Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meat Me in the Middle

I know, I know... long time, no post. I'm sure you understand that I've been running around like a crazy person trying to prepare for the holidays, teach some math, cook and eat lots of good food, and work out hard. Let's get caught up.

Sean and decided to invest in one eighth of a grass fed cow through Philly Cowshare.
a barren freezer
after 40 lbs of grass fed deliciousness
Plus, we discovered that our freezer holds an unexpectedly ridiculous amount of frozen foods, as the meat didn't take nearly up as much space as we thought it would. Last week I made the coconut milk/curry paste crock pot meat recipe with a ginormous chuck steak, and tonight I whipped up some of the ground beef into an amazing meal (with leftovers for days).
onion, garlic, zucchini, meat, diced tomatoes, and spices simmering away...
... and eaten with some spaghetti squash

In other news, my "holiday sandwich challenge" is just about finished. I've done very well, although not perfectly on plan like I was with the last 30-day challenge. I think blogging every day of the last challenge really helped me stay on track. Plus, this challenge I was surrounded by so many holiday season temptations which made it hard to be super strict around others who have no hesitations about indulging. As much as I'd like to say that my will-power is healed and I'm 100% in control of it again, that's not the case - I still have some work to do. I do plan on treating myself on Christmas day (it would be pretty much be sacrilegious to deny my mother's traditional once-a-year french toast), but I will jump back into "Paleo + alcohol once a week" right afterward.

I have some big plans for my week off of work:
  1. Take some "me time". Aside from the "me time" I intend on spending cleaning and organizing, I need to spend time just relaxing and clearing my head. I aim to go for a 20-minute walk each day of break. If I find that it's too cold outside, maybe I'll just sit or lay down with no computer/TV... meditating maybe?
  2. No more snacks after dinner, no matter how Paleo that tempting snack is. I don't need it.
  3. Try a yoga class at CrossFit. I've been avoiding the world of yoga, but I know I need it. What's the worst that can happen? I leave feeling too stretched out and too relaxed?
  4. Since I have no obligations over break, I want to try to get my sleep cycle aligned with the sun - fall asleep with the sunset and wake up with the sunrise. Weird I know, but I feel the need to try it out.
  5. Make NONE of my usual recipes (you know, the crock pot meat, zucchini quiche, and my beloved brussels and bacon). I want to branch out and try something new - especially now that I have all these fun cuts of meat to play with. My goal is to cook at least 4 new recipes over break - perhaps from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook that's on my Christmas list ;)
At very least all of this should provide me with some fun blog material for the week ahead, so you should be hearing from me soon. I hope everyone has a fun and relaxing holiday with those you love the most!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Good Eats

Just a lil bit of food porn for you...

zucchini, yellow squash, sweet red pepper, white onion, and an overload of grape tomatoes

Made using this recipe from Alycia and Justin. So very easy and delicious. I even got two other people (in addition to myself) to eat it alongside our grass fed burgers - bunless for me, of course.

I added some baby carrots and zucchini to the grass fed chuck - later tonight it will be done, packed up for lunches for the week, and added to this collection in the fridge:

Zucchini quiche in the back (pre-cut into 2-egg portions) and brussels and bacon to the left. I actually made double what is pictured in the veggie picture up top so I could have plenty leftover, which explains the container on the right.

You would think with all this prep work that I'll be prepared for anything this week, but tomorrow I won't be following my usual routine. At 5AM Sean, his dad, and I will be hitting the road for the hospital at UPenn, and I'm expecting to spend the full day there. Sean's having orthognathic jaw surgery done - if you're curious, watch this pretty cool video of someone else that had it done. I'll eat a big breakfast before I go and bring a Larabar for when I get hungry, but other than that I think I'll be taking on the challenge of braving the cafeteria! I'm hoping I can escape with something other than a boring salad or more fruit. Wish me (and Sean) luck! :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday "Sandwich" Challenge

... don't worry, it has nothing to do with eating sandwiches, but I'll get to that in a minute. 

So readers, it's been a while.  I haven't been going on a crazy food bender, but I have been feeling like shit due to my cheat day, modifications, and now Thanksgiving.  Thing's I've started feeling since the 30-day challenge ended:
- my stomach has been uneasy on a regular basis
- headaches are back
- bloating is back
- back to feeling "out of it" and in sensory overload, this was normal for me pre-challenge but went away during the challenge

Towards the end of the challenge, my mind felt uncharacteristically sharp and clear. I was feeling confident, positive, energetic, a little slimmer, and like I was glowing with happiness. ALL of those feelings are now gone. Having this knowledge, it seems that it should be easy to keep making the right food decisions for me to feel good.  Apparently, I still have a "lack of willpower" problem (or perhaps a self-defeating problem), so for now I'm going back to tightening the Paleo reigns. 

Holiday "Sandwich" Challenge: From tomorrow (November 25) through Christmas Eve (December 24) I will be once again eating only meat, veggies, healthy fats, plus minimal fruit and nuts. It's a sandwich between Thanksgiving and Christmas... get it now? It just so happens to be a perfect 30 days. I've decided to indulge in one modification - alcohol (like vodka or wine, no beer) is okay once a week at maximum. 'Tis the season. Who's with me on this challenge?? Let me know, I would love to have some friends to do this with!

PS - As I type this I am watching "I, Caveman", part of the Discovery Channel's Curiosity series. The two-part special is an experiment in which ten people, including and narrated by Morgan Spurlock, attempt to survive in the wild. Oh, and Robb Wolf was a participant! 

I'm not a big Morgan Spurlock fan (watch Fat Head to find out why), but I love me some Robb Wolf, he can do no wrong. This special is intense and fascinating so far.  If you watch it, be sure to read Robb's thoughts on Episode 1 and Episode 2... good stuff!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 31 - Nov 15 - Cheat Day

I decided it was best for me to get my cravings out and over with on Day 31. I'm going to go right back to (slightly modified) Paleo on Day 32. I wasn't even THAT bad today... pretty much just ate my normal food plus some junk.

- Breakfast: Zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee.

- Lunch: Crock pot meat, carrots, zucchini (I saved some of this to eat at class). Plus a couple pieces of leftover Halloween candy (definitely a cheat).

- Snack: Coffee and a PB&J Lara Bar (This is a cheat too because I usually can't have peanuts!)

Here's where it gets a little iffy. After class, I came home and this happened:
 Baked tortilla chips, grass fed beef, and Kerrygold dubliner cheese.. eaten with salsa.
Don't worry.. Sean and I only consumed about a quarter half of this :)

Followed by a piece of pumpkin cheesecake from Whole Foods. Definitely not Paleo.

I bloated up pretty much right away. I also noticed how full/gross/headachy I felt almost immediately.  Not a pleasant feeling. I'm hoping I don't have a junk food hangover tomorrow!

