breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Archive for the ‘Success’ Category

Airport Paleo? Yes!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel. The smell of jet fuel immediately gets all twenty types of endorphins flowing. I get giddy and tingly and expectant. But if the body is flooded with endorphins, it thinks something awful is coming. And it would be right.

Airline cuisine. Airport dining. Travel food in general. Not on anyone’s bucket list of dining experiences. Unless you adore tiny bags of miniature pretzels. Or love puny packages of peanuts.

Now try eating Paleo on planes. Ain’t gonna happen … gotta bring your own food. I can handle that. But the layovers at airports are often forced “cheat days” with foods I don’t even WANT to cheat with!

I was THRILLED this month to find not only a Paleo-worthy meal at the Salt Lake City airport, but a reasonably priced Paleo-worthy meal:

Greek Souvlaki Chicken Stick

This find was served at a Greek-themed food court establishment. They called it a Chicken Stick. It was offered as a side and priced under $5! The chicken was tender and succulent, the veggies grilled nicely and the whole thing seasoned superbly. I added a side salad … more great veggies and a delicious oil/vinegar dressing. I don’t usually go for dressings, but I devoured this!

Just thinking of that meal gets my happy chemicals flowing. Can’t wait to get back to the airport and have this again.

What Motivates Me …

My daughter flew off to the Crossfit Games in California last week. She is still pumped from the experience. She got to meet fantastic athletes and she brought her enthusiasm back to the E3 box in Eagle, Idaho where she coaches and I where I push myself beyond my preconceived ideas of what my body is capable of doing.

jump rope

Like today. I can’t do double unders with the jump rope. So until I figure them out, I have to triple the prescribed number of double unders and perform that many single jumps. Today that meant 90 single jumps. But wait! There were 7 rounds. So that was a total of 630 single jumps. But wait! In between each set of 90 single rope jumps, there were 7 chest to bar pull ups (that I modify by jumping up to the bar from a platform). So that was a total of 49 pull ups.

And I did it. I remember the day a few months ago I had to do 300 single rope jumps and inside I was cursing and crying and whining and panting and thinking I would NEVER do THAT again.


Funny how a little belief in the old self can chip away at all the years of disbelief.

What motivates me? The coaches at my box who quietly expect me to try, even if I whine. Who say good job and give me a fist bump when I complete new moves and hard WODs. Who tear up when I complete a BIG round of lifts that I didn’t think I could do. Who correct my many errors in form so I can stay healthy. And all the others Crossfitters who sweat beside me and cheer me on and validate that a 60 year old woman DOES have a place in a Crossfit box.

And these women: Row-Clean-Burpee: Women 60+ | CrossFit Games.

I know that I could have done the 1000 meter row, because I have done it. I am working on cleans and getting better. Now that I’ve seen these athletes bang out 50 burpees, I can work on hating them less and just try to get ’em done! Not saying I’m aiming for the Games, but if I pretend I am …. who knows?

Current Weight/Fitness Stats

Went to my dietician today. I’ve been going to her since Jan. 31, 2012.

First number is from that date. Second is from today.

Weight: 152 / 137 (lost 15 lbs.)

BMI: 26.7 / 24 (was overweight, now in normal range)

Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 (was high, now normal for my age)

Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 (was mid-normal, now high normal)

Body Age: 60 / 53 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)

Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 (less than 9 is normal)

I’d like to elaborate a little on the Skeletal/Muscle Percentage. From the end of January until the first part of April, I went to the gym to do weight machines every other day or so. I was really focused on cardio, and was walk/jogging or using the elliptical machine for 45 minutes seven days a week. I would aim to burn about 350 or more calories through cardio. My skeletal/muscle percentage showed an average monthly gain of 0.2%.

I started Crossfit in early April, 2012 and my average monthly skeletal/muscle percentage growth doubled to 0.4%. Not surprising, but validating. I will emphasize here that I go to a well-run Crossfit gym that knows how to work with all ages and body types/needs. I am a Careful Crossfitter as well and am pushing myself *slowly* to get stronger.

