Days 27-29 – Birthday Lunches and Dinners

This has been a very exhausting and busy week. Early mornings. Late nights. Lots going on. So three days worth of Paleo project blogging…and…Go.

This week is pretty much summed up with “I ate out, and I managed to stick to the Paleo diet.” But I’ll go into some detail.

Tuesday (Day 27) was my birthday. The big 3-1. I started it off with a smoothie and turkey bacon, followed by a morning meeting at Starbucks and a grande bold. For lunch, Ben took me out to Moes where I got a salad with steak and veggies. For supper, I grilled a steak and microwaved a sweet potato. I probably had a snack of nuts and maybe an apple. I can’t really remember everything I ate, but I know I’ve stuck to the Paleo diet so I’m good. I did have some dark chocolate because my sweet sis-in-law surprised me while I was teaching at the college. She brought the class cupcakes and me a mix of nuts and dark chocolate (along with flowers and a balloon).

On Wednesday (Day 28), I had a smoothie and bacon for breakfast. (That’s my pretty standard breakfast these days). I didn’t grocery shop over the weekend, so I have very little food around to have for lunch and dinner. I had to run to church during my lunch break to film the announcements, so my sister-in-law and I went out to Crispers afterwards. I had their trio of small dishes – a garden salad (no dressing), a lean turkey burger and a beef patty (both on lettuce instead of buns). I had some almonds and cashews for a snack. For supper, hubs and I went out for a private little birthday dinner. We went to Chilis and I had the steak fajitas without all of the stuff I can’t have. Just meat, peppers, onion and pico. We also got some Starbucks afterwards.

Today (Day 29) started off with more turkey bacon and another smoothie. For lunch, I had a salad with some turkey, veggies and olive oil on it. I had a pack of almonds for lunch. For supper, we had my family birthday dinner at Outback. I had the Victoria’s filet with grilled asparagus and sweet potato fries.

I can’t believe that tomorrow is Day 30 already!  It really did go by fast. I still feel phenomenal. My stomach hasn’t bothered me in weeks. My skin is better. My seasonal allergies are pretty much gone. I’ve lost 11 pounds. My energy level is up. I don’t go from starving to hungry to starving to hungry all day long…my blood sugar is very level. My mood has been much better. Really, everything is.

At this point, my plan is to continue doing what I’m doing. I’m not going to add anything back in right away. And when I do, the first thing I’m adding is a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks!

 

Day 26 – A Busy One

Today is day 26 – it’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing this for almost four weeks already!  My stomach is still feeling really good, so I’m confident I made the right choice in trying the Paleo diet.

I was tired today and I had a hard time getting motivated. I spent most of my day yesterday doing dishes and laundry and preparing for this week’s classes, but I never made it to the grocery store. So I woke up this morning without any meals planned for the day, but a busy schedule. It was raining and thundering when I woke up, so I had a hard time getting out of bed. I was moving pretty slow in general, but made a smoothie (coconut milk, banana, almond butter, cocoa powder and cinnamon) and some turkey bacon for breakfast. I had some leftover chicken sausage and green beans in the fridge, so I took that for lunch. It was a pretty good combination. I also took some celery sticks and a pumpkin muffin.  From work, I grabbed some Starbucks and then went straight over to the university to teach, and I munched on an apple while I was driving. When I got done teaching, I picked up some groceries and made it home around 8 PM–starving. I grilled a steak, microwaved a sweet potato and added some almonds on the side.  For a snack later, I had another pumpkin muffin and an apple with almond butter.

I went to the grocery store without a list, but when I’m only eating meat and veggies, grocery shopping without a list isn’t such a big deal. I decided to try a couple of new things, so I got a spaghetti squash and an acorn squash. I don’t really know what to do with either, but I’m going to look up some recipes.

Tomorrow will be very similar schedule wise, except that my work day is busier. I have some meetings and presentations. But I do have more time between working and going to teach that I can probably pick up some supper in between.

Weekend Update – Days 24 & 25

I don’t have anything too exciting to report from this weekend. I had a fun and busy weekend, and it involved quite a bit of eating out which can be tricky.

On Saturday morning after sleeping in until after 8:30 AM (wonderful), I went running with a friend and her kids. I had a pre-run breakfast of a pumpkin muffin and a banana with almond butter. After the run, we wandered around our downtown farmer’s market where I had a nice big, bold, black coffee. I also got some guacamole because I actually like the sample the guy gave me, and I NEVER like guacamole. It’s hot and all natural, and I really did like the taste.

