Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A hiatus

Yep, I took a hiatus for about 2 weeks. I finally figured out that my scale was set to KG instead of pounds. Thanks, Grokster. So 102 kg converts to 224 pounds. A grand total of 3 pounds lost in a month. Not so good. I had promised myself a cake for my birthday, so I made a luscious chocolate coconut "Mounds" cake, whose recipe had been in my collection since I was 16. I won't lie. It was yummy, yummy, yummy! I made half the cake with a coconut filling, and left the other half with just a chocolate frosting between the layers, for Mr. Grok, since he hates all things coconut. It took me about 3 days to eat half the cake. I think it was the "diet" mentality that's all too common to dieters. "I'm going to do this for X amount of time, then I can eat normally again!" Well, normal ain't good. In the 2 weeks, I gained back the 3 pounds I had lost. *sigh* So much for that experiment. Although I did learn a little bit. Namely, that I needed to try something different than just plain low-carb. Over on Mark's Daily Apple, they were running a 30 day Primal Challenge. I like the Primal Blueprint, hence the name Grokette. So I decided to jump in with both feet. I ordered their 30 day Primal Leap Kit, for a pretty big chunk of change. Most of what came in the kit was redundant to what I had already read and knew, but the workbook was pretty neat. It was broken into 4 chapters to read, 1 for each week, and 4 chapters for journalling. I kept a daily journal on the website for the Primal Leap, but to be honest, I was disappointed in the site. It was restricted to those who paid for the PL program, and thus, it wasn't populated by very many people. It was more like writing a diary, and there was no give and take on the other forums. There was a promise that Mark would do podcasts, but apparently, he did 2 and stopped, and that was several months ago. I posted a question about some elbow pain, and never heard back from anyone. So overall, I'd say the workbook was good, but the whole package is way overpriced, especially considering that you don't get any one on one support, like they promised. But that said, I'm going to do the PL month again, because I did get some good out of it, and I also didn't focus nearly enough on weeks 3 and 4 because of company. I did stick to my program, and I'm very happy about that, but there's more to be gained. So this time around, I'm going to journal and give my opinions here on my blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 31 - August 31 - The end of the month!!

I hardly even realized it was the end of the month until halfway through the day yesterday.

This morning, I got on the scale. I was a little bit worried about what I'd see. What if I gained weight on this diet? That would be bad. Instead, my scale showed that I weighed 102 pounds. Ha! I think I need new batteries. Yeah, no way that I lost over 120 pounds in a month. If that happened, I'd be dead.

When I had my physical a couple weeks ago, my weight was down by 5 pounds, and that was wearing my clothes. of course, no way of knowing how closely calibrated the physician's and my scales were, so no idea if I actually lost 5 pounds or not.

Part way through the month, when I was having major sugar withdrawl, I promised myself I'd make myself a birthday cake at the beginning of September, as a "reward" I guess for going the whole month of August and being good.

Well, I did have that piece of cheesecake, and it was good, so maybe I should just count that as my birthday cake. Although I did have my heart set on something specific.

But I'm finding something sort of funny. The urge to make a cake for myself is severely diminished now, two weeks later. Even if I give myself permission to do it and to eat a great big piece of it, maybe even two pieces of it, I'm not really wanting it. I'd rather spend my time painting my kitchen cabinets that trying to bake a cake. Of course, my kitchen is an absolute, chaotic disaster at the moment, so maybe that has something to do with it.

I'm also sad that I'm not seeing a major weight loss in my clothes. They don't seem noticeably looser. Have I been eating too many calories? Has that chocolate - coconut milk - almond butter thingy been doing me in. I only eat about 1-2 tablespoons a night, but yeah, it's high in calories. I haven't been faithful in my exercising, but I never meant to start whole hog exercising along with whole hog diet change. One thing at a time. I'm not getting enough sleep. Rob Wolf said that if you're not sleeping enough to where you wake up without an alarm clock, you can forget about losing weight. Hrm...

In fact, there's several things in Mark'S Daily Apple article about 17 reasons why you're not losing weight. I think I'm staying relatively stress free, but I know there are times when I feel like I never have enough time to do everything I want. I try to take whole evenings and read a book or magazine, or watch a movie, but my kitchen is still torn up, my garden is dying of heat and drought, my kid always wants attention, and I just fired my lawn crew and now have to do my lawn myself. And Mr. Grok doesn't really help with any of that. He takes care of Grokster during the day, and the rest of the evening and weekend he's mine. Yeah, I love him, but he takes so much energy, and sometimes I just want me time! Ah, the joys of being a modern working mother.

Okay, so maybe not so good on the stress. Definitely need to work more on sleep. I'm about 40% successful going to bed when I want to (ie early). Will aim to improve on that next month. Not doing sprints. Why? It's uncomfortable having all that excess body jiggling and flopping around when sprinting. Sports bras can only do so much! And that's all I'll say about that!

Too many calories? don't know. Don't track them. Been keeping my carb grams to 50 or less, but otherwise, not tracking my fat grams or anything else. Eating a lot of fruit. Is that impacting it? But I love summer fruit.

Lift heavy things? Only started that mid month, and having trouble sticking to it.

Move regularly at a slow pace? In spite of my office job, I do try to stay busy at home and on the weekends. Just keeping up with Grokster, keeping the house cleaned and picked up, going shopping at the farmer's market and such. It's been too, too hot to go outside and play very much. I'm hoping September cools off considerably.

Do I just need more time to repair the 40+ years of damage I've done to my metabolism? I heard of one person who switched to primal/paleo, and for 4-5 months (maybe 6) no change. Then boom, something happened, and they suddenly started losing weight.

