Sunday, October 31, 2010

fatty fatty fats fantastic fats!

I've heard it for quite some time that fats are not your enemy, but I have been in-grained from pre-adolescence with the idea of a fat-free diet as the way to go.  All through my 20's I never really counted calories, yet I would not eat anything that was high in fat (if I was checking labels... it was a guideline not a rule).

But now - I delight in them and do not fear them!  These are the good fats in my diet.  (I forgot the Almond butter, oh my my. I love it!)

Thanks to the body fat evidence and my musculitas starting to show up better, I feel even more confident in the fact that fats are not the enemy. Without sugars or grains in my diet I don't have to regulate the amount of fat I eat so much, but I am vaguely mindful of it.  If I ate curries every night and almond butter at every meal, yeah, I'd probably gain some fat - but in moderation and balance... no fear!

Just a few delicious alternatives maybe you didn't know about -
1) coconut milk is great in coffee
2) you can make 'cheese' from almonds (it's like a ricotta texture. No joke, I make a "cheese cake" primarily from almonds)
3) Coconut milk is the base for delicious curry sauces
4) You can bake with Coconut flour or Almond flour

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash - one of fall's delights.  I first tried this a few weeks ago and really didn't know how I felt about it. But I have eaten two of these buggers this week and they are so moist and sweet.... mmm... I think I know the trick.

Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees

Wash off your squash
Cut in 1/2 (either direction is fine really)
Lightly coat the inside with coconut oil (I think this is the trick to sweet moistness)
Place flat side down on baking sheet.
Pour a layer of water on the sheet.
Place in the middle of the oven to bake for 1 hour.
When it's finished you can use a fork to pull out the insides. They look like spaghettis - hence the name!

Now what's your pasta flavor??
Earlier this week I ate it with a tomato sauce.

I sauteed some onions, garlic cloves, and mushrooms in about 2 tbs of EVOO.
Then added about 3 oz of ground turkey I had cooked that morning (I like to cook a lb or two at a time so it's ready for quicker recipes).
and the marinara... I used a jar from my local market... it had a very short list of natural ingredients - all real things, no chemical names OR sugar. (Very important - as you start reading labels you will find that sugar in some form is added to almost everything packaged! Steer clear!)

My Diet

 "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food." - God

Not a fad diet, but my nutrition plan... the lifestyle that I've taken for the last month and hope to continue is as follows:
 Except I have opted out of the dairy as well, and I limit my 'starchy veggies' to sweet potatoes/yams.   

What I LOVE about this:  no guilt. no counting or measuring.  Not all food choices, even within this pyramid, are created equally.  My body is my guide.  It lets me know what I'm missing and craving.  I eat freely of foods that are in this pyramid.   It's just so... Natural.  and FREEING!  

Adam and Eve in the garden... they had everything to choose from, but they screwed it up for all of us by going for the one thing forbidden... I find within this program there are so many delicious options! Food never tasted so good!! 

The longer I exercise my choice for good, the more I don't give in to cravings for junk food or alcohol, the more freedom I experience - the less I even want them, the more I see them for what they are... destructive.  Junk food is like sin... seriously.  It has an appeal.  It draws us, promising delight but the more we choose it the more bound by it we become.  We may begin to realize that it is having negative effects some how, if we can even see that clearly, but we don't care, we don't want to stop, we don't want to give it up. and the more we continue choose the more blind we become to what's really happening to us.  I want to clear my vision, and I want to choose right. Hmm... we'll see :)

The Challenge...
What I don't love about this is actually a problem with the food industry and our culture, not with this program. What I don't love is that I have sort of isolated myself ... because the social eating scene holds nothing for me so it's a sacrifice to go out and be faced with 99 bad choices for every good 1 ... if there is a good one. And sometimes to find a good choice I have to be that annoying very picky person asking questions about everything and making all sorts of substitutions.  I don't want to be that person, but food industry... REALLY!?  It should not be so hard for a person to get REAL food.  

However, it is possible to be true to this program publicly.
There are substitutes. For example:

Bars- I don't drink any more, but found I'm very happy with tonic water and limes for the occasion.  
Coffee Shops (where I used to practically live) - I can be content with an unsweetened iced tea.  And some shops might sell some nuts I can eat.
Restaurants - I can order a salad and put some olive oil on it, and SOME restaurants do have some good choices - just meat and steamed veggies, or veggies sauteed in olive oil. 

BUT the thing is that the food I prepare and eat at home is 10x better than any of the alternatives:  it tastes better, I know what's in it, and it's usually at a fraction of the cost.  It irritates me to pay restaurant prices for something that is just a substitute to the goodness I could have on my own.  And it's not an option to me to just feed my body junk it doesn't need just for the sake of the occasion or because the Paleo alternatives are sub-standard.  
 Why would I want to do that? 

My solution so far has been to make my own 'paleo' treats for parties. I pack food almost everytime I leave the house just so I have good things to eat when hunger strikes.  There is no excuse, no reason not to succeed on this program with proper preparation.  There is no need to feel deprived (which will likely send a person sprinting toward poor choices later).

I do have to say that the vast majority of people that have encountered me on this journey have been hugely supportive and understanding.  (THANK YOU!!)  Some even fascinated and inspired.  
While I don't like drawing attention to myself, or appearing so 'needy' and 'picky' with what I will and will not eat,  it's a sacrifice I choose to make.  I am choosing also not to be ashamed of it, because I really believe this is better for me.  I won't tell others how they should live or eat, but I will stand as an example of what is possible.  There are challenges, sure! But it's a cost-worth scenario... My health and performance is worth it to me.  Freedom is worth it to me!  more on that at another time...

