Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tips and Fears?


I have two posts I'd like to write, but I can't seem to find the time... I'm going to try and get at least one of them done this week. 


In the meantime...  if you have gone Primal, what was the biggest piece of information, and/or tip that helped you begin to switch from the SAD diet to the Primal diet?


If you have not made the switch, but you are interested, what is the biggest thing(s) that is holding you back?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Weigh In!


 Since last week, I've added in walking 5-6 miles (per week), and strength training (although, very light) 3x a week.

This week I've lost 2.5 lbs, 2% fat, upped my hydration by another 1% (making it just under 40%), dropped some inches (not sure how many), and lost another .5 off my BMI.

This makes a total of nearly 14 lbs lost, 5.4 % lower fat, and a 2 point reduction in BMI. The hydration level has gone from a 33.5 to a 39.4!

Still a long way to go, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.

Yahhoooo!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cooking Day


Sundays are pretty lame in terms of food, since we're out of just about everything by Saturday night.

Breakfast is mainly nuts and fruit (for the kids) and maybe some cheese.

Then we head to Mass (only I was at home with a very irritable baby).

After Mass... well, we still haven't gotten into a routine after going Primal. Today Tom picked up Chipotle meals for him and me. And he brought home beef and broccoli for the kids since they aren't fans of Chipotle.

Then I went grocery shopping. Woohoo. I got lots of stuff to make pot roast, chicken soup, squash soup, pork ribs, hamburgers, pork chops, and carne asada. Some fruits, some nuts, milk, eggs, and lots of vegetables. My grocery bill was $303.47, which comes to about $7.22 per person/ per day.

Our kitchen sink has been leaking for a few days so doing dishes has been very difficult. This is not helpful when cooking a week's worth of meals, let me tell you. Also, our hot water heater went out (again) so it's been a barrel of laughs around here.

There I was chopping vegetables, searing meat, and boiling soups while the plumber sat on my kitchen floor fixing the sink.  Fun times.

Dinner was turkey and raw vegetables with olive oil. And then a few squares of dark chocolate. Yum yum.

Right now I'm waiting for the potroast and the soups to cool off so I can store them in the fridge.

By the way, when you make pot roast, do NOT forget to put the broth in the pot before you stick it in the oven. It's not good. Not good at all. D'oh.

My feet hurt. And I have to fold laundry.

Nuts: roasted vs ... well, not roasted.

I've always read that toasting nuts destroys the goodness of the oil in them. So I've forced myself to eat raw nuts for years. I really hate raw nuts. 


In several places (MarksDailyApple), articles, and some Primal cookbooks, the recipes call for toasted nuts. 


So is the raw nut thing a myth?   


Please say yes.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another Friday


 I don't even remember yesterday, so I can't tell you what happened food-wise. 


Today is Friday (as Catholic we must fast and abstain from meat during Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, (but we can have meat Saturday-Thursday) which means we are cranky!


A friend of mine was able to help clear out the fasting/abstaining issue for kids. I've always gone by the Church's teaching from 1962 stating that all people over the age of seven years old must abstain from meat of Fridays. I didn't know there was a revision in 1983 which moved the age to 14. This makes it so much easier with my kids now. Thanks, Sarah! 


Anyway, I found this out too late (after I packed lunches for today, last night), so we stuck with a meatless lunch. We did better this time around.  The girls packed some fruit, some raw vegetables (carrots and cucumbers, I believe--we're out of nearly everything else), trail mix nuts, larabar, and either cheese (for Amy) and olives.  They ate about all of it, and were not hungry at pick up. Yippee.


Some of you have suggested quiches and cheese foods, which I like the sound of!, but the trick is remembering all the allergies my girls have: Dairy (except butter and yogurt), peanuts, almonds, egg yolk, and something else I can't remember....  If you have a favorite recipe for the things you mentioned, let me know, because I might be able to do it for myself sometime :)


Tom is out of town today, so dinner was for the girls and me. I made tuna wraps. We haven't had tuna in a really long time, maybe a few years. I thought it would be an easy Friday dinner to make up tuna salad. For tuna salad I knew I'd need a mayonnaise, and for mayonnaise, I'd need a recipe... so I googled one.  It was said to be easy... it used 1 1/2 cups of olive oil (yikes!) eggs, lemon juice, salt, and dijon mustard.  So I get everything incorporated, walk tot he sink to wash my hands, come back... and it had broken (the oil had seperated from the rest of the ingredients). UGH


So I start with another recipe, wich called for olive, avocado, and coconut oil (one cup total of oils), and eggs, salt, lemon, and mustard.  This method called for adding one tsp of oil at a time. Do you know how long it takes to add one cup of oil, one teaspoon at a time (with rests between each tsp)?! 

For-freakin'-ever!  

So I did really well... got it all looking great... and then realized the motor from the blender was hot from running continuously for so long... that it had heated the mayo into a soupy mess. So I thought I'd chill it and pray it came back... it didn't. It turned into a messy, grainy goop.  ARGHHHH

By this time, the kids are starving, and I'm about to collapse from being so hungry (from the fasting/abstaining) ... and now I'm just angry that it has failed twice, and the oils are pretty expensive to eat, let alone just pour down the drain--literally!  

So we had to have tuna with chunks of grassfed butter. Weird, I know. I just couldn't think of anything else to act as a binder and give it a creamy texture. It was actually pretty tasty. We missed the mayonnaise though. 

Anybody have tips/recipes/know-how on how to make mayonnaise? You'll be my best friend if you share!

Anyway... It's interesting to see the effect of not having enough protein throughout the day. I thought the grumpiness and low patience level, and the tiredness came from the carbs. And some of it does. But I'm seeing that it also is a result from not having enough protein. I've been tired all day, despite sleeping over eight hours last night. And my patience ran out around 5:30pm. Since going primal, Ive been so much better about yelling and overreacting... so I was bummed I reverted back tonight. 


Now... what to do with the giant turkey and pork loin I have in my fridge? When I baked all meat last Sunday, I forgot to take into account we wouldn't be eating any meat on Wednesday or Friday. D'oh!



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Not a Fun Day


Today is Ash Wednesday.  This marks the beginning of the Lenten season.  Today is what is called a "fasting day" which means I can only eat three times: One normal meal, and two mini-meals (when combined cannot equal the size of the normal meal).  And NO meat. 


