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Food Sensitivities and What You Can Do About It

26 Jul

Healing Health

A few years ago I was really struggling with my health. Don’t get me wrong, I ate “healthy” and worked out like a fiend {spin class 5 times a week, P90X, Boot camp classes, and running 20-30 miles/week}. But I felt sick, run down, and had ZERO energy. I couldn’t lose any weight. I still say that I’m the only person who trains for a marathon and gains weight {no, it was not muscle}. Being tall is helpful, no one can really tell if you gain or lose those 5 lbs, but that wasn’t really the biggest issue. I felt like I was literally killing myself with my diet and exercise. No, I was not eating fast food or potato chips. I was not a couch potato either, but sometimes, a lifestyle that we think is “healthy” can turn out to be unhealthy.

Mistake #1: Going Vegan

lisa-simpson-vegetarian

I can only speak for my own body, but this did not go well for me. I bought a juicer and juiced all my veggies and fruit. Which, I actually still do from time to time, BUT I was only eating fruit/veggie juices, Soy burgers, Lots of SOY products {I never want to see Tofu again}, and grains. RESULT: limited calories and deficient protein = weird things to happened to my body. Instead of an attempt to heal my stomach issues, going vegan intensified it. {Soy is the devil. ok not really, but I have a complete and total aversion to soy because of how awful it made me feel}.

Mistake #2: Keeping a food journal

Almost every weight loss program you see tells you to keep a food journal. So I did. And I did the math and factored in how many miles I was running, and how much food allowance I had to use…Worst idea ever. It might work for some people, but it just made me think I could eat more at the end of the day, “Oh I ran 5 miles, I can eat 500 more calories…of TOFU.” Yuck. I used apps and measured my food, but this made me almost obsessive compulsive with tracking. A major time suck.

Mistake #3: Eating Like a Bird

I had it in my head to eat 6 snacks/ day and not eat full meals. Sound familiar? More horrible weight loss advice. The problem was that I never felt satiated. I was always “hungry” and almost always overate my snacks…trail mix was trail meal. 2 oz cashews, uh no. More like 1lb bag of cashews in one setting. And there’s always the “well, I’m not eating a meal, so I can just eat more of this…” mentality. Seriously, worst advice EVER.

Mistake #4: Using Exercise to Beat Myself Up. 

If I ate too much in my food journal one day, I would make myself run extra miles. However….I’d come home really hungry again…and then eat everything back that I ran.

RESULTS: Tired, run down, chronic IBS, and “skinny fat”. Sound fun?

I went to many doctors both holistic and clinical to figure out what was going on. They always said, “seems like you’re doing everything right.”

I finally threw in the towel, decided to be an advocate for myself and dumped all the fads. I stopped shopping at the health hurt {aka the over priced supplement store} and started an elimination diet- where you cut out certain food groups to find what you may have an allergy to.

What I discovered:

I can’t tolerate:

  • grains: flour, oats, barley, etc.
  • starches: Potatoes, rice
  • legumes: Soy and beans {but I can do peanuts}
  • Dairy: No milk, cheese, butter, or yogurt {Greek yogurt seems to be ok though}
  • Highly processed protein bars full of mystery ingredients…Or any other highly processed foods.
  • Coffee
  • Beer and wine: gluten and sulfates

I do very well on:

  • MEAT- chicken, turkey, steak, fish, pork
  • EGGS – I eat A LOT of eggs
  • Low acidic fruits
  • Veggies
  • Nuts: Walnuts and Almonds {for some reason can’t do cashews}
  • Quest Protein Bars
  • Whey Isolate Protein
  • GNC Pro-Sculpt  {I drink this in the morning with my vitamins instead of coffee}

So my diet {if you want to call it that- I think of it more as healthy living} resembles the Paleo diet. I did not set out to eat Paleo, it just so happened that I’d look up recipes with the foods that I COULD eat, and I’d stumble upon paleo sites. There are a lot of people who are skeptical of the Paleo diet, and I think that’s good. You should be skeptical about any diet or lifestyle changes that you make. You need to be your own advocate after all. But I’ve found that it has really turned my health around. I have more energy, stamina, and I’m happier – my moods don’t fluctuate {no more blood sugar roller coasters}.