 "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" -JC

The evidence

The evidence speaks for itself... seriously.  Look.  You can hardly see a difference right?  Except in the face, oh and the belly... and NO I'm really not sucking in.... Ok so put the externals aside, and brace yourself for 30 days my body composition has changed drastically.  Almost 4% decrease in body fat. I went from 136 lbs* with roughly 24 lbs of fat to 135lbs with about 19lbs of fat.  I lost 5 lbs of fat in one month.  That is unbelievable. But it's true! (the same calipers, the same person pinching my inches and recording - Thank you to Eric at Crossfit North County!

But notice, I really didn't lose weight, only1lb net.  On the Whole 30 program,
my body dumped fat pounds into lean muscle pounds... That. is. Awesome.  I am without words... the evidence speaks for itself.  Wow!

Thank you to Melissa & Dallas at Whole 9! I hope one day I will get to meet you.
*136lbs was roughly my weight when I had my first body fat test... I made some poor nutritional choices for a few days before beginning this journey. so the before pics were taken at about 139lbs. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

Icecream Fix

Cool deliciousness is on my mind - icecream (dairy and sugar) is out, cereal (grains and milk) are out but THIS is my fix.  Seriously so good!

1/2 banana
a big handful of frozen blueberries

1 tbs almond butter
top it off with almond milk
Crunch and stir, and even stick it in the freezer a few minutes for an extra chill if you like.

Consider these variations.
1/2 hand of walnuts crushed (if you're jones-ing for something crunchy
Or Macadamia nuts, or pecans, or your crunch of choice.
OR if you're up for Xtra sweetness add some chopped dates or a few raisins.
Also good with juicy ripe peaches. The possibilities are many!!

mmm....soo soo delicious.  Proceed with caution you may want to eat this and only this all day.

Crossfit and Transformation

I'm a crossfitter.  (check out the sites of inspiration: crossfit)
For the last 18 months my sport of choice has been hammering through constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity.

Shout out to J and Des of Crossfit Rio Rancho who got me started! woo woo!
Just look at the fruit of their labor with me. 

Fitness is like super health... there's sick, there's healthy, and there's fit.  I am striving to live fit.  Enjoying life to the fullest and being the best steward of this body that I can be.  All crossfitters should know that the base (the biggest part) of the fitness pyramid is NUTRITION.  Check out the pyramid...

What your body puts outs, how it treats you, how it responds to the gauntlet you put it through is going to be directly related to how you fuel it.  It's not rocket science.

The pictures above represent a lot of exercise, which I love, but also a strict diet.
( and I love to eat!)
The Zone diet* is where I began trying to redefine my relationship with food.  Food is fuel, not consolation or comfort.  right?  hmm... well I tried. And it worked on the surface.  You can see the difference. But I still had enormous food demons lurking... waiting for me to put my guard down and send me binging... turning one cheat day a week into 4 days a week.  Way to cheat myself out of the freedom I know I was made for!

Just over a month ago I began the Whole 30 'challenge' (see the whole 9 link in the sites of inspiration).  Friends,  this program is the truth.  No joke.  Stay tuned for the results of the journey thus far....

*full acknowledgement given to dr. barry sears and all ZONE specialists.  there are a lot of great books out there. I haven't read them.  Fortunately I had good mentors to steer me and get me started, but if you subscribe to the crossfit journal they have a great nutshell Zone for dummies guide on there. 

Sick Day

Today I am sick... just a little cold really.  Actually it's the 1st time in over a month that I've fallen in the battle against the germies or allergens... And I take it as a great opportunity to rest...and eat.
Feeling this beat down coming on, I started a Chicken veggie soup in the crockpot. mmmm...

Simple. but perfect for a cold.  And the best thing about soups and the crockpot is that you can almost throw anything in and it comes out yummy.

Today's Chicken Veggie Soup

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
2 Kale leaves pulled off the stems
2 Bok Choy or something choy bunches chopped.  They're greens ok. I couldn't understand what the sweet lady at the asian market called them.
1 carrot sliced
a few celery stalks chopped
1/2 an onion
1 qt Organic Chicken broth
toss it all in and let it cook all day.  (I used High heat for only 4 hrs)
Pull out the chicken breast.  chop it up and toss it back in.
serve as you please.  I like to top it with a little hot sauce for kicks ;)

Not Afraid

This "blog" is who I am... where I am.
imperfect... rough around the edges... scattered... but today I'm making no apologies.

There is something that has plagued my heart since my earliest memories - I do not belong. I am anomaly - a piece that doesn't quite fit. No matter how much I may look and play the part, and seem to have 'it all together' - my heart has always been alone.

Or so my enemies would have me believe... The truth is I have never been alone.  I have always been loved, and from the beginning of time there has been a part to play, a piece to fill, that only I can do.  I don't know what that is, but I know it is truth.

I am starting today with the declaration that I am not afraid.  I am not afraid of my failures. I am not afraid of my weaknesses, and get this... I am not afraid of my strength.  I will not be afraid of the person God made me to be - even if it means that often times I seem to stand alone. 

And so I begin today - just sharing my life, sharing my walk, what's working, what's not, each step as I grow.  I have been given an incredible gift.  I have the capacity to be a light.  I am not afraid to shine.  The truth is I am not so very different, and I am not alone.  My heart is probably a lot like yours.  The sooner we put the lies and fears behind us and share our glory with one another - well... the more light, the more truth, the more good, there will be in the world.

My armor is on, my sword is drawn, and I am not afraid to be the beautiful woman I was created to be.  I am fighting for my heart.

"The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it" -John Eldredge