Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dessert makes my tummy hurt

So I continue to crave dessert- especially after a day or two with ample splurges (we went on a quick road trip which led to dried fruit (always very sugary) and some pie at a restaurant, etc), thus when I got back I had sugar cravings- when I gave in, within 10 minutes my tummy was upset :( I need to learn to listen to my body saying, no, that's ok, I am quite satisfied. And if I just absolutely must have my sweet taste buds tickled, some tea with warm spices does the trick. This is something I continue to work on.

I know if there is one thing we eat too much of it is nuts. And one we do not eat enough of is fish. Nuts are always the quickest and easiest food we have. I make energy bars with nuts, grain free power balls with nuts, have nuts on my yogurt and berries, and keep nuts in my purse as a snack on the go. And I even sometimes have home made trail mix in the pantry which is inevitably sweet and delicious (making great for quick nibbles as I pass the pantry). We are not really supposed to have more than 1 or 2 servings of nuts a day, even though I love my almond-flour based treats.

Fish is one of the best sources of good Omegas, but we still don't eat it often enough. There is so much argument over what fish is good and what is not- the thing I know is that wild salmon is good.

We got some deer meat (backstraps) from my Grandpa that my uncle hunted, and had one as a pan fried steak and put the other in a tasty vegetable stew (haven't tried it yet!). I made an excellent meat order from my farm that I will be going to pick up this weekend- my first try at home made beef ribs! (may need to splurge and get a bottle of Lucielle's bbq sauce) along with some T-bone steaks, stew meat, and ground beef for chile.

I am eager to get a food processor so we can stop buying frozen diced onions and to make many other cooking tasks easier (currently I do mini batches in the magic bullet blender).

Food is great. We have been getting spinach from the farmer's market- and I like it a lot more, though it does take a while to wash and trim. I have fresh asparagus to roast, and broccoli for broccoli soup to make tonight! I am also going to make some butternut squash fries!

All in all, things continue to go well! I am behind a session of strength training, but we did help a friend move and that involved lots of heavy lifting! Tonight is the first class in my next yoga session, which I always whine and moan and groan about going until I get there, then I love it and leave refreshed and feeling great! :D

For a no 'poo update- my hair is doing great- soft and volumous. I think it is still adjusting, but not so many fluctuations. It does fine with or without the baking soda/apple cider vinegar, though I use the ACV almost every time to help with tangles. My hair is long and thick. I do shed less, and my boar's hair brush breaks my hair 90% less than my regular brush. The ACV smell lingers until my hair is completely dry, which is not my favorite. I know I can look into some oils or other hippie/medieval (seriously, could that word be spelled any weirder!?)  ways to give a little scent to my hair.

So now I have a box of Dove pomegranate deodorants, a costco bottle of conditioner and 2 shampoos I have no intention of using that I will need to pawn off on someone :)

Just wanted to check in!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Checking in

Been a while since I posted an update!!

All is well! I FINALLY took my strength training assessment per MDA Fitness E-Book and now have done two strength training sessions- wall pushups, wall squats, elevated jacknife presses, feet/forearm plank and chair assisted pull ups!

My yoga teacher also indicated that the next 6 week session would be kicking it up a notch in difficulty, and I am psyched about that!! It is hatha yoga, but she always spices it up, and if you think hatha is the easiest, think again! Reps and continuous movement are one thing, but holding a pose like warrior or even a squat make my muscles tremble every class!

Cooking is going well- I continue to experiment and learn :) I tried two brownie recipes yesterday for a birthday celebration potluck next week- one was a blondie recipe, and the other was a Cooks Illustrated style compilation recipe. The blondies came out GREAT but the dark one was overcooked and very dense and sticky and just not right. Perhaps I will try again with an egg or two another time, but the blondies will be going with me to the potluck!

As I write I am nomming on my "cluck moo (whatever sound a buffalo makes cause we use bison instead of beef)" sausages and my spinach and brie fritatta (in muffin shape) that I make in bulk and freeze for breakfasts.

After indulging in farmer's market berries weekly, we have gotten a couple grocery store berries and they just absolutely pale in comparison. Claremont FM has 3 berry boxes (the standard little size) for $11-$13 - we usually get blue, black, and rasberries, and sometimes they have golden raspberries.(have you ever typed or written raspberries? There is a p in it! Crazy!)

I am excited to try some new soup recipes- if they come out well they will be great freezer staples. They are all vegetable based- butternut squash, butternut, sweet potato and carrot, and broccoli are the recipes I got.

I finally have so many recipes printed out, especially that I have tried and liked that I am going to put together a binder with dividers and slipcovers to make the pages spill proof!

