Sunday, 30 June 2013

Day 23

My goodness time flies when you are having fun - or the older you get the faster time goes - one of those.  Speaking of older, my older younger brother is 62 today - Happy Birthday, Bob!

Day 23 of the Whole30 and, while we are enjoying the good food, I am noticing a distinct drop in energy from how I felt in the first couple of weeks.  Research on the Whole30 says that this is not unusual for some people, that it can take someone whose immune system is compromised a lot longer to get the full effect from the program. Stomach aches for as far back as I can remember - which, as I get older is not that far back - lead me to believe that I may have a leaky gut.  Paleo Grandad says he is feeling good and has a lot more energy.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

 Wednesday, my day-off, and Day 19 of my Whole30 challenge.  Both are going really fast.
I didn't blog yesterday - a bit of writers block - a hard day at work does that to me.

I like to get up early on my days off and look at all my favourite Paleo blogs to see what they are doing.  If you haven't looked at any Paleo blogs (except Paleo Granny, of course), you should have a look.  Not only are they are wealth of information, I find them to be great motivators and sources for new recipes to keep it interesting.

Paleo Parents are talking about their new cookbook, Beyond Bacon - out on pre-order now (my copy is on the way!).  Watch for a review in my book section - the U.S. Paleo community is raving about it so I am excited to try the recipes.  Paleo Grandad and I are big fans of pork (see tonight's dinner below).  We buy good quality, humanely raised pork.  It costs more, but the taste is worth it.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sunday passed in a blur - busy-busy and had a mood and energy slump at the end of the day.  Part of it was everything I did during the day, but part of it was thoughts of the week ahead.  A good night's sleep gave me an energy boost and a more positive outlook.  I seem to be able to bounce back from the energy slumps and   feeling down a lot quicker since I have been doing the Whole30.  No one's life is perfect (anyone?), but you shouldn't take what it bothering you to work and inflict it on your co-workers - they have their own problems to deal with.

I needed to count my blessings - family, friends, a comfortable roof over my head, good food to eat (really good lately), so many books to read (so little time), a blog I love writing and, of course, Paleo Grandad.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

BC strawberries ready - lots of strawberry stands in Richmond.  You can pick your own, or get them for about $3.00 a pound already picked - and they are so good.  However, if you want to sabotage your Whole 30, eat lots of fruit. "Lots" of fruit means something different for everyone.  I had a handful of cherries, three strawberries and two figs today and now I really need a nap - my blood sugar went up and now has crashed.  It doesn't take much sugar (whether is is natural sugar from fruit or baked goods) to spike my blood sugar.  All that summer fruit and I have to ration myself if I want to feel good.

Technically, since I don't feel good after having eaten fruit today, I should have clicked "I made some bad choices today...let's start my Whole30 over." when I the motivational/check-in email arrived today, but I didn't.  I don't think I sabotaged the whole thing - I just gave myself a reminder to be wary of fruit no matter how good it is.

Friday, 21 June 2013

We have an office "rule" that we explain to all new hires - when it is your birthday, you have to bring in birthday cake for everyone (good deal!).  As we have 18 staff in our office, we get cake a lot.  It has evolved into more than cake as we try to out do the last treat (e.g. ice cream sundaes with all the toppings, the most delicious chocolate cake from Whole Foods - healthy, right?).

Today was one of those days, and the birthday treat was an ice cream/fruit mixture enjoyed by everyone except me and my CF colleague (who is still battling a big sugar monster) - but he resisted too.  I didn't find it hard to resist as much as I love ice-cream (the Dairy Queen is still across the street), but I have been feeling so good I didn't want to mess that up - it wasn't worth it to me (today).

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A long, busy day at work and Day 13 of the Whole30.  Coincidentally, the Whole30 motivational/check-in email is about stress and what to do about it.  If you want to read the entire article, head over to the Whole30 site.

While you were raising a family, didn't you think about all the time you would have once the kids were grown and out of the house?  I know I did but, somehow, it hasn't worked out that way.  The older I get the less time I seem to have to myself and there are so many things I want to do.  The Whole30 asks in the motivational/check-in email, are you a "Stress Junkie".  If you answer "Yes" to one or more of these questions (as I did), you may be a "stress junkie".

