Friday, March 30, 2012


I swear we are on a mission to make ourselves as miserable as possible on Fridays. Fridays are harder. Fridays during Lent are harder. Fridays during Lent while traveling, impossible. 


Our flight didn't leave until the afternoon, so I had time to hit the gym this morning. Remembering that I nearly died from nausea last time I didn't eat beforehand, I made about four eggs and ate those on the drive to school/gym.  That seemed to hold me pretty well. 

Then I went home and packed, cleaned (a little) and all that fun stuff. I wasn't yet hungry (around noon), but I figured there would be nothing at the airport, so I decided to pack a few things. 

I made a salad which consisted of celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, nuts, olive oil, and 3 boiled eggs. I also packed some nuts and a few dark chocolate chips. Just in case. 

I had the salad on the way to the airport, which was good since there was only a small cheese and grapes and carrot "plate" at the airport. Blah. 

We finally arrive in Philly and talked with friends for a while. What was in our room? Several brochures for pizza. REAL pizza!  

Tom decided he wanted pizza since we *never* have real pizza. it's Friday, and we don't know the area. So he, a few new friends an I piled into the car and went to a pizzeria/restaurant.

We started with a salad: greens, Gorgonzola, apples, cranberries and walnuts.  Actually, this was my main meal, since everything else was off limits. 

Tom had a pizza with mushrooms and onions. The pizza came out and looked ah-mazing. It was the really flat, crispy, brick oven baked crust that one dreams about. It smelled even more amazing. Yet, I resisted ... for a while. I finally had two slices, BUT I scraped off all the toppings (and gave the mushrooms to Tom--eww), and ate it with a fork. Since it was really thin pizza, there wasn't much there, so it was just enough for a taste of it. It was so good! I still wanted the crust, but I left it. :(

We arrive back at the hotel, and I was still hungry, so I went to the small cafe (prepacked stuff) and found the one thing that read "All natural ingredients" . Ice cream. After about three bites, all I could taste is sugar, so now I'm sitting her picking out all the dark chocolate chunks and consoling myself with that. 

I better have access to breakfast tomorrow!

We're Going to Philly!

I will try and post while in Philly this weekend (Tom is giving a speech), but we'll have to play it by ear. 

Philadelphia is home to the great cheese steak sandwich!  Tom has looked forward to this trip for months and months so that he can try two different cheese steak places.  It does sound yummy, however, I do not want the bread, or the cheese wiz. I'll eat at the place that uses provolone. And just eat the insides with a fork. 

Anyway, we're going a group of great people, so it will be fun. 

And it's Friday. Already?!  Yep. 

So I started with four eggs this morning. Now I have to figure out what to eat for lunch before we head out, since I know there is nothing in our miniscule airport that would be Primal AND Friday friendly. 

I wonder if I pack a container of nuts if the TSA will allow me to keep them, Stupid TSA. 

Anyway, does anybody have an Easter Menu they'd care to share?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tips for Eating Primal(ish) on a Budget

I have a friend (in real life, even!) who lives in Georgia, and has had her family eating whole foods for years.

Sometime this year her husband was between jobs, which made their cash situation a bit strained. In her blog post, she discusses how to eat whole foods (not necessarily 100% primal) on a budget. If you have children, and believe they need some amount of grain in their diets, I think you will benefit from this post. 

If you do not have children, well, that's okay, you will still enjoy reading about it.

I Need to Eat More

This month has been particularly stressful and busy, so I've forgotten to eat quite often, which is both good and bad. 

Good because I'm not always hungry. With other diets, I was constantly counting the minutes until I could eat again. It was really depressing. With GP--after the initial three weeks-- I rarely feel like I can't wait until my next meal. 

Bad because I think it interferes with weight loss. Last month when I wasn't dropping weight, I realized I had been fasting probably 3 or more times a week. So I ate more, and the weight loss came back (with some added exercise, it started coming off faster).

I tend to just grab and eat while on the go, which really limits me to non-fatty foods (I wonder if this is the reason I've been craving sour cream every day?), but this week my goal will be Eat More Fat. Funny isn't?  Any other dieter would feel awful pangs of guilt over even thinking about gorging on fat. 

Not us though!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Missing Comments

I just realized I have a spam folder on my blog, and so I checked it, and there were comments sitting in there. Ack!  So sorry. I marked them as "not spam", so please know that I did not delete your comments.

I truly appreciate everyone taking the time to sign in and comment. It really helps to keep me encouraged and not feel completely idiotic for talking about, well, myself.

Thank you!

Thoughts on Being Primal for 11 Weeks

I could be wrong, but I think next Monday will mark week 12 of GP. I thought I'd just give a summary of our journey this far. 

The first week of going Primal was r-o-u-g-h. Not only the detoxing (carb flu), but the emotional ups and downs, the anger from the children, and the pressure of making good, tasty food, so that everyone (including myself) would want to stay Primal.  We pressed on. 

The next several weeks were spent trying to get a new routine down; shopping, cooking, clean up, feeding children, all while living life. It was quite a challenge, and, to be honest, there were times I wasn't sure I could do it.  Yet, we trudged along. 

After we became more comfortable with the lifestyle change, and didn't panic every time it was time to make a new meal, and we were able to spit out the rules for GP without thinking... we decided it was time to look for new recipes, so Tom ordered the Paleo Comfort Foods from Amazon, so we are hoping to go through it in the next week or two and find a few dishes we can add to our weekly menu. 

Now I think we are finally settling into our new routine. (I suppose it is true what they say: it takes three months for a new behavior to become a habit.) And we're really happy we switched to the Primal lifestyle. 

In addition to these benefits, I've also seen: 
  • My complexion has cleared up tremendously 
  • My skin is much more hydrated. I don't even have to use my moisturizer anymore! 
  • Slowly, but surely, my PMS symptoms have lessened considerably. Always a plus. 
  • I no longer suffer from headaches. (two chiropractors helped a lot in this area, but I still would have headaches 2-3 times a month). I haven't had a head in six-seven weeks, at least. 
  • My hydration level is slowly climbing. I'm at 40%! 
  • I still hate mornings, but I no longer feel like I need a nap in the afternoon. Well, rarely. 
  • My hair used to fall out in handfuls-handfuls!-everyday. And I'd shed on everything.. my clothes, the kids, the floor, you name it, it had hair. It is now dramatically lessened. It's probably down by 75%. I've suffered with this for eight years. I'm glad it's going away. 
  • I've lost about 20 pounds, 6% body fat, and gone down 3 points!! off my BMI.
  • I don't know how many inches yet. I'm waiting another week to do measurements. But I can say I bought a size smaller, and even that is on the verge of being too big. 
  • I've gained muscle, which has helped me hold my chiropractic adjustments better and longer. And I can now punch out any bad guys. How could this be bad?
  • We've learned so many new things about life and health. And have found many new Paleo/Primal friends.
  • You start out learning about Primal eating, and it spreads to other new healthy habits.
I'm sure there are many more, but it's getting late here and my brain starts to shut down. 

Anyway, we're very happy we've gone through the process. I highly recommend this for families, especially if you suffer from allergies or chronic health issues. 

I want to get in to the doctor soonish so I can have a blood draw. I'm really excited to see what changes have occurred inside me.  Also, because my brother (who thinks he knows everything ;P ) is doing a vegetable/fruit fast, and then adding in some nuts and fish later on. Sounds pretty sad to me, but he's convinced it will lower his cholesterol and such.  So being good siblings, we're in a contest (even if he doesn't know about it) to see how scores better on blood work. 

I'll win.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Primal Easter Baskets

So we're nearing Easter, the end of Lent, and a time of major celebration in the Church. We typically celebrate by attending Mass, the Easter Bunny leaves a basket, and later in the day, the kids hunt eggs. (Tom and his mother do this weird tapping eggs thing... I don't know why.) And the girls wear brightly colored dresses. 

