Friday, June 20, 2014
I've been getting very creative the past few days, and cooking things that turned out oh-so-delicious! I'm on vacation from working at school, and my hubby took 3 weeks off, and my son is home from university for 2 weeks. So I'm making 3 meals a day, and really enjoying it. My son is the one who got me started on eating Primally, and that is how I have been cooking. I am finding that I need to control my portions, however. Being around the two hungry guys, I have been eating more than I really need. I don't need to eat as much as they do, or get as full as I have been getting. For the first three days this week I kept my weight the same, but today I'm up about a pound. I have reset my goal from maintaining 135 to losing another 10 pounds, down to 125, but this week I have not been making progress toward that goal at all. I'm still under 135, but barely. So, portion control is the name of the game here!
Other than that, how is it going with the Primal eating? Some days I find I really miss the grains. Some tortilla chips, or a slice of toast with my eggs sounds great. I don't seem to be missing the sugar too much. Fruit is filling that gap alright. This is such a great time of year for fruit! I miss the dairy, but not the gas, so it's pretty easy to limit my dairy intake. I'm finding that coconut milk is awesome to cook with! Makes great curry sauces for meat and veggies, for example. The main thing I miss about legumes is hummus. I love hummus! And peanut butter, but almond butter is filling the gap alright on that score.
I find that I am spending WAY more at the produce stand, and I have to go every 2 or 3 days. However, I am not having to go to the regular grocery store much at all. It will be interesting to see how this all comes out, financially. I AM very anxious for our meat to come! I am out of beef, and we are keeping a side of beef from the steers we just butchered, but it'll be a couple weeks till we get to pick it up. I also ordered a half a pig from friends, but it won't come until next week at least. In the meantime, we're filling in with lots of chicken, fish, and sausage. And eggs! I started buying fresh farm eggs from friends again, and OH MY! What a difference! I had forgotten how much better they are! Future goal: have my own laying hens again, like I used to!
Eating meat and veggies (and usually fruit) at every meal, even breakfast, is different. However, I find that I like it. I haven't been using recipes, but just concocting things on my own. For example, yesterday for lunch I made a chicken salad that had the following: jicama, celery, cucumber, dried apricots, lettuce, cashews, cilantro, and a dressing made of mayo, spicy brown mustard and curry powder. It was SO yummy!
Okay, I'm rambling so it's time to quit writing for now. Lots of projects to go tackle today!
Friday, June 13, 2014
I just got done re-reading my two fairly recent blogs about eating Primally 4 out of every 5 meals. I have continued on with this plan, and am loving it so far. Except for my non-primal snack yesterday, where I went overboard and had 2 pieces of retirement party chocolate cake, 2 cups of punch, and one of sparkling cider, all of which combined to put me up 2 pounds today--except for that, it's worked very well. And even WITH that, it's working, because I didn't go on a full-fledged binge like I might have before. It was only my snack time I could have treats, and then I was right back on track. Normally, though, my "treats" are not nearly that bad, and don't cause me to gain weight. I have actually kept losing, and have gotten as low as 131.2, which has caused me to decide to go ahead and try for getting down to 125. So that is goal number one for my summer: Get down to 125 by September 1st.
My second goal is to try zip-lining for the first time. I have already booked a zip-line tour for me and my hubby, during our 3 day vacation in July. I just have to psych myself up to be brave enough to do it. I think I'll be able to. I'm very excited about it!
Third goal is to garden consistently and well all summer, including planting Fall stuff, and fixing up a plastic-covered section in my raised beds to grow some lettuce and stuff on into the winter. I'm off to a good start, having got early stuff planted in March, and Summer stuff planted mid-May. We've been eating lots of lettuce, kale, snow peas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and even an onion, so far. The first cukes will be ready soon.
Fourth goal is to do something about beautifying my deck and patio. They are full of weeds and broken pots of dead stuff. It's depressing to look at. Time to get myself in gear and make it look beautiful!
Fifth goal is to finish re-doing the photo album for 1987-1990, by the time school starts again in the Fall. That will be the last of my old yucky albums to redo. Then I'll just have to get caught up on the past 4 or 5 years!
These goals will be hard to accomplish, because I'll be working Summer School for much of the Summer. However, I'll get off work at 1:00, so if I budget my time well, I should be able to do it. Of course, I also have to fit exercise in on a regular basis, and the plan I have now won't work during Summer School because I have to start work so early in the morning. But it will work out, probably with a combo of very early stationary bike rides at home, strength training sessions on the way home from work, and evening swimming sessions (not all on the same day!)
