Paleo Week 4 – Thoughts and Best Recipes.

Fat-Loss-Diet-and-Exercise-Plan

A not so quick update.

First, I love the Paleo diet – it has changed my life wrt my stomach issues.  I’ve had maybe 3 flare-ups – and they are identifiable, meaning I know what caused them.  My stomach can handle meats, fruits and veggies, and non-dairy dairy (nut dairy, NOT cow dairy). I also seem to be able to handle cheeses (so dairy in moderation) and wine without a problem.

I LOVE the fact that I can eat healthy, have a flat stomach, not have bloating or constipation issues, AND drink wine.  Yes, Paleo, you have me at Hello.

A couple of notes:

  • You can be successful IF you prepare yourself for success.
    • Remove shit from your refrigerator and cabinets and start over with the right ingredients. This was quite expensive for me – but well worth it.
    • Plan your shopping list and be prepared at all times with foods you can eat. This can take time… and its a conscious effort, one well worth it IMO. I prep and shop and cook on Sundays. It’s a half day at least… wish it was less but so far it hasn’t been.
  • You must live near a  Whole Foods or be able to order goods via Amazon.. otherwise, this diet won’t work. I know from experience that you cannot find much of anything that is Paleo friendly in small towns across the US.
  • You do need to like (more on the love side) to cook, experiment with recipes, be ok with failure, and most of all, love leftovers. If you have and love a slow cooker all the better.  If you don’t love to cook or bake, this is not a diet for you.
  • You will spend a shit ton of time prepping your food. Key staples in the kitchen are:
    • Cutco Knives. Best damn knives on the planet – they will help you chop, cut, etc. If you want to know which ones I use let me know. I’ll supply the list of must-haves.
    • Mandolin. Just got myself one – the OXO Mandolin – because it had storage.  It’s missing a chopper.  Other than this, its excellent. Reviews say watch your fingers – and its true. Almost sliced off the tips of my fingers a couple of times.  Because of my close calls with losing my digit fingers I ordered myself the NoCry gloves. I LOVE THEM so much I ordered a pair for my Paleo diet cooking friend (she also has Cutco and has cut fingertips, nails,and such).

For me, I love baked goods – there is NOT a donut I don’t love (except those covered in maple icing). Baked goods are brought into the office every day, which sucks for me.  So I’m experimenting with baking and I’m having a ball.  BUT, this was the hardest for me to cut out – I LOVED my Fiber One bars, Cinnamon, Gingerbread, Lemon Bars oh My!!   Below is what I’ve done, baking wise.  I’d open a bakery if I could – because this is where it’s at. Experimenting has been so much fun.  Why are bakeries NOT incorporating coconut or almond flours in their treats?

After a month, here are my favorite recipes, notes of changes included.

NOTE – you must use Google Chrome to search for these recipes. If you use Bing you will NOT get good results.