Mass, I've got a handle on.
Dyed eggs? Check.
Pretty dresses... almost. 

But Easter baskets? ACK!  How do I build a Primal-friendly Easter basket?!  

Now some people may say "Oh come on, they're kids, they can have a "normal" Easter!"  And I would partly agree with these people. 

My goal in life is NOT to be the perfect Primalist. One of my goals as a mother is to teach my kids to make better choices when it comes to eating. I think we (Tom and I) started this early on in their lives. And I have no doubt they'll grow up to understand food and lifestyle and how it makes a difference in one's quality of life. (Now that's not to say that they will decide to keep Primal once they are on their own, or driving and can do whatever they want food-wise, but I can rest easy knowing I've done all that I can to give them a good grounding in food.) So I'm okay with them having an occasional cupcake, or ice-cream, or even jelly beans.

Having said that... it still makes me slightly uncomfortable (okay, more than slightly) with the idea that they'll have a huge basket of candies that are not only filled with sugar, corn syrup, and grains, but also all the different dyes. I think putting all of that together makes for a nightmare. 

I've watched the kids carefully after they've eaten a cheat food (which is not often), and I've noticed that Regina tends to have intestinal issues. Veronica has emotional issues. I don't notice anything with the baby. And Amy seems to handle it very well. So my hesitating to give them the traditional Easter treats really has to do with the ill-effects they suffer, and how it seems to take a few days for them to fully recover, which leaves me looking for more healthy/primal options. 

We have the obvious: more toy like items, books, religious items, etc.... But I do want them to have something fun to snack on.
So I thought I could make the easy Primal Brownies (recipe below), make into 1x1 inch squares, and fill some eggs that way. 
Dark chocolate (the good stuff).
Chocolate covered goji berries.

.... what else?  

Of course for Easter I'll be doing some baking (without coconut flour) and making cookies and bread. I may even make a Primal Cheesecake. 

Anybody have any other ideas for basket fillers?

I did find this one blog with a bacon basket. Totally awesome. 

Brownie Recipe:

 1 cup Nut Butter  (I wanted to use cashew butter, but I didn't have enough, so I went with Sunbutter)
1/2 Cup Honey  (you could use less, I think)
1/4 Cup Coconut oil 
1 Egg

Mix all ingredients together.

Pour into an 8x8 dish. 

Bake* at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  

*I sprinkled a few dark chocolate chips on top before baking.

Monday, March 26, 2012


 A friend (thanks, Sarah!) sent me a link to a blog about sandwiches. It looks awesome! It does talk a lot about bread, but I think the ideas would work on coconut bread or as a lettuce wrap.

So if you need some new lunch ideas go to Family2Table and see what you think! 

Also, thanks to a reader (thank you, Whistler!) look at these so ugly, they're cute, burgers! I can't wait to try them! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Menu Suggestions

Usually I go grocery shopping on Sundays, and then get everything prepped and baked, but I decided the weather was too nice for that, so I cleaned out the garage and van instead. And then we went for an impromptu picnic with friends at the park. 

I thought a picnic sounded like a lot of fun, but the one problem was: I hadn't been to the grocery store for two weeks now, so what should I take?  We stopped by the store and picked up a vegetable tray, a meat and cheese tray, a roasted chicken, grapes, and water. These were easy foods to eat outdoors and were filling. Although, later as we were driving home Amy says "When's dinner?" Tom says "you already ate dinner." And she replies "well, it didn't feel like dinner."  Which was true. 

Anyway, I am going grocery shopping tomorrow, and need some new dinner ideas. Anybody?  
 (Please keep in mind the following allergies: Milk, cheese, peanuts, almonds, soy, egg yolks.)

Also, any vegetable ideas?  We have plenty of raw vegetables, but we need more ideas on cooked veggies.

Now, where's my bacon....

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can You Read Me Now?

Trying to make the blog a little easier to read... what do you think? I know it's still not perfect, but I'm not really blog-savvy enough to make it amazing. So is it better or worse than the other version?

Let's talk bbq! Tom likes it well enough, but he's good with having it once a week or less. The kids and I however, could eat it multiple times a week, but it is expensive!

So I'm hoping you guys could help me out: Do you have any recipes that make eating bbq at home easier, or tips on eating out for less $$?

Friday, March 23, 2012


We're home!

Today was a total failure (our first!) in staying Primal. I hate Fridays anyway because they have to be meatless, but traveling and Fridays? Forget about it.

I hesitated to even post what we ate, because I know it will inspire many "you could have just..." comments, but then, I thought "surely there are other Primal people out there who totally fail every once in a while."  And I'm honest to a fault most of the time, so... I'll tell you, but don't yell at me. ;)

Breakfast was at the hotel. The eggs looked like ... that yellow insulation stuff they put in houses. So I passed. And I couldn't have the breakfast meats. So what was I left with?  An apple. I knew I needed some protein, and all I could find was... peanut butter. D'oh.  Hey, at least I didn't grab the prepacked cream cheese pastry (which I would have killed for).

Tom had (yes, dear, I'm telling on you, too) an English muffin and some fruit. I'm not sure what the kids had, since Tom is awesome and made up their breakfasts.

Then we headed out of the hotel, and went to say goodbye to my grandparents. It was all fun and games until the baby stood in an ant pile and had about 100 ants swarm her. Thankfully only her feet (mostly the left foot) were bitten. The left foot was pretty red and swollen. Poor thing.

Soon after we headed out. After driving about 40 minutes both Tom and I were fading fast. I knew I needed more protein, but we were stuck. There is very, very little between Oklahoma and Kansas, so finding foods that fit into our Primal diet is almost impossible. So we finally stopped for lunch when we saw a road sign for... wait for it... Dairy Queen. 

The kids had hamburgers (without the top bun) and water. Tom and I had... um... ice-cream. Calcium, some protein, and sugar. Yum. Really, though, I was completely jealous of Elizabeth's cheeseburger. I really would have much rather had meat. Plus, sugary stuff now has this annoying after-taste that just stays in your mouth. Blah. 

Anyway, the "lunch" helped to perk us up, but not for long. After another twenty minutes, I felt like I could sleep for days. I don't know if that had to do with sugar or just the general lack of protein (or both), but it was really not fun. I was going to switch with Tom and drive the second leg home, but I was just too lethargic. 

We finally arrive in Kansas, and dropped the kids with Grandma, and then headed to eat at Jason's Deli. We had a bowl of soup and the salad bar.  Waaaaaaaaaahhh!!  I want steak, darn it! 

Poor Tom has had stomach issues for the last four or five hours now. He is FINALLY (I'll have to mark the calendar) admitting, after years and years of me saying it, that he is, indeed, allergic/intolerant to milk (I know some people say you can still drink raw milk and not be bothered but he isn't interested). Kinda sad. :(

Now we're sitting on the couch. Talking about meat.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Still Traveling

I meant to check in last night, but I was just too tired, oops. 

Yesterday we started with a hotel breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and yogurt. Of course it wasn't the type of yogurt you really should be eating, but it was grain free, and it was fun for the kids. So there ya go. 

Then we headed to the zoo. Oklahoma has one of the coolest zoos ever (actually, it's ranked as Third in the Nation). I grew up here, and it was cool back then, but there is so many new things, it was like a whole new experience. If you're ever passing through Oklahoma, check it out!

Anyway... we walked around the zoo for five and a half hours! The kids really loved it. And I loved the fact that I was out moving despite missing my Wed appt at the gym. We even got a bit of sun, but nothing more than a light "kissing."  I guess it's true that you are less prone to sunburn when you eat healthier. I have to admit I was skeptical of this claim*, but I am a believer now! I have some very Irish skin and it has always burned within about 20-30 minutes of being outside (in the dead of Summer, I have been known to burn in 10 minutes flat!). And while it is barely Spring, I should still be much more burned than I am now after five hours of being in the sun. Works for me!

