Cheating never pays

I foretold that I would regret eating the pizza.  Well, I did.  I don’t know if it is the simple carbs and the wine last night, the cloudy, chilly weather, the lack of sleep last night, or what, but I am insatiable today.  And we have TWO different kinds of cookies in the house.  This is not good.  I feel like sitting on the couch, eating 10 cookies, drinking tequila, and watching the rest of the Bones season.  Hopefully I do not succumb…

The 21-Day Challenge, 16 Weeks Later

Yesterday I bought my first pair of size 6 pants.  Ever.  Ever since I can remember, I have never, ever been able to fit into a size 6.  So I figured it was time for an update as to how I’m doing on the primal diet.  In a nutshell, I’m doing great.  My energy is good.  My allergies have moderated – I still have them, but they aren’t as bad as they once were.  I am no longer churning through copious amounts of tissues each eve and morn.  I have abs now!  They aren’t crazy defined or anything, but they are there.  At least I can see them.  🙂

Overall, I’ve just been following the 21-day Blueprint over and over again, with a few mods.  I haven’t been religious about the sprint workouts.  I DO want to do them, but I just don’t remember to, in general.  My exercise plan looks something like this – run every other day and do the PEM exercises on my non-running days (pushups, pullups, squats, and planks).  If I don’t feel like running, I walk speedily on the grass alongside the bike path (whilst listening to the Paleo Solution podcast).  I find that walking in the grass really works out my legs and butt – almost more so than running.  Tim and I have recently starting biking too.  My coworker and I are going to start doing Hatha yoga on Monday nights as well, so hopefully that will help me build up flexibility and core strength.

I’m up to running 2.5 miles.  I can do 15 modified (knee) pushups.  I still can in no way do a pull up, but I can do a flexed arm hang for 30 seconds and lower myself to the ground in a controlled fashion.  I can do an elbow plank and side elbow planks for 60 seconds.  I’m still far behind where I hoped I would be based on the guidance in the 21-Day challenge, but I’m not disappointed because I am definitely improving.  I could probably push myself harder and get better results, but I’m in for the slow, long sustainable haul.  I’m actually considering joining the local Crossfit gym.  I don’t have anyone to go with me though, and I’m scared to go alone because I’m an intimidated baby.  Maybe I’ll work up the courage.

I’ve been eating at least 80% primal, I would say.  Tonight I’m going to eat pizza, but I don’t eat it often – maybe once every other week.  For cheats I eat A LOT of dates and A LOT of pistachios.  I need to find a cheaper pistachio source.  I also still drink pretty regularly.  However, I’ve noticed my body DOES NOT like beer, which is sad.  I feel best on red wine, second best on whiskey and club soda, which has become my go-to drink at bars that don’t serve good red wine.

I’ve found that I really don’t miss bread or desserts in general.  I know that I’ll feel bad if I eat them, so that helps me stay away from them.  I still crave ice cream about once per month (hmm, wonder what that could be).  I got some Ben & Jerry’s Greek frozen yogurt last week.  It tasted pretty good until I read the ingredients and saw corn syrup on the list.  Blast.  Being able to eat as much healthy fat as I want really helps curve the cravings. I put at least 1/2 a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee each morning, and I’m very generous with the avocado, coconut and olive oil when cooking.

So, down to the details.  Here is my starting and current stats:

Starting: Weight 149.3  Bust 36  Waist 31  Hips 43

Current: Weight 132.9   Bust 34  Waist 28.75  Hips 40.75

Thus, the size 6 pants.  Admittedly, they are a little snug, but they have that dumb two-way stretch, so I think they’ll be alright.  Also, in the interests of full disclosure, while my starting weight was officially 149.3, I was typically hovering around 147 when I started the primal blueprint.

I’m going to sign off and go eat my Mama Bossos pizza, which I’m sure to heartily regret tomorrow, but which will taste ultra-tasty tonight.  Good night everyone, and if you have any questions or curiosities about the primal diet/lifestyle, hit me up in the comments.

Links referenced above:

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=hlo06-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=0982207778“>The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

The Paleo Solution Podcast

Eating Buffalo

I picked up some frozen buffalo patties (the ground up meat kind, not the flat, poop kind) at HyVee a few weeks back on a whim.  I finally remembered to take them out of the freezer this week, and Tim grilled them up.  They were FANTASTIC.  I ate the left-overs for breakfast – sauteed with veggies in coconut oil, with a side of fried eggs.  Deeeeelicious.  We just picked up another pack from HyVee today.

Here is a link to the farm that raises the bison.  They are beautiful creatures. I would feel bad eating them if they weren’t so damn tasty.

http://www.winterbison.com/

Pants!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve lost about 12 lbs but recently put back on about 3 (darn you fried pork t!!!  darn you to hell!!).  Anyway, that’s enough to put me down a pants size.  I’ve been getting by by washing and DRYING my dress pants, so they’ve shrunk a bit, but I really only have 2 pairs that fit properly.  The Gap must read my blog because they sent me a coupon for 30%, so Hlo went shopping.