Am I wheat sensitive? Last night I listened to a Rob Wolf podcast and they had a guy on talking about Wheat Belly, and how modern wheat seems to have a super deleterious effect on some people, and it's not until they get rid of all gluten that they start seeing improvements. I know I haven't gotten rid of all gluten. I'm still having some sauces with it, or a bit here or there of bread or something, in spite of my best intentions. I'm not sure I can really handle a 30 day no wheat challenge yet. I'm not sure Mr. Grok could handle it cooking for me either. I sometimes feel like he's only humoring me, and I'm not getting any results to show that this is a good thing. I'd like to convince him to try it too. He's got high blood pressure and could stand to lose 40 pounds, but he's not interested. I feel like until I can prove it works, I don't have much to say to convince him.

He's not happy that I give Grokster raw milk when I can get it, or that we made a sugar-free ice cream with raw pastured eggs in it. So I tread carefully.

Oh, and next month, I have a lot of visitors. My in-laws are coming for a week. They live in Virginia, and my MIL was diagnosed with cancer recently . She's in chemo now. I'm going to be very selective in what I offer them. I'm convinced that sugar feeds cancer, so I'm not going to make any cakes or cookies or anything, even though that's a huge break with how we usually eat and cook when they visit. Then my best friend is coming to visit the week after. We have great times and we both love to cook and bake and eat sweets, so it's going to be hard to be completely compliant. I do plan to make the best choices I can while they're visiting. Then I'll try to do another 30 day challenge with my friend leaves. It'll go through Halloween, which will be tricky for me. I always love the Halloween candy. But I'm hoping that every day will slowly reprogram my body and mind away from carbs and sugar.

Overall, I'm pleased with my progress this month. I don't know how much weight I lost, but I definitely feel better, and my sugar and carb cravings are much less, even if not completely eliminated. I'm planning to continue this path, and I'll keep you updated on how I'm doing.

Wish me luck!

Day 30 - August 30

Not getting enough sleep. Was up too late playing a video game, and regretted it in the morning. Overslept, no time for breakfast. Grabbed some pemican I'd made a couple months ago, and it's been sitting in the frig. Was a little afraid it'd be moldy or gone bad, but if you do it right, it's supposed to have a shelf life of months or even years.

Honestly, I don't like the texture of the fat in my mouth, and the ground beef I used is like pebbles in the mixture. I put it through the food processor for ages, but could never get it "powdery" like is described in the recipes I read. Still, with a bit of salt, it's edible. That and an apple make up my breakfast at my desk. Pink Lady organic apples are very sweet and tasty.

Didn't grab my exercise clothes, so I go off to do a little shopping instead. I know, I'm such a girl/consumer. Picked up a couple of puzzles from the local thrift store. One for me, and an alphabet floor puzzle for the Grokster. Lunch is a piece of cheese and another apple from the grocery store.

Hubby lets me sleep an hour after work. He's so great. I needed that nap so badly. Dinner was hatch salmon patties on the grill, and I made some peas to go with it.

Day 28 - August 28

Sunday morning. Friday night and Saturday night had seen me consume copious amount of carbohydrates and sugar. I can't tell you how hard it was to stare at eggs for breakfast when the donut shop was just down the street.

I had an internal conversation in my head for a couple of minutes. It seriously sounded like the good angel and bad angel sitting on my shoulders:

"Go on, you already had something the last two days. Why not just have a donut this morning. You can have just one."

"No, you have to start sometime. It's going to be hard no matter what day you start, and it's only going to get harder to say no the longer you take. Besides, you don't want to throw away any gains you've made so far."

Good angel won out, but he had to talk a while. And honestly, getting out in the heat didn't help the bad angel's case, either.

I don't remember what I ate, but I know I was compliant. Made up another batch of my chocolate - coconut milk - almond butter stuff (I need a name for it). Made a small bit without the almond butter in it, and it came out like a ganache. Tasty. Need to be careful of it, because it would be really easy to over eat that. Had a lot of grapes, too. Probably not the best paleo fruit, but they were nice and plump and sweet.

Day 27 - August 27

The day after.

Ye gods, it's hot outside. It's supposed to be 109 today, and we have tickets to the Salute to the Space Shuttle at the NASA Johnson Space Center tonight.

I still felt a little hung over from the excess of rich food last night. I skipped breakfast in the early morning and went to the farmer's market. When I got home, I had a single bite of Mr. Grok's potato paratha and then some cheese. Lunch was more leftover roast pork. I'll be glad when that's gone.

We waited until 6:00 pm to leave for the event, even though gates opened at 4:30. No way am I going out in that excessive heat until the sun is going down. You know what? It's still miserable.

Our tickets give us a free meal. My choices are bbq brisket (full of fat, the white gristly kind, ick!), bbq chicken, hamburger, or hot dog. I go with the hamburger. Probably not very high quality, but it's easy, and the lines are long. Grokster does not like standing in line in the heat. I don't blame him, but it's not socially acceptable for a grown woman to pout and run around and cut in line.

Included with the burger is a bag of chips. hrm. Okay.

Drinks are free but they're at a separate cart with another long line. I don't see bottled water there anywhere. You're kidding me. It's 109 degrees and no water? I can't even find water stations. (Later, I did find the water stations. They had cold water and those itty bitty wimpy paper cones. No cups you could actually carry around and sit on the table to go with your meal). So I picked the lemonade to drink. At least it was cold, and right then, that's what mattered most. My other choices were sugary sodas and a diet coke. I despise diet coke. Can't stand the taste of any colas. So I grimace and drink my HFCS lemonade from a can.

We walked around a bit afterward at the exhibits, got our picture taken in front of a space shuttle backdrop, and let the Grokster run through a tunnel for about 30 minutes. It had maybe cooled off to 102 when the sun went down. We're not cut out for this heat.