I realized that eating sandwiches, pizza, cookies, and the like really just does not appeal to me anymore. On the one day that I am allowing myself to eat them, I didn't even want to eat them. I now feel confident that I will easily make Paleo choices in the future. Here's my plan for modified Paleo:
- keep current Paleo foods (meats, veggies, eggs, healthy fats)
- can drink wine or liquor once a week
- can have white rice (in sushi) occasionally
- can use raw honey as a sweetener occasionally
- maybe some greek yogurt every now and then.. because it's good and full of protein
- dairy-based desserts... only for special occasions or when out

Totally stealing this from Alycia, but it is said so well: "Gluten-containing grains (all breads, cakes, crackers, breading, pasta, processed foods, etc). Do not add in. Never." .. and thanks to the challenge I'm completely ready to do that :)

Day 30 - Nov 14 - I DID IT!

Well this is it. 30 days. To recap...

Things I did NOT eat over these 30 days:
- grains/wheat/gluten/bread
- starches or legumes
- added sweeteners of any variety (honey, splenda, sugar, stevia, agave, etc..)
- anything processed (No chemicals and/or preservatives for me!)
- dairy (With the exception of heavy cream in coffee. The only ingredient = heavy cream.)
- alcohol
- vegetable oils

Things I DID eat over these 30 days:
- (mostly grass fed) meat
- cage-free eggs
- (mostly organic and/or local) vegetables
- healthy fats in the form of coconut oil, avocado, and kerrygold butter
- some nuts
- some fruits

I've learned a TON from this challenge... I have intentions of making a formal culminating post later this week. I'll definitely be posting tomorrow night about what I did on Day 31 and what I'm planning on doing on Day 32 (and beyond).

Today's food was nothing out of the ordinary...

Breakfast: zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee.

Lunch: crockpot meat, carrots, zucchini, coffee.

Snack before heading to CrossFit: apple with melted almond butter (okay, this was kind of a treat). I cut 42 seconds off of my time for "The Garage" from pre-challenge to post-challenge :) I also had some of Shamus's Paleo ice cream after the workout .. yum!

Dinner: eggs and brussels and bacon

What a great 30 days it's been!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 29 - Nov 13

Woke up feeling abnormally great this morning. Had a breakfast of champions - sauteed spaghetti squash with  eggs, bacon, and coffee.

I finished taking care of odds and ends around the house, prepared some more coffee, then got to work on my lessons for this week. I love being productive in the morning because that's when my mind is fresh. I can get a ton of work done a lot faster than if I were doing the work at nighttime.

For lunch I heated up some of the crockpot meat/carrots/zucchini alongside a few brussels sprouts. Best. lunch. ever.

Around 2:00 I completed one subject of lessons for the week (out of three subjects :/), so I rewarded myself by taking the pups for a long walk and eating an apple.

For dinner I will be enjoying a big salad with roasted red peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, grilled chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Tomorrow is the big day!  I'm hoping that I will continue to have days just as delicious as this one was after the challenge is over. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 28 - Nov 12

Before heading over to CrossFit King of Prussia for their Barbells for Boobs fundraiser this morning, I had a yummy breakfast of eggs and bacon, plus coffee.

We all had a blast... I'm definitely looking forward to more (all-levels) competitions in the future! Amy and I breezed through Helen and Grace and felt amazing. After the workout, I ate a pecan pie Lara Bar.

The gang went to Ponzio's for a late lunch where I had more eggs and a sweet potato.

I spent the afternoon cooking my regular dishes for this week - brussels & bacon, zucchini quiche + sausage, and turned the crock pot on to cook some meat overnight in coconut milk and curry paste. In the morning, I'm going to add to the crock pot some baby carrots and zucchini to cook for 2 hours. They turn into the most. delicious. vegetables. ever.  Thanks again Jamie and Steve for introducing me to this masterpiece :)

Sean is going to grill some Whole Foods garlic, basil, and sundried tomato sausages for dinner. I'm going to eat mine on a big pile of spaghetti squash. 

An excellent food day. Only 2 more to go!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 27 - Nov 11

Breakfast: 1/2 piece zucchini quiche

After CrossFit, breakfast part 2: The other 1/2 piece zucchini quiche, plus crock pot meat and coffee

Lunch: spaghetti squash and crock pot meat. Key lime pie Lara Bar sometime afterward.

Dinner: strip steak with zucchini and yellow squash

I can't believe there are just 3 more days! I bought new pants today... it feels so good to finally have pants that fit, even if they are a size larger than I'm used to. I'm still slimming down and feeling great, I just can't keep up with my huge muscles :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 26 - Nov 10

Breakfast: zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee.

Lunch: Saladworks salad - romaine, chicken, eggs, bacon, broccoli, carrots. Coffee.

Dinner: Eggs, bacon, and brussels sprouts. I also had an apple after dinner.. I noticed that apples are starting to taste very sweet to me.

4 more days.. right around the corner!

Day 25 - Nov 9

Breakfast: zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee

Lunch: crockpot meat, brussels and bacon, coffee

After work I shoved a little piece of zucchini quiche in my mouth before heading to the first 4:30 CrossFit class.

Sean spent the day home with the pups because Bella now has a kidney infection :( We noticed that she wasn't eating, acting sorta down, and was drinking a ton of water. Luckily it's nothing like Eddy's - she just needed a trip to the vet to confirm what is was and get antibiotics plus anti-nausea meds. Bella's infection started as a UTI that we thought went away, but apparently transferred to her kidney instead. Poor pups - I swear we're not the worst owners ever.

Since Sean was home all day, we figured it would be a good night to get out for a little. We went to Longhorn Steakhouse (again) where I got the rib eye, steamed broccoli/zucchini/yellow squash/carrots, and a sweet potato. Then we hit up lululemon where I scored 2 pairs of crops, 2 tops, and a pull-over... all of which I am equally obsessed with :)

Wow, only 5 days to go!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 24 - Nov 8

Breakfast: zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee

Lunch: crock pot meat with brussels and bacon

Banana bread Lara Bar and coffee after school/before grad class

Dinner: more crock pot meat with brussels and bacon

Had a slice of paleo pumpkin pie when I got back from class. Too many nuts today - I'll make sure I don't eat any tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow... it will be my Friday :) Looking forward to a great 4-day weekend including a trip to lululemon courtesy of my new credit card ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 23 - Nov 7

One week until the final weigh-in, measurements, and post-challenge WOD! These 30 days really flew by.

Breakfast: zucchini quiche (with andouille sausage), brussels and bacon, coffee

Lunch: brussels and bacon, crock pot meat, coffee

I had a cherry pie Lara Bar and a little bit of zucchini quiche before CrossFit. Went to go visit my mom (who came home from the hospital today) and brought her crackers and such. On the way there, we picked up some Chipotle for dinner.  I had a salad with barbacoa meat, onions and peppers, and guacamole - no dressing necessary.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 22 - Nov 6

I wholeheartedly took advantage of my extra hour of sleep last night. After waking up uncharacteristically late, Sean cooked us a nice Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs.

