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Back in the Saddle

5 Jun

Ok, I have to get back into this to hold myself accountable. It’s amazing how much writing things down helps me stick to plans and achieve goals.

Today was day 1 of my new skin care/dental regimen, which involves oil pulling and facial cleansing with coconut oil. More on that later, but I’ve heard good things and am excited about seeing progress.

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I’ve also committed myself to going back to strict Paleo as I’ve recently gone off the deep end again. I’m such an emotional/stress eater and we just moved which is way more stressful than it should be and after completing a second whole30 I became a junk food whore and just ate anything in sight, completely reversing any weight loss I had achieved and then some. I saw a picture from my birthday last week and thought “what the hell happened?!” Sometimes you need that wake up call to motivate yourself, so here I am, ready to make my 28th year the best yet for my health (and 27 was pretty good, so I have high hopes!)

Please follow me again as I get back in the saddle for encouragement, advice, recipes, entertaining snippets of my day  (and likely some not-so-entertaining), and other good bloggy things.

Laura

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Days 9-11

26 Oct

I cheated again. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to step on the scale on Day 10.  And it had good news for me – down 3 pounds! And I figured that kind of cheat is better than a food cheat (mostly because I don’t have to start over again)

So after my pinched nerve incident, I was feeling kinda lazy on Wednesday, and decided to munch on leftovers all day, egg muffins for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch, and I even replaced a side dish at dinner with some probiotic packed raw fermented veggies I found at Whole Foods.

Now, if you’re wondering what probiotics are all about, check out the Whole9 site’s page dedicated to this issue: http://whole9life.com/2012/04/probiotics-101/, but in summary, Probiotics help regulate your gut bacteria and keep you balanced.  Most people get it from dairy in a conventional diet, but with no dairy, you need to supplement it.  I thought I would try this out, so I found the Fab Ferments brand at Whole Foods and thought I’d give it a try. Warning: bathroom talk is in this post.

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I should’ve read one of the last paragraphs of the above linked article:
“One last thing… you’re going to want to start slowly with this stuff.  Taking tons of probiotics or gobbling up tons of fermented foods is probably going to make you feel bad, bad, bad.” 
Now I didn’t have that much as you can see below in my photo of my curried halibut and broccoli, but seeing as I have never messed with fermented foods before, this was still too much.

ImageI felt OK after I ate it, and it was delicious, but about an hour later I had a bathroom situation, which we’ll just go ahead and call a blowout, and then the next morning I went to the gym, had a good workout, came home, and threw up everywhere.  So warning: great product, but ease into it.  Please!

Feeling a little put-off by my choice of meal the day before and its effects on me that morning, I opted for something safe for lunch: Chipotle.  I told you, I have a problem.  I am so glad this is allowed on Whole30, or I don’t know what I would do.  While out and about trying to find some accessories for my Halloween costume, I was at Marshall’s and wandered over to explore their random food selection. I was looking for macadamia nut oil, but found these gems:

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Yeah, yeah, I know, they’re white potatoes and they’re fried. Misses the point of Whole30, but none of the ingredients were off limits and I was having a rough day.  And they were delicious! So it was a pseudo-cheat.

Today was a new day, and I got back on track with a dinner that was totally experimental, and totally delicious! I had some free range turkey breast in the fridge, and was thinking about how I could use the pomegranate I bought earlier this week with it.  Now pomegranates can be a little intimidating if you have never worked with them before (which I hadn’t) so I had no idea how this was going to turn out, or if it would turn out at all.  I ended up with this delicious turkey breast with a pomegranate mint balsamic reduction:

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I had no idea what I was doing, so this was a happy surprise, but was also pretty easy (once you get past the pomegranate part). First, I preheated the oven to 350° and put my turkey breasts in there with just olive oil, salt and pepper for about 35 minutes (until the internal temp reaches 180°).  While the turkey was cooking, I cut the pomegranate in half (although apparently I should’ve done this) and put half of the arils in a saucepan and half in a bowl for garnishing later.  To the saucepan, I added 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock I made earlier this week, and about 1 1/2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar.  I put it on high heat and let it do its thing until reduced by half.  To this I added 1 Tbsp of chopped fresh mint and stirred it in while the mixture continued to reduce. When left with about 1/2 cup of liquid, I strained it so I was left with just the liquid reduction, none of the mint leaves or arils.  I drizzled this over my finished turkey breast and garnished with the arils we set aside earlier and some thinly sliced mint leaves.  SO GOOD!  I paired it with more prosciutto wrapped asparagus bunches and it was a perfect dinner.

Here’s to more happy culinary experiments in my remaining 19 days!

Day 1

17 Oct

Today was a much better day.  And by that I mean that I finished it without failing!

Last night I prepped my breakfast for the week (again) by making a frittata that was delicious, and again, super easy!Image

To make this, saute 2 cups of spinach in 1/2 Tbsp of EVOO and once tender, let cool.  While the spinach cools, dice 1/2 white onion, 1 red pepper, and 1 head of broccoli, and add those veggies to 12 raw scrambled eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Season the raw egg and veggie mixture with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste (or any other seasonings you would like).  At this point I added the cooled spinach and was going to add some bacon, but upon further investigation of the label, i saw that I had purchased bacon with sugar added, so I left it out to save myself from starting my Whole30 over (again).  Instead, I added a leftover chicken breast from last night that I diced up, but you could use any other protein you’d like – just make sure that they are Whole30 compliant – no carrageenan and no sugar added.

