2015 In Summary.

2015 was NOT a good year for me.  This only means that in 2016 there is no where to go but up. For a summary of my goals and results, take a look at 2015 Year In Review.

The two biggest downers –

1- I lost my job. I put all my energy into work and it resulted in absolutely nothing. Actually, it’s more than nothing – I gave up everything to make work work.  I had one date all year, on Dec. 28th no less.  I wanted more than anything to succeed professionally.  Not this year.

2- On the personal side, AbFab’s husband lost his legs.

 

I am so done with 2015.  I am all about 2016 – and 2016 is all about me.  I will focus on doing what is absolutely best for me.  Outside of me, I will be spending time with AbFab and family…  I am on polishing up my 2016 New Years resolutions and will share them when they are complete. Some good stuff around exercise and stress management, but there will be a few surprises around real estate. I am excited about what I can do this year – I hope it is worth the wait for you.

 

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.. 🙂

New Year is A’Coming.

big-changes-coming-soonI get SUPER EXCITED about the New Year – I see it as an opportunity for reflection and change.  I love to look back on the year, see where I am, where I am not, as compared to my goals and aspirations.

This year was the first year I did not write down my resolutions – and I’m paying for it.  I have no way to measure myself, and I feel like I wasted most of the year.  I gave up on 2014 about 4-5 months ago.  A lost year for me.  I wanted to do so much, but did almost none of what I wanted.  This year, I’m starting early.

I feel like I’ve already started on my 2015 resolutions. I do not want another year to go by and be in the same place.  I’m serious about making a plan and working that plan….

One of the biggest changes that happened already is a job change.  I really wanted to call Zuora home, but they were like family that only wants you to stay a few days, not for a while.  I tried my best to stay, worked really hard to do something amazing. . Alas, I clued in that we weren’t on the same page so I moved on.  Bums me out as I loved the technology and all my customers…  but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.  I’ve been at the new company for a month now, so far so good.  I’m taking a lead, doing what I love (to organize things, make a difference), and learning new things.  I am looking forward to finding my professional home – the place that feels like home when I’m not home. So far so good.  So far there aren’t any real politics that I can see, just a great bunch of good, solid, really smart people all working towards the same objective/goal/outcome.  Great technology and culture.  I feel like I fit in.  It will be a matter of time before I figure out if I do or not.

I’ve spent the last 10 months trying to break up with A-Train.  I love him, but I’m convinced we are not meant to be a couple. For a variety of excuses reasons, It hasn’t happened yet.  He is a super nice guy, I love being around him, we just aren’t a good team.  My fear of losing him as a friend stops me from doing what is best for the both of us.  Although I still do not know why in the world he wants to be with me – I’m a horrible girlfriend.  I will someday provide a list of all the ways I’m a horrible girlfriend….

Anyway, one resolution is to write more.  I like to write, its therapeutic for me, and I love the advice/wisdom I get from my readers.  So expect more this year from me. I’m ready to deliver.

Keep me honest folks – hold me to my goals and commitments!

 

 

 

Perception is Reality.

sun_through_clouds_2560x1600Like I know what reality is.  I know what my world is like…  I’ve been busy dealing with my stuff and planning/executing my trip to Australia.  I think I understand what other people’s worlds’ look like….

My stuff… what is that? I’ve moved, shifted the life I wanted but wasn’t real in order to better my future life.  I’ve been feeling morose about the changes, and trying to adjusting to my new life.  I’ve made some major adjustments, the most notable is that I moved out of my house and am now living in a small 1 bedroom cottage, otherwise known as a converted garage apartment.  The loss of “my life” includes the loss of the things I love, the space I love. These changes are essential to me getting back on track financially.  I now have to admit it, I’m depressed about this move.

I now recognize that I’ve been avoiding my situation… and thought I was handling it well.  But this is not the case, not only have I not handled it, its effecting my work.  My manager asked me today if something was wrong, something significant like cancer.  Why? Because I’m not as engaged (dedicated, committed, passionate) as I need to be.  She wasn’t telling me because I’m in trouble, she asked me from sheer concern.  I love this woman, she has busted her ass to “prove herself”, but in reality, she is the best leader at my current company.  When I grow up I want to be just like her. She is amazing, and I appreciate her concern.

I’m surprised it took me so long to recognize/admit my situation.  I fell into the abyss before (during and slightly after) my divorce.  My doctor gave me some pills to help me deal with it, which was fabulous.  I know that there are pills that will help me pull out of my current funk, and my doctor will prescribe them, but I don’t want to use pills this time.  I think this is just part of life – to feel the highs, you have to feel the lows.  I just happen to be experiencing a low period. Just kidding, funny aren’t I??? I think so.   I’d love to have drug to cover this up, but there isn’t one.