The problem of lunch time arose while we were at the zoo. And the kids were starving after walking so long (this was about midway through our walk), so we found the cafe and sat the kids down. So we had three choices: All Beef Hot Dog, Hamburger, Chicken Breast.  We went with the hot dogs (w/o buns) and a side of fresh fruit. It wasn't really enough for the kids to fill full, but it was too expensive to buy as much as they really wanted, so we settled for just what they needed. Tom and I skipped lunch at this point. 

Then Tom left for a radio gig, and I continued on with my girls and some other family members. After a few more hours the kids were about to drop from thirst, so I looked for water, but kept running into soda machines instead. At one point there was a Coke Machine (no water) and a Powerade machine... so I went with the Powerade since I remembered a commercial saying it was pretty good for you. Shoulda known. The SECOND ingredient is corn syrup! UGH  I would have been better off getting them a Sprite.  I told them to enjoy the heck out of it since this wouldn't be happening again. Interestingly, after they each had some of it, there was more of a "you finish it... no, you!" type instead of the usual "give it to me! No, I want it!"  So I suppose the one upside to this is that they are beginning to realize on their own that they don't like this junky stuff. 

So we left the zoo. And went to hang out with my grandparents:

This is Mana (Barbara) and Papaw (Jim) Richard. And they are pretty awesome. They have 3 children, but 23 grandchildren, and... uh... something like... 30 great-grandchildren. They know it all! 

By 5pm I was starving since I still hadn't eaten since breakfast. We packed up the kids, and met the grandparents, one aunt, a cousin, and another second cousin at the local Chinese Buffet restaurant. It is really high quality food and a huge selection. So we were able to stay Primal quiet easily. I had roasted chicken (no MSG), green beans, beef and broccoli. And some cheese cubes.  The kids had a lot of the same, but I did give them some rice since they had been so active during the day. I don't know what Tom had, but it was Primal.  Now in interest of full disclosure, we did allow the girls to pick one dessert from the dessert bar (they choose a brownie). Why?  Like I tell my kids "Because I'm the Mom, and I said."  

So we had a very full day, and still managed to be (mostly) Primal. So it can be done people. hehe

I wonder what food adventures we'll have today.....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Since my girls have Spring Break, we decided to drive to Oklahoma today so we could visit some family. It's about a four hour drive (with no stops), but we take an extra hour for the kids to eat and such. 

For breakfast we had eggs. Thanks to Tom for cooking!  

Then I packed a cooler with snacks. Well, at least, I wanted to pack a cooler with snacks. Given that I knew we'd be traveling, I skipped the grocery store this week, so we had very little on hand. 

So I ended up packing:

 2 cans of coconut milk (why? I don't know. It just seemed so... Primally.)
 1 bag of celery
 1 bag cheese cubes
 1 sm bag of dark chocolate chips
 1 lg bag of mixed nuts

Yeahhh... Next time I should go grocery shopping before taking a trip. Lesson learned. 

For lunch we stopped at Two Brother BBQ and had smoked turkey, pork, and brisket. We ordered the green beans (instead of fries or potato salad), but didn't eat many since they were obviously canned. Well, the meat was good!

For dinner we went out with my grandparents to a steak house of sorts. The kids had hamburgers in a lettuce wrap. Tom and I had steak (Tom a T-bone and I had a sirloin). 

But now we're hungry again, so Tom went to Walmart and bought some Organic milk for the baby. And a vegetable tray and a rotisserie chicken for us to munch on. 

So I'd like some cake... which always seems to happen when I travel. Maybe it's the stress of it?  Well, I guess I'll have to just be content with my water. Mmmm. 

Monday, March 19, 2012


I ran across a brownie recipe (I think maybe a FB posted it?), and I thought it looked interesting. 

As a baker I was decent, cupcakes were my expertise, but brownies, ugh! I loved brownies, but they hated me... I never could get them to bake up the right way. It was really annoying. 

So now I'm skeptical of brownie recipes, but given that we are desperate, and the recipe is ridiculously easy, I thought we'd try it. 

Brownie recipe:

1 cup Nut Butter  (I wanted to use cashew butter, but I didn't have enough, so I went with Sunbutter)
1/2 Cup Honey  (you could use less, I think)
1/4 Cup Coconut oil 
1 Egg

Mix all ingredients together.

Pour into an 8x8 dish. 

Bake* at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  

*I sprinkled a few dark chocolate chips on top before baking.

Mine burnt a bit, so I'm not posting a photo (next time!)

Anyway, they looked like brownies... even if they were a little flat, but hey, it was a brownie! And it was soooooo yummy. Nutty, yet sweet, and a hint of chocolate.

Most of us always have the ingredients around anyway, so it's a great pick-me-up if you need it. 

Try it! 

Happy St. Joseph's feast day too :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Primal at a Glance

Sometimes it gets tedious explaining what Eating Primal means to people, right? And usually the information blows their minds (which is kinda fun), so after about three minutes they turn off their minds and ears. 

I ran across this article, The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan, from Mark's Daily Apple (posted in July) which is a good, quick introduction to why Primal followers eat what they do.

Anyway, it's a good thing to have in your arsenal just as an FYI. 

So the girls are on Spring Break now. They asked if we could go to Oklahoma and visit their great-grandparents and other family members. I think we will head out Tuesday morning and come home on Friday. 

I think it will be interesting to see how we fare staying Primal while on this trip. I'm sure we can stay true to it, but I am curious to see if the emotional level will be lower this time or not. You can read about our first GP and being away from home HERE (well, it starts with this link, but you can read through the next few posts to get a real flavor of it.)

Not a fun time. But, hey, I did it with four kids in tow. You can too!

More Thoughts on Pesticides (from a reader)

 Thanks to Makovitza for this comment:

"I'm not sure about the situation in other parts of the world, but in Australia "certified organic" means a lot more than just "not sprayed with pesticides". For me the three main reasons I buy organic are health, animal welfare and the environment.

Health - as well as being pesticide-free, buying organic assures me that I am not ingesting GMO foods or any synthetic food additives (preservatives, colours, flavours etc). There have also been studies showing that organic foods can be higher in nurients and antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.

Animal welfare - certified organic animals are raised in humane conditions, with ample access to pasture, shade and shelter. Battery farming and cattle feed lots are prohibited. Organic animals are also free of antibiotics, hormones, growth promotants and preservatives (whether injected directly or given through feed).

The environment - certified organic farms must use sustainable farming methods. They do not disrupt ecosystems by using synthetic pesticides/herbicides/fertilisers or pollute local river systems with chemical run-off. The use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is prohibited, which massively reduces the carbon footprint of organic food. Because synthetic fertiliser is not allowed organic farms must use traditional methods to build healthy topsoil, which regenerates farmland rather than stripping it. A percentage of organic farmland must be set aside for natural vegetation, to protect biodiversity. Water usage must also be sustainable, which helps to reduce the issues of salinization and riverland distruction associated with agricultural irrigation.

As I say, I don't know the situation around the world. But in Australia there are so many more reasons to buy organic than just trying to avoid chemicals. I only discovered this recently. Before that I was ambivalent - I would try to buy organic for my baby, as I reasoned that his immature system would be less able to handle chemicals, but didn't worry too much for myself. Since I learned about the ethical and environmental impacts of conventional farming and agriculture, and the fact that the organic certification prohibits the worst of these, it has become a no-brainer."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why Fear Pesticides?

