Monday, April 30, 2012

D'oh!

I had something come up suddenly (more on that in a few days) today so while I was able to go grocery shopping, I was not able to do my cooking and prepping, which stinks because it will mean I'll be behind all week. Grr.

Also, grrrr, is the fact that in my rush to put all the perishables away, I forgot the bag of chicken and left it out all day and most of the evening. I don't like to take chances with meat, and since it was hot(ish) today, I threw it out. Really did not make me happy.

Oh well. At least the carne asada meat is safely stored in the fridge and ready to be marinated!

I was also hoping to do a little bit of baking today. I wanted to have something for tomorrow morning that would be a good grab-n-go breakfast, rather than taking 15 minutes to make eggs that the kids may or may not eat (because they're tired of them).  We tried the microwaved eggs, but none of us really care for the taste or texture of it, unfortunately.

Amy had her class birthday party at Chuck E Cheese tonight. That's a whole lotta noise, lights, and kids, people.

So back to blogging tomorrow!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Amy Rose turned six years old today! (Her health story coming soon.)  She is extremely smart, capable, strong willed, particular and fun to be around. She will be a CEO someday, I'm sure.


A few days ago she asked for a vanilla cake, with white icing, sprinkles, and a bright pink strip on the side of the cake. And she wanted the icing to be made with strawberries and apples.


My first thought: Eww!


My second thought: How in the world do I create this cake for her?!

Thankfully by today she had forgotten about that request and instead wanted Cinnamon cake. Muuuuch easier. Whew! (recipe below) 

Amy helped to make the cake
 
Licked the bowl



We cooled the cake



And sang happy birthday



And, most importantly, we ate the cake!



It is definitely the best grain-free cake we've made so far. I found this recipe at Pretty in Primal.


Cinnamon Cake:

  Preheat oven to 350ยบ
4 eggs
3/4 cup coconut milk (canned) or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract ( you can use l tsp. if you want less vanilla flavor)
1/2 cup palm sugar (or other sugar)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
Scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Stevia (I like NuNaturals NoCarbs Blend) to further sweeten- judge by tasting the batter. I always make sure the batter is slightly sweeter than I want the final product to be. Some of the sweetness bakes out.

Note on sweetener amount: you can further reduce the sugar and use more stevia, but I recommend using at least a little of some type of real sugar, since sugar contributes to a good crumb texture.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, vanilla extract and palm sugar.
2. In a smaller bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
3. Mix dry ingredients into wet with a handheld mixer. Add stevia to taste.
4. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish and pour in batter.

Bake for 30 minutes
Cool for 1 hour
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, I followed this recipe except I used 1/2 cup turbinado sugar. I did not use the Stevia as I cannot stand the taste of it. Instead, I used 2 tbls of pure maple syrup. 

To this batter we added 3-4 tsp of cinnamon. And mixed well. 

ICING:

1 block of cream cheese
2 tbls maple syrup
Splash of milk (to thin)

Mix together using a Kitchenaid or an electric mixer. 

And here's what you get:

 


Lunch Box Ideas

Great blog on what to pack your children for school lunches. They are many different ideas and combinations. I wish I had known about this site when we first went Primal!

Thank you Mel for the link/suggestion!

From the blog of: Primal Kitchen


Lunchbox #183

 

Today, my preschooler's lunch featured (clockwise):


  • Tuna in olive oil, sprinkled with a bit of mild cheddar and bacon (it's like a melt...without the melt...)
  • A banana
  • A Clementine
  • Fresh sliced red peppers and sugar snap peas

Friday, April 27, 2012

Carne Asada Tacos

Whew! I missed a day... The stories of the kids really take a lot out of me.


Anyway... tonight we had Carne Asada Tacos!


After marinating the thinly cut beef (recipe at the end), drain it in a colander:


Add to a hot frying pan, using either coconut oil or butter as your grease:

I used butter (some liquid from the meat does seep out, so you will have to drain every once in awhile.)


Take it out and let it rest for a bit:

Primal Pancakes!


Add your favorite toppings (Greek Yogurt works well as a sour cream, FYI):


Fold and eat:

Tom's taco (this photo taken with my new camera!)



Carne Asada:


1.5 lbs of thinly sliced beef
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
A couple dashes tabasco sauce
1 medium jalepeno, chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
12-16 ounces of beef stock


Place the meat, the spices, and the stock into a gallon sized Ziplock bag. 

Flip the bag several times in order to mix well. 

Lay flat in the fridge (the longer the better!) Making sure to flip the bag every once in a while (I marinate about 48 hours (just because I start it on Mondays, and then it is ready whenever I want it), I usually flip it every 12 hours. 

Cook for 2-3 minutes, on medium-high heat, in a pan of coconut oil or butter. 


This can also be served on top of basmati rice, sauteed peppers, or steamed vegetables.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Veronica's Story

Veronica Lynn was born on 2/1/2005 just one day before her "official" due date. Just like the first pregnancy, this time around wasn't any easier. In fact, it was worse since I now I had a toddler to run after. And after weeks being on bedrest, constant monitoring, and depression the doctors decided to induce me because I had mild pre-eclampsia and, again, no amniotic fluid. 

Veronica, age 6 (Oct. 2011)

Veronica was born after about five or six hours. She was 6lbs, 7oz and about 18" long. She did really well the first day or two, and just before we headed out of the hospital I noticed that she would vomit everytime she ate, so we called in the doctor and he said it was GERD, and I should consider putting her on medication for it. I considered it. For about ten seconds. I figured she would grow out of it. (She did not.)


Other than the GERD Veronica was the perfect baby. Always happy. Rarely cried. Content to be by herself. It was great... a totally different experience from our first born. She hit all her milestones on time, I think. Sat at six months, walked at 13 months, had a great vocabulary for her age. So I thought we were in the clear. 

And then came the terrible twos. 



Okay, so every kid has phases (for me I find the ages 3 and 4 to be the worst--so far) and having dealt with so many cousins and siblings, I knew the tug-o-war games two year olds can play, so we just dealt with it. Until two and a half came along and I sensed something was not quite right. 


Veronica had always been so loving and sweet and kind and then one day, bam!, that all went out the window.


All of a sudden her new normal consisted of fits of anger (which were more like rages). She would hit herself. Scream about nothing. She was constantly whining and having meltdowns for no apparent reason. I figured she must just a strong-willed kid, so I put her in more timeouts, took away toys, and held her a lot. Nothing was working. 