  • Making Sweet Potato and Beet Chips isn’t as easy as all the recipes I’ve found online have said.  NOT A ONE.  I’ve made a good 10 lbs of chips, none of which have turned out perfectly. I’m still experimenting with temperature and the right mixture of oil, baking time, and spices.  I thought the price of Terra Chips was ridiculous.  Given the time and effort I’ve put in to make the perfect chip, I think the price is well worth it. I’ve got 20+ hours into it by now and I still don’t have a recipe I’m happy with. Terra Chips – thank you for making a quality chip that I can eat my guacamole with!
  • Paleo Curry Chicken 
    • I first tried Danielle Walkers Against All Grain Cookbook slow cooker Chicken Curry. It’s ridiculously GOOD. However, I don’t always have slow-cooker time on my hands.  so I found this Paleo Friendly Quick Curry Chicken recipe – and I made the following edits – remember, I love leftovers
      • I used Thai Kitchen green curry paste – an entire bottle
      • I used a small rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods. I didn’t salt or pepper it, I just deboned all the chicken
      • I used 1/2 yellow onion, 2 heads of broccoli, 1 red pepper, one carrot julliened w/ my new mandolin, and a 1 inch piece of ginger – sliced
      • I sautéed the onions, added the curry paste, let it saute a bit, then added the veggies – mixed it up, then added the cooked chicken
      • Then added 2 cans of coconut milk – one full fat, one light
      • Let it cook for 10 minutes, serve.
      • This served 2 – then I had 3 leftover servings (enough for lunch all week).
  • Paleo Banana Pancakes – I needed something to fill the pastry desires I had.  I need carbs, or something that resembles carbs.  So after a few experiments, I found this recipe on CaveManCooking and modified it a bit –
    • one for one on banana and eggs. You use too many eggs it tastes like a bad omelet and the texture is too spongy.
    • I used frozen bananas – you know, the ones that are over ripe that you put in the freezer to “do something” with..  once you thaw them, be sure to rid yourself of as much liquid as you can. The riper the banana, the sweeter the pancake.  No matter what the other recipes call for, do not add honey or sweeteners – the ripe banana makes it sweet enough
    • Add a TBS of coconut flour and a pinch of cinnamon.
    • 3 eggs, 3 bananas and a TBS of coconut flour make about 7 pancakes that are about 6″ round. two for you to eat right away, and one for each day of the week.  It was perfect for me. If you have the chance, add a bit of maple syrup or strawberry rhubarb jam… you will love it.
  • Paleo Slow Cooker Pork – Danielle Walkers recipe is the best, and this recipe walks you through how to make this deliciousness happen.  It’s so simple – and you should make lots of it because you can create other meals with the leftovers.  Yum!

Next up is Chicken Tikka Masala, more time perfecting my own chips, Thai Chicken sauce for lunch wraps (not Pizza), anything with Pumpkin puree, and seal the deal on my own Paleo “bacon burger” recipe (yes, my first experiment that friends and family love).

I think that is it – other than working, I’ve been cooking and enjoying it.  So far I’ve lost 3 pounds (4 weeks, 3 pounds).  Not bad given that I’m still drinking wine, eating cheese (in moderation), and working more than full-time in an office filled with wheat filled treats.

I’ll post another entry about work…  as you may remember, I started a new job 3 months ago.  Got the title and responsibility I wanted… All I can say is be careful what you ask for.. 🙂

Paleo Diet – 3 Week Update.

woman-with-heartI’ve been going balls out on my 2015 New Years resolutions.  There are several of them I’m working on at once, but the one that I’m most focused on right now is “Body Confidence”.  It’s a recipe for success – it’s part diet, part exercise, and all commitment.  For the majority of the time, I have felt GREAT.  My stomach issues have all but disappeared, I have renewed energy. And the only reason I know this is because when I’ve faltered

  1. I ate cheese sauce made with milk and flour two weekends ago – with brocolli, it was delicious, but it hurt my stomach
  2. I had a few chips with my tostada on Sunday
  3. and tonight, I ate a small sliver of garlic bread

My stomach hurt me when I ate cheese sauce and chips….. not so much with the garlic bread. All mini-setbacks from my plan, but definitely recoverable.

Other than this, I feel good with this “diet”. Diet in quotes only because I don’t think its a diet, its a way of life – one that is easy to do for me  – I love to cook, especially with my slow cooker, and I’ve made some amazing recipes.  Danielle Walkers cookbook and website are my #1 go-to for recipes and information, but I’ve also found great recipes and tips on other websites.  My favorite is Danielle’s Slow Cooker Pork Roast.  I make the full amount and use it for so many dishes… it has such a great flavor and is so easy to make.  I had a cook-off day with a girlfriend and we both made unbelievably delicious recipes.  Had enough leftovers to share – meals for days.

The challenge is when I travel or go out to eat, which is when I faltered (see above). But other than that, I really like what I’m doing, I feel great, and I plan to continue until March (my original goal was to complete 30 days) as I think it will take this much time to lose the weight I want to lose.