I'm looking forward to this new, fresh start with a new, fresh schedule. That's one thing I love about working for a school: So many chances to start fresh! So, what are the rest of you planning for this Summer?
Saturday, May 31, 2014
This past week I have implemented the plan I thought up for how to eat Primal fashion 80% of the time, and I am really shocked at the results! In case you didn't see the blog last week, I'll quickly recap the plan. According to the book I am reading, "Primal Blueprint," the idea is to shoot to avoid all grains, dairy, legumes and sugar, at least 80% of the time. I decided to try it, and to calculate the 80% I thought 4 meals on, 1 meal off. Since I usually portion my calories over 3 meals and a snack, that is how I figured it. So, for example, Thursday this week was a strictly Primal eating day. Yesterday I could deviate for breakfast, so I had Grape Nuts with full fat Greek yogurt, almonds and blueberries. Today, lunch is my deviation meal, and I plan to have homemade zucchini lasagna (has cottage cheese and mozarella) and a Snickers bar my dad gave me a few days ago. Tomorrow, deviation meal will be supper, Monday it will be snack, and Tuesday will be 100% Primal.
So, what I've done is track to shoot for about 100 grams of protein daily, and 150 grams maximum of carbs. When almost all your carbs are coming from only fruits and veggies, that is not too hard to do. 100 grams of protein is a little harder, it means more meat and eggs than I would normally have. The rest of the calories come from fat, which feels weird and scary and like it wouldn't work. I can't tell you how odd and wrong it feels to be able to grab a handful of nuts to snack on, or dip my apple slices in almond butter (not peanut butter, since peanuts are legumes). Or have bacon sometimes, even! But so far, the results are very satisfactory!
I have felt terrific. If I'm hungry, I eat. I haven't had to feel starving at all. Sometimes I've even been unable to finish the amount I had tracked and planned to eat. My energy levels have stayed very level all day long--no crashes coming down off carb highs. I have had a very marked decrease in gassiness, which is a big plus in my opinion. I think it's the limiting of dairy, but perhaps grains played a part as well. I haven't ever felt bloated or painful, in spite of getting very full at times. I've had no headaches. And sorry if this is too much information, but I need to put it down for my own faulty memory's sake: I have hardly needed to use any toilet paper at all, which is the exact opposite of before.
The most surprising result of all, though, is that I keep dropping weight! In spite of eating so much food, it's just falling off! My maintenance weight is 135. I started trying the Primal experiment a couple weeks ago when I tipped the scale at 141.8, I think it was--perhaps it even got up to 142, I can't remember at the moment. Anyway, it was an upward trend that I didn't like, and eating Primally for a few days brought it right back down to target. But then I dropped even more, without trying at all. Today I'm at an all time low of 132.2!! Who knows, maybe my secret long-time dream of weighing 125 will actually come true! (Only if the rest comes off my thighs and calves, though--otherwise, I'll stay at 135-ish.)
I guess the last thing this 4-on-1-off plan has done for me is stop the bingeing. I know exactly when I can choose something special, and have days to think ahead of time as to what, exactly, I want that special thing (or things) to be. In the meantime, I don't have to go hungry, and truthfully, it almost feels like bingeing to grab a handful of almonds or cashews to curb my late afternoon hunger while I'm cooking dinner.
So, if anyone who may read this is feeling stuck, or needing to change things up a bit for variety, I highly recommend trying this experiment! It certainly is working for me.
Monday, May 26, 2014
It was nice of the school district to give me this special day off, don't you think!? It is my own special memorial day, and I am remembering all the good things that have happened in the last year. I am so happy to be at 133.8 today, instead of 175 like I was a year ago!! I am so happy to have something like 12 pairs of pants in various styles and lengths, but all in size 6, instead of one ugly pair of really big elastic-waist jeans. I'm thrilled to feel all this muscle. I love feeling so strong and healthy. Anyway, all that to say, A HUGE THANK YOU to SparkPeople, the website, and to all my fellow Sparkers who have been such a help and encouragement along the way. I reached my goal in about 7 months, and have been maintaining now for 5 months. NEVER done that before! I couldn't have done it without all of you!
