slices

Snack:
1 small fuji apple
1 Tbs nut butter

Cocktail:
Paleo Margarita 
*Happy Friday!

Appetizer:
Seared Scallops

Dinner:
Tri Tip Roast
Green beans
Asparagus

Desert:
Blueberries 
Mango

P.S. I found an awesome Paleo / Crossfit page by a woman!  Her name is Juli Bauer http://paleomg.com/


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 15 of 30

Day 15

Today I had a double workout!  I went for a run with the dogs this morning and then met up with some friends for a really hard yoga class this evening.  To anyone who says yoga is not a workout, go to YogaHop in Santa Monica and take Kourtney's class.  Seriously hard class but with great hip hop music!  It is so much fun but make sure to bring a towel because you will SWEAT!

After Yoga a couple friends and I went out for dinner.  I was a little nervous seeing as I haven't really been eating out, especially for dinner while being in the midst of my 30 day challenge.  Never the less, I conquered my fear and was super happy with my meal.  I did make sure to politely ask the waitress if there was any butter involved and instead of  the side dishes that came with the meal I asked to just have a green salad with vinegar on the side.  No problem!  She was super sweet about the whole thing and even brought me some extra salad because she was worried I didn't get enough.

Some advice when ordering while on paleo:
1. Ask questions
- Don't be shy and just assume it will be OK.  Ask if the dish is cooked in butter or if bread crumbs are involved.
2. Be Polite
- Being aware that even though you know you are just paleo, everyone else may think you are just super picky!
3. Don't worry about what others are ordering
- Don't make a big deal about your dish vs theirs and don't let them apologize for ordering food they really enjoy and want to eat.  Just because you are not eating it doesn't mean that you have to make others feel bad about it.  Besides, you might actually enjoy your own meal more than what they are eating anyway!


Breakfast:
Scambled eggs with leftover veggies and carnitas
Sausage patties
1 cup of coffee with almond milk

Lunch:
Pear and Salami Salad

Snack:
1 small fuji apple
1 Tbs nut butter
1 small handful of pine nuts and cashews
2 slices of salami

Dinner: @ Blue Plate on Montana in Santa Monica
Grilled salmon
Salad

Desert:
Blueberries

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 14 of 30

Day 14!

Paleo Carnitas!!!
Two weeks in and I feel great.  I have lost weight, I sleep better, I don't get stomach aches, I am learning how to cook, and my workouts are feeling amazing!  I am feeling much more confident in myself and my ability to follow through.  Yes, I know... I am not done yet but trust me, if you are currently going through the process of a 30 day paleo challenge you too will be patting yourself on the back for your success at two weeks.

One thing I have not quite conquered as of yet but am ready for the challenge is EATING OUT!  I have mainly been cooking at home either for or with my husband and have avoided going out to eat because I am a little afraid of it being too hard.  Well, I found out that I am not the only one!  Check out http://www.paleoplan.com/2012/05-02/we-want-paleo-dot-com/. These guys are trying to get restaurants to recognize that there are a lot of people who eat/live paleo and would love to see some options in restaurants.  I absolutely signed up for the newsletter and am looking forward to checking out restaurants in my area that potentially have paleo options.

Paleo options in restaurants would make going out so much easier; especially when on the initial 30 day challenge when you cannot eat butter!  Salads don't scare me because for the most part, restaurants are used to  people asking for the dressing on the side or no croutons but the idea of trying to find a main course that is 100% paleo friendly is daunting.  This is something I am going to challenge myself to do a little more and I promise to report back with details, photos, and of course... opinions.

And now, the meals from today.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs 
*plain! Nothing added
1/2 small avocado
Sausage patties


Lunch:
Salad
Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Snack:
Small bowl of chili
1 small fuji apple
1/2 red bell pepper

This is in the crock pot right before we turned it on! looks like it's going to be good right? IT TOTALLY WAS!

Dinner:
Veggie Saute
1/2 Avocado
Carnitas in the crock pot
* The recipe we used was by combining two different recipes.  
* If combining both recipes do NOT double the liquid
* we did not use salsa but a small can of canned tomatoes instead (no salt added)
* Of course no tortillas etc.
* We let cook for 6 hours on low temperature

Desert:
Fresh Mango


We ate ours in lettuce cups instead of tortillas! yum yum!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 13 of 30


Day 13!

Every day is getting easier and easier in regards to following the plan as well as to how I am feeling.  One thing that I have noticed in regards to the paleo community is that there is an extremely strong male fan/participant base and not a lot of women.  I am either not noticing or have not found more than a handful of women who are speaking about their experiences with paleo.  Even though the same principles still apply to men and women when talking about paleo and especially the 30 day challenge, men and women do have different levels of hormones that can be affected by diet change.  Specifically, I am speaking about how women are feeling during their period.