I adopted *mostly* Paleo eating ideas right when I started going to my dietician. She is very open-minded and did not discourage me from Paleo. She asked me to watch calories, however and I’m glad I did. There are a LOT of calorie-dense Paleo foods that are exactly like non-Paleo treats in terms of Taste Bud trickers and can lead to overindulgence. My dietician sees these pitfalls in almost all eating plans. She worked with me to develop healthy attitudes about them and strategies for enjoying them without going over the top.

One of the best outcomes: I have more and more days of a tremendously content stomach/body connection. Truly, truly eating when hungry …. stopping when about 80% full … truly, truly feeling emotionally full as well as physically rejuvenated.

Shhh! We’ve Got A Secret!

Don’t tell The Brains, but we, HerBrattyTasteBuds, hacked into her blog account and it’s OUR turn to post.

We’ve been biding our time to see how long this “diet” thing was going to last. While we relaxed, we did a little bit of poking around on the web. And we found this guy who seems to understand (and maybe even like?) us little sensory organs.

Listen to THIS! “Taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can’t be with the foods they love, they learn to love the foods they’re with.”

What do you think of THAT? That enlightened piece of wisdom is straight from the mind of Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. (You can read the whole article containing that quote in the article Salt, Siblings and Shelf Life, April 23, 2010 here:

Doesn’t Malleable Little Fellas sound so very much kinder than BrattyTasteBuds? And did you notice that Dr. Katz used the word “love” not once, but twice in the SAME sentence. He was talking about US, and what we are capable of!

So, The Brains made us something today that totally validates the wisdom of Dr. Katz. We are going to call it Taste Buddies Delight. What The Brains did was put all this stuff (and most of a banana) into her blender, whirred for about 40 seconds, and poured it all over us.

MAN! I want to keep it clean here, but we’re not called sensory organs for nothing! It was like bathing in the most beautiful sunrise you could imagine. It really woke us up and got us dancing!

So, maybe we will just re-direct any remaining brattiness we have left into hacking and blogging. Maybe we can convince The Brain that we want to be less bratty where food is concerned. Maybe we can even become her Taste Buddies!

Taste Buddies Delight

Ingredients for Smoothie

Blend all:
¾ banana
6 pineapple chunks
1 T pineapple juice
¾ c. coconut almond milk blend (unsweetened)
1 T almond butter
½ t. cinnamon honey
1 t. hemp protein
2 ice cubes

A Good Day for MyBrattyTasteBuds and I

Yesterday at my Crossfit gym, the workout started with a discussion on what powers our workouts: nutrition. Crossfit recommends Zone or Paleo eating. I didn’t know much about Zone, but found out that an important concept is to eat every 3-4 hours, including an hour before bed and within an hour of waking in the morning. That keeps the metabolism even. Every meal and snack needs to have protein, good fat and good carbs. This keeps the insulin even.

I might try to blend the two if possible.

But today, everything I ate made me feel awesome! MBTBs were so content and non-demanding! I gave them a tasty sweet potato hash from The Everyday Paleo cookbook, some “Paleo poop” (, some yummy almond butter …(and other things, of course) … And to top it off …

Fresh strawberries with coconut/ almond milk poured over them, with a bit of cinnamon and hemp seed topping. Happy, happy Taste Buddies!

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

My daughter, who has been my role model for my journey this last year, recommended this book. So I just got the Kindle version, and now I can have everything at my fingertips.

This book has a great section on eating Paleo (which I’ve been *mostly* doing since January and dramatically reduced my LDL cholesterol) and a great section on the kinds of exercise I’ve been doing for 2 months (dramatically reducing the number of migraines I’ve had while increasing muscle tone, strength, flexibility). I don’t think the exercises are called Crossfit in the book, but the moves are the ones I do at my Crossfit gym.

It shows how to feed kids the Paleo way, and tells of how the author’s children benefitted (including some behavior improvements).

I am excited to try some new recipes!

