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Giving Paleo a shot

Oh, hi. Let’s play catch up.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on a mostly paleo-friendly diet. Read about Paleo here or here.

To start off, Paleo’s not for everyone. I’m not necessarily sure it’s totally for me just yet, but I’m giving it the ol’ college try. I’ve been doing it for the past two weeks and I still have 2 more weeks to go, at which point I’ll reassess my goals.

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Magical salmon and greens from Arcade Midtown Kitchen.

 

What I’m eating: All kinds of things as long as they’re not bread, gluten, grains, legumes or dairy. It’s really upped my cooking. I have to plan my meals or else I’m a hungry T-Rex and I terrorize my surroundings. I’ve also replaced pasta noodles with zucchini, yellow squash and spaghetti squash. Cover the stuff in marinara or peso sauce and you’re golden (although, I’m not 100 percent sure pine nuts are paleo).

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Cherries are in season!

What about going out to eat? Well, because I plan my meals, I’m not eating out as much, but when I do, I stick with salads or scrambles. The Cove has an amazing sweet potato hash that’s mostly paleo-friendly, save for the smattering of corn kernels. They also offer a naked burger that goes great with sweet potato fries.

How I’m feeling: On a scale from 1-10, 10 being awesome, I’m at a 7.5. I’m allowing myself teensy cheats every other day which help keep me sane, but I feel pretty great for the most part. I don’t bloat nearly as often. I haven’t had a breakout in two weeks. That being said, when I do allow carbs or sugar in my meals, I’m usually in for an upset stomach.

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Might be my new favorite squash. JK. I love all gourds.

There are still a ton of recipes I plan on trying out. PaleOMG has some neat-sounding plantain recs. Overall, I’m having a ton of fun with this little experiment.

In other news:

  • Still trying to keep up a workout routine.
  • I’m seeing a pretty neat fellow.
  • Work is …work.
  • Oh, and summer movie season is in full swing. I’ve watched Ironman 3, The Great Gatsby (loved the soundtrack), Star Trek Into Darkness (Hello, Chris Pine/Benedict Cumberbatch), and Fast & Furious 6 (EXPLOSIONS! which I reviewed here!).
  • I experienced my third Taylor Swift show. It might be my favorite so far (wrote about that here) :D

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Just some of my Swifty swag.

Anywhoodles, off to plan several days worth of food. Paleo recipe suggestions totally welcome!

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If It were up to me…

Everyone would have a therapist.

So, here’s the post where I tell everyone I’ve been seeing a therapist. Full disclosure: My parents don’t know I’ve been seeing said therapist on a biweekly basis — there are things your parents don’t need to know.

I started seeing G (that’s what I’m calling her) in February and she’s amazing. She was highly recommended by a very trusted mentor of mine.

I’ve talked to her about everything: work, family, boys, weight. She’s figuratively held my hand through several ah-ha moments, and while there are still a few more sessions to be had, there have been several big takeaways.

Without spilling most of my guts (this isn’t The Walking Dead), here are a few things I’ve been focusing on lately.

  • Most of my problems are temporary. This isn’t forever. This is actually a good thing.
  • Grief really does have several stages, and you have to go through the motions of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I’ve rocked this cycle several times over. Couldn’t have done it without G.
  • Celebrate. Instead of beating myself up with the amount of work left to do in my self-discovery/shrinking journey, why not celebrate the positive choices I’ve been making? I’m going to celebrate the little things (this includes a four-pound weight loss since heading to San Francisco in January)!

Regardless of your issue (or issues), talking to a trained and impartial professional is worth a shot. Ask around, find one you’re comfortable with, and don’t be afraid of that tissue box. It’s there for a reason.

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Well, it’s something

Today’s weigh in revealed a 1.6 lb drop. Not great, but I’ll take it as long as it keeps going down.

Time for bed. Gym time in the AM.

What’s your number?

A few days into the new year I stumbled upon this link: “The Public Humiliation Diet.”

It was an interesting read. I’m not really down with fat-shaming. I already do that on my own every time I say I’m eating my feelings. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but he does have a point. Being open about this did have it’s advantages, you know, when I actually blogged regularly. It’s nice having someone or someones to be accountable with besides myself.