After CrossFit, I came home, made some coffee, and was ready to get cooking! I made a 13-egg zucchini quiche with a special addition of andouille sausage from Whole Foods. An extra large dish was used to prevent overflow:
I then made another quadruple batch of my <3brussels sprouts and bacon<3... I wonder when I'm going to get sick of this dish.  I used a chef's knife properly for the first time EVER to cut the ends off my brussels sprouts. Thank you for teaching me how, Melissa! I even managed to do it without cutting my fingers off.  Due to the NJEA convention I only have 3 days of work this week, so I got prepared by packing up some for lunches along with crock pot meat:
Poor picture quality, but it does it's job.
After this picture I packed up one more container for dinner at grad class Tuesday night. While I was cooking, I snacked on some of the sausage, brussels and bacon, and a slice of leftover pumpkin pie from last night (it tastes even better cold!). Sooo I suppose that would be my lunch.

For dinner we grilled steaks for the first time. We put (way too much of) a dry rub on grass fed rib eye steaks, grilled, and ate.  I ate mine with side of spaghetti squash and some brussels and bacon.
I have a great week coming up.  My lesson plans, cooking, and laundry are done. Mom's coming home from the hospital tomorrow.  Off of work Thursday and Friday, so I'll have plenty of time to get caught up on things, take Eddy to get his blood work redone, and potentially buy new work pants. I'm slowly realizing that even though I am slimming down, I have gained so much muscle particularly in my legs, so I'm just a larger size now. Even if I do shrink back to my old size at some point, I'm not going to make it through this winter without pants that fit. Oh well. Maybe next spring/summer I'll learn my lesson and not gain a ridiculous amount of weight.  Additionally, on Saturday I'll be participating in the Barbells for Boobs Helen Meets Grace event with Amy... can't wait!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Days 18 - 21 : Nov 2 - 5

Okay, I'm back!

Eddy update first: We picked the little man up Friday afternoon! He's currently at home, eating, drinking, playing, barking, and being a little monster as normal. It's so nice to see him happy again. We still have to get him re-tested in a week to see if his numbers continue to drop which will determine whether it was really just an acute infection or potentially renal dysplasia. Judging by the way he is behaving, I think we have a healthy pup on our hands :D

On Wednesday, however, my mother's appendix decided to rupture. Sean and I met my brother and aunt at the hospital and waited for her emergency appendectomy to be over. My dad was in South Africa at the time, and couldn't do much else than book the next flight back home. Mom made it through the surgery like a champ.  The doctor predicted 7-10 days in the hospital (the fancy new Virtua), but it looks like she'll be going home Sunday night or Monday! There's a large risk of infection and she has a huge incision to heal, so she's going to be taking it easy for a while, but all will be okay!

Despite all the stress and unpredictable situations I went through this week, I made it through without cheating on the challenge! Let's take a look:

Day 18 : Wednesday Nov 2

Breakfast: Zucchini quiche and coffee. I was out of brussels and meat, so I stopped at Wawa on the way to work to get a little more breakfast. I left with and promptly ate a banana.

Lunch: I packed up some more zucchini quiche, the only food I had left. I got the call about my mom while I was in the car on my way home from a Whole Foods trip after work. I put away my groceries, let Bella out, and headed to the hospital. I happened to get a couple Lara Bars on said Whole Foods trip, so I grabbed some and ate a lemon flavored one on the way to the hospital.

Dinner: By the time mom was moved to recovery, it was about 10:00 PM. Sean, my brother, my aunt, and I were all starving, so we made the short trip down the street to Red Stone.  I thoroughly enjoyed a salad with eggs, rotisserie chicken, bacon, walnuts, and apples with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. In my dad's absence, I stayed over with mom at the hospital.

Day 19 : Thursday Nov 3

Breakfast: In my mom's hospital room I had a cherry Lara Bar. I suppose I could have ordered eggs from the cafeteria, but I figured I could wait until lunch time because..

Lunch: We went to go visit Eddy at UPenn. They suggest that you visit before 2 because that's around when they start a lot of tests and things. We ended up taking Francine's recommendation (thank you!!) and went to White Dog Cafe where I enjoyed a salad with chicken, bacon, tomatoes, eggs, and cucumbers with oil and vinegar. It was so hard leaving Eddy again, he actually started barking when we walked away. Very sad, but hearing him bark was a sign of him feeling better.

Dinner: We went back to the hospital to visit mom. I came home and still had dinner to eat and lesson plans to do. I needed to make my brussels and bacon ASAP before the green turned to brown, so even though I was ridiculously tired, I threw that recipe together and ate some alongside 3 scrambled eggs.

Day 20 : Friday Nov 4

Breakfast: Zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, coffee.

Lunch: Crock pot meat (ran that crock pot overnight Thursday night) with brussels and bacon.

Dinner: After picking Eddy up, Sean and I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible.  We ordered delivery from Pats Pizza. Don't worry, I didn't get pizza. I enjoyed a salad with roasted red peppers, eggs, broccoli, and steak. Later that night I was still hungry so I ate (more) brussels and bacon.

Day 21 : Saturday Nov 5

Breakfast: Brussels and bacon with 3 scrambled eggs and coffee.

Lunch: Following the one of the toughest CrossFit workouts I've done yet, I enjoyed some crock pot meat and more brussels and bacon. And more coffee.

Dinner: Some of the challengers gathered at Alycia and Justin's house for a potluck and cooking demo. Thanks for the demo, Melissa, and thank you everyone for all the amazing food! I had a whole slew of real foods... ie lots of delicious meats and veggies. Plus some of Sharon's awesome homemade Lara Bar and some of my pumpkin pie.

Only 9 more days - starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 17 - Nov 1

Another traumatizing day...

Eddy's numbers got worse, so the vet wanted him moved to the emergency room at Penn's veterinary hospital where they have fancier things and can watch him 24/7.
Our brave little man hooked up to his pupper's IV at the vet. He has a similar set-up at Penn.

Sean and I just beat rush hour traffic and got him in early, but immediately after us came a swarm of sick (really sick) pets. Needless to say, we waited forever to hear from the doctors. When we did get to talk to one, she told us that he needs to stay potentially for 3-4 days (you can only imagine the bill he's wracking up over there.. though, it's worth it to get him better) because they have to determine whether it's an infection, a kidney problem from birth, or maybe kidney stones.  There's also a possibility that if it's an infection, the damage done to his kidneys could be life-long :(

So we're doing the only thing we can do - hoping for the best. This morning they are moving him to internal medicine and running an ultra sound to check for kidney stones. After that it's just a matter of time. We're hoping to flush out the infection with lots of fluids, then they have to wait until his numbers plateau before they can start taking him off the IV. We can't wait to have him well and back home!

In food news:

Breakfast: zucchini quiche and coffee
Lunch: the last of the brussels and bacon and crock pot meat
Dinner: We were starving and had lots of down time waiting for the doctor, so we wandered out. There was a little place in University City about a block away from the vet ER where I was able to get a half chicken with jerk spices with fresh grilled asparagus and pineapple.... yum. Pre-challenge this would have been a situation where I would have given myself "permission" to stress-eat whatever the hell I wanted. Honestly, it was pretty hard to not say screw it and order some nachos and a margarita. Luckily, Sean wouldn't let me :) In the end, I'm so glad I stuck to the challenge.  Only a little ways to go...

