Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let there be clean, in more ways than one!

My go-to breakfast - zucchini sauteed with the bacon, then add a couple of eggs with S&P. 

Today is going to be a good, clean day. I grabbed some energy from the universe while the sun was rising in the back yard, and got some movement for a half hour on the clock. I'll be cleaning and organizing a bit today to prep for Winnie's visit. Plus, it's just nice to have a clean house. I slept like a champ last night and have a good energy level today, so it should be a nice success. Now to figure out what's for dinner!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Calm after the storm

Last night was an exercise in 'what not to eat.' The graduation from the James City County Police Department's Citizens Forensics Academy and accompanying dinner took place. This is what the buffet held: fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, butter, yeast rolls, cobbler, and chocolate covered peanut butter balls. Oh, and soda. I did not sleep well as I had that icky stomach/lump in the throat thing, and now I need to clean all that stuff out of me.

And it starts with breakfast. Zucchini sauteed with the cooking bacon (half of which Abbey got to eat), avocado, and eggs mixed with the zucchini. My body will be feeling better in short order. Between eating right and drinking a lot of water today, the grain/gluten fest should be out of me in no time. Loved the academy, loved the graduation, but my body would have preferred that I eat only the green beans!

I took a very short nap, like a half hour, and when I woke up, I wanted junk food. I always do. We have orange slice candy and peppermint patties available in the house. I was ready to open the bag and stopped. I had another glass of water and decided to wait it out and make lunch later.

Plantain cakes, apple with cinnamon and a bit of local raw honey, and egg salad. Now, that's more like it. I am glad I was able to wait it out. 

And a good day was had. I did have some orange slice candy, but it didn't send me out of orbit. I also finished off the evening with a peach/coconut milk fluff/drink that I whipped up in the Magic Bullet. Earlier, though, had this wonderful dinner:

Ham and a mash of cauliflower and broccoli, which included ghee and coconut milk. I have half of the mash for tomorrow and chicken tenders defrosting.

Reflections: I wanted today to go well as far as food choices went. I honestly prefer my life when I eat appropriately. Everything works better and I feel better. I always feel good, but I do love feeling better.

I had purchased a jar of Trader Joe's ghee.
I will not buy it again. The texture was all wrong; it stayed liquidish and just wasn't as good as the ghee I usually buy. I was glad to try it because Trader Joe's is local, but that's okay, I can hit Whole Foods or buy my brand online. I much prefer the Purity Farms brand. I use it for saute and seasoning, and even use it in combination with bacon grease to fry up a piece of fish. Good stuff. 

My goal is to have a good day again tomorrow. They're worth their weight in gold, those good days. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Addicted to sugar

Sugar is a sneaky little mistress. I know for a fact that the more I have, the more I want. That sweetness is what I believe I crave. I had two meals yesterday and that's a good thing; my son came by to make cookies and my husband and I were the designated quality control specialists. I don't think I did overall damage to my resolve, but I did wake up feeling a bit bloated and wanting more. It's funny how furtive certain foods can be, that they can speak to you from the figurative grave, and that I/we give in with the knowledge that it is not the right thing to do for my/our body. Onward to a sugar-free day. I say that now, but I do have a dinner at the police department tonight for our forensics academy graduation. I know there will be sweets. Will I be able to resist the desserts?

Tom did not eat dinner with us, so his small filet was available for me to have for breakfast with some lovely asparagus. It was all cooked in ghee and my tummy is very, very happy this morning! It's my first 5 meal in a while. Beef. That's what's for breakfast.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A good Sunday

These were supposed to be egg muffins with sausage and tomatoes, but I put in a few too many tomatoes and oopsie, they were a bit soft. I added chives to this batch and it added a nice kick. 
My plan today is to get some yard work done after a while. I have some work to do and I also overslept, a lot! I have some catching up going on as we speak. 

Two items on the agenda - Review yesterday's post about my shade of paleo and plan meals for the week. Those two things will get done no matter what. 

Well, I did review the paleo post, but haven't planned meals yet. I also went outside and blew leaves for about 45 minutes. It's a beautiful day, so that took precedence.