We stayed home almost all the time since I rarely had energy to take three kids (yes, we had another, Amy, when Veronica was about 19 months old) under the age of three anywhere, so I thought I'd enroll Regina and Veronica in ballet and gym classes. My thinking was that the kids needed to get out and maybe this would help calm Veronica down in some way. 


Regina did well with ballet. Veronica did not. She would immediately cry and mumble things like "I can't do it. I don't want to. I just can't" and since she is a melancholic, I thought this was just her way, so I tried to teach her (well, as much as you can teach a two year old) fortitude. It was just 45 minutes a week, I figured she could handle that. At the end of the teaching year one of her teachers said "yeah, she gets very aggressive and tries to choke the other kids."  To say I was shocked is an understatement. I told the teacher I should have been made aware of this from the beginning, not six months later. Not that it was her fault, really. She was young and tried to deal with Veronica on her own. So kudos to her for putting up with it that long. 


Also once a week Veronica would go to gym class. She loved to run and be wild, so I thought this would allow her to be in a controlled situation and still allow her to have fun. She really struggled with it. She would sit on the mat, rock back and forth with her hands on her ears, and cry.  As a parent I had two feelings: the first was "I have to make it better for her!" the other was "wait and see, maybe it's just a learning curve." 


Now some of you are thinking "what the heck is wrong with you, woman?!"  I should have immediately seen she was in distress and needed my intervention, right?  Perhaps. I find that parenting is a lot like groping around in the dark and eventually you'll hit the right light switch. It's not that I didn't care. I was constantly worried about her. I just didn't know what to do, and I didn't have any proof that she was anything other than a headstrong little kid. 


Anyway, I spoke with her teacher, an older gentleman who worked wonders with children. He really was so patient and loving with all the kids in his class, so I trusted him when he said "She's fine. You need to let her grow. And she has to learn that some things are hard and you have to work at it." Sounded plausible. We continued to go to gym and each week I would be a bundle of nerves while the teacher tried to instill fortitude into Veronica, who at this point was closer to 3 or 3 1/2 year old. 


Life at home was really, really difficult. There were days where I would wake up crying thinking "how am I going to survive this day... having to take care of Veronica is like three full-time jobs and I have two other children to care for!" Those were the days I lived on Coke and prayers. 


Everything set Veronica off. Her favorite dress was dirty... Regina took her coloring book... the milk was not the right temperature... the music was too loud... the music was too low... the lights were too bright... she wanted to sleep... she didn't want to sleep... the TV was too colorful... the food was too soft... the food was too warm or cold... e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g was a battle which meant tantrums ensued daily, often hourly.  We couldn't go to certain restaurants since they played music. We couldn't go to many new places since change often freaked Veronica out. I once cut my hair about six inches and Veronica just could not handle it. "Why is your hair cut? Why did you do it? Is it coming back?!" This went on for about three days.


One day, after many talks with the gym teacher, I said "I just don't get it." And he said, very quietly, "you know, please don't be offended" (and here I thought he was about to tell me just how much I stink as a mother) "but have you ever... I hesitate to say it... considered that she may be autistic?"


I think I was too shocked to say anything.


By this point we were expecting another little one which meant I was on the verge of death (if felt like) and had to take care of Veronica. It was time to call in help. By the grace of God we found a really amazing nanny. Erika had been homeschooled, was very gentle and sweet, but knew all the tricks that children play, and knew how to eat well, so I knew I could trust her. Little did we know just how big of a part she was to play in our lives. 


I would sleep most of the day and Erika would care for the kids from 8-12pm daily. Then I'd drag myself out of bed and we would confer about the children. Erika always had some great insights, but was never, ever pushy about it. She would always wait for me to ask "what do you think...?" before she'd offer her usual spot-on advice. 

Most of our talks seemed to consist of Veronica and how to better deal with her. A few times I was so unwell that I would ask Erika to drive Veronica to her gym class. One day Erika came home from the class and said "The poor baby just can't handle it. She sat and cried and looked so sad... so I went in and got her. She just cried and cried and I said to her "you poor thing, you're just waiting to be rescued, aren't you?" And Veronica nodded "yes".  

Broke my heart.  


It was decided that something was not right and we would need to get to the bottom of it. A new doctor had moved into town and word on the street was that he really wanted to get to the root cause of medical problems, be all ears, and was very warm and listened well. So we signed up and went in. 


He was told him about how rough the last year and a half had been. We talked about the dark circles (so bad she looked like she had been punched) under her eyes. The eczema that was always on her inner arm and behind her knees. Her dry, scale-like skin everywhere else. And her breath! Her breath was the worst I've ever been around. I asked "what is this white stuff caked to her tongue?" He says "Oh, kids get that when they've had a cold." Umm... she doesn't have a cold.


I told him that things were getting worse, not better, and that a couple of people (also the ballet instructor) had mentioned autistic-like behavior.


The doctor immediately rolled his eyes and said "she is not autistic!"  I said I didn't think that term quite fit either, but there is definitely something wrong. His response was "no, she's fine, she's just a bratty kid."  


:::gapping mouth::::


Well, maybe, I say, but there's more to it. Maybe a food allergy? Some friends had mentioned food allergies can make kids weird. I thought *that* sounded weird, but I was willing to do anything. I asked him to run a food allergy test. He said " :::sigh::: I suppose we could do that, but you'd have to come back at the end of next month. We only do those test in bulk since it costs money."  

Come again?  You want me to take my obviously hurting child home for six weeks, bring her (and the other two kids) back in, so you can save some time and a few bucks? 


I'M the one paying for it!

The lack of compassion, understanding, concern was astounding to me. This wasn't a two week phase, this was going on for close to two YEARS. And I wasn't in there asking for a pill to remedy her. I just wanted some answers. 


I left the doctor feeling very alone and disheartened. How was I suppose to help her when I couldn't even understand her?

Erika had been telling me about things she had been trying with Veronica. Things like speaking softly, keeping things calm and quiet, and basically keeping stimuli down as much as possible. And while these things did help a little, it wasn't enough. 

One day I was standing with Erika, talking about the kids, when Veronica was in the middle of a meltdown. I just looked at Erika and said "what is wrong with her?!" I felt like crying myself.

Erika said offered some thoughts and something like "we have a great chiropractor, maybe you would want to go in and see him?"  Looking back, I am sure Erika had identified several things Veronica was having trouble with, but didn't want to usurp my role as the mother. She waiting until asked, but then was very good about voicing her thoughts. 

A chiropractor, eh?  But, wait, aren't they for the weirdo, health-nut people?  Oh well, I'll try it anyway, I thought. I made the appointment and Dr. Rob spent TWO HOURS (he didn't even look at his watch!) talking to me and Veronica about the issues we were facing. In fact, he correctly identified several problems Veronica was having before I even gave him her history. I am a skeptic by nature, but I left that office a true believer. 