So we all broke down and got an ice cream together and sat down to eat it. It was funny watching Grokster try to eat his ice cream bar while it was melting and dripping. He did pretty good. Only a little bit ended up on his shirt. THat's when we finally found the water coolers with the itty bitty paper cones, so we could at least wash his fingers and face.

I think my body was still in sugar burning mode, because eating the bun and sugary drink and ice cream didn't bother me at all. No sugar rush, no sugar crash, no real indigestion or heart burn. That's probably not a good thing. Means it's really easy for me to fall back into bad habits with no immediate consequences.

So I ended up with 2 non- paleo meals for the month, when I meant to have zero, or at most 1, after I found out about the (mostly mandatory) office dinner party.

Maybe if my blood work had been scheduled for the week after this weekend, instead of earlier this week, I would have found the will power to resist the bread, cheesecake, wine and ice cream. I suppose I could have. It seems like once I make one allowance, it's all too easy to keep making allowances, to tell myself that I already fell off the wagon, so why not have a donut for breakfast today, and I'll start again tomorrow. (That was seriously my thought for Sunday morning, but I resisted.) I guess I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. Makes it hard when you can't stick to the all part.

Exercise: running after Grokster in the heat. Ugh. Okay, so maybe sauntered after him would be a better description.

Day 26 - August 26

Our office is having a huge dinner party tonight for the Taste of Houston event. We're getting together with our contractors to go to Perry's Italian Restaurant for their special menu. So to get ready, I'm being good and had a good breakfast and lunch of paleo. Eggs in the morning, and leftover cauliflower for lunch. They want to eat dinner so early that I don't want to eat much for lunch and then be too full to enjoy dinner.

The Grokster is spending the evening at a neighbor's house with a playmate, so it's just the two of us. Perry's is not the sort of place you bring a 2-year old. Nope.

We get there, and I just know it's going to be a bad night. They have fresh bread and seasoned olive oil on the table. I already know I'm going to let myself have dessert because the menu is prix fix and consists of salad, entree and dessert. So I figure I can have a slice of bread. I have 2 and a half slices.

Then a friend and I agree to split a bottle of wine. I had only thought about getting a glass, but we got there early enough that it was still happy hour, and the bottle was half price. For the cost of a glass, I got a half bottle, and it was a great wine. Conundrum, a semi-sweet white California blend. I'm not a big wine drinking, but this was nice.

I could tell that I haven't been drinking in 6 weeks, because the wine hit me big time. I was completely toasted after 2 glasses. How sad is that?

Anyway, dinner was fantastic. I had the pear salad, and then I tried to pick the least carby entree. I selected the filet mignon with gorgonzola sauce and roasted potatoes. I only had about 5 pieces of potatoes. But what did me in was the dessert. I ordered the white chocolate cheesecake. Oh, wow, was it delicious. It's the sort of thing where you're full. You know you're full, and you're getting uncomfortably full, but it tastes so good that you can't stop. And the fact that I hadn't had dessert in over a month (a real dessert, not a paleo knockoff with coconut milk and almond butter) made it impossible for me to stop half way through.

It was delicious. But I paid for it. I couldn't drive home, and sitting in the passenger seat, I felt almost nauseous with the amount of food and wine, and I guess the sugar crash hitting me. I really felt uncomfortably full all evening long.

I won't say I regretted it, because I didn't. But it really pointed out to me how unhealthy a typical meal like that is. And how really unhealthy it is to eat like that every day. Now I didn't eat a big meal like that, and I certainly never drank very frequently. But I did have some sort of dessert almost every day, and sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Now I just have to remember how bad it makes me feel to eat that way.

Day 22 - August 22

Blood work day. I have my annual physical scheduled for today. That means fasting for 12 hours. With the paleo diet, it's not so bad fasting. I get a little hungry, but it's not the horrible, stomach-gnawing, nauseous hungry I used to get. Had my blood drawn, but I have to wait a whole month before I can see the results. Boo.

(Yes, I'm writing this 2 weeks later, so I can't remember what I ate. But I do know it was at least 90% compliant. I use that because I may have allowed myself a single bite of toast with local honey, or a taste of the sourdough croutons I was making this week, but I only had one bad meal the whole month. I'll admit to it when I get to it.)

Day 20 - August 20

Date night! I've been looking forward to this night for a month now. Mr. Grok and I don't want a lot of stuff, and each year, it's harder and harder to find something for the other. So this year, he suggested we get the babysitter to come over for the whole day and we can go out and have fun. Yay!

We spent the afternoon browsing around the Galleria mall, then stopped at some fancy schmancy furniture and home decor stores. Yes, my definition of fancy is Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. I was really disappointed with RH, though. Last time I was in one of their stores, they had lots of great accessories, but this store seemed to only be about the furniture.

We wanted to catch a movie, so we headed back to south Houston. we couldn't agree on any place to eat. I'm doing my paleo thing, and with my blood work coming up next week, I really want to be strict about it, so I can see how I'm doing.

We finally settle on La Madeleine, a little country French bistro. It's nice, even if it is a chain. I had the salad trio sampler, with Caesar salad, tuna salad and strawberries Romanoff. There was probably sugar in the Romanoff sauce, but it was tasty. I also had a small bowl of tomato basil soup, and it was very yummy. Then off to see Conan at the movies. BTW, not that great. It was okay, but it didn't have the charm of the original one. It was just a standard hunky guy with a sword and a rather elaborate complex villain that didn't make a lot of sense. I also hated the villainess' costumes. Ugh.

Anyway, I was proud that even on our date night, I did good. Oh, we did stop and I splurged on a small decaf mocha from Starbucks. So I guess I wasn't 100% compliant, but my goal for this month is to be about 90-95% compliant.