No lunch since I got up so late today, but did have an earlier than usual dinner:
Steak along with mushrooms and onions sauteed in ghee and bacon grease, and a mash of leftover rutabaga and celery root, to which I added chives and garlic powder. Excellent dinner. Some of the onions were less than perfect, or this dinner would have gotten a 5. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Donna's version of paleo/primal

With Whole30, I, as is intended, am much stricter than the below and the foods marked as occasional are not used. My singular shade of paleo in the world of 50 Shades of Paleo, is fairly strict. I try new foods often and have learned that I like celery root, plantains, and other foods I never thought I'd eat. I've learned I'm allergic to fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, so I limit myself to grape tomatoes or plum tomatoes. The histamine level is much stronger in the big, super fresh ones. Sigh. I eat when I'm hungry. If I really want seconds, I have them. I eat vegetables at every meal, using the plate template shown in It Starts With Food. I have a couple of cookbooks (Well Fed and Well Fed2), but I experiment a lot on my own and collect recipes on Pinterest. I try to blog with honest photos daily to keep myself in check. I also go back and review some of my photos and remind myself of things I've enjoyed making in the past. I also participate in a paleo group on Facebook. This is not a diet. This is how I live at least 80% of the time.

What I do eat:

High quality meats - beef, chicken, turkey, pork
Seafood - filets, shrimp, crab
Vegetables of all colors
Starchy vegetables/root vegetables - turnips, rutabaga, sweet potato
Fruits, fruit products, fruit juice (for cooking or seasoning)
Plantain (with which I make a 'bread' substitute of plantain and eggs)
Eggs, organic, free range
Fats - high quality good fats, ghee, occasional Kerrygold butter, olive oil, coconut oil, bacon grease, duck fat
Organic mayonnaise, 365 brand from Whole Foods
Sauces, tomato, spaghetti (only certain brands), tamponades, and other condiments with no sugar or unpronounceable ingredients
Sweet potato chips (unadulterated) crushed up for fish coating (occasional)
Spices, seasonings, salt, pepper (read labels of those seasonings!)
Local raw honey (occasional)
Mustard, horseradish, organic kethup
Coconut milk
Coconut aminos
Coconut crystals (occasional)
Nuts - pecans, pistachios, walnuts, almonds (occasional)
Coconut, almond, arrowroot, sweet potato flour (occasional)
Good chocolate (occasional)

What I drink:

Coffee (black)
Tea, hot or cold
Perrier type waters
Diet Dr Pepper once a week (the only artificial sweetener allowed)

What I don't eat:

White potatoes***

*Exceptions for me include organic ketchup and sharp shredded cheese in very small quantities on an occasional basis. The cheese I buy is goat Gouda. These exceptions fly in the face of strict paleo, but thus far, I have not found a ketchup that doesn't contain either organic cane sugar, honey, or stevia. I have not tried the honey or stevia brands yet.

A final exception is pork products. Though I buy sugar free pancetta to substitute for bacon, I do eat regular bacon and ham products on an occasional basis as well, and they are almost always processed with a small amount of sugar. Bacon and sausage that I purchase at the farmer's market, though, are unadulterated. Whenever possible, I stick to brands like Applegate and others that do minimal processing. I had been including Greek yogurt, but stopped that.

Update 04/17/14: I have ordered W30 compliant bacon, sausage, salami, and Canadian bacon from Wellness Meats and hope like heck that they're delicious. I'd really like to avoid sugar whenever possible and the WM products I purchased have no sugar in them.

***I have recently added new or fingerling potatoes about once a month. I do not eat large, mature potatoes.

How I exercise:

Water aerobics, about 50 minutes, 3-4 times a week (if I swim, I probably don't walk, and vice versa)**
Walking, 2-3 miles, 3-4 times a week (if I walk, I probably don't swim, and vice versa)**
Light weight lifting, flex band, medicine ball type exercises, 1-3 times a week
Stretching, daily
**I do one or the other of these or a combination of the two 3-4 times a week.

Update 04/17/14: I walk 3 times a week now, at least a mile. I still do stretching and light weight lifting. Swimming has become a little more occasional since I've gotten the go-ahead from the doctor to walk all I want. 

Some wrapup:

I don't mind having pictures taken anymore. I find joy in movement. I sleep well. I nap even better. My mood is almost always good and level. I accomplish most of what I want to accomplish, certainly more than I used to. If I can do this, anyone can. Having said that, it's not for everyone. Not everyone is willing to eat vegetables with every meal, give up pasta, or eat as much meat as I do. But that's about it, my one shade of paleo. What's yours?


Whole30 -
Robb Wolf -
Mark Sisson -

Other references, tools, and information on the right side tool bar on the blog homepage.

Updated 04/17/14

Friday, November 15, 2013

Freakin Friday!

Today - Thursday - Super clean!