Preheat your oven to 350° and heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once hot, pour in egg mixture and DON’T TOUCH IT! Once the eggs are set around the edges, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking (time may vary, but it took about 25 minutes for me)

Once completely set, I removed from oven and I flipped the frittata out on a cutting board to cool, and once cooled, I cut into 6 wedges for an easy grab-and-go breakfast for the rest of the week!

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Now my frittata wedge was actually more of a lunch, as I woke up a little late today (you’ll notice that will be a trend – I am NOT a morning person!), so I scarfed it down and went off to work.  I snacked on a Lara Bar and had a cup of black coffee, but the whole time I was fantasizing about the pork I had left behind in my crockpot at home…

I have several obsessions/addictions when it comes to food, but my top 2 are definitely Chipotle and Starbucks.  In an attempt to save money (and prevent the local Chipotle employees from knowing me by name), I decided to make my own carnitas at home.  I confided in one of my friends who is a former Chipotle manager for the recipe; however, was extremely disappointed to hear that they get it pre-made and simply warm it up.  So, slightly discouraged,  I went to my next best resource – Google.  I found a recipe that claimed to be “Exactly like Chipotle!” Only problem: I didn’t have all the ingredients, nor the time (or money) to go buy them.  So I did what I do best in the kitchen – made shit up.  98% of the time it works out in my favor, but the other 2% are major flops (don’t ever make Paleo waffles – it just doesn’t work).

And let’s be real, it doesn’t get much better than crockpot cooking.  It gives me, as a wife, the opportunity to momentarily know what it feels like to be a husband. You know, come home from a long day of work to dinner, ready to eat – it really is a fantastic feeling!  Plus, if you live in an apartment like I do,  you get the added bonus of making all your neighbors jealous of your dinner by making the hallway smell like deliciousness all day long.

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This was as easy as heating some olive oil in a pan and searing a 3 lb pork roast on all sides (about 2 min per side) then transferring to the crockpot.  Once in the crock, I added about 1/2 cup of water (the stock I had planned on using had evaporated cane juice in it.  Damn) and then seasoned heavily with the following: garlic powder, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and then dropped in 2 Tbsp of juniper berries for good measure.  Set it on low for 8 hours and when you are ready to eat, shred it up, step back, and bask in its glory:

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We made carnitas salads with it, but the possibilities are endless.  I called the hubby on my way home from work and he sauteed a sliced red pepper and 1/2 a sliced white onion in ghee and then chopped some romaine and prepped our salads so that when I walked in the door all I had to do was eat.  I added 1/2 and avocado to mine and had planned on dressing it with some salsa, but (again) was discouraged by cane juice in the salsa I had purchased.  So, I added some of the carnitas juice and drizzled it with avocado oil to add some moisture. The end product was no Chipotle, but delicious nonetheless and I will definitely be making it again.

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At the end of the day, I feel satisfied with my food and my efforts, but find myself continuously disappointed in the ingredients I find in my food that shouldn’t be there to begin with.  Sugar in my salsa, bacon, and chicken stock? Seaweed in my turkey? Solution: Just Eat Real Food.

Compliancy

15 Oct

Because of my mishap this morning, I thought I would clarify for some of you who are reading this without any knowledge of the Whole30 program what I am and am not allowed to consume during the next 30 days.

Per the Whole30 website, the Whole30 Program is as follows:

Eat real food – meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.

In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.”  This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no coconut-flour pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.

One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements duringyour Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)”

Now, like I say in the About section, I have been Paleo since mid March 2012, so most of this is not new to me, and I cannot state enough how amazing the Paleo lifestyle was for me, which is why I wanted to get back on track.  While the 2 programs are similar, the Whole30 plan is much more strict and hence my slip up today. I can only learn from this and need to be extremely careful as I move forward.

Starting over after Day 1 isn’t a big deal, but starting over on Day 26 is not something I want to do!

Caved.

14 Oct

Well, I finally caved (no pun intended).  Over the last few months through my Twitter account (@lauraekron) and my Instagram account (@lauraekron) I have been logging my journey with the Paleo lifestyle, and with an overwhelming (and humbling) amount of requests for information on what I have been doing with my diet and requests for recipes from friends, family, and complete strangers, I decided it would be best to supplement those accounts with a blog!

I have been hesitating on this endeavor for a while now for multiple reasons: 1) Would people really care? 2) Do I have enough time? 3) Will I have enough content? While I still wonder about all of the above things, one thing made me commit.  I was in the shower the other day (which happens to be the only time I have to myself to think) and the name “Paleo in Porkopolis” popped into my head.  That’s normal to think about bacon in the shower, right? No? Oh… well, shit.

After I had the name I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and still fresh out of the shower in nothing but a towel, I logged onto to WordPress through my phone and created what I hope will be an informative, entertaining, and inspiring read for those of you who humored me enough to subscribe.

It was perfect timing too, because tomorrow I begin the jump-start to my diet that is Whole30.  I’ve grocery shopped and meal planned for the week, have plenty of time to prep (for this week anyway, the other 23 days TBD) and am very excited about this next month and all it will bring for me and my health and how I view food. I ask that all of you support me on this journey and back my decisions on clean eating and healthy living. I can only hope that this also inspires you all to be more healthful in your choices.

Ok, enough with the mush, let’s get down to business and EAT!