I had a commenter ask this:

"I've gone primal, but I still don't buy into the organic movement. Maybe it's its association with PC elitism, or its suspect health benefits, but I think tomatoes are tomatoes. Pesticides are good because they keep plants disease free. I understand the opposition to hormone treatments, but not the antipathy to pesticides. If science enables us to create more from less -- and we can always wash our fruit/veggies -- what's the big deal?"  Tom from NY

Excellent question, Tom!  So I've spent the last five days trying to research answers for you. Not that I don't know in my own mind the answers, but I tried to find real meaty answers (cause we're primal, and that's how we roll), but all I could find were the extremes. Either way too fluffy "so, like, yeah, stay away from pesticides!" or way too difficult and technical.

So I'm linking you to a blog: Why Organic? which has the best of both worlds, simple, yet serious. 

And also to a radio show--The Robert Scott Bell Show. He's so well informed about foods, medications, hormones.. everything! that it's always worth listening to his shows. Even if you don't agree with all he says, you will find something in every show.  The episode I link to is not an in-depth discussion, but it does some some good bits. You might--if you're interested--go through his website and see if you can find anything else of interest. 

Deciding about whether or not you're going to ingest pesticides is like, everything else in life, a personal decision, but should be a well-informed one. 

I personally believe they are the cause of a many metabolic issues. The fact that the bags the pesticides come in have huge warning labels saying to keep it away from kids, makes me worry, since they don't taste great, and kids wouldn't eat handfuls of it, I'm going to assume that even small amounts of it is harmful to children. Why would I feed my kids something that is harmful? 

Also, I would suggest you watch the movie Food, Inc. An eye-opening documentary on how food is handled, grown, manipulated here in America. I really couldn't believe how much I learned from this movie. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mush Bowls

So what did we eat on this Friday?

Eggs for breakfast. Before, I'd make scrambled eggs, and then put that into a mug so the kids could eat the eggs in the car on the way to school. Well... let me tell you, it is a *pain* to wash out egg mugs after they've been sitting in the van for eight hours. So I decided to switch to Styrofoam cups... Now we just eat and toss. Much easier.

Lunch was... well, I don't know. The kids packed their own lunches. No, I'm not a terrible mother who doesn't care about what her kids are doing. I just figure if all I have in the house is good, healthy food, then it will probably be okay to let them pack whatever they want. So far it's working. If they start abusing this policy, then I'll revise it. 

My lunch was umm... nothing. Tom had hard boiled eggs with his avocado mash.

Dinner was really interesting. I attempted to make salmon cakes. I followed the recipe, but substituted almond flour for the bread crumbs, and... yeah, that doesn't work. My patties fell completely apart, so I had to just mix it all together and act as if I wanted a big pile of mush in my pan. Totally scrumptious.

I served this over some basmati rice. I decided the kids need more carbs, and I'm told rice is the least offensive (when bought organic). So they were over-joyed to see rice in their bowls. (I did not have rice. Neither did Tom.)

So the salmon patties turned into "rice topped with mush" bowls. Regina and Veronica enjoyed it. Amy did not, but ate it anyway. And Elizabeth (who has been super clingy and whiny for the last two days) took one bite, and then spit it out at me.

Sometimes cooking is annoying.

Tom and I really did not want mush bowls, so he went to the grocery store and bought some needed ingredients for cauliflower pizza.  This was much better than the kids' dinner. Thankfully.

Now, I want some chocolate.

Pot Roast

Okay, I'm back. I think. Sometimes having four kids sucks out your brains and leaves you with either nothing to say or lacking in energy to say it.

Anyway... so how is everybody?  If you've Gone Primal, how are you feeling about it?

I love pot roast. My daughter Regina is obsessed with pot roast. The other kids like it as well. I've never been able to make a delicious pot roast, so I made it sporadically. But that all changed when a friend here in Kansas suggested I Google The Pioneer Woman

So I did.

This woman is like a kitchen super-hero. She knows so many amazing tricks, tips, and how-to's in the kitchen, it is ridiculous. She's not necessarily primal. But she's awesome anyway. And it just so happens she makes a killer pot roast.

Now, it's true, there are more steps to this pot roast than to other recipes I've seen, but the end result is so worth it, you won't mind.

I am going to post a link to her blog/recipe, but here's the gist of it:

Put some fat (your choice) into a dutch oven.
Melt it.
Add onions (halved) (two onions)
Let them brown a bit, then take them out and rest them on a plate.
Brown some carrots (I chop about eight), rest on the plate with the onions.
Take your beef, and sear it on all sides.
De-glaze your pot with wine or broth.
Add the meat and vegetables back into the pot.
Add two-three cups of beef broth.
Sprinkle with Rosemary
And stick in the oven at 275 degrees for 3-4 hours (I used between a 3-4 lb cut of meat).

It is so delicious!  I miss not having mashed potatoes with pot roast, but I suppose you could serve sweet potatoes or the fauxtatoes (mashed cauliflower) if you'd like.

So go to this link: Pot roast is yummy!  The Pioneer Woman goes into more detail and has photos for each step involved, which is really helpful. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weight Check-In/Be Back Soon

Thanks to everyone who has commented lately. And welcome to the new-comers!

I will respond to your questions as soon as possible, but I'm behind on things this week due to sick kids and school projects. But I'll be back soon!

In the meantime: Since my last weigh-in on March 5th, I have lost another 3.4 lbs, which make it either 18 or 19 lbs lost!  I went to the gym today and while I loathe working out (really. I hate it.) it's a lot of fun to see the results. 

So tonight I was able to officially buy a smaller sized shirt. That was fun! 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Organic Produce

Not all of us can afford to buy all of our groceries from the organic section. So this got me wondering if I could only buy a few things organically, which items (more specifically from the produce section) should I focus on?

In my opinion Organic (I'm still not brave enough for raw) milk is a must

As is grassfed butter. (the article gets interesting about half way down) It is so amazingly delicious, you can eat it straight. And it has amazing, amazing benefits. Definitely splurge on the butter people.

I think meat also tops the list, but it is not readily available to me at this time. However, I am looking into the various links on online ordering, and hopefully we can get that going soon. 

I found at list of important organic foods at (<--- click the link!) You might be surprised at what ranks highest with pesticides, and which fruits/vegetables are among the lowest. Anyway, it really helped me decide where to spend the extra money. And which produce to just plain avoid until the Farmer's Market opens up again.

The EWG website even has a printable card (and an app for your mobile device) which you can take for easy reference. If you are anything like me, you will not remember in five minutes if the apples are a "must buy organic" or... was it the asparagus?  

So take a look. And if you can only do one item at a time, well, that's better than nothing, and it's a good place to start!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Egg in a Mug, help!

Okay, so early on in the GP journey somebody left me a recipe for making eggs in a coffee mug. I finally bought the mugs last week (we're not coffee drinkers) and then I forgot the recipe! And I can't remember under which post it would be.

So if you know who you are (Polly, maybe?) and you know which recipe I'm talking about, (eggs and flax, I think?) please comment below!  

Thank you :)

Friday, Friday... Can't Stand That Day

Well it's another Lenten Friday. I dread it. I get all wobbly and tired and headachey. Blah. But my soul is being sanctified. I hope. 

So today was a whirlwind!  The girls had the day off school, which was awesome (more sleep!) until last night when I remembered I had an appt at the gym, so we'd have to get up and dressed anyway. Booo. 

Things took a while to get going this morning so I had no time to make breakfast. ACK! I had to grab the secret stash of Larabars, and pass those out (except for Veronica who is allergic to almond, so she had to have... uhm... pork rinds.

 Hey, don't judge! Four kids with no husband (he's on a trip) and a routine thrown off by kids not being in school... it was the best I could do. And it had protein. So there!

I had a bottle of water for breakfast. I do not recommend having only water to "eat" before working out. Instead of focusing on breathing, you will focus on "if I do 50 reps, can I eat a cheeseburger?" And your muscles don't like it. 

So anyway, we dropped Elizabeth with a sitter, and the three older girls and I headed to the gym. That took a little while.

Then we headed to a thrift store to buy some school supplies for class on Monday. 