What I want to know and cannot seem to find is, do women find that their cycles, symptoms, moods, etc have changed since turning to Paleo?

Because I feel that I am most likely still detoxing, I am unsure if the different symptoms I am experiencing for my "time of the month" is how I am going to feel every month.  Some things are the same like back aches, cramping, bloating, and cravings but I am also experiencing new and different symptoms.  The new symptoms are head aches, dizziness, and my cravings have changed from wanting carbs to wanting foods that are high in fat; nuts in particular.

This is a subject that in and of itself is considered to be Taboo and I can only imagine within such a male dominated subject such as Paleo, it may be hard for me to find the answers I am looking for.  In the mean time I will make an effort to give my own personal story in regards to my period in hopes of either shedding light or opening a door on the topic.

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs
left over burger and kebab
1/2 small avocado

Lunch:
3 slices of turkey
*Applegate makes a great one with NO SUGAR!
2 tablespoons Nuttzo nut butter
Butternut squash
 (the squash will fill you up fast so don't gobble it down or you might get a tummy ache)

Snack:
1 small Brauburn Apple
3 slices salami
small handful of pine nuts and cashews

Dinner:
Home Made Chili
*I added onion!

Salad
-mixed greens
-peeled carrot slices
-tomato
-balsamic vinegar
1/2 avocado



Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 12 of 30

Day 12!

Today I am keeping it short and sweet.  I have listed the meals I have eaten as well as snacks.  I will say this however, today has been a definite hungry day for me.  From what I understand there will be some days your body will just need more food than others.  That is OK and you should do what your body is telling you to, eat when you are hungry!  Your body will thank you!



Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs with leftover burger patties
1/2 avocado
1 cup coffee with coconut milk
*definitely nice to have a different taste in my coffee this morning.  Just like almond milk took me a couple of days to get used to I am assuming the same will happen with the coconut milk.  You can find it in your grocery store with the milk supplements.  Make sure you are going for the unsweetened version!

Lunch:
2 Tbs Nuttzo nut butter
1 small fuji apple
1 leftover chicken kebab

Snack:
Small handful of cashews
Small handful of pine nuts
6 slices salami
2 pickles


Dinner:
Butternut squash
*cut in half, scoop out seeds, bake in the oven for 45min at 400. I let it cool for about 10 minutes and then I peel the skin off.  A little salt and pepper is all you need for seasoning! Super tasty.
Sauteed Bok Choy
Cedar Plank Salmon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 11 of 30

Day 11!

Let me start with a recap of my exercise for the weekend.  Saturday was a crossfit inspired workout given to me by my husband in our backyard.  My arms and shoulders are feeling the awesomeness of that work out today and will probably only get even stiffer by tomorrow.  Sundays workout was a lovely run along the Santa Monica Bluffs of which this photo is my view every time!  If you can exercise outside somewhere beautiful I totally recommend it.  The view always helps to distract me from what I am really doing.

Ok, so let's talk about how my clothing seems to be fitting me lately.  I will admit, everything is a little looser around the middle as well as on my thighs.  I have also noticed that my upper arms are looking a little smaller and I am wanting to wear tank tops and spaghetti strap dresses again.  Even my husband made a comment this morning about how my booty looked smaller to him!  Total plus as well as motivation to continue on my paleo challenge!  

I am not sorry that I cannot give you guys a number in so far as how much I have lost because I really think the true testament is in how I am feeling!  My run today, 3 miles, was AMAZING!  I haven't felt this great on a run since I started the challenge and could tell that I am only seeing the tip of the ice burg in regards to my fitness. 

My exercise routine is pretty varied throughout the week; mixing Yoga, Running, and now Crossfit into the mix.  This helps me keep motivated and interested in what I am doing.  I absolutely recommend checking out local fitness classes in your area.  Perhaps there is a dance class, Zumba class, kickboxing class, etc that you can try to keep yourself active, motivated, and getting your body to move in different ways than it is used to.  

Your muscles do in fact have a memory when it comes to working out.  If you only do the same thing day in and day out you won't get the most out of the time it takes to exercise.  Mixing it up whether it is with sprints if you are a runner or different types of workouts through the week make a huge difference in how your body will burn calories and become stronger!  

Keep working out fun, interesting, and varied!

