breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Archive for the ‘Summer 2012’ Category

Maybe There Is a Foodie Inside of Me After All

MyBrattyTasteBuds would argue they have always been Foodies, because they would eat anything that tickled their little fancies. They would argue they have always loved food.

And they would have a point. But I’m going with a different definition of Foodie. I’m thinking of a person who likes to know where their food comes from before shoving it in the mouth. Who likes to know how it has been prepared before swallowing. Who enjoys the taste so much that smaller amounts satisfy the stomach. Who never feels guilty about eating.

And that would definitely NOT have been me during the reign of MyBrattyTasteBuds. Ninety-five percent of my meals and snacks were guilt-inducing. They were full of sugar and bad fats, or processed beyond recognition, or enormous.

In honor of this change of status, I finally bought this:

Mortar and Pestle Box

 … And used it to make a delicious spice blend from the awesome book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo:

Mortar and Pestle with Spice Blend

… Which I used on a whole roasted chicken, again from Practical Paleo.

I feel very much in touch with ancestors of long, long ago who developed this tool to “process” food in new ways, adding enjoyment to what most likely was a pretty mundane existence. It has definitely spiced up MyBrattyTasteBuds’ lives.

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Satisfaction. Guaranteed. Part 1.

Before BrattyTasteBud Training: wake up hungry, eat breakfast, get hungry, eat snack, get hungry, eat lunch, get hungry, eat snack, eat another snack, eat dinner, eat seconds, eat dessert, eat after dinner snack, feel bloated, feel guilty, review all food choices, berate BrattyTasteBuds, go to sleep, wake up and begin again.

After BrattyTasteBud Training: wake up a little hungry, drink water, have small protein smoothie, work out, drink water, eat brunch, feel satisfied, drink water, eat afternoon snack, get a little hungry, drink water, eat dinner, feel satisfied, eat a very small dessert, drink water, go to bed. No guilt.

Current results of BrattyTasteBud Training as measured by my dietician using OMRON Body Composition Monitor:
(Numbers are from start date of Jan. 31, 2012, June 27, and August 22, 2012)
Weight: 152 / 137 / 133 (lost 19 lbs.)
BMI: 26.7 / 24 / 23 (was overweight, now in normal range)
Body Fat Pct: 38.6 / 33.8 / 30.2 (was high, now normal for my age)
Skeletal/Muscle Pct: 26.4 / 28 / 29.8  (was mid-normal, now high normal)
Body Age: 60 / 53 / 48 (I’m getting younger! Calendar age is 60)
Visceral Fat Level: 8 / 7 / 6 (less than 9 is normal)

BrattyTasteBud Training Short Version:

More Water

More Veggies

More Good fats

More quality protein

Very little grains

Little dairy

Little sugar

Unsweetened black coffee as treat

 BrattyTasteBud Training Details:

  1. Drink 80 ounces of water throughout day. This is a challenge and everyone is SICK of my way-too-frequent bathroom visits BUT BrattyTasteBuds have a tendency to confuse thirst with hunger. If I give them enough water, they quiet down nicely. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
  2. Add veggies to every meal. Make every meal 2/3 veggies. Yes, even breakfast. Who says you can’t have a salad first thing in the morning? Throw in a hard-boiled egg, bacon, avocado, some tomato and drizzle a little almond oil/balsamic mix … SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

To be continued …

Summer Paleo Cobbler

Farmer’s Markets are the BEST! I scoped out the Boise (Idaho) Saturday Market this week with my daughter and two of her daughters. Three-generational outings make my heart smile!

Boise has a strong population of refugees. Many hard-working men, women and children lovingly nurture mini-farms as part of the Global Gardens program. We stopped at one of their stands and bought green beans and one bunch of a leafy African green (I can’t remember their name, but it started with an “m”. Let me know if YOU know what they are called and I’ll update this post.)

It was Berry Day at the Market. I picked up blackberries and boysenberries to share with my 92-year-old berry-lovin’ mother-in-law. (She loved them!)

In the evening I used them to make my No-Bake Paleo “Cobbler”.

Berry Cobbler

Coconut Milk, Agave Nectar, Go Raw Ginger Cookies

Making this Cobbler involves placing berries, coconut milk, cinnamon, and a squirt of agave nectar (depending on sweetness of berries) in a bowl, and crumbling the cookies on top. That’s it.

Summer Yummer, for sure!

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.

It’s Really Not All About Me

My blog is a very “me-centric” endeavor. Blogs, after all, are designed to be all about their author’s view of the world. Hopefully, the thoughts and ideas put out to the blogosphere can be helpful to another going through similar circumstances.

But.

Always in the back of my mind is “so what?” So what that I’m eating Paleo when literally countless others in our world DON’T HAVE ENOUGH to eat? So what that I have to CUT BACK on my intake when others NEED any sort of intake? So what that I am trying to get in better physical shape when in every corner of our world, fine people fight through unimaginable illnesses and hardships. Bad things happen to good people everywhere, for no sane reason. My heart is heavy for the victims in Aurora, Colorado today.

Poppy

I vow to challenge myself to come up with some answers to “so what?” So what am I going to do with the strength I am gaining through better health? How can I break out of my unassertive shell and pay some things forward?

 

What is Dripping Down My Neck?

Growing up in south Texas was a very sweaty experience. My friends and I ran around in the heat of muggy summer days without a thought about how red our faces were or how much our skin glistened. Who cared?

perspiration

When I hit junior high, I cared. Sweat really ruined my hair design (straight was “in” and sweat curled it crazily), and felt absolutely awful dripping down my back and chest. I learned to dislike sweating. A lot. I learned to avoid sweat-inducing situations … like exercising in hot weather.

But lately, I’ve been sweating more, even in the deliciously dry heat of southern Idaho. Even in the cooler morning hours. What’s up with that?

Could it be a good thing?

Turns out it may be that my body is working more efficiently. More blood is going to the surface of my skin, which in turn releases heat from my core. My sweat glands increase output to cool the body. It appears “fit people produce more sweat than sedentary folks.” http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/conditioning/a/aa052001a.htm

So I am learning to tolerate that annoying dripdripdrip hitting my neck and shoulders. It is a sign of life.

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.

Huh.

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?

Vacation

I have taken MyBrattyTasteBuds on vacation. We are here in the land of Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, so I’ve been able to keep Buds pretty happy with familiar fare. But there are challenges (or opportunities, as Buds see it). My aunt is an incredible cook and my uncle an eater of traditional cuisine that embraces all food groups. So tonight is a family dinner of spaghetti and meat sauce, salad, garlic bread and homemade apple pie.

I will shred and sauté zucchini, and swap that out for the pasta. Buds won’t feel deprived with that as they’ve never been overly fond of pasta. We will see how they do with the garlic bread. I’m going to try to distract them by eating slowly and enjoying the flavors of the veggies and meat sauce.

I’ve made Paleo salted chocolate cups and Buds adore those.

It is, however, our plan to have some pie. With no regrets!

A Bite Will Do It

My wonderful dietician has given me lots of hints …. all of which have truly pleased MyBrattyTasteBuds. One that I’ve been experimenting with is something MBTBs and I are calling BiteSmall.

We just concocted and consumed this BiteSmall:

banana bread with cashew butter

It’s half a slice of Paleo Banana Bread with about a teaspoon of cashew butter, rolled in a bit of cinnamon/palm sugar.

I discovered if I ate a whole slice of the banana bread, I experienced heartburn. I stayed away from the bread for a few days, and the heartburn disappeared.

So far, no heartburn with this BiteSmall! TasteBuds smiling as I write!

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.

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