Paleo-what?

So, perhaps last week’s Paleo Post left you dazed and confused.  I certainly hope not, but it very well may have.

The best thing about Paleo is that it is really simple.  Not sure about that?  Sometimes it takes hearing an “experts” thoughts Here’s a short 60-second snippet from our great blog loves over at The Whole 9:

I eat real food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit.  I choose foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition.  And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat, seafood and eggs come from, and buy organic local produce as often as possible.

This is not a “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight.  I aim for well-balanced nutrition, so I eat both animals and a significant amount of plants.  I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.  And my meals are probably higher in fat than you’d imagine, but fat is a healthy source of energy when it comes from high-quality foods like avocado, coconut and grass-fed beef.

Eating like this is ideal for maintaining a healthy metabolism and reducing inflammation within the body.  It’s good for body composition, energy levels, sleep quality, mental attitude and quality of life.  It helps eliminate sugar cravings and reestablishes a healthy relationship with food.  It also works to minimize your risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and autoimmune.

No matter your thoughts on “diet” or whatnot, it’s hard for me to argue that eating naturally, the way God intended with no preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup could be a bad thing.  If you’re not sure how in the world you could pull this off, here is a great place to start if you don’t think you can do a Whole30–do what you CAN do!

Best,

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What’s on your plate?

Every Tuesday (yes, I recognize it’s Wednesday…what a week), I’m aiming to post a little something about the health and wellness goals that Lew and I have.  Enjoy!

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Last October (hard to believe that was almost a year ago), Lew and I started on a journey.  It was called Paleo.  We did a “Whole 30” for the month of October and have never felt better.  Basically we ate meat, veggies, nuts, good healthy fats and some fruit and completely cut out all grains, sugar and dairy.  Easy for some, hard for some, life changing for any who really commit to doing it.  It certainly was for us.

But we’re human and Thanksgiving 2010 came–we ran a 5K that morning (which was a huge goal for us both) and then starting with lunch that afternoon began our downhill trajectory.  It was not just a few “choice” meals but a holiday season of hosting events and making concessions we KNEW were not good for us, but did anyway.  We never got back on the wagon after the first of the year.  We KNOW however that it is how we function best in the bodies God has so graciously given us.

We turned things around in May, but we still not 100% strict. That changed as of this week.  I’ll be posting updates on how we’re doing, our eating plan and our accompanied workout plan to keep you guys posted and to keep us accountable.

Below is a post I’ve shared with some friends inquiring about Paleo.  There are a ton of great sites listed at the bottom and if you have questions–please feel free to ask.  I am certainly no expert, but will do my best to help you!

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The biggest advice for starting Paleo is plan, plan, plan!  It IS hard in the beginning, I won’t lie–your body is adjusting from the lack of sugars and you will be tired by 7pm, but honestly, it’s so worth it to feel better and not bloated or awful after each meal.  Dealing with the cravings and being tired for the first week or two is the worst but if you can make it past those two humps, the way your body & mind feel are definitely worth it and you’ll understand it isn’t just a hype diet, it truly does transform.

As far as being successful with Paleo, I would say you’ve got to plan your meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I plan everything out on Sundays, make sure meat is laid out, veggies in stock etc.  We’ve realized that Thursdays are rough nights for us as it’s close to the work week end and neither of us feel like cooking, so Thursdays are crock pot night.

The thing I love about Paleo is that if you are eating the RIGHT stuff (eat meat and vegetables, healthy fats, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, grains or dairy), there is no counting or weighing.  It’s about feeling strong, mentally and physically, not a number on a scale.  It destroys the idea of a typical American diet, putting you in control as long as the foods you take in are healthy, you’ll be healthy, period.  There is no expense other than your grocery bill (which could be a little higher depending on the kind of food you currently eat), but there is no special food to buy, no membership fees to “join”, no special pill or elixir to take daily.  This is YOU eating the food we were designed to eat.