This doctor wasn't the typical arrogant jerk like so many of the doctors I had seen before him. He was kind, yet firm, he listened, *really* listened and asked follow up questions that were actually pertinent to the discussion. In no way did he lord it over me that he was the doctor and I was just the lowly patient's mother. He respected me and my role in my child's life. No he wasn't arrogant, but he was amazingly smart and confident.


He recommended we check her spine (which was wacky), and that we have blood work drawn to check for food allergies and metal levels. and that I should come in often and see if we could get her back in order.  Could he have been playing me for a fool? Yup. Would I have known any better? Nope. But my gut said this was the right fit, so we tried it. 


The blood work came back that Veronica is allergic to dairy (except butter and yogurt) and almonds. On one hand, we were really happy to have some answers. On the other, it was such a bummer since the kids loved cheese. Veronica wanted to eat cheese all the time (apparently one sign that you are allergic/intolerant to a food is you constantly crave it since your body cannot process it). She loved grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, pizza... etc. How was I now going to tell her she couldn't have that anymore?


The blood work also showed she had high levels of lead and aluminum. And when these two metals are combined it can be especially harmful. Scary! Even more scary was the fact that we had no idea how she would have ingested these things.


We immediately took her off all dairy. And we did a few things to get rid of the metals. Both of these things had side-effects, which basically intensified all the issues Veronica was already having (more rashes, more panicky situations, more sensitivity to sound) and we battled this for what seemed like forever (a few months?) until we slowly began to see some real progress. 


During those few months it was a great trial. On many occasions Veronica and I would have to leave friends homes, family outings, turn off movies, not be involved in anything... anything that required Veronica to be in a group of more than two or three people never ended well. I took her out of gym (much to the chagrin of the teacher) and decided not to have her return for ballet. I still cried several times a week: the constant struggles, the relearning foods, devouring books and online articles (all while pregnant) and trying to do what was best for Veronica was really very difficult. After nearly two years of constant strife, I was ready for a break! But we made it through with our nanny, Dr. Rob, and supportive family members. Whatever the battle we had to fight, at least we had answers and a goal in mind. 

Slowly, but surely, Veronica was getting much better. She really blossomed into a wonderfully sweet child. It seemed like a miracle to Tom and me. 


Though she was 90% better, I knew there was still something else going on. And, again, I didn't know what. Erika came to the rescue! She had mentioned that her husband had some mold issues, and perhaps Veronica might too. Mold? I've never heard of mold causing health problems, at least, nothing serious. Erika provided us with some food for thought on mold and its effects*. I began reading like crazy and was astounded at what I found. Why does nobody talk about black mold? 


My chiropractor (who was now seeing everyone on the family except me--don't touch me when I'm pregnant and dying, yo!) mentioned black mold and that we must have it in the house. I said we absolutely did not have black mold... we were the first owners of the brand-new house and I kept the place clean, thank you very much. Yet, Dr. Rob insisted that it was there somewhere.  Uh-huh, okay. 


A few months later Tom ended up in the ER with what we thought was a brain bleed (a story for another time), turns out it wasn't, but he was not himself and Veronica was not getting better. Okay, fine, I'll call the mold people! So I did. They found three different types of mold in my house. Two of them were not so bad, but then they said "you have black mold someplace!"  What?!? The house is four years old, how could we possibly have black mold?! 


Sure enough. It was all throughout the air condition system and was being blown out nearly constantly since we lived in the hot and humid South.. we had the AC on almost all year long. ACK! Turns out the AC people did not insult it correctly so the mold was eating the insulation and spreading. Eww. We had it removed immediately. Since I was pregnant, and the kids were so sensitive to it, and Tom was recovering at his mother's house, I decided to go to a hotel for three days until the mold was cleared out. So I'm at the hotel with three kids, pregnant, and ... a migraine hits.  Fuuuuuuun times.


Once the mold was removed it seemed everyone was doing much better. Thank God! 


I know Dr. Rob and Erika must have wanted to say "see????"  but they didn't, because they're nice like that. Much nicer than I would be.


One last piece of the puzzle... we moved from Alabama to Kansas and put the kids in a great private school. Veronica began to revert back to her emotional meltdowns during school. Please, God, no, I can't handle this anymore! We struggled for about a few months and couldn't figure it out. I even tested the school for mold, but nothing came up. I finally took Veronica into a dentist, just for the heck of it, and it turns out she had a gum infection and several teeth which needed to be pulled and/or crowned. The dentist said the infection must have been there for quite a while and didn't we notice it was an issue?  No, she had never complained about her teeth, I said.  He told me to give her an antibiotic and bring her back to his office in two weeks for a full dental work up.  


I did not give her the antibiotic, but did have her rinse her mouth with salt water three times a day for weeks. It took two full weeks for her gum to stop oozing gunk! She never developed a fever or any other symptoms, thank God. I did fill the antibiotic prescription just in case. An infection from the gum can quickly go to the brain, so I wanted to be ready if she started showing other signs of distress. Thankfully, we didn't have to use it! 

After she recovered from her $4,000 worth of dental work, she was a completely new child. Now I can say she is 100% healthy. My gut is at peace once again. And now that we've GP, I am sure she will stay healthy for a long time to come. 


By the way, the white coating on her tongue was from a major candida infection... not just something kids get from a cold. Dr. Rob identified this problem in her, and was able to get us started on high does of high-level probiotics. We also cut out unnecessary sugars and adding in a lot of fresh food. It took a few months, but we finally licked it, so to speak. And her awful breath went away! Halleluiah! She is still prone to yeast infections, so I always had/have to be vigilant with her... now that we've GP it has really helped her out a lot, and it has helped me keep my sanity. 

Most days anyway. 

Other benefits of her GP is her moods are much more consistent, she's more manageable, and sleeps much sounder.



To this day I can hardly believe that food, metals, and mold can have such a devastating effect on people. It's insane that these things can cause you to mimic autistic That is really scary. And, in a way, really awesome. It makes you realize that food is extremely important to life. So when people ask me why buying non-GMO food or clean, organic foods is such a big deal, I always wish I could give them a week with the "Old Veronica". 

They would understand immediately. 

Many, many thanks to Erika, her husband, and Dr. Rob for their constant support, suggestions, and patience with not only Veronica, but with me as well. I truly don't know what would have happened to my marriage, to my family, and to my mental state had we not been guided by these very special people. 