I'm about to die, I think. I know the whole point of the fasting is to suffer, so it doesn't help to complain, but I'm still about to die. 


For breakfast I had two eggs with butter.  

For lunch I had a banana and two slices of cheese. (Normally, I try to stay away from fruit, but I was severely limited in what I could have today).

 And for dinner I had tilapia with brussel sprouts.


Not. Enough. Food. 


And I majorly dislike seafood. Of any kind. 


I've had a headache all day, and been pretty tired... course, that could have to do with the fact that I walked 2 miles today, and had to do an hour of "core strengthening" at the gym. 

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to walk tomorrow. 

The kids had a really light lunch since I couldn't think of what to give them. They had some grapes, some bell peppers and a ... larabar.  Yup, they were starving by the time school was out. 

I picked up some frozen tilapia (yeah, I know, but we don't have fresh here in Kansas) from the grocery store, thawed it, put it in a casserole dish, topped it with lemon, capers, and a stick of butter, and baked at 375 for 15 minutes. 

I've never made fish. Ever. So I was really scared to see what would happen. Thankfully, it turned out okay. The flavors worked together well. It was still too fishy for my liking, but less offensive than other fishes I've had.  Regina and Tom really liked it. The baby wouldn't touch it. And the other two said they liked it, but then wouldn't eat it.  Meh. 

Earlier today I was so hungry I thought "I think even eating butter straight would be delicious." No lie. 

Lent is not for wimps.  I might want to be a wimp then....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thanks Again!





Once again, thanks to my readers for their help! This time I needed help with sauces, and your comments were very helpful! Easy, yet sound great. 


I ended up make a "Blender Hollandaise" sauce today. I used it as a mayonnaise for my ham and lettuce wrap. Then I dipped a bunch of bell peppers into the remainder of the sauce. Boy, was it delicious! 

I've always stayed away from hollandaise sauce since it was full of eggs and ::gasp:: butter! Also, it takes four hours for it to cook... or so I'm told. Today I found the 3 minute version, and since I'm neither French or a sauce snob (yet, anyway), I thought it was quite ingenious and delicious. 

Take a blender or a food processor (with a paddle attachment):

3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 dash Tabasco 

Blend for about five-ten seconds. 

Then add 8 tblsp melted, hot butter. (I put the butter in a pyrex measuring cup, and microwaved it)

Add the butter in a slow, thin stream as the blender/food processor is running. It should thicken immediately, and be ready as soon as the last drop of butter is incorporated. 


Best eaten warm.  I think you can keep it out at room temperature for an hour, and in the fridge (loosely covered) for 1-2 days. 

 I think I will introduce the kids to the sauce (except Regina who cannot eat egg yolk)  by serving it with asparagus, which is something the whole family loves.




Being that today is Mardi Gras (the day before Lent begins) and we are about to embark of 40 days of even stricter food observances, Tom and I decided to take the girls out to dinner, and that they could even pick where to go. 



They choose Famous Dave's for ribs. They asked if they could get anything they wanted. I said "Yes, but keep in mind that if you choose to eat something we don't normally eat, you will not feel good tonight or tomorrow."  


Amy, my five year old, says "Oh. Well, if I'm going to feel bad, then I choose milk and ribs. I wanted chocolate milk, but I don't want to feel icky." 


Veronica had a huge smile and asked for Sierra Mist, Ribs, and a corn muffin. 


Regina also had Sierra Mist, chipped pork sandwich, and a corn muffin. Originally, Regina had said she was going to discard the bun, but she ended up eating it. 

Tom had ribs and his cheat side was mac 'n' cheese. 

I kept it Primal, because I'm awesome that way. 


She had issues with her stomach before we even left the restaurant.  The bright side is, they are learning how to choose for themselves if they want to feel good or bad. And while I'm not ready to allow them to make these choices on their own every day, they are at least getting a feel for the pros and cons. 


After dinner we took them to get a frozen yogurt. We used to do this semi-often, but haven't done it in months, so we thought it was a good celebratory thing to do. It was fun. We had about 1/3 of the amount (each) that we would normally get, added a few toppings, and ate it. They loved it. The baby didn't want hers, but she hasn't been eating much these last few days. 


Once we arrived home and got settled, Regina repeatedly said "well, I just don't know if I will sleep tonight. My stomach feels really weird. I wish I didn't eat all that bad stuff."   

We'll see what the fallout is with Veronica tomorrow. I hope it's minimal! 

So Lent begins tomorrow, and we're not entirely sure about how to incorporate the rules of fasting (some voluntary and some required) into eating Primally, since we're pretty sparse as it is, but we'll definitely cut out baking treats until Easter. 

Wish us luck!






Hallelujah!


As you know Veronica has been my toughest case to win over to Primal eating. She's always been my carbaholic, and has been outright angry about the loss of her favorite foods.

 She even told me (two weeks into GP) that maybe the household would be better if I left, and I just allowed them to live here with Dad. She's one of the sweetest kids ever, so I was shocked by this display of anger. I'm choosing to believe it was the yeast die-off talking. ;)


Anyway....  today on the car ride home from school, Amy was asking "when can we eat grains?" for the millionth time, and Veronica says "Ehh, who wants grains anyway? They'll just make you dead." I nearly slammed on the breaks. (please note, I am not saying (or teaching my children) that if people eat grains, you/they will die, so no need to email me and tell me how judgmental I am. hehe) 


Veronica has also been in a much better mood these last few days, so I'm hopeful she is getting on the Primal wagon... or, wheel?

Help with Sauces



  I need some primal-approved sauce recipes for turkey, pork, chicken, steak... anybody have any favorites you'd care to share?

Monday, February 20, 2012

# 3 Official Weigh In


Since the last check in (two weeks ago) I've lost another 2 pounds, and gained another .5% in hydration. This brings the total to: 11.2 pounds lost, 3.5% fat gone, and 4.9% increase in hydration. 


It's great news for someone who has literally been unable to drop weight for the last five (or more) years, but it's still a bit disappointing. Almost every testimonial I read, or friend who had tried it, or FB comment I saw on GP, everyone was saying how they lost 15, 21, or even more in the first three weeks. I've been going strong, rarely cheating, and drinking a gallon of water a day, and I'm stuck with only 11 lbs lost SIX weeks into it?!  Ugh.