Meals: See above. 90% compliant.
Exericise: shopping.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 18 - August 18

As usual, I was up too late last night, reading a book. So I couldn't roust myself out of bed when I wanted to this morning and slept in til about 7:00.

I'm not as sore as I was worried about. Maybe I'm getting a little wiser with age. Something's gotta be improving, right?

Today was all about work and my kitchen. Working 8 hours, spending too long stretches sitting down. I get caught up in stuff, or in a 2 hour meeting, and I just don't move around enough. Some days are better than others, but yesterday, when I was moving a lot, it was all outside in the scorching heat. (By the way, we're up to 18 days of triple digit temps!)

When I got home, it was dinner and then play time with the kiddo. That lasted until 8, then I got busy working on my kitchen cabinets. They are all now glazed! Hurray!!! And I got the first gloss coat on the cabinet boxes. I think I'll have to do a little sanding and go back and add a second gloss coat in a few places, but I got a lot done today. It'll be pretty difficult to gloss the doors, but I'll just have to take it slowly. I'm really hoping I can have a lot of it done by Saturday afternoon when our babysitter is coming over to take care of the kiddo. Mr. Grok and I have a birthday date!

Breakfast: 2 slices of colby cheese and a couple slices of salami, eaten as I was running out the door because I slept in late.
Lunch: Free card for a Chipotle burrito/salad. I got the barbacoa salad and added salsa, a small amount of black beans, some corn salsa, cheese and sour cream and sprung for the guacamole. It was tasty and filling. Mr. Grok met me for lunch with the Grokster. So that was fun.
Dinner: smoked sausage and steamed broccoli, with a couple bites of chocolate coconut almond thingy again. And one piece of string cheese as a late night snack. I'm hungry again. :(

Exercise: None.

Off to pack my bag for the gym tomorrow so I'll have no excuses.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 17 - August 17

Last night, I was talking to a good friend of mine. He's 3 years older than me, and last year, he had a major medical issue that resulted in emergency surgery, 18 days in the hospital, 4 of them in ICU. When he got out, he'd lost 40 pounds, most of it muscle. He's slowly getting back into exercise, but he offered me his sage advice. He said he wished he could go back to himself three years ago, and tell himself how much harder it was to get in shape, even after just those three years from my age to his. He can't recover as fast, it takes a lot longer to build up the strength and flexibility. It made me think.

So today, I got my lazy, fat ass to the gym for the first time in three years. *sigh* Yes, it's been three years. Last time I was in there was when I was pregnant with the Grokster, and that was only up to about the 5th or 6th month.

I told myself I'd go easy. I've had too many times where I started lifting hard, and then was in misery the next three days. A quick warmup on the elliptical, then on to the squat rack. It felt comforting that even after a three year absence, I still knew just how to get into the rack, get the bar and drop into a squat. My form is still good, although a little stiff.

But I was shocked, in a bad way, at how hard it was. I did a set of 10 empty bar squats, then upped the weight to 95 pounds. That should have been an easy warm up weight for me. Instead, it was almost a workout. I used to go 95 - 135 - 165 and then start my working sets. Today, I did three sets of 95, and on the third set, I could really feel the fatigue setting in in my thighs.

I moved on to some deadlift stretches and back exercises, since I have to be careful about my back. It was a quick workout, probably 20 minutes or less. But walking back into my office was difficult. I could feel the exhaustion in my leg muscles. hopefully I won't be in too much pain tomorrow. I've got to get more serious about working out. Time to pull out Mark's PB workout plan and reread it.

Breakfast: 3 strips of bacon and 2 grocery store eggs fried in bacon grease. (couldn't get to the farmer's market this weekend for good eggs.)
Lunch: leftover turkey chili with beans and a sprinkle of cheese. A handful of pistachios. (still hungry)
Dinner: 8 ounce T-bone steak on the grill and broccoli.

Day 16 - August 16

Okay, now I'm back to relying on my memory, instead of my spotty notes.

My sweet tooth might be slowly losing it's grip. I've been following The Diet Cure, and taking several vitamins and supplements to help rebalance my system. but with my kitchen in absolute chaos due to the painting project, it's been hard to find my supps, and I haven't been taking them.

I can tell that the L-glutamine does help reduce carb cravings. I've been craving sweets and carbs more the last few days that I had been. But at the same time, given that my only sweet choice is the coconut chocolate almond thingy, it's not that sweet and honestly, not that appealing. not like a decadant gooey brownie that you can eat 4 or 5 or aw heck,I could eat the whole pan in one sitting, just because the taste and texture are so damn appealing. And damn the consequences afterward.

I swear, I have a sugar addition. If I stay completely away from it, I do notice that I feel better, I don't have gas, I don't have indigestion, I don't have heart burn, I don't get a headache, and I don't have mood swings. And I sleep better. But put that brownie or fresh bread in front of me, and it's super hard to remember all the bad things about sugar and carbs.

I've had to resort to telling myself that sugar gives you cancer. I know it's not proven, but I've read enough studies that I think there's a solid link and a good reason to avoid it. My mom had breast cancer, and my MIL is fighting pancreatic cancer right now. I don't want cancer, so I don't need to be eating any sugar. (You can't hear my whimpering about giving it up.)

Breakfast: leftover venison sausage links, shared with the Grokster.
Lunch: Chicken vegetable soup. Chicken broth made from a store bought rotisserie chicken, and dehydrated veggies left to soak in it all morning. Generous handful of pecans.
Dinner: Leftover turkey chili with beans and a sprinkle of cheese.
Snack: 3 bites of my coconut chocolate almond stuff.

Day 15 - August 15

It's Mr. Grok's birthday. Yep, we're one day apart. I haven't had a chance to buy him a card or a present or anything. Actually, we decided to get a babysitter next weekend and spend the day doing adult things.