By this point, I was about to drop dead, and the kids were hungry, too.  So I'm trying to think of what we can eat that is permissible on Friday, doesn't cost a lot, and isn't too far away.  The only thing I could come up with was Long John Silver's. BLECH  Well, it was our only option at this time. I don't even remember the last time I ate there, or if I've ever taken my kids... maybe?  

We ordered the fish. I thought the kids would be thrilled they had fried food, but instead, they picked all the batter off, and ate the insides. I had to do the same. Pretty awesome. 

Then we ran out the door to go to a political rally nearby. The kids were really excited about it... Amy (5) says "I can't wait to hear my first speech!"  The rally took a little over an hour. And by the time we got out we were all hungry again. Ugh. 

We rushed home and they had some apples with cashew butter. I had a spoonful of cashew butter (and I may or may not have sneaked a slice of apple), which really took away the edge of hunger. 

Right as I was headed out the door to pick up Elizabeth, the AT&T guy shows up to install some kind of line in Tom's office. Well, he had to wait out in his van since I had to leave. So we rushed to get E, rushed back home, and waited another 1.5 hrs for him to finish, and in the meantime, we're still hungry!

AT&T guy finally left, so we headed to grandma's (since the three girls are staying the weekend). The girls were very happy to see dinner already waiting (shrimp, vegetables, and maybe one other thing). So Grandma saved them from starvation. Whew. 

The baby and I were still hungry though. And I was not about to go home and spend an hour making dinner for an empty house. So E and I went to the local Mexican food place, and I tried a new entree. Chile Rellenos: a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, and fried in corn masa flour.  When the dish came out, I scrapped away all the fried parts (which was easy because the breaded did not stick to the pepper) and ate what amounted to a steamed pepper with semi-melted cheese.  

EWW. Did not like it. At All. It was really watery, flavorless, and just not appetizing. I don't know if this is because this particular restaurant did not know how to make it properly, or if this is how chile rellanos are meant to taste, but no, thanks.  

So I'm STILL hungry. 

Anyway, my point in this post is someday things are just going to be crazy and hectic, and while you may not be able to be completely Primal (all organic items and such), you can still find some options that are maybe the least-worst of the worst.  

I think the important thing here (especially if you have children) is to accept that there will be days you won't be as good of a Primal Eater as you want to be , but that life will go on, and it won't do any good to beat yourself up over it. 

Yes, it is a good idea to have stashes of Primal-approved snacks, ready to go, in the fridge/pantry, but sometimes even that will fail. For us it was because I didn't cook as much this week since I knew Tom would be away most of the week. And also because today is Friday, which usually means we're down to the last few items before restocking on Sunday. 

Just one of those days.  Now I'm going to Google some snacks that will keep for longer than a week, and be better prepared next time. Hopefully.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Won't somebody think of the children?!"

I've never been on for fad diets. I hate gimmicky things. I cannot understand why people spend thousands of dollars on diet pills, foods, and equipment they know they'll never use. But when Tom came to me with this idea of Going Primal. It just felt right. So we ordered the book 21 Day Total Body Transormation, and after Tom read it, I read it in one day.

 I've read about and studied food ever since I became pregnant with my first daughter (who is now 8). (My theory was/is if people know more about what's in the things they eat, they would probably make better choices.) And most fad diets just didn't make sense to the things I already knew about food and how it *should* work. Now, I'm not claiming I know a whole heck of a lot. I probably know more than the average American, but probably not much beyond that. I've always trusted my gut though, and when I finished reading Sisson's book, my gut said "Yep. This is the real deal. And it's something we should be doing." 

So we decided to take three months, really read more about it, really take our time in understanding what's involved, and developing a plan. 

There were several reasons for this: a) I'm a planner. I love to make lists. I love to check off my lists. And I *have* to know what my next step is. That's just how I am. b) It was/is a major change. And we felt we needed to be realistic about our transition. And finally c) I knew, just knew, we'd get the "are you guys for real?" question. 

We had to know our stuff, so we could combat the "I think you're crazy" line.  And boy did we get that line. A lot. 

My Dad was concerned about his grandchildren. "What is [Heather] going to feed the kids?! I just don't see how this could possibly work."  

My grandparents thoughts were that it is unsustainable, a lot like Atkins, and really not a good or fun way to live.

My sister asked "well, you're not going to get all weird, are you?" Too late. Already am.  

We had friends say "Yeah, well, it's not realistic to never eat grains."

 And we had other friends say "Sounds interesting, but I don't think it's something you could stick with for very long." 

 We got the "Won't you think of the children?!" line. And the "You're taking away the simple joys of their childhood." And most people thought the kids would lose weight, and they needed the grains in order to keep properly hydrated.

Then we had some (not all--some were very kind) vegetarians tell us how unethical we are, and how we'll die from protein overload, and how we should raise the kids differently. 

 Just to be clear, I am not making fun of anybody's concerns. Some of them are quite legitimate, some made me laugh, and some of them irked me, but criticisms are good since it make you really have to know your stuff. And it helps you think of things you may not have thought of before. 

I did the best I could to assure people we weren't going insane, we are just on a quest to be healthy. I do have to say that the most eye-opening experience of GP is how people (including myself) are so emotionally tied to food. When we would tell people about GP we were either met with surprise or ... anger. Anger surprised me. In fact, it surprised me so much, I didn't really know how to respond to it. 

Often we would get a sarcastic "Oh really, you're going to do that?" And then with a shake of the head a "well, I hope you do well, but I just would never do that."  Yeah, I know it sounds radical, but I found it puzzling people were so quick to dismiss GP without even taking five minutes to understand what it is. Without reading about it. Or without asking questions. Then I realized, people don't want to know about it. I suppose because it's a big change and most people don't enjoy change. But also, I think many people know they need to change something, but they can't allow themselves (for various reasons) to even think about it. So it stands to reason one would react with anger if they are faced with something as aggressive as GP. 

One of the first questions we would get was "Well, how are you going to eat sandwiches?"  This cracked me up. Why was that the first thing that came to mind for so many people? I suppose we are a society of sandwich eaters. A close second was "how are you going to do this with your kids?"

I knew I couldn't change the minds of those who weren't ready to hear it. So I didn't even try. And I suggest you don't waste your time on this either. I think a much better approach is for you to just start. Do your thing. And after a a few weeks or months, those who are ready to understand what you're doing will naturally begin to ask you about it. At that point, share some info, but don't ever shove it in their faces. It will backfire. 

So if you're about to GP, definitely take some time to understand the reasons behind GP and have some answers ready to some of these common questions/judgements you will get.

1) How will you eat sandwiches?  a: We won't. We'll eat steak! (somehow eating steak sounds a lot better than "well, we'll always have lettuce wraps!")

2) How will your kids react to this?  
 a: They won't enjoy it at first, and they'll miss some foods. But I'm responsible for their well being until they are old enough to make their own choices. And I am confident this is something that will benefit them for years to come. 

3) You're not going to go all weird, are you? 
 a: well, yes, I am, but I am sure that going a little outside of the box will mean a longer and healthier life. . . but, don't worry! I am still going to have birthday cake. (Red velvet cheesecake to be exact.)

4) It's not realistic to give up grains.  
a: It's will definitely be a challenge in the beginning, but your body and your taste buds will adjust and get to the point where grain is not the first thing you will reach for. Also, how realistic is it to be overweight, tired, and take a whole list of medications just to be able to get going in the morning? That's what is waiting for almost all of us by the time we reach middle age.  

5) So, you're basically doing Atkins. It's another fad.  
 a: It's not Atkins. I don't do any carb counting. I don't cut out vegetables (except for maybe corn and peas). I make a concerted effort to eat clean food; no antibiotic treatments, no mass amounts of hormones, no crowded living conditions, etc. We want to focus on foods locally grown. And with Atkins there is a whole aisle at the grocery store filled with candies, chocolates, and the other processed foods which are filled with things your body doesn't know what to do with. 

