Start Strong

Its Monday and for some reason everybody thinks they need to make their changes on this day and if they somehow mess up they should just wait until next week.  That thinking should not exist but if it does here is your reminder to start strong today.

People have this idea that cooking breakfast takes a long time and its just too difficult.  I am a huge fan of a pretty complex breakfast but I understand that sometimes this simply cannot be achieved.  Even my complex breakfast only takes around 15-20 minutes to make but I have a pretty nice rhythm to it so maybe it will take you longer.  In that case there are such simple breakfast that will set you up for a good day of food choices and make sure you are getting what you need from your food.  Robb Wolf recently said that Bacon, Eggs, and Coffee equals Love.  True story.

This morning I had my bulletproof coffee, 5 fried eggs, and some guac.  Simple but effective.  And I think guac is definitely a critical part of that equation for love.

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That takes maybe 2 minutes more then making a bowl of cereal (which is not a good way to start the day) so there really is no excuse.  

In case you are looking for some more positive stories about this whole Paleo thing here is a nice blog post from Robb Wolf’s site.  Maybe life has you moving at such a rapid pace you are forgetting to stop, slow down, and enjoy life.  I know that can be a huge problem even for myself as I get sucked into the daily grind of trying to get everything taken care of.  Mark Sisson has a great post on 32 ways for slow living in the summer.  This brings me to an issue I think needs to be dealt with a whole bunch more.  Have fun, play, and enjoy life.  A couple weekends back I actually drove down to Houston just so I could go see the Lion King play with my family.  It was fantastic and I am so glad I made that decision rather then say I am too busy and need to get stuff done.  

One of the reasons I love having my dog, Roxie, with me in Dallas and both dogs when I am at my family’s house in Houston, this includes Maximus, is because I get to have fun and play with them.  Dogs understand that they need to play.  Just look at my two dogs.

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And then they rest.

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There are valuable lessons to be taken from other animals like play and rest are both good.  Speaking of sleep this article from The Daily Beast did a nice job of highlighting the detrimental effects of a lack of sleep.  Read that article and then answer this question.  Do you really want to end up like Rick Perry during the debates because you don’t sleep enough?  If you want to act like your drunk thats fine but then actually be drunk.  Don’t let sleep make you act like your drunk because well thats just a waste on both accounts.

Now I need to get a few things off my chest.  If you follow me on Facebook then you saw my status yesterday about a woman at the movie.  But I am going to state it again here.  When you have to hand your husband the jumbo tub of popcorn so that you can grab the hand rail to walk 4 stairs…not 4 flights of stairs but literally 4 stairs and you end up weezing for the next 5 minutes (could have been longer but the movie started so the sound may have covered it) it might be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle.  Another sign might be that you literally take up 2 seats and the people in your aisle have to jump over your legs rather then just walk by.  I was blown away by this whole thing.

Second thing on a more humorous note.  When a restaurant claims its fajitas are for 3 people I should not be able to finish it no problem.  I do eat a lot but thats some false marketing right there.  At least they were delicious.

What did I eat last night for dinner?  Just some salmon, cauliflower, and sweet potato.  A standard meal for me.

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I mean you can decide if thats a lot of food.  I will say that there was nothing left when I was done.

Now I know its Monday which means the busy work week has started but make sure to take some time and just have fun and play.  Even playing video games (for like 30 minutes or so) is fine if you are having fun.  Just make sure you don’t get caught in the trap of thinking busy is better.  So get this week off to a strong start and don’t look back.  

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan or a Hobbit fan try to be a little bit like Bilbo or Frodo and just go for an adventure and enjoy.  Yes I just nerded out but I saw the trailer for the Hobbit yesterday and I am pumped. Living in the world would be fun but for now I will just get my fun from this one and so should you.

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Back at it

Sorry for the hiatus but I am back and ready to blog.  Lets jump right in.

First you need to order or go to your bookstore and buy Practical Paleo.  I just got my copy the other day and it blows me away.  Its half educational, half meal plans, half meals, and half helpful 1 page tear-outs that you can’t survive without.  The author is Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.  I have linked to her may times but seriously go do yourself a favor and buy this book.

Now I need to also send a shout-out to Jimmy Moore over at the unbelievably awesome website Living La Vida Low Carb.  He posted a link to my blog today and its attracted some new readers.  Follow him on twitter especially because he also posts great links and is one of the leaders in the Paleo community.

This post is going to be slightly long because I am about to post exactly what one of my friends sent me after trying this whole paleo thing.  I believe it works but all I really ask is that you give it a try for 1 month and see how you react.  That means measuring how you feel, look, and perform.  Robb Wolf definitely coined that phrase and approach but I could not agree more.  So now here is exactly what my friend said and I could not be prouder of his dedication and impressed by his results.