It's a good thing I've seen other positive changes (like my eyesight getting better, low blood pressure, more energy), or I might be tempted to just give it up. Hopefully in another few weeks my body will get the hint and start letting go of the extra fat. I hope. 


Two weeks ago I cut down (but didn't entirely throw it out) on cheese and dairy, since I read that some people won't lose any fat while consuming dairy. I also cut down on the amount of nuts I was eating. And I threw in a few days (about once or twice a week) of Intermittent Fasting. 


Doesn't seem to have helped much. 


Today I started my first of 18 sessions with a personal trainer at our local gym. After four long pregnancies, one horrible c-section, and constant holding of babies, I have no core strength or tone, so I think the resistance training will help a little. I already told the trainer I'm not out to look like Miss America, and that I don't want to train hard--just to do what Mark Sisson recommends. And maybe now that I have a gym close to the kids' school, I can fit in 45 minutes of steady paced walking. 


If this doesn't help then I don't know what will. 


This lifestyle is still worth doing because of the many other benefits, but geesh it stinks to think it will be an entire year before I can meet my goal. 


In other news, Veronica seems to have finally (praise the Lord!) snapped out of her little mood of hating all food because she can't have grains. And she loved the Cowboy Cookies, which was shocking since she's so picky. Maybe we're on a upswing :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Last Night

Tom and I went to Kansas City, MO. for a speech last night. Afterwards, we went to Jack Stack Bbq.

 I first went to this restaurant when I decided to run away from the house last May (I think it was). I had the best brisket I've ever had. It melted in your mouth just like butter. So amazingly delicious. I've asked for Tom to go back to the same place for about nine months now. And since tonight we were .2 miles from the place, of course we had to go. 

We went with a few friends--who were great company!--and had ribs and brisket. Tom and I realllly wanted to cheat, so we did, but not too badly.  For each entree we could choose two sides. We made a deal that one side would be the roasted vegetable, and the other side could be a "cheat" side. Tom had the french fries. (I remember reading someplace "if you want to cheat, fine, but eat the thing because you really want to eat it, not just because it's there and might be good."  I've found this pretty sound advice.) I really wanted mashed potatoes, but they didn't offer this, so I ordered the loaded baked potato.

 Here's the funny thing: we only wanted a very small portion of our cheat food. I ate at most 1/4 of the potato. I tend to think it was less than that even, but I'll say 1/4 just to be as honest as possible. While I really enjoyed it, after a few bites, I simply didn't want it any longer. And Tom ate very few fries. I stole one fry from him, and really did not care for it... which I was happy about. We both agreed after the meal that we were set on wanting potatoes for a while. I'm really happy about this... a few months ago I would have devoured the potato and would have wanted more.


Neither one of us seemed to suffer any ill effects from our cheat food. Yippee.


Today I spent the day baking and chopping vegetables. We're getting a little faster, but it's still quite a few hours of prep. We started at 2pm, and I still have turkey to slice, pot roast to put away, and pork loin to check on--and its 11:30pm!


Someone asked for a grocery list, so below is a sample of what I bought today, and the meals I made were: Pot roast, turkey, pork loin, butternut squash soup, baked chicken, carne asada, hard boiled eggs, omelets, bacon, deli meat "sandwiches", kale chips, "spaghetti", salad, etc., 


6 pound fresh turkey breast (bone in) 
5 pound pork loin
2 lbs flank steak
4 pounds bacon
4 pound chicken (whole)
1 pound ham (deli)
3/4 pound roastbeef (sliced)
1/4 pound salami
1/2 provolone (not strictly primal, but satisfies everyone)
4 dozen cage-free eggs
1 quart whole-fat (organic) milk
1 pound grass-fed butter (Kerry Gold is what I buy)
1 large head of kale
1 large head of Romaine lettuce
2 heads of broccoli
3 cucumbers
6 bell peppers (multi colors)
1 head cauliflower
3 lb butternut squash
5 avocados
3 tomatoes
2 lb spaghetti squash
1 package cherry or grape tomatoes
Large pack of fresh green beans
1 Jalapeno
1 lg pack of celery
1 lg pack of mini carrots
l lg pack whole carrots
2 lg white onions
1 head garlic
2 sweet potatoes
5 bananas
1 bag clementines
4 apples
2 lbs grapes
1 lb strawberries
12 oz blueberries
8 oz blackberries
8 oz raspberries
Full fat Greek yogurt (16 oz)
8 oz heavy whipping cream



I'm sure there are a few other items, but I can't recall them at the moment... but if you just print this out and take it to the grocery store, you'll have wait you need to at least get started.  Today, the bill came to $220.00 for us (which is a savings, believe it or not), and should last us most of the week. We may have to go back for a few extra things here and there (usually produce), but this is the bulk of it.



Tonight's dinner was mostly leftovers from the prior week: pork (thanks to grandma), beef jerky, raw vegetables, and some butternut squash soup.


That's it for now.  :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Baking recipes


Tonight we'll be out late and I won't make it home in time to blog.  Instead, I thought I'd post a few photos of our baking adventures today. 



Tom made his very first omelet today!  


3 eggs
Mushrooms
Onion (sauteed first)
Green peppers
Bacon grease


He thought it tasted to bacon-y, so maybe he can use butter next time. 


Not bad for a first-timer! (do you love the plate?)





While Tom was making an omelet, I made Cowboy Cookies (avocado-coconut), I got the recipe from WhatRunsLori.com:


Avocado Coconut Cowboy Cookies
Makes about small 28 cookies
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 ripe avocado (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips, Enjoy Life dairy-free kind
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine all dry ingredients, coconut through salt.
In another larger bowl, add in the remaining ingredients, mashing the banana and avocado with a fork. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Make sure to work out any clumps of coconut flour.
Spoon out about 2 tablespoons of dough and form into a ball, placing it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue this process until you’ve created all of your round cookies. *I like my cookies slightly doughy in the middle after baking. If you want more of a cooked cookie, press down the tops slightly, flattening them out.*
Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until golden browned.

Here's my finished product:



Time: It's a little time consuming to mix everything.
Texture: Biscuit-like.
Taste: The sea salt stands out, so don't add too much.
You can't taste the avocado. It's not really sweet (but I used agave syrup, and only two tablespoons), except for the chocolate chips. I only had leftover (from months ago) semi-sweet chips, so I need to  order some better ones soon.