So.

Having said that, I’m going to try a little something different this time around. I’m going to post weekly weigh-ins. I don’t think I ever really did a number last time around…for really good reasons. Most of which involve other people learning my weight. More specifically, my guy friends knowing what I weight is terrifying. Weird, I know! We grow up with women being so secretive about some silly number, so much so that we’re terrified of hopping on a square-foot piece of plastic.

But I need to see it. I need to keep track. I need to know that there’s something I’m working toward, slowly, but surely.

This isn’t for everyone. I’m pretty sure there are a TON of magazine articles and what-nots about not stepping on the scale. But, I’m giving this a shot.

276. That was the big (ha!), scary number. I’m off to think of 276 awesome reasons why I’m doing this…

Feel free to add your own number in the comments below, or better yet, why you wouldn’t want to share it.

All the Ks

Actually, just one. A 5K in March.

I signed up for the Color Me Rad run on March 30 in Houston. I’ll be jogging it with two great friends from UTSA. It’s going to be a blast, I just know it (Clearly, I’m working on that fake it ’til you make it business).

I have several weeks to train…which yes, I have to do for a 5K. Baby steps, guys.

Found this article on how to run a 5K on Pinterest, and I thought I’d share.

Here’s to an injury-less training and 5K!

Putting my sneaks to good use.

Putting my sneaks to good use.

 

Feeling vulnerable

And it’s going to be a good thing.

Bobby Deen’s Not My Mama’s Meals Episode 3 Recap

Episode three and I still like the show. It’s the accent, guys…

Anywhoo, for last week’s episode, Bobby decided to re-do Paula’s shrimp and grits. Paula’s grits were originally filled with cream, butter and salt, so Bobby added a few ingredients while taking away others to lighten the recipe. Instead of grits, which require a lot of ingredients to taste better, Bobby used polenta (after a quick visit to chef Manu Malparta) which need no cream or butter. He added onions, peppers, garlic, crushed tomatoes, adding a whole other layer of taste to the dish.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, Daphne Oz showed up at Bobby’s door. I’m not opposed to guests, but there’s yet to be an episode where BD hangs by himself, I’m looking forward to that one but I feel like brother Jamie and girlfriend Kate are bound to make a cameo. (I can already see the themes: Bro Day and Date Night, respectively.)

Good ol’ Daph, yes, Dr. Oz’s daughter, stopped by to catch up with Bobby, and sample the lightened dishes. And, boy were they light. The shrimp-and-grits-turned-shrimp-and-polenta went from 1,422 calories and 47 grams of fat to 258 calories and 4 grams of fat.

The thing I love about Bobby is that, even as a dude who’s not really into sweets, he still adds a dessert to the 30-minute show!

For episode three, BD lightened Paula’s Fried Apple Pies into No-Fry, Baked Apple Pies. The butter usage went down to about 1 tablespoon (BONUS TIP: Daph says you can replace butter with coconut oil to cook up the apples), along with 3 tablespoons of sugar. The rest was just apples and spices in a flax-and-pecan-filled whole wheat dough. The pies went from 841 calories and 60 grams of fat to 190 calories and 5 grams of fat.

I’m going to take a minute to talk about Paula’s announcement from last week. After three years as a diabetic, PD went public on her disease. Unfortunately, she did this while endorsing a diabetes drug and launching a new site with healthy diabetic recipes (this is also a point of contention). Basically, she’s banked from sharing butter-heavy recipes with Southern food lovers and she’ll be banking as she promotes a “healthier” lifestyle, using drugs to regulate diabetes and not acknowledging any changes to her diet.

As one of the first TV chefs I latched onto while learning how to cook back during my second year at UTSA, I have to say I’m disappointed. You never want to think of someone you learned something from as manipulative. It’s just a little sad.
Anyway, what are some substitutions or additions you make to lighten meals? What are your thoughts on Paula’s announcement?

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Biggest Loser Season 13 Episode 3 Recap

This recap is a little late, but bear with me. Last night’s episode of Biggest Loser was titled “I don’t have time to eat healthy” so the episode tried addressing that excuse.

