Days 8 & 9: Butter Chicken Has No Butter. Discuss.

I’ve been a busy little bee since I got back from my brother’s place. It’s about a four hour drive, so I spent Sunday (Day 8) in pretty constant motion, running errands on my way back into town, cooking, cleaning, laundry, the usual. I don’t actually feel like typing out what I ate, but I made some halupki stir fry because it’s easy, super tasty, filling, and I can make a whole buttload of it at once.

Today (Day 9) I worked, went to Jeerleading practice, and did some gnarly Ashtanga. Good thing I had butter chicken (sub coconut milk for dairy ingredients) in the crock pot, and had yetiman make some cauliflower rice. Meal planning is essential on days like this.

Seven hours of sleep last night, but I’m about to get eight tonight. Keeping up on my fish oil so at least I don’t lose points for that. Speaking of losing points, I was sad to learn that last week’s Ashtanga fest didn’t count toward my workout points. I got in only two CrossFit workouts and three are required. I was really hoping my three yoga classes would count for one workout. Alas, my score has suffered.


Day 7: Salad Made Out of Meat

I woke up this morning and drug my sister in law to yoga at 8AM. Not only had she not been  practicing regularly, but the class ended up being more challenging than I had anticipated (oh, hey revolved side angle pose). I’m pretty sure she forgave me after I cooked breakfast and lunch.

My brother was intrigued when I said “sweet potato hash” yesterday, so that’s just what I fixed for them this morning. Here’s how you do it (all measurements are approximate because I don’t actually believe in measurements):

2 tsp dried rubbed sage
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb ground pork
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, chopped

Brown the pork (or whatever ground meat you like, really) with the spices. Once the meat is done, take it out of the pan and set aside. Melt some coconut oil in the pan and toss in the garlic, onion, and sweet potato. If the potatoes start to burn or brown too fast, put in a little water. Cover the pan but stir often. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, toss in the meat and stir it all together and reheat the meat. Put in a  bowl and shove in your facehole.

I had black coffee and kombucha with my breakfast, and a date coconut ball somewhere between breakfast and lunch.

I made some Thai steak salad and coconut green beans (minus the almonds, my brother is allergic and I didn’t want him to die). My sister in law kept trying to sabotage my steak salad with things like tomatoes and lettuce. I finally had to tell her “it’s a salad made of meat!” Here’s how it goes:

1-2 lbs skirt or flank steak, marinated in coconut aminos and a little coconut oil
Thai chiles (as many as you can handle…thems spicy)
2-3 handfuls of cilantro, ripped up with your hands
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
juice of 3-4 limes

Sear the steak for 6-7 minutes on each side, then cover with foil and let it rest. After the steak has cooled off, slice it thin, like you would for fajitas. Dump everything in a bowl and combine. 

Salad made out meat was a winner, and my brother liked the spicy Thai peppers.

I don’t see my brother very often and I wanted to try this barbecue place in Urbana called the Black Dog. This meal wasn’t entirely compliant. I ordered some smoked chicken, slaw (vinegar based), and a smoked sweet potato. There was some sugar in the slaw, and I did eat a little barbecue sauce. I don’t know how, but I managed not to order a beer…they had plenty of choices and I really, really wanted one. I guess it was knowing that I’d be losing at least one point on my food for the day that forced me to stick with water.

I went to bed early last night and ended up with almost 10 hours of sleep! Definitely didn’t need an alarm to wake up at 7 and get to yoga at 8. I also got in my fish oil. If the worst thing I did today was eat some slaw and barbecue sauce, I think I did okay.

Day 6: Spreading the Paleo Love

I spent today working from my brother’s house, attempting some gnarly Ashtanga yoga in a different studio, and spreading paleo love to his household.

My first meal was a little stunted. Scrambled eggs, a couple of dates, and a cup of black coffee.

This meal was frankly disappointing. I ordered a salad that came with potatoes, which I obviously had them leave off. Unfortunately, they didn’t go ahead and fill in the rest of the salad with more greens to fill in for the potatoes. Greens, asparagus, bacon, and poached egg, with vinegar and oil. I was still hungry when I was done, so I got some carrots and almond butter, some smoked turkey, a date coconut roll, and a kombucha. Weird snack, I know.

Another paleo feast! Balsamic ribs, roast beets with orange and fennel, and collard greens with garlic and crushed red pepper sauteed in coconut oil and a little veggie broth. My brother liked the meal so much that he made nummy sounds the whole time and I almost had to punch him in the throat. I’m glad he enjoyed it, though.

This evening I completed my first ever Ashtanga practice incorporating some of the intermediate series. Holy crud was it hard. Also hard: getting eight hours of sleep per night. This morning I woke up right at seven hours without an alarm. I did take my fish oil, but I continue to lose points on the challenge for sleep. 

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.