I would FIRST start off by reading this–and if you’re serious–doing it!  This is the 30 day plan Lew and I did in October 2010.  We are going to start doing this VERY strict 2 times a year.

We basically do the same thing now, but have cheese about once a week and allow for a FEW splurges occasionally.  Your body needs you to cut it out completely in the beginning to get rid of the gluten especially but also other harmful things that your body has been fed for years.

If that interests you, I would then spend the $20 and get the Everyday Paleo cookbook off Amazon.  Lew got it for me for my birthday and it is SUCH a great “starter” for someone new to Paleo.  The recipes are AMAZING and she has a great intro to Paleo as well as great workouts you can do at home.  The link to amazon is on her blog.

I would also look into Robb Wolf’s stuff for the more technical reasons of why the Paleo diet works.   He has a ton of testimonials about how Paleo has helped out certain disorders on his blog–be sure to look at that!

Finally, if you’re wondering if this works or if you want to do it, all three of the sites will say is if you’re questioning if it will work–just do it (strict) for 30 days and if you don’t see/feel a difference, then go back to how you were eating before. I would also echo that a 30 day commitment should be enough to convince you.

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Best,

Foodie Friday

Yes, I realize it’s not Friday, but I had an extra long weekend.  🙂

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I have been wanting to do this for sometime after lots of inspiration from my dear friend Melissa. She had this great idea of blogging her meals for the week with photos each Friday along with her “hubby rating”.  It’s been really fun for me the past week or so to cook and plan out our Foodie Friday especially since receiving some new cookbooks for my birthday. You’ll note our ratings (Lewie as the Beau and myself as Mylo) and recommendations for future “repeat offenders” as well. 🙂

Most of my super creative cooking happens on the weekends, so my Friday posts will include the previous weekend as well.  This starts actually on Saturday May 21st through Friday the 27th.

Saturday Lunch: Fish Enchiladas (no pic, sorry!)

  • Source: Everyday Paleo Cookbook
  • Beau Rating: 7

Got this out of the new Everyday Paleo cookbook, which many of these recipes found their start.  It was a good recipe and I was SUPER proud of making my own enchilada sauce with my new food processor (thanks birthday cash!).

I used tilapia and shrimp and between Lew, myself and Lew’s dad, we cleaned the dish along with some asparagus we’ve been getting in our CSA.  I grilled it on the stove top with some olive oil and sesame seeds–my favorite way so far of preparing it.

Saturday Dinner: Paleo Pad Thai

Paleo Pad Thai

This was knocked out of the park!  It was sooooo good! Lew actually sent this to me from The Clothes Make the Girl and we didn’t really alter it much.  I couldn’t find coconut aminos, so I used soy sauce for the sunshine sauce.  It was delicious! I could have added a bit more red pepper flakes during cooking to kick it up, but it was still out of the park–tastes the closest to REAL pad thai without using the noodles!

Sunday Crockpot Day: Harvest Stew (no pic, sorry!)

  • Source: Me!
  • Mylo Rating: 8

This is a great staple that I made up last fall.  The beau made this one as I was gone most of the morning singing at church.  It was very tasty as always, but the meat lacked a bit of seasoning.  🙂

It’s your basic stew, but with a twist–stew meat, carrots, red onion, sweet potato, and an apple!  Very much a fall treat, but not bad in spring either.

Monday Dinner: Pesto Pasta and Chicken

  • Source: Me (with assistance from EP!)
  • Beau Rating: 9

Petso Pasta and Chicken

This was a really great Faith Original!  🙂  I seared the chicken breast in coconut oil and then put it in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Once it was fully cooked, I plated the chicken then took the leftover spaghetti squash that we had from the Pad Thai and threw it in the hot skillet with a little olive oil.  The kicker was adding the Walnut Basil Pesto I had made the week prior with basil from the farmer’s market (another Everyday Paleo recipe!)  This was a GREAT way to use leftovers and the pesto.  Will definitely be making this one again!

