Eureka! at the Farmer’s Market

So let me tell you how my week went. First, I bought a bike. I’m still super excited about it, but I haven’t really had many chances to ride it yet. Except for today. And the weather was gorgeous. But I didn’t ride. I have been pretty tired today, probably from all of the walking we did when we went to the Biltmore Estate for our vacation trip. It was pretty fun. That house is amazing! Oh, did I say house? I meant mansion! I couldn’t even imagine all of the work it would take to keep up that place if you were living in it.

So since we were out of town, my eating was a little shaky. Usually I stress and stress about it, but this time I didn’t. I have learned by now that I can usually find something to eat almost anywhere that won’t have grains in it – my one big rival. And while I am sensitive to sugar, I can tolerate it better than grains.

I did pretty good. I think the high amount of sugar I ate is probably a contributing factor to why I am so tired today, but in a few days that will be gone. I am planning on getting out and riding tomorrow, since it is my last vacation day, and enjoying some of this beautiful weather. Watch – now that I’ve said that, it will be hot and rainy tomorrow and I won’t be able to go anywhere on my bike. Yes, I know that bikes still work in the rain. I haven’t gotten that gung-ho about it yet.

I made my weekly trip to the farmer’s market today to get some vegetables and eggs. I have been searching for convenient place to get pasture eggs for a while now. What I mean by pasture eggs is that the owners let the chickens run around outside and eat bugs and worms and other things that are healthy for them, rather than keeping them in a building and feeding them grain all day. Now that we have been eating Paleo for some time, we are getting more concerned about the quality of the food that we are eating. I do a lot of shopping at the farmer’s market, and I can’t wait until more vegetables are in season. Right now strawberries are in season, and I have really been enjoying them with a spoonful of cashew butter.

My fiance (Clint) and I watched the documentary Food, Inc. about a month ago, and it was very eye opening. It talked about how different animals are treated when they are raised for food by corporations like Tyson. It also discussed how there really are only a handful of companies that control the vast amounts of brands that we have available to us in the store, and how they are shifting some of their products in order to sell them in the middle of the organic and all-natural food craze that we are finding ourselves in the middle of them. I personally don’t trust them to create anything all natural. Even if something says “all natural” on the label I still read the ingredients, and nine times out of ten there will be something in that item that doesn’t pass my strict standards. After watching the documentary I wasn’t happy with organic eggs or cage-free eggs, because when you think about it, those words could mean anything. The chickens that we saw in the documentary weren’t in cages, but they rarely – if ever – saw sunlight and were so crowded in the buildings that they were in that they couldn’t possibly get any exercise. They were fed grain from who knows where, most of the time treated with antibiotics to keep the chickens from getting sick in their cramped conditions. I know one thing – I don’t want my eggs to be from chickens that are raised like that.

So I was super-excited when I found this woman at the farmer’s market selling pasture-raised eggs, and she has pasture-raised beef and chicken too! And she’s local! Clint and I are very passionate about supporting local businesses, so I am sure that we are going to be doing more business with this woman in the future.

I joined a Paleo-themed group on Facebook this week. The people in this group like to post pictures of what they are eating. I don’t think I could make it posting pictures for this group. Each plate that I see has a little portion of meat, a little portion of vegetables, and a little portion of some sort of fat. I am looking at these pictures thinking “there is no way that I could survive eating that little amount of food!” Maybe that is why I haven’t lost any more weight than I have. I don’t know. I do know that when I took my health class for school we had to track our calories for a week and my calories were spot-on every day without me even trying or tweaking anything. But I look at those pictures and the small amounts of food, and then I look at what I am eating every day and I think, “Am I doing something wrong?” Apparently no one in the Paleo community eats quite as much food as I do. Or at least, the ones on that particular page don’t. And when I make an honest effort to get in the exercise that I should, I get hungrier, which means that I eat even more! I have thought about trying to cut the amount of protein that I am eating down and adding more fat and vegetables, because I am pretty sure that I am eating too much meat. But those pictures make me seriously wonder if I am missing something or if I am doing something wrong.

I want to get back into my yoga more seriously, too. I cut way back when school got hectic, so I haven’t really made any progress. I am looking forward to giving that more of my time this week. I’ll let you know how it goes! Right now I need to go check on the pulled pork that I put in the crock pot this morning!

