Sunday, August 7, 2011

Days 5, 6, & 7: The Weekend

  • Down 4lbs from start weight
  • 400m warm up run on Saturday morning felt easier, and was faster than usual
  • I have tried some new foods
  • I have avoided alcohol for the entire first week of the challenge despite the temptation to want to chug a beer out of frustration. (This gets me a + on the score sheet.  Finally, something that gets me on the + side of this challenge.)
  • Haven't been "strict paleo" a single day of this challenge to date
  • Only made it to WOD twice this week (first time since I started that I haven't been to the gym a minimum of 3 days/week with the exception of my vacation week)
  • I had more cons running through my head earlier, but can't think of them now that I am writing.
I know this is short, but it pretty much sums up the weekend without giving the play by play of each meal.  Some were paleo, some were not.  I can tell you that I tried some of my left over frittata again, and just couldn't stomach it.  I tried!  On to week 2 of the challenge.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 4: Taking On A New Approach

I'm not going to lie.  This challenge (only 4 days in) has been very difficult for me.  Mostly due to my limited breakfast choices.  Day 1 was a bust, and now we can add Day 4 to the list of  "not Paleo."  I did have a better breakfast today, and my morning went well overall.  My day fell apart at lunch.  I had a piece of the frittata I made yesterday, 2 sausage links, and some cantaloupe.  I had a cup of hot tea on my drive to work.  During a training class I had half of an orange as a snack. 

Then came post training lunch with two of my coworkers.  Mexican  (again) was the choice.  This time I explored the lunch menu for "paleo" options.  Huevos rancheros in three variations.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a huge fan of eggs, and that my morning serving was about all I could handle in one day.  So I ended up having a chicken enchilada and a chicken taco.  I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my lunch.

Next was dinner.  I worked late getting my classroom together, and got home with little patience to cook again.  Plus I still had a sink full of dishes from last night and this morning (had to empty the dishwasher).  Anyway, dinner turned into a trip to the Buckhead Food Truck Thursdays event where I enjoyed BBQ pork and some mac & cheese.  (I can hear the wheels turning in some of your heads as you read this "we have to help encourage her to stick with it. get her to eat eggs." . )

Give me some credit my least I'm being honest! Just keep reading.  I'm not throwing in the towel.  Just making some modifications for myself so I work toward success instead of failure.  I decided to do some reading on Mark's Daily Apple where I found this quote:
"Perhaps there’s a particular offender, a persevering and pesky element of your diet that will take special time and energy to ditch. We’re not talking here about an occasional indulgence item but a regular player in the lineup. Whether it’s your favorite creamy stout, morning danish or afternoon microwave popcorn fix, you might find it easier to isolate and conquer before expanding the battle." 
 This made me think (as did the rest of that particular blog entry) that it's not that I can't stick to a paleo menu, just that the cold turkey approach isn't the best approach for me as I try to find new breakfast choices.  I am going to work toward a daily paleo breakfast, 3 days this week (which I have already accomplished, and will try to exceed), 4 days next week, 5 days the following week, and ultimately a full week of paleo breakfast.  My hope is that by weaning myself off of my oatmeal made with milk (go ahead you strict paleo peeps and cringe now) slowly, I will not be as frustrated by trying so many new things and not liking them.  The frittata was good, but not that good (I just don't like eggs enough to eat that everyday.)

I doubt I'll win the challenge, and I doubt I'll ever be a "strict" paleo follower, but I do believe the plan has benefits.  My main belief is that diet in general is about making daily smart choices, enjoying those not-so-good-for-you treats in moderation, and  getting exercise.  I may eat dairy, grains, and legumes after this challenge, but in moderation. I will find new and interesting snacks that will become regular favorites that I may not have discovered before trying the paleo plan.  I will be better for it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 3: The Hungry One

I did my first benchmark Workout of the Day (otherwise referred to as the WOD) this afternoon. 
Benchmark WOD #1: GRACE
30 clean & jerks for time
55lbs in 4:35

The last time I completed Grace I started at 65lbs, but had to drop to 55lbs rather quickly.  Today I stuck with 55lbs for the whole time, with improved form, and 1:54 quicker that the last time. My goal for the end of challenge WOD is to complete GRACE fully at 65lbs in 4:35 or less. I'm sure a few more goals will develop the rest of this week.

Now on to the real challenge.  I feel hungry All. The. Time.  Breakfast was improved today, but still not quite filling.  It consisted of  half of a banana, 2 Applegate Farms Savory Turkey Sausage links, and Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger Hot Tea.  This breakfast is on the right track, but I need to add a little more of something else.  I got a few suggestions at the gym tonight that I will try out this weekend. 

