Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Back on Track

Once again, I have been slacking but today, I am back on track and I am excited about it! I had an awesome day, which is surprising since it is a travel day for me and we all now how difficult it can be to stay on track on the road. But I am happy to say.....today was a success!! Here's what I ate:
Morning: Salad with lettuce, tomato, grilled chicken, manadrin oranges, parmesan cheese and ranch dressing
Lunch: Small bunch of grapes, 3 walnuts, 2 dried apricots, 3 oz cheese-smoked gouda, havarti, and some kind of bleu
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast topped with grilled mushrooms, peppers and jack cheese, sauteed broccoli, zucchini and yellow squash, side salad with ranch, 2 vodka diets, 1/2 oz Organic chocolate

I know it isn't perfect, but I am so excited that I stayed (for the most part) primal. Believe me, it would have been real easy to grab a burger and fries for dinner, or have that snack of chips on the plane this afternoon. I was surprised that Delta offered a fruit and cheese plate. It came with 4 large crackers, and it would have been really easy to eat them, but I didn't and I am pretty damn proud of myself for that. I was actually doing a little happy dance to myself when I made my choice at dinner. I always start my travels with the best of intentions, then they go straight to hell because I think, "why not? I deserve it because I am on the road." Obviously the wrong attitude!
I know I have struggled, and I have no one to blame but myself. A couple weeks ago, someone left me a comment that said I just need to make the commitment, and dammit, he's right. I know this is the right lifestyle for me, I know it makes me feel awesome, I just have to commit. So here I am, making the commitment. Regardless of what my social commitments may be, there is no excuse not to stay commited to the Primal lifestyle.

I am committing to everyone out there that I am committed to posting more often. To trying and posting recipes....I plan on making BEE's coconut pancakes this weekend! (and then Mark's pancakes, then Son of Grok's recipe....the list goes on and on!) What a great alternative to bread...I can't wait to make an egg and ham breakfast sandwich!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What I ate today
Morning: banana, Salt and Vinegar Almonds-have you tried these? They are soooo yummy! Made by Blue Diamond, I found them in the 1.5 oz size, and while they are not totally primal, they still work in a pinch.
Lunch: This was way off track but so incredibly delicious! The BF and I got a rare opportunity to have lunch together and we went to this awesome Hawaiian BBQ joint where the food is soooo amazing!! Huli Huli chicken (grilled, smoked chicken with a Hawaiian sauce drizzled over it--sugar, I know!), small amount of macaroni salad, 1 scoop rice (carbs, carbs and more carbs!)
Dinner: Buffalo chicken on a bed of cabbage with homemade Gorgonzola dressing, frozen grapes
Snack: Something I like to call "low carb cheesecake" - a mixture of cream cheese, whipped cream, splenda and blueberries.

Last night I made Buffalo chicken in the crockpot. I love buffalo wings, but honestly, they are such a pain in the ass to eat and usually the ones you find in a restaurant are coated in flour to make them crispy. This is really easy and really tasty.

Buffalo Chicken
1 large package chicken drumsticks, skin removed (optional)
5 oz Louisiana hot sauce
1/2 stick butter, cut into cubes
Chopped garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste

I took the skin off the drumsticks, just because I only like the skin if it is crispy. Your choice if you leave it on or not. (Never fear, I did not waste it! I laid the skin out on a pizza stone and crisped it up in the oven!) Simply place the chicken in the crockpot, season to your liking, dot with the butter cubes, and pour the sauce over all. Flip the crockpot on high for 3 hours and you're done. It's that easy!

I threw together a quick dressing with mayo, sour cream, and Gorgonzola cheese, with a dash of red wine vinegar and hot sauce. Tossed with coleslaw cabbage and chicken for a quick salad, and it was delish!