Looks like a basket of eggs! It was, with zucchini that I sort of burned and with bacon that was not so good. Abbey got most of the bacon. Not sure how I messed up my cooking so much this morning, but I did. It was okay, but not the best I've ever done. Maybe I'm excited about a few clean days ahead!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Whole30 and gathering resolve

Clean slate.

Not my usual brand of pancetta. Definitely not as good as the usual. I have a few cases on hold at Whole Foods to pick up on Saturday, so that will keep me from running out again. The asparagus was not so great either. See how it's all feathery on the ends? It wasn't awful, but it was just barely good. So, even though the eggs were amazing as usual, I have to rate it a 3.5.  A walk is on schedule today. We'll go 2.75 miles again today and Friday. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday and Monday - Catching up

On track, off track, red light, green light. But the most important light right now is the caution light. It's make or break time.

I am 80ish pounds lighter than when I started my weight loss journey three years ago. I'm very proud of that! Along the way, I met Whole30 and paleo, and not only kept losing weight, but improved my overall health, mostly blood sugar levels. And now, here I am, a different me and guess what? I feel so fricking fat that it's amazing. I feel like I haven't lost an ounce. I thought I was feeling a sense of homeostasis, but the old fat me came back and entered my head. Along with that mindset came the awakening of some old urges that can turn into habits in the blink of a caution light.

So today we heed the caution light. It's our totem for today.

My plan includes a 2-1/2 mile walk at 9 a.m. after the dog naps and recharges and my breakfast is settled within. I do have work to do later today, but this morning is free and I want to put it to good use. My second piece of the plan is to try to avoid a nap. I really don't need one; I got eight hours of sleep last night. Lastly, my plan includes to stick to the meals that I've written out for the week. And with that, here's yesterday's fare:
Breakfast was leftover celery root mash with some eggs and leftover farmers market sausage. Lunch was a small filet with mushrooms and artichoke hearts. Dinner was egg salad with lettuce. I had a few Caveman cookies later which were not on the agenda. I also got a few orange candies and mint cookies. See how it snowballs? I start with something that is okay and then move into foods that I do not want to eat. Caution. Overall, a 3.5 day. Nothing amazing. Nothing blah. 

This morning, I am following what I set out on my weekly meal plan, with the exception, so far, of a change in veggie for breakfast. I also feel like I have my world under control for now.

The last of the artichoke hearts, bacon (including Abbey's portion!), and eggs. The artichoke was good, but I probably won't buy it again. It was a vacuum sealed pack of hearts that had been roasted. I keep thinking I like artichoke more than I do and usually, I let it go bad. With an eye toward "You bought it, you eat it!", I decided to go ahead and eat it and move on. I have chicken tenders out for lunch.  

Just for today, I will eat no grains, dairy, or sugar. Just adding that to my mid-day post to remind myself of my determination. I mean, geesh. I walked 2.75 miles today. I can do anything!

An unlikely mess - but daggumit, it was good! Zucchini, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, and spinach along with chicken tenders, poultry seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and a few turkey broth ice cubes. Wowzers!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Taking stock and making plans

I wrote meal plans for the week last night. Thankfully, I got paid so was able to shop for more than just fill-in items. I have trips to Fresh Market and Trader Joe's planned for early in the week. I want to be obsessed for a little while, and so I am.
What a lovely breakfast. I cooked up the bacon, drained the grease to use later, added spinach leaves and grape tomatoes cut in half to the pan and sauteed the veggies. The spinach wilted quickly and the tomatoes warmed through. I added two eggs and 1/2 ounce of sharp cheddar, salt and pepper, and let it set before I turned it. The goal was a fritatta, but that didn't work out so well. Who cares? It was delicious regardless. Two large strawberries and a gourmet meal was ready. I shared the bacon with Abbey, of course. She approved!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh hell, it's Whole30 every day - Examining the X factor

That's the goal. I'm at a loss as to why I keep straying, so I'm going to work every day to keep it within my self-imposed limits, which are: Whole30/strict paleo at least 6 days a week. I have to wrap my head around "X is not an option today." So today, X is not an option. Whatever the X factor is in my brain, the one that makes me go zoom through a shitload of junk food, the one that brings up the "just one" theory, yeah, that one, that X is not an option.

A little bit of everything. The pan held bacon and veggies before I added the eggs. I took the bacon out and added two eggs to peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and put about 1/3 oz of cheddar in. It's not cheese that is my problem; it's the eating I do beyond my three meals and days that I do not exercise. 

Two pieces of the X factor of  implosion of a good day identified:
  1. Food eaten beyond three meals a day.
  2. Non-Exercise.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stop. Hammer time. Back space, back space, back space.