So at lunch, I was out looking for shelf liner for my newly painted cabinets, and decided to stop at World Market for a card. While I was there, I couldn't resist strolling through their food section. I can't help it. I like looking at food stuff. I think I had a faint thought of trying to find some nuts, because I was hungry. But I didn't.

I did, however, find a lemon cake in a bag. Not the best thing, I'm sure. But Mr. Grok is not participating in my paleo experiment/lifestyle. And I felt bad that I didn't make him a cake. I can't. Because I would lick the batter and try the cake, etc. It would be bad.

So I figured if I got him a little cake, he could at least have something, and since it was lemon, I wasn't all that interested in it anyway.

We had some lemon curd from Trader Joe's that a coworker had given me last month. So after dinner (turkey chili), he cut himself and the Grokster a piece of cake and drizzled lemon curd on it.

Okay, I had a taste. I had one bite of his cake. The cake was not so great, but that lemon curd was amazing! Yummmmmm! Wonder if it's possible at all to make a paleo version.

Meals:90% compliant (one bite of cake, some beans in the chili)
Exercise: Mowed the lawn.

Day 14 - August 14

It's my birthday, and I'll eat cake if I want to.

No, no I won't. I don't want to. Okay, secretly, I really, really want to, but I promised.

Besides, I have my annual physical and blood work coming up on August 22 and I want to be really good in my eating up to that point, so I can see the effect that eating Paleo has on my blood chemistry.

Meals - 90% compliance. Had a few bites of that chocolate dessert thingy. Eating more dairy than I'd like.

Exercise - Scrubbing my kitchen cabinets to prep them for painting. That's a great upper body and shoulder work out.

Day 10 - August 10

The birthday challenges continue at work. We all planned to go out for a birthday lunch, and we ended up at Chuy's Mexican. I'm not a fan of taco salads, and everyone else was ordering off the lunch menu. I would have felt out of place ordering fajitas and then only eating the meat and onions. Then I saw a MexiCobb salad. So I ordered that, and no dressing. Avocado, greens, cheese, grilled chicken, bacon and tomatoes. Tasty, but I was still hungry when I was done. Not enough fat in it.

Oh, and the chips. They set a big basket of fresh chips and salsa right in front of me, and I was starving. It was really hard to resist, but I didn't even eat one. I know myself. If I eat one, I'll eat a dozen. So I didn't. But I wanted to.

After work, I spent hours running to different home improvement stores looking for a paint kit for my cabinets. Finally found one at the Lowes nearest my house. Go figure. After running to all these other stores.

Meals - 95% compliant. I made a desert-y dish with a can of coconut milk, a 6-ounce bar of Scharfenberger 70% chocolate, and some almond butter. Had a few bites of that. Still no carb-y stuff.

Exercise- does shopping count?

Day 8 - August 8

Going back and entering data from my notes, but they aren't comprehensive.

One thing I promised I would not do for the entire month of August is eat any sort of grain product. No bread, no chips, no rice. And no sugar.

However, I didn't tell my office mates about my plan. My birthday is later this month, and I have a coworker who had a birthday last week. So someone else brought in a Paula Deen banana pudding cake, and looked so happy that they'd made something for my birthday. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm doing paleo, and that I really don't care for bananas. So I took a piece and had two bites while in her office. I tried to eat the bananas, figuring it was fruit, and I could avoid a big forkful of the cream cheese/banana pudding combo.

I'll admit, it did taste pretty good, even if I don't like bananas. And it was hard when I walked away, to dump it in the trash can uneaten. Seems to go against everything I had ever done in my life.

Meals, 95% compliance.
No exercise

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 4 - August 4

I have more energy than I did yesterday. Still don't feel like tap dancing around the room, but I don't feel nearly as dragging as I was yesterday. Yesterday was terrible! I also teleworked, so no walking around campus in the wilting heat today. That may have had something to do with it. Also, I got a lot of sleep last night.

Breakfast: Pork sausage, 2 eggs

Lunch: Creamy Macadamia Shrimp from Mark's Daily Apple

Dinner: Thai green curry chicken with mashed cauliflower instead of rice.

Snack: Lots of fruit and a handful of pecans after a grocery trip after dinner.

Made an awesome salad for tomorrow. Broccoli slaw with additional fresh red pepper, pecans, diced apple, diced mango and mint, and with an orange juice-rice wine vinaigrette with hazelnut oil. Looking forward to that tomorrow.

Exercise: Mowed the grass (at 8:30 pm when the heat went down). Had some energy to chase the little boy around this evening. Spent a lot of time chopping veggies and cleaning up toys.

Day 3 - August 3

It's so freaking hot out! I was out several times walking between buildings at the campus. There's one stretch of sidewalk next to a couple of construction trailers. The heat and sun rebound between the sidewalk and trailers and it's just miserable walking along.

I was tired yesterday, but today I'm absolutely exhausted. Seriously, it feels like my muscles in my legs are completely out of energy, like after I've done a major lifting session or run a long way. Took me a while to think about it, but I think it's the low-carb flu that I hear hits in the first couple days as your body transitions from carbs to fat burning.

It was so bad in the evening that I just lay on the couch and had my little boy play around me. After he went to bed, I almost fell asleep on the couch. I was trying to watch So You Think You Can Dance, and I was falling asleep and not enjoying it at all. So I went to bed at 9:30. I never go to bed that early unless I'm sick.

Breakfast: 3 eggs scrambled with butter and some seaweed topping

Lunch: Big salad at the cafeteria with lots of veggies, some chicken, eggs and bacon and balsamic vinagrette.

Dinner: I honestly don't remember, and it's just been 24 hours (I'm writing this the next day).