*This is not the best article on Black Mold, but it's the first one I found when I Googled it, and it will give you some idea.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Small Victory and One Big Flop


Once a week I go up to my children's school and help the Kindergarteners open up their pre-packaged food: lunchables, puddings, gogurts, etc., and microwave their leftovers from home. 



I don't want to be judgmental, truly I don't, but I have been shocked at what parent's send with their young child to eat for the day. To be sure, there are a few kids who bring good whole foods, and have water to drink. However, there are *far* more children who are expected to survive on pure sugar for the entire day. I always feel kinda sad for the kids later on when they are bouncing around the room or having meltdowns. It's really not their fault. 


My kids began attending this school in Oct (I think) of last year... I explained to them that I would be making the majority of their lunches, but that they could have "hot lunch" on the days that fresh food would be offered, or on special occassions. For the most part the kids went along with this... until we went Primal. Then all of a sudden it was "whhhhy can't we eat hot lunch? I feel sooooo weird not having any hot lunch!" I explained that the standard "Sloppy joe, tater tots, cake and canned peaches" would offer only sugar and maybe a small amount of protein.  (please note I am not bashing the school: I think they do what they believe to be is best.)

The kids grumbled a slight acknowledgment, but still, they wanted hot lunch. I felt for them. I know how much fun that would have been for me as a kid, but in good conscience I just couldn't feed it to them. 

This past Monday the cafeteria supervisor and I were chatting while we waited for the little five year olds to come in. We talked about different lunches and the funny things kids do. She asked how the "diet" was going, and before I could answer she said "I've seen what your kids eat for lunch, and it looks really good! You know, I'm thinking we could probably do something like that for lunch: fresh fruit and vegetables... your kids seem to like the bell peppers..."  Then she said she would need to check the budget, but that she was interested. 

I call seeing people to think differently about food--whether they change or not--a small victory. Yippee!


Now for the big flop:


Tonight I made fried chicken strips and mashed potatoes (cauliflower) with bacon. 


I soaked the chicken breast (cut into strips) in buttermilk overnight, floured it with coconut flour and spices, and then fried in coconut oil. Easy enough. 


I thought the kids would like a sauce, but didn't really have time to play around with ingredients, so I just used a yogurt sauce: 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt, 1 tbls Boar's Head Deli Mustard, 1 tsp pure maple syrup. Mix and serve. I thought it was really good... tangy but the syrup balanced it out well (and has antioxidants to boot!)... the kids were split on it. Meh. 


I read someplace that mashed cauliflower turns out just like the real mashed potatoes if you puree the steamed vegetable in the blender. So I riced the cauliflower, microwaved it for seven minutes, and then dumped it into my blender. I added about 4 tbls of butter, some salt, and white pepper and then set it on high. While it was pureeing, I added some milk to it (just as I would do with white potatoes) and let it go for about 20 seconds. 


The result? Mush! It looked like those (horrid) instant potatoes some people make but with too much water. UGH! I thought I needed something to add texture, so I used bacon. What else?  And while the bacon part was great, the other part was disgusting. 


I gave about two tbls to each person. Each of us made a face and tried to swallow it down. I'm not sure if I over-blended, added too much butter, or should have omitted the milk altogether, but man.... blech.


This is the kind of flop which makes me long for the day I could say "this didn't work out. let's get pizza!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do You Have a Food/Ingredient Reaction?

It's Monday and that means food shopping, chopping, cooking, aching back and throbbing feet. 


Exciting times!


This weeks menu will include:


Turkey and fauxtatoes (mashed cauliflower)
Pork loin and green beans
Grilled chicken and salad
Chicken soup
Butternut squash soup
Fried (in coconut oil) chicken and green beans
Carne Asada and sauteed peppers and onions
Bacon
Hard boiled eggs
Scambled eggs
Coconut ice-cream
Coconut cowboy cookies

I will throw some bacon into as many dishes as is possible since my friend Sarah says that makes everything that much more exciting. ;)



I meant to take my camera with me this morning so I could do "baking day in photos", but I forgot, so that will be a project for next week. Speaking of cameras, Tom was super sweet and bought me a DLSR camera as a surprise! It is really amazing, but I have no clue on how to use it, so I may have to wait for the Summer to take the really awesome pictures.


So I've discovered that ingesting corn syrup causes me to become fairly depressed. And the depression lasts for about two days. How did I discover this, you ask? A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to try having a Coke. I really wanted one, and the first two or three sips were really, really delicious! but after a few sips I found it tasted... well, icky, so I tossed it. About two hours later I was really sad and angry even though there was no reason for it. This lasted all night and the whole of the next day. I tried to drown myself with water in hopes it would push out the HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). It took a whole lotta water, let me tell you. 


I suppose some people would say "that little amount [about 4oz) couldn't cause that!" and maybe they're right, but I hadn't had that problem since GP and I haven't had it since. The HFCS is the only thing I had eaten differently. 


Anyway, I'm scared to death to have anymore of it, so I suppose my little experiment was a good thing!  I did buy a Mexican Coke (coca cola made with real sugar) today, and I'm going to drink it on my birthday next week. Yumm

This whole thing got me wondering if other Primalist (or Paleoist) have similar reactions to "bad foods/ingredients"?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm Baaaack!

Thanks to everyone who patiently endured my tirade on Friday. The comments were great, and I very much appreciate them!

I went to Oklahoma for grandfather's 78th birthday this weekend, so I didn't have a chance to do any posting.

Tomorrow is shopping day. Any body have any delicious dinner ideas they would like to share?

I am in favor of a Paleo/Primal potluck: everybody bring whatever, and that's what we'll eat.

Sounds easy to me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I am Burned Out


I know all of us Primalist are supposed to say that food is fun all the time. And that eating Primally provides out of this world benefits so that the prepping and clean-up shouldn't matter. 



Theoretically, I agree. But today (and yesterday) I feel burned out. 

The constant questions from the kids.... "When can I have grain? But Mary is having cupcakes at school today, can I have one? Is this something I want to eat?" etc. I'm always having to be the bad guy. 

I have six people in the house, and I think the only one who is easy to please, food-wise, is Regina. Everybody else has strong opinions on what they like and what they don't like, which makes meal times (especially dinner) really difficult. I know it doesn't matter what I make there will be at least two people who will turn up their noses. (I have a rule: if you don't like what is served you can have yogurt or vegetables.) 

Then the anticipation of eating around friends or family and knowing they feel weird because of my diet "restrictions", and then I feel weird because they feel weird, is really annoying sometimes. 


