Friday, 30 August 2013

Sleepless Nights?

OK - you know the drill - if you aren't interested in what I have to say, scroll down to the bottom for today's dinner recipes.

For years I have suffered from insomnia, averaging 3-6 hours of sleep per night.  I tried everything - sleeping pills, a cool dark room, white noise, mediation, relaxation techniques, but nothing made a difference for any length of time.

After about eight months on the Paleo diet, while still taking sleeping pills, I started noticing a difference in my sleep.  It became easier to fall asleep, but I didn't stay asleep, waking every two hours or so.  On more and more nights I was able to fall back to sleep, waking again about two hours later.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Setting Goals and Making Ribs!

Sunday is cooking day so I made ribs and Paleo Carolina Gold BBQ sauce for dinner tonight.  If you aren't interested what I have been doing and thinking about, you can skip the next part and go to the recipe at the bottom of the post!

I met up with a old long-time friend, Kathy,  for lunch this past week, something we have done for  the past 30+ years. In our younger days,  something we did every year was to set "goals" for ourselves for the next year.  I still have some of the lists - finish my degree (Kathy), get out more (me) and - always - lose weight.  Every single year - lose weight.  Not once did we list "get healthy" as a goal.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Food Prep for the Week Ahead

Whenever I can I like to spend a couple of hours on Sunday preparing food for the week ahead.  It really makes dinner easy when I get home.  Besides all the baking I did on Saturday, I also prepared Nomnom Paleo's latest recipe Spiced Keema (deconstructed samosa filling) as my emergency protein.  Emergency protein is Nomnom Paleo's term for always having some cooked protein on hand so you always have something ready if you are rushed for time. This is quite spicy, but would be great for breakfast with an egg on top, or for dinner with some cauli-rice.
Nomnom Paleo's Spicy Keema - emergency protein.
I prepped a lot of vegetables - Brussels sprouts, cabbage and shredded sweet potato.
Sunday morning breakfast, coconut blueberry pancakes and bacon
Let's talk about food - joke - what else do I talk about!  In Vancouver we have a restaurant called Romer's Burger Bar that I have been to a few times and I was reminded of it on Friday.  They have great burgers made of every type of meat you can think of. (They also have freshly made mini donuts with three dipping sauces, and truffle fries - but we won't talk about them.)  You can order whatever burger you want, with the fixings, in a small head of iceberg lettuce.  I had pastured ground beef in the defrost bowl at home and thought Friday night was a good night for hamburgers, so I stopped at my local vegetable stand to get the iceberg lettuce.  They had iceberg lettuce, but the heads were huge and they didn't look very appetizing, so I picked up some butter lettuce instead and here's the finished dish.
Added mustard, pickle and tomato - juicy but good.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Importance of sleep

I just got a new phone today - a Samsung S4 - so cool, but I needed to get a case for it so it wouldn't get banged around in my purse, so off to the mall after work.

Paleo Grandad met me there and after getting the case, a nice red one (and a keyboard for my iPad - 20% off, how could I refuse?), we went into White Spot for dinner. As usual when  Paleo Grandad walks into a restaurant, his Paleo switch turns off and he chose a shrimp sandwich on sourdough bread with fries, which he said was "OK" only - I think we should save off-Paleo eating for "OMG delicious" and not just OK.

I try to stick as close to clean eating as I can, because I hate the stomach upsets I get when I don't so I am more motivated.

Back home again, and time to relax and de-stress before our ten o'clock bedtime.  We could have gone for a bike ride, but then I wouldn't have time to blog and that is a great de-stressor for me as well (find something you love to do).

The Paleo lifestyle is not just about the food you eat - though that is a really important one.  The Paleo lifestyle is diet, exercise and sleep.  I figured out a long time ago (as did Paleo Grandad) that that if I was tired you really don't want to be around me.  Heck, I didn't want to be around me.

I began having sleep problems (falling asleep and staying asleep) about 15 years ago and started taking medications to try to correct the problem - sleeping pills, anti-depressants and tranquilizers. Don't ever believe that any of these medications aren't "addictive".  They may not be in the sense that you can be addicted to say heroin, but the dependency these legal drugs create is pretty bad.  After awhile the dosages you are on stop working and you have to take more or switch to another medication with new side effects.  You begin to think that it is impossible to sleep unless you take the pills.

Monday, 5 August 2013

The end of a long-weekend and I have to go back to work tomorrow :( - a week's vacation goes so quickly, especially as there were so many things I wanted to do.  I didn't get them all done as I decided to re-do the kitchen and was also trying to figure out how to make my blog recipes look better and printable - I didn't succeed.  I have discovered that Google Blogger is very limited when it comes to food blogging, and I think I need to switch to another blog my free time.

Another beautiful summer day in the Lower Mainland.  We started out the morning by cycling to Steveston to have breakfast at Diner One on No. 1 Road in Steveston.  I Googled "breakfast Steveston" and - wow - not many choices.  We hadn't been to Diner One before but the food turned out to be pretty good and the prices were reasonable for breakfast.
Paleo Grandad's breakast

Sunday, 4 August 2013

What to eat when you are re-decorating your kitchen?

Lesson learned - meal planning when your kitchen is covered in plastic and wet paint and countertop refinishing material is hard and I should have planned ahead with pre-made salads and pre-cooked meats. My defrost bowl is full of tasty grass-fed, free range meat, but I couldn't get to the cupboards and drawers to cook them.

While we do rent the townhouse we live in, it is still our home and we want it to be comfortable.  Other than being tired, there was nothing really wrong with our kitchen, so there was no way the landlord would do any redecorating, though we did just get a new kitchen floor because they had to pull up the carpet in the hallway and install tile due to a mold issue, so they re-did the kitchen floor at the same time.  I thought my week off from work would be a good time to redecorate, but I forgot to plan for cooking meals when I had no access to most of the cupboards, the sink and the dishwasher.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Seniors Exercise

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, the Paleo diet is closely associated with Crossfit and Crossfit is pretty hardcore and intense when you are a 60+ baby boomer and have been leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle. Remember my young (under 30) office colleague who threw up on his first Crossfit workout - it was so intense.  I don't think that is for me and it probably isn't what you are looking for either.

I think the key to senior fitness (not as a fitness expert, but only saying what works for me), we just have to get moving whether it is a walk every day (even ten minutes), gardening for an hour or so, cycling (my favourite right now), swimming (I can't swim and am afraid of water - sigh!) and, as touted by current research, some form of strength training.

So, what are "Paleo" exercises?  According to Get-Fit Guy...ancient man did not likely (you think??) have access to pilates machines or other fancy weigh-lifting machines or a posh gym membership.  Although there are certainly advantages to these modern fitness conveniences, it is possible to build a very impressive and fit body using a range f movements that are called "functional" or "multi-joint" exercises.  These Paleo exercises incorporate the same types of movements our primal ancestors would have had to perform in order to survive in an unpredictable environment, whether being chased by a lion, throwing a spear, moving heavy logs or rocks or fighting.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Travelling Paleo

We have been doing a little travelling and a lot of eating out while I have been on vacation this week.  Part of it has been because we I decided that we would redo our kitchen cupboards and countertops, so the kitchen has been mostly unusable for the past week.

Meals out have not been too bad for me (though not perfect either).  Paleo Grandad sort of falls off the Paleo bandwagon every time we eat out - but that is his choice.  However, I do notice a huge difference in his moods when he goes off plan - just saying.

A British Columbia favourite restaurant is the White Spot, with restaurants in all the larger BC centres.  We like breakfast there as it is almost Paleo.  You can get a Traditional Two Egg breakfast (which is what I had each day - minus the toast).

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