Look What I Found!

I am a huge fan of the Paleo blogosphere, and since I am trying to recommit myself to strict Paleo, as well as exercise, I have been bouncing around the net, trying to find new recipes and things to experiment with. Today I am making 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs, although I am quite frustrated about all of the time I took going through EarthFare to get coconut aminos, only to arrive back home with a bunch of other stuff – coconut aminos were not in my bag, because I forgot all about them. I ended up using soy sauce (gasp) in  the ribs…. my shame is tremendous.

The reason why I forgot the coconut aminos is because I became excited about trying another recipe I found – coconut butter. As I was telling a friend, think peanut butter without the peanuts. I am not all that crazy about almonds, so almond butter isn’t all that appealing to me. There seems to be a bitter aftertaste with almonds that I don’t like, and that aftertaste is a lot more noticeable in almond butter. But I am a HUGE fan of coconut, and when I found the coconut butter recipe and realized how simple it is, I HAD to try it.

Let me just say that I haven’t been able to stay away from the stuff since I made it last night. I am probably going to have to get something better to make it with than my cheapy little food processor, though, because I had to add a lot more coconut oil to get it to paste up than the recipe calls for. Plus, I think I made the crunchy version because my little food processor didn’t do a great job. However, what I did end up with came out quite tasty and I may have to stop by the store to get some more coconut very soon!

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Letting Go of the Pity Party

So I was thinking about my last post – I have been thinking about it since I wrote it – and it hit me all of the sudden: “Geez! You are being so WHINY!” I mean, I have been doing this diet since September, fully planning on making it a permanent part of my life. I was going to the gym regularly – I’m not sure why I stopped. I’ve lost almost forty pounds and have had a level of commitment that I’m not sure I’ve ever had before… and all I can do is whine about my upcoming vacation?!

Really, after I thought about it, I was really mad at myself. I mean, how can I talk like that after everything I have done to be successful? Am I really going to let a weekend trip bend me out of shape that much? The answer, of course, is

NO

So today I decided to stop the pity party. That really was what it was; I haven’t lost any weight in a couple of months and I haven’t really taken the time to figure out why. I have probably done what many others have done throughout the winter and let some things slide that I normally wouldn’t have. I think that my focus needs to change from pity-party central to trying to clean up my diet. I have thought about doing a Whole 30, but I think I can clean up my act pretty well without that. I went shopping today after browsing Chowstalker.com, so I have food for the week.

I also found Everyday Paleo  Lifestyle and Fitness. I have a feeling that this site is going to be my saving grace. I think that the whole Crossfit debacle was a total downer for me (probably part of my mental problem), but this site lists workouts that seem very similar to Crossfit workouts, but they have a beginner’s level! Meaning that I can work my way up the the intense Crossfit stuff. They even have tests for you to do in the beginner level so that you can tell whether or not you are ready to go on the the next level. I am very excited about starting that this week, as well as cleaning up my eating.

So tonight I made Stuffed Peppers and they are awesome (I say they are awesome because I am eating them right now). Tomorrow I am going to be working on 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs (although I went to EarthFare with the express purpose of buying some coconut aminos, but walked out of the store with a lot of other stuff – and no coconut aminos). My biggest problem is finding stuff to munch on, since I seem to be hungry a lot lately, but I will figure that out, too. I am going to clean it up and pay attention to my body, and hopefully soon I will have a very positive update on weight loss or a pant size lost or something like that! At the very least I can talk about how much better I feel.

My Cheating Heart

Okay, I have a confession to make. Last week was a rough week. I have had SO many wonderful things happening that I had to cut some things loose, which broke my heart (although this week I have found out that I didn’t really cut them loose at all). By the end of the week I was ready for a stress-free weekend – meaning no work, no school, no extra-curricular planning for the teacher trainings that I am going to do… and no stressing out over the diet. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted except for the bread, rice, pasta, or potatoes. And I loved every bite of it.

This week has been rough, of course, as my body tries to rid itself of all of the sugar that I inevitably ate over the weekend. I’m sure there was other stuff in all of that food that I ate, too, but I do have to say that I needed that plunge. I was happy that I was able to keep my self-control enough to not be tempted by the bread and things like that – especially since the biscuits and gravy seemed to be calling my name at Golden Corral on Sunday morning.

As I reflect on the weekend and how proud of myself I am, as well as taking mental notes on the hell my body is going through right now as it recovers, I am getting a little worried about the annual vacation that my fiance and I take each May. I’m not incredibly worried about anything except the very first meal that we are going to have, which will be at a little seafood joint in Wilmington. If I remember correctly, they don’t have a lot of broiled or grilled anything on their menu. Last year I caved so bad at the same restaurant – the first meal of the vacation. But last year in May I wasn’t on the Paleo diet, I didn’t have the conviction behind me because I hadn’t been able to observe how my body handles some foods. I was on a regular low-carb diet then, still eating dairy and probably a lot of other things that I have found since then do my body incredible damage. My self-control was lower than it is now because I was eating things that was causing my body to crave other things. That isn’t happening since I have found out what my body can handle and what it can’t.

Usually I don’t let it stress me so much, but sometimes I go into the annual vacation thinking, “It is vacation! Eat what you want and then come back and get over it!” However, I know how hard it is to start over on this diet. I know that once you eat the carby food, you crave more and it could snowball – especially since I have been so addicted to carbs my whole life. I know how hard it is to start over, and I know how rough that two week period where your body heals and gets rid of the crap is (I’m going through it again right now!). I don’t think I could allow myself to go into this vacation and eat whatever I want, especially since I have made such great progress.

I guess part of my problem is that I know that it is going to be hard to plan for everything, but at the same time I know how great my self-control and motivation has been. I know that I will probably be fine, but I want to be able to enjoy myself and have my fiance enjoy himself while we are on the vacation. I know that enjoying myself doesn’t have as much to do with the food, and that I can get through the vacation on the 80%-20% rule – although I’m really not sure what the 80%-20% rule is. Maybe it is exactly how I ate over this past weekend. If it is, I think that I will probably be fine.