I guess it's more the emotional side of food. I was so burned out from thinking about what can I eat, what shouldn't I eat, who is going to be upset by what I do end up eating, that I just didn't eat much yesterday. I did eat some nuts and a BLT wrap around 3pm. 

I had (still do) a whole refrigerator full of food and I couldn't bring myself to look in there because I just couldn't handle figuring out what to take out of it.


It seems our whole life has been consumed by figuring out food for the last three months and I just want a break from it.  


Maybe for myself it's really easy to do this "diet", but it is exponentially more complicated when adding in more people.


Don't panic! I'm not saying we're not going to remain Primal. Honestly, I don't think we have much of a choice. The benefits clearly show this is the way our bodies are made to eat... but this stupid emotional thing is a drag sometimes. 


I wonder if since I cook everything and then store it in the fridge if I just have a "free for all" dinner option. "Look, I don't care what you eat, just make it yourself."   The only thing I would be concerned about is it might make dinner feel chaotic (well, more chaotic than dinner time already is) and triple the clean up. 


Or maybe I'll say "this is what I'm having for dinner, you're welcome to join in, or make your own. If you make your own, you clean it up."  


But then I'll have to oversee the extra clean up. 


Whatever.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Primal Tacos

Before Going Primal my family had tacos at least once a week. I think Tom and the kids would have eaten them three or four times a week if I would let them. 

As for myself, I didn't care much for them since I had developed a ground beef intolerance (gag) after pregnancy number two. (And I may have also been scarred from all the Hamburger Helper I was force fed as a child. Just kidding, Mom!)


Anyway... the family has missed taco night so I've tried to think of ways to put it back on the menu. 


A few weeks I tried taco bowls. Ground beef and all the fixin's in a bowl. It was okay, I guess, but the chips/corn shells were really missed. 


Last night we tried Taco Night again, but instead of a bowl we used very crisp romaine lettuce leaves. It worked better than the bowls, but it is messy, so you'll probably need a fork.A friend of mine (thanks, Kim!) sent me a link to making taco shells out of bacon, which sounds great to me, but I have to think of something that would work to shape it correctly.Although... I wonder if the texture of the bacon would work with the texture of the ground beef?


When I was growing up the ground beef was prepared by browning it, draining the grease, and then adding in some spices. 


I've found this way makes it much better tasting and gives it a nicer texture. 


Take your ground beef (the organic beef has a much softer texture to begin with) and brown it. Now, brown it, don't cook the heck out of it! Many people make the mistake of overcooking it. Just cook it until it is brown throughout... don't leave it on for another ten minutes after browning "just in case".  


Once it is thoroughly browned, drain off the grease--as much as possible (grease will hinder the ability of the spices to stick to the beef)--place the beef back on the stove and add in 2/3 cups warm water. And stir.  Now add in your favorite spices. I use: garlic powder, onion salt, chili powder, salt, pepper, and whatever else I feel like that day. Incorporate well. 


Next you will want to incorporate a thickener. I used to use a tablespoon of flour, but now I use arrowroot. Mix this into the ground beef and water/spice mixture. Keep the heat high enough so that the water mix is simmering, and allow it to stay this way for 3-6 minutes, just until the water begins to thicken.


We used this stuff:


To make this:

Sour cream, beef, tomatoes, cheese
Greek style:

Greek yogurt, beef, tomatoes, goat cheese

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday: Cheat Day (1)



Tom and I decided to try having one cheat day a week and that this day would be Saturdays.


Now it may turn out that this is a terrible idea and we shouldn't do it, but we want to at least give it a try and see how it goes.


Why did we decide to have a dedicated cheat day?  For a few reasons....


1) The kids were constantly asking "well, can I have just a bit of grain today?... tomorrow...when?" 

If you have children, you know it doesn't matter how many times and how many ways you answer their questions -- if it's not the answer they want, they'll keep asking. So I thought maybe having a dedicated Cheat Day would provide the kids with a sense of stability (which I believe is fundamental for kids, always to know what's going on and what is expected of them), and would also help save my temper from exploding by the 37th time they ask the "can we have grains now?" question.


2) I've never liked being told "you absolutely cannot do that."


Yeah, I know it sounds juvenile, but it's the truth. I really can't stand it when people tell me I have no choice in the matter. If God sees fit to give me freewill, I am fairly certain the guy down the street has no right to tell me otherwise. I kid, I kid!

 Sorta.


3) The emotional factor. 


Yes, I know, food should not be an emotional crutch, but let's face it: for many people, it is.

 (A friend of mine, mother of five, once said to me "You know... people look at us and think "why can't you just lose weight? I tell you why! because I'm about to go give five little kids a bath, so I'd better enjoy the hell outta this cheeseburger!" So for her a cheeseburger was a source of strength before wrestling five kids under the age of six in a bathtub. And I can't say as I blame her. ;) 

 I think it is expecting too much out of (most) people to expect them to happily give up every dish they've grown up with, relate to, and crave at certain times. Now you will say that that the health benefits of giving up these foods is worth the angst it causes. This depends on the person, I think. After reading many testimonials and talking to those who have GP I am realizing that it's really a journey. It doesn't have to be perfect right off the bat. Making one good choice eventually leads to many good choices... so if in the beginning you need tortilla chops every day, fine, but I think eventually we will all get to a point where our daily "must have's" will turn into "want to's" and finally "meh, I don't like it that much anymore's."   

In any event, I think it has lifted the mood of the household (not that it has been down and out) just to have a day where they can look forward to having a "forbidden fruit." I highly suspect it will not be an all out gorging, but eating one or two things we wouldn't normally have and not feel guilty about it. 

4) Why a dedicated day instead of whenever we feel like it?

I was afraid once we'd start to cheat here and there, the "here and there" would quickly become the norm without us realizing it. I don't think we'll always need a specified cheat day, but for now I think it's the safest way to go. 

5) Because I said so. 

So there :P


This past Saturday three of the kids were at Grandma's so Tom and I went out for lunch. He wanted pizza, so we headed to Old Chicago. I ordered a Stromboli (chicken, peppers, and mushrooms (GAK!) inside a bread casing, I dumped out the insides and left the bread. The lunch came with a dessert so I went for the cheesecake ball (maybe three inches) on a stick. I knew it had to have sugar, but it was at least grainless... it was way too sweet and Elizabeth ate half of it, which was okay by me. 


Tom had thin crust pizza with mushrooms (seriously icky) peppers, pepperoni and sausage. He hate about half of the pizza and took the leftovers home. About half an hour later he said his stomach felt a little off and he didn't enjoy it as much as he thought he would. He even threw out the leftovers!