So, my Whole 30 ended on Wednsday of this week. Here is some data and various observations.

I followed the Whole30 almost perfectly except I ate a protein bar that had some soy and dairy and had a few tequila drinks and a few glasses of wine. Not much. 

1. I lost a total of 15 pounds as of this morning (technically 32 days but who’s counting. Weight loss was a goal for me though I know you wanted me to de-emphasize it. Still it was motivation enough for me to stay on it. 

2. Using a hand held body fat measuring device (we all know Hydrostatic Weighing is the gold standard) I lost 9 pounds of body fat.

3. My skin looks fantastic (though it always has) I had been developing some strange occasional rash on my back and neck that came and went and it is now gone. My only conclusion is that it was food induced and I’ve eliminated something that caused it.

4. My suit and dress pants no longer fit. I took all of them in on Tuesday to have them taken in. Told her I’d be back in 45 days 

5. The first 5 days of going Paleo was utterly miserable. I wanted to shoot myself. Thought about food constantly, was in a bad mood and pretty much hated you. I woke up on a Saturday (started the Program the following Monday) and I wasn’t in a rush to eat, felt like life would go on and really didn’t want you dead. It was like someone flipped a switch. Not being dramatic. It was that recognizable. 

6. I didn’t work out at all first 10 days. Didn’t have much energy and wanted to focus on the food and other things. Started working out lightly after that and then went 3 days a week. I’ve started back at my 4 to 5 and will visit Thousand Oaks Crossfit next week to see if my knees are up to the challenge. Swimming was my main form of cardio.

I’ve decided to keep doing the Whole30 for another 30 days. I may add some protein drinks (Found some at Sprouts that are gluten, soy, dairy and sugar free. I blend it with coconut milk, a whole cucumber, frozen blueberries and ice. yum) on occasion but plan on sticking with it as if it’s a lifestyle change. I’ll start working out more and putting on some muscle which will slow weight loss but I’m going to measure my waist every two weeks or so and not worry about the scale any more.

I have a long way to go to be healthy and fit like I want to but this has really been a gift. Thanks again. 

 

Thats freaking awesome.  That right there makes this entire blog worth it.  What do you have to lose by giving this a try for 30 days?  And honestly if you look through my posts you will see that the things I cook are extremely easy.  But I promise they really do taste good.  Obviously I have favorites and some meals turn out better then others but I honestly never think to myself that I want to eat a different way.  

And now I want to just do one meal tonight and break down exactly how I make it.  I have made this meal in the past and it was actually my sister who first turned me on to this meal.  Check out her blog as well for paleo information and food.  If you live in Dallas and have ever gone to either Kozy Kitchen or Company Cafe then you know this meal as the Bowl of Doom or the Deep Bowl.  This is my own version.

First peel and cut up a sweet potato.  Then place that sweet potato in a food processor and shred it up.  Turn on the skillet.  I used slightly lower then medium heat.  Add Grass-fed butter and let it melt and cover the skillet.  Then pour in the shredded sweet potato.

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Let that cook for about 5-8 minutes.  You can also cover the skillet to let the sweet potatoes steam some as well.  Then you can use sausage, ground beef, ground lamb, or your meat of choice.  Normally I use ground beef or sausage.  Tonight I cut up some sausage which I bought straight from my local rancher.  Its delicious on its own but in this meal its even better.

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Let this cook for a few minutes until the sausage begins to look like its a few minutes away from cooked all the way through.  This means the sausage goes from pink to more of a grayish brown color.  Once you hit that point then throw in some eggs.  I went with 4 eggs.

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Then you just let that cook until the eggs are done to your liking.  I went for a nice middle ground on the eggs tonight.  I let this cook for about 5 minutes.

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Then just put all of that deliciousness on a plate or bowl and enjoy.  

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And feel free to throw on avocado, salsa, and even bacon.  I just happened to be out of all of those ingredients so I kept it simple.  

So there you have my very own Plate of Doom.  Perfect for after a tough workout or when you just want some good food.  

And now its time for some Olympics and Suits.  If you don’t watch Suits on USA…well you should.  Get on that but only after you take care of those other important things like food, exercise, sleep, and play.  

 

The Difference

I love the olympics for a ton of reasons and have been watching both on television and on the internet.  One of the biggest reasons I love the olympics is because these sports are able to unite countries and also bring people together through sports.  I never grow tired of seeing my country succeed in the olympics and then to see the reactions of all those people around me who are blown away by these performances.  I mean seriously a 17 yr old girl won a gold medal for America.  Thats amazing and what I was truly blown away by was the fact that Missy Franklin has not taken any endorsement deals or money because she wants to be able to compete for her high school swim team.  

