Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day #15 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

Example of past green tacos!
Accoutrements in the background.
Day #15 - Tuesday, August 30

Hard Boiled Egg

Carrot Squash Soup

Beef Tacos w/romaine shells - sauteed peppers and onions with homemade taco seasoning
1 Prune

I really love the usage of greens where grains are traditionally used. Usually the purpose of a tortilla or piece of bread is to hold together various ingredients so you can eat them with your hand as one creation. Greens easily serve this purpose. Romaine works really well for taco shells due to the shape how it folds perfectly down the middle.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

We did a lot of eating and cooking at home, but definitely met our limit of 2 open meals during the weekend! There's something about 110 degree weather that influences your desire to cook food. Enough of the excuses!

Sunday evening I prepared meals for the week:

Paleo Meatloaf - This was yet another modification of my normal recipe. I attempted to stretch it by added about a cup of almond meal. However, my ratio of veggies, meat, and egg ended up being insufficient for the structural integrity of the meatloaf! Once I work on it further, I'll share my recipe. I did use all turkey this time, which perhaps made a difference as well. 

Carrot Broccoli Salad - Much like last week. My husband loved it so much that I decided to make a giant batch. I used about 18 carrots and a huge head of broccoli. 

Hard Boiled Eggs - I will make a tuna salad out of a few eggs to be eaten with Romaine wraps. 

Carrot Squash Soup - It's a bit crazy making soup when it's so hot, but it was the easiest to make. I baked acorn squash and sliced carrots. The carrots were covered in coconut oil and ginger during the baking process. I sauteed onions in coconut oil, added turmeric and ginger, then chicken stock from cooking chicken thighs last week. After adding about a cup of coconut milk. this creamy soup turned out great! It wasn't too watery! Instead perfectly hearty.

I also have bok choy, turnip greens, and various other vegetables. I'll need to go to the store on Tuesday or Wednesday to supplement our fruits and veggies.

Day #14 - Monday, August 29

Hard Boiled Egg

Turkey Meatloaf
Carrot Squash Soup

Workout - Starting Strength
Post Workout Smoothie - banana, turnip greens, frozen strawberries, dark chocolate primal fuel, flaxseed meal

Hamburger w/romaine wraps

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day #10 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

Thursday, August 25

Watermelon, Pineapple

1.5 Chicken Thigh
Chicken Veggie Soup
Salad - Green leaf lettuce, turnip greens, tomatoes, green pepper, pepitas (raw), dried cranberries, oil

Dinner - Cheat-o-rama
Pizza, Beer

The great week broke down last night when we had no meal planned and nearly all pre-made food gone. I didn't get home until nearly 7 and we've been working a second job each night this week. Our willpower had finally clocked out and we ordered pizza and had a beer! I won't let it deter me from forging on and trying my very best to keep the eating clean!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day #9 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

Deelish Egg Bake
Wednesday, August 24

Egg Bake

Carrot Broccoli Salad
1/2 Pear
Honey Dew & Cantaloupe

Warm up - Run 400m
Starting Strength Workout - Squat (58lbsx5x3), Bench Press (53lbx5x3), Deadlift (83.5lbx5)

After Workout
Smoothie - Mango, banana, kale, turnip greens, frozen strawberries, flaxeed meal, Vanilla Primal Fuel

All Beef Hot Dog (last one from the trip)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day #8 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

1.5 hard boiled eggs

Beef vegetable soup

Egg Bake
Carrot Broccoli Salad
Strawberry Fruit Bar (cold treat - 100% fruit)
2 Dried Dates

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day #7 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

Meatloaf Mix-ins
After my trip, I did notice that when I ate grains and non "food" items, my digestion slowed to a halt. I am feeling rather down and out today, but I am not sure if I can attribute it all to my cheat meals.