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paleo pyramid

To sum it up – you need to find what works for you. You shouldn’t feel like you’re on the Struggle Bus everyday. It’s good to be worn out once in a while and need a rest day…but if you’re worn out everyday, somethings wrong.

Have you tried an elimination diet to figure out what you may be intolerant to? Blood and Allergy tests don’t catch everything. If you’re frustrated with everything you’ve already tried, an elimination diet can be the remedy to pinpoint your intolerances.

RANDOM RANTS: Things people say to me that irks me:

Person eating doughnut will say, “Oh, Paleo, that’s bad for you.” Yeah…  Because Dunkin’ Doughnuts and McDonalds is so much better for you?

“CrossFit is dangerous” um.. NO. a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous.

Crossfit is not dangerous

I will never judge someone for their lifestyle choices, I have not walked in their shoes. I just find it so funny that people will readily judge others who are trying to make positive changes, or trying to better themselves. It almost convicts those who don’t. I think we all have a God given desire to become the best versions of ourselves. But we are also our own worst enemies when we combat with our self control, motivation, and priorities.

Health is a choice in many cases. The Bible says that Blessings and Curses are choices. We can follow God’s word and way of life, or try to do it on our own. It’s a choice to be obedient. God gives us free will. In realistic terms, this means we can choose to focus on the positive and mediate on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure” Philippians 4:8,  or can fixate on the negative, live in fear, and remain stagnant and let our feelings control us.

More important than diet and exercise is the worth of a person. We should never judge another’s worth by their girth…if they can do a pull up or not, or if they can grow a power beard 😉

Remember too, that we are all a work in progress. Everyone puts on their grown up pants the same…One foot at a time.

lifes too short

Your Turn:

Do you have food sensitivities? What do you do when they strike?

Have you made fitness mistakes? What have your mistakes taught you?

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Rest Day

12 Jul

rest-day

 

Photo Credit HERE

Let me first just  say, I HATE REST DAY.

Maybe it’s because we live in a world full of hustle and bustle, where there are constantly a million stimuluses pumping into our brains a day.  For example, I don’t know when this happened, but my summer morning routine is usually :Pray- Devotions, check Facebook, check email, look at WordPress Stats, surf Pinterest, make a list of things todo for the day.  I think I’ve gotten pretty efficient, I can do all the above in 20 min {Devotions take longer give or take the day}. But it brings me to the Chicken or the Egg question,  Am I ADD because of this stimulus overload, or was I just born with a firecracker up my bum? I constantly have to multitask. It’s hard for me to focus on one thing at a time. But that doesn’t mean I avoid attempting to quiet my mind. It’s harder for me, but I think it’s essential for everyone to have a rest day- from everything. I intended this post to be about taking a rest day from working out, but the more I think about it, we need to rest from other things as well…

Gimme’ a Break

  • Hard Workouts {Rest days need to be active too, more below}
  • Work
  • Stress
  • Giving { You need to refill your own cup before you can fill anyone else’s}
  • Social Media

Workouts:

i-hate-rest-days

 

Photo Credit HERE

Rest days from working out are probably the hardest days for me. I feel anxious and irritable when I don’t workout, but I know my body needs a break…otherwise…it will break. I like to remember this quote on rest days, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body” – C.S. Lewis. On rest days I try to focus on bettering myself as a person, rather than focus on working out. This is perhaps one reason I don’t like rest days. I try to quiet myself, to be more patient, and to think of others first. I should do this on a daily basis, and I try, but rest days are when I’m really intentional about it.

