Saturday, March 23, 2013

Checkidy check

I have many lists.  To do lists, Books to Read lists, Places to Eat lists, Places to Visit lists, Lists to Make lists.  I also have creative lists.  Things I want to create are different than to do lists because to do lists are boring and painful to complete.  Creative lists are supposed to be fun...supposed to be.

Anyway...I have had grand ideas for an outdoor ottoman on our lanai. For a long time. It has been at the top of a short list for a lo-oo-ong time.

I got a free pallet when my couch was delivered - score - and anyone who has ever heard of Pinterest knows when you have a pallet, you use it.

I'm not exactly a crafty person. By that I mean if it requires power tools or more than 6 steps, I am out. You know that saying "measure twice, cut once"? Yeah, I'm more of a cut first and see if anything is salvageable later. I am that person who when hanging a picture will use a book or children's toy to hammer the nail into the wall as opposed to searching for the drill bit and hammer required to hang it properly. I am far more likely to make 12 holes in the wall instead of measuring it out ahead of time. This project was no different and I still couldn't screw it up so you know it must be easy.

All I needed was:
Pallet
Legs
Leg attachment kit
Mattress foam pad
Material or shower curtain
Staple gun
A Helpful Husband ;)

Step 1:
Have your hubby cut down the outside of the middle support beam so it is a rectangle instead of a square. You can do this yourself if you want, but why? My hubby was just sitting there watching soccer. Show a little side boob and he will usually do whatever I ask.

Step 2:
Buy precut legs and attachment kit from Home Depot. If you are crafty you can cut some wood, drill them into the pallet and and still have time to bedazzle your jeans. I took the easy way out. Just buy a kit.

Step 3:
Spray paint legs. You can stain them but why bother when a spray can can get it done in 2 minutes.

Step 4:
Lay a shower curtain, pattern side down, on the floor. Top with 2 layers of the foam mattress pad on top. This is also referred to as egg crate padding, a twin sized pad was big enough for 2 layers. Lay the pallet bottom side up on top of the layers.

Step 5: work your way around the pallet stapling the curtain to the underside of the wood. Be sure to pull the material tight.

Step 6:
Have hubby attach the legs using the leg kit. Did I mention yet that this step was crazy easy? It was so easy I could have done it myself. But I didnt. Because I got married for a reason, and while I'm not saying the only reason I got married was to have a husband to do the things I don't want to do, I'm not NOT saying that either. (Love you Sam :))

Voila! That's it.

The entire project only took me about a year.
But the average person should be able to finish in about 30 minutes.




So that's one thing I can check off my list :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

St Patty's Day!

I needed a nice recovery from Saturdays poop filled extravaganza so we started the day off with my Paleo Casserole, went to the beach, fabulous night out with my boo, and twilight walk on the beach for St Patty's Day. And all with our great friends and their beautiful daughters in town!

It definitely made up for yesterday :)

Look at these gorgeous couples!



Kathy and I have been friends since the summer of 99 and I still cant get enough of her fabulousness :)




Look at what a cutie my man is :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Perp-Alex-ing Moments

It's a beautiful Saturday morning at the beginning of spring break. The girls and I are cheering on Daddy at his soccer game. The game is going well and Sam is kicking butt. The girls are getting along writing their names in the dirt with sticks. A perfect day with my family filled with cheers and laughter.

Beau wants to take a lap around the track to get closer to daddy so he can hear her cheering better but Alex wants to stay and keep drawing. That's fine, I think to myself, she is nowhere near cars and at most I will be an 1/8th of a mile away.

Beau and I start walking. I'm splitting my time watching the game and looking back at Alex. An exciting moment in the game happens and Sam stops a goal. His team cheers and then it gets very quiet. Beau shouts

"Daddy, you are SO cute!"

I, and a few guys on the field, chuckle at the adorable girl in the sparkly skirt and dirt streaked face cheering for her daddy.

At this point we are on the complete opposite side of the field from Alex and I notice she has started to walk towards us. Beau and I stop to wait for her.

My attention gets drawn back to the game for a few moments before I realize I can't see Alex anymore.