Cooking in a Seasonal Fashion

During my weekly trip to the farmer’s market I stopped to talk to one of the vendors that I frequent. She asked me if I had tried any of the winter squash yet. “Not really,” was my reply. “But I know that I need to start trying some because you don’t have much zucchini and yellow squash left!” To which she replied, “What you see out here is the last we’ll have this season.”

So I really need to be finding some recipes quick! I have one that I am hoping to try this week for a stuffed delicata squash – something that I not only have never seen before, but never heard of, either! I bought a few acorn squashes this trip, as well as an amber something-or-other that the vendor assured me was good, but not as good as the buttercup squash that she recommended I try next time.

So since I have a bunch of squash that I have never worked with or tasted before, I will definitely have to start looking up some recipes to fix.

On another note, I caved to my teenager this weekend. My teenager has basically been on a hunger strike at my house (although I guess she’s been eating okay at her father’s). She won’t eat well over three-quarters of the meat I’ve been cooking, and none of the vegetables. While I have gotten my five-year-old to try some things, my teenager has stubbornly refused to eat. Night after night I have called her to dinner, and night after night she has stated flatly that she isn’t hungry.

So when I went to the grocery store today I bought stuff I know that she’ll eat: breaded buffalo chicken strips, hamburger helper – all stuff that I know is really bad for her. But I guess in this case I need to pick my battles; I know how picky she is because she’s been that way all of her life. Asking her to totally change her eating habits overnight just isn’t going to happen. She may not even change them in months. But I suppose that I can provide her with what I know she will eat because I really hate the thought of her going to bed hungry in the evenings, no matter how I feel about what she will eat.

So, score one for the teenager.

Back to Basics Update

In my last post I discussed how I figured out that the breakfast sausage that my fiance and I bought from the farmer’s market had sugar in it, and that I had been eating it every day. I knew something was wrong but I thought that it was just stress – I’ve had a lot of stress the past few weeks. My last day eating the sausage was Wednesday, and I can tell you that I’ve seen a marked difference in how I feel.

First off, I don’t feel stressed. Well, right this second I don’t feel stressed. I still have all of the stressors that I had Wednesday and Thursday and Friday and Saturday, but I feel better. I think that this has to do with sleep. I know that I wasn’t sleeping all that great, especially the week before last. I hadn’t woken up at three o’clock in the morning due to stress in a long time, but I did the week before last. Several nights in row, I might add. My body has been playing catch-up this weekend; my fiance and I were supposed to go to the gym yesterday and I told him that I couldn’t – I was just too tired. I took a nap instead, and I felt great when I woke up. I also got my eight hours of sleep last night virtually uninterrupted, and I feel so much better this morning.

I was cranky, bitchy, and all sorts of frazzled that I haven’t felt since I started this diet. And I hadn’t lost a single pound.

Well, I’ve lost two pounds since Thursday. I don’t feel bloated any more. That is one thing that I’ve loved about this diet from the beginning; I’m still way overweight, but I’m not bloated so I feel skinny all the time! I have felt fat for about two weeks now, and that has been driving me crazy, too.

Basically I have found that for my body, it doesn’t take much. That sausage didn’t have heaping amounts of sugar in it, but eating it every day caused my body to go haywire. My poor fiance has taken the brunt of it with my crabbiness and bitchiness and loss of sleep, and I know that he’s going to be glad when I get things back under control. I will be, too. I hate feeling like that and treating everyone around me like that.

So it’s back to fish for breakfast for me, which is fine because I missed my fish and vegetables. I will be going shopping today to stock back up, and you’d better believe that I will be paying closer attention to labels when it comes to both sugar and grains. It wasn’t that long ago that I had that cracker incident at the farmer’s market! (Basically I took a goat cheese sample on a cracker without thinking about it and ate it. I was exhausted for two days and my stomach was messed up, too.) Knowing how these things affect my body is a huge motivation for me to stay with this very long term – who wants to feel like a tired bitch all the time! The benefits of this diet are just too numerous for me to even consider going back to the way I was eating before.

On another note, I took my measurements this past weekend: I’ve lost 22 inches! and a total now of 21 pounds! I am absolutely amazed at my progress – yet another measure of the benefits of eating this way. I have been doing well at the gym – still no cardio, but lifting weights two or three times a week. So far it is all coming together and I am making gains that I could have only dreamed about.