I bought two things – the Modern Boot Pants in black and the Sexy Boot Cut jeans.  This hardly ever happens, but I like both of them immensely! The dress pants are the perfect length and fit correctly in the hips, with a nice boot leg.  The jeans, once I got the correct length, are awesome.  The have a little bit of stretch to hug and support in the right spots, but not so much stretch that they become a size larger after an hour or two of wearing.   The magic mix is 80% cotton, 19% polyester, and 1% spandex.  This is the exact mix of The Sweetheart jeans I’ve been wearing from Old Navy for 5 years.  When I went back to buy another pair, they had changed the ratios, and the jeans just stretched out to no end.  I could literally pull what was originally a snug pair of jeans off my hips after an hour of wearing.  Argh.

The color is good, and the man-made fades are actually natural looking.  The length is good too – at least once I got the right length.  I tried on the regular length in a curvy cut, and they were literally high waters on me, so I tried on the longs in the sexy boot cut.  They were really long, but I figured too long was better than too short, so I bought them.  However, when I tried them on the next day, I realized that at 37″ they were WAY too long – too long to wear with any shoe I currently posses.  So I trotted them back to The Gap, tried on the regular length, which fit perfectly, and left a happy camper.  I washed them for the first time this weekend, so we’ll see how they hold up to that.

The material is rather thin, so I’m not sure they’ll last a super long time, but that doesn’t bother me too much – as long as The Gap still carries them in the exact same iteration so I can buy a fresh pair.  They always seem to discontinue my favorites.  Darn you The Gap!!  Darn you to hell!  And Old Navy too, while I’m at it.

If you are a curvy girl (someone with hips and butt), I recommend both of these highly.

My concrete blood

My parents are having a craft show at the end of this month.  When I say “craft show,” I’m sure you think of crocheted doilies, handmade pottery, home-made wooden birdhouses, fudge, beaded bracelets, etc., etc.  Oh, if only my parents’ craft show consisted of those things.  Their craft show consists primarily of concrete.  Concrete lawn ornaments.  As in really heavy, dusty, solid, concrete lawn ornaments.  Lawn ornaments that need to be moved around, repositioned, cleaned and organized before said craft show. Don’t get me wrong – the show will have many of the aforementioned items, but we were not enlisted to help with those.  We were enlisted to move what had to be 4 tons of concrete.

The task actually aligned well with the primal directive to “lift heavy things.”  I did use the exercise as an excuse to indulge a bit this weekend – a few pork rinds here, a few chocolate covered prunes there, some milk in my coffee, and to cap it all off – NACHOS.  I’m probably actually going to be up a couple of pounds this weekend, despite actually working hard.

And here’s an interesting fact/observation for all of you out there trying this whole primal thing – I’ve noticed that my digestion is affected by my hormonal cycle.  About 10 days before that time of the month (sorry boys), I gain about 2 pounds, and about 2 days after, I drop 4.  During the weight gain period, my stomach gets easily upset, and almost everything I eat (except my eggs & avocado) makes it feel wonky.  I need to look this up on the MarksDailyApple forums to see if this is unique to me or to be expected.  Anyway, sorry if that is TMI.  For many woman who are interested in the primal diet, however, I think it will be JTRAOI (just the right amount of information).

Anyway, it actually felt pretty good to work up a sweat and to get dirty.  My life is spent 40 hours a week in a cubicle, so it’s absolutely lovely to be outside all day, in the sun, the wind, and the rain.  The birds were out in full force, and between the wind in the Whispering Pines and the birds in said pines, it was a full-on nature orchestra out there.  So beautiful.  I want to move out to the country, convert an old barn into a house (completely open first floor – no walls except for the bathroom and a 2nd floor loft bedroom), plant a garden, buy a gun and prepare for the impending anarchy.  Oh, and I need to learn how to can veggies.  Hopefully before the anarchy strikes.

Ah, as I always say, tomorrow is another day. I’ll be back on the primal wagon – got some excellent meals planned (primal Italian wedding soup, pork with radish hash, heavenly meatloaf, salmon, sausage and sauteed sauerkraut and primal hot cereal), and hopefully we can get our weight bench set up, so I can start doing some more upper body weights.  My tri-ceps are getting all wobbly and disgusting.  At least my biceps are perking up a bit.  I’ve also started focusing on pull-ups more.  I’m doing a flexed arm hang for 15+ seconds and lowering myself slowly to the ground (a reverse pull-up).  I can do TWO of those.  I’m amazing, I know. I have been toying with the idea of doing Crossfit for a month, to learn good form, but it’s wicked expensive.  My older bro keeps trying to convince me it’s worth it, but at this point I should really be spending the money on clothes that actually fit me!  I’ll see how I feel at the beginning of April.  My weight loss/fitness has started to plateau – I have a sneaking suspicion it’s because of the copious amount of cheating I have been doing.  If I can’t get myself straightened out, I might bite the bullet.  Or I just might buy The Paleo Solution.  Maybe that will get me back on track. I’ve been listing to Robb Wolf’s podcast, and it’s really good.  I’m sure the book is good too.