So, really, it not really cookie-ish, but I think the kids could take them to school and feel like they're eating cookies, just like everyone else. And it's guilt free... even the chocolate chips (when you buy them dark) are antioxidants. They could even eat this for breakfast and I wouldn't feel guilty at all.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Coconut Bread Recipe


Thanks to Lakegirl72 for giving us a recipe that helps to make my kids feel normal!


COCONUT BREAD

Ingredients


6 eggs
1/2 c. Virgin Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3/4 c. sifted Coconut Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions
Blend together eggs, oil, honey and salt.
Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk thoroughly into batter until there are no lumps.
Pour into greased 9x5x3 inch or smaller loaf pan and bake at 175C (350F) for 40 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool on rack.



We baked this, and ate the whole thing not two hours later. So.. uh... make extra!  I used a bread knife and sliced it fairly thin, spread it with grassfed butter, and added shaved ham. SO. GOOD.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bread!


Thanks to a very nice reader who sent me a quick and easy recipe for coconut bread, we made sandwiches today! I was nearly out of sliced meat, so we made mini-sandwiches, but hey! it was a sandwich. The kids were thrilled! So thank you for the recipe, reader!



Ham and grassfed butter on coconut bread!
I wanted to also make cookies that have bananas and avocado mixed in to the batter, but 4 out of 5 of my avocados were black inside. BOOO!


The kids forgot to pack their lunches last night, so it was a mad rush this morning, and I couldn't even begin to guess at what they packed. Although, I know Amy took nothing, because I saw her lunch box at home, so I had to call the school and ask them to give her the beans and corn they were serving at lunch. Eh, she'll survive.


I skipped breakfast--did a lot of purging of the house--and had salad with turkey around 12:30.  Then I had a two of the mini-sandwiches in late afternoon. And I've yet to eat dinner. Not sure why I'm not all that hungry lately, but I'm guessing I should eat more than a salad and two small sandwiches. Or not. I don't know. 


Tom had quiet a few bowls of chicken soup, and a salad with pork for dinner. 


The kids had big bowls of salad and topped it with leftover pork loin. They seemed to like it well enough. 


I am not dehydrating beef jerky... I really hope it turns out well. I haven't a clue as to when to take it out of the dehydrator. 


So that's how I spent my day. Tom spent his cleaning the kitchen (cause he's nice like that). And the kids spent the day at school and then taking baths. 


Exciting, aren't we?

You Know You're Primal When...

  1. You have to make multiple trips per week to buy fresh produce.
  2. You can actually taste the difference in vanillas. 
  3. Foods/condiments which ones had subtle flavors are now strong even in small amounts. 
  4. Your first thought when planning a trip is "how many grocery stores are along the way?"
  5. You get looks of "did you escape from the looney bin" when you order Mexican entrees "without rice, beans, tortillas, or chips."
  6. Your teeth hurt when you think of eating sandwich bread.
  7. You tell your kids "if you have a good day, and eat all your dinner, you can have an orange!" And they cheer.
  8. You now know how to prepare three different types of squash, six different ways.
  9. You actually enjoy drinking water. 
  10. And you eat your salads out of mixing bowls, because the "regular sized" cereal bowls just won't cut it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dillema



Regina and Veronica were a ball of emotions today. Dang Valentine's day cookie. Actually, I don't know if that as enough of a sugar-rush to cause all crying and grumpiness today, but it seems like it correlated. 


So here's the dilemma: How do you keep kids Primal/healthy while still allowing them to partake of foods at parties/school/friend's houses. etc.?  

 I don't believe in taking the line of "you can never eat anything off the primal "plan." All that will create is children who at the age of 16, will drive to McDonald's as soon as they pass their driving test.


Yet, the fall-out of allowing them to cheat is not a barrel of laughs. 

Now, Regina (8) is old enough to realize there is a link between what she eats and how she feels. 

Veronica (barely 7) seems to be hit the hardest with food cheats. And she's not quiet mature enough to realize that the cheating is the cause of her emotional issues the next day.

 Amy (5.5) seems to react really well to cheating. She doesn't seem to have emotional or physical issues. I tend not to worry about her anyway since she has always been good about freely choosing healthy foods over the unhealthy ones.


And the baby (2) ... well, we can't tell much of anything with her since her standard mode is to cry and be generally difficult (even though she's cute). 

I have to be on top of their allergies and I don't allow them leeway with these foods, but what should I do with the Primal diet in general? At this point they are too young to fully understand the consequences, and yet, they're not animals, so they do need some sense of control. It's also very important that they learn to make good choices in life, even when Mom and Dad aren't around. 


Thoughts?




This morning we had eggs for breakfast. Veronica had requested eggs last night, so in an attempt to boost her spirits, I made her extra. (It didn't work.)


Then the kids packed left over chicken and steak, peppers, trail mix, and water. 


I didn't eat anything all day. I just wasn't hungry. I did drink plenty of water though. 


I'm not sure about Tom. I haven't debriefed with him yet. 


For dinner, my wonderful Mother In Law came over to babysit, while Tom and I met up with friends for some Mexican food.  We ordered fajitas minus the rice, beans, and tortillas. I had no chips, but Tom decided he wanted to eat them. Hopefully they will not cause him a problem since he seems to be more sensitive to gluten, and those were corn chips.


And now I'm drinking more water.   

This weekend I hope to play around with some more baking recipes. Veronica had mentioned feeling "weird" and "not normal" because her friends don't know why she can't eat grains. Given that she is so sensitive to food changes, I don't want to reintroduce grains/carbs yet. So maybe I can find a coconut flour recipe for a mock-bread or something....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Heart shaped eggs for breakfast!  (eggs, bacon, feta cheese, mixed and poured into a heart-shaped cupcake mold)


We did books for gifts rather than the standard chocolate cake with pink icing, and bits of candy. Grandma--who is not Primal, but is being supportive of us--also bought the kids books. They love books, so there were no complaints... other than Amy saying "I guess we can't do what we did last year." 


I have to hand it to the kids. This morning I told them (again) they really had to avoid eating all the sweets that would be coming into school today. I said they could have one cookie, but to stay away from everything else. I packed them some extra fruit and nuts that they could eat. Not terribly exciting, I'm afraid. I thought they would would break (and I would have understood), but they didn't! As I picked them up, each girl very proudly told me "I only ate one cookie, and my fruit!" except for Veronica who said "I ate all my fruit. I didn't know I could have a cookie!" 