Active Rest: I can’t lay around. I just can’t. I feel like poo if I do. So for me a rest day is cleaning the house, walking the dogs, and maybe sitting by the lake. Restocking my fridge with Clean foods, and surfing Pinterest for Paleo recipes {or playing mad scientist in the kitchen and making my own recipes}. Usually my Rest Day is Sunday- so I start my day with Church. I love my church. It helps me to get my mind right. I learn a lot about who God is, and I get to spend community time others. It’s really like family time for me. I’ve learned the hard way that if I sleep in, lay around, eat whatever I want and am unproductive on rest days…they turn into rest DAYS, and really bad habits {Have you ever noticed that it’s really hard to start up healthy habits, but super easy to start bad ones}. Some people may not see this as a rest day, but for me it is. I also try to stay off Facebook and my blog on Sundays in order to reconnect with reality. And my walks take me into the woods. I love to be in nature and silence {I do go with my two very protective dogs…Rocky’s part Pitt, and Gracie is part wolf  german shepherd…both diluted with lab}. 

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Work:

Although I truly believe in hard work in your career, you also need at least one day where you don’t work. At. All. This is hard if you are a very motivated person with deadlines and people to please. But you will burnout if you don’t detach yourself. When I started teaching, I think I worked from 20 hour days, 7 days a week, for at least the first marking period. I was terrified with the prospect of summer…”What would I do with myself?” I thought. But it has really been a blessing to be able to take a breath. Near the end of the year I was getting a lot better with leaving work at work. Not great, but better. Ryan called me the “crazy teacher lady”, but as with anything I do, I go all or nothing. Balancing that takes more effort than letting myself be consumed. But when I was consumed, which is the perfect word for how I felt, everything suffered. My laundry…relationships, my body, and my mental health. It’s all about balance {Much easier said than done}.

Stress:

I am a naturally anxious person, so I have had my struggles with stress. In college I would have panic attacks all the time. But I’ve learned how to manage stress in the past few years. Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Spend alone time with yourself {NO TECHNOLOGY. ALONE TIME!}
  • Find a quiet space in nature and try to be still. I like to pray. If I don’t have the words, I just say the Lords Prayer and try to keep still.
  • Write a list of things that are troubling me, and put them in my God Box.
  • Organize my “Junk Drawers” and listen to positive music {Josh Wilson, Jason Castro, Jamie Cullens, NewsBoys….the music of my childhood:) }
  • Play with my dogs {except they think FETCH is Keep Away}

What I DON’T do {But I use to do…}

  • Reward myself with food
  • Call a friend and vent {not a bad thing, but generally I think this can stir up more negativity}
  • Go shopping
  • Go to a Coffee shop and buy a $6 coffee

Not that all of these are bad {The first one is…you’re not a dog, don’t reward yourself with food} but I’ve learned that for me, they do not help, but perpetuate my stress.

Food:

I know a lot of people like the Body For Life program, and if it works for you, great. But for me, I can’t do cheat days. My IBS and gluten allergy means that I will suffer dearly for even one meal of poor nutrition choices. So for my Rest day with food, I like to make something new and interesting. With all the paleo and clean eating cookbooks and websites, this is pretty easy to do, and I really do enjoy shopping for fresh foods {yes, I’m that annoying girl in the produce aisle squeezing my grapefruit and avocados}.

YOUR TURN

What about you-

What’s you’re Recovery Day like?

What do you do to alleviate stress?

The ‘Power’ of Food

3 Jul

Good Eats

food-as-medicine

Photo Credit HERE

The more I eat REAL food, the better I feel. I know I’m not alone on this one. On my journey to strong, I have come to banish counting calories, scales, and the obsession with dress sizes. When your intention changes from being “skinny” to being STRONG, you appreciate food more, and your body. I have a new respect for food. Everything I consume, I think of what it’s doing for my body, after all “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  Hippocrates.  I think we can get so wrapped up in counting calories and the whole ‘calorie-in-calorie-out’ mentality that we forget how God intended food to be used…to sustain us and give us strength.

