Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 27 for me!

This paleo thing has been really good for me.  I feel healthy.  I am going to continue it.  I have figured out many tasty recipes and they're GOOD!  I went to the grocery store today, and although I only have a few days left, technically, I didn't buy anything to reintroduce.  I just bought paleo stuff.  I'm not really feeling motivated to eat the other stuff.  I can't believe it.  I believe it was really important to do this for at least 30 days, any less before reintroducing and I may not have been able to control myself.  I'm feeling like I could continue to refuse shit food for the rest of my life.  I am going to try like hell, anyway.  I'm going to keep my coffee black, and I'm going to do my best not to eat any grains.  Definitely only when it's a treat for me.  I may have some dark chocolate first.  We have a big block of it, that I bought before I started the challenge.  It was meant for chocolate covered pretzels.  I will probably still make those for Nate and dip some fruit into it for me.  Now that sounds yummy.
Yesterday I made the most delicious bacon wrapped steak cubes.  Freaking delicious.  Today I made pumpkin coconut soup, also really, really good. This afternoon I put together some paleo chili, and easy paleo coleslaw.  For those of you who don't know much about paleo, check out the whole9 link on the side of the blog.  This week I've got an eggplant to cook up for lunches, some top sirloin for lunches, and ground meat for hamburgers on Tuesday.  I've got my menus all planned out.  I totally encourage people to give this a whirl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Feeling Freaking Great!

Today is day 21 of the Paleo Challenge.  I keep getting compliments from people and they ask me what diet I'm on.  I want to stress to everyone, that weight loss should never be done by dieting.  Dieting is bad for you.  At least the word "diet" as we use it these days.  A diet assumes a short term change in your eating habits to help you lose weight.  The problem with "dieting" is that the dieter plans on going back to eating what they want when they lose the weight.  Just the word brings up thoughts of starvation and unpleasant tasting food.  The very idea of a diet seems to bring along with it a feeling of "I must do this very difficult and unpleasant thing for a little while to get skinny."  I do not ever endorse changing your eating habits short term for a weight loss goal.  You set yourself up for failure- you will gain the weight back when you resume your prior habits, your goal is to get "skinny" instead of healthy, and the emotional rollercoaster takes a toll on you.  I am doing the Paleo Challenge, not because I wanted to eat like a caveman, or because I thought I would lose weight.  I am doing it because when I looked at the lists of foods that you can eat, what is not allowed for the strict 30 days and the reasoning behind it seems sound to me.  If I thought the challenge would have a detrimental effect on my health at all, I would not have taken the challenge.  Even if I would have lost weight.  I take my health much more seriously now than I ever did.  I would rather be healthy and bigger than unhealthy and skinny.  Skinny, it turns out, does not fix any of your problems.  I've been there before, it's the same old me, in smaller clothes.  I do encourage a healthy eating program for weight loss for anyone who is overweight and unhealthy, and for anyone who is too thin and unhealthy.  And for anyone who looks just right, but eats unhealthy.
I plan on keeping many of the rules of the paleo diet even after the 30 days.  I think it's dangerous to change to a healthy eating plan and then changing back to unhealthy.  I want to use this opportunity to listen to my body and find out what it really needs.  Not what all the experts say it needs, but experiment with different foods and find out if it is good for my body or not.  I'm surprised at how good I feel.  I thought I was eating very healthy before, but I was tired much more often and I got headaches more frequently.  Even my monthly cramps don't seem to bad today.  I am curious to find out what it is that I've taken out of my diet that feels so much better.  I'm sure there will be things that I can add back in, but I'm wondering what was making me more sluggish.  Even today, I'm stuffed up because there's a flu-like cold going around the island.  Everybody is dropping out like flies, calling in sick.  I have a runny nose, and that sucks, and I have a bit of a headache, but I actually don't feel all that bad.  I don't feel like I need to run home and lay in bed.  I could feel better, sure, but I think my immune system is busy kicking the bugs ass right now.  I predict a short-term sickness, rather than being down for the count.  I guess we'll see, I'll have to post whether I get real sick or not.  I still haven't decided whether I am going to try to reintroduce dairy or grains first.  I believe legumes/beans will be third and sugar will be the last thing.  I have 9 more days to go before I begin to reintroduce, so there's time to research.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 16!