On another note, I have to say that so far I am loving the 80% Paleo eating plan I came up with (the one I wrote about in my last blog.) I know I haven't been doing it for very long yet, but so far I feel very satisfied, hunger-wise, and my energy levels seem to be staying pretty even throughout the day. Mentally, I am not feeling tempted to binge on anything. I am looking forward to my non-Paleo treats at lunch today, and thinking about what I'd enjoy for dinner tomorrow.
By the way, I'm not going crazy on the non-Paleo meals. I've still tracked and counted calories, although I'm paying more attention now to grams. For example, yesterday my non-Paleo meal was breakfast. I had my favorite breakfast that I normally (up until last Monday) ate every day: 1 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup of Grape Nuts, and 12 almonds. So, the "cheats" were a bit of dairy and grain. But it's not like I had 3 waffles with a bunch of syrup or anything like that. Today is a special day, and my kids are coming over for lunch together. My son is eating Paleo, and my daughter is for the most part, but at least has to have her treats be gluten-free. So today's "cheat" meal is meatballs in marinara sauce, brown rice pasta, savoy cabbage with lemon, and gluten-free brownies with fresh Oregon strawberries (the best berries in the world, BTW!) I won't be tempted to binge on the brownies because I have pre-tracked the amount I can have, and, more importantly, with 6 people here to eat 16 brownies, there won't be enough to binge on. I'm still thinking about what tomorrow's non-Paleo supper will be. I think zucchini lasagna, since I have a lot of cottage cheese on hand that will expire soon. I had been eating a lot of cottage cheese, and am now going to have to stop the daily consumption of it, so may as well use it up! I'll use zucchini instead of pasta, and add kale from my garden to the sauce, and then splurge on some homemade French bread. Mmmm!
Saturday, May 24, 2014
I think I can safely say that I am officially a weird person who loves to live by rules. I, of course, like to change up the rules now and then because otherwise I get bored and in a rut. Nevertheless, I like rules. I think it's my way of coping with a world full of too many available choices. I have to narrow down my choices to keep from feeling overwhelmed.
For example, with clothing, I mostly wear solid colors. I decided I didn't like any of the photos of me in big flowery things, etc., and decided a few years ago to stick to solid colors, but go in for variety in textures. That narrows down my choices when shopping, which makes it easier for me.
The same holds true for foods. TOO many choices in the grocery stores these days!!! So I don't even look at most of the stuff, but stick to a basic list, and then go wild with whatever looks good at the produce stand I love to shop at.
Okay, so all that is building up to this great new plan I came up with today. It's time to change up the rules again My daughter has had to eat pretty much paleo-style for quite awhile, due to her health issues. Now my son is all gung ho on it, too, after reading The Primal Blueprint. So I've tried a week of eating Paleo, and feel super good. Full of energy, not enduring hunger, lost the extra 6 pounds that had globbed back on after Easter and my birthday and a few other unexcused binges, etc. However, I don't want to COMPLETELY eliminate grains, legumes, sugar and dairy from my diet forever. So I can't commit to that, because I know 100% that I would fail. However, the author of the aforementioned book (which I am not saying I agree with everything he says, as I am not an evolutionist and he clearly is, but a lot of the food stuff makes sense) says that you should shoot for eating Paleo--in other words, no grains, legumes, dairy, sugar--80% of the time.
At first I thought, well how would you calculate that?! Eat Paleo 8 out of every 10 days. Hmmm...don't think I want to commit to that. Then I thought, Hey, it could be 4 out of every 5 meals! So I figured it out on paper, figuring breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack as four separate meals, because it works well for me to divide my calories up that way. And it works out very cool. Every 5th day would be completely Paleo. The other 4 days would each have 1 non-Paleo meal, and which meal it is varies daily. The first day would be breakfast, the second day would be lunch, the third day would be dinner, the fourth would be snack, and the fifth would be totally Paleo. That, to me, sounds doable and easy to keep track of, and most likely an attainable goal. This method would also have the totally Paleo days falling on different days each week. So, lots of variety. I can still have hummus for lunch now and then. Grape Nuts and yogurt for breakfast now and then. A Snickers bar now and then.
I am postulating that this system will help me to avoid bingeing because my downfalls are sweets and breads, but life without any sweets or breads at all just isn't really life. With this system, though, the times to eat them would be regulated, and I would have time to think about what I really want. And they would just be one meal's worth, not a whole day. The rest of the time I'd be limited to meat and veggies, and nuts, and I don't tend to binge on them.
So, I'm super excited to try this out. It still feels weird to me to cut down on carbs so much, and up the fat intake so much, so I have to say I'm still a little skeptical. But I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes.
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