The show started out with the first temptation of the season. The players were brought into a Chinese food-filled room where Allison explained that there are 41,000 Chinese food restaurants in the U.S., more than McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s combined. Whoever ate the most calories would have a 2-pound advantage and also pick teams for the face-offs this week. I happen to hate the temptations; they’re self-gratifying. It’s really just a way to get them to talk about food lustfully.

After way too much talking and strategy, Cassandra from the Black team ended up eating two 30-calorie fortune cookies for the advantage and the team picking. She choose as follows:

Santa v. Emily, Jeremy v. Lauren, Joe v. Nancy (this didn’t really matter at the end because Joe went home to his family. By the by, what the heck is Nancy still doing there?), Chism v. Kim, Mark v. Mrs. Claus, Megan v. Buddy, Gail v. Kimmy and Cassandra faced Conda. The point was to pair the weak contestants with the strong contestants.

The biggest peg this weak was the competition between Cassandra and Conda. It was a bit much. They had a little Burpee competition using Bosu balls and Cassandra CLEARLY won, but Conda said she was cheating. It was petty, really. A rematch was scheduled for the Last Chance Workout. Really, Conda hasn’t dropped that much weight and Cassandra’s considerably smaller, and much more of a fighter.

The challenge this week called for the teams to carry buckets of tinted water through a serious of obstacles and use the water left in said buckets to melt a giant block of ice. I don’t care for the challenges, y’all know this. This one was no different. In the end, red team won a skyping session with family members back home which is always a sweet point of the season. If only Joe had stayed and helped his team win he could have chatted with his family…sad.

I feel like there was more gym time in this week’s episode. For the rematch, Dolvett had Cassandra and Conda run a length of squares back and forth and then plank their way back through the grid. Cassandra won by a mile. No surprise there.

Time for weigh-ins! Because of Joe’s departure the Black team automatically forfeited a point. Nancy lost 2 pounds. Megan beat Buddy somehow. Gail beat Kimmy who only lost 3 pounds. Jeremy lost 11 pounds to Lauren’s 3, no surprise here. Emily lost 6 pounds to Santa’s 9 and she was visibly upset about it. Chris lost four pounds to Mark’s 8. Chism, the youngest and one of the biggest in the house lost 9 pounds to Kim’s 6. For the final weigh-in, Cassandra lost eight pounds to Conda’s 3, so Black team won the weigh in.

As far as Conda goes, she stood on that scale and made every excuse in the book. One thing Adam, my friend who trains me once a week keeps saying during our work outs is that I’m better than my excuses. He’s totally right. I am. it’s about shutting up and just doing the work. (Sure, sometimes I throw in a sassy comeback, but usually they’re not very good or worth repeating.)

Deliberation time was wonky. I won’t beat around the bush but they sent Lauren home because she “doesn’t have the obstacles everyone else has like kids and jobs and parents” or whatever. It was sad, but really, you could tell it was coming because she had no camera time whatsoever this week.

Lauren’s progress report was good; she’d lost 53 pounds so far and was running a half marathon to prove to herself that she does have an athlete inside her.

Overall, the episode was a little too game-heavy for my taste, but did include some awesome gym time clips. I’m looking forward to next week when Conda faces off with herself and likely Dolvett.

Who’s your favorite so far? I think my money’s on Emily. Here’s the sneak for next week:

Click for video

Bobby Deen’s Not My Mama’s Meals recap up tomorrow!

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Recap: Bobby Deen’s Not My Mama’s Meals Ep. 2

There are only a handful of things better than good ol’ Southern boys. There’s just something about the accent.

So of course when I heard Bobby Deen was doing his own show on the Cooking Channel, I knew I had to watch. But wait, there’s more. He’s taking his mom’s recipes (Paula freakin’ Deen) and making them lighter to fit his new lifestyle (I guess he moved to NYC and he’s super buff now). Who wouldn’t love that?

In episode two, Bobby turned Paula’s Pimento Cheese sandwiches and her Ooey Gooey Butter Cake into better-for-you versions of themselves.

Originally, her sandwiches were 736 calories and 57 grams of fat per serving. The cake was 330 calories with 15 grams of fat per serving. Those are kind of scary numbers when you stop and think eating the sandwich and a slice of the cake would be half of your calories (if on a 2,000 calorie-diet). Whoa.