Today was hard!  Not too bad, emotionally I was okay, but the cravings were there all day.  The initial excitement of the challenge has worn away, and now it's getting to be habit.  I really wanted a loaf of bread with butter melted in today, yum!  Anyway, it's a good thing that I had an entire chicken cooked, because I snacked on it all day.  I also have some packed for lunch tomorrow.  I need to make myself some paleo mayonnaise so I can make some chicken salad.  Yum, that sounds good.  I just made some green tea which I've found curbs the cravings at night.  That's all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week 3 Begins!

I have hear rumors that week 3 may be difficult.  That's okay.  I'm prepared for it.  I am determined to have a good week nonetheless.  I am not feeling hungry, so I know I'm eating enough, I'm not having too many cravings.  The forbidden food in close proximity to me is a little difficult, more because it would be so easy to grab a few crackers, down a cookie, or chug some juice in the fridge.  I am loving the way I feel, still.  My stomach looks great, and I feel full of energy.  I'm trying to get used to the lack of highs and lows that come with eating the sugar stuff, I don't have any rushes of energy, it's just a smooth ride all day long.  I am amazed at how much better I am right now about the mindless eating.  Even with the nut mixes I've been making when I feel like I need a snack.  You know how you can eat an entire bag of chips and not even really taste them?  I can't really do that with the nuts and the other things I've been eating.  Sometimes I'll grab a whole handful of nuts as a habit, but that generally doesn't last.  You end up grabbing just a few at a time and really chewing them.  Doesn't seem like a big deal, but you eat a lot less when you're taking the time to eat and enjoy it. 
It's a new year, it's time to eat healthy!!!
I don't have kbox tonight, due to MLK Junior Day, so I'll go tomorrow.  I got in an excellent hike yesterday, the girls and I drove out to Hauula with the doggies and did a really nice, not too steep 3 mile hike.  It had some good views, it didn't rain, and the dogs loved it!  There was running water in places, and little waterfalls.  Very cool hike for families and visitors.  There were some spots that out of shape people might need to rest at, but a nice hike in the woods.  Bring your bug spray!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 12!

I am loving eating like a cavewoman!  My body feels really good right now.  It is amazing when you eat well how your body thanks you by not tormenting you with intense cravings, stomach cramps, and major highs and lows with how you feel.  I did feel really exhausted the first week, so I can see why people might not make it that far, but it's totally worth it.  It was a challenge to find good food to replace what I was used to eating, but I am happy with my choices.  This is definitely not a diet, it is a lifestyle.  It has made me scrutinize all of the labels of things I eat.  My husband tried to get me McDonald's this morning and he got me scrambled eggs.  Before I ate them I looked online for the ingredients.  There is very little actual food in them.  So, sorry hubby, I didn't tell him, but the eggs and sausage went in the trash can.  I had some turkey bacon- I told him it didn't fill me up, so I needed more.  How sad that even scrambled eggs can't be just eggs.  Eggs aren't expensive and they last long enough that McDonald's should be able to keep them fresh.  But the turkey bacon filled me up enough to last me to a snack- I still like to do 6 small meals instead of the big 3, and I'll have some mixed nuts and some of the dried fruit I bought yesterday.  I was able to buy a bunch of frozen fruit too, which used to go bad before ( I ate that little fruit) but this should get me through to the next shopping trip.  I am amazed that I don't feel famished.  Not that I'm not eating alot, but I am not eating anything that used to be "comfort" food.  Food that mentally filled me up and satisfied.  No fried, or really starchy things.  And I'm not missing them.  Sometimes when I smell something that I used to really enjoy or something that previously came with good memories, like pancakes I do tend to salivate a little.  But, I know that it's the associations I make with those foods, not the food itself.  The food itself fills you up at first, but you are hungry soon after.  It is junk that goes into your stomach, but doesn't nourish you.  I feel now like I'm taking care of my body and it appreciates it.  (My stomach also looks damn good, by the way) 
I encourage anyone who reads about this to set a goal for a month and stick to it.  If nothing else, even if I went right back to eating the way I did before, I have learned so much about what is in the food I've been eating and how much better I feel when I don't eat it.  I encourage you to do it with friends and support who will keep you on track, check in with you and share your misery for the first few days.  That was huge.  I knew that many people were feeling like ass at the same time, and it wasn't just me.  I'm hoping some of the folks that I'm doing this challenge with will continue eating the same because it will give me inspiration to do the same. 
Last night's dinner, super tasty- Hamburger with salt and pepper over a bed of steamed cauliflower, carrots and broccoli, with a fried egg on top.  I also poured a little coconut milk over top, although that was unnecessary.  I just am finding myself pouring coconut milk over everything these days. 
I am finding that I don't need to count calories because I'm not mindlessly eating.  I'm not coming home starving, so I don't feel like I need to raid the fridge.  All in all, I'm just excited to finally be eating healthy again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Starting Week 2 Paleo