A moment of panic sets in as I start walking back towards where I last saw her. At that moment she becomes visible again walking from behind a building, away from us. I shout to her,

"Alex, come this way"

She stops.

Turns.

Looks at me.

And pulls down her pants and squats.


I'm torn whether to scream at her to stop or cross my legs to prevent myself from peeing my pants from laughter. Ok so not so much torn as prevented from screaming because I'm laughing too hard.

Here she is, my almost 4 year old mooning the entire soccer field as she sits in a squat letting it rip.

I'm hoping no one is paying any attention to her but as it turns out a mother screaming for her child and running, only to stop and crunch into the "I'm laughing so hard I'm going to pee" pose, gets some heads turning.

I compose myself and walk over to face the mess of pee that I just know is completely soaking her pants when Beau - who had run ahead of me - shouts,

"Oh my gosh! Umm, mom you gotta see this"

I notice Alex is alternating between shaking her hands to get something off and wiping her hands on her pants - which are still around her ankles. This sobers me up and I start dreading what I'm going to see.

Alex notices I am almost there and frantically pulls her pants up. Beau is still staring wide eyes at the ground and as I approach I see it.

The biggest pile of poo I have ever seen.

It's not just big. It's steaming. And it's not cold outside so I'm not sure what this mass consists of to cause this steam effect.

I lock eyes with Alex to see orange poo covering her hands, pants, shirt, face, and hair.

How did she get it so many different places?!

Why is it orange?!

What the hell do I do now?!

We can't just leave and go home because daddy is still playing and wouldn't appreciate walking home after his game. We can't just go home for a quick change of clothes because I know this is going to require a full body scrubbing. The only option I have is to quickly clear away the mess and wait until the game is over.

30 baby wipes and half a bottle of hand sanitizer later, Alex is buckled into her seat naked aside from a clean pair of panties I always keep in the car.

-Props and pats on the back to me for being a prepared mommy-

The clothes all got trashed without a second glance and the smell is permanently ingrained in my olfactory receptors but we survived.

10 minutes later the game is almost done and we can almost go home. Almost.

"Mommy. I'm sorry I pooped on the grass. That's bad because I probaly killed the grass."

"It's ok. You aren't in trouble but you really can't do that again. Ok?"

"Ok"

... 17 seconds later...

"Mom. I need to go pee pee."

"How is that possible? You should be dehydrated from the load you just left. Can you hold it?"

"Nope"



I'm not sure I'm prepared to tell the story of me carrying my panty clad child through a baseball field only to discover the bathrooms were out of order due to the sewer system backing up. I'm just not ready yet.

And I'm certainly not ready to tell the story of how I had no choice to use said bathroom anyway.

There was splashing involved. *shudder*



Here is a pic I snapped when the situation was still funny.



Ahh Spring Break

The sun is shining.

Temperature is perfect.

Sitting by the side of the pool with my kindle while Beau is kicking butt at swim lessons.

Pretty much perfect.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

True

My hubby and I love each other with all our hearts. We are best friends who respect each other as no one else does. We have fun together constantly and are bummed when the other isn't around.

But.

This is so true.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spread the Word

This needs to become a real thing. Spread the word. Rally the troops.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hubby is the man!

I'm realizing that many of you people aren't on Instagram (wha?! Why?!) so you missed out on this.

Hubby is officially a "Master of Business Administration". We are so proud of our little graduate. It only took 4 years so he can no longer tease me about my B.A. taking 5(+) years.


FYI, in case you just need more Sara in your life (who doesn't?) my Instagram name is momisonlymyfirstname :)

Magna Cum Laude bitches!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Practicing Paleo Part IV


Step 4: Live Forever!
OK, so, not really.  But you already knew that.

**note: this post is gif-tastic.  Because I was really bored and wanted to jazz this last post up a bit :)


Catch up on PPP IIIPPP IIPPP I, and Paleo.


So you are eating great, feeling great, and looking great...welcome to the club!  You are now officially a Paleo-er :)


Now that you are one of us, there are a few things you should know about your new self.