Breakfast Tuesday-Friday: Egg Strata

Egg Strata

Yes, that’s right–this was one of Lew’s creations!  After stepping it up a bit myself and reading the Whole 9’s post on our dearly beloved bacon, the beau decided to get creative one morning.

I really liked the recipe–we actually had the exact type of tomatoes recommended (brand and everything–Diced tomatoes with Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Chipotle peppers).  Although I really liked the dish, the extra heat from the red pepper flakes in addition to the tomatoes was a bit much for me.  We probably could have used 1/2 a can of tomatoes and thew in some different veggies as well.  There will definitely be a next time on this one!  Was great to have breakfast all week already made!

Friday Dinner: Salmon Cakes with Ginger Mayo

  • Source: Everyday Paleo Cookbook
  • Beau Rating: Cakes: 9, with Ginger Mayo: 7

Salmon Cakes

This was one of the recipes in the EP cookbook I had been eyeing–Sarah says it was the recipe that really made her feel like she could get out of the “rut” of eating the same things over and over.  I can see why.  These were beautiful before frying, even better in the pan, and absolutely delicious.  The beau says they are probably the best tasting salmon cakes he’s ever had.  And there are NO CRACKERS or bread in it at all!  Crazy!  The addition of the dill and lemon juice I really think sets it off.

The Ginger Mayo was not quite as much of a hit.  It’s definitely in the Olive Oil we’re using–still the cheap stuff in bulk we bought probably a year ago.  Must definitely make the sacrifice to get some of the good stuff for things like this and the avocado dip I made last week that just tastes like strong EVOO.  Now I know though!

I hope you’ve enjoyed and will be encouraged to spice up your kitchen!

Best,

5 Core Values: Growth

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing in depth about my Core Values.  This week, we’re looking at Growth.

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I am one of those gals who is constantly trying to grow, personally and professionally.  It’s easy to get off track or feel discouraged when you don’t feel as if you are meeting the goals you had set out.  For instance, this daily blogging about my core values hasn’t happened as I’d hoped, but I’m giving myself some grace in the events that have happened in my life as of late.  I am happy to share one way my striving for growth in my core values will shape this a bit. 

Some of the areas of life I was going to tackle in my growth pursuit posts this week included my health, time management, finances  and my Scentsy business.

Although it won’t hit all of those areas, the month of May is going to be a great month of growth for our family.  This weekend, the beau and I will sit down to talk through our month, look at the calendar and make a list of our goals for growth during our “reset” month.  Many of you know about some of the craziness that has happened in our life recently and May ushers in a bit of a new season for us.  The beau will not be taking classes and things will settle considerably for me as the spring semester is winding down at work.  Yes, we still have finals and commencement, but it will be much less stressful.  I’m really hopeful this will allow us some time to grow.

We did a food reset in October and have never felt better, so we know that it will ultimately result in some great things health wise across the board–mental, physical, spiritual and emotional.   Sometimes I look at the list of things we hope to do and get a little anxious–it does seem like we’re biting off quite a bit.  However, I’m confident now more than ever that it’s the time to make it happen.  I’ll be back with a full report on Monday, but here are a few things we’re looking at:

  • eating whole
  • killing our TV
  • observing the Sabbath
  • not missing any days on our individual challenges (me-certain # of squats each day, the beau-certain # of push ups per day)
  • going to the gym 3 times each week in the AM for weights
  • jogging at LEAST 2 times each week
  • me-utilizing our Y membership by going to a few group classes (hello ZUMBA!–I’m gonna give you another chance!)
  • the beau-doing some physical activity during the lunch hour
  • not spending any money Monday-Friday except for gas and groceries

Stay tuned for an update!

Best,


I’m back! {Foodie Friday…sort of}

Yes, it’s been quite a while, but I’m back and am excited to get back into keeping everyone up to date on what’s going on in our lives.  The past two months have been pretty crazy (more on that later), but the Beau and I are hitting the reset button (literally) and are hoping for some deepening of our relationship, our health, and our home.

For a little sneak peek at what the next 30 days holds for our life, check this out:

Best,