6) Well, I could never do it. 
a: I thought the same, but then I realized I can no longer be tired, sick, and overall unhealthy. Let me know if you're ever interested, I can give you some reading material. 

well, that's all for now, because I'm pretty tired and I have to go to the gym in the morning. Blah.  

Do you have question/comments I should add to the list?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Tom has really missed pizza. The kids have missed pizza. I haven't really missed it that much. (I'm a I'll- have-pizza-once-a-month and be fine type of person.) So I tried making a pizza crust with almond flour, and then with coconut flour... none of us cared for either one of those. Blah. 

A Facebook friend suggested I use cauliflower crust. At first I thought "Um. Ew." --I've never liked cauliflower--but then I realized I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge, and it really needed to be used. So I Googled a recipe. I found THIS. 

Soooo, I made the crust. It came out looking like this:

Not too shabby looking, I thought. The crust is much thinner than the almond/coconut flour, which is promising. 

I realized I didn't have the ingredients to make a sauce, so I had to use an organic pasta sauce I bought (for spaghetti squash). It smelled awesome. The problem was the sauce was too thin/watery. You definitely want to use a tomato paste based sauce. 

I topped the pizza with sliced bell peppers (yellow and orange), mozzarella cheese (although, I didn't have quite enough) and a good shaking of basil and oregano.

Then I baked it for another five minutes or so. I have no expectations at this point. I let it sit for about three minutes before I cut it. 

The crust was crispy on the edges, but the rest of it, though cooked, is not crispy, just FYI. I was able to cut the pizza into slices and eat it with my hands. I didn't need a fork like the recipe says you might. 

This crust/pizza was SO. DELICIOUS. I ate nearly the whole pizza all by myself. I didn't really mean to. It just happened.  Also, I hadn't eaten all day, so that may have had something to do with it. 

The crust does not taste of cauliflower. It did taste like a pizza crust (though it does not taste like a regular flour crust), and it's probably the closest thing to "normal" bread/grains I've had since going Primal. 

I didn't get to test it out on Tom or the kids yet. I'm doing that this weekend, I hope. 

But I think it would have made the early weeks of GP much easier if we had had this recipe. 

So try it!  Let me know how you like it. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Happens If You Eat Grains

(don't yell at me, she didn't really have grains. This is just Elizabeth in the morning before her breakfast. Which does not include grains)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fried Chicken!

Today I made eggs and bacon for breakfast.  Tom is not always so big on eggs, so I made him a coconut-strawberry smoothie. 

(you know, one of these days I'll take photos of all the food we eat, just for the heck of it)

Amy stayed home from school since she was running a 106.0 fever yesterday. She is my one child who spikes really high fevers. Thankfully, we got it down quickly, had the dr check her out, and found out it's just a virus. As usual. Anyway... she stayed home with me today, so we tried to make mayonnaise for the third time. 

Someone (or maybe a few people) suggested making mayo in a jar.  Here's the method we tried.  We tried this method since it sounded fast and easy. I used Extra Virgin Olive Oil for the first batch, and it was awful. Did not emulsify or taste good. At all. So I went to Google and the consensus seems to be that EVOO is not a great oil to use. Darn. I'm out of avocado oil, and I don't have any other oils (other than coconut which is too solid).  Many people suggested using Light Olive Oil.  Now, for some reason I thought Light Olive Oil is bad for you and you shouldn't use it-- (Though, I happen to have a bottle of it since I bought it six months ago without realizing it's [possibly] bad for you)--I looked on MDA boards and it seemed to be mixed reviews, so I decided just to try it. 

The mayo worked immediately and tasted really good. I was really exited it worked, but there was a slight cloud since I wasn't sure if I was killing myself by eating the Light OO. Anybody know the deal with the light oil?

 So after making the mayonnaise, we made ham and lettuce wraps. It was pretty awesome. 

So for dinner we had fried chicken.  Last night I put drumsticks into a Ziplock bag, and covered the chicken in a pint of buttermilk. I don't know why. That's just what the recipe said to do, so I did it. About 40 minutes before I wanted to cook it, I took it out of the fridge and let it come closer to room temperature before cooking (to help it warm up enough to cook evenly.)   Then I coated the chicken in coconut flour, salt and pepper--knocked off the excess flour, and placed the drumstick in a skillet of hot coconut oil.  Cook for about four minutes per side, then place in a pyrex dish, and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. 

So the coconut flour gives it a very light hint of sweetness. The color browned up nicely. The skin was not crispy like I thought it would be, so that was a bummer. The inside was fairly juicy though. A little bland, but I think that can be fixed if we just play around with the spices a few times. 

Tom and the kids (except Amy) loved the chicken, which was surprising because Tom does not generally care for dark meat, and I didn't particularly like this batch, so I didn't expect everyone to enjoy it so much. Tom says to put it in the "Family cookbook" which means I can safely make this once a week and everyone would be happy.  

I sauteed the asparagus in a little olive oil and added some salt. Butter is better to use for this, but I was lazy and didn't use butter this time. Cook for about 3-5 minutes (do not cook it to death, people!) and serve almost immediately. It tends to get cold quickly. 

Then I made a hollandaise sauce.  Add three egg yolks, 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and a dash of Tabasco to a blender, blend on high until you see it all incorporate. Melt one stick of butter and then add to the (running) blender. It should emulsify immediately.  Poor into a dish and serve warm. This goes extremely well with green vegetables. The kids loooove it. All good fats too!

Veronica thought the dinner deserved a "terrific" sticker.

Before/During Photos!

So in the spirit of Lent (practicing mortifications) I've decided to mortify myself and post the Before and During photos of me. The "After" photos are a long ways off, I'm afraid.

My camera is pretty much annoying, so the photos are either crooked or too bright, or cut my head off, but it still gives people an idea of what progress (if any) is being made.

Please, don't help my humility too much! ;)

Four Days Into GP:

30 days into GP:

Today (beginning of the eighth week):

 About 15 lbs down

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kids Going Primal?

I have been asked by several people if I think Going Primal is okay for kids. The short answer is: yes. Feed your kids real food, people! It's more than worth it. Do your best to give them grassfed butter, organic meat (if possible), and a lot of fresh vegetables, some fruit and nuts, and a little honey every once in a while. 

The question is: Do kids need more grains than adults? I couldn't figure this out. Three out of four of my kids have really done well with being Primal and on minimal grains (usually sweet potatoes and squash soup), but my one carbaholic child has been in a slump for weeks. One problem could be that she just misses carbs. Another reason could be she wants to feel like she fits in with her friends. And another reason could be, maybe, that she actually needs some more grains than she is currently eating. 

So what is one to do?  I am thinking kids burn starches so fast that it might be a bad idea to cut them out of a child's diet.  I should note that my kids are not overweight, they run around and play a lot, and they don't sit down and eat in front of TV. If your kids do this (not a judgement) then they really won't burn those extra grains so easily, so maybe pull back on what and how much they are eating. 

Anyway, Tom and I happen to know this awesome lady named Karen DeCoster. She is pretty awesome with things like guns, personal liberty, fitness, and then I find out she's also Primal!, so I wrote to her to ask her about kids and Going Primal. 

She very, very kindly responded to my email, and she gave me a ton of great info. I asked for permission to share with all of you, so if you have kids, you might feel a bit better about what to feed them when GP.   See her email below. And be sure to check out her website 

So I wrote to ask about kids and carb-flu, and dehydration due to lacking in grains, she wrote back with:

"There is absolutely nothing to this. Folks tend to take stuff off the web and the stories grow bigger - and the facts get more distorted - each time a tale is told. This kind of thing will often be mentioned where conventional wisdom is spewed about ketogenic diets, but your kids are not on a ketogenic diet. But carbs are carbs, and water is hydration. Almost no one keeps properly hydrated because water is usually replaced with sweetened beverages (just look at that aisle in any grocery store). Eliminating sweetened beverages and replacing those with water will not allow for any hydration problems.