Breakfast:
Egg Scramble
-Sauteed Onion
-Sauteed Mushroom
Bacon

Lunch:
Green Salad
Leftover BBQ Chicken Pieces

Snack
1 small fuji apple

Cocktail
NorCal Margarita
-Tequila (ask for nice tequila, I chose to ask for Patron this afternoon)
-Soda Water (NOT to be confused with tonic water.  Tonic has ALOT of sugar in it which is not good)
-LIME LIME LIME (Don't be shy! Ask for two or even three limes in this yummy cocktail)
*This is a great drink to order when you are in a bar or at a restaurant! Going out with friends, partners, or even by yourself is absolutely possible while in the midst of a paleo challenge or lifestyle so don't feel like you can't have any fun)



Dinner:
Turkey Kebabs
-Recipe found in the cookbook, "The Primal Blueprint Cookbook" by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Meier
*A total must have cookbook for Paleo/Primal believers, those that want to try, and those that love to cook good food!

Burgers
-Home ground beef with spices
*If you have a meat grinder at home
  • 1.25lbs Organic Grass Fed Chuck  *Or buy 1.25lbs pre-ground organic grass fed chuck
    • cut into cubes and spice before grinding *After spicing meat, Grind away into your own ground chuck:
      • Spices
        • 1 Teaspoon Salt
        • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
        • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
        • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
        • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
        • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
        • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
        • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
        • 1/2 small Onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion
    • chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
Now mix everything together and form into 4 patties.  Don't over mix the meat!  This will make it tough. After making your patties wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.  This will help them stay together when you cook them.  We cooked ours on a cast iron skillet on the stove for 4 minutes a side.  They turned out to be medium.  ** If you are cooking grass fed beef make sure to cook at a lower temperature.  This meat is much easier to overcook!
We wrapped ours in ice burg lettuce instead of using a bun.  I also put spicy mustard on top of mine which you can see here.
Zucchini Pasta with home made Pesto:
-4 zucchini
-1/2 small onion
-Ground sausage 
*Sausage is not necessary but really tasty!


Saute the onion until just starting to soften and then add in meat and cook all the way through.  Remove from pan and set aside to use later. Use the same pan to lightly saute the Julianne zucchini.  You want it to be al dente.  Then add the onion and meat saute back into the pan along with your home made pesto! Stir until everything is coated with pesto and enjoy!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 10 of 30

Day 10!
Happy Cinco De Mayo Everyone! 

Today is a great day for a party which also means tequila! We have made sure to stock up on some really fabulous ones considering it is the only alcohol I am aloud to drink until after day 30!  Be careful however since we all know what happens when one night of too much tequila turns into a lifetime of hating the stuff!

One thing is for sure, I am not going to let paleo stop me from enjoying food and drink on a day like today (or any other day for that matter) and you shouldn't either.  No, I am not saying I am just going to go out and eat Non-paleo Mexican-tastic foods like tortilla chips or queso dip.  Don't forget tacos or perhaps a full on sugary margarita!  I am talking about enjoying Mexican food PALEO STYLE!

Paleo Tortilla Chips
Chips! JOY!!
I have mentioned before the importance of variety and fun with the food you eat especially when eating a paleo diet.  Especially for a strict paleo diet, using holidays, even if they are not the ones you celebrate normally as inspiration for new and different ideas is a great way to keep motivated and moving forward with paleo.  If I didn't have variety and was eating the same thing every night I know I would fail.

So far, I am doing really well and even though today is a day that would be a really easy "fall off the bandwagon" kind of day, I want to show you that it is possible to enjoy really tasty food and not feel left out from what everyone else is eating.  Not to mention that you won't be hungover OR bloated tomorrow which is not what most of your friends can probably say! Or at least mine!

Here are a few links to some really great recipes for paleo friendly Mexican food! I hope the pictures help entice your appetites!

Paleo Tortilla Chips:
http://www.barbellsandbacon.com/2009/09/paleo-%E2%80%98tortilla%E2%80%99-chips/
Tortilla-less soup
Doesn't this look AMAZING!

Tortilla-LESS soup:
http://fastpaleo.com/chicken-tortilla-less-soup/

Paleo Enchilada:
YUM!

Don't forget to make some yummy guacamole, salsa, and even lettuce cup tacos (which we ate last night) with your choice of ground meat! Also, are you in the mood for fajitas and as I have noticed and commented on before, there is sugar in a lot of the store bought packages which is such a bummer?  A bummer no more that is until you try my home made version which my husband thinks is way better.  The amount I am giving you to make should make about 3 store bought packages worth and is super easy to store in a small Tupperware or plastic baggy.

2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. paprika
1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cumin
  
For one portion of this mix I use 1-1/2 lbs of ground meat.  Cook completely in a frying pan and then pour out fat.  Mix the seasoning in a separate bowl with 1/2-1 cup of hot water (I generally eyeball it) and stir until dissolved (or almost) then pour it in to your meat and let it cook together for another minute or two.  When done, pour all of the meat and seasoning juices into a serving bowl and enjoy with lettuce cups (ice burg lettuce works the best)!