What kind of alien kids are these? Aren't kids supposed to break under such pressure, and sneak a treat or two, and just not feel the need to mention it?  I have some pretty awesome kids. 


I didn't eat anything until about 2pm. Then I made a salad with roasted turkey. And that was about it until dinner around 5:30 when I had a few eggs. And a lot of water!  Not sure why I wasn't too hungry... but there seems to be a little virus going through the kids, so maybe it's a good thing. 


Poor Tom was hit with the virus as well, so he hasn't eaten much at all, but he has been drinking a lot of water and resting--well, as much as resting as Tom knows how to do.


I was going to take Tom's "after" photo today, but he wasn't quite up to it. So maybe tomorrow. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not So Hungry


Finally!


 I've noticed that all of us have finally settled into normal eating cycle. I would say the first four to five weeks, we all felt like we could eat very often. We never felt hungry as in "I'm not getting enough food and I'm starving!" like you can on other diets, but we did feel full, and two hours later be starving again. 


The last few days I've noticed the kids (who still eat more than six weeks ago) are finally satisfied and are going longer between eating.  


I ate 3 eggs this morning, and did not eat lunch (which was some brisket and two cups of steamed broccoli, carrots, and green beans) until 3:30... even then I only ate because I was beginning to get a headache, not because I felt starving.


Dinner was steak with butter, green beans, and some fresh carrots for the kids. Tom is sick, so just had some vegetables (and maybe a small piece of cheesecake). 


The kids packed their own lunches again for today. Much of the same: roast beef, bell peppers, and some grapes. Although, Regina forgot her lunchbox in the van this morning (she forgets things all the time), so she had to have the school lunch, which was a rib sandwich, green beans, and a cookie. I told her to take the bread of the sandwich, eat the green beans, and she could have half the cookie. I would have driven her lunch to her, but I was already at the school (in Tom's car) since I was there to help the Kindergarteners with lunch.


I already gave the girls the speech on how they cannot eat all the junk that will be at school tomorrow for the Valentine's Day party. They are really great sports and happily said okay, and they would just bring fruit and eat that instead. I said they could eat one cookie, but no cakes or candies.  Maybe next year I'll have time to bake special cookies for them to take in. 


Tonight I made heart-shaped egg muffins (eggs, bacon, and feta) for their breakfast tomorrow. I also found heart shaped dark chocolate (about 1 sq in) and will give that to them. And one chocolate dipped strawberry.  That should just about do it. 

I signed up for a gym today, it's 3 miles from the kids' school and has childcare, so hopefully this saves me time and helps me get exercising a little more regularly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday


This morning I had cheesecake for breakfast.  I won't make a habit out of it, but it was so good and one decent-sized (not huge and not super small) piece kept me full for a good three hours!


After Mass, Regina and I (Tom was in Seattle) went to Jason's Deli and had a salad bar with an extra side of protein. Chicken for Regina, and turkey for me. Yummy yummy. 


Then I went to the grocery store, brought in the groceries, washed the produce, cooked the meat, and chopped the vegetables. Whew.  Sunday is our day of rest around here, so I went at my own pace, and had fun doing (most of) it. I really enjoy cooking and being creative. However, I do hate the cleaning that comes with it.  Good thing I have a wonderful husband who cleans up for me (when he's in town).


By the time I finished all of that, I was so hungry the hole in my stomach was starting to eat through to my back. So I snacked on some leftover ham, and then made a salad with olive oil and nuts on top. 


Tom had been traveling all day, so as far as I know he had a fruit and cheese tray this morning, and a seafood salad for lunch (blech). He seems to be coming down with a virus the kids had this week, so he hasn't eaten much else. He does say about every three minutes "oh, it's so cold in here!" when really it is not. He should go eat some of the chicken soup I just made. 


I've decided the kids will start packing their own lunches for the school. They seem to like this idea, and it's fun to see what they pick out. 


Amy packed: carrots, one slice of roast beef, some grapes, and trail mix. 
Regina packed: carrots (the ones I was saving to stew), roast beef, and "four or five clementines". Uhh... 

Veronica forgot to pack her lunch. Hopefully she remembers tomorrow morning. 

They will be starving tomorrow, but eventually they'll learn how much they need, and that Mom is not crazy when she gives them particular foods in order to keep them full. 


Let's see... what else?  Hmm.  I had to use a squash (butternut) and some tomatoes before they went bad, so I made squash fries, and baked tomatoes. Both turned out decently, and the kids (at least 3 out of 4) like them.


halved tomatoes, topped with salt, pepper, basil, oregano

Squash fries


Cheesecake is My Friend


 I heart cheesecake. I especially heart chocolate cheesecake, which is funny, because I've never cared for chocolate cheesecake before. Primal-approved choco cheesecake is ah-mazing. And it cured my constant craving for a dessert. Very happy about that. It was getting annoying.

 Okay, it's not pretty, but it would be if I had cared to enough to fix it. Also, that hole (near the bottom) was me sneaking a bite while it was freshly out of the oven and still hot.

 This is after being in the fridge for about... uh... eight hours. Keep it in for about 12, and it's not so runny.

The recipe called for a chocolate sauce, but I just topped with heavy whipped cream. Perfect.


So go and make this cake. And I don't want to hear how you don't like cheesecake. You do now.


                             !!Recipe for Primal-approved cheesecake!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sweet Stuff!


So I've done really well on the diet; I haven't minded (much) just having water to drink --I don't enjoy hot beverages, so no, I don't drink tea or coffee--or skipping on the fruit, but for the last three days I haven't been able to shake my "I want some dessert!" craving. I tried eating a few squares of dark chocolate, but it didn't really  help much. Sooo....  I decided to make some primal muffins!


Here's the recipe:

 Coconut Muffins

4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut flour (more if batter is too runny)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
1 can coconut milk (14 oz or 1.5 cups) 
1/4 cup coconut oil (or KerryGold butter)
1/4 cup raw honey (optional but recommended)*
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup raisins/cranberry mix
Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gather all of your dry ingredients, mix them together in a small mixing bowl. If desired ingredients can be sifted.