It is very apparent to me as every day goes by that the support I am getting from others doing the challenge is crucial.  It is much easier to reach in my bag for the baby carrots or orange instead of seeking out other food when I can go to Jen's blog and read about everyone else's misery.  I have eaten healthier in the past week than I have ever eaten in my life.  Especially now that I know that you can't slip up and eat cheese or something and keep counting days.  You have to start over.  So I'm really lucky that Nathan's iced coffee tasted bad because I would be starting over.  I get it, you are doing the challenge for 30 days, 30 days is what it takes to restart your body or whatever the hell it is I'm trying to do here.  So, I will not be starting over, which means I'm going to continue to be very strict.  I can tell that this way of eating is better than what I was doing before.  I'm just not hungry.  And I don't crash at 2pm.  My blood sugar level seems to be staying pretty stable.  Here I am at the office at 4:30pm and I'm not zoned out like I normally would be.  Especially after last night's killer kickboxing class. 
I am wondering what will come of this in the future.  Will I want to stay away from dairy and grains for good?  I suppose I should leave that question until the end of the challenge.  The dairy/grain thing is definitely a mental thing, not a physical one.  Physically I feel awesome, don't feel hungry.  But there's so many positive things paired up with these comforting foods that my mind is missing.  I need to deal with that, or even if this way of eating is for me, it won't last long.  The breakfast = bread thing.  The bread to sop up soup thing.  The bread to hold your sandwich together thing.  The rice to hold your chili thing.  All of those associations that are made need to be reinvented.  I guess it will take practice.
Going home now to make a paleo hamburger.  Yum!

Monday, January 10, 2011

End of Week 1

Today was the end of day 7.  I felt great.  Kickboxing was good, I can't say that it was because of how I've been eating necessarily, but I felt really good.  I had really great focus, and although I didn't have any crazy bursts of energy, I didn't get tired.  I felt like I could have kept going when the class was over.  Should have stayed for Zumba after!
For dinner I made this great curry chicken.  I subbed sweet potatoes for regular white potatoes, and didn't have any rice.  It was good.  I found the recipe here.  The amount of water to add seemed like a lot to me so I only put in one cup instead of three and it was still runny.  I was thinking about adding even less next time.  I'm assuming I was supposed to add the water at the end with the coconut milk, the recipe wasn't real clear.  Anyway, it was tasty and i have a bunch left over.  I'm thinking tomorrow I will have some of the leftovers with some broccoli and cauliflower, or maybe I'll bring it for lunch.  The minor spice/heat of the curry left me feeling really full.
So, still going strong with the Paleo Challenge, it's much easier than it was in the beginning.  Seems like I'm feeling good because I'm eating healthy. 

Week 1- Let's celebrate!

So today marks my last day of the first week.  It's amazing how much easier this has been getting.  I've got my lunch packed for work, it's full of fruits, turkey bacon, and nuts and berries.  Also I found a salsa with no extra ingredients, so I threw that together with some tuna.  Experimental, we'll see if it's any good or not.  Have to head out, but feeling great this morning and wanted to check in.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 6

