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Monday, April 30, 2012

21 day physical challenge continued

Well, our weekend was beautiful and we spent most of it outdoors.  On Sunday, we went to the Arboretum and took advantage of the numerous logs to climb.  The whole family had a good workout there.

Today, it was back to the grind with sprints. I actually enjoyed doing this. It is my kind of work out; quick and effective.  I'm hoping I feel a little soreness from them tomorrow.  At least that means it is doing something.

Tomorrow will be a tough one.  I have to move every 30 minutes all day long.  Hello?  I have a toddler. It would be more of a challenge for me to sit down every 30 minutes.  Seriously though, tomorrow I have to track what I eat.  Ughhh, I don't do "diets", tracking or anything of the sort. I find them very food focused; however, I do see benefit in doing this so I will.  I'm hoping it will show that my carbs are right where they should be.  Wishful thinking.

So tonight I was really craving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I made one for my daughter earlier in the day and that just set the cravings off.  So instead I took some leftover paleo buns, see the recipe here.
I toasted them, put a little nut butter and honey on them and I was in heaven!   I love these paleo buns because they do taste so good and serve a variety of functions.  Give them a try!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Days 3 and 4- Going Paleo

Wow am I sore!  Days 3 and 4 were much harder on my body than the first two days.  The PEMs do not seem very hard when you start them but boy do you feel it.

Today is day 5 and I had to do an abbreviated version of the PEM. My body screamed "no" but I did it anyway.  Tomorrow is an hour long aerobic adventure.  I'm not sure what we will do.  If we have good weather, then the options are endless.

I put together a quick recipe today and it ended up tasting like french toast!  The best part is that it only requires 3 ingredients.  I'm going to name it "Paleo French Toast" and I hope you'll give it a try.  I dipped mine in unsweetened applesauce but if pure maple syrup is allow in your diet, then it would be awesome.  My husband ate it plain.  The following recipe is enough for two people so double it if you have more.

Paleo "French" toast

1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
pecans (optional)

Boil the sweet potato until you can easily pierce it with a fork then drain.  Heat coconut oil or other oil in a frying pan over medium.  Mash the sweet potato in a bowl (slightly lumpy is fine).  Add two eggs and cinnamon. Wisk until well combined.  Add pecans if desired, and wisk to combine.  Drop by heaping spoonfuls into the hot oil.  Flip after 1-2 minutes. They should flip easily.  If they are falling apart, they need to cook longer.  They cook quicker toward the end.  Serve while warm.

Let me know if you give this a try!  I think I'll try it next with some shredded zucchini.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Transformation Update

Well, I've finished days 1 and 2 of the exercise portion from Mark Sisson's 21 Day Transformation.  I have to be honest, it was easy.  The first day was simply doing two activities.  It was really windy out so I chased the Beaner around the mall.  Our second activity was doing leg lifts where I propel the Beaner on my feet.  She loves it and I feel it in the legs.

Today (day 2) was 20 minutes of cardio.  The hardest part of this was that I had to do it in the morning before my hubby went to work. I'm not a morning person.  I still forced myself to the gym and did 20 minutes of biking.  I like to think of that as the lazy cardio since you get to sit the whole time but it gets the legs moving.

I have been doing great with the eating part with today as an exception.  In celebration of our 8th wedding anniversary, me and the hubs went to Red Lobster for dinner.  You know those sinful rolls they put in front of you?  I quickly learned if something I really love is in front of me, I can quickly justify the splurge.  You see, the primal principal encourages going at least 80% primal.  That means in any given week, you eat non primal food for four different meals.  Now I plan to do this 95% but I will occasionally jump off the band wagon for special occasions.  So, the cheddar garlic rolls are sitting like a rock in me right now.

Tomorrow's exercise is what Sisson calls the PEM workout.  It goes like this:
5 minute light cardio (means chasing the Beaner around the backyard)
2 sets of maximum reps of pushups, squats, pull-ups, and abdominal planks. You can do whatever version, assisted or not, that your capable of.  Frankly, I've never been able to do a pull-up so a chair will be close by.  I know the Beaner will love doing some pull-ups too!

Anyone want to try the PEM workout tomorrow and see how many reps you can do? It will be nice to see if my numbers increase.  Let me know if you give it a try.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paleo challenge- Take 2

So as you may recall, I previously attempted the 21 Day Transformation from the popular blog Mark's Daily Apple.  I did quite well with the food portion but miserably failed the physical part.  Well, I am ready to try again, only this time, it will be "mamma's way!"

For the past week, I have been eating a paleo diet almost 100% of the time.  In fact, the only time I strayed was at two school functions where there were not paleo options and I was very hungry.  I did not indulge, just ate a few bites to curb my hunger until heading home. Previously, I would not have done this.  So what's the difference?  Folks, it's called Emotional Eating.  I capitalize it because it deserves a title.

Emotional eating is so common that I bet most of you reading this engage in this behavior.  You eat for some reason other than hunger.  For me, my triggers for emotional eating were boredom and fatigue.  I love my job as a stay at home mom but seriously, there are times when Elmo gets a bit boring.  I've known about this weakness for a long time and never did anything about it.  It takes a mind set to conquer emotional eating along with some determination.  You also need to know where this eating comes from.