Then we went shopping for a piece of furniture. Had no luck. Then we headed home since our city was supposed to be hit with tornadoes a few hours later. We went home and watched the weather and decided it was safe enough to have dinner. So we packed up Elizabeth and headed to Cheeburger Cheeburger for my cheat meal. We had cheeseburgers with a bun and a few fries. It was pretty delicious. And apart from a little bloating (not too bad) I didn't really suffer any ill-effects, I'm happy to say. 


I'm happy to say we didn't go crazy overboard, but we felt satisfied and happy... and we discovered that cheating can really make you appreciate being Primal. 





Monday, April 16, 2012

Can Going Primal Make a Difference in Health Recovery?

Benefits of the Paleo-Primal Lifestyle and Great Health

This article is from a friend and colleague  of Tom's. Karen De Coster is extremely knowledgeable. She has really helped my family with our concerns and questions on Going Primal.  I highly recommend you read the whole article. I found it very inspiring. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Folks are well aware that I spend a lot of time, and words, hawking the paleo-primal lifestyle and its numerous benefits, especially for libertarian audiences. According to Mark Sisson, this lifestyle is “a broad, holistic approach to living and not simply a list for eating.” To me, living primally means I have adapted to the modern world by making certain changes in my lifestyle – in terms of food and fitness – to minimize premature aging, prevent modern disease, and stave off the all-too-common problem of physical and mental lethargy. Since going primal I have experienced a quality of life I never had before, and that includes life in my 20s and 30s. I am 49.

Since exploring the paleo-primal concepts beginning in the late 80 and early 90s, via the Dr. Atkins program, and moving to a more robust and dedicated lifestyle in about 2003 following an illness, I have settled into a very self-regulated yet spontaneous way of life that fits neatly into the framework of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. Essentially, here are some very high-level, self-imposed commandments that I live by:

BRB!



Sorry, been a bit busy, but I'll be back tomorrow!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just for Kicks


I wanted to see if we could tell a difference in photos.

                              The first was taken on our ninth wedding anniversary (August, 2011):



                     The second was taken today (April, 2012):                       

                                                                    

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Regina's Story

I thought I'd write up the stories of each of my four girls. Their health, the doctors, the food... what changed and how it helped.


Let's start with my eldest:

Regina -- 6/18/2003


I fell pregnant with Regina in late September 2002. The pregnancy was a rough one, and she was late by nine days. Labor and delivery lasted 13 hours after being induced for high blood pressures and no amniotic fluid. 


Regina came into the world weighing 7lbs 0oz and 21" long. The only problem she had was a hooked lower leg and foot. Apparently it was caused by my being a short person (5'1) and she had run out of room. (Thankfully all was made right after a few months of therapy and exercises.)  Other than that, she nursed very well, she slept well, and she was a great baby. 


Everything changed at two weeks old. 


One day I noticed she felt warm and was unusually fussy. I took her temperature and found she had a 100.4 degree fever. I called her pediatrician, who was out, so I had to call the ER where the On-Call doctor said "It's no big deal. Call me if it get's to 101.4." 

I figured an ER doctor would know what to do, so I took Regina outside and we walked... I bumped into a neighbor and she said "that baby looks sick." So I told her how I already called the doctor and what he said. Her reply was "You're the mom, get her to the hospital!" saying it in a "what's wrong with you?!" tone. So I went!


The hospital was a horrible experience. They refused to call Peds down to get the IV going and instead they used the ER nurse (who clearly didn't know how to draw blood from a newborn), so Regina freaked out and screamed and screamed. They finally did some blood work and a few other tests, and said "we're not sure... probably a UTI (bladder infection). Give her this antibiotic."  


I was skeptical since my Mom (an RN) had always talked about not taking too many antibiotics, and the ER could not give me a solid diagnosis. However, I didn't know what else to do with a feverish newborn, and the threat of meningitis scared me enough to give her the antibiotic.Within 24 hours her fever went away, we relaxed, then all seemed fine. 


And it was fine. Until it wasn't.


For the next nine months Regina had a horrible case of colic. She screamed up to 16 hours a day. I would hold her constantly in an effort to calm her. I sang, I danced, I walked, I tried baths, gas drops, wrapping tight and heating pads. Nothing worked. Nothing. And in the meantime the screams were terrible--full of pain and agony and even anger. I was at a loss. I have ten younger brothers and sisters, so I knew how to deal with crying babies. I had never seen a baby cry so much! 


During this time she had also developed what the doctors called Constipation. She couldn't defecate. I would watch as her stomach would distend, as she would grimace and scream, and knew I could do nothing to help her. The only way I could help relieve her was by inserting a q-tip with jelly on it. And all that would come out was liquid at a high force. What the heck? How could this be constipation?


I took her to several doctors: our pediatrician and two specialists. 


When I tearfully went into our pediatrician and told him that all she does is cry, she screams in pain, and can only defecate when helped. He smiled, and said "babies cry. You're a young mom. It takes a while to get used to things. She's fine."  I remember crying in anger. Anger of his reaction and anger at the helplessness I felt. 


I finally got into a specialist in Queens, NY when Regina was 10 weeks old. I typed up a paper which told what her symptoms were. When they started. What we had tried. And how she reacted to the things we used. I handed the doctor the paper and said "this will help explain a lot."  The doctor took the paper, but didn't read it. Not even a glance! She simply said "well, babies cry... it takes a while for their intestinal system to mature. You should start feeding her baby food. Sometimes the fiber from it will help push things along."  When I said "if you look at the paper, you'll see we have tried giving her prune juice and it had no effect." She didn't like that. She repeated "give her baby food, and she'll be fine."


The other specialist said the same thing. 


They wouldn't even read the paper. I was so disheartened, but I figured they are doctors, they must know something, so I took Regina home and tried to feed her some rice mixed with prunes. Yeah, that resulted in nothing but a huge mess all over her clothes. Babies at ten weeks old are not meant to eat. I tried a few more times over the next few days, but quickly gave up since there was no change, and I was skeptical the theory of it was even legit. 


At this point Tom and I just realized that it was going to be apart of our daily lives. And we prayed and hoped Regina would just grow out of it. We didn't know what else to do. 


Around 10-12 months old, she seemed to be getting better. She still couldn't go to the bathroom on her own. She had a majorly distended stomach (we even had to buy shirts two sizes too big just to accommodate it) and always looked tired, but she had stopped screaming. She had turned into a really bright baby who loved books and being outside. She loved to play dress up. And hated taking naps. 