Where to save a few cents
I know in this economy, we are all trying to cut back where we can, and sometimes that is hard to do eating primal. Personally, I won't give up my pastured beef, pork and lamb, even though the prices have gone up. Instead, I have changed the way I shop for produce, buying only what organic produce is on sale. I can't wait for the farmer's markets to start next month when I can get really great stuff at much better prices. I have also started buying some things at the discount stores like Big Lots and Grocery Outlet. I can find spices, sauces, some canned things like tomatoes, even some frozen veggies, for a very reduced price. For instance I found a 6 oz bottle of hot sauce for $0.50, when I would normally pay at least $2.00 for it in the grocery store. Every cent I can save on these items, I can put towards the more expensive items, helping to better fuel my body.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Recovering from a week of complete overindulgence

This past week, I was so off track, I can't even begin to explain it, or should I say, defend it. I started off the week with wonderful intentions, thought I had a plan for the many social occasions I had coming up, and well, it all just went to pot, and I have no one to blame but myself. So instead of dwelling on it, since it is in the past and there is nothing I can do change it, I am just going to put it out there, learn from it and move on.

Tuesday was the start of the downfall. I met some friends at an Irish Pub for happy hour. I planned on having one drink and leaving fairly early. Instead, I wound up having two beers, and a huge quesadilla, because how could I say no when it was so cheap? I find myself saying that ALOT! (Note to self: Stop that!) Wednesday night was dinner and drinks with friends. Again, could have had a nice primal salad like I planned. Instead it was fried chicken (because I had a serious craving for it once I saw it was the special of the day) and a full night of drinking afterwards, which of course, led to a crappy Thursday, starting with a hangover. And what do we all know is the cure for a hangover? Greasy, processed, fast food of course! The day started with a breakfast sandwich from Jack in the Box, yuck!! That truly did not make it any easier to get through the day! That night, it was dinner at the Melting Pot to celebrate a friends birthday. I would have done really good with this had I not had the bread with the cheese fondue, sticking with just apples and carrots as I had planned. But of course, that didn't happen, but I did refrain from eating too much of the chocolate fondue, because hell, I was full by then, there just wasn't any room! Friday night the birthday celebration continued and I thought it would be great as we were going rollerskating. Well, I discovered that my balance is not what it used to be and that until I lose some weight, I should NOT be on anything with wheels! (I have a bruised knee and a pulled hamstring to prove it!) Birthday girl wanted to end the night at a local bar, so off we went where I indulged in drinks (partially to kill the pain of the pulled hamstring!) along with fried cheese sticks and fried mushrooms. I repeatedly ask myself, why do I eat this crap, because while anything deep fried smells good, it has plain lost it's appetizing taste to me! Yet, I continue to eat it when my defenses are down. Again, it was late night happy hour, so the apps were half price, how can you say no to that??? I need to remind myself that saving a couple bucks on deep fried crap is not worth the way I feel the rest of the night or the next day.

I though Saturday would be better as the BF and I planned on going hiking, but alas, it was not meant to be as it was raining terribly and the wind made it feel like it was 20 degrees outside. So instead, we went for a road trip where we had ice cream, fried chicken (again! I know!! At least this was better than the crap I had Wednesday night!) and mac and cheese. I tried to make up for it yesterday by starting the day off with corned beef and cabbage (the BF is starting to get used to having meat and veggies for breakfast!), but then friends called for an afternoon beverage, which of course, led to bar food for dinner.

Alright, I am done venting about the horrible week! It is done, it is over and I learned several things from it: (1) Deep fried anything just doesn't taste as good as I remember it to be so stay away from it. Remember how crappy it makes me feel, and order something else, regardless of what is on "special." (2) Having one or two drinks is ok, but I have got to limit it to that. (3) Make a plan and stick to it. It really is easy to get a primal salad, or a simple piece of grilled meat and veggies when going out, you just have to ask if you don't see it on the menu.

I am looking forward to a much better week this week, especially since I don't have very many social commitments and I have a couple crockpot recipes that I am really looking forward to trying, which means, I will be eating more at home. And this will give me a chance to work on my goal for this week: clearing out my home office so I can actually use the treadmill that is in there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

There are a couple of great posts that I wanted to pass along that have truly helped motivate me this week. First, there is this post from Brynith over at BeeLifestyle. It's a nice recap of her progress with the primal lifestyle, and it's written with such honesty. http://www.brynith.com/blog/2009/03/04/primal-challenge-update/

Bee's post lead me to this post from Dr. Michael Eades,
http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/statins/meditating-in-the-garden-of-self-loathing/ This is a great read about how we tend to put everyone else above ourselves priority wise. Both of these posts came at a really good time, as I needed a little lift this week.