I have been a calorie counter for years. But now I focus on portion control and quality of food over quantity. It’s so refreshing to look forward to eating fresh avocado, or using organic coconut oil and not have to worry about if I’m over my calorie limit for the day! Understanding the benefits of healthy fats and how they work in your body is very important. That being said, I’m on a quest to make the healthiest protein bar possible. I’m always on the go, so I need something that is going to give me energy without a sugar or caffeine crash. I also need protein to keep up with my workout regime and active lifestyle.

Raspberry Chocolate Power Bites {No Bake}

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Ingredients: Serves a Bakers Dozen…{I ate a few in the process…too good to wait!}

1/4 Cup Fresh Raspberries

1/2 Cup Halved Walnuts- mashed

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour {great source of plant fiber}

1/4 Cup Chocolate Powdered Peanut Butter {I use Just Good Stuff Organic Powder}

1 tbs Coconut Oil 2013-07-02 20.07.47 {Coconut Oil is my new fav. Read more about the benefits of Coconut oil HERE}

Coating Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Flaxmeal

1/4 Cup Organic Stevia

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together except for the coating.

If you have a food processor, this would be much easier. But since I am an unpampered chief…I used my Oster on the go blender. {See..cooking doesn’t have to be fancy schmancy. Mix it means mix it…doesn’t matter how it’s done.}

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Next, I put it into a bowl, spooned it out, rolled it into a ball, and then I dipped it into a bowl of stevia, and then rolled it into a bowl of flaxmeal to give it that “faux-powedered sugar” appeal.

Put it in the fridge to harden for up to 2-3 hours.

Results: YUM

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Power Bites {No Bake}

Ingredients: makes about 2 dozen

4 Cups Chocolate Whey Protein

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/3 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {Organic, Just Good Stuff}

1/3 Cup Sliced Organic, Raw Almonds

1 tbs Coconut Oil

Coating: 1/3 Cup Flaxmeal 1/4 {ish} Cup Organic Stevia

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients except for the coating.

Coating: in two separate bowls, one with flaxmeal, and one with stevia, roll the balls.

Place in fridge to let harden for 2-3 hours.

RESULTS: Ah-Ma-Zing!

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{This has BOTH the chocolate and the raspberry, you can see the raspberry has a “raspberry” color.}

Power Pet Treats {bites would sound bad here…don’t ya think!}

Our four legged friends often get the short end of the stick when it comes to nutrition. But if you have a dog like mine, you realize that dogs are just as sensitive to all this processed food as we are. Again, God intended them to eat food that HE created. So I decided to show them some Paleo love too!

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Ingredients:

2 Sweet Potatoes

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter {I used USDA organic peanut butter…ingredients: peanuts and sea salt, and organic cane sugar}

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1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

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1 Egg

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Steam, peel, and then mash the sweet potatoes.

Mix all your ingredients together. Scoop out desired bite sizes and bake for 10 minutes {or until golden brown}.

RESULT: Happy Dogs. I ate them too actually… They are really good. I think if you added some stevia or salt…either way, it would make a good “people treat” too. I actually had to put them away because I kept “tasting” them.

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Happy Pups

More is….MORE

1 Jul

When you feel like giving up…give it all you’ve got.

crossfit_inspirational-49

Photo Credit HERE 

You’ve heard the saying “less is more”, but sometimes, more is just, well, more.

The only way to get better at something is to do it MORE. This is true in all facets of life. But wanting something and actually working for it are two different things. And sometimes we need to recognize that saying “YES” to one thing, means saying “NO” to another. For example…Saying YES to a gym membership means saying NO to shopping {Fair trade! I hate shopping!}. And saying “Yes” to following Jesus, means saying “NO” to being a jerk! {Jesus is Love. And that’s the TRUTH}.

Here are a few things I want MORE of, and how I plan to achieve it.