I also love watching these athletes and marveling at their ability and dedication.  These are the people who devote themselves to being the very best they can.  They make the right decisions in training, recovery, sleep, nutrition, and so many other aspects of their lives.  Obviously certain athletes will have different nutritional needs then others and different then just the average person but they still listen to their bodies and make choices that help them succeed.  In large part the difference between olympic athletes and the normal person is that the olympian makes the right decisions.  They don’t allow peer pressure, laziness, or just pure disregard get in the way of their dream.

People are inspired by the olympics and they should be.  Most of all I think people should be inspired to better themselves.  Maybe you can’t be an olympic athlete but you can make better choices.  Olympians do virtually everything right in order to compete.  Try to just improve some aspect for your health.  Eat better, sleep better, play more, get in the sun, workout, walk, and so many more.

Why should you do this stuff?  You may say you don’t want to be an olympic athlete so who cares what you eat or that you don’t workout.  That argument just cannot stand and Rudy from Outlaw Crossfit (one of the leading boxes in the country doing some crazy things sending 14 athletes to the games this year) talked about this stuff today.

My knee always hurts and some days I lift for three hours. However, if there is any object that needs to be lifted or displaced, I will be more likely to be able to handle the task than 99.9% of the population of earth. If I am a victim of some sort of blunt force impact, am assailed by an attacker, or simply need to move out of harms way quickly; I am more equipped to handle these and other “wrong place – wrong time” scenarios than I would be if spent my free time outside of the gym.

I’ll take a little knee pain, and the $200 I paid for my Romaleos, if it means I don’t have to live with the fear of being unprepared for whatever physical test life may throw at me.

You can find the whole article on his website.

You will also find him on this list of 15 must read fitness people.  You will also find Jason Ferruggia, KStarr, and Greg Everett.  These guys are amazing and you really should look into them.

One quick note on the olympics that was far from inspiring.  4 teams were actually disqualified for throwing badminton games to receive favorable match ups.  Seriously?  In badminton of all sports.  Mind Blown.  

Also go listen to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that had Robb Wolf on it earlier this week.  It was awesome and Robb gives a ton of great information in the podcast like explaining how you should not be using advil and its effect on the body.  Or how he has 2-3 drinks daily…yes daily.  He explains how this can be beneficial.  I listened to it on my drive from Houston to Dallas (its about a 2 and half hour long podcast) and it makes time fly by when you are driving.  Especially because they are both funny guys.

On to some food stuff.

I made some Carnitas on Sunday which came straight from the Well Fed cookbook.  Go and check out her website.  I won’t give the recipe here because it did come from her cookbook.  But essentially this is pork cooked for 3 hours that essentially fries itself in some citrus juices and its own fat.  It turns out amazing.  I made that lamb recipe a few weeks back using a very similar method.

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I love this cooking method and how amazing the food turns out.  Also I cooked 3 lbs of pork with this recipe which meant it was good for 2 meals.  

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That right there is some of that 10 lbs of salmon I bought.  Grilled which made it wonderful.  I also baked some eggplant.  The eggplant had a unique texture but it tasted good.  All you would do is cut it up as pictured then put on some salt, pepper, and either coconut oil or grass-fed butter.  Cook on 425 for around 45 minutes.  Turned out delicious which is good because my CSA is giving a lot of Eggplant right now.

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And my go to beef and broccoli.  Recently my sister tweeted that guac and salsa are the new pbj.  I couldn’t agree more so I took this picture to show you that they really do go together.  I use them in combination all of the time and absolutely love it.  This particular beef and broccoli I cooked with some lime juice and arizona dreaming seasoning.  This meant it had a little bit of a mexican food type flavor.  I like this meal because its easy but versatile in that I can just change up a few ingredients and create an entirely different meal.  

And finally this weekend I went to my parents house and spent some time with my dogs.  Roxie the white one lives with me in Dallas and Maximus the gold one lives with my parents in Houston.  I love them.  Tomorrow I will post again about my weekend down in Houston because I went and saw the Lion King in theater.  Tomorrow won’t deal with food but will deal with other aspects of health such as playing more and enjoying life.  

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Remember the difference is mostly knowing what you are capable of and not letting anything come in the way and stop you.  Olympians don’t let anything get in their way.  Stop letting things get in your way.  That difference between them and you really isn’t that big of an issue.  Find a way to close that gap.  Get inspired and get to work.