Exercise: None, other than walking across campus a couple times in the heat.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Daily Food Goals

Figured I should write these down here so I can refer to them.

Starting weight:  227
Estimated bodyfat: 35%
LBM: 147

Protein requirements: 100-147
Carbs: <50 ideally. 80 max
Fat: ??

Calorie breakdown
Protein: 400-588
Carbs: 200-320
Fats: Who knows? I'll try to add in some good ones.

Total calories? I don't know. I'll log for a while and see where I am.

17 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight With Primal

Go here.

Just a reference for myself to come back and look at during the month.

Kicking Excuses to the Curb

Day 1 - August 1

You have to start somewhere, right?

The first day of reckoning is always horrible for me, because I know I've gained weight, but it feels like as long as I don't get on the scale, I don't have to deal with it. Why is that? It's so illogical. If anyone said that to me, I'd be thinking, "idiot. Just do it." Apparently, I don't listen to me very well.

Sooooo....Not a good way to start. My starting weight this morning is 227. Up 13 pounds in 2 months. How the hell do you gain 7 pounds in a month, and only able to lose 4 pounds a month? It's so totally unfair! I really feel like screaming with frustration. It's so freaking hard to eat Primal, especially when you're addicted to sugar and you have a husband who sort of supports you, but eats the SAD himself. And a toddler who's always picky and only wants to eat fruit and crackers. Getting him to eat Primal food is difficult, but doable, although it contains a significant amount of dairy.

For me, I'm severely limiting dairy. Always before, I'd do low-carb, but keep in dairy. This time around, I'm going to try and go as pure Grokette as I can. There may be some dairy show up, some residual bits of chocolate on a bad day, but my goal is to start small with them, and reduce to zero.

On the plus side, I've already stopped my soda habit! It took 3 months before I stopped craving soda. When I finally did have a taste of my favorite soda, Diet Dr. Pepper, all I could taste was a slew of chemicals washing over my taste buds. Ick! I used to like that? But I still had cravings for them, can you believe that? Now, after 5 months, I think I've finally beat my soda craving. I have ice tea, no to very little sweetener, a couple times a week, and the rest of the time, it's water.

Sleep last night: Went to bed too late, after midnight. Must improve that. Up at 6:20.

2 soft boiled eggs
1 cup mashed cauliflower with a bit of goat cheese
1.5 T butter

leftover roast
mashed cauliflower
blueberry kefir


Reset time

Apparently, I've left this since May. Not surprising. I always have trouble sticking to things. All I can do is try again. Not trying is truly failing.

No good things to say. I've gone backward. On my "diet/lifestyle change" I've actually gained a good bit of weight, gaining all I had lost and then some. I know why. I'm a sugar addict. I love sugar. I also have that mentality that if I'm going ot start a diet on Monday, I'd better eat all my junk food this weekend! It's even worse when I go on vacation, as I recently did. I went to my parents, and all the old habits came back hard. I started off good, but by the end, I was eating chips and two desserts a day. *sigh*

So here we go again.

My plan is to do 31 days of pure primal. You can do anything for 30 days, right? The only thing that sucks is my birthday is in the middle of this month. But I guess it's always something, right? Plus I'm sick and tired of being fat (again), and if I wait, I'll only get worse. I'll deal with my birthday when it gets here.

My goal is to write here every day and be accountable. I'll try to post my meals and calorie counts/breakdowns, to see if I can track how I'm doing. I'll also post my moods and my difficulties. My successes (I hope!) and my failures.

I plan to concentrate mostly on diet, since that's where I have the most trouble. It's also the easiest and most important to fix, and Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple, claims that diet is 80% of the solution. Honestly, it's hard to find time for exercise with a little boy, home repair, working full time, and cooking Primal. Plus the extreme heat and humidity make doing anything outside pretty miserable in the months of July and August. I'll see what I can improvise inside, but first, I' plan to focus on diet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Plateau Busting

I'm not sure what did it. Either my body finally got comfortable with the idea of losing weight, the unintential semi-fast during travel, or the 1 day carbo-load feast that came about a week later, but this morning I hit a new low of 213.5!

Yesterday, I put on a pair of pants I haven't worn in at least 6 months, maybe longer, because they were too tight around the waist. I guess it's the dreaded middle-age spread, but that's a topic for another day. Anyway, these felt fine. My pants today are a size larger, and I'm having to hitch them up constantly. Maybe in another week or two, I can go shopping in my closet for the next size smaller pants that I put away when I got pregnant.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stress and Travel

Last week, I traveled to Los Angeles for work. I knew that I'd be missing lunch on my flight out, so I made sure to eat a good breakfast with plenty of eggs and butter and avocado. It worked. I wasn't hungry at all during the day. Of course, sleeping through most of the flight helped, too.

We had a challenge trying to find someplace to eat in Pasadena that evening, plus we were trying to hold off until at least 5:00 Pacific time, so that we'd be on schedule with the local time. I hate eating dinner at 3:00 local time. I still wasn't hungry, at least not with the typical hunger pangs, but I was definitely feeling the mental fog of not having had anything to eat for 12 hours. I've been practicing intermittent fasting on an (what else?) intermittent schedule. It's not something I'm fond of, as a rule, but I can do it. I like that I'm not hungry when I'm forced to skip a meal.

We finally found a microbrew pub, and I did good. I had a steak salad with a pickled, fried egg (which was very yummy). Even though I ate until I was stuffed, I didn't have that horrible, bloated, sick feeling you get when you overeat on carbs. Within an hour, I felt fine again, and shortly after that, I was asleep.

Unfortunately, Mr. Grok was quite sick while I was gone, having suffered a bout of food poisoning, plus some other gastro problems, and he was taking care of Baby Grok. He wasn't doing well at all, and the stress of being away from home and knowing that your SO is in a bad way, and worrying about the well-being of your baby is very, very stressful.