Also - I succeeded in having a candy-less Halloween and day following Halloween.. hooray!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 16 - Oct 31

Happy Halloween!  Tonight will surely be the ultimate test - resisting the huge bowl of candy sitting out for hours.  We have no idea how many trick-or-treaters to expect in our new neighborhood... hopefully I won't have to run out to get even more!

I started the day off with zucchini quiche, brussels and bacon, and a cup of coffee. For lunch I had a saladworks salad with chicken, egg whites, and lots of veggies plus oil and vinegar dressing and coffee #2.

I had a bit of a traumatic afternoon. This little guy was feeling crumby yesterday and then was throwing up last night and all day today.

So I took him to the vet.  He got xrays, blood work, and a urine sample taken, and the conclusion is that he has a kidney infection. The vet has to keep him overnight to pump him with fluids and put him on antibiotics. Hopefully they see him getting back to his usual self tonight so they don't have to transfer him to another facility that has staff on 24 hours.  I know he'll be okay, but it was scary and sad leaving him for the night :( I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good news tomorrow morning.

I had an early dinner of spaghetti squash, crock pot meat, and brussels and bacon.  I'm hoping this will ward off any candy cravings later. If I do feel the need to munch on something that is not candy, my plan is to heat up some extra dinner as a snack.

Only 14 days left!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 15 - Oct 30

Started my day off with a spaghetti squash 3-egg omelet and a side of crock pot meat, plus a cup of coffee.

I made a new thruster PR at CrossFit, then came home and had a bunch of brussels and bacon followed by a slice of the Paleo apple/pumpkin pie.

Had some coffee mid-afternoon. Dinner was grilled grass fed burger patties accompanied by some more brussels and bacon... I have a feeling I'm going to run out of these early this week. I wish it weren't such a process to cook them!

15 days down, 15 to go!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 14 - Oct 29

Today marks a straight 2 weeks of eating strictly real foods - just about halfway through the challenge. I'm so happy with what I've accomplished so far, and I'm proud to say that I've been eating Paleo "Rx Plus". I'm excited to see what will happen over the next 16 days.. bring it on!

Before CrossFit, I had zucchini quiche, some crock pot meat and cup of coffee. Had a blast with everyone working out in costume today!

Came home and started cook & clean-fest 2011. Should I have been doing work instead? Probably. But does it feel good to have a sparkling clean house and a fridge full of food to kick off another work week? Definitely.

Pictured: brussels and bacon, zucchini quiche with sausage (I learned from last week's overflow disaster and baked it in two dishes instead), and my lunch - eggs with spaghetti squash. I also had a side of the freshly cooked brussels and bacon.

Mid-afternoon I had a cup of coffee and a slice of the Paleo apple/pumpkin pie from yesterday.

Dinner was spaghetti squash with crock pot meat. I store the meat in some of the coconut milk/curry paste mixture post-cooking, so I poured in some of that, making my meal sort of a stew.

Quite a yummy day!

Day 13 - Oct 28

Zucchini quiche, just a teeny bit of brussels and bacon, and some crock pot meat for breakfast. Coffee with heavy cream.

Brussels and bacon plus crock pot meat for lunch. Coffee with heavy cream.

I was planning on CrossFitting after work, but I was feeling tired and sick.. this week really beat me up. I wish I could still go in the mornings during the week like I did over the summer. I always felt strong and there was no excuse not to go. I'll be going on Saturday and Sunday this weekend anyway, so all will be fine.

Sean and I instead went to Longhorn Steakhouse (again), where I enjoyed a huge rib eye with a bunch of fresh steamed veggies.  After dinner, Sean for some reason decided to fill me in on how delicious the pumpkin munchkins were that he had earlier. For the first time over the challenge, my sweet tooth came out, and it came out hard.  It could have been the lack of sweet potato, but I was also not feeling completely satisfied after dinner like I was the other night.

I really want to work on the Paleo pumpkin pie recipe to make it tastier and maybe have a dish that I can call my own. Sean had the idea to add some apples to the pie to sweeten it up.  I was pretty skeptical about how well apples would go with pumpkin, but we gave it a try anyway.
Quote of the evening: "I think I've died and gone to Paleo heaven"
Yes, that is homemade whipped cream on top :) It's super easy - we just put some heavy cream plus a little bit of pure vanilla in the food processor... whipped right up.  I think it needed some more time in the oven due to the apples, and I also think that we should have chopped the apple pieces smaller, but it was pretty damn good. This recipe is getting there...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 12 - Oct 27

Zucchini quiche + delicious crock pot meat + cup of coffee with heavy cream for breakfast.

Brussels + bacon + delicious crock pot meat + cup of coffee with heavy cream for lunch.

Final cross country meet after work.. we got back late and I was exhausted and starving. Made some more spaghetti squash and finished the last of the meatballs and sauce, followed by a pecan pie Lara Bar.

Sorry for the brief/picture-less posts... I really need to work on getting more sleep.  Please remind me that it's worth it to get a shit ton of work done over the weekend so I can actually sleep next week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 11 - Oct 26

Started off the day with some zucchini quiche and leftover squash. Plus one cup of coffee with heavy cream.

Lunch was brussels and bacon. Tomorrow I'll have some crock pot meat to add in.  No coffee at work today - forgot to bring in more heavy cream! Plus I was able to leave right after work (no cross country practice today), so I picked up some iced coffee with heavy cream from Starbucks before I got my nails done :)

On the way home I finally got some more curry paste so I can run the crock pot overnight tonight. I finished up the last of the squash and had a Cherry Pie LaraBar for a snack.

Survived CrossFit today with all of my soreness still in tact and even got a 20lb front squat PR :) Thanks for the encouragement Sharon!!

Sean grilled for dinner - our favorite grassfed burgers with some (partially bacon-wrapped) asparagus... yum!

Still feeling great :) So many smiley faces today!

Day 10 - Oct 25

Breakfast was zucchini quiche 2.0 plus some brussels and bacon. And coffee with heavy cream.

More brussels and bacon for lunch (surprise) plus cup #2 of coffee with heavy cream (surprise again).

Snacked on my PaleoKit before and after the cross country race. Got made fun of for being healthy and not succumbing to Micky-D's "food".

Soreness from Filthy Fifty kicked in during the afternoon. Ow. Everything hurt... calves, hamstrings, quads, butt, abs. They all still hurt just as much as I type this (the following morning). It turns out that I will be able to make it to CrossFit tonight (our last meet will be Thursday in the rain instead of today), so I'm worried about how much my soreness will limit me.

I almost did not even need dinner. Got back too late to make it to CrossFit, that PaleoKit really halted my appetite, and I was planning a ridiculously early bedtime. I heated up just a little bit of the spaghetti squash and meatballs.

Was about to start a crock pot of chuck with coconut milk and curry paste so it could cook overnight, then I realized that I was out of curry paste. Sigh. Will have to pick some more up after work Wednesday. 