Melt the coconut oil (or butter) in a small bowl. Begin to add one egg at a time to the batter mixture. When all the eggs are mixed in, add the honey, lemon juice, and coconut milk to the mixture and stir. * I used just under a 1/4 cup honey


Slowly begin to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while stirring. When all lumps are gone, fold in the cashew/raisin-cranberry mix. 


When fully blended, begin to pour the batter into your pan or muffin tray about half way full. Be sure you oil your pan or muffin tray to avoid sticking (I used an olive oil spray). At this point sprinkle the top of the batter with cinnamon. 


Place in oven for 18-22 minutes. Insert a toothpick to the middle. If it comes out clean they are ready. They should be firm, yet spring back. 


The only issues I had was they are a bit dense, and the fruit/nut mix sunk to the bottom. So maybe it's better to insert the mix after it's in the muffin tin?


They turned out well, but still a bit dense. Regina and the baby loved them. Veronica and Tom could take it or leave it. I enjoyed having a "grain-like experience" though I still found the coconut flour kinda odd.  



  


But... it did not take away my dessert craving. Boo. So I drank more water, ate more salad, and had some ribs. Dessert thing? Still there. 


So... I decided to Google a Primal Cheesecake. Yeah, I know, you can't eat the whole thing (dairy in moderation), but we've done really well on this way of eating, and we have earned a piece of cheesecake. So hush up! 


I've never made a cheesecake before, so I don't know how the Primal version compares to the "normal" version, but it did take a while.  Elizabeth and I headed to the store to make one last look for almond meal (for the crust). It took a while, but I finally found it

Man, this stuff is so much better than coconut flour!  Although, I'm sure coconut flour will work better in some recipes, so I'll keep it on hand. 


I couldn't find coconut crystals. I guess I'll have to order them off Amazon. So I used my agave syrup. The recipe calls for one cup of coconut crystals... what's the ratio between coconut crystals and agave syrup? I tried to Google the difference between the two on the glycemic index, but it was taking forever, and I had Elizabeth hanging off my leg. So I used 1/3 cup syrup, plus another 1/6... I think that works out to about 3.5 oz., which was incorporated into a massive cake.


It finally finished baking, and I thought it would take about an hour for it to cool down. Then I noticed in the recipe it says to keep it in the fridge all night in order to cool down. What?!?!  I want it now!  I waited for about 90 mins, and then I stuck my fork in it and took a bite, and it was soooo good! I then stuck it in the fridge and I cannot wait to have it for breakfast. ;) If this cake doesn't take away the dessert attack, then nothing will. I'm excited to see how it turns out once it sits over night. 


The best part is that it's a huge cake. I can easily slice it, freeze, and then pull out a single slice when I really want it. 


I wish could take a photo of it, but I can't take it out of the spring form pan yet. Until then, I'll leave you with the recipe. Here ya go!



What's your favorite primal-approved cheat?


Friday, February 10, 2012

# 2 Update from Tom.

"Overall I'm glad we're doing this. I needed to be jolted out of my growing and unhealthy affinity for sweets. I'm glad I now understand the truth about the "low-fat" craze. And I know I am taking better care of myself now that I'm not eating a lot of the stuff I used to eat.
But I can't bring myself to agree with people who think this is a breeze, that over time I won't miss my old favorite foods, etc. Maybe. I doubt it. Steak and salad can be great, but I don't want to eat meat all the time, and I don't want my only non-meat alternative to be salad.
Frankly, I still very much want pizza, pasta, an occasional Coke, orange juice with my breakfast, a bagel with cream cheese, a stack of real pancakes, and a cookie once in a while.
I envision myself moving forward as follows. I want to stay faithful to this at least 70-80% of the time, which means that the food I eat at home will conform to it. But when I travel, and occasionally when I'm just out for dinner, I do still intend to indulge in things that make me happy. On net I am still enjoying a vast improvement in my old habits, and I think that's about as far as I can make myself go."
I keep telling Tom that he doesn't have to give up his favorite things forever.  
He still feels guilty about it though... mainly, I think, because I don't cheat.  (Well, I did twice in the last 33 days.... one was HERE, and the other was I had a slice of cheese cake (which was awesome!) when we went out for Dinner Theater. Other than that, I've stayed Primal.) But he forgets that I have a lot of weight to lose, and therefore I can't afford to cheat often. Plus, I really don't like the way I feel when I do eat non-primally.
I've told Tom we are not going to police each other. If I want to cheat, I don't want eagle eyes on me. And if he wants to eat something that will totally have him out of commission for that day... well, that's his call. ;)  Seriously though, I don't care what he does as long as it doesn't kill him, and he makes a real attempt at staying Primal.

He's really done very well for the last month, so I'm really proud of us all that we have been able to make it work as well as we have.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Some Food This Week (Photos)

 Beginnings of sweet potato chips


 Very thin slices of sweet potatoes, fried in coconut oil

 The finished product


 Rib night!
 Ribs from the crockpot (12 hours), a bit of bbq sauce, and sweet potato chips.

 Regina made the dinner salad.

 Amy's lunch

 
 A little runny, but would be better with a bit more flour.

 I guess they're a hit.

The little thief.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chats in the Van



On the way home from school today, Regina (8) and Veronica (7) were talking to each other about "eating healthy at school."  


Veronica: Yeah, so I took out my lunch and I said to all the kids "Okay, I know it's weird, and it's already embarrassing, so don't laugh." 


Regina: Yeah, I know, it's like they just like to laugh.


Me: What?  Are you guys embarrassed about eating good-for-you-foods?

Veronica: Uh, yeah!


Regina: Well... I'm not ashamed of it. But it is kind of embarrassing to explain to other kids why we have such different food.


Me: What does your food do for you?

Regina: It makes us healthy. It helps keep cancer away... and... um.. makes us feel happier.



Me: Good. So what does the school food do?


Regina: It makes you feel sick and tired. 

Veronica: It makes me want grains! (LOL)



I got distracted for a bit, and then I hear Regina say:


"Don't you think it's terrible the kids are all getting sick?"


Me: They are? With what... when did it start?


Regina: Well, I guess cancer, becaues all they eat is sugar! 


Uhhhhh

Me: Okay, but it's important to remember we don't say things like "you're going to get cancer!" to the kids, because that is not charitable. And it is up to their parents' as to what they eat. So you just eat your food happily, and let them eat what they have. 



Regina: Well, I told one kid [who has repeatedly made fun of her food] "at least my mom cares about me!" because, you don't want us to get cancer, but I think her mom doesn't care much about her, because all she eats is pudding and cheetos.