By age two I realized that she was still waking up three or more times a night asking for juice or water. We lived in an apartment (in scary NY) so I didn't dare let her just cry it out... plus it seemed like she truly needed it. (Now we weren't juice people really... I would give her a max of 4 ounces of pure apple juice, per 24 hours, but always diluted 2 oz juice with 6 oz water.) She would freak if she didn't have it... I started logging how much liquid she was consuming per 24 hours day (milk, water, and juice/water), I did this for a week, and it came to over 100oz per day for a two year old! 


What is normal, you ask? Most toddlers between the ages of 1 and 3 drink approximately 44 ounces. Regina was drinking about three times the normal amount, and she still couldn't get enough. This really frightened me so I took her back to the pediatrician, wondering if she had Diabetes Insipidus. I walk in and say "Something is wrong with this baby. Her stomach is so big, she is constantly drinking, she can't sleep through the night..."  And again, he smiled and said "well, kids start sleeping through the night when parents run out of patience. The question is: how patient are you?  She is fine."  

What the heck did that even mean? Was he saying I was doing the wrong thing by getting up with her? Did he mean that I should get angry with her and tell her to shut up and go to sleep? Again, I have a million younger siblings, I know when kids are playing you and when something is really wrong. Something-I don't know what-was really wrong, and I wasn't going to allow her to suffer alone at night. 

From the age of two Regina would ask for salads, she liked dessert but it wouldn't be her go-to, she loved fruit and vegetables... I was always amazed and thrilled that my little girl wasn't just a "I only eat chicken nuggets" kid, but was sort of mystified as to why that was. Being pregnant, McDonald's was my new best friend (when I was able to eat, at least) so I was sure she was going to be a chicken and fries kid. But she refused. She wanted salad with grilled chicken. I wish I had realized why at the time....


*I should mention that Regina had all over vaccinations because my doctor told me he'd turn me into Child Protective Services if I did not comply. I don't know if NY had a law about this or if he was just that outraged that I would question him. In any event, I was young and scared, and didn't want to go to jail, so Regina had her full series of shots.*


Anyway, after seeing several doctors over the years and never getting more than a condescending pat on the head and a "she's fine" we decided to stay away from any doctor as much as possible. We made peace with the fact that she would just have issues and we would do our best to help her out with diet and exercise. I was always looking for things on the internet and hoping to find answers, but there was really nothing.


We move to Alabama just days before Regina's third birthday (we also have two more girls by now) and hoped to get her feeling better in a new environment. It didn't work though. She was potty-trained at this point, and was able to manage her constipation on her own, but still looked tired, her hair was thin and brittle, she still looked six months pregnant in the stomach and had trouble sleeping. Sad to say, it was a new normal for us, so we didn't even give it a second thought. I refused to take her to the doctor in AL since I could only get into the clinic which had a reputation for calling CPS on you should you refuse to follow the doctors orders or the medications they dispensed. 


A year or two later a new doctor came into town. His website said he wanted to find the root of all health problems, not just treat the symptoms, and he wanted to treat the whole family not just see us us numbers. I thought this sounded promising... so I made an appointment and got Regina in as soon as I could. 

Again, I took in a paper of her health history, what we've tried, and how she's still the same. Of course, he didn't read it. He took an x-ray of her stomach, drew some blood, and --surprise-- he told me nothing was wrong with her.  "Kids have big stomachs. It's nothing new. She's fine."  I wanted to scream "I am so tired of hearing this!" but that would have been rude, so I didn't. I pressed "but she also can't stand touching certain fabrics, brushing her hair kills her, and she is always looking tired and dazed... even though she is very bright and happy."  He smiled. 


I really hate doctor smiles.


We went back six months later. He told me to clean out her colon by giving her Miralax. That constipation was causing the distention and the inability to go to the bathroom. When I said it had to be a deeper problem because she eats well and runs around a lot, so there is little reason for her to be constipated... he smiled and said "well, how much caffeine does she drink?"  What?! Nothing! Who feeds there 3-4-5 year olds caffeine?! He looked surprised at that, which was sad.  Then he said "well, if you add in more vegetables, and not so many fries, that might help."  I couldn't believe how much he refused to listen. I replied "Yes, I know. that's what she eats salads daily, drinks water, and doesn't fill up on chicken nuggets" (not that we didn't take them to McDonald's occasionally, because we did). He shrugged it off, and said her colon was indeed impacted, so she needed to use the Miralax. Not know what else to do, we gave it to her twice a day for a week. It helped move things, but it did not solve her big stomach or other digestive issues. 


We went back and I asked him to test her for food allergies since I had heard that some allergies can cause digestive issues. He said "well, I could, but ... could you bring her back at the end of the month, because it's expensive and I only do those tests at the end of the month."   At this point I was done. I was the one paying for it, I had a child who was sick NOW, and I wanted answers NOW. No, I am not going to come back in a month. I am, however, going to find somebody else to help us. 


But where do I go?  At this point Regina is five years old. I was pregnant with our fourth baby, Grace (who is now in heaven), and had a nanny half the time. She had suggested we see a chiropractor. 


I was skeptical since I had always been told "chiropractors are for weird people", but I had nowhere else to turn, so I made an appointment and we went. 


This chiropractor spent time with both Regina and me, ran some tests on her spine, and helped me out by ordering blood tests for allergies. He was nothing short of a miracle. He could tell what was wrong with Regina before I gave him any information. It was really shocking. And it filled me full of hope. 


The tests came back that Regina had 5+ responses (very allergic) to: soy, egg yolk, peanuts, dairy, and one other thing... (I can't remember if gluten was in this test or not, but we realized by Going Primal that she is indeed intolerant of gluten.)


So we made drastic eating habit changes and hoped for the best.  She did seem to perk up a little bit, but she still had the big stomach and looked tired all the time. 


Forward another two and a half years (to August of 2011) and we now live in Kansas. We drive from Kansas to Alabama where we would spend the Summer. It's a two day drive so we spent the night in a hotel just outside of Arkansas. I woke up several times that night with my heart racing and my brain screaming "breathe, breathe!" it took me a while to figure out why this was happening, but it finally dawned on me that Regina was not breathing while she was sleeping. She had Sleep Apnea!


After I read about sleep apnea, and realized Regina had every symptom, I became furious the doctors had not picked up on this. . . the tonsils three times the normal size, the inability to swallow correctly, her muddled speech, her tiredness and not sleeping well... and strep throat 3-5 times a year. How could they not have suspected?


We had her tonsils out in September. We didn't decide this lightly... I really was hesitant to just put her under general anesthesia and have a serious operation, but given that she wouldn't grow into her tonsils, and the apnea was fairly severe, we decided it was the right thing to do. 


