Day 5: Autotune Your Meats

Today was another travel day. A mere four hours in the car and now I’m sitting on my brother’s couch autotuning our voices with his very important apps. . .getting ready to rub down a rack of ribs to put in the crock pot for dinner tomorrow. That’s right, I travel with meat now. I had to pack and plan to make this happen.

On my way out the door this morning, I ate a Kit’s Organic Bar, which is a kind of Larabar knockoff by Clif Bars. I need to stop relying on sugary bars (although they are totally compliant. . . no added sugar, just smashed up dates), but I was way hungry when I woke up. When I got to the office, I had hard boiled eggs with hot sauce and smashed up avocado. My fermented food for the day was curtido – Colombian fermented cabbage and carrots with spices.

In separate little containers, I packed up my spicy beef, salad, and sunshine sauce from last night to relive the glory at lunch along with a kombucha and a Larabar. I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but packing paleo means you’ll never use a little cutesy lunchbox again. I have a giant-ass bag I pack my breakfast and lunch in.

My driving dinner consisted of turkey sammies on collard greens with green onion and avocado. I also had some freeze dried fruit, pistachios, and a kombucha.

So I’m all nestled in at my brother’s place, where I’ll be working tomorrow, and making sure he and his wife have a nice paleo feast to return home from work to!


Day 4: Busy, Busy, Busy

“Busy, busy, busy, is what we Bokononists whisper whenever we think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

Yep, that's me.

Yep, that’s me.

I keep going away for the weekend, which is really putting a cramp in my meal planning style, and making me very busy. Not in the greater scheme of life’s complexities kind of way, I just really like that quote. And, really, I’m doing pretty well with the challenge, except for the whole sleeping eight hours a night thing. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I have to be up at 5 to make the 6 AM WOD, so here’s the food rundown real quick like.

Since snowpocalypse happened in the Midwest last night, I was home this morning and cooked up some scrambled eggs with baby kale and chard in about a teaspoon of bacon fat with some crushed red pepper and salt and pepper.

The last of the leftover chocolate chili and cauliflower rice in my face hole.

I had yetiman whip up some sunshine sauce this afternoon so we could have spicy beef salads. Because you know what else nobody got time for? Lettuce cups. I just make a damn mess. The salad was simple – romaine, red bell pepper, and green onion. I put the beef on top of that, and a blob of sunshine sauce on top of that. I used spicy Thai chiles in the beef because I love them and I just stocked up from Jungle Jim’s last weekend.

8.5 hours of sleep last night and I took my fish oil, so I should get all my points for the day. With the sleep situation, tomorrow is another story. Next week we’ll be able to earn some “bonus” points by completing a challenge, so hopefully I can earn back my stupid rogue sleep schedule points.

Day 3: The Hanger

Pretty normal Paleo Tifferz day today, except for all the hanger. Not sure what that’s all about, but I managed to work, eat, workout, and soon I will make sweet, sweet sleepies.

Two hard boiled eggs with hot sauce and home made mayo, some snap peas, a tangerine, some coffee with coconut milk got in my belly.

Lunch was leftover roast chicken, half a sweet potato and an apple. I also made an unfortunate snack decision and ended up eating like four sweet potato chips (I know, I know, too many sweet potatoes today…but I was really, really hungry for whatever reason), that had dextrin as a sneaky ingredient. This is apparently made from corn and/or potato and is therefore not gluten-free. Dumb mistake. I threw the rest of the chippies away. Goodbye, sweet chippies.

I had one of my staple easy dinners tonight. Baked salmon (Alaskan, wild-caught, of course) with dill, shallot, and ghee. I also scarfed down another half of a sweet potato and had a lovely hibiscus kombucha.

Like I said, inexplicable hunger today. My paleo meals generally keep me satiated, I don’t have to snack much (unless I know I’m going to go do something crazy at CrossFit), and my energy is sustained throughout the day. Today I was not only hungry, but had a bit of an energy slump during my Olympic lifting class this evening. I was sleepy and hungry by the time I got home.

I know I’m probably screwing it all up, but I’m pretty sure our Oly WOD went something like this:

Power snatch – push press – overhead squat:
70% (35lbs) (3x3x3) 2
75% (45lbs)  (3x3x3) 4

Power clean – push jerk:
75% (45lbs) 2(1+1)
80% (65lbs) 2(1+1) x 4

Snatch pull:
100% (65lbs) 3×3
105% (75lbs) 3×4

I took my fish oil and managed to get to bed early last night and get in my eight hours of sleep. Sorry if you’re not well-versed on reading workout jargon, but I’ll have to leave that explanation for another time. Right now I need to catch the first train to sleepytown.