Here's a delish crockpot recipe that I made this weekend. Put it in the crockpot the night before, and the BF was a little surprised when I said it was for breakfast, since he is generally one of those "traditionalist" who thinks breakfast has to be carb heavy. Once he tasted it though, there were no complaints.....though I did have tortillas for him so he could get his "fix."

Chile Verde
4-5 lb boneless Pork Shoulder Butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
17 oz diced green chiles
9 garlic cloves, chopped (or about 2 tbsp. minced garlic)
2-12 oz cans Whole Tomatillos, drained
Rind of ½ of an orange
2 Beef Bouillon cubes
½ tsp. Cumin
½ med White Onion, chopped
8 oz beer

In a dutch oven, or cast iron skillet, brown pork cubes in butter or bacon fat. Put browned pork in Crock-Pot with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Serve topped with avocado, sour cream and/or shredded cheese. This is very mild, so if you want some spice, add some hot sauce, or a diced Jalapeno.

Monday, March 2, 2009

They have arrived!

Morning: Grass-fed beef jerky, tuna mixed with mayo and dill pickle spear
Lunch: Joe's Breakfast Special, apple, 1 oz Cocoa Roast almonds
Dinner: Shrimp with mayo-mustard mix, cup of delicious homemade turkey stock, 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese,
and then.......the Girl Scout cookies arrived!!! Lord help me! I'm not really sure what possessed me to order seven boxes last month, but I did. I admit, I had several cookies last night, then pawned the open boxes off on the BF. Trust me, he didn't fight me on it! I pawned another off on my parents and the rest went in the freezer. Now, I admit that I have been looking forward to getting the cookies. I love Samoas! To me, those are just a little bite of heaven! When I dipped into my first one tonight, it didn't taste the same. It tasted overcooked. It didn't bring back the fond memories I had of them. It made me not want to eat the whole box!!! I have a feeling this is a good thing!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting the "Look"

Have you ever noticed that people are quick to voice their opinion about how you eat if it is different from the norm? Why is that? I am of the opinion to each their own, and while I am happy to give my opinion if you ask for it, I try not to vocally pass judgement on others as their choices are their choices, even if I don't agree with them. Let me give you a couple examples. This past week, I spent two days in training with my company. Which meant 25 of us in a room, all day long, with food brought in that I have no control over. I show up the first morning, knowing there will be little if anything I can eat for breakfast, with "snack packs" of grass fed beef jerky and cheddar cheese cubes. Within minutes, I have three people making comments about what I've brought. When I answer that I can't have the carbs, they immediately ask if I am diabetic, which of course would have been an acceptable answer, but when I say that carbs put me to sleep, they just give me that "look." And what were they eating? Those huge muffins that you get at Costco, trail mix consisting of peanuts, raisins and M&Ms, doughnuts, cookies, pretzels, and candy. Not a piece of fruit or protein was to be found. So I'm the weird one for eating jerky and cheese, but it is acceptable for them to eat chocolate muffins for breakfast? What's wrong with that picture? Lunch was better as salad and fruit was available, served right along side pasta and rolls. Fortunately the pasta had large chunks of chicken in it which I was able to scoop out and eat with my salad. But again, I was getting the "look" like I was the weird one.

Now here is an interesting twist on the diabetes aspect. The next morning I went to breakfast at IHOP with three of my co-workers, one of them who is diabetic. When one is eating Primal, you learn to really read the menus if you are eating out. I would think a diabetic would do the same. Let's compare what we ate: I choose to splurge a little and had Chicken Florentine Crepes, and yes, they were delish!! The diabetic had a ham and cheese omelet, which is a good choice, except IHOP adds "a splash of their famous pancake batter" to their omelets to make them extra "fluffy." (really, check the menu, it's right there in black and white!). Along with this, he had a side of hashbrowns and two slices sourdough toast, with jam. Even though my meal had carbs in it, I am betting it was a helluva lot less than what the one who should be watching carbs had! Yet people will comment and question what I am eating, but won't say a word to him even though he is eating carbs when he shouldn't be! Again, what is wrong with this picture?

Looking back on it, the experience of those two days is actually quite motivating. Some of those people I won't see again for a month. Imagine how different I could be after eating pure paleo for one month. Results may actually be able to be seen. And can you imagine their faces when I can say "I did it with beef jerky and steak for breakfast?"