The recovery was rough on her. She suffered depression for about four weeks afterwards, but after completely recovering, she was a whole new kid. Almost. She still had the stomach issues and the bathroom problems, but she was bright-eyed, more attentive, and slept much sounder. She no longer sounded like Darth Vader when breathing. And seemed much happier overall. 


The last piece of the puzzle came when we went Primal. Taking away gluten got rid of her big belly, and her constipation problems. 


So looking back, I think the antibiotics at two weeks old caused her gut to weaken, it never recovered because I was told to feed her things (rice, oatmeal, etc) that would further the damage, and this damage led to a gluten intolerance and other allergies/intolerances. And probably the vaccines didn't help either.

The constant water drinking and craving non-carb foods was her body's way, I think, of trying to repair itself and trying to rid the toxins from the damaged gut. Really amazing when you think about it. 



She also had mold sensitivities (this will be more of a central point in Veronica's Story), which compromised her liver, and also compromised her ability to heal her gut.


I can honestly say I did the best I could with the information and help (or lack thereof) I had at the time, so I don't like to play the "if I had only done...X" game, but there are those days where I beat myself up because I feel like I'm the one who gave her the health problems. 


What would have happened if I hadn't been so scared of doctors threats? 


What would have happened if I had demanded they do what I wanted, when I wanted it done?

What would have happened if I hadn't bought into the hype that doctors must know better than me, and I had gone on to trust my gut?


What would have happened if I had known what effects antibiotics have on our gut, and how foods can encourage candida or aid in its dissipation?


What could happen if parents are better armed with knowledge of how our bodies work and how important the choice of foods are to its function?

Dare to believe that the power to heal your children is within your reach and that healing may not always include doctors.*
 

*I am not disputing the important role many doctors play in the health of many people. There are cases in which a real M.D. doctor is necessary, and there are doctors out there who are good doctors and want to help parents do what is best for their children. I just haven't met any of them. Yet. 








Friday, April 13, 2012

E Loves Chicken Soup


Pork Loin Recipe (photos)

One of my favorite things to make and eat is pork loin. It's so moist and tender, easy to reheat, and goes any side dish. Salad, brussel sprouts, green beans, sweet potatoes... you get the idea. 


Here's how I prepare it. It might work for your family as well. 


First I make a "tray" out of heavy duty aluminum. 


Take two sheets of heavy duty aluminum, crease each side and pull it up, crimping the corners together. 



Place your pork loin in the middle of the tray.  And add spices on one side, and then the other. 

You will have to but the bellies of the loins together, so you have enough room to create your tent.


Spices I used:



Now you need to add some type of liquid to keep the meat moist. I've been experimenting to see which liquid works best. I've tried Apple Cider Vinegar, thinking the apple flavor would work well with the pork. While it did have a hint of sweetness, the bitterness was too much. Eww. 

Then I tried white wine. It was better than the vinegar, but still had an odd taste, so I wouldn't recommend that either. 

This time I used:



And it worked out extremely well! It had a nice subtle flavor, kept the meat moist, and had a great smell. 

After you add about 1/2-3/4 cup of stock, close up the foil tray. Make it into a tent of sorts. You want to leave a few inches of breathing space for it. So just crimp the edges together... don't conform to the shape of the pork loin. 

Leave space between the top and the pork. Close the side though


Fold in the ends and make sure they are crimped together well. You can place your pork on a cookie sheet, or just stick the foil tent into the oven. I just put it in the oven, but if you are not confident in your foil crimping skills, you may want to use a cookie sheet to catch any drips. 


Bake at 280 for about 2.5 hrs (I used a 3.35 lb cut) or until the pork reaches 180 degrees. If you do not have a meat thermometer, I highly suggest you buy one. They are relatively inexpensive. And it can mean the difference between a lovely dinner and a ruined dinner (and food poisoning your dinner guests). 


Once the meat is ready, take it out of the oven and let it sit (meaning: don't touch it) for at least one hour. If you cut it before this, all the juices will run out, and you'll end up with a flavorless, dry pork. Yuck. 

Resting for 60-90 minutes.


After an hour or so, I cut it into 1" medallions. Serve with your choice of warm vegetable. Most people like sweeter things (apples, sweet potatoes, things like that) with pork. I prefer more savory foods. 

Sauteed broccoli with bacon works well.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bread Advice?



I am finding that using coconut flour tends to make baked goods way too dense. Is there an alternate, Primal-approved, flour that can be used?  Please keep in mind that almond flour is not an option since Veronica is allergic to it. 

Or... tips on how to make the coconut flour product lighter?


Help!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does Cheating Aid Weight Loss?

I weighed in on March 19th, had two pound(maybe three?) loss from the previous week, and then I hit a wall.  ::smack::  I stayed the same number for over three weeks.


 It was really disheartening. 

 I was working out, not over-indulging in treats, and eating a lot of healthy things. So what gives?

I remembered seeing something on Mark's Daily Apple that some people have real trouble losing weight if they are having too much dairy. So I tried cutting back on dairy, but really the only dairy I eat is cheese and butter, and on occasion, sour cream. I didn't want to cut out butter since it has so many great benefits, but I did cut back on cheese by about 60%. 



It didn't make a difference.


Then I realized I would frequently forget to eat during the day. Either I just didn't feel hungry, or I was too busy juggling babies, school projects, and trying to maintain the household, that I would go to be and think "did I eat anything other than that egg this morning?"  Not good. 


I wondered if the accidental fasting was causing my metabolism to drop too low. A commenter offered some advice: try to eat more often, add in some fruit, and a "cheat meal" here and there would help. 


So I added in an apple a day, which was nice because I love apples and haven't really had them much lately. I am getting better at remembering to eat (the commenter was correct when he said that adding in fruit would cause me to feel hungry again), making sure I eat at least twice a day, with the goal being three-four times a day.  And, finally, I had a few treats over the weekend (keeping it as primal as possible). I was skeptical that adding in cheat meals would help aid weight-loss, but... 


Today I decided to weigh-in and since Saturday I have lost 2 pounds! This is the opposite of what I was expecting---yippee! There is a bonus, too. I feel better all around: emotionally, physically, and mentally. I don't know if having a few cheat foods/ingredients helped, or if it's the eating more, or what, but I like it!


The idea of taking one day a week and using it as a cheat day is definitely more appealing at this point. However, I don't want to feel like garbage the next day, so I definitely would want to find the least offensive cheat foods to chow down on. 


What is your favorite cheat food?