Me:  ACK!  I mean, thanks, but... yeah, we don't say that either. I am sure her mother cares a lot about her, but maybe doesn't know about food, or doesn't have the time to take care of it. So we should only say kind things, like "I'm glad you're interested, maybe I can bring you an extra piece tomorrow."  All parents really love their children, okay?


Regina: Oh. 


Veronica: Sooo.... can I have grains?


Me: No. 


Yeah, so I hadn't thought about what my girls would have to say to their friends about the radical switch in diet. I had said a quick word like "you tell people that it's a new way of eating that makes you feel healthier and happier."  


For years we've talked about food, its properties, and what it does for you, so they do know many benefits and they know why we eat the things we eat, but they are still embarrassed. Any thoughts on how to handle this?


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coconut Products


 This is the brand of coconut chips I have. It's the only brand I've had so far, so I don't know how they compare to other brands.

And This is the canned coconut we use. Amazon has a great price (at least, the best I've seen here) too!


Day 30 (I think).




The kids have a routine/responsibilities they are supposed to follow once they get home from school. One of these things is to clear out their lunch boxes, and place them on the kitchen counter, so they can be ready for me to pack at night.  Well, they didn't do this last night (they've been forgetting a lot lately), so ... I didn't make them a lunch. 


Don't freak out. I didn't send them to school without any food all day. I told them they'd have to make their own lunch, and they had exactly four minutes before we had to be in the van. This was partly a test to see what they would choose, and partly a "see how annoying it is to pack lunch, so you'd better start eating all of it!" kind deal. 


I don't even know what they packed, because I had a crying baby hanging on my legs, so four minutes later I said "Get in the van!" Around lunch time I thought "sure hope they packed enough", but if they didn't, I'll bet they will eat dinner!


As soon as they walked in the house, they devoured the berries(and some kiwi) plate. Then we had to do some cleaning up of toys and art supplies. They were really hungry by that point. 


I made salads first.  Romaine lettuce, orange peppers, celery, broccoli, and cucumbers with a olive oil, salt, and lemon. They ate this fairly quickly... except Veronica. She always takes forever when it comes to salads. 


Then I made a plate of chips (made from squash and zuchini from the dehydrator) with tomato salsa, and a big hunk of roasted turkey. They ate everything.  And were still hungry.  I asked what they had packed for lunch:


Regina: Some roast beef, some carrots, and some grapes
Veronica: Well, I didn't have lunch really
Amy: Cheese and some roast beef. 


All three agreed they need more food. And tonight, all three lunch boxes were cleaned out and waiting on the kitchen counter. he he he 


I should note that they had a Coconut Smoothie for breakfast. Coconut milk, strawberries, blueberries, eggs, cinnamon, and salt.  Yummy, yummy. 


So after dinner and homework, they wanted another snack... so I offered yogurt or nuts. They wanted the nuts. Then they had a few grapes. Then I noticed Regina snuck an apple and an orange. Then the others wanted something more to eat. And I said no, it's bedtime, and I knew they had plenty to eat. 


Then I was hungry. So as soon as I could get away with it (without all the kids knowing) I made a coconut parfait. 


1 can of coconut cream/milk
1 oz of Dark Chocolate (72%)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 Medium Banana

Blend everything (but banana) in blender until all mixed together.  
Spoon into a cup. 
Layer with a few banana slices
More coconut mix
More bananas
More coconut 


Eat. 

I thought it would be a good high-fat "dessert" and the banana gave it just the right amount of sweetness. Since I am still trying to stay away from too much fruit, I only used half a banana. And then I gave half on my dessert to Regina who was still awake and asking for food. 


I had eggs and bacon for breakfast. Tom had a smoothie (we really need a new word for this). Elizabeth ate half my breakfast. She has also given up on eating yogurt. D'oh!


For lunch I made a fresh giant salad, and added about 6 oz (maybe less?) of turkey. Turkey is my new love. I love it more than chicken in my salad. Yumm!  Turkey also goes a long way. I had for my salad, we had it for dinner, and we're going to use it again for turkey-lettuce wraps tomorrow. 


I think it might be time for steak though. I could really go for a huge sirloin right now.  


Btw, I can't remember who asked, but I buy canned coconut milk (the box of milk is more like water consistency, whereas the can has a lot of cream and fat) at my local grocery store. It's in the healthfood section. Do not buy the Light version. You want all the fat you can get.  


As for coconut chips, I couldn't find them at our regular grocery store, so I drove to the one little Health Food store we have around here. They had them in the refrigerated section. If all else fails, you can probably ordered them online. 


I asked the butcher (at the grocery store) to please give me two pounds of ground round (his suggestion for jerky) and to please slice it very thin. He says he can give me two pounds, but he can't slice it with a slicer... regulations.  "But... you are a butcher?"  That makes no sense to me. Well, I tried. I'll have to think about this....

 What are you favorite dishes so far?


Monday, February 6, 2012

Second Official Weigh-In



Da-da-da-daaaa!


As of today I have lost 9.8 pounds of fat. 11 inches all around. I've upped my hydration level by 3.2 percent. And my BMI has gone down by 1.8 points!


Tom has lost another pound, bringing his total to 8.5 pounds. 


So we're excited!  


My boots ( I bought in November) are the stretchy type, to accomodate larger calves, and they are now about 2-3 inches too loose. So I'm losing fat in places I didn't even think about needed to lose fat. pretty cool. 


To see a list of all the good things that have come out of the diet this far, click here!


We're continuing on with the "diet". I'm hoping to add in some exercise and new recipes this week, but we'll see. ;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thank You!



When I first started this blog, I figured a whole ten people would view it.

I am amazed that we now have over 39,000 views!  Many thanks to Lewrockwell.com, Tomwoods.com, and Marksdailyapple.com  for mentioning this blog and sending some nice readers with great comments my way!


I am sorry I can't answer every comment individually, but please know that Tom and I read them all! I am very grateful for all the helpful suggestions, tips, and encouragement sent from all of you. 


This weekend Tom and I tried to come up with a plan on how to shuffle food prep around in order to make things run more smoothly.  I thought if I go grocery shopping on Saturday, chop vegetables the same day, and then Sunday spend the day cooking off meats, it might be easier.  The last few weeks I've done the shopping on Monday, the chopping on Tuesday, and cooking meats on Wednesday. Not efficient, I 'll grant you, but I did have to manage to squeeze all of this in within a three hour time-frame, so we had to spread it out over a few days. 