Today was my first day back at work.  After snacking on pistachios all morning, I successfully avoided the provided lunch (Firehouse Subs) in favor of my packed lunch of grilled chicken breast, a wholly guacamole snack pack with jicama chips, and an orange.  I drank a lot of water all day.  I did have a Diet Coke with my lunch which, I believe, is not on the Paleo food/beverage list.  Compared to the lunch failure on Day 1, I think a Diet Coke today isn't so bad. 

Arugula Frittata
I think I found a good breakfast addition tonight.  I made an Arugula Frittata, a recipe I found in one of my cookbooks The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop.  It was easy to make, tasted good (would be even better with some feta cheese), and saves well.  I ate if for dinner tonight with a side of garden fresh grape tomatoes and cucumber that I received from my co-teacher today.  So fresh and delicious. 

Garden Fresh Veggies

I also found a nice dessert that squashes the ice cream craving.  Last night I enjoyed a few strawberries topped with a splash of vanilla almond milk.  It was perfect.  The almond milk added just the right amount of creaminess. 

All in all, today was a good day.  I am not convinced this is a diet I could follow daily long term, but in general I follow the Paleo guidelines for lunch and dinner (even before I had heard of the Paleo diet.).  Breakfast will continue to be the challenge, but I am having fun figuring it out and trying new recipes. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2: A Better Breakfast

Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins (recipe from Paleo Madeline)
A better breakfast is what I hoped for with a recipe for Paleo Banana Blueberry Muffins that I found online.  I baked these this morning, and I have to admit, they look amazing.  However, once I removed them from the tin, I noticed they were very moist on the bottom half.  Not wet like they weren't cooked long enough, more like they were oily.  This recipe had very little oil though.  Maybe I added too many blueberries.  Here is an image of a few of the muffins turned upside down and broken open.

The muffins also taste VERY salty.  The recipe called for 1/2 tsp of sea salt, and that is clearly too much, as the salt is all I can taste.  I will have to make some modifications and attempt these muffins again.  This batch is for the birds.

So, you're probably wondering what I did eat for breakfast.  I had some fresh cantaloupe with a few slices of Applegate Farms ham.  Still not a satisfying breakfast. 

The rest of the day has gone quite well.  I had a garden salad for lunch, and for dinner, I had a piece of grilled chicken and sauteed spinach.  I snacked on some pistachios and an apple in the afternoon.  One thing I know for sure is that I am not eating enough.  Yesterday and today I have gotten  "that" headache one gets when they are hungry and haven't had enough to sustain them. 

Challenges for tomorrow:  Tomorrow is my first day back to work.  We have professional development training and the school is providing Firehouse Subs for lunch.  I must pack my lunch tonight or I will be eating a Firehouse sub instead. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

And so the journey begins....

Day 1: 30 Day Paleo Challenge

To begin, for those who have no idea about the Paleo Diet, in a nutshell, it is a diet of meat, vegetables, and fruits (no dairy, no legumes, no grains).  You can certainly read up about it online to get the nitty gritty details.

Why am I doing this challenge? 
Well, mostly because I like a little competition and a good challenge.  I joined a CrossFit gym in early June.  Many CrossFitters are followers of the Paleo Diet (also known as the Caveman Diet), and I've heard a lot of talk about it at the gym.  I also have a long time friend who, for the most part, follows a Paleo Diet.  So, why not take on a challenge.  After all, it is only for 30 days. 

My initial thoughts and anxiety about this challenge:
BREAKFAST!  I typically eat oatmeal cooked in milk (grains and dairy all in one), or have an English muffin and some fruit with a glass of milk.  I'm a slightly picky eater.  Not a big fan of eggs, and when I do eat an omelet or scrambled egg it has cheese in it.  (Do you see my problem with breakfast?)

I didn't have concerns for the rest of my meals because I like meat, poultry, pork, veggies, and fruit.  I just don't want these things for breakfast. 

So, How did Day 1 go?
I would call it an Epic Fail.  breakfast consisted of a banana-blueberry-almond milk smoothie.  It tasted fine, but wasn't satisfying at all.  I was famished about an hour later.  I was caught up in a meeting at my new school without snacks, and at lunch I caved.  It was a Mexican Fiesta.  I actually didn't inhale the chips (but I did enjoy my share), but I think the rice and refried beans pretty much ruined the meal.  Sure hit the spot though.  My new neighbors invited me for dinner which was delicious and wasn't bad in terms of paleo standards - sausage, cabbage with onions, and a small piece of cornbread (ok, the cornbread was a bad choice).  I had some orange slices and one cookie (offered to me by a 5 year old...hard to resist) for dessert. 
Overall, I had higher expectations for Day 1.  However, I know to always have a snack in my bag, and that I need to find a better breakfast.  Tomorrow will be a better Paleo eating day.