Paleo Power!

Yep, we’re still at it.  We went through 30 days of “strict” Paleo and not only did we survive, but we feel awesome!  Here are some way-cool benefits that we’ve experienced:

1.  Sugar-brain is gone.  I’m  not sure if this is the way sugar effects everyone, but for Cosmo and me, it is like a sneaky, mind-numbing drug.  Several years ago, we tried Somersizing (the Suzanne Somers diet).  The main benefit we saw came from not eating sugar.  It was like a fog was lifted.  We both felt sharp, I mean really brilliant, and were able to keep multiple thoughts and tasks going at once.  We also noticed an increase in willpower – for lack of a better word.  Here’s what I mean: It would be evening after a really long day and there was laundry in the dryer.  Normally, I would just say, “Meh.  I’ll just turn it on again in the morning to ‘iron’ it and then take it out.”  But without sugar-brain, it goes like this, “Let’s get the laundry out now and fold it all or hang it all up and put it all away!  And let’s do another load while we’re at it!  Oh, look, I can vacuum right now, too!  I think I’ll clean the toilet right quick!”  You get the idea, right?

It may seem odd to attribute this to lack of sugar, but we have tested our theory and this is the explanation that fits our scenario.  And I’m not the only one who things sugar is to blame for a LOT of ailments – just Google “Sugar is the Devil” and see what you get!  😉   And even with no sugar, I get to eat this homemade version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups:

2.  I no longer have the uncontrollable need to eat bones.  (For the un-initiated, that’s a reference from the greatest sci-fi show, ever – Farscape.  In Season 1, Episode 21: “Bone to be Wild,”  there is a seemingly helpless alien who turns into a bone-eating monster when she is hungry.  She can’t help it.  She just needs to eat and she just happens to eat bones.  The urban dictionary calls it “Hangry, but in my house, it is affectionately referred to as needing to eat bones…I do the accent and everything.)  Anyway, on Paleo, my blood-sugar has stabilized and I no longer experience these swings from high to low.  In fact, just today, I ate breakfast around 8:00 a.m. and then wasn’t able to eat more than a handful of nuts until 5:00 p.m. when I made supper.  Normally, I would have been grumpy, tired, irritable, and looking to shove anything resembling food into my mouth.  BUT after a hearty Paleo breakfast, I made it all day and I was even nice to perfect strangers!  I came home and cooked this for supper:

That really is amazing!

3.  I’ve lost about five pounds.  Nothing earth shattering, but pretty impressive considering the fact that I feel like I have eaten better than I have in ages and I haven’t been working out any more than normal.  I’m starting a bootcamp next week to increase the intensity of my workouts, so I’m curious to see what that does for me…

The hard part:

1.  It does take some planning and preparation.  The first three weeks I was really trying to eat specific recipes from Practical Paleo, so that meant a lot of time making a menu and then a shopping list from her recipes.  The last two weeks, I’ve made things easier and am mostly focusing on protein and veggies for meals and only cook a specific recipe once in awhile.  But there is still a lot of prep involved with fresh veggies – washing, chopping, cooking, etc.  Which also means a lot of dishes to wash…but thankfully my hubby does the dishes most of the time, so I really can’t complain there!

2.  I miss bread on occasion.  I have a special place in my heart (and gut!) for bread, so giving it up was tough at first.  However, I found some awesome muffin and waffle recipes that are made with coconut flour, so I’m perfectly happy with that.  I’m still missing crackers, so now I need to find a Paleo cracker to satisfy that need…

So, we are now calling ourselves “Paleo.” We are no longer considering this a ‘new diet,’ rather it has just become the way we eat.  Love it!

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Adventures in Paleo

I got this mammoth book for Christmas: Practical Paleo Book

It is huge and heavy and I’m fixin’ to take it to the Kinko’s and have them split it in half and spiral bind the sucker.  Then it will be more manageable and user-friendly.  The first half is the why of doing Paleo and the second is mostly recipes.  The “why” was an interesting read over Christmas break, but my “why” is simple – I want the benefits I’ve seen in Cosmo’s cousin…  She and her family have some allergies and they started doing Paleo several months ago.  Allergies are gone and she and her husband look amazing!

I want my allergies gone and I want to look amazing, so I decided to give it a shot!

Beef & Veggie Stir Fry

So, we’ve been at it since Monday (today is Saturday) and I have to say, it has gone GREAT.  We went on a massive shopping excursion after spending a couple of hours creating a meal plan and shopping list (note: there are only two of us…I have no idea how you people with children ever accomplish this task.  You are my heroes.).  We have spent more time cooking this week than I think we did in the last six months – and that includes Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!  But we have had fun being together in the kitchen and have created some truly amazing food.

In this process, I wanted to keep track of our progress, likes and dislikes, successes, failures, struggles and the like.

Thai Curry & Coconut Soup

What I’ve learned this week:

  • reheated eggs are not my favorite – we made the “Swirly Crustless Quiche” and then reheated it a couple of days.  It was ok, but not as awesome as it would have been fresh out of the oven.  Good, time-saving idea, but not worth it…
  • perfectly baked bacon rocks and is good reheated
  • pumpkin pancakes took a long time and were not worth the effort…maybe I didn’t cook them long enough or something, but they were kinda too soft and mushy.  I’m big on texture, so these didn’t work for me.  Searching for a better paleo-friendly pancake / waffle recipe.  I think coconut flour ones are the answer…
  • it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I did find myself longing for bread last night, but I made it through and am planning some paleo muffins into this week’s menu.
  • it has been time consuming, BUT as we learn more about how to do it, I’ll feel better about branching out from specific recipes to do my own thing.  AND we have enjoyed being in the kitchen working together to make meals.

So far, I am still sniffling with allergies and don’t look amazing, but I feel pretty good about the whole thing and am willing to persist…