1.  You now know everything.
Or at least you think you do.  This is not all its cracked up to be.  You will now find yourself in situations where good friends that you like and respect will say things like ,

"I needed to eat a healthy snack so I made a whole grain PB&J sandwich.  PB has loads of protein and the jelly is just fruit. Done."

You now find yourself in a precarious position between concern for your friends health and absolute dismay.


Try not to make this face ☟when people talk about their food.

And even though you now know everything, no one else cares.

At all.

 In fact, just keep your new status as "upgraded to genius" to yourself because people like not knowing that they are eating "Thunder Thighs - in a can".  Even if you have the best of intentions, just keep it to yourself.



2.  You can now talk about Paleo 24-7.
When I said keep your Paleo talk to yourself, I meant it.

Unless...someone asks you about it, then let loose, its their own fault for asking.

Just a few nights ago I was having a ladies night with my neighbors.
We were drinking.
I stuck with red wine of course  ...  until the red wine ran out and then I lost all self control  ...  its wasn't pretty ...  it was delicious .. and German ..  and barley and hops, but it wasn't paleo.  also I am a lightweight.

Anyway, the really sweet girl sitting next to me said something about Paleo.  Or at least it sounded like Paleo.

She probably said "What time is it?"

I heard "Tell me all about this Paleo thing".

She has a southern accent, I got confused.

She then had to endure a drunken Paleo According to Sara lecture for an excruciatingly long time while everyone else got to enjoy the normal conversations happening at the table.  Oddly enough, these past posts about Paleo probably took less time to read than I took explaining everything.  The poor thing ended the night with my blog address, the fear that I now have her cell number, and I'm sure a vehement abhorrence to Paleo.

And this look on her face ☟

But I couldn't help myself, this is who I am now.  I truly feel fantastic about this lifestyle and want everyone to have the same opportunities this lifestyle has allowed me.  Don't hide who you are, just try and show the crazy to those close to you, the one's who are already invested in your friendship and will most likely forgive your genius rants.



3.  You are now better than everyone else.
Or at least you think you are.  Don't believe me?  Just wait, before you know it you will be out with friends and everyone will be swooning over some sweet concoction that Teresa made from a brownies box mix, raw cookie dough, and oreos.


While everyone is going in for seconds and thirds, 
this will be how you are feeling  ☟

It doesn't happen over night, but it will happen to you too.

I cant tell you how many times I have said "I don't eat this crap" when offered a sample and unintentionally insulting everyone in the process.

It will happen.



4.  You WILL cheat.
This is not even a question, you will cheat.  I am 32 years old and I have never even entertained the idea that I will never taste a grain or processed sugar again.  But I can be absolutely sure that I will never again prepare a meal for my family again that consists of me boiling a box of noodles, topped with a freshly opened jar of processed marinara sauce, with freshly baked frozen garlic bread on the side.  And that is something I would have absolutely prepared 3 years ago.


Every day that I set standards for my kids of what is healthy is only going to help them in the future.  My family is worth the extra effort of packing snacks when we will be out all day, going to extra stores during the week to prep all the food we will eat, packing healthy lunches for my daughter everyday instead of just paying for cold pizza or barely-qualifies-as-chicken nuggets, and spending extra $ on grass fed beef and organic eggs.  Its not even a question.

BUT I do want my kids to have a regular childhood.
They eat the cake and chips at birthday parties.
We order a pizza on nights when we just really want a treat.
I bake chocolate chip cookies every once in a while because my family likes them.
We even go to the golden arches when daddy is out of town and mommy wants to sit on the couch and watch movies with the girls with grease on her fingers.

We cheat.

And it feels good.

I cant let the occasional cheats be seen as a weakness or something I should be ashamed of, I see them as treats.

And its OK because being happy is being Paleo 80% of the time.





Practicing Paleo Part III

Step 3: Eat!





This is by far the most enjoyable part of any diet.  Well, except those weird fasting and cleansing diets, blah.  But by practicing Paleo,  before you know it, your taste buds will demand the whole foods that this lifestyle follows.  Just a few things to know in order to reap the rewards of Paleo...