One third of the way through the challenge!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 9 - Oct 24

This morning I finally got to try some of the zucchini quiche upgraded with sausage and coconut milk - muy bueno!! It was a little spicy.. I'm not sure if it was from the mild sausage or if I tossed too much pepper in this time.  I had some leftover squash on the side and of course a cup of coffee with heavy cream.

Sidenote about this morning: I noticed that my clothes are starting to fit better :D I was overjoyed on my way to work.. unnecessarily smiling and dancing in my car.  Not typical Monday morning behavior for me. I then continued to have the perfect day at school... it makes such a difference to feel comfortable and confident when you're pretty much on stage in front of a classroom of 11-13 year olds all day. So happy to see some results of my hard work only a week in!

Lunch was typical brussels and bacon plus a cup of coffee.

After cross country practice, I ate some leftover squash and a couple meatballs before running out the door to the gym. The "Filthy Fifty" was indeed filthy :)  As much as 50 burpees totally SUCK, I love the long, never-ended metcons so much.   The next two days I have late nights for the end of cross country season, so I was also glad to get a hard workout in before probably missing the next two. Last time I did this workout I completed the "Foul Forties" in 24:08. Today, my "Filthy Fifty" time was 27:44ish (I couldn't remember if it was :39 or :49, so we settled for halfway).  Not too shabby. 

I picked up a large PaleoKit to keep me satisfied tomorrow for the cross country League Championships at Holbein and our traditional trip to McDonalds afterward (barf). 

Dinner was leftover spaghetti squash and meatballs! Another day down, still feeling great :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 8 - Oct 23

Started the day off with my favorite Sunday omelette: 3 eggs, fresh tomato, some avocado on top. Plus 2 cups of coffee with heavy cream.

I was forced to skip CrossFit today - too much work to do and I didn't want to have another sleepless week :/ As I watched the minutes tick away between 1:00 and 2:00, I was really wishing that I just went.

Lunch was another big ole' bowl of spaghetti squash and meatballs - just as good on the second day. I'm thinking this will become another one of those recipes I could make every week and never get sick of.

I was working hard but starting to fade - one more cup of coffee with heavy cream.

For dinner, I'm planning on grilling some grassfed burgers topped with fresh tomato slices. I'll have some leftover squash and brussels with bacon on the side. Later, I'll more than likely enjoy a piece of the pumpkin pie I made yesterday. If I deviate from this plan I will edit!

Just realized that I forgot to blog about one of my successes from earlier this week... Thursday night I got my first double unders!! First box jumps and first double unders both during the 30 day challenge... coincidence? I think not :) What would be really impressive is if I could get my first pull up (ha).

ETA proof of dinner.. so full from all that delicious food:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 7 - Oct 22

This morning I scrambled 3 eggs with the last of the crockpot meat.

After CrossFit, I did my grocery shopping at Whole Foods and came back with lots of goodies:
Then I cleaned and cooked for seriously the entire day. I decided to start by making a Paleo pumpkin pie in preparation for Thanksgiving because I've been dying to use my canned pure pumpkin. I used Sarah from Everyday Paleo's recipe which you can find here. All ingredients are challenge-friendly with the exception of the raw honey which I did not include in my pie.
Really simple, pure pumpkin pie ingredients!
Crust baked for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
All done! Not too shabby.
I had a slice as soon as it cooled down.  The pie was definitely very natural tasting, but a little on the bland side. I'm sure if the honey were added it, it would have sweetened it up a bit.  Regardless, it is a satisfying way to get a little bit of nuts with a ton of pumpkin-y vitamins.

I whipped up my quadruple batch of brussels sprouts and bacon and munched on a little bit of that to round out my lunch.  

Next, I made the zucchini quiche with a little twist this week. I had coconut milk leftover from the pie, so I added a bit of that in along with a couple cut up mild italian sausages.  I failed to consider the extra space the sausage would take up in my baking dish, and ended up with overflowed eggs on the bottom of my oven. Hopefully the extra ingredients will be worth it!

I tried something new this weekend and made a double batch of the "spaghetti" and meatballs recipe from Primal Palate. By the time it was done it was dinner time so I had a big bowl of it - amazing! I can't get over how much more filling Paleo food is than SAD (standard american diet) food.
I'm currently rounding out the day with some leftover squash. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish today other than cooking that I definitely did not get to, but having container after container of leftovers is worth it! One week down :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 6 - Oct 21

I knew today would be a challenging day for me. Instead of my normal routine at work, I had to head into AC for the day to attend the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Conference.

I started the day off around 5:30 with zucchini quiche and some crock pot meat. I love how both of these dishes last me all week long. Of course I also had some pumpkin spice coffee with heavy cream.

I arrived via train in AC around 8:10. A couple hours later I was getting very hungry.  This is where I almost panicked. I should probably have come prepared with a PaleoKit or something that doesn't need refrigeration. It was too early for the lunch places at the convention center to open up, plus I knew I wouldn't really trust their meats or oils anyway. I found a green apple to munch on figuring that it had to be better than blowing the challenge. The apple turned out to taste not so good, so I had a couple bites and tossed it. The two teachers I was with and I decided that we needed a coffee break, so we took the quick walk to Starbucks where I got iced coffee with heavy cream. As I looked for something that I could eat there, I saw a glimmer of hope in a KIND bar. It's a nut and fruit bar, so I assumed it would be similar to Lara. I checked the ingredients, and had to put it back after I read "non GMO glucose, crisp rice, chicory fiber, soy lecithin". Not okay. I left there with a banana. Too much fruit, but once again, better than cheating.

I returned back home around 2:00 (quick day) and was ready to devour some meat and veggies. Sean has half days of work on Fridays, so we decided to go out to Longhorn Steakhouse for a late lunch/early dinner (linner).

After denying the waitresses offer for bread, about 10 minutes later she brought it out anyway and left too quickly for me to remind her that I said no thank you.  We had it sitting at the corner of the table and I really just didn't give it a second thought. Grains are no longer an option.
Huge 12-oz rib-eye with fresh veggies and sweet potato.
SO good. I splurged a little with the sweet potato, but it was a nice treat.

Pre-challenge this would be an example of a time that Sean and I would go out to get dessert. Or if we went to the movies afterward, we'd run to Wawa to pick up a snack of some sort to munch on. I found that I really wasn't tempted to do this today. I was super full from all that yummy food, and I'm almost a quarter of the way through the challenge and do not want to ruin everything that I've worked for. Let alone destroy my stomach and performance with grains and sugars!

We got back from linner and I fell asleep face first with my shoes and jacket on. I was definitely feeling over-tired from the lack of sleep I got all week. Four hours later I forced myself to get up so I could have no problem falling asleep again tonight. I'm really sick, so I was craving something comforting like ice cream or soup.  I instead had a little bit of leftover squash to tide me over and kick those other cravings aside.

I'm a little wary about the weekend, but I know I can do it! Maybe I'll try a new recipe or two...

Day 5 - Oct 20 ... better late than never!

Thursday was a crazy busy day followed by me passing out ASAP, so I missed writing this post on time.