As the week went on, and Mr. Grok got sicker, I got more stressed. Within a couple days, I was too stressed out to eat. It was a chore to eat eggs at breakfast, I skipped lunch, and dinner the last two nights only happened because I indulged in some wine and drinks that relaxed me enough to have some (high class) bar food. The last day, I think I subsisted on coffee, rum and lobster corn dogs. I even looked at the donuts and brownies they put out at the conference, something that normally I would have had a really hard time staying away from. But I didn't want any of them. I think it was partly the stress, but also because I've finally gotten a lot of the carb and sugar cravings out of my system. I did break down and eat one brownie over a couple of days, but I still consider that a big success over the way I used to eat.

The last day was the worst. We were flying home, Mr. Grok was sick and not answering his cell phone. I was unable to eat breakfast, and finally had some McD's chicken fingers right before the flight.

When I finally got home, things weren't as bad as they could have been. Mental note to self: keep working on the relaxation techniques.

Polished off a couple glasses of wine, ordered Chinese wonton soup for dinner and set about trying to get my life back in order.

I ended up losing 3 pounds last week. We'll see if it stays off. I've been stuck at this stupid plateau for 8 weeks. Finally on Monday, I was hungry for the first time in well over a week. I guess my system is getting back to regular, and probably wanting extra calories to make up for what it didn't eat last week.

Well, one thing at a time. I'm proud of the fact that even during times of severe stress, I didn't turn to food and sweets like I used to.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sprint Day

I finally got my lazy ass into the gym today. I signed up for the gym at work at least 2 weeks ago, but kept having various problems getting there. Forgot my gym bag, forgot to go...Hey, I admit I'm lazy. I'm no fan of exercise.

But I have a buddy who keeps pestering me to go, so today I made it in - with my gym bag - and motivated myself to the gym. I promised I'd start easy. Sprints on the elliptical. I really did go easy: 5 minute warm up, then 1 minute sprint at high resistance followed by 1 minute slow at a low resistance. Five sprints total, and a short cool down. And then I was done. Short and easy and out in time to have lunch and get ready for my afternoon meetings.

I know I did something. My legs are tired.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Benefit #5

Being able to miss meals without getting hungry.

This morning, I had a meeting at 7:30 at a restaurant. Silly me, I assumed a meeting in a restaurant at that time meant we'd be ordering breakfast. But no. The only thing we ended up eating the whole 2 hours was coffee, or tea for me.

Before I switched to eating primal, if I went more than about 4 hours, I was feeling hunger pangs. If I went too long, or had a blood sugar spike and crash from a previous meal, I was really hurting. But today, I not only skipped breakfast and was able to still think and communicate clearly, I went through lunch with just a small bowl of vegetable soup. I'm still doing just fine. A little bit hollow inside, maybe, and looking forward to a nice cod dish for dinner tonight, but it's not the over-powering, distracting hunger I used to have.

I love the feeling of freedom I have now. I'm no longer tied to my stomach. I still love to eat, and sometimes eat too much, but I don't feel like I HAVE to have a power bar in my purse, or HAVE to pack a lunch if I'm running late.

If I miss a meal, I just remind myself that Grok and Grokette were never assured of three square meals a day, and it won't hurt me to miss one or two. Especially since I've got a few weeks worth of reserves padding my waist.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Primal Survival Beef and Vegetable Soup

Today I was working from home and decided to do something a little different for lunch. It's a cold day here and soup sounded really good. We've eaten most of our fresh vegetables and with an impending ice storm, we didn't want to fight the hordes at the grocery store going for their bread, milk and toilet paper. (Really people, the roads will be slick tonight and tomorrow morning and by Saturday it'll be back up to 50 degrees. You can't manage to spend 36 hours at home with the food that you have in your pantry?)

I had some leftover beef stock in the refrigerator from a grass-fed pot roast we had last week. It had a nice layer of tallow on top of a good and jiggly bit of stock. I tossed the whole thing in a sauce pan, fat and all.

As it melted, I added three strips of beef jerky and let it soften for 10-15 minutes. The broth was getting a bit low, so I added a cup of water, then some dehydrated tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, kale and a few slices of dehydrated sweet potato. I let that simmer for about 15 minutes. Added some sea salt and pepper and it made a mighty tasty and mighty filling warm bowl of soup.

I call it Survival soup, because I stocked up on some dehydrated vegetables so that I'd have them in event of emergency (meaning I was out of fresh). They've worked out really well. They softened up and weren't hard at all. The jerky was still a little tough, but nothing bad. Just a little chewy.

The take away: Save your leftover juice from cooking a pot roast and turn it into a tasty soup with fresh, dehydrated or leftover vegetables and beef.

Plateaus - Day 23

Well, it appears I spoke too soon. I'm back up to 219. *sigh*

I'm tracking my calories and macronutrient profile. I'm eating about 1600-1800 calories/day, around 80-90 grams protein, and 60-80 grams of carbs, mostly from vegetables and my half of a protein brownie every day. I've had no flour, rice, oats, corn or sugar. I've cut my sodas down to 1 a day, from my usual 3-4 a day. I'm moving more, although I'm not doing dedicated exercise.

Speaking of exercise, I actually signed up for a year's membership at the gym at work, and yesterday, I packed my gym bag, but I had so much stuff going out the door than I forgot to bring my gym bag. I keep thinking I'll do something at home, but I'm having a terrible time getting up the gumption to do it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Plateaus - Day 21

I've been at the same weight for 21 days now. Initially I was excited because I lost the requisite 5 pounds of water weight and I was happily waiting for the 1 or 2 pounds a week (hopefully). But I stalled almost immediately. I was stuck between 218 and 220 for 21 days.