-Every meal should consist of a protein, a carb (preferably vegetables with fruit on the side), and a fat.

-Eat until you are satisfied.  (When eating a well rounded meal I have found I can go as long as 5 hours before feeling hungry again without that heavy full feeling that grains and creamy dishes deliver.)

-Vegetables should occupy most of your plate.

-Start out by trying Paleo in small doses to get yourself acclimated.  (It can be overwhelming to try and jump into a 30 day challenge without trying this out first.  Start cutting grains and sugar.  Sub your peanut butter for almond butter.  Then cut dairy.  Then try a week of 3 main meals being exclusively Paleo.  Then I highly recommend a strict 30+ day challenge, you will never regret doing that for yourself.)

-Always eat when you are hungry.  (This is not negotiable.  Hungry?  Eat.)




Its not all smooth sailing for here.  There are some obstacles to being Paleo that everyone will eventually face...

-Eating out-
No one wants to avoid nights out because they cant eat at restaurants like a normal person so don't be afraid to indulge a little.  Luckily, most restaurants provide at least something Paleo adjacent, just be ready to ask for what you want.  Don't hesitate to request food be cooked in butter as opposed to vegetable oil, sub those hash browns for fruit or more bacon, and ask for dressing on the side.

-Snacks-
Having washed and cut fruit and vegetables in your fridge make grabbing a snack to go so much easier, as does having cooked protein ready to grab.  But if you are out and need a Paleo snack a trip to the grocery store can yield great quick results.  Lara bars are a favorite snack of ours and low sodium low sugar deli meats can be a great snack.  Actually, Sam loves to munch on these when he is flying since he doesn't have access to a microwave on the plane and he needs to usually eat one handed.

-Treats-
Sometimes you just want some sweets!  Fortunately for all of us Paleo-ers there are countless baked treat recipes flooding the Internet now.  I have a chocolate cookie recipe that is sure to fix any sweet craving and is completely Paleo.  I will try and get permission to share the recipe and get it to you asap.

-No time for Breakfast-
The breakfast casserole I shared here is an easy mid-week answer to no time for breakfast.  But what about those times when you over slept and need to rush out the door?  You don't have time to even sit down.  Just have containers of cooked meat like bacon, sausage links, or hard boiled eggs so you can grab to eat in the car.  An apple can serve as your carbs and a handful of nuts will round out your quick meal.  Is it the best meal?  No.  Is it a paleo meal that will get you over the morning rut? Yes!



As promised here are a few more recipes.


Paleo Meatloaf
recipe courtesy of Elyse Umeda of CrossFit 808

4 lbs organic ground beef
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
2 stalks celery
1 carrot
1/2 bell pepper
1 cup almond meal
4 large eggs
2 cans organic tomato paste
1 tsp sea salt
3 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
black pepper to taste
1 tray low-sodium bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prep all veggies (chop, press or dice)
Mix meat, almond meal, eggs, tomato paste and spices
Add veggies and mix well
Put meatloaf in LARGE casserole dish
Line bacon on top of meatloaf
Bake for about an hour

Tips:
-This makes a lot of meatloaf!  You can easily half the recipe or make the whole thing and freeze half.
-You cant screw up this recipe!  I have tried all combinations of veggies to include the prescribed and broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, and mushrooms.
-I have never actually measured anything so feel free to experiment with this.
-Using a food processor to chop all the veggies saves LOADS of time.
-Any combination of meat is delicious.  We prefer a blend of beef, sausage, and turkey, but chicken is also delicious.
-This is a crowd pleaser so be prepared for people to gobble it up!  I think it has something to do with everyone being obsessed with bacon wrapped/covered food.