Day 2: Banishing My Inner Walrus

I started my day the same way I will end it: working out. I got up bright and early (actually dark and early) to do the 6AM WOD. Andrew is into programming two-part workouts, which I really like because you’re always doing something new/different throughout the week. I had to complete my IAC Challenge baseline workout, so my WOD went like this:

3 sets:
DB Presses, 6-8 reps @ 30X0
Rest 30 sec.
25 Leg raises @ 31X0
Rest 30 sec.

500m row
40 Air squats
30 Ab-at sit-ups
20 Push-ups
10 Pull-ups

Time: 6:54

I’ll do the baseline workout again to see how my time improves at the end of the challenge. On to the food.

I’ve got some romaine that’s starting to look sad, so I ate two hard boiled eggs on romaine with some home made mayo and salt and pepper and some dill garlic sauerkrat from Wildbrine. When I started my paleo quest in January, I found myself with some gut crampage after eating raw veggies, so I figured my guts could use a little help. I try to eat one fermented food and drink one kombucha a day. Seems to work well, and I like sauerkraut so well that my boyfriend (aka yetiman) calls me a Kraut Warrior. I think that sounds racist.

Lunch was leftover chocolate chili with cauliflower rice. I was still hungry a couple hours later, so I also ate a coconut Larabar. I had some tea with coconut milk in it as well.

More leftovers (food prep Sundays are magical) for lunch. Roast chicken and sweet potato.

I’ve got Jeerleader practice (we’re the not-so-fancy cheerleaders for the Fort Wayne Derby Girls) tonight, so I’ll enjoy my kombucha then. After practice is my Asthanga yoga class. We focus on the primary series. If you’re following my  journey at all, go ahead and click on that link. I’m not claiming I do any of that shit well, but I try. Note that between most poses, we complete a vinyasa, which is a series of poses that requires us to get up off of our asses, swing around to downward facing dog, and then “float” back down the the floor. Floating is one of those things I can’t do. I kind of flop like a walrus.

Speaking of walrus, I found out my body fat percentage today. 5′ 6″, 180 pounds, 29% body fat. I’m writing that down only for my own documentation purposes. Hopefully I’ll have something to celebrate at the end of this challenge by making some changes to those numbers, and banish my inner walrus.

I didn’t get to bed as early as planned last night, and got up for the early WOD, so I only managed 7 hours of sleep. I did take my fish oil, so I should only be down one point for the day.

I Am CrossFit Challenge 2013 – Day 1

I’m back, and stuff! And it’s already time for another paleo challenge. The I Am CrossFit Challenge with CrossFit Fort Wayne is an eight week nutrition and fitness challenge. You earn points for the following:

  • Body composition
    • Everyone will be measured and have his/her body fat percentage determined during the week prior to the challenge. We will be performing measurements of arms, hips, waist, and thighs which will be combined for a total measurement. Measurements and body fat percentage will be repeated at the end of the challenge and scored for percentage improvement.
  • Performance
    • Everyone will participate in the baseline workout prior to the challenge as a performance measurement. It will be repeated again at the end of the challenge and scored for percentage improvement.
  • Accountability
    • Every team member will begin each week with 4 points. You can earn a total of 8 points or lose all 4 for a total of 0. Points are earned for nutrition, workouts and sleep.

Nutrition is, of course, strict paleo, so that means I’ve got a NO list again. NO:

  • grains/starches (corn, soy products, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fries, etc.)
  • sugar (refined, artificial, or “natural”)
  • dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk)
  • legumes (beans, peanuts)
  • alcohol, soda, or other diet drinks

I’ll complete the baseline workout tomorrow morning. It looks like this:

500m row
40 Air squats
30 Ab-Mat Sit-Ups
20 Push-Ups
10 Pull-Ups

I think sleep is going to be the hardest part – you’re aiming for 8 hours a night. This will be particularly tricky on the days I get up at 5 to work out at 6. . .like tomorrow. On to the food!

I didn’t actually know that the challenge started today. I was out of town for the weekend, and thought that it started on Monday. So I didn’t have any food prepared to start my day, which began with about a 3.5 hour drive from Cincinnati to Fort Wayne. Needless to say, breakfast was less than ideal, and may or may not be scored as a cheat–that’s up to my coach to decide.

I had some date-coconut balls that were stashed in my car from my drive out to Cincinnati. I ate them along with a large cup of black coffee from Sidewinder Coffee in Northside (I love this place!), and half of a kombucha. Pretty sugary breakfast. I stopped for groceries when I got home, and ate some Applegate roast turkey breast.