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I want to talk about change tonight and what we would do to change something in our life.  Whether it is changing jobs to find your dream job, getting out of a bad relationship to make you happier, to quit smoking because your doctor has just informed you that you have cancer - what would it get for you to change to get a healthier, happier more fulfilling life?  The definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Whether you apply that definition to quitting smoking to improve your chances of surviving cancer and to lessen the chances of ever getting it again, or just changing your diet to feel more energetic, decrease brain fog, improve memory, get rid of rashes and make arthritis disappear, you need to change.  With the Paleo diet, not only do you need to change the way you look at food, but you need to look at the food "rules" you live by.  You may have grown up with these "rules" or, if you went through your 20's in the 1970's as I did, you were bombarded with diets - Weight Watchers, The Scarsdale Diet, The Atkins Diet...the list is long - you may have lost track of what you were eating and what made you feel good.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

If you are a follower of some of the US Paleo blogs you have probably noticed the majority of them are also regular attendees of Cross Fit gyms.  Cross Fits gyms, as I understand it, focus on quick short bursts of energy using strength training and, going by some of the before and after pictures of a lot of people, it really works for them.

But we are older baby boomers and, while that is not to say we couldn't join a Cross Fit gym as there are a few in the Lower Mainland, it is probably too extreme for any but the most dedicated gym rats.  A young work colleague told me he was starting Cross Fit the other day, and I asked him to tell me about it as I was interested (but not interested enough to go and try it for myself).  I think he liked it - but the throwing up put him off a bit.  Yes, really - he threw up the first time much to the entertainment of his fellow Cross Fitters.  He was told it is a rite of passage for any Cross Fit newbies.  Doesn't that sound like fun (not)?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Day 10 of the Whole30 and the first day of the work week.  I'm not sure if it is the Whole30 kicking in for me, or if it is Monday (raise your hand if you are a fan of Monday's - not me) but I was feeling tired today and not too energetic.  I have a very mentally energetic job, so not a good combination. Hopefully a good night's sleep will take care of that.

I have spent years on Zopiclone to help me sleep, though it never works that well and I was still only getting between four and six hours sleep per night taking it.  Since starting the Paleo diet I have been able to cut the nightly dosage in half and get anywhere from six to eight hours.  I had not been able to get rid of the Zopiclone entirely but, over the past ten days, I have cut the dosage in half and am still getting between six and eight hours most nights.  I am going to eliminate it entirely this weekend and see if I can sleep without it.

So, if you have to take pills for sleep, depression or other ailments, eating the Paleo way may help you lower the dosage or eliminate the pills entirely - of course, never do this without getting your doctor's support - I'm just sharing what worked for me.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

I haven't talked much about exercise for baby boomers and that's because it is one aspect of the whole Paleo thing I haven't got into.  When we were kids and the weather permitted, we were outside from morning to night running around and playing with all the kids in the neighbourhood.  We'd head home at dinner time (or supper time as it is called in the Prairies) and I never thought about exercise.  In fact, up until I had my first child, weight or health was never an issue.  As went through my 20's and 30's weight became more and more of an issue.  Other than looking after two children and keeping house, I didn't have much exercise, and I certainly didn't get outside to play much anymore.

I toyed with jogging and tried swimming but was never able to keep it going more than a couple of weeks.  I lost count of the number of gyms I joined as if just joining the gym would help me lose weight - of course it never did.  Later in life (mid-40's) I got into square dancing and managed to maintain a healthy weight, though various digestive and other health issues stayed with me.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The end of the first week on Whole30 (plus one) and we are noticing a difference - Paleo Grandad's beer belly has gone down noticeably.  I know men generally lose weight faster than women due to fat distribution and hormones - but still not fair.  However, I am noticing a difference as well.  When I first started the Paleo diet 10-1/2 months ago, I quickly lost all the bloating and distended stomach from the wrong foods I was eating, but my stomach was still too large and I was stuck, even though I continued on the Paleo diet.  The first week of the Whole30 has definitely pointed out areas for improvement and we are seeing the results.

Normally on a Friday or Saturday night we would consider going someplace for dinner.  Tonight I considered it but decided not too as we were are doing so well and didn't want to get off track.  And Paleo Grandad is always happier to have me cook for him.  We are not drinkers but, somehow, when we go out for dinner we always seem to have alcohol.  We have lost the taste for it now, so it is not a reason to go out for dinner anymore.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Day 7 - one whole week of Whole30 finished with dinner tonight - a tasty week.  This is what you eat on the Paleo diet - answering the question "What do you eat?".