So far this weekend has been really great.  Yesterday I woke up feeling good and hiked Kuliouou with Joanna and Keysa.  It was cold when we started and very clear out.  It was a perfect day for that hike because it is always hot and you can lose out on the view if it's cloudy or rainy.  We made it to the top with a few stops, we took our time and enjoyed nature.  The steps at the top of the hike have been redone recently, so there wasn't any slipping and sliding.  Just a lot of stairs.  It always makes me feel like I'm hyperventilating when it gets to that last stretch, but the view is worth any pain that comes with the climb.  It's just gorgeous.  You see the Windward side, Koko Head and all the way to Diamond Head.  The breeze was perfect.  The hike down was quick. 
After the hike we went to Joanna's where her husband was showing off his new Panini maker.  He was building paninis for everyone.  I just grabbed some turkey and tomatoes and ate that cold.  Everyone seemed concerned that I should have more, but I actually didn't want a panini or any more food.  I was tired from the hike.  I had some water and socialized for a little while and then had to head home for a hot shower to rejuvenate.  I forget how tired you get when it's cold outside.  It's so easy to become a sloth and bury yourself under blankets. 
On the way home I stopped at the store for some more fruit and sweet potatoes.  I had a snack of turkey bacon and banana, surprisingly delicious, and watched Dinner for Schmucks with Nathan.  Stupid movie. 
Ate Filet Mignon and sweet potato baked with olive oil and salt for dinner.  Had a few cashews for late night snack.
This morning I went for a walk on the beach with Jaime and we went all the way to Touch Rock!  It felt really good.  It was cold when we started, but it warmed up perfectly and was just right to jump into the ocean at the end.  The water felt freezing to me, but good.  I couldn't stay in long and headed back here for some black coffee, eggs and bacon!  I'm enjoying this paleo stuff.  I really like the food I'm eating now that I'm getting a handle on what's in and what's not.  I have to print up another list to have it handy with me when I go shopping so I can refer to it when I have questions. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 4- Feeling Good

Yesterday was really exhausting, I didn't get a good night's sleep and then I was tired all day.  I didn't get done what I had hoped to accomplish through the day and slept through kickboxing class.  However, last night I did get a good night's sleep and today I feel great.  I had my 2 eggs and snacked on mac nuts, almonds, cashews and raisins.  I'm getting ready to somehow bake some chicken I brought with me to work.  Not sure yet how I'm going to go about that. 
I think yesterday may have been a true detox day, I didn't sleep well, then I was exhausted, I felt like I wanted carbs, and my skin started to break out last night.  I hope that has passed, hopefully I'll feel like I do now from here on out.
It really is amazing to find out how much grains and dairy I eat through the day.  I didn't have to totally change my diet, luckily I like vegetable and meat, and I don't eat much candy bars and really processed foods, but apparently I eat a LOT of dairy.  Mostly cheese.  I'm not trying to lose weight really, so I'm not going too crazy with this stuff, I haven't "cheated" however, and I'm learning a lot about the food that I do put into my body.  If nothing else, this is making me read the ingredients on everything.  Any soy products are out, so you would be amazed to find out how many items have soy lecithin or other hidden soy items.  It also opens your eyes to how much corn syrup is in everything.  I mean, I knew that it was way too prevalent, but I didn't realize that it is in almost every single one of the products I have on my refrigerator door.  It's in all of my salsa packets from Taco Bell, in most of the sauces and toppings that you eat.  It makes sense when you think about sweeter items, but there are a lot of "saucy" items that have corn syrup.  Many of the foods I thought I would fall back on during this challenge are actually not allowed.  Even my dill pickles have ingredients that I can't pronounce.  How sad is that?
Ultimately I think this challenge has already been beneficial and my pants are feeling looser.  I will be interested to know what 26 more days will bring.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day 3 for Me

I am loving that Jen is blogging about the 30 day challenge and getting alot of feedback from friends.  It's making it easier to stick to my guns.  Also, I didn't realize that I would be feeling side effects of being tired and some stomach issues.  It helps to know I'm not the only one.  I am thinking that I need to get one of the foods that is higher in carbs that is still paleo friendly.  I just read on another blog that gave some examples.  Cashews, onions, and coconut milk are on the list.  There was also liver, but that is just not happening, and processed lunch meat, but that was an example of what not to eat.  So I should stop at the store on the way home and grab some cashews and coconut milk.  I'm also not 100% sure about sweet potatoes yet.  I'm still researching whether they are allowed or not.  If they are, I'm going to get one.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Second Full Day of Challenge

Okay, I was able to get some supplies so I can do this Paleo thing for real.  It's not too hard if you have supplies on hand.  As long as I have something to crunch on when I see that big cake in the refrigerator, I am satisfied.  I did wake up hungrier than usual, I think that's because I didn't eat after dinner at all, and I'm not used to that.  I should plan on having a snack ready for myself for when Nate makes ice cream or has a candy bar.  Maybe unsweetened raisins?  I really should get my food dehydrator out and make some dried fruit.  It would make things easier.  It's hard to find dried fruit without a lot of additives.  Anyway, day 2 feeling good. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Going Paleo for 30 days