Bacon Wrapped Dates
these are also called Devils on Horseback according to my Australian friends :)

Pitted dates
Low-sodium Bacon
Raw Almonds

Preheat oven to 295 degrees
Stuff each date with 2 almonds
Cut tray of bacon in half
Wrap dates with bacon halves placing seam side down on baking sheet
Bake for 20-30 mins depending on how crispy you like your bacon





Lime Cilantro Chicken
recipe adapted from Nick Massie's Chili Lime Chicken

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Olive Oil
Cilantro, chopped
Garlic cloves, pressed
Lime juice and zest of 1 lime
Salt
Pepper
Crushed Chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place a cooling rack inside a baking sheet/dish to allow the air to cook the chicken faster from all sides (if you don't have a combination of these just place directly on the baking sheet)
Clean chicken and pat dry, place on cooling rack/baking sheet
Drizzle olive oil on chicken
Individually sprinkle all ingredients on both sides of chicken saving lime juice for last
Bake for 40-50 mins




Avocado, Turkey, Spinach Tacos
pictured above

Slice of sugar free Turkey
Handful of Baby Spinach
1/2 avocado
Mrs. Dash Salt Free Fiesta Lime seasoning

Use turkey deli meat as taco shell
Fill shell with spinach and avocado slices
Sprinkle seasoning and enjoy

-The Fiesta Lime seasoning is so delicious.  I put it on almost everything.  Avocados go so perfectly with this seasoning and you can get it anywhere.  It was because of Mrs Dash that Beau discovered that she loves avocados.



Next: Practicing Paleo Part IV

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Practicing Paleo Part II

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation"
                                    -- Alexander Graham Bell
(AGB was a pretty smart guy as it turns out)



Step 2: Preparation

Every day my family of 4 eats breakfast, lunch and dinner with food from home.

That means at least 21 meals a week need to be prepared.

Who wants to spend that much time in the kitchen?  I certainly don't!

The way I avoid this is by spending just a few hours prepping everything for the week in one day.

Here is my weekly routine....

- Shop for food at Costco/Commissary
- Wash/Cut all fruits and veggies and store in fridge
- Cook a Breakfast Casserole
- Cook breakfast meats (bacon, sausage links) for grab and go
- Cook 3 main course meat dishes (I will provide recipes for Lime Cilantro Chicken, Meatloaf, and Turkey Meatballs next time)
- Make Mango Salsa
- Shred veggies for Coleslaw in food processor
- Make Dressing for Coleslaw (will provide recipe next time)

That entire process takes me about 5 hours.  That includes shopping and cooking times since many things can cook at the same time.  That 5 hours ensures I only have to prepare a few fish dinners during the week and breakfast on the weekends.  All other food is from prepared meals already in the fridge.



Here is what is consumed in an average day at my house...

Breakfast:
Breakfast casserole (Sam and I )
Turkey Bacon (Girls)
Fruit
Nuts


Lunch:
Lime Cilantro Chicken
Coleslaw & Dressing
Fruit

    Beau has separate packed school lunch-
      Veggie Slices
      Fruit Slices
      Greek Yogurt and Honey
      Meatballs
      Almonds


Dinner:
Meatloaf
Mixed fruit
Nuts


By cooking a lot of food and eating the left overs this Paleo lifestyle has actually made my job as the main food provider EASIER.
   

I should mention that we do eat out, but very rarely.  Sitting at a restaurant with my 2 little monsters is rather unpleasant and usually ends with one person crying because she only wants the ice cream that the table next to us ordered (Alex), another person complaining that she is still hungry after eating all the food at the table and because she sat down for 15 whole minutes is now incapable of sitting still and needs to literally jump up and down or she might implode (Beau), someone else is frustrated from having to refrain from yelling at the crying and jumping monsters for 2 hours because we are in public (Sam), and of course another someone who vows never to do that again and cant believe she forgot she said the same thing last time (me).


Anyway....

Here are 2 recipes that are so easy I know them off the top of my head.  I will post more next time.