Today's Whole30(R) motivational/check in email talks about sleep:
"Your energy levels are (no surprise here) largely dictated by your food choices.  Change your food and you change your blood sugar regulation, your hormonal response to food, your sleep quality and your ability to maintain consistently high energy levels throughout your day, without resorting to sugar or coffee for a boost."  Sounds good, doesn't it?

Breakfast today was the one minute muffin.  Because the free-range eggs we use are so large, I haven't been able to incorporate it into the flax seed entirely leaving white streaks.  So, this morning, I tried adding two teaspoons of coconut flour as coconut flour absorbs liquid.  However, two teaspoons is too much - the muffin was too dry.  Next time I am going to see if one teaspoon works.  I'll let you know.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Day 6 on the Whole30 and the living is easy.  Feeling pretty good and Paleo Grandad says he had an energy boost today - enough to get on his bike and go for a ride.  All good.

My sleep is improving each day and if, like so many women (and men) in our age group, sleep is an issue for you, I recommend that you give Paleo a try - what do you have to lose?  Oh yeah, you could lose weight, skin rashes, insomnia, some arthritis pain and the list goes on - and it is 30 days out of your life.

The Whole30 motivational/check-in email offers support in dealing with social situations as the weekend is coming up.  For example, how do you go to a party and stay on track - you can do it, but you need to prepare yourself.  Luckily, if you have been invited to a barbecue, it usually means meat of some sort, so unless it is slathered in sugary barbecue sauce, you should be good.  You can always demand politely ask your host to omit the barbecue sauce from your portion.  There are usually salads at barbecues too - just watch out for the salad dressings - maybe take your own olive oil and vinegar dressing.  You could also take a Paleo side dish so you know you will have something to go with the meat.  Make some coleslaw with Napa cabbage and an Asian oil and vinegar dressing (add some sesame oil and some ginger) and then hope some is still left for you - I have a recipe under the salad section of my Recipe Box.

Alcohol is off the table (no pun intended) for the Whole30, so club soda with lime (Whole30 suggests adding a couple of olives too) should be your friend for the party.  If you can't have fun at a party without alcohol you may be at the wrong party.  The video at the end of the motivational/check-in email today is about people who have way too much time (and office supplies) on their hands - but I have to say they are creative!

Today's food menu seems like a lot of food, but it is important you eat enough to not be hungry - as long as it is good food.

Breakfast went to work with me again.
Roast beef, hard-boiled egg and tomatoes
Leftover bacon meatballs, baked sweet potatoes and turnips and leftover oil and vinegar coleslaw were on the menu for lunch.  I make enough dinner for leftovers for lunch the next day on most nights.  It makes it easier to get going in the morning and saves time - it takes planning ahead though.

I had taken a snack to work, but I wasn't hungry so it didn't get eaten at work.  I may still have it later.
Strawberries and beef jerky.
I love truffle oil (try them on baked sweet potato fries and you will too - though you need to remember that a little goes a long way), so when I saw the recipe in The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking for Crispy Truffle Chicken with Herbs, I immediately put it on tonight's menu.  The recipe calls for a 6-pound chicken which I have in the freezer but didn't have time to thaw, so I just used chicken legs from my defrost bowl and cut the rest of the ingredients down accordingly and it was still Wow!

I also took the recipe for the vegetables from The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking - Roasted Cauliflower with Caper Relish - except I wanted something green and I love Brussels sprouts, so I just added them and they were also delicious with the caper relish.

Good food all day long.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Day 5 on the Whole30 and it is going fast and not relatively painlessly.  I definitely got new motivation by getting The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking - a great book.  If you think you would like to do a 30-day Paleo challenge, this would be a good book to have for an almost beginner.  Hayley and Bill do provide some basics about Paleo eating but, in my opinion, It Starts with Food is a must to get the full picture.  Then, when you are ready to go, The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking is definitely a good template to follow.  They lay out menus for four weeks, using leftovers from some meals to create others - a great time-saver.  They also give you the complete shopping list for each week's menu.  I am definitely going to be using a lot of their recipes over the next 3+ weeks, so stay tuned.

The Whole30 motivation/check-in email was about cravings and how to tell if your hunger is real hunger or just a craving.  My favourite tip was to imagine eating steamed fish and broccoli - if that sounds good you are hungry - go eat something.  If it doesn't, go do something else to distract yourself.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Great excitement - after a rough day at work (don't ask), I arrived home to find a new Paleo book had been delivered - The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking by Hayley Mason and Bill Staley.  Hayley and Bill (see we are on a first name basis) are the authors of one of the Paleo cookbooks that got me started on the Paleo path - Make it Paleo.  I will be reading the new book tonight (its my idea of a treat) so stay tuned for a review in Books I Like section of this blog soon.