Saturday we had a very busy day, so there was no opportunity to go to the grocery store. So much for "The Plan".  I ended up going to the grocery store today (after Mass and during that part of a Sunday where you're happy to be lazy, but you're also really bored), with Elizabeth in tow, and we stocked up. Btw, I think I was the only person whose cart did not include Super Bowl snacks of soda, chips, and dips. Not gonna lie, I was a little jealous of the guy with the fried chicken and the cheetos bag!


Anyway... came home and thought I'd just put everything away and chop it up tomorrow. Then I realized, my fridge wouldn't hold all the stuff I bought unless I cut it up anyway.  Sweet.
Well, I figured chopping veggies is pretty relaxing, so I did this for a few hours. 
And then I decided I might as well cook up some of the meat I bought and let that bake while I cut-up the rest of the vegetables.
At some point, I realized I could cook roast and the turkey at the same time. And if I'm going to do the roast and turkey, I might as well crockpot the ribs, and cook the chicken soup on the stove. 
And as long as I was chopping vegetables, I should probably take out my new mandoline  and make squash, zucchini and sweet potato chips, and throw the into the dehydrator.
And before I knew it... everything was washed, chopped, baked and put away. 


Well, my feet hurt, but I am really hopeful the meals this week go a little smoother. Now my awesome husband is cleaning the kitchen which is full of dirty dishes and messy counters. 

Tomorrow is my second official weigh-in. So let's hope the scale shows some good results!



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beef Jerky, Anyone?



 We finally opened our food dehydrator box, and tested the unit, so now we are ready to make some beef jerky!


Only... I have no good recipes. So I'm appealing to you guys to help me out. And if you've tried the recipe personally, that's even better!

Exercise




Now that we have the food aspect going GP under our belts, we are looking into adding exercise to our routine. 


I am a person who loves to be outdoors. I love hiking, walking, rafting, etc., but I haven't been able to do this much in the last few years. Boo. Even though we live on a lot of land, it's difficult to navigate, and the roads are surprisingly busy, and has many hills, so traffic can't see you coming until it is already upon you. I'm definitely not taking a group of kids to walk on the road... so I don't quite know what to do. Our schedule is already so busy, we can't really take a 20 minute drive every day to go walk someplace safer. So ... darn. 


And then it's not just having the time to exercise. You have to factor in showers and hair and all that other stuff.  


We do have a Tread Climber (by Bowflex) which is amazing. I highly encourage this machine. It's actually fun to use, easy on your joints, and burns so many calories without that feeling of "I think I'm going to fall over and die."  Then problem I have now is a very clingy two year old who will not allow me to get on the thing unless I'm holding her, or she gets to stick her hands in the moving parts. So, yeah, that won't work. 


I really want to get back into walking or doing some kind of exercise. If you have kids, and have any thoughts on how to make time and possibly include kids, all the while not falling behind on housework and tending to people, let me know. :D


In the meantime, I found this link on Mark's Daily Apple. I think there are at least a few things I can do in between giving baths and washing dishes.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Company for Dinner



We had an impromptu dinner guest tonight, a very enjoyable young man who drove in from Iowa to do some business with Tom.  I slightly panicked since my house is definitely not hostess-ready at this point. Then I remembered we were having pot roast. That's not too crazy. In fact, it's a pretty standard dish, I think.  I didn't have any potatoes, but I did find a few sweet potatoes, which I mashed up. I also steamed cauliflower, and mashed that as well, since I am staying away from sweet potatoes (1. vegetables should not be sweet. 2. I'm trying to lose weight). Regina and I were the only ones who at the fauxtatoes, though. ha ha 


I didn't have any type of dessert to offer either. I suppose I did have dark chocolate squares, and some berries in the fridge, but really... that's not a dessert to most of the world. Well... unless you're in France. They are weird there.


The rest of the day was snacking on nuts and salads. And a ton of water. 


I packed the kids some ribs (I made a dry rub rib in the crockpot a few days ago) and some primal approved bbq sauce. A good portion of raw vegetables. A trail mix snack. And a Larabar and 1/3 apple for breakfast. 


I didn't have any complaints. And no "I'm starving"s.  In fact, I'd say the last day or two the "can we eat now?!" phrase hasn't been uttered as often. So ... maybe their brains are turning the corner. 


I still have to figure out out to make the week flow more smoothly... when to go shopping, chop and prep foods, clean up... but we're still sticking to it. 


We are starting to venture out with new foods. So if you have a favorite dish, please share!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Awesome News



 Just a quick post.


Both of my parents have high blood pressure. Many of their children (including me) suffer high blood pressure from an early age (20s). Kind of like "Hey! You are 21 today! Here's your own blood pressure cuff! Happy birthday!" 

For quite a few years my blood pressures would hover around 160/98. I had BP meds for a while, but given that they make you feel like you're dead, I stopped taking them. You can't be on meds and take care of four kids at the same time. Well, at least, I can't.

Well, after three weeks of being Primal, my blood pressure has been 125/80, without any drugs, which is a miracle in my family.  I had no idea grains affected blood pressure. I am really excited about this. And, I might add, I have not added in exercise yet (other than the running around I do all day with house and errands), so it is purely diet-related.



Also, I noticed some changes in my vision about a week ago--having mainly to do with depth perception, so I went to the Optomitrist. For the first time *ever* I could read all four lines of the Letters Chart. I do have a bad left eye, so I could only read the first two lines with my right eye covered, but after getting my glasses prescription, my vision became 20/20 in my right eye, and 20/30 in my left. 


I've had to wear (or supposed to wear) glasses since age 8, and I have never been able to get my eye sight that close to perfect before. I really am in shock. The doctor asked what I had done differently... I said "well, we cut out a lot of grains and sugar." He says "oh, well, not sure that would affect it."


Of course, I can't scientifically prove it's the diet causing the changes, but I find it likely that it is, given my eyes have remained steady until the last ten days or so, and nothing else about my life has changed.


I'm really excited to see how much weight loss I've had when Monday comes. Even if it's not that much, I am so excited about the immediate benefits, I wouldn't even care. And if this is what happens in three weeks, what will I feel like in three months?