Breakfast was zucchini quiche, brussels & bacon, and some crock pot meat. After I packed up my lunch, my least favorite part of the week happened - it was the end of my brussels & bacon. Don't worry, I have this funny feeling that I'll be making another quadruple batch on Saturday :P

I was starving after the cross country meet, so I ran into the local pizza place to ask for some plain, grilled chicken. After being asked repeatedly if I was sure that I didn't want to put any sauce, dressing, or cheese on it and then watching the staff deliberate for quite some time over how much I should pay for it,  I left with a really satisfying, fresh snack!

After Smurph at CrossFit, I came home to my squash cooling down from the oven. I scooped out the flesh and put in in the crockpot with butter and spices. It was ready to eat just in time after a shower and getting myself situated for Friday.
So delicious and leftovers for days! My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach on this.. I scooped myself a huge bowl of it and couldn't even finish it. This is extremely filling stuff!

A pretty light day on food and no fruits or nuts today! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 4 - Oct 19

Usual breakfast and lunch today. I had a PaleoKit after school - amazing! It is just as delicious as it is messy to eat... I'm glad I was locked in my classroom all by myself when I went after this.  Brought a dinner of brussels, bacon, and crock pot meat to work with me since I was trapped in my grad class til 8:30. When I got home, I had two scrambled eggs cooked in kerrygold butter because I was super hungry. I almost congratulated myself for not eating fruit/nuts today... and then I remembered the PaleoKit. Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

I did come very close to letting my willpower (along with the whole 30 day challenge) fly right out the window by almost eating a Nature Valley bar. I got 30 of them for the cross country team, which has 28 runners. I gave one away to the other coach and then was tempted by that last one. As I played with the idea of eating it I took a peek at the ingredients. The first three: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, canola oil.. and it just got worse from there. Once I saw those ingredients, I immediately gave it away to someone else and didn't give it a second thought. I also passed up a little gift bag of candy at class. As my classmates chowed down on their sugar, I felt confident that I would not think about cheating on these 30 days again.

During class I was feeling really bizarre flu-like symptoms, similar to what Laurie was describing on the nutrition blog.  I was feeling nauseous, had an awful headache, was getting chills, and had a weird taste in my mouth.  I can't believe that I'm only 4 days in and think I'm going through sugar withdrawal already. Granted, this feeling could have also been caused or made worse by my severe lack of sleep... last night was another one with only a couple hours of my head on the pillow. Something else I noticed was that coffee #3 today made me feel really jittery and weird. This also happened to me on my first 30-day back in July. Interesting...

Just one lesson to do then I'm most definitely hitting the hay!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 3 - Oct 18

The most exciting news of the day: I got my very first box jumps tonight :D  It takes me a while to psych myself up before each jump so I'm not sure if I want to use it for metcons right away, but I'm so happy I can jump with the big kids now! For those who may not know.. back in June/July I started with step ups because I had a HUGE issue with jumping. The box looked super scary to me and my mobility (or lack-there-of) prevented me from getting very far off the ground. I still can't believe I really did it!! Just another example of CrossFit making the impossible possible :)

Hey Nilda, I hope you don't mind that I stalked out and re posted this picture of you conveniently demonstrating what a box jump is :)

Breakfast and lunch today were same as usual. Zucchini quiche with brussels and bacon for breakfast, and crock pot meat with brussels and bacon with for lunch. Plus a cup of coffee with heavy cream with each meal.

After cross country practice I'm pretty sure my stomach was eating itself, so I swung into Wawa and left with two hard boiled eggs and a banana as a snack. I know, I need to stay away from the fruit, but at least I did not have any Lara Bars today. Oh, and it took me 3 red lights just to get one of the eggs de-shelled. Awesome.

For dinner Sean grilled up some grass fed burgers (which I ate with avocado) and asparagus, once again some spears were bacon-wrapped. Am I on the verge of eating too much bacon??

I'm currently on coffee #3 because I still have a lesson for the 6th graders and a paper/presentation for grad class to do tonight... yikes!

In other news... 

I purchased my first PaleoKit, which I will be consuming after cross country practice/before my grad class tomorrow night. I'll let you know how much I love it!

I also purchased (or rather, had Sean go out and purchase while I was at the gym) a freaking ton of squash. My plan is to make Jamie's recipe and have squash as a snack/side dish for dayssss so I can completely cut the fruit and nuts. Hopefully I'll have some time to make this tomorrow or Thursday.

One more day down. Feeling stronger by the minute :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 2 - Oct 17

Today was definitely a less exciting food day than yesterday, but Paleo nonetheless. Before I begin I'd like to make a quick shout-out to my commenters, readers, facebook "likers", etc. You have no idea how much your support means to me :)

This is what my typical weekday breakfast looks like, although my ratios vary each day: a piece of zucchini quiche, some crock pot meat, and a bunch of brussels with bacon. I like to have a full plate of food to really fill me up early in the AM and get me mentally and physically prepared for the long day ahead.

Typical lunch is more brussels spouts and bacon (can you say obsessed??). I usually add a couple hunks of the crock pot meat to the container, but I was ultra rushed this morning.

After work, the cross country team had their second to last home meet. I got home around 6 and was feeling delirious from lack of sleep last night - I only slept from 11-3 before getting up to finish my lessons for today and heading into work to make copies. I inhaled an apple pie flavored Lara Bar (I really need to have Sean hide these from me) and passed out face first on my bed. No CrossFit for me tonight.. I'll make up for it another day this week. Knowing that I still had more work to do tonight, Sean woke me up an hour later with dinner - Elevation Burger! He got me 2 plain (grass fed) burger patties with lettuce and tomato along with a side salad (romaine, carrots, and tomato with oil and vinegar dressing). In my excitement and continuing delirium, I forgot to snap a picture. But I DID resist the urge to snag some of Sean's fries or a sip of his soda. That brings me to now, sitting here with a cup of coffee with heavy cream, trying to get this work done ASAP so I can get back in bed. 2 days down... 28 to go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 1 - Oct 16

It has arrived. Day one of thirty days eating only meats (preferably grass fed),  veggies (preferably local and organic), and healthy fats (like avocado, kerrygold butter, and coconut oil). I may throw in a piece of fruit or a couple nuts here and there, but for the most part I'm going to avoid them in order to hopefully lose some of this fat on my journey to get healthy!

Yesterday CrossFit Aspire held a 30 Day Challenge Kick Off and Nutrition Q&A event. Justin did an awesome job explaining to us what real foods are and why our bodies function best eating them exclusively. I took my measurements and completed a pre-challenge WOD (workout of the day), which we are going to repeat on November 14th to see results/changes/improvements in performance. I'm now armed with my 30 Day Challenge Survival Guide and have the support of about 40 people at the gym. I'm ready for this.

Who needs ketchup, cheese, and salt when you can have these fresh and healthy ingredients instead? After getting over 8 hours of sleep last night, I decided to celebrate the beginning of the challenge by starting my day off with this 3-egg feast plus two cups of coffee with a little heavy cream. I sauteed a sliced tomato, added it to the eggs as they cooked, plated the omelet over some Thai curry/coconut milk mixture leftover from my crock pot of beef that cooked last night, and topped it all off with some avocado. Delicious!