Forget yesterday. I can't re-do it. I can do today and move on. We'll call this day 6.

Leftover farmers market bacon sauteed with shredded zucchini and then built into egg muffins. I know I shouldn't cell them muffins, but they're muffin shaped, so sue me. There was way too much, so Abbey got to have some with me. Overall, a lovely breakfast!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Whole30-II, day 5

This breakfast is no stranger to my W30 or to my blog. Being without asparagus is almost a crisis in my house now! Love the organic eggs and the pancetta too. Everyone should eat so well. Perfect day with a lot of activity ahead! 

Sweet potato/apple fritters

1/2 sweet potato, shredded or spiral cut and chopped
1 small apple, shredded or spiral cut and chopped
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ginger (spice, not fresh)
1 tablespoon coconut (unsweetened) - optional
1-2 teaspoons of coconut crystals or honey (not W30 if added) - optional
1 egg

Place shredded sweet potato in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. In the same bowl, add the apple and spices, along with the coconut and sweetener if added. Stir and add the egg. Stir and blend all ingredients. Fry in ghee or coconut oil which covers the bottom of your pan and has been heated. Cook on one side for about 3-5 minutes until brown. Turn, press down, and cook the other side for about 3-5 minutes. I made 3 fritters. You could add 1 more egg and make 4 cakier fritters.

I tried something new for lunch - sweet potato and apple fritters. Really good! I had these with an organic/compliant hot dog, and lunch was complete.  

It was leftovers night. I had the last of the mystery beef dish along with the last of the broccoli/cauliflower mash. It was pretty good. My husband and dog got the last of the turkey from last night. Dishes are done, meal is over, and so is my eating for today. 

Reflections: I front loaded yesterday with a ton of exercise and not have dinner, knowing that there would be snacks at the forensics class. I'm glad I did! Pumpkin bread is hard to resist. Today, though, has been a 100% on target W30 day. I was tired much of today due to staying up way too late last night, but I ate well and got activity when I could. Is this how real people live? Oh wait, I'm a real person, so the answer to that one is probably yes. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Whole30-II, Day 5, Moving right along

This is the picture of a breakfast that sort of sucked. I tried to make banana/egg cakes and stretch the recipe with more bananas and more eggs. The ratio must have been really off because they didn't cook right at all. I added coconut and vanilla and an extra banana and, well, it just didn't work. I covered them with strawberry baby food that I bought for my first W30. It was about to expire, so it's eat it now or never. Meh. Back to the original one banana or one plantain and two eggs. The strawberry mess redeemed the breakfast and is the reason for at least 1.5 of the 2 thumbs up.

Apples with pumpkin pie spice and ginger cooked through. Amazing. 

Mystery leftovers - a beef and vegetable dish that I froze without labeling. Pretty good!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whole30-II, Let's call this day 4 again

I ate really well yesterday...
...but then had snacks last night. So redo time.
While building dinner in the crock pot, I stole one of the turnips and some of the onions and tossed them in a pan with ghee. I started them browning and took a breather in the other room. I went back to turn the veggies and whoa! They were almost black. Not quite! I drained off the excess ghee and was ready to toss out the turnip/onion mix, but it was just this side of burned. Two eggs and a scramble later, and it turned out to be a really good breakfast. I doubt I would cook them that long again, but the turnip/onion mix was just about perfect.  

Today's goal is to remain squeaky clean. Dinner is cooking and I hear a smoothie calling my name for lunch. A little kale and an organic hot dog, and lunch is planned.
Lunch was pretty gross. Coconut milk, peaches, and kale, whirled in the Magic Bullet and poured over ice. Ick. The kale would have been okay if it had been incorporated into the smoothie and the ice cubes were just plain dumb. Lesson learned. I'll have to rethink this mess. 

The crock pot did its job - turkey, carrots, onions, celery, turnips for me and potatoes for the mister, poultry seasoning, a couple bay leaves, and some pepper, along with some W30 compliant chicken broth. The turkey wasn't dry at all, which was nice. I don't have very good luck with turkey. The meal was not magnificent, but it sure was better than lunch!  

Reflections: I work late tonight, so there is danger in the air. I am aware of it and will not give in. I have a fruit snack planned about halfway through the work schedule. I really need to get to bed earlier in order to sleep enough and to help bolster resolve when I'm awake. I'm not weak when I'm rested. My mistake. I didn't mean to work this late. I'll see if I can give an hour away, but I suspect I'll be up till midnight. Fingers crossed.