I actually cut my visit short so I could get home and make plenty of food today. Starting with chocolate chili, which I made with ground turkey and bison (free-range/grass-fed/organic, natch). I love this chili recipe, but it’s very…meaty. I normally put it over some roast spaghetti squash, but this time I made cauliflower rice (in coconut oil with allspice and a little cumin). It was delish. 

I also roasted up a nice chicken from Creakey Acres Farm. I sort of follow this Jamie Oliver recipe, using coconut oil and  whatever herbs and veggies I happen to have around. This time it was white onion, green onion, carrot, and fresh rosemary. I didn’t have a lemon, so I used a tangerine. Holy crud did it turn out great! I think it may have been because I was cooking two meals at once, and just let the chicken rest for a really long time, probably two hours. It was herby and moist and perfectly browned. Glorious! I also roasted up some sweet potatoes. My dinner was a nice thigh chunk and half a sweet potato with coconut butter.

I will get my fish oil and sleep points for Sunday, and hopefully all of my food points as well.

Sunday Cookup!

Sunday Cookup!

Day 31: Dairy Makes Me Sneeze?

I can’t lie, I’ve been cheating on the “don’t step on the scale” thing since I started my 30. It had been a few days, and it turns out I’m down 12 pounds and about 1 inch off of my waist and hips. I even managed to put a belt on today.

Today was also dairy reintroduction day. I ate borscht for breakfast, along with a cup of Chobani yogurt. I didn’t notice much except that I sneezed a few times. But since I’ve also got a cold, I didn’t think too much of it. I ate a snack before lunch of an apple and some cheese. Again, I felt kind of snotty/sneezy, but I had been feeling that way for a few days anyway. For lunch I ate a bison patty, cauli rice, and collard greens, and noticed that I was getting gassy.

I was supposed to eat some ice cream with my dinner. I found a wee container of mint chocolate chip Edy’s (5.8 oz). It’s super cold here, so I just left it in my car all day and figured it would be fine. It melted, and I did not care. I got home from work and sucked down that ice cream. Then I took a nap (I’m still sick!). I woke up a bit bloaty and snotty, but for the most part, dairy wasn’t a huge problem. I had some balsamic braised ribs from Practical Paleo for dinner, along with some roast carrots and apple ginger sauerkraut –one of my new favorite things!

I’m back on the plan for a few days while I see what else happens (breakouts, etc.) before I move to my next reintroduction: grains with gluten.

Day 30: It’s Oveeerr!

Well. Almost. Next up is food reintroduction, and I know you want to read all about my bloat. Since I’m sick, I’m not exactly going out with a bang, although I did manage to make a nice dinner. Before I get into what I ate on my official 30th day (35 for anybody keeping track), let’s review what I have not eaten for the past month:

  • No grains
  • No dairy
  • No soy
  • No added sugar or sweeteners
  • No booze
  • No sulfites, carrageenan or MSG (preservatives)
  • No white potatoes

In case you weren’t paying attention, what have I been eating?

  • Animal protein from sustainable, ethical (and almost entirely local) sources
  • Organic, non-GMO (and, when possible, local) veggies of all shapes and sizes – 2-3 cups per meal
  • Limited amounts of fruit – 1-2 pieces per day (see slaying the friggin’ sugar dragon. . . I’m trying to run on fat instead of sugar over here)
  • Good fats such as avocado, ghee, certain tree nuts, and pretty much anything that comes out of a coconut
  • Fermented foods such as kombucha and sauerkraut (also found a local source for that)

And aside from the fact that I have  cold, I feel great. Preparing my food each day really forced me to get a lot done in a day, and because I have sustained energy throughout the day, I have been able to do that. In fact, even though I was sickly last night, I sat down and did my taxes because I felt like a freaking lout sitting around.

What did I eat on day 30? A lot of bone broth and tea because I’m sick. Since I stayed home, I made some eggs with kale and ate them with some sauerkraut for breakfast. I also sucked down some bone broth and ate some toasty coconut. I wasn’t very hungry for lunch, but I had a small piece of roast chicken and some carrots and snap peas with mayo dip, plus more tea and bone broth.

For dinner, I made some bison patties, collard greens with spicy Thai chiles and shallots, cauliflower rice with curry powder, dried apricots, and toasted pecans, and mushrooms. I cooked everything in buttery delicious ghee. A mini feast!