I knew I would need to eat something before heading over for a CrossFit workout at 1:00. For lunch I ate some of that crock pot beef along with my favorite brussels sprouts.

After a particularly soul-crushing workout, I stopped at Whole Foods to pick up the ingredients for tonight's dinner. I ended up also grabbing a couple different flavors of Lara Bars, and tried the banana bread flavor (ingredients: almonds, dates, unsweetened bananas) for a snack. I just have be sure to eat these tasty fruit and nut bars only sparingly!

Dinner was another celebratory event. Sean grilled up some grass fed burgers (I ate mine with sliced tomato and a little avocado) and a bunch of asparagus. Some spears were most definitely bacon-wrapped. So necessary :)

I'm aiming to get to bed at 10 tonight and not snack up until then. If I do snack, I'll edit to add it in. 

I get super busy during the week, but I'm going to try to keep up with recording my (extremely repetitive... sorry in advance) meals every day. It may be brief, but it should be here. Please check in to make sure I have not cheated! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Reality Check

This post underwent several title changes from "The Day I Decided to Stop Sabotaging my Diet" to "Sucking it Up and Using Some Willpower" and "The Day My Pants Didn't Button and I Felt Disgusting".

According to the scale (which I know I should not be using, but curiosity gets the best of me) I am officially at my heaviest yet. I didn't need a scale to tell me this, the way my clothes fit spoiled it far in advance.  About a year ago was when I started seeing a trainer and following a diet. I started that journey 17 pounds lighter than I am now, and at my best on that diet I was 25 pounds lighter that I am now.  25 pounds. Where did I go wrong since last November??

I acknowledge that, as with most people, my battle with food is entirely in my head. I'm not actually hungry, but my mind gets hell-bent on grabbing that snack or dessert. It becomes all I can think about until I satisfy that craving. I also believe that my personal issue is heightened by my OCD. Yes, I'm aware this all sounds crazy but I know it's a reality for me and plenty of others.  I use food as an escape from the stress of my life, and recently I've been turning to really terrible foods that I shouldn't have even tried in the first place (like ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, bakery cookies, candy... basically carb and sugar heaven). This behavior is shocking to my pre-diet self.

Before my diet journey I had far less issues with food. I ate what I then believed to be "healthy".  Back then it was low calorie foods like veggies, fruits, and chicken, but I also included whole grains like oatmeal, artificial sweetener, and processed, low calorie foods. Nonetheless, I struggled far less to keep my diet in check. If it wasn't "good" for me, I didn't go near it. Usually I would tell myself that if it contained more than a certain amount of calories or didn't have a certain amount of vitamins in it, then I couldn't have it.

Somewhere along the line since then, coincidentally around the time I moved in with the boyfriend, I started veering off track. I'm typically fine with breakfast and lunch (recently, both have been consisting of some combination of zucchini quiche, brussels sprouts and bacon, and some meat cooked in a crock pot), but nighttime kills me. It's as if my brain is screaming "Last call for food! Eat anything and everything!".  After a full day of work/practice/gym/shower/still having hours of work to do, I have a hard time fighting it. I've additionally been convincing myself that I really "deserve" to have that treat for working so hard at work and at the gym. I'm also pretty sure that I've been "celebrating" my new house for about a month now. Yes, I may deserve to treat myself somehow, but rapidly approaching obesity isn't all that satisfying.

At the beginning of summer, I embarked upon a 30-day Paleo challenge. At the end of it I felt so in control of my cravings and my body. I was leaning out, sleeping perfectly, my energy levels were through the roof, stomach issues and headaches were disappearing, and I felt all-around awesome. How did I fall so far backwards since then? Am I really that self-defeating?

Needless to say, the onset of a new 30-day challenge, this time accompanied by a slew of my favorite gym friends, is perfect timing for me. I'm more than ready to pick myself back off the floor and get a fresh start. In case you missed my first challenge, here are the guidelines:
  • Each meal should consist of vegetables, meats, and healthy fats.
  • Fruits and nuts/seeds are also allowed, but since weight loss is my goal, I'm going to start off by cutting these out. 
  • Foods not included: all grains and dairy, anything processed, all added sugars, legumes, starches, and alcohol.
The challenge starts on October 15th. My plan is to be over prepared and constantly remind myself that my focus should be on having a healthy, primal lifestyle. Just like last time, I'm not sure how I will be utilizing the blog for this, but you should be hearing from me every now and then. If this lifestyle changed my life once, I'm certain it can do it again. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Potential Posting Hiatus

CrossFit Friday 8/5
Weighted Pull-ups 5, 5, 5
Weighted Push-ups 5, 5, 5 (at the end I successfully completed 5 with a 10lb weight)
Partner WOD:
6 Rounds
75ft Sled Drag
10 Burpees
150ft Sprint
6 Rounds Each. Rest while partner works.

 CrossFit Saturday 8/6
Push Press 2, 2, 2 (75lb barbell)
AMRAP in 20 (I completed 12 rounds plus the 10 push presses)
10 DB Push Presses (started with 20lb, hit failure after about 4 rounds, changed to 15lb)
10 KB Swings (1 pood)
10 Box Jumps (step ups)

CrossFit Tuesday 8/9
Press 5, 5, 5 (45lb barbell)
“Push Press Lynne”
5 Rounds (24/6 --> 9/4)
Max Reps Push Press
Max Reps Pull-ups

CrossFit Wednesday 8/10 
Front Squat 3, 3, 3 (80lb barbell)
3 Rounds (completed in 8:20)
10 Toes to Bar (cannot hang from bar due to my bad shoulder, so Justin set me up with an alternate exercise)
20 Box Jumps (did NOT do step ups! My knees and I decided I'm ready to face my fears and start jumping... I jumped onto two 45's plus one 25)
30 KB Swings (1 pood)

I'm really starting to feel the pressure of the upcoming school year. I've been a busy bee creating, typing, cleaning, cutting, and laminating.
However, the fact that Monday is seriously halfway through August makes me feel nauseous. I know I didn't get nearly as much done this summer in terms of organizing and developing my curriculum as I had planned, and now I really need to kick it into overdrive over the next couple of weeks! To make things more stressful... in the span of just a couple weeks this is what I have on the table:
- two weddings yayy! (8/26 and 9/10)
- Sean's surgery (8/29)
- staff orientation/teacher in-service (9/1-9/2)
- first day of school (9/6)
- "School Law" grad class starts (9/7)
- moving into the new house! (9/16)
- half marathon (9/18)
- my birthday and Sean's birthday (9/11 and 9/20)

Needless to say, in order to prepare myself to get through September alive you may not be hearing from me. Maybe if I cook up an awesome recipe or achieve a great success I'll drop in, but no promises :) 