Here are some quick thoughts on things.

I would be concerned if your kids really are having any "carb flu" symptoms. Remember that you and Tom, as adults, have had plenty of time to wreak metabolic havoc upon yourselves by eating a diet rich in carbs. For the kids, that will not be true. They, I suspect, are likely addicted to carbs - with all the juice, bread, desserts, baked goods, pastas, etc. in the home over the years. You and Tom are also addicted to carbs. The kids will want and demand sugar (carbs), like an alcoholic will desire a drink. Make no mistake - most Americans are addicted to carbs. Like heroin or tobacco, carbs are tough to give up without uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Most people I know - the workplace is a great working laboratory - are enslaved to carbs.

But those kids have not had the time to become insulin resistant or leptin resistant, like an adult. They have not destroyed their pancreas, other organs, etc. So remember that the formula for long-term quality of life/health for those kids is not low-carb so much as it is _real food_ (which is paleolithic foods by definition). You and Tom necessarily need to absolutely restrict your sugar/carbs for a period of time because you are both addicted to carbs, and you have both caused metabolic damage, and you need to clean things up. Weight is the visible effect; extensive blood panels and wellness exams reveal the more serious effects. Now the kids don't need carb restriction as much as they need to learn that bread and grains (and all simple sugars, processed foods, industrial oils, sweets, etc,) need not be in the diet. 

For the kids, give them lots of fruits. Put heavy whipping cream on top. Make homemade cranberry sauce from a bag of fresh cranberries and put that on their meats, etc. (something like this, only I use pure maple syrup in place of the stevia Give them dried fruits. Use honey and real (pure) maple syrup to occasionally sweeten certain foods for them. Or even some organic brown sugar. These are all better alternatives to the constant simple sugars and gluten-loaded foods that they were accustomed to having every day. Plus, they can get carbs from many vegetables, as well. They should only be restricted to eating real foods, without getting too caught up in the macronutrient balance. As you and Tom restrict, heal up, and then modify your food life, those kids will be accustomed to real foods and they will eventually reject the junk stuff.

I've been there, done that -- I was a weekend endurance athlete, and I carb-loaded for years. I can't even look at that kind of food now. You'll all get there (the human body is so resilient and self-healing), but you have to peel away from all of those bad habits and smash them.

Hope that helps.
Karen DeCoster"

So given this info--and I completely trust her judgement--I think I will add some organic basmati rice back into the kids' diet. I have never liked rice and since I have weight to lose so I won't be eating it. Tom is at his ideal weight now, and the kids would be ecstatic, so I think it will be fine. However, I will really watch them and see how they react to it. I'm hoping it really helps Veronica to perk up. 

I'm sure I will take some flak for this. As much as I want to have everyone's approval, I still have to do what is best for my kids. If nothing else, I have to say that I did what I thought was/is best for my kids.

Last night... I Ate a Cheeseburger.

 So shoot me. 

Here's how it went down:  Yesterday was one of those days where the only thing that would make it better is if you had a big pile of grease to chow down on.  Yes, I know, emotional eating is a bad idea, but once in almost eight weeks, I think it will be okay. 

I've also had a few people say it's better for your metabolism to have a cheat-meal once a week or so. I'm a little skeptical of this, but I thought I might try it out since I already wanted a pile of grease. 

I went to Cheeburger Cheeburger since I've dealt with them before and I know they use fresh ingredients, and they don't add anything (like stabilizers and the like) to their beef.  I ordered the ten ounce burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and two fried onion rings.  I also asked for a small order of fries. Hey, I figured if I was going to cheat, I was going to cheat in style!

The fries came out a little undercooked. Normally I would just deal with it (having worked in a restaurant, I cannot stand picky food people), but I thought "this is my first french fry in... how long?! I am not going to pay five bucks for fries that aren't great." So I sent them back. They were obviously annoyed, but I wanted yummy, delicious fries, darn it! 

Anyway... it was all extremely delicious. I didn't eat the whole (small) order of fries, but I really enjoyed the ones I ate! And the bun was awesome. I really thought by this point (almost eight weeks into GP) I would have lost my taste for bread, but this bun was really awesome. 

So here's what happened about an half hour after I finished eating: I had a headache (just annoying, not terrible), my back pain flared up, and my stomach was obviously bloated. D'oh. This lasted until this morning. The rest of today (and it still hasn't gone away) I've craved sugar. Any kind of sugar. Fruit juice, cupcakes, chocolate, chocolate milk, candy... anything! I did have some dark chocolate, but I managed to steer away from anything else too terrible. 

So, really... is it worth cheating?  Maybe. I suppose it depends on your reasons and how often you do it.  I don't want to be one of "those" people who freak out at other people for deviating. I don't think you're not truly primal if you cheat, and I think it's probably more than okay to cheat every once in a while. For some people this means cheating once a week. For others it could mean cheating once a month or so. 

I guess I would say if you have a lot of weight to lose, you can't really afford to cheat often (unless my friends are right and cheating once or twice a week helps your metabolism--if this is true, can anyone find me some info on it?). 

I really hope the sugar cravings go away tomorrow.  Anyhow, I have to workout with the trainer, so I'll at least have to focus on something other than food for a while. Ha!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Some Guy With a Following Made a Video

I'm In! Now What?!

[Just a side note here: when I talk about fruit, honey, and other more "cheat-like" foods, it means my kids (and maybe Tom) eat it. I rarely eat fruit (I'm more of a vegetable person, and I hate berries), and since I am the only person in the family who needs to lose weight, I am very aware of what I eat and in what amounts.  Now it's true I've had some fruit (maybe two apples and a banana or two ) but not much considering we've been Primal for seven weeks now. So while Tom and the kids may have full servings of cheat-foods, I typically have 1/4 (or less) of what they have. And of course, when starting a new way of eating it is difficult to gauge if you're eating too much, or not enough of something, so I may have definitely adjusted my levels over the last few weeks. SO if you are really looking to lose weight with GP, and not just because it's a healthier way to live, then adjust your intake of fruits, honeys, syrup, etc., accordingly.]


So you've read about the Primal Blueprint, you've talked to friends, and you've researched the internet, and you have decided that you want to try the Three Week Challenge! where you Go Primal (GP) for 21 days, see how you feel, then you decide whether or not you'll continue.

If you were like I was, you are excited to try it, but still unsure of where or how to start. Not that I'm an expert by any means, but I think I can give you some "real life" points that might help your transition from your current diet to GP.

1) Just do it!  You will come up with 100 reasons not to start GP. Most of them will seem valid, and you just can't work your head around how it will work. You have budget issues. You have time concerns. You're just so busy in life you can't imagine making this drastic of a change.

I hear ya. I myself hate big changes. And I like to always be fully prepared. The fact that I didn't know what to expect, or how any of us would respond (mentally and physically) was really scary to me. We spent THREE MONTHS researching, planning, thinking about GP. In hindsight, it just made it worse since the anticipation grew, and really, you don't get any answers. I mean, we were able to defend our choice more readily because we knew so much about it, but it did not help with the process otherwise. So I decided to forget trying to be prepared and to Just Do It!

2) Don't Freak Out. A) Once you decide you want to GP, pick a date (not too far in the future), and make a general list of things you'll need. Once you realize how much stuff you will be tossing out of your fridge and pantry, you will start to get sweaty palms and want to freak out a little. I mean, we paid good money for these things we're about to dump, right?! (I still have some white flour, sugar and brown sugar in my pantry. Mainly because I sometimes cook for the sick or new moms, and I don't want to subject them to my diet.) but I dumped a looooot of food (and I thought I was pretty healthy before). Yikes. Either dump it, or use it up and eat/give it away before your start date. You might look into giving it to a food pantry, but sometimes they're fairly strict on what they will take.