Monday night I prepared a few large dishes for the week:

My Paleo Correct Meatloaf - This is a modified version of a recipe found in the The Paleo Diet book by Loren Cordain. I used yellow onion, green pepper, broccoli, grated carrot, parsley, 4 eggs, 1.5 lbs ground beef and 1 lb of ground turkey. I also used my own mixture of spices which included cumin, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Egg Bake - 6 eggs, 1/2 lb ground beef, onion, green pepper, grated carrot, black pepper and cayenne.

Carrot Broccoli Salad - I used my amazing Saladmaster machine to grate 7 carrots and a couple broccoli stems. I added broccoli florets, raisins, almond slivers, and a tahini lemon dressing. This is my take on the popular mayonnaise-laden broccoli salad. The only thing missing is bacon. Bacon makes everything better. Except maybe ice cream.

Day #7 Food - Monday, August 22

Activia Greek Yogurt (aid digenstion)
All Beef Hot dog

Turkey sandwich

Trail Mix

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vacation Weekend - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

My husband and 2 younger siblings (brother, 20 years old, and sister, 17 years old) traveled to New Braunfels, TX to stay and play at Schlitterbahn Waterpark.

Since this trip coincided with the beginning of this challenge, I planned quite a few meals and snacks that would be paleo friendly. After completing some research for ideas and inspiration here's what I packed:

  • Dozen hard boiled eggs
  • All beef hot dogs
  • Ham and Turkey
  • Canned Tuna
  • 2 heads of lettuce for wraps
  • Tomatoes
  • Condiments (lower sodium options)
  • Dried veggie chips
  • Beef and Pork jerky
  • Homemade trail mix - pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, dried cranberries, golden raisins
  • Dried Figs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fruit - nectarines, bananas, plums

We also brought some red wine and light beer as well.

While we did have open meals while we were out on the road including some Czech kolaches and a meal at Cracker Barrel, I am proud to have attempted a paleo road trip. This success fuels the flame for this week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day #3 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

At work I am constantly presented with the opportunity to indulge in all sort of non-food treats. Donuts, breads, candy, cakes and yesterday -- ICE CREAM!

I recently read any article about dirty eating on a wonderful healthy living blog called Whole 9 Life.

It speaks to cheats in a no none-sense manner, which I appreciate! However, there was one part in particular resonated with me the most:

"Eat something because you want it, and because it’s special… not just because it’s there. Say someone brings donuts in to the office. You look at the plate and think, donuts are here. You could eat a donut. But you can have donuts any time you want. "

My work is one of the few environments where I'm constantly surrounded by junk food, so it really helps to get my "head right" any time I'm feeling that will power wane.

I am a part of the activities committee at my work and we held an ice cream social  yesterday. I attended the ice cream station for about 30 minutes and I'm proud to say that I did NOT eat any ice cream or popsicles. I had various people ask me, "don't you like ice cream??" to which I replied with something rather off topic. I don't like to rattle on about my diet choices when the person I'm speaking to is doing exactly opposite of what I believe.

While it might seem rather silly to take victory in refusing ice cream once, true success is the culmination of 1000 little victories. Thank you, Nate for that little tidbit and thanks to Whole 9, for keeping my head in the game!!

Scrambled Eggs
1 small sausage

It is not ideal to be eating sausage often due to many unknown ingredients. We will be prepared with healthier meat options next week.

Banana, dab of peanut butter

I need to bring some almond butter to work for the occasional snack! Peanuts are considered legumes rather than seeds or nuts. Legumes have an inferior protein to meat and therefore are generally not included in the Paleo diet. There are other reasons which I will discuss later.

Slaw (from yesterday)
Hard Boiled Egg


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day #2 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

2 Hard Boiled Eggs
1 Small Turkey Sausage

Slaw - green & purple cabbage, zucchini, carrot, radish, lemon zest, lemon juice, dash of EVOO
3 Dried Apricots

Pre-Workout: Banana
Post Workout: Primal Protein smoothie with kale, banana, frozen strawberries, and flaxseed


Burger Lettuce Wrap. Much like last night

Tonight we are on day #2 of our Starting Strength reset. We have established our starting point for the Squat (part of every workout day), but we still have to determine the difficulty for press and pull/chin ups.