I tried preparing kale a different way and I'm still not a fan. Oh well, I still have my brussels sprouts! Here's my attempt at making a hot salad with kale, baby broccoli, zucchini, and grape tomatoes. The veggies were good, I just couldn't get over the taste of the kale :/
*I thought it was necessary to edit to add that I am SO happy with my Paleo/CrossFit experience this summer, I know it has positively changed my life. In a two month span I have gotten stronger in unimaginable amounts, increased my daily energy, gained confidence, learned how to cook and truly enjoy clean foods, and had a blast while doing it. I can't wait to continue this lifestyle through the school year, I have a feeling that being busy and having a structured schedule again will really help me attain bigger and better goals.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Broadening My Paleo Horizons

CrossFit Monday 8/1
Hang Power Snatch 3, 3, 3 (45lb barbell)
4 Rounds (completed in 11:09)
5 Hang Power Snatches (35lb barbell)
10 Thrusters (35lb barbell)
15 Pull-Ups (Even with the black band, on my last set of 15 I was only busting out 2 pull-ups at a time! These slowed me down big time)

CrossFit Wednesday 8/3
5 Rounds
Back Squat x 5 reps (65lb barbell - keeping it light while I work on my squats. I am amazed at how much better they have gotten. Every single time I go down, I have to concentrate hard on pushing my knees out and butt back, but my form and mobility are really starting to improve drastically.. yay :) )
Rest 30 seconds
Max reps Pull-Ups
Rest 2-3 minutes
10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (completed in 7:46 using 1 pood)
Goblet Squats
KB Swings

Okay, I have some potentially shocking news for you all. In an effort to add variety and more healthy fats to my diet, I have officially started eating (grass-fed) red meat! Yes, it's really me, Kate Eckert, non-red meat eater for about 13 years.

My first meat recipe was for Lasagna with Zucchini Noodles.
To elaborate on my editing in red:
  • I thought beef AND sausage would be a little overkill, so I just used the beef. As you could imagine, 2lbs of beef is a lot of meat, so I now have leftovers for days! It's been good mixed in with some eggs for breakfast.
  • I only used 1T of each of the seasonings, that seemed to be enough. 
  • Omitted the olives because I don't really like them.
  • 5 zucchinis was plenty.. I even have a quart size bag of leftover sliced zucchini.
My only complaint is that it definitely did not resemble lasagna. It was more-so just a pan of meat, tomatoes, and zucchini.  I had a bit of trouble cutting the zucchini into the thin, noodle-like strips, so maybe if my zucchini weren't so thick it would have held together a bit more. Nonetheless, it was extremely tasty and I've been enjoying the leftovers!

In addition to cutting out the sugars and upping my good fats, I've also started eating a lot more leafy greens. A month ago (hell, even a week ago) I would have never guessed that my new favorite snack would be brussels sprouts and bacon! Thanks to Alycia and Justin's recipe, I'm enjoying my fats and greens. Brussels sprouts are delicious, filling, and easy to keep/snack on as leftovers. Give them a try, you won't regret it!
simmering away
with the crunchy, bacon-y goodness!
I also tried making some kale chips (rinse the kale, chop length-wise cutting out the middle stem, toss in olive oil, bake at 350 for 12 minutes, salt if desired). These were okay, I definitely do not get the hoopla people on the interweb seem to be making about them. I'll try another method of cooking kale next time.

In other news: 
Sean and I are this close to having our offer accepted on a house we're in love with that's 8 minutes away from CrossFit, right across the street from Whole Foods, and has a super nice kitchen for me to cook in ... it does not get much more perfect than that :) We're both very excited that we will, in all probability, soon be homeowners!

Finally, Eddy wanted you to know that he helped with this post: 
My little boy is getting big - he will be 10 weeks old on Sunday!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Low Carb August

Cross Fit Wednesday 7/27
Press 3, 3, 3 (50lb barbell)
4 Rounds (completed in 10:39)
10 Pull-ups (black band)
10 Single Arm KB Swings L
10 Single Arm KB Swings R
30 Double Unders (I did singles instead because I'm terrible at jump rope. I thought we were supposed to do 90 singles, but it would make more sense that we were actually supposed to do 60. I was wondering why my time was so slow for this one :P I blame it on the fact that I've been going to the morning classes.. I was probably completely out of it while the instructions were being given.)

Cross Fit Friday 7/29
“Filthy Fifty” - I completed the "Foul Forties" in 24:08
50 Box Jumps (step ups as usual)
50 Jumping Pull-ups
50 Kettlebell Swings (25lb kettlebell)
50 Walking Lunges
50 Knees to Elbows (I had to stop doing these and continue the rest as sit-ups. I'm seeing a chiropractor for some shoulder pain I've had for a couple of months, and hanging from the bar was extremely painful!)
50 Push Press (35lb barbell)
50 Back Extensions (35lb barbell)
50 Wall Ball Shots (10lb wallball)
50 Burpees (aka hell)
50 Double-Unders (double the amount of singles)

Cross Fit Saturday 7/30
Deadlift 3, 3, 3 (145lb barbell - a PR by 10lbs! I also had a 155lb 2 rep max)
15 – 12 – 9 – 6 – 3 (done in 9:22 using 15lb dumbells)
50ft Weighted Walking Lunges
Renegade Rows

Diet Update:
In case you didn't see the comments in the "Crunch Time" post.. I have decided to forgo my beloved fruit and nuts at least through August in hopes of slimming down before the school year. For those keeping track, that means my diet will strictly consist of meats, veggies, and healthy fats. I shouldn't be checking, but the scale went down yesterday morning for the first time all summer :) I know it's too soon to make conclusions, but after just a couple days sans fruit and nuts I'm feeling really great. I've been waking up early with no alarm so incredibly full of energy and just ready to go, go, go! I hope this new found energy continues throughout the school year, I'm going to need it. I just found out that I'll be teaching 3 different subjects... again. Nonetheless, I'm ridiculously excited for this year to start, and I'm feeling like a first year teacher all over again!

I think variety is going to be the key to making this part of my diet work. Please send any clean, yummy chicken/turkey or veggie recipes my way!! 

I made some turkey ragu to put on spaghetti squash and in omelets. It was basically just my zucchini and diced tomato sauce plus some ground turkey.
1) Sautee onion, garlic, and zucchini in coconut oil.
2) Add ground turkey (or whatever meat you want) and brown. I added 1 tsp each of pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley.
3) Add one can of diced tomatoes, stir, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Super good in eggs. If you're using it as a sauce, I'd want it a little more.. well, saucy. Maybe I'd add 2 cans of diced tomatoes next time.

Workout Update:
I took a glance at my calendar and noticed that we are just about done with July. I am happy to report that I only missed one workout (a 3.5 mile run on a day of ridiculous humidity and heat) on my Half Marathon Training Schedule this month. I've be switching and re-arranging days here and there, but making sure I get everything in. I'm pumped for my 7 mile run tomorrow... it will be my longest run ever!

Also - of course, despite my best planning intentions, the professor for my fall grad class changed our meeting day from Tuesdays to Wednesdays. We meet after school for 4 hours until late at night, so I'll be switching my rest day to Wednesdays, and my Wednesday workout back to Tuesday.