Anyway, I now realize that not only HAVE I NOT BEEN hiding/handling it all that well.  I put it off my feelings because I have been dealing with the enormity of “my reality”, which were these life changes that I’m not happy about making.  But the situation is real, I’ve already made the changes, so I need to get over it.  So what does this mean to me? I need to get off my lazy ass and get with a program.  Wake up, drink a plant-based breakfast to get new energy, start exercising, and in general, get my shit together.

Tonight is the night – that I’m not doing anything, once again.  but tomorrow, I need to live my New Year’s Resolutions.  God damn, its March already, it’s time I get my shit together right?  I’m going to drink a plant-based drink for energy, eating more veggies for health, and drink wine for sanity, and in all of this, lose the 20 pounds I need to lose for my Yacht Body!!   Tomorrow I’ll figure out exactly how I’m going to execute on my plan.

Yacht Body Here I Come.

Yacht-bodyMy goal is to have a “Yacht Body” by May.  Why May? Its my birthday month sillies!  And I want to go on vacation, on a yacht, somewhere warm.

Why a Yacht Body? Somebody has to make the yacht look good! That somebody is going to be me.  This is one of my 2014 New Years Resolutions  (which I have yet to post) – to get fit, lose weight, and rid myself forever of my barrel body.  My goal is to get healthy, get active, and get yachting!   My unrealistic goal is to lose 20 pounds by my birthday.

I’m in Australia right now, my last night in this fabulous country.  I fly home tomorrow.  And on Saturday, March 1st, my Yacht Body regimen begins. So far I’ve got the following set up:

  • an appointment with an allergist to figure out what causes my stomach inflammations
  • a weekly Yoga class on Tuesday Nights
  • a full month of Fat Blast classes 2-3x a week – times TBD (I want evening to keep me from drinking, morning classes may be my only option)
  • Zero alcohol

I do plan on staying home most of the month as I get grumpy without my vodka or wine.  But this is really important to me. I feel like the source of my confidence issues from my short and round stature, my barrel body…  its stops me from going all out, it holds me back.  I don’t want to feel bad about myself anymore, so I’m going to do something about it.  Just like I did with my GM Diet, I will blog about my progress.  I’m expecting significant results, largely because of the zero alcohol and the changes I make based on the results of my allergy tests.   This has been a long time coming, I’m glad I’m doing something.

So now I’ve put it out there – so I have to do it right?  You will all keep me honest, right?

And if you have ideas or suggestions on how to stay motivated or want to share how you lost weight, please do so. I’m looking for your help!

I’m Back. Again.

Raccoon_twinsNow I realize I’ve said this before, then disappeared again, but I have made it a New Years resolution to post more.  And by “post more” I mean that my posts won’t be so thought provoking, insightful, humorous, well-formed.  What there will be is more of them – I think its called quantity over quality.. Walmart style.

Anyway, I do need to post all my New Year’s resolutions so you can keep me honest, but I’ve run out of wine – first time in god, 10 years?

My funny comment/post for tonight was this:  I just saw 2 raccoons in the backyard.  I jumped out of my chair, opened the patio door, and yelled screeched at the top of my lungs “eeeeahhhhhoowwww”. Really loud. Four times.  Raccoons ran away. As fast as they could. I heard them scurry up the fence.  They are long gone, but my  cats are still freaked out – not because of the raccoons, they didn’t even see them.  Because of me – everything was fine, they were sleeping.. then their mom spun out of control.  Just made me realize how obnoxious I really am.

So what’s happened since my last post, where I needed a new life?  I’ve done it.  I now have the beginnings of a new life.  In the last 3 months, I no longer live with A-Train, I’ve rented out my awesome house,  and I’ve moved into a tiny 1-bedroom cottage. Why? To get back on track financially and spend some time alone to focus directly on myself and my happiness.  And in searching for the URL’s for above, I came across this post – Who Am I?  It’s hard to fathom that I’ve been lost for almost a year.  Good thing I have this blog to keep me honest. 😉

Anyway, another year of “The Paula” is here.  I’ve used, once again, my New Years resolutions to shift my focus, to change my life.  Every year is a new opportunity to be a better person….  so here I am, working on me again.

Done, Gone and Fixed It!

O.k.. building on the last, more introspective post about being Too Independent, I think I’ve gone ahead and NOT helped myself….  I’ve gone done and fixed another thing!  Certainly doesn’t help my “helpless” image…

I purchased some window shades and spent my Saturday night installing them.  God, I spent money I don’t have, which is so unlike me, but after watching the cellular shade market for 5 months, I felt like I got the best deal out there.  I purchased the same window treatments for all my rooms which is just fine for now.  If/when I get to the point to being stylish in any room, I can repaint/re-treat the windows at that time.  I purchases 10 window treatments for $850….  no taxes no shipping.  Steal IMO. 

Anyway, I’ve attached pictures of a before and after and the tools required…..  I installed 4 of the 1o treatments tonight.  The others I will have to install next weekend when I return from Boston.   But don’t they look fabulous!?!   So easy breezy, a cat could do it… although the cats did just watch……  sorta like an ex-wife (without the complaining)…  Ouch.  🙂