Sausage and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

1 Sweet Potato, chopped (or bag of chopped frozen/hash brown sweet potatoes)
1 onion, chopped
1 green, yellow, and red bell pepper, chopped
(or cheat and get 1 bag of frozen chopped onions and bell pepper mix, totally Paleo!)
2 lb. sausage (I like a combination of chicken and pork)
12 eggs
5.5 oz can coconut milk
salt
pepper
seasoning

Preheat oven to 350℉.  Brown sausage in skillet and transfer to 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Layer mixed veggies and sweet potatoes on sausage.  Beat dozen eggs and coconut milk in bowl and season with salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings.  I like to use Italian seasonings, basil, oregano, etc.  Poor egg mixture over meat/veggie mix.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the center seems set.  Eat and enjoy :)

Most of the ingredients for the casserole, someone forgot the eggs in the picture



Mango Salsa
all measurements are approximate

1 Mango, chopped
15 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbs Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
salt

Combine all ingredients and enjoy.  (I promise you will enjoy this!  And that is coming from someone who flat out does not like raw tomatoes, but the mango and vinegar do wonderful magical things together so you cant even taste the tomatoes)

You really cant screw this recipe up, I haven't actually ever measured anything in this recipe so this is all a guess.  The more olive oil/vinegar you use the more juice you will end up with and more is better here.  Diced jalapeƱos are delicious but I have little ones with sensitive tongues so I usually omit them.

The Mango Salsa is FABULOUS tossed with chicken, raw broccoli, and walnuts!


Next: Practicing Paleo Part III

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Practicing Paleo

So if I didn't scare you too much with my previous Paleo post I'm sure you are still asking yourself, "what now?"  I will separate this all into a few posts as follows...


Step 1: Shopping

Step 2: Preparation

Step 3: EAT

Step 4: Live Forever ;)




Step 1: Shopping

1 weeks worth of food from Costco


****UPDATE**** I forgot to mention the best piece of advice I can possibly give anyone when shopping for food (*face palm)

90% of your purchases should be found on the outside perimeter of the store.  Have you ever noticed how all the real food is lining the store walls while all the processed food fills the center?  No, not the bakery!  I mean the fruits, veggies, and meats.  There is almost no reason to venture to the center aisles.  A very good exception is frozen fruits, veggies and meats.  But be sure to check the labels to avoid added sugars and preservatives, if its frozen its doesn't need preservatives, what are they trying to hide?!



Every week I go shopping at several stores.  That may seem like a daunting task but its only because I prefer shopping at Costco and unfortunately I cant get all of my groceries from Costco.  I get the remaining products from our Commissary and a few specialty items from Whole Foods or Down to Earth (a local vegetarian grocers here in honolulu).  This is easily avoided if you just want to get everything at your local grocers but I have crunched the numbers and Costco is saving me money every month.  We are executive members so at the end of the year we also get 2% cash back on all our purchases.


**Don't be overwhelmed with these lists, not all of the following items need to be purchased every week.  Things like nuts only need to be purchased about once a month for my family of 4.  Carrots, lemons and limes, onions, and Almond Butter usually last a few weeks.  I buy milk for Alex (she is obviously not suffering from a dairy intolerance) that is good for about 2 weeks-gotta love organic expiration dates.  Some of the meat goes directly into the freezer and will last me into the next week, and if meat is on sale I will definitely buy extras and freeze that.  In the picture above, the veggie selection at Costco wasn't ideal so I bought more from the Commissary instead.  Every week I go to Costco and the Commissary and only hit up Whole Foods once a month - that trip is always fun since it is combined with a trip to Barnes & Noble across the street.


Costco (assortment varies by stores and season)

Organic Ground Beef - 4lbs
Ground Turkey - 4lbs
Ahi
Organic Turkey Lunch Meat (my Costco occasionally offers a sugar free brand - score!)
Organic Chicken Breasts - about 6 breasts
1 1/2 dozen Organic Eggs
Organic Milk

Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage - 2 heads
Kiki Cucumbers
Mushrooms
Onions
Celery
Carrots
Asparagus

Strawberries
Sliced Mangos
Grapes
Organic Sliced Apples
Oranges
Blueberries
Blackberries
Lemons and Limes
Cherry Tomatoes
Apple Bananas
Melons

Avocados
Raw Almonds
Raw Walnuts
Shelled Pistachios
Olive Oil


Commissary

Cilantro
JalapeƱos
Garlic
Green Peppers
Sweet Potatoes

Kiwis

Organic Ground Chicken
Sausage
Bison Burgers

Yogurt - For Beau. Because she loves it :)
String Cheese - Again, for Beau. I cant tell that kid no.