Day 4 of my Whole30 and it is going well...except I found myself a bit tired today and a little emotional.  Hmmm...could this have anything to my strict eating plan?  Sure enough my Whole30 motivational/check-in email addresses that issue and provides ideas to get through it.  According to the email there are usually side effects on Day 3 (which I didn't notice yesterday) and that they are perfectly normal and they will pass - so stick to the plan folks - it will be worth it.  Spoiler alert - cute bear video at the end of the email.

Monday, 10 June 2013

When you come home from a busy day at work, you want to get dinner on the table as easily and quickly as possible.  If you have taken the time to clean and chop your vegetables during a day off, one of my favourite easy to put together dishes is "hodge podge".  I've seen hodge podge called:

  • garbage fry
  • ground meat skillet recipes
  • throw together, and
  • hot dish.
No matter what you call it, it is meat (or fish or seafood), vegetables (lots) and seasoning/sauce.  That is what I made for dinner tonight on Day 3 of the Whole30 (picture below).

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Day 2 of the Whole30(R)
Day 2 of sticking to the plan and received my first Whole30(R) check-in and motivational email (I won't spoil it for you in case you are doing this yourself - but the video is great!)  They ask you to click on either:
  • I did it! Another Whole 30 day in the bank.
  • I made some bad choices today...let's start my Whole30 over.
They're tough, but I was able to click the first one and didn't find it hard - but it is only day two.

In It Starts With Food they do warn you "...the only way this program will work is if you give it the full 30 cheats, slips, or special occasion foods or drinks."  The science behind this tough love is explained simply in the book - and is backed up with a research list.  I am telling you this is not a fad diet - it is a great lifestyle which I wish I had discovered 40 years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of health issues and personal problems.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The other day I sent an email to the Paleoista [click here to see the entire post] asking I lost 12 lbs right at the beginning of going Paleo and have been “stuck” there for 10+ months. I definitely feel better and have lost all my puffiness and stomach aches so I am happy about that, but still have more weight to lose which is just not coming off.  What am I doing wrong?” 

She came back with some things to look at - commonly made mistakes when not losing weight on Paleo.
  • How often are you eating?
  • Are your meals balanced according to the Paleo macronutrient ratio of roughly 40/30/30 in favor of complex carbohydrate coming predominantly from vegetables?
  • Are you eating the proper portion sizes?
  • What does your sleep look like?
  • How much water are you drinking?
  • What is your exercise regime?
  • Are you taking any medications that could cause weight gain?
  • Have you checked all supplements and supplements for hidden non-Paleo ingredients?
  • Are you fooling yourself into thinking that desserts or treats you’re making out of foods that may have once been healthy, Paleo options are a good thing to eat every day?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

I  choose to use most of my vacation to shorten my work week (it gives me more time to blog and cook) and I am lucky enough to have a job that lets me do that.  I usually take Fridays off but Fridays at work are usually quieter and I can get a lot more done, so I thought I would try having Wednesday's off for the month of June.  Work two days, have one day off, and work two more days, then off for the weekend sounds good doesn't it.

Today is my first Wednesday off and so far so good - but I have so many things I want to do in a day that I haven't stopped yet!  The first pleasure of the day was to read the new 'zine that arrived on my iPad yesterday.  I found Paleo Magazine when I was recovering from my fall down the stairs and got a year's electronic subscription.  It is not a big 'zine, but I find the articles and recipes really great and look forward to receiving the next issue.  Unfortunately, it is an American magazine and all the ads are for Paleo products from suppliers that don't ship to Canada.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Travelling and being able to find "good" food is not easy.  We were catching an early flight to Alberta, so instead of counting on airport food, I packed up some pumpkin muffins, pumpkin granola, bananas and organic beef pepperoni sticks.  Picked up coffee at the airport Starbucks and we were set.

We didn't eat all that for breakfast - too much food all at once even for us.  I had my dark roast coffee, a pumpkin muffin and a banana and I was full.  Paleo Grandad had a muffin, a pepperoni stick, his coffee and a banana but was still not able to resist those sugar and bad fat bomb cookies they hand out on the plane - blech.  So far so good - for me.

After a short flight to Alberta, and a "discussion" with the Budget Car Rental people (why go to the bother of reserving a car ahead of time if it is not ready when you get there?), we arrived in the Ponoka in time for lunch.
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