Breakfast:
Scrambled Eggs
-left over fajita mix ground turkey
-left over veggie mix

Lunch:
Left over home made Thai Green Chicken Curry

Snack:
no peanuts in the nut butter!  SOOOO GOOD!
1 Tbs nut butter. No Peanuts! Peanuts are not actually a nut but are in fact a legume and are not considered paleo friendly.  My husband found this at Whole Foods Market but you can also find it pretty easily online.  I will admit however,when I first tasted it I was not impressed but after stirring it and leaving it in the fridge to harden a little bit I am so happy I found it!  If you haven't noticed already I eat some of this almost every single day.  *Warning: It is super expensive!

1 small fuji apple

Dinner:
A BBQ is a necessity when cooking Paleo. Sometimes all you need is a little fire and some tasty meat! Yum-tastic caveman style
BBQ Chicken Pieces
Giant Salad Galore!
-French baby lettuce 
-Cucumber
-Avocado
-Hearts of Palm
-Tomatoes
-Home made vinaigrette
BBQ Portabella Mushrooms with Garlic

Spread some crushed garlic on these bad boys and cook them on the BBQ! 

Cocktail:
Paleo Margarita
-Coconut juice
-LIME
-Tequila

Desert:
Blueberries


I hope you all had a fun and tasty Cinco De Mayo!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 9 of 30

Day 9!

Today I am absolutely feeling the effects of my bike ride from yesterday which means I am broken but in a good way.  In case you were wondering, I am NOT a cyclist. I ride on a comfy cushy hybrid cruiser type bike which is great for around town.  My ride was from Venice down to Manhattan beach and back.  It is a beautiful ride and not too hilly which makes for a lovely day. A lovely day that is until you are on your way back and your legs start cramping, but still fun!

Since it is Friday, I will recap my exercise for the week. I did Yoga on Monday and Wednesday, went for a run on Tuesday, and a bike ride on Thursday.  With all of that going on plus feeling really run down today I have decided that today is a day off from working out. I do believe that there must be a balance between working out, having fun, and the food you eat.  Since I have been doing such a great job with sticking to my strict paleo diet I need to remember to be aware and healthy about exercise.  This is something I feel is good for anyone and everyone.

I have done research on this topic and a lot of the research shows that there is such a thing as OVER exercising.  It can happen and can result in injuries galore.  Who wants to get injured and be out of commission potentially for weeks after making such a great effort to live a healthy lifestyle? Not me!  I like to put all of this into the category of "Be Kind To Yourself".

I know today's post isn't really about paleo but what you will find when doing research is that with paleo comes exercise.  It is not really a diet in which you will just do the diet and not do any form of working out.  The best part about paleo is that whatever your exercise preference is, paleo works really well with it.  You could be a city dweller who happens to walk all over the place, a runner, a swimmer, a yogi, a crossfitter, etc. and coming from my own experience you will notice a difference in your work outs once you start putting good clean nutrition into your body and get rid of the toxic waste.

I feel like my body is becoming more efficient when I am working out.  I also don't crave carbs when I get tired afterwards.  I want fresh veggies and MEAT!  I know it sounds crazy but to be honest I really don't miss sugar or carbs.  I have moments where a yummy chunk of cheese sounds good or a nice fresh parmesan but honestly, I don't crave them in the way I used to.  I don't feel like I need any of that stuff in my diet.

Also, I am noticing that my body is telling me when it is done eating.  I don't over eat to the point of being in pain any more.  This might sound silly to some but I used to think I was really good at stopping myself from eating when I thought my body was done.  Perhaps a small feeling of "full tummy" would occur but now I know that I was most likely overeating at almost every meal.  Now, I don't even really think about it when I am eating.  I just put my fork down and say to myself, "that was tasty" and move on. I feel satiated when I am done and never feel FULL to the point of being uncomfortable!  It is awesome!

Breakfast:
Scramble eggs
-leftover sweet potatoes chopped into small bites
-sauteed onions
-Salami
*Super duper tasty! The sweet potato worked really well with the onions and eggs.  I added some salami cut up into small pieces in order to add a little salty goodness to the sweet.  It really worked out well.

Lunch:
Left over curry
1 Tbs nut butter (with NO peanuts!)

Snack:
1 small Fuji apple
a small handful of cashews


Dinner:
Ground Turkey Lettuce cups
-1 lbs white ground turkey
-1/2 lbs dark ground turkey
-home made fajita mix
**find recipe on day 7
-Ice Burg lettuce for the cups
Avocado
Vegetable saute
-onion
-zucchini
-broccoli
-mushroom
Cholula hot sauce
**make sure to see what is in your favorite condiments.  There may be sugar!  Read ingredient label as often as you can.