Organic Tomato Paste
Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Almond Flour


Whole Foods/Down to Earth

Fresh Ground Almond Butter (seriously yummy)
Frozen Chopped Sweet Potatoes (hassle free, great for breakfast)
Bacon
Turkey Bacon
Unsalted Cashews



So that is the food I buy if I can.  If you really looked at the picture I'm sure you saw the 12 bottles of Naked Juice.  While it seems like a healthy purchase its really not that great.  These varieties are all pretty good - especially the Green Machine flavor - but use fruit juices.  Drinking just the juice of anything removes the majority of the fiber causing the body to absorb the sugars too fast which in turns give a high glucose spike in your blood stream.  No Bueno.  The protein versions are not Paleo and all contain a lot of extra ingredients that aren't necessary like Soy Lecithin.  So why buy it?  Simply because Alex still occasionally struggles with the whole "eat your fruits and vegetables every meal" thing, but she loves these juices.  When a 3 year old doesn't like fruits and veggies, this is an acceptable alternative in my book.  Plus, I am a sucker for that pouty face of hers.



Next: Practicing Paleo Part II

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Paleo

OK, so a lot of people have been asking me about Paleo lately.  You wanted to know so here goes.  (I am basically going to take an explanation of a very simple theory and make it as confusing as hell.  Prepare yourself)

***Disclaimer!!  Paleo is a lifestyle that I fully embrace and will tell anyone and everyone about it, but that unfortunately doesn't make me an expert.  My family has been on the Zone Diet since March 2011 and one day my CrossFit box did a 50 day Paleo Challenge so I decided to participate (mostly for the really cool t-shirt we were rewarded with after the 50 days).  I haven't looked back (except for the inevitable cheats, I'm only human people).  I found incredible changes happened to my body within just 2 weeks, both internally and externally.  My skin was clear and soft, my body felt firm and lean, my digestion felt like a machine, my energy was up, and it completely changed my taste buds.  I do enjoy reading articles on Paleo and Zone diets so I like to think it makes me expert adjacent.  My husband and I are still real advocates for the Zone diet and believe that a diet that consists of Paleo foods with Zone regulations would be THE ULTRA DIET.



So what is this Paleo thing?  In one sentence...

The Paleo diet is the consumption of
Meat, Veggies, Nuts and Seeds, some Fruit, little Starch and no sugar. 




Cue the record scratch sound effect as people lift their jaws from the floor.  No grains?  No Dairy?  I thought those things were good for you!  Well, you thought wrong.


(This is where I talk for way too long)


No grains means: NO GRAINS!  Whole wheat is still a grain.  Rice is a grain.  Flour.  Cereal.  Pasta.  Tortillas.  Grain.  Grain.  Grain.  Grain.  Its bad.  Avoid it.

NO:
Wheat
Rye
Barley
Oats
Corn (corn on the cob, corn tortillas, corn starch, corn syrup)
Rice (brown, white, wild, basmati, ramen, rice noodles, rice cakes, rice flour)
Quinoa
Buckwheat
Sorghum


Why? Humans digestive process isn't capable of digesting grains with the efficiency of grain eating animals like birds.  And before you argue that you do just fine with grains, just because you can tolerate grains to a certain degree, as just about all of us can doesn’t mean your body was designed for them or that they’re truly healthy for you or that you can achieve optimum health through them.

 When I tell people I don't eat grains they all respond the same way,
"Oh, I cant do that! I just love bread and pasta"

I am ashamed to admit that I said the exact same thing for years before my husband finally got me on board.  Now I realize just how absurd that declaration is.  What do you mean you cant cut grains from your diet?!  Are you telling me you like pasta and sandwiches more that you value your health?  I know that isn't what you mean but basically, that is what you are saying.

Sorry, where was I?  Oh right, legumes.  Legumes. Bad.

NO:
Beans
Peanuts
Soy
Lentils
Peas
Chickpeas

Starchy Veggies.  Sweet Potatoes and Yams should be eaten in moderation but are excellent for post workout meals. Otherwise, no.