No 'Poo update! Still going strong. While my hair is wet, the vinegar odor lingers mildly, but once dry it seems to go away. Volume and fullness are great- it looks and smells clean. I am quite pleased. I can tell I am still in the adjustment period because sometimes my hair looks 3-days-dirty after 1 day. Soon I will transition to baking soda and vinegar every other shower, then every third, then once a week.

I am using my boars' hair brush and I am absolutely shedding less, which is great! I also got some organic soap and some Jason's toothpaste from Sprouts. John insists I should use alumninum-free deodorant, so that is next on the list as well. I still use my Mary Kay face wash, but I did get a natural fiber face brush and a natural sponge loofa for scrubbing :)

So all is well- feeling blessed, healthy, and happy. Loving life, loving food, and loving my body, mind, and spirit. Wishing the same to all my loved ones and readers!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am becoming a hippie- but not a smelly one! :P

Today is a wonderful day.
I am somewhere around 145 lbs, with 180 being my heaviest a few years ago, and 170s being my usual before I went Primal.

I had a wonderful, excellent holiday!

I continue to work to incorporate strength training and eventually sprints, and try and make the goal of 3-5 hours of 55-75% heartrate movement a week.

Eating is wonderful. Everything is wonderful :P
Over the break I had an incredible buffalo steak that my dad cooked to perfection. I absolutely love the taste of buttery meat. I continue to cook new and now common things, sharing them with family and friends. I made Mark's sweet and salty trail mix as gifts, and they went over very well.

Although staying clear of grains is easy, refined sugar is certainly possible, but I strive for 80% and likely achieve somewhere in the 90s, minimizing sugar in my diet is still a daily challenge. I have conditioned my mind and mouth to want sweet. I want it as a snack, as an instant gratification, and after meals. The fact that I want it when I am completely full and satiated assures me that is is conditioning. I am working to use hot tea as a flavorful alternative, as well as squares of very dark chocolate. Some dear friends made us a batch of incredible salted macadamia dark chocolate bark that is so scrumptious and going fast :)

I read MDA regularly, watch Paleo Digest and other blogs. I gather and experiment with recipes. I am no longer tracking on Fit Day- I am getting more intuitive about my habits and weekly averages, but it remains a great tool in my toolbox.

I have always preferred curvy and voluptuous to athletic and lean, and so I am working to adjust my preferences so that I maintain a positive self-image. I can see my breastbone, and a good amount of ribs when I raise my arms, but I don't think I look gaunt or skeletal, which is what I really dislike. I look forward to gaining more muscle like a friend of mine named Erica, as I find that an excellent and very attractive balance of lean and athletic.

I am disappointed that I have lost weight in my breasts, leaving them saggy and much less magnificent than before, but now I see the use of well-fitted push-up bras.

My newest adventure is reading about the No 'Poo movement, where people stop using shampoo. It is based on the idea that slathering our bodies daily with chemicals to give the impression of cleanliness through corporate additives such as lather and artificial fragrance is not equivalent to cleanliness and health and hygiene. I am reading about athletic women who do not use shampoo and their hair is more manageable, grows faster, and is healthier and more beautiful than it ever was with shampoo. They tend to use a formula of baking soda and water for shampoo and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. There are some formulas for the transition from shampoo, as your scalp will need time to adjust. Eventually, I will mostly clean with scrubbing and massaging, and soap on my body- but I am going to get organic soap from Sprouts/TJs.
I will condition with the ACV as my hair is thick and usually needs some help smoothing out. I have read plenty of tips for brown sugar, vanilla, baby powder, etc to help with the adjustment period.

How to Quit Shampoo Without Becoming Disgusting | The Hairpin
Letters to the editor - Info: Shampoo Free

It's one of those things that just didn't occur to me. Think of how much money you have spent on shampoo. Your skin is your body's biggest organ and you cover it with chemicals on a daily basis without thinking twice about it. I have read articles from people who have gone soapless/shampoo-less etc and do not have complaints of dread-locks or stinkiness (even confirmed by their spouses). So yesterday I used no shampoo and very little conditioner and my hair is fine today. I have heard it also helps with itchy, dry, oily and dandruff as well. I look forward to the results and will keep you updated. As a note, I don't use any other product in my hair, and this would doubtlessly throw things off/increase the need for more thorough washing. You don't generally put your head in the dirt, so generally you need to rinse your hair and wash your scalp. I have heard the water and rubbing does a great job cleaning on its own, but I was very skeptical to this at first, so I am researching. :)

So I started all of this because it made sense to me, scientifically and logically. I have the desire to live better and longer and take better care of myself. I find that the more I open my mind and read about how you body can take care of itself naturally, the more I want to let it do that. And so, without meaning to, I am becoming a hippie- but I would really rather not become a stinky one. I still bank with BofA (dun dun duunnnn), and use chemicals in my house, but change doesn't have to happen overnight :)