breaking free from six decades of tyranny

Posts tagged ‘healthy living’

Another Foodie Success

I HATED Chemistry. Hated it in high school, barely squeaking by with a low C. Hated it when I tried it again in college. Dropped the course and never looked back.

Come to find out, cooking is basically chemistry. You have all these different elements with unique properties … you make mixtures out of them … you heat them up or cool them down … and hope they end up edible.

So, I have always pretty much hated cooking. Elements don’t mix quite right for me, or I put weird combinations together, or I heat too much or too long, or I don’t cool enough or at the right time, or I just end up with a big mess.

Thank goodness all my children are better cooks than I ever was. Probably figured with a little effort, they could surpass my efforts easily … and they were right!

HOWEVER … Thanks to my children and some wonderful Paleo cookbooks and blogs, I have been experimenting more and enjoying more success with chemistry … er, cooking.

So before I forget tonight’s success story, I need to record it!

Yam Hash Browns

Three C’s and a G Yam Browns
Makes 1 serving

1 T. coconut oil
1 T. grass-fed butter or ghee
1 small yam (the one with orange inside), grated
¼ tsp. coarse ground sea salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. ginger
1 T. almond milk

Melt oils in a non-stick skillet. Add grated yam, salt and spices. Let brown on one side, then stir and flip to brown the other side. Add almond milk at the end and gently stir to blend.

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!

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?

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: http://www.davidkatzmd.com/articles.aspx)

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

Resource for Stubborn Taste Buds

www.amazon.com

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!

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: http://pinterest.com/desaua49/recipes/

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.

Brats, behave!

It’s beeen said before. The older you get, the harder it is to lose weight, to get in shape. In my previous efforts to drop pounds, it was hard at first, but soon I’d get over a hump and it got easier. Not that way so much anymore.

Every ounce has been residing comfortably in my body for decades, aided and abetted by my bratty taste buds. Every ounce wants to stay, make no mistake about this. The longer I let them stay, the more stubborn they become.

There is some good news. I am making progress with my bratty taste buds, but the battles continue. Just as I tame the sugar-monsters, the salty-dogs rise up to cause trouble, sneaking in when I’m not looking. I don’t see them coming. Plus I tend to underestimate their power.

Bratty Taste Buds, give me a break here!

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