Yesterday, I was at 217.5 and I thought MAYBE I had broken through the plateau. But this morning, it's back to 218. At least it's not higher.

I weigh myself every morning so I can keep a 10 day running average of my weight, and that's what I use to gauge my progress, not the actual number on the scale, because it can fluctuate by 2-4 pounds in a day.

I've upped my fat content in my diet, cut out all processed foods except the 1/2 protein "brownie" that is my afternoon snack. I'm eating plenty of veggies. Still have a decent amount of dairy in the butter and an ounce or so of cheese every day. I'll stick with this for another week. I've been slowly trying to add in more daily exercise/movement.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Stairs. Oh How I Hate Stairs.

I work in an office building, on the 7th floor. Good view, but that's a lot of stairs to climb. In fact, I rarely ever take the stairs. In the past 5 years, I may have climbed them 10 times. Each story is 22 steps, and they're tall steps.

This January, it seems that everyone in my office is on some sort of diet or exercise plan, and a couple of them were doing the stairs twice a day. I thought it was a good idea, but I didn't want to share my wheezing discomfort with my office mates. Besides, I said I was taking things slowly.

But I'd been re-reading the Primal Blueprint and thought I was done with excuses. So I started climbing the stairs. Just once a day, and just by myself. No one else to see how red faced I was getting.

You know what I discovered? It's not that bad. Yeah, I'm out of breath. But I just go slowly. I figure I'm still burning calories, whether I sprint or plod. So for the past week, I've plodded up the stairs at least once a day.

The last couple of days, I've been thinking about sprint workouts. Seems good in my head, but I've never been able to get up the gumption after 22-month old Groksy goes to bed to do anything strenuous. Today, I decided to change that.

I sprinted up the stairs.

Okay, maybe I only made it up three flights before my legs got too rubbery to go on. But I plodded my way up another four flights, then forced myself to sprint two more flights. By this point, I had to actually stop and catch my breath before I plodded the remainder of the way to the top.

You know what I learned?

The trip goes a lot faster when you sprint, even if you take time out to rest. You're not thinking about each individual stair, but whether or not your rubbery legs will make the rise or if you'll fall flat on your face.

And two, I actually felt kind of exhilarated. Yeah, I was sucking wind and my legs were rubbery, but my mind was happy. I'll have to try it again tomorrow. Small steps, but it's a start.

The Take Away: Don't just walk up the stairs. Sprint up a couple of those flights.

Recipe for a Primal Pizza

I got this from This Primal Life.

I tried it and it was really good. Not only that, my husband and my picky 22-month old toddler loved it too. So it gets three thumbs up and a place in my tried-and-true recipe folder.

I did make some changes. I didn't have almond flour, and I'm still avoiding giving my toddler nuts. Instead, I mixed in coconut flour. I could detect a coconut smell in the dough, and I was worried because Mr. Grok doesn't like coconut. But when the crust was baking, it smelled more like the Parmesan cheese than coconut.

We also had to bake it a lot longer than the original recipe called for. Not sure why. I cooked it 15 minutes, then flipped it onto a baking sheet. Then it had to bake almost 20 minutes more, checking it every 5 minutes.

For toppings, we were almost out of pepperoni, so Mr. Grok claimed what was left. I made a veggie topping out of sauteed onions, red peppers and mushrooms.

We cut it into 8ths, and I had 3 big slices, and it more than filled me up. A salad would go well with it, but as a former vegetable hater, I thought I had a decent amount of veggies as it was.

In The Beginning

What am I?

I could start with the easy stuff. I'm a woman, 42 years old, a mother of a toddler, a happily married wife, a professional engineer, a non-native Texan, a jill-of-all-trades.

Or I could try something a bit more personal. I love reading and playing video games, I'm hooked on reality TV, I love chocolate and all things bready and sweet. I hate exercising. Put all that together, and you get a middle-aged mom who's chronically overweight and probably flirting with diabetes, if not cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome. Okay, I'll say it. As of this morning, I weighed 219 pounds, and I hate it.

I pretend it's not that bad, because hey, at one point, I weighed 265 pounds. But a couple years ago, I got down to 165, and now I'm back up. why? Probably because I didn't lose weight a very sustainable way. I did the Medifast plan, and it worked. It worked great. But I was always hungry, and toward the end, my hair started falling out. Eeek! So I tried to eat sensibly, limit my calories to 1200 a day and do some moderate exercise, including weight lifting, which is the only exercise I like.

But after a few months, the weight was up to 185, then 190. Then I got pregnant and everything went out the window. I tried so hard to eat carefully during the pregnancy, and did okay til the very end. The first year was so stressful, and I turned back to food to cope. I never did lose the baby weight and I added another 5 pounds on top of that.

I finally said enough is enough. I found Marks Daily Apple, and he made a lot of sense. I've always thought that we evolved a certain way for a reason, and the human body is a smart thing, independent of our brains. What Mark was saying passed my BS test, plus I've always been most comfortable eating on a low-carb diet. I've just never had the motivation to stick to it for more than a few months, especially when Christmas and the holiday baking season came around.

Now I've got a better reason for sticking to it. I don't want my little boy to grow up having a fat mommy, or having him watch me struggle with weight or get food issues from me. I have to fix this and soon!

Anyway, this is my personal place to detail my ups and downs, the struggles and successes, links to interesting articles, recipes and anything else primal that strikes my fancy. I've given myself a goal of 50 pounds in one year. So far, I've lost 7, so this is another place to be honest with myself.

I'm doing this blog for me, but if anyone else finds it, I hope they find something useful. Feel free to leave comments, and best of luck to anyone reading this. Especially me!