NO:
Potatoes
Tapioca




So if anyone is still reading...I'm sorry for being such a downer, but now we get to talk about everything you CAN eat :)  This is the real stuff.  Real Food.  Real humans need real food.


Protein: This means REAL ANIMAL PROTEIN.  The vegan/vegetarian approach is not a healthy approach, especially since soybeans (soy) are NOT Paleo friendly since they are legumes.  Our hunter/gatherer ancestors were not fermenting soy, they were hunting.  Meat is a combination of fat and protein- the leaner the meat, the less fat there is.  Wild game and seafood are generally 80% protein to 20% fat.  Fattier meats like lamb chops are closer to 25% protein to 75% fat.  So selecting leaner cuts of meat will be beneficial to the diet plan.

GOOD PROTEIN:
Filet Mignon
Flank Steak
Veal Steak
Sirloin Steak
Pork Tenderloins
Skinless Chicken Breasts
Skinless Turkey Breasts
Turkey Tenderloins
Tuna Steaks (Ahi)
Mahi Mahi
Salmon
Eggs*

*eggs are a source of controversy amongst Paleoers.  They are loaded with essential amino acids and nutrients, and great for your eyes, brain and heart; but store bought eggs have a high fat percentage and are linked to high cholesterol.  You should always consider buying organic/free range as they are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, free of antibiotics, and contain no arsenic, which is added to factory-farmed chicken-feed to prevent infections and increase growth rates.  Yes you read that right, ARSENIC.  I choose to consume eggs regularly because I only buy organic eggs-again, that whole arsenic thing.  I mean really, that is just crazy.


Vegetables and Fruit:  When talking about healthy carbohydrates I am not talking about whole wheat or oatmeal.  I mean the real stuff!

Green Leafy Vegetables (spinach, lettuce, Kale, etc.)
Cucumbers
Squash
Cabbage
Artichokes
Asparagus
Okra
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Mushrooms
Onions
Carrots
Celery
ETC.,

Fruits contain high amounts of fructose and are high-glycemic so it is best to keep consumption to a minimum.  Try and think "lots of vegetables first, few fruits last".  Berries and melons are best but lets be honest, if you are subbing fruits and veggies for grains you are already making huge strides.  I try not to get too wrapped up in which fruits and veggies are best, I just make a point in eating them!


Fat: To quote my husband, (who's kind of a genius) "you have to eat fat to burn fat!"  Stop looking at the back of your food for the nutritional guide.  Stop looking at the fat grams.  Stop looking at the calories.  Just stop.  That guide means nothing.  (I wont mention that your food shouldn't have a nutritional guide because it shouldn't have a package!)  The only useful information on the back of your food is the ingredients list.

So what fat is good fat?  Monounsaturated fats are good! Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocados, Nuts, Seeds.  Eating too many nuts and seeds will slow weight loss so it is best to try and get most of your fat from sources like coconut, avocado, and olive oil.

Saturated fats are Mostly Bad! Meats, Whole Dairy Products.

STAY AWAY FROM:  Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Refined/Hydrogenated/Trans Fats, and Shortening.  This means that "I cant believe its not butter" crap in your fridge needs to find a new home in your trash can.  Margarine in general, yeah never buy that again.  Seriously that shit will kill you.




So there it is.  In today's society the Paleo diet may seem restrictive and can be overwhelming with your first attempt, but a little preparation is the key to success.  I will be sharing some of my favorite Paleo recipes and a glimpse into my weekly shopping list but there are so many Paleo resources out there that just a google search for Paleo Meatloaf recipes generated 158,000 results.  The Internet will be your best friend in this process.




In a final note I want to say that setting an expectation for yourself that you will never again touch a starch or sugar or grain is ridiculous.  Don't set yourself up for that kind of disappointment.  Leave yourself some guilty pleasures but sparingly and you will still reap the rewards.

If you would like to know more about Paleo from someone who actually knows specifics, check out
www.thepaleodiet.com
or
www.robbwolf.com

This doesn't have anything to do with Paleo per say but you find all kinds of fun stuff in the Paleo side of the internet :)



Next: Practicing Paleo