Oh, I should let everyone know that I’m still drinking wine – I figured if grapes where on the safe list, well then, anything made with grapes would be too.  It may take longer to lose the weight, but its worth it.  The diet alone makes my stomach feel better – so much better than any doctor has.  I will go back to a nutritionist to make sure I’m not missing anything, but as of now, my stomach feels better in 2 weeks on this diet than it has felt in the last 5 years.  And for that I’m extremely grateful.

So far, 20 days in, I’m down 3 pounds.  I wanted to lose more by this point, but because my stomach issues have all but disappeared, I’m willing to continue and hope for weight loss.

As far as exercise goes, I signed up for Bikram Yoga and Belly Dancing – things that will help me stretch out and get healthy in a fun way.  This is in addition to walking more (got myself a fitbit!!).  I do love the belly dancing class. Its different and I’m learning a completely new way of doing things.

I’ll post on other interesting topics later.. I have so much to share, just not enough time..

Sandwiched Between Two People.

sleepover-girls-pillowfightAnd it’s not that bad. The two folks?  My nieces.  Snore like men with heavy drinking habits.  I’m watching Boyhood – which is a great movie – which I picked – and the girls so graciously wanted to watch with me and soon passed out.  Loved the movie, girls.. not so much.

I am absolutely in love with these girls – but they do snore like no tomorrow – and these are the folks I’m sandwiched in-between.  I know, LUCKY ME.

I’m in Utah, with my family, working on a family matter that required my attention.  I have to go back to work in 24 hours….  I’ve so enjoyed my time with family that it’s hard to think about going back to work.  I’m desperate to sell my condo and buy myself a duplex so I can visit more often at a reduced cost… It will happen, it’s only a few years away.

Life has a way of unfolding in a way that you never expected.  My life is no different – I never imagined not having kids…  but it happened that way.  I think about this “life choice” every day.  But when I’m with my nieces I do not –  I can’t imagine a different life.  I love them more than the whole world, I would give up everything if it would guarantee their safety … I can’t imagine loving people more than I love my niece and her babes.

Maybe there is more love in store for  me in my life – but I honestly can’t imagine it.  I am open to it, but when I’m here in Utah, I can’t imagine a better life for me. Sandwiched between my favorite girls on the planet.  Love at it’s finest – snoring and all.

Love At First Feeling.

passionate-loveYou know the feeling.  That moment you lock eyes with someone and that tingling/sensation takes over your entire body?  Have you had this before? The feeling that you know something is going to happen… you just don’t know what.   I have, but only a few times in my life.  Each time it was a doozy.  Wooo weeeh! They have all been worth it.  A few of them I’m still friends with and I love that.  Why?  Because I love their human being’ness.  I love that I still know then, that I really know them. They may not have the same feelings for me, we are not in the same state, but they are good people all around, and they have made my heart and “nether region” sizzle.

I’ve been fortunate to experience this a few times.  It hasn’t happened to me in a while, and I would really like this to happen to me in 2015.  I want to be whisked away – with intelligence, brilliance, humor, sarcasm… God, take me away!  Every man that I’ve met that has made me feel this way has an opportunity for a second change.. my heart is always open to continuing whatever we share together… except the EX.  No Integrity == zero interest.  All others had integrity, were honest as well as lovely, gorgeous, and absolutely perfect for me at the time we met.

O.k. nothing more interesting than that to share.  That “the spark” is so intoxicating, and every time I’ve followed-through on it, I’ve become a better person – better lover, better partner, better me.   Win, win, win.. 🙂

I promise myself this year that if I run across this – an intriguing male that makes my heart skip a beat – I will do something about it.  Why?  Hmmmm, Who knows what I will do?? I don’t know – but this is what will keep me/us on our toes!  I’m ready for something new, for something connected, for something fun, interesting, and different.