You may know by now that I am pretty incapable of coming across a challenge and not giving it a try.  So far the only two challenges that I am pretty sure I will not do include a Marathon- since a Half-Marathon messed up my knee, and sky-diving.  And sky-diving is not a certainty, who knows, maybe someday I'll feel up to it.  The latest challenge was brought to my attention by my bestest friend Jennifer from New York.  She has been inspiring lately as she has gone from eating only boxed macaroni and cheese, deep fried mozzarella sticks and deep fried chicken (everything dipped in Ranch Dressing) to eating healthy and organic and now to doing a Paleo 30 day challenge.  She has been getting more and more fit doing Crossfit with Hudson Valley Crossfit and is now way more in shape than I've ever been.  I'm super impressed and proud of her.  I've been following along as she and her crossfit family have been preparing for and supporting each other for the Paleo challenge.  It sounds intriguing and is similar to dietary changes I have been working towards for a long time.  The funny thing is, recently I had been contemplating whether I have a food allergy, for reasons I won't go into now.  The Paleo challenge will help me figure that out, since you cut out all grains and dairy.  After the 30 days you one by one, introduce "forbidden" items back into your diet.  If I do have an allergy then I will know when the food is reintroduced.  If I don't, I can decide whether or not I want to continue to eat those foods. 
I decided last minute yesterday that I was in for the challenge.  Luckily my diet has been heading in that direction for a while, so I had many foods available for me in the fridge.  It was not an ideal lunch that I packed for myself, I know that I need to stop at the store for some better foods before I head home. 

For breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled, as always
For daily grazing: almonds, turkey and mustard, and raisins. 

The raisins I've discovered are not a great option because of the sugar.  I'm okay with not being perfect this first day, especially considering I didn't know I was doing the challenge until 5pm last night and was way too tired to do any food shopping after kickboxing. I brought along a can of tuna, in case I am hungry later, but I don't think I will be.  If I graze all day and am busy like I have been today, and will continue to be until 4:30, I'm generally not too hungry.  I think it was good to just jump right in it and toss the food that I can't have for the challenge.  The yogurt went in the trash :( but it's okay it's a healthy lifestyle decision.  I am very hopeful that yogurt will treat my body well when I reintroduce it, cause I really love my plain yogurt with nuts and berries.  And I do love my whole wheat oatmeal.  Right now that's in the freezer, it won't go bad in a month, and I'll see if I can have my oatmeal with berries back in my life.  My coffee it turns out, is pretty darn tasty black.  It makes a difference when you drink good coffee versus Folgers or fast food coffee (although McDonald's coffe is surprisingly delicious out here in Hawaii).
I made a list of food to grab after work and we'll see how things go! 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Beginning of 2011

This year has been a year of financial and emotional roller coasters.  Nathan and I are struggling to keep our mortgage reasonable and still put money away into savings.  At the same time we haven't been back to the east coast in 2 years.  Through it all, 2010 actually ended up on a positive note.  I got to do tons of cool stuff including another Great Aloha Run, the Swamp Romp as Joanna's bridesmaids, my Mom came to visit, I started getting my supervision for licensure, Titus had surgery and now is walking without pain, found the Flylady and Byron Katie, took a finance class, started meditating, lost 15 pounds, and had the best high tech skype Christmas.  I was able to start eating healthier, I now eat 6 small meals a day which includes food which I believe to be healthy.  I have been able to leave out the sweetener in my coffee and now can enjoy unsweetened tea.  So, although it's been said, "2010, Never again" it wasn't so bad.
I'm starting 2011 at 134 pounds.  I'd like to lose 9.  125 would be a good weight to try to stay at.  I was feeling really good at 128 a few months ago.  I don't think I want to be any less than 125.  This year I want to run the Great Aloha Run, do the Swamp Romp again, and get my licensure paperwork together so I'm ready to take the test next year when it's time.  I'm going to switch from Kickboxing to Tae Kwon Do and hopefully get Ananda to do it with me.  I also want to go back to Yoga, since I am back to being the least flexible person on planet Earth.  2011 is going to be awesome.