Tough Love for Taste Buds Pays Off

Bratty Taste Buds, you know I love you. It’s just that you have run me ragged over the years, and frankly it wasn’t working any more. So I had to get tough.

I appreciate the fact that you are being so understanding lately, and actually enjoying almond butter and coconut milk and chia seeds and vegetables all sorts of ways including blended up into a gooey drink.

It was very nice to be able to take you out for dinner and give you some coconut shrimp and Chilean Sea Bass with a great sauce. I know you appreciated the Key Lime pie, but I was truly impressed when you only wanted half the portion and waited until the next day for the rest.

Is it possible we can both be happy? I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

My Bratty Taste Buds School ME!

I have offended my taste buds. Seems they don’t love being called bratty. They sat me down and told me a thing or two. Here’s how it went:

MBTBs: You are hurting our feelings. We don’t like being called bratty.

Me: (Didn’t I just say that?)

MBTBs: If we’re bratty, it’s because you’re a wimp.

Me: I get it. You don’t like to be called names. I don’t either. Truce?

MBTBs: No. You started this war and we think you need to hear some things before there can be a truce.

Me: Well …. Okay … does it have anything to do with me being a so-called wimp?

MBTBs: It has a LOT to do with you being a wimp. You remember the days when you just SAT AROUND all day?

Me: I NEVER sat around all day! I was a working mom of three! Not only that, I was a teacher! I worked looooong hours and had to be in the car for hours each week getting to and from work, and when I got home I had to grade papers, and prepare new lessons, and make phone calls to parents, and do report cards AND cook dinner for the family, and help my own children with homework and drive them to events, AND do work for my online master’s classes, AND —

MBTBs: Whoa! We didn’t say you weren’t busy! We applaud your work ethic and all, but …

Me: But WHAT?!

MBTBs: But … while you were so busy taking care of everyone and everything else, we were taking advantage of you.

Me: But why? Why would you do that?

MBTBs: Hey. You’re forgetting that YOU are the one with the brain! We’re just little sensory organs. Your big, powerful brain LET us take advantage! That brain you think is so evolved … is a WIMP!

Me: OK, you’re going to have to explain that one.

MBTBs: As we started to say … remember those days when you just sat around all day? We know you were busy, but your body was basically a blob being moved around by mechanical devices and sitting in front of electronic devices …

Me: Hmmmm. My car. My computer. My TV.

MBTBs: Aha! When you were ranting about all your hard work, you forgot to mention your favorite pastime … watching TV!

Me: Well, it was so handy, and I could do some of my schoolwork in front of it and it gave my mind a little break from more stressful thoughts, and sometimes it made me laugh … and these aren’t BAD things, are they?

MBTBs: Hey, we don’t judge. We’re just here to tell you the facts, ma’am. Fact is: we, your so-called bratty taste buds, were only doing what you asked us to do.

Me: Really? I was asking you to stuff my face with so much food that I came very close to hitting the 200 pound mark? I was asking you to scream and cry until I gave in and gobbled cake and cookies and doughnuts and second helpings of everything? I was asking you to make me think of food when I wasn’t even hungry? I was asking you to take one little sniff of freshly baking bread and go bonkers on me? I was asking you to ——

MBTBs: Yes.

Me: (Blank stare)

MBTBs: We can see by your blank stare that you don’t get it.

Me: (Blank stare)

MBTBs: OK, breathe girl! And listen. Add this up: body sitting around all day + relatively unlimited supply of tantalizing food = (pause, pause, pause) …?

Me: (Blank stare and furrowed brow)

MBTBs: Equals?

Me: (furrowed brow)

MBTBs: OMG! No wonder we’ve been in control for so long. The part of your brain that regulates health is apparently dormant.

Me: Hey!

MBTBs: OK, let’s try this. You’re familiar with the Law of Inertia, right?

Me: A body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

MBTBs: Bingo!

Me: Are you saying that because I was “resting” my body so much, it just wanted to keep on sitting around?

MBTBs: And eating. To make sure that it could just keep resting. Because moving around got harder and harder. That’s when you became a total wimp.