Well, that’s it for today folks.  Hope your Sunday was awesome.  Here is a picture of the cutest dog ever (who just got a double-scrub and blow-dry this afternoon) to send you off with a smile on your face.

Primal Carrot Cake Pancakes

I’ve been experimenting with different breakfast foods this weekend – thought I should break out of the eggs, bacon, sauteed veggies breakfast rut.  Yesterday I made a Berry Crumble from page  5 of Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals.  Here is a photo:

The Berry Crumble is made up of a base of blueberries heated up with vanilla and a topping of walnuts, pecans, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter.  You broil the concoction for about 3 minutes and then revel in the deliciousness.  Berries and nuts don’t sound very filling, but one serving of this filled me right up. I did top it with Greek yogurt too – super creamy and delicious.  Tim even added some to his oatmeal yesterday and today.  I will definitely make this again.

There are soooo many good primal recipe sites that I question the necessity of buying primal cookbooks.  However, I’ve really liked almost all of the recipes I’ve made from Mark’s book and have found the instructions to be more comprehensive and accurate than the recipes I’ve found on blogs.  I would definitely recommend this cookbook.  So far I’ve made these recipes from it and loved them: Steak with Romesco Sauce, Turnip Hashbrowns, Jalapeno Egg Salad, Broccoli with Almond Dressing,and Pork Chops with Shredded Brussel Sprouts.  I didn’t like the Tahini Chicken Salad though.  My chicken turned out rubbery, but I think that was my fault and not a fault of the recipe.

Today’s recipe I just found on the internet:  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1926340.

It’s very simple, although I did dirty a lot of dishes.  The recipe creator instructs you to “pour” about 1/4 of the batter into the pan and fry until a few bubbles appear.

Well, my batter was thick as paste, and there was no pouring to be had.

I scooped it out with a 1/4 measuring cup, plopped it on a hot, oiled skillet, and then mashed it down with a rubber scraper.  They actually cooked up really well.

The recipe recommended topping them with warmed up cream cheese or mascarpone.  I imagine that would be delicious, but I had neither of those things, so I settled for ghee, maple syrup, and black berries for toppings.  It was super delicious – just the perfect amount of sweetness and nuttiness.  I highly recommend this recipe and cannot wait to eat the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.

So, happy Sunday to you1  Hope you get to get out and enjoy the sunshine today!

One Success, One Failure

Last night I made a super delicious recipe: Easy Breakfast Scramble.  It’s from one of my favorite recipe/paleo blogs, Paleomg.  Get it??  Get it??  Anyway, the writer makes the most delicious foods and tons of paleo desserts.  Every one I’ve tried has been very tasty.

But back to the scramble. As you can see from the recipe, it’s very simple and basic.  The only odd ingredient (at least for my kitchen) was the Herbs De Provence.  I had never heard of it. I was wary that it was similar to the “peace and love” that I was missing for my last recipe.  Come to find out, Herbs De Provence is a mix of several different herbs native to Provence.  I found some substitution sites, however, so I ended up tossing together some marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.  It was quite the motley crew of spices, but the scramble turned out very tasty non-the-less.  I ate it with some Cholula and 1/2 an avocado.  It did make a ton, though, so my only concern at this point is eating it all before it gets old.

Tonight was another story.  I tried another primal recipe, Flank Steak Italiano.  This recipe was a huge disappointment. The meat turned out almost inedible – very tough and chewy.  I’m not sure why besides the fact that it’s a grass-fed flank steak, so it’s predisposed to be tough and chewy.  It was an expensive mistake though – what with the cost of the grass fed meat, the wine, 2 onions, garlic, lemon, etc.  Plus I had to prepare the marinade before work, stink up the kitchen with cut-up red onions, etc.  I probably did something wrong for it to end up so poorly, but I don’t know what.  At least the accompanying salad was good (spinach, radishes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, cucumbers – tasty!).

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?  As I told Tim, only rib-eyes for us going forward.  I’ve been burned by flank steak one too many times.

UPDATE:  I was thinking about this more last night and realized that part of my problem with the flank steak was that the marinade had wine in it.  After the meat is done marinating, you dump the marinade in a pan and heat it up.  I HATE the smell of wine cooking.  It has this unsettling sweet smell.  Shudder.  Note to self – no more cooking with wine!