Emotional eating often starts in early childhood.  Your whining and your parent shoves a snack at you so they can finish what they were doing.  Come on, admit it, we've all done this at some point in time. I always take snacks to the grocery store even when my kids just ate lunch.  Then you start school and your given candy and sugar laden snacks as rewards.  You learn that when your happy, eat.  You fall down and scrape your knee so your given a popsicle to make it better.  Perhaps your parents let you eat while you watch television?  That too becomes a habit.  So you see this eating can often start at a young age by well meaning parents who might be emotional eaters themselves.

This is where the primal way of thinking can really help you conquer emotional eating.  In the primal world, you eat because your body needs fuel and perceives hunger, not because it is time to eat.  During the 21 day challenge, your encouraged not to eat at your normal times rather wait until you perceive hunger.  In order for me to do that, I had to keep me and my little Beaner busy last week.  That really worked wonders for me.  We had many play dates, trips to the park, and walks around the block.  This also helped curb my hunger for sweets which is a big part of emotional eating.

So that was my big win for last week.  I also stocked up on a bunch of primal food and cleaned out what I could of our pantry.  Tomorrow, I start day one of the 21 day transformation.  This time I'm focusing on the physical activity part as I feel I have the eating part down fairly good.  I will however be implementing knew strategies regarding the food portion as they come up if I find I am lacking in them.  One of those will be a carb counting day.

For tomorrow, our (and I say our because Beaner is in this whether she likes it or not) activity starts with just getting out for two activities.  So me and the Beaner will take a walk in the morning and then after school I will be taking the kiddos to the park.  Chasing the Beaner around our city parks is always a good work out.

As I go along on this challenge, my version will also include working toward a primal family.  I was ecstatic that my primal donuts were a bit hit with the kids today and I hope to find more primal foods that they will eat.  Even more than just the food though is the lifestyle itself.  We live in a beautiful community with plenty to do so I hope to increase our outside time by double.  With summer break fast approaching, I'm looking forward to lots of fun and exercise.  So wish me luck and stay tuned for more progress and hopefully some recipes!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Going Paleo-Take 2

So you may recall a few months back when I embarked on Mark Sisson's 21 Day Transformation to a paleo lifestyle.  I was disappointed in some aspects of the challenge as I felt they were not suited for my reality.  Although I finished the food portion of the transformation, I did not do the exercise portion. Shortly after the challenge, I returned to grains and other unhealthy choices.  It took me a few months to realize how awful I have felt since stopping the challenge.  It has been like wading in mud everyday to get through the fatigue and weariness.

Recently, a friend of mine (you know who you are) began eating paleo.  She reports that she has an increase in energy and less stomach pains.  For some reason that really struck me.  If her diet, which was already void of sugar and quite nutritious in American standards, caused her stomach pain and fatigue, then what was our diet doing to me and my family?  So I started reading more about the paleo lifestyle.

In my reading, I came across a few different paleo families.  Reading their stories gave me new hope and motivation to try this change again.  Most striking were the stories about the change in their children.  Suddenly gone were the constant need for antibiotics.  Most recently, I read a success story on Mark Sisson's blog about a little boy Gabriel.  This child suffered from severe stomach problems, low weight and poor muscle gain.  Feeding him was torture for the parents.  They converted his diet to paleo and suddenly he has grown in height, weight and strength.  Sound like anyone in my family could use this?  Read Gabriel's story here.

I have been reading about how to transform your family to this lifestyle.  We live in a society where convenience and cute packaging is constantly thrown in our face. Our hurried lifestyles make it challenging to pack whole food lunches for school.  Even if you manage to do that, your efforts will likely be squashed by the never ending cookies or cupcakes brought to the class room.  So what do you do?

All of my reading has taught me that this transformation does not occur overnight.  Most importantly though, it must start with me.  Our children model what we do and if I do not eat paleo then they certainly will not.  So on Monday I stopped eating all grains, processed foods, and the greasy garbage of fast food chains.  I have to say I feel great.  Over time, our house will slowly get rid of the foods that our likely holding back our children from living to their full potential.  I tread carefully in this transformation due to the selective eating of my Rooster.  I am confident though that making this transformation will greatly benefit his health.

Stay tuned as I blog about this venture.  I plan to start my exercise portion soon. I hope to share recipes and exercises with you.  I always love to hear from you as well.  Do you have any health problems that you think could be "cured" from a paleo diet?  Are you willing to try it for 30 days?  Do you take medication that could be eliminated by this diet?  Dare to challenge yourself, you can only regret not trying.  Even if you have no interest in trying this, I hope you'll follow my journey.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Outdoor plans

I know I know, I haven't been around for a few weeks and for that I apologize. I think I have been totally overwhelmed with all the challenges parenting can bring.  My mind has been spinning with ideas for what positive changes our household needs to make in the next few months.  One of those ideas is really getting some good use out of our large backyard.  Last summer I told you about our new sandbox.  It hasn't really gotten the use we hoped mainly because the sand is quite messy.  My new outlook is, let's get messy.  Here they are having a blast because I agreed to let them fill it with water.

We recently added some stepping stones over by our big apple tree.  They are great for developing balance, agility, and coordination.  They are also great to sit on while you eat your popsicle.  My husband strategically placed them to make it easier for the kids to climb the tree.  You can see Rooster perched happily up there.

We also added a tether ball to work on hand/eye coordination and upper body strength.  I think me and the hubby may be enjoying it more than the kids.  You can see it way in the background of this picture.

This appears to just be the first steps in revamping our backyard.  Right now I'm working on deciding the how and where of a mud kitchen.  Won't that be fun for the summer?  I bet you can't wait to come play!