Me: Hmmmmmm. When I started having lots of back problems. And knee problems. And hip pain. And I just wanted to keep sitting because it hurt to move.

MBTBs: Don’t think we aren’t sympathetic … we are human after all. But we just don’t want to be blamed for stuff that you caused.

Me: OK. I’m starting to get it. You thought that since I was just “sitting around” so much of the time that’s what I wanted. So you *encouraged* me to eat. So I could keep sitting. You were just trying to make me happy. I guess I owe you an apology.

MBTBs: Apology accepted. But don’t forget … there is another part to the inertia thing.

Me: Oh, yeah. A body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

MBTBs: And you HAVE been getting a lot more motion in your life. Those Crossfit workouts are impressive. At least, the fact that you do your best in them is impressive. Ever since you have been moving your body more, we have been behaving better, don’t you think?

Me: Wow. I’m not sure. We’ve been at war for so long, I don’t know that I can really trust you. There have been so many times you have led me to food when my body didn’t really need it that I am not sure I know yet when I’m hungry or just trying to please you.

MBTBs: (Blushing a little)

Me: So you kind of enjoy taunting me a little, right?

MBTBs: (Blushing a lot)

Me: OK, here are my terms for a truce. Term 1: I don’t have to change the name of my blog. Term 2: Henceforth, the term “bratty” is used with complete respect, in light of all I have put you through. Term 3: Try to work on your brattiness.

MBTBs: Agreed. Now, how long has your body been at rest in front of this electronic device?

Me: Right. I’d better get moving! But first, can I get you a snack?

MBTBs: Thanks for asking! We’d like a Krispy Kreme original doughnut please! Or two …

Me: How about some fresh spinach sautéed in a slight amount of olive oil, a scrambled egg, and some Ezekiel cinnamon bread topped with almond butter, all washed down with a glass of almond/coconut milk infused with chia seeds?

MBTBs: (Humbled). Actually … that sounds better! Maybe we can be trained …

(To be continued)

My Bratty Taste Buds go to ChuckARama

Before Taste Bud Training: A typical buffet meal included french fries with fry sauce, STICKY BUNS, rolls with butter, pasta salad, potato salad, crab salad, fried chicken, coconut shrimp with sauce, fruity desserts with frozen yogurt, lemon cookie, oatmeal raisin cookie, snicker doodle, then veggies (fresh and cooked) and meats. I was stuffed.

After Taste Bud Training: Fresh salad greens with carrots, olive oil and a splash of vinegar, green beans, squash, roast beef, roast turkey, more salad, tablespoon of crab salad, a meatball, fresh fruit, then most of one lemon cookie, two bites apple crisp, two french fries with a dab of fry sauce, more salad. I was very satisfied.

Taste Buds in Training

In 2011, I learned about the Paleolithic way of eating. I did not follow it exactly because it didn’t make total logical sense to the linear, analytic part of my mind. But I began exploring its ideas and started incorporating some of it. I read The Culprit and the Cure, learning about the pitfalls of our “modern” diet.

In January 2012 I went to a dietician. She analyzed my body fat and determined how many calories I needed each day to drop my BMI to a healthy range. She also gave me some ideas, one of which was increasing fruit and veggie consumption via Green Smoothies.

During this time, My Bratty Taste Buds and I had to have some hard conversations. I had to let them know, gently, that they would not be getting everything they wanted. They were not going get the sugar/fat/salt treats every day. They were going to have to take a rest in the evenings by laying off the crunchy, salty, smooth and sweet tidbits they so loved.

In return, I promised to find some things we both could live with. Surprise of surprises, I found some delicious alternatives to the “modern” treats that MBTBs loved even more! Here are some of them:

And here’s the proof that a *mostly* Paleo diet (more about that later) works wonders. In November 2011, my LDL (bad) cholesterol was 143. Since 1994 when I started checking my cholesterol regularly, my LDLs have never dropped below 109.

Today, April 29, 2012, my LDL is 99.

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