  • Jesus {Practice being more like Jesus. Give Kindness whenever I can…and even when I “can’t”}
  • My Family and Friends {Invest in them MORE. Open my ears and LISTEN to them.}
  • CrossFit {Practice and go to class MORE. Stop telling myself I “can’t”. }
  • Education {Learn more to teach more}
  • Peanut Butter {oH yUm}

Ok, the last one, really not such a good idea. But you get the picture.

can't into cans

Photo Credit HERE

One thing I definitely ALWAYS want more of is AVOCADO! So here’s my new summer salad Recipe:

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Summer Salad

Serves 8

4 Cups Spring Mix Lettuce

1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes {One big fist full}

1 Head Broccoli, chopped

4 Diced Avocados

1/4 Cup Sundried Zesty Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Cracked Pepper Sliced Almonds

Dressing: Lite Sesame Ginger

I brought this salad to a dinner party and it went over very well. I think in large part because I put MORE avocado in it than usual. I added chicken to it to complete a meal, but others ate it as a side.

After I ate WAY too many Paleo Bites, I realized the BEST Protein Bite is the incredible, edible egg! I have a dozen hardboiled in my fridge at all times. This has saved me from many ravenous episodes. 🙂

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What about you? What’s your go-to snack?

My Steps to Strong

30 Jun

Step 1: Keep the Faith

The one thing that has always been consistent in my life is my faith. I know with all my heart that it is God who has gone before me, and led me into circumstances that have made me who I am today…and the person I hope to become.I love this quote

“God loves me just the way I am, But He also loves me too much to leave me that way.”

Each day that I am given is a gift. Jesus said that the greatest gifts on this earth is to… “abide in faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13  God is love. I want to reflect that to everyone…even the people I DON’T always get along with….Jesus was loving to those who slandered Him, spit on Him, and eventually Crucified Him. My patience pales in comparison. Jesus is strong. And if God is for me, who can be against me? Also, Jesus wasn’t just mentally and spiritually strong, He was also physically strong. He was a carpenter, He engaged in manual labor most of His life. For decades people have shaped the image of Christ into what they want Him to be, but Jesus does not fit into a box. Read HERE for a great article on the true image of Christ.

 

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Step 2: Strengthen Your Relationships

You will fall in life. But who is there for you when you do? Are you there for them? Refocusing on who is a priority in your life is important. Some people may just be unhealthy to be around, and that’s O.K. You can love them from a far {or tolerate them from afar} but you don’t have to be best friends with everyone. Look around you, who do you love? Don’t let a day slip by without letting them know. and also…If you want a good friend, you have to be one first. Sometimes that’s hard to recognize when we get caught up in the busyness of life.

friendship

Step 3: Find What Moves You…Literally

For me, I LOVE CrossFit. It’s such an amazing sport. You challenge yourself daily.

stronger

I love setting goals. My CrossFit goals are:

1. Figure out Double Unders

2. Kipling Pullups

3. Muscle ups

4. Work on Olympic Lifting

5. Focus on Form.

One thing I’ve really noticed about CrossFit, is that you shouldn’t try to figure it out on your own.

Crossfit is not dangerous

One of the first steps to joining a CrossFit gym is taking a Fundamentals Course. You need it. Don’t skimp. CrossFit is NOT throwing weights around. It’s physics, it’s form, it’s challenging. I personally know I won’t challenge myself like this on my own.

It’s quality coaching and the atmosphere of other CrossFitters who make CrossFit amazing.

crossfit pic

Step 4: Nutrition

If you feed your body with junk, it will perform like junk.

Eat Real Food. Eat Protein, Veggies, and Fruit. Avoid processed foods.

Nutrition Goal: Embrace my inner chief.