Yeahhhh!  Oh, and if you run into Brett Cullen, please tell him about me. I love him!!

 

A Warm Welcome to 2015!

2015-in waterI’m super excited about 2015.  I started working on having a good 2015 in September.  2014 and 2013 were bad years for me.  I gave up on 2014 being a good year something in July and began focusing on 2015.  2013 and 2014 were almost worst than the year I got separated/divorced.  Different struggles but equally if not more difficult.   Ugghhh, so glad that 2014 is over.

Anyway, enough about the bad times, I’m off to a great start to have another Year of the Paula (like 2010-2012).  Like I mentioned, I started in September – I stopped waiting for my managers to recognize my work and took action. I found a new job, better title and pay.  So far its been great. The company culture feels more like home to me.  Because my paycheck is larger, I was able to refinance my home.   Now I’m starting 2015 more financially secure than I’ve been in a couple of years and its feels wonderful.  There is more to do, but I feel confident I can make it happen.  With that, here are my goals for this year:

  1. Get Body Confident.  I’m tired of feeling fat, letting my fat get in the way of doing what I want, getting what I deserve.  I’ve spent so many years, since 2006, feeling bad about my weight, feeling bad about myself, losing confidence in myself year after year.  This year no more.  I will lose the weight and get comfortable about where I end up.  So, what does this mean?
    • Lose weight. I’m 132 – that is about 20 pounds overweight for my 5’2″ frame.   I was 100 pounds for most of my adult life, I got married at 30-something at 112 pounds.  It’s time I get back to the weight I’m comfortable with at OR shut up about it.
    • Exercise more.  I need to get more active.  I stopped working out regularly about 2 years ago, when I was working with Man Hands down at Cisco. I’ve never really gotten back into it.  This is the year. I’ve committed to working out 2 nights a week – I joined a yoga studio and signed up for a belly dancing class.  I will try these classes for 3 months and figure out what I want to do next.
    • Address my stomach issues.  I have, for many years, had significant stomach issues.  I used to wake up sick in the mornings, so sick that drinking water would  have me dry heaving in the shower.  In 2014 I went to see a nutritionist and fixed this problem (thank god!) but I still have significant “flare ups” with my stomach and intestines.  I am going to address this once and for all.  I am starting 2015 with a diet change – I’m going Paleo.  And I’m going back to the nutritionist.   I was inspired by Danielle Walkers story (AgainstAllGrain) – and now I’m ready to take back my life.
  2. Take Charge of my Career.  I’m doing it – I’ve met more with my manager in the last 3 months than I did my entire tenure at my last job.  Why?  Because I thought my managers would recognize the great work I was doing. Did they? No.  And when I asked for what I deserved, we were on very different pages.  Didn’t bode well for either of us.  So I’m not going to let that happen again.  My goal is to have a meeting with my manager 1x a month to discuss my career, my progress, and set myself up for promotions and an executive position.  I am a great worker, a good leader, and highly qualified. With my manager’s guidance I am going to do very well.
  3. Me.  I need to work on me.  I have a few issues that I want to deal with – I didn’t recognize it until I sat down with ATrain and really discussed our relationship – where we are, where we want to be, where I WANT to be.  Two issues in current relationship are the same ones I had in my marriage, and I am the common link there.  Me.  What I have today is similar in some respects to what I had in my marriage.  I’m with someone who has integrity (my EX did not) so the conversations are much more real, more open, honest, and revealing.  So I will seek out a counselor this year and work through some bad habits and become more aware of what I want, what I need, and the changes I need to make- mental and behavior – to get what I want.

I think that is it.  It is a lot but I’m ready for it.  I need a change, I need my life to be different, and I’m in charge of making this happen.

I loved 2010 and 2011 and 2012.  They were GREAT years for me for the most part.  I want more of these kind of years.  And to get more of these years, I need to know myself better, treat myself better, and give myself permission to have it all!

I wish you all a great 2015 – may all your dreams and aspirations be realized.