B) Many of us are not able to find, or afford, all organic items. It's okay. Don't freak out. Let's say you buy four different meats, a variety of fruits, and an array of vegetables. Pick one meat, one vegetable, and one fruit to buy organically. Add on to this list once funds become available and/ or once you feel you've got your feet firmly planted in GP and know what to expect. Sometimes just the prospect of changes things, having to figure out where the organic section even is, and wondering how to tell if the things are ripe or not, is enough to have you run screaming from the supermarket. So if money is not an issue, yet the sense that it's all to overwhelming is holding you back. Just start small and build up. It will be okay.

3) If You Do Nothing Else: Eliminate Grains. If you are one of those people who likes to take baby steps and work up, then start by taking out grains. No more Triscuits, Bisquick, or Oreos. You are going to be shocked at how many items contain grains. You do not want products with rice, corn, potatoes*, wheat, and the like. If you've read Mark Sisson's book (linked to in the 21 day challenge) then you will have a good handle on why you need to eliminate grains. Your body cannot effectively process today's grains (which look, taste, and gentically have nothing to do with the grains of our ancestors), and therefore leads to inflammation and a whole host of medical issues. Even just eliminating the grains alone, you will see a major difference!

4) Read Labels! I would say most of the time if the product has a ingredients label, you shouldn't buy it. You want a lot of fresh (organic and local, if you can do it) produce. No labels on that. A lot of meat, nuts, butter, and oils. Again, really no labels. But every once in a while you will come across things you want to buy in a bottle or a package.  You NEVER want anything that has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. Never, Ever. And despite the corn commercial; Sugar is not "just sugar" and your body CAN tell the difference between corn syrup and cane sugar. Yes, your body can, and you never want to eat another drop of HFCS. Just eliminate it for a week and you'll see why.... especially if you have kids. It's amazing the difference you see in children when you eliminate this stuff.

Back to labels.. My general rule is: if it has more than five ingredients, I can't pronounce the ingredients, and it's not foods (as opposed to nitrates and stabilizers), then I don't buy it. This means I can't buy most condiments because they are filled with weirdness. Boar's Head deli style mustard is pretty sound though, and it's amazing.  Ketchup, shrimp sauce, salad dressings, etc., are usually on the no-buy list, because they all contain things you don't want to eat.  Even if there are only five ingredients, but one of them is sugar, don't buy it.  You really want to eliminate unnecessary sugar.

5) Know Your Oils: Not all oils are the same. Stay far away from the vegetable oils; here's why. I'm sure there is a shorter, better explanation, but that's what you're stuck with. At least here on this blog. You can also use beef tallow, bacon grease (I save mine in a glass Pyrex bowl with a lid), and ghee. I tend to use bacon grease the most often (followed by coconut oil, and then butter), since it's easily available. I just save the grease I have after baking our bacon for the week. It's great for eggs and beef.

6) Don't Get Preachy: It's totally awesome that you've decided to GP, and you will find a natural enthusiasm comes with this, but try to reign it in. Many people find food to be a very personal and emotional issue. Having others, as well-meaning as they might be, come up to them and say "hey, don't eat that! It will make you feel tired! Eat just the insides of it. Really! I'm telling you!" Then you proceed to stare at them until they drop the bread in an uncomfortable manner, while they quickly plan an exit strategy. 
You haven't really succeeded in convincing them of anything (other than you are obnoxious) except to reject any more party invitations from you. Take it slow. You just do what you need to do, and eventually people will ask you about it. At that point, give general information, and if they press harder, then answer in greater detail. The point is to get you to Go Primal, not become a healthy hermit. 

7) Tell People It's Okay: When we first went Primal, we had quite a few people feel very uncomfortable eating around us. "Well, if you can't have this, I don't want to eat it in front of you."  I'm sure some of that was "Please don't judge me for how much processed food I'm about to eat."  I had to be sure to tell our friends and family that we don't care about what they eat.  They don't have to hide it around us either. I want my kids to learn that all sorts of foods exist and it's up to them to decide what/where/and when they will eat--make good choices, I hope. So don't get all self-righteous about Going Primal; 1) it's not an attractive quality, and 2) you will be friend-less. DO tell your friends and family ahead of time of your planned food changes (in a non-obnoxious way, of course) and that you do not expect them to cater to you.

8) Just Sayin':  When I started researching GP, I wanted REAL people's opinions on how difficult/easy it would be. What should I really expect to experience.... I didn't want the reviews from vegetarians, or the ones from those who desperately needed it to work. I just wanted a normal person to tell me what too look out for, so here ya go:

a) it's not easy in the beginning. 
b) you will miss your processed food (at first)
c) you will feel like you have the flu (but not for long)
d) people will not understand your choice to switch to GP
e) SLEEP! Make sure you get enough of it.
f) if you have kids, you will get complaints daily, for weeks. (then they'll stop)
g) Your house will not look perfect during this transition phase. Groceries and dishes will be everywhere.
h) you will question your decision several times over the next three weeks. (Stick with it!)
i) you will feel amazing even 3-5 days into the "diet". Sleep, mood, energy will be improved.
j) you will be eternally grateful that Mark Sisson came into your life.
k) you will continually be amazed at how many benefits (some expected and some unexpected) come from eating Primally. 
l) it is more than worth all the aggravation in the beginning. 
m) your grocery bill will be a bit higher in the beginning because you will have to buy a lot of new items (like new spices, salts, oils, etc.) to stock up on in the beginning. Don't despair, once you know what things you need and in what quantity, your bill should come down.

9) Be Open: to new foods, spices, and combinations of foods you would otherwise never touch. As a kid I hated vegetables, I hated coconut, and and I hated spices, so as I grew into an adult, I just stayed away from those things since I knew I hated them. Well, turns out I hate canned vegetables, I hate fake coconut, and I hate spices because... actually, not sure, but maybe because my palate was so used to canned and processed foods (which is usually the stuff you have to eat when your poor--this is not a reflection on my parents) that I could not tolerate the strong flavors. Anyway, I've found that organic vegetables taste infinitely better than the "hydroponically grown" type. The smells, taste, and textures are completely different. The real coconut is so mild, I could barely believe it was coconut. So much better!  We were in a rut of the same vegetables every week and always eaten in the same manner. Now we have one vegetable six different ways. The kids are not afraid to try new things (although, they've always been good about that), but I'm much more open to it myself. 

I try to pick a new vegetable I've never had, don't care for, or wouldn't know how to prepare every couple of weeks... just buy one and see how it goes. Of course, you don't have to do this during your initial three weeks. 

10) Don't Make it Difficult: For the first three weeks of GP I strongly recommend (as in, you-are-insane-if-you-don't) keeping your meals simple. Don't immediately go for the coconut flour waffles. You really want to get a handle on how radically your diet just changed. Don't even think about baking until you get the proper amount of vegetables, oils, meats, eggs, nuts, etc., into your diet. After you feel comfortable with GP, and you begin to get bored with your regular menu, then start looking into new recipes/baking. Don't feel like you have to go all out crazy. You'll be eating this way for the rest of your life (most likely) so take your time. Seriously. 

11) Find a Buddy: Whether this means you have another family GP with you, you find an email buddy, or you have blog/newsletter/what have you, it's a good idea to have some backup on your new journey. We had a family who began GP about ten days before we did, and it was immensely helpful to have her reactions/thoughts/and tips about how she and her kids were reacting to it. "How do you handle this? What about that? Ack, I have ten minutes, what do I make?!"  Yeah, you'll have those moments. Stick with it. In a matter of weeks, you will be the one people are coming to for advice. 

So: Just do it. Make a list. Go shopping. Start cooking. Eat. Clean. Repeat. 

Is there anything else holding you back? If so, let me know, and I'll help you out if I can :)