We are on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. Eventually we'll start filling in those rest days with runs, crossfit workouts, rock climbing, etc. For now, though, we are focusing on strength.

I forgot to mention my weigh-in on Monday. While I am not focusing on the weight too much, Paleo eating has a great weight normalizing effect. If you couple that with some physical activity, you are destined to arrived at a natural weight for your body type.

I'll normally weigh in around once a week, but I wanted to illustrate how quickly you can drop excess water and undigested food when switching to clean eating:
Monday: 174.6lbs
Wednesday: 169lbs

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day #1 - 30 Day Paleo Challenge

I'm gonna eat ya!
Last night Nate and I reset the Starting Strength program and performed evaluations again. We think we increased our weight too much, too fast and caused some strain. Now we are dialing back the ego a bit (*ahem*) and starting from where we can truly do the movements properly and still be challenging.

Last night I went on a cooking frenzy -- and it didn't even take me long! 

Baked Salmon
- my father-in-law caught a bunch of fish in Alaska and brought them back for our enjoyment. I love them because they thaw fairly quickly and can be prepared in a number of ways. I just chopped up some onion, pepper, and carrot and tossed it in a baking dish with the salmon. Rubbed some spices and added a bit of water to keep it from getting dry. 40 min at 350 degrees, amazing!!

Pork Sautee - Pork cutlets on sale, heck yes. I diced that up with some onion, pepper, mushroom, and can of tomatoes (no salt added). I made up my own concoction for the sauce, and it turned out amazing. 

Hard Boiled Eggs - We've finally perfected the hard boiled egg... let's hope so, we've made them so many times. Throw a dozen eggs in the bottom of a pan (ok, maybe don't throw, just lightly place). Add water until the water level is about 1 inch above the eggs. Put on high until you get a rolling boil - usually about 8 min or so on my stove. Immediately remove from the heat, cover and leave for 12 min. Quickly, but still gently, pour them into a colander to strain. It's a rule that we always eat one to make sure they're cooked to perfection. I mean...they could be really awful, right?? Plus, they are delicious when still warm. 

Day #1 
Hard Boiled Egg
Turkey Sausage

Pork Sautee

Baked Salmon
Burger Lettuce Wrap w/red onion, grated carrot, tomato

Today is a Rest day since we did SS yesterday. We decided we would work on our flexibility on our off days. Our lifting and other activities would be greatly improved if we just greased the ole gears again.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

30-day Paleo Challenge

It's been a while since I posted. We were doing very well with Starting Strength; making serious gains in our abilities to do the lifts properly and in the weight used. We were also doing great with maintaining the Paleo lifestyle.

However, weeks ago we both felt injured at the same time that our kitchen remodel began. These things together complicated our situation and slowed our momentum. This is what life does -- it throws a wrench in your self-improvement cogs over and over. You have every desire to improve and stick to a healthy lifestyle, but the old always comes back. You just have to decide if you let it take over or not.

After 3 weeks of little to no exercise and plenty of eating out -- we have decided to rekindle that fire and start over. We are doing the 30 day paleo challenge again, just as we did years ago when we first started. I will chronicle our journey including our workouts and meal planning.

This 30-day period begins tomorrow, August 16th, and ends on September 14th. This means that we'll eat Paleo foods for each meal: Meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts. Thus we leave out processed foods, dairy, alcohol, grains, and starchy foods like potatoes. We have decided to allow occasional legumes, but the focus will remain on superior protein sources like turkey, chicken, fish, and beef. We are going on vacation during that time period, so it will be challenging -- but that's why it's a challenge.

Tonight we'll be preparing and cooking for the week to ensure success!