The Last Supper

So that’s it. Tomorrow I’ll check out my weight and measurements and see what kind of progress I made on that front. Even though this past month has been crazy with cooking and cleaning, I really think the hard part comes next. I won’t be following any plan, and will have to fight to keep sugar from becoming part of my daily routine again. Once I’m eating a regular paleo diet, I can come back and do another Whole 30 whenever I need to clean up my act, but I hope I don’t have that much cleaning up to do. I’d like to keep my momentum and stay in “gettin’ shit done” mode. It’s the only way I’ll lose some weight. And really, 30 days isn’t long enough to tell if some of my inflammatory problems are going to clear up eating paleo, so I need to keep it up. This is the end of my 30, but the beginning of what my diet and lifestyle will look like in the future.





Days 28 and 29: Gettin’ Sickly

So I’m feeling pretty great. Sustained energy throughout the day, and getting all kinds of shit done. Then I wake up yesterday (Day 28) with a clogged left nostril. Aaand today I’m getting sick. I’ve got asthma, so getting sick is always an adventure. I’m not super wheezy yet, but it’s starting. Right now I’m sneezy/snotty and the inside of my face itches. Yesterday I ate leftovers, and I’m going on day four or so of borcht, so it’s a red poop week. Bonus.

Today started with leftovers as well, but I sprung for Chipotle for lunch. Once I got home from work, I started sucking down bone broth (thanks, Hallie Badger!) and ate some clementines. The broth sure did make my face feel better whilst I was drinking it. I baked a piece of salmon with some shallots, dill, and ghee for dinner. Then I plopped it on top of some baby kale with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


Salmon on Baby Kale

I swear I read somewhere that coconut milk is good for you when your’e getting sick. So I cut up some apples and dates, sprinkled on some toasty coconut, and dumped coconut milk on top of it.


Apple and Coconut Milk Treat

If my reasoning was wrong, I don’t want to be right, because it was a damn fine treat. And now my sickface needs to get some sleep. Day 30 is tomorrow, and I’ll begin my food reintroduction on 1/31. Hopefully I’ll be done being sick before I get my food reintroduction bloat on.


Day 26 and 27: Beets, Borscht, and Busy

I did, like, a bunch of crap Saturday (day 26). I got up and did an hour of yoga, then went to CrossFit to tackle Friday’s WOD during open gym. I got home, ate, ran errands, cooked up a paleo feast, then went to a movie. 

Nobody cares about my breakfast or lunch, because dinner was glorious. Damn fine chicken, steak salad, beets sauteed in orange juice, and collard greens sauteed in coconut oil, bone broth, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Hallie Badger contributed cocoa toasted cauliflower and some nutty balls. It was all so colorful and tasty!


Paleo Feast!

Today (day 27) was just as busy as yesterday. Making out my food and grocery plan, getting groceries and running errands, cooking, dishes, cleaning, and laundry. I really did all of those things. That’s why I’m sitting in bed at 9.

I ate some leftover steak salad, sauerkraut, and cocoa toasted cauliflower for breakfast. After errands, I whipped up a big batch of borscht for lunch/dinner, and used up the rest of the cabbage by also making a half batch of halupki stir fry with ground turkey.


Borscht and Halupki Stir Fry

My borscht is so good! And I’ll be eating it for the rest of the week, so I’ll leave you with a photo.



Day 25: Skrumps

I am coming to you live from my new Lenovo Yoga! I feel so fancy. . . with some first-world guilt, of course. My Sony Vaio served me well, but after six years of abuse, I have moved on to this little orange beauty.

Today is actually my 30th day eating on the plan, but now is no time to celebrate. I have to get through the end of January, plus two weeks of food reintroductions, where I add one category of eliminated food (dairy, gluten-free grains, grains with gluten, and legumes) back in for a day, then eat on the plan for a couple more while I see what happens. SCIENCE.

Today I had leftover bison and sauerkraut for breakfast, along with some tea with coconut milk. I had some salmon and roast Brussels sprouts for lunch. For dinner, I made a Paleo Pot recipe: shrimp curry, with some cauliflower rice pilaf. It was very tasty, but I continue to suspect that I am having issues with bell peppers, as I was quite gassy about an hour after I ate. No gut cramps, though, that treat must just be for raw peppers. My guts seem to be much happier in general since I’ve worked in at least one serving of fermented food plus one kombucha per day. Let’s hear it for bacteria! Maybe I’ll get a parasite next.

Tomorrow is normally Paleo Brunch, but we’re making dinner instead so we can head out to see a roller derby movie with the Fort Wayne Derby Girls. Dinner will be well-deserved after I conquer hot yoga, then a CrossFit WOD during open gym. No rest for the hungry.