Cute cute!

This week’s show was actually quite fun because Paula surprised Bobby at his apartment. I love her. If I could take her out for a beer or cocktail, I totally would. This put the pressure on Bobby to make the meals just as good as PD’s.

The biggest takeaway from the show is that you can make lighter food without losing the taste. This is actually a huge thing for me because diet food is the least appealing thing on earth. Substitutions are easy when they make sense.

For the Pimento Cheese sandwiches, Bobby replaced mayo with Greek yogurt and added more fresh veggies including a red and green pepper and a touch of jalapeno to give it some kick. For his Gooey (with Less) Butter Cake, he replaced regular cream cheese with neufchatel cream cheese, reduced the sugar dramatically, added only 1 tablespoon of butter (which made for some awesome Paula reactions) and added Greek Yogurt to the topping.

The result was a sandwich with only 261 calories, 6 grams of fat and a serving of cake with 222 calories and 9 grams of fat.

Bonus recipe! Bobby made spicy sweet potato chips that made me want to bust out my mandolin.

Best of all, Paula seemed to enjoy all of the lightened versions (especially the cake). I really do hope we get to see more of her, or at least big brother Jamie.

Highlights:

  • Bobby on Paula using her finger to try the pimento: “Oh, I forgot. You’re Paula Deen, you eat with your fingers.
  • Van has a crush on Bobby!
  • Paula’s reaction to her original cake’s calorie count: “I need a pants-down spanking, don’t I?” Followed by Paula slapping Bobby.

The episode ended with Bobby and Paula passing out box lunches outside Bobby’s apartment. I was terrified they’d get  mobbed! Then we got some history on The Bag Lady, Paula’s first business. It really did leave me wanting more. I’ll be making the spicy sweet potato chips tonight!

Back with another recap this Wednesday!

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The No Excuse Zone

Also known as NBC’s The Biggest Loser, which I’ll be recapping right now! You’re so excited.

Look at their tiny little faces

I’ve watched the BL on and off for the last 13 seasons. It’s ridiculously motivational…to a point. I have to remember that it is “reality TV.” Oh, for those new to the blog, and let’s face it, when you don’t blog consistently you lose readers, I tried out for season 9 of the Biggest Loser in 2009. You can read about it here.

Back to the show. This season seems very promising. The players are physically smaller, no more of this 524-pound-man business from a few seasons back. The players came in as teams (brothers, sisters, father-son, mother-daughter, strangers!) but halfway through episode one were split into two teams main teams (red with Dolvett as a trainer and black with Bob), therefore none of the original teammates were together. That’s another thing, there’s only two trainers and they’re both men. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic so far.

I usually watch the show and immediately connect with one or two contestants. This year, Conda and Emily are my two faves. Conda is near my starting weight, and she’s super sassy. Emily is kind of adorable and she uses time as an excuse (hello!).

Emily in Pink

Conda in Green

To be completely honest, I zone out during the challenges. They’re usually some intricate maze of random activities all leading to either immunity or a car or in this week’s case, a six-week supply of Biggest Loser meals (which I’ve heard are actually quite good).

A few highlights of this past episode:

  • The show nutritionist took them grocery shopping. It was very educational. The amount of ranch people it is amazing. Ranch isn’t my thing, actually dressing isn’t in general.
  • Random tension between trainers. I love you, Bob Harper, but I don’t buy it.
  • People actually addressing their issues. It was refreshing.

On the flip side, I always hate, hate, hate elimination. I understand it’s a game, but wow. First of all, the show is two hours long. Why? Because they spend half an hour weighing in people and another half hour voting a contestant off. Oh, don’t forget the 20 minute-long challenge. Seriously, I’d love it if they showed more gym time. Individual gym time?

In the end, food, booze and nicotine addict Mike was sent home. It seems the elimination helped him get to the bottom on his problems and he’s dropped 50 lbs at home.

Anyone else watching Biggest Loser this season? Is it still motivating??

I’ve taken my lunch to work twice this week. That’s kind of huge for me, so there’s that. I’m finally back in the gym and have work out dates planned. Stay tuned for Thursday’s Not My Mama’s Meals recap!

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