I love quest bars, but I wanted to see if I could make my own Protein Bites. Here are my results:

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Paleo Baked Protein Bites

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Paleo No-Bake Protein Bites

Baked Paleo Protein Bites

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Dry Ingredients:

3 Scoops Iso Define Chocolate Protein Powder {any whey protein powder will work}

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/4 Cup Powdered Peanut Butter {PB2}

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds

1/4 Cup Raw Shredded Almonds

4 packets of Organic Stevia

Wet Ingredients:

2 Eggs

2 Mashed Bananas

2tbs Organic Honey

Instructions: Mix all together in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for 18-20 minutes.

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Result: 2013-06-30 13.36.57 Yum! Tastes amazing fresh out of the oven, or after refrigerating.

NutritionLabel-1 copy

{Nutrition facts added up by me and entered HERE }

NO-BAKE Protein Bites {Paleo}

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup Steal Cut Oats

1/2 C PB2 {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/2 C Chocolate Powdered Peanut butter {mixed with 1/4 c water}

1/4 C coconut flour

1/4 C Sliced raw almonds

1 tbs Honey

8 packs Stevia

4 Scoops of Whey Protein {chocolate}

Directions: Mix it all together. {I use a spoon. yea, I know, so cultured in the arts of culinary…} Roll into balls. Put in fridge for at least 3-4 hours.

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{Nutrition Facts to come. }

So here are my “baby steps” to fitness. What about you? Do you keep track of your goals?

What are your top fitness goals?

Modestly Speaking

28 Jun

I have a bad case of Verbal Vomit …

Have you ever found yourself in mid conversation and you have that voice in the back of your mind that says,”Don’t say it, don’t you dare!” and before you know it, it has rolled off your tongue like turpentine. Not necessarily like Miranda Lambert’s White Liar, but you just can’t keep your thoughts to yourself! Sometimes this is a good thing…sometimes, not.so.much.

I’m an open book, and you never have to guess what’s on my mind. I have a bad case of verbal vomit…often known as “foot-in-the-mouthtitis”. This has gotten me into trouble more times than I can count.

example:

Me: Oh, you are just all baby!

Client: Yea, I know. I’m trying to lose it.

Situation: I thought she was pregnant still…she delivered 3 weeks prior. All of you mothers out there want to kill me now, I know. I meant for it to be a compliment. She was a really adorable pregnant girl…the kind where it looks like they just smuggled a beach ball under their shirt. Needless to say, the next 2 hours of her hair appointment was really awkward. {she did forgive me…eventually….}

Proverbs 13:3 says “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin”.

My other favorite is: “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45

This is a lesson I keep struggling with. I have this poster up in my classroom as soon as kids enter. I think it’s a good reminder, daily.

THINK

Holding your tongue takes a lot of self control. I realized this when I was in CrossFit class the other day…I talk too much. I like to justify “why” I can’t do something, when I need to just drop the ego, listen, and DO IT. I came across this  poster on Pinterest and wanted to share it. After my foundations course at CrossFit Lake Effect, I definitely agree with this poster!

big ego crossfit

These are my goals:

  • Think MORE, Speak LESS
  • Let my Actions SHOW…{our actions already speak louder than words, I know I need to SHOW love, not impatience, frustration, and selfishness…oh man, easier said than done!!!!}

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Food for Thought

We also need to be deliberate about what we EAT. I really like the Paleo diet. Or I like to think of it as “The Maker’s Diet”. I think that God created food, and it’s best to eat it in the ways in which He intended it to be eaten. I love fresh fruits and veggies, and I’m realizing that all my years as a reluctant cook was quite silly, because if you focus on eating food closest to its  purest form, cooking is super easy!

I made Paleo Banana Pancakes for Breakfast this Morning {flour free}

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THREE INGREDIENTS {can’t get easier than that}

1 Ripe Banana

2 Eggs

2 tbs Pure Maple Syrup (or Raw Honey)

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Mush it all up!

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Fry it up like a pancake.

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So YUM, and very filling. only about 200 cal. Great way to start the morning.

I’ll leave you with this to “Chew” on… I’ve been thinking about modesty lately too: What it means to have Humility, and high standards…to be set a apart.

humility

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