By the time I left my friend’s house, Ben wanted me to bring him lunch at work. I picked up Chilis takeout for the two of us, and I got the steak fajitas with the steak and veggies only. For supper, I met friends for dinner at a Greek restaurant and got gyro meat with a side of veggies. I really missed the tzaziki sauce and pita chips! And since Starbucks is right next door, I also had a nice big decaf Americana. When I got home, I had some almonds while I watched the 2nd half of the Notre Dame game.

Today, I had two of the Paleo pumpkin muffins (considered one serving) and some turkey bacon for breakfast. And coffee. We went out for lunch after church and I got a salad with steak, veggies and olive oil. The menu didn’t list any type of sauce or marinade on the steak, but it had something on it that probably wasn’t Paleo-approved. It’s hard to be perfectly Paleo when eating out. We were out with a friend for his birthday and my FIL brought red velvet cake for dessert. I love red velvet cake, but I passed it up and popped a couple pieces of gum.

I spent a lot of my afternoon cleaning out the fridge, washing dishes, washing fruit and chopping vegetables. It always helps me to have things ready to grab. I had an apple with almond butter as a mid afternoon snack and then for supper, I had lean ground beef with lettuce, mustard and pickles. I also had some celery with fresh tomato salsa and my farmer’s market guacamole.

I set the bike trainer up and did 10 miles tonight while watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Post workout, I had some almonds and celery.

I have a busy week coming up – lots going on at work, two nights of teaching, my birthday on Tuesday, birthday dinners with Ben (Wed) and family (Thursday),  my SIL’s wedding dress fitting on Thursday, and a football game to work on Friday. It makes eating at home challenging, so I need to make smart choices and plan ahead.

Day 23 – Pumpkin Muffin Success

I’m going to start off by mentioning that the no bake cookies I made last night were FANTASTIC. I had two before I went to bed.

Today, Day 23, was successful for two reasons:

First, I finally baked a good Paleo Pumpkin muffin. I tried to bake some during the first week of my paleo project, and they were terrible. My dog wouldn’t even eat one. But tonight’s turned out pretty good.

Second, after work today, hubs asked me to bring him a snack at work because he was hungry. He sent me down to Pretzel Time to get a large order of pretzel bites with cheese. And I LOVE pretzel bites with cheese. And there was just one moment in my car when I thought to myself, “I could eat one and no one would know.”  But I didn’t. It was really just a very quick moment of temptation that passed quickly.

I mentioned a few days ago about how I’m a routine eater. So I’ve been working on finding new recipes and trying new things. Today, I tried a new smoothie recipe this morning for breakfast. Instead of just the base of coconut milk and a banana with some fruit, I went a different direction. I used the coconut milk/banana base, but added Starbucks Via instant coffee, some almond butter, cocoa powder and shredded coconut. Besides using just a little bit too much cocoa powder, the smoothie was really good. I also had turkey bacon.

For lunch, I warmed up leftover steak and roasted sweet potatoes The steak wasn’t fantastic the next day–kinda dry–but the potatoes might have even been better. I also had two of my no-bake cookies.  And I may or may not have had two more when I got home from work…so bad. I need to exercise some self control.

For supper tonight, I grilled bacon hamburgers on the George Foreman. Ben had his with a bun and cheese, and I had mine wrapped in lettuce. It was good. I also sauteed green beans in olive oil with garlic.  Before I was cooking dinner, I baked the pumpkin muffins which turned out pretty good. They were a little darker than I would prefer, but still good.

So looking back, I didn’t have any fruit other than my breakfast smoothie and the coconut in the cookies. Today was a pretty good day.

General Thoughts:

For those of you who haven’t started reading my blog from the beginning, I want to reiterate that the whole reason behind me doing this Paleo “diet” (and I hate to use the word diet) is that I needed a solution for my chronic stomach pains. While the weight loss is a nice side effect, I don’t want people to think it’s my motivating factor. In 2008, I started a very effective weight loss journey based on a healthy diet and exercise. I lost 60 lbs. If weight loss was my goal, I already know how to do that. But even in my “healthy eating,” my stomach pains never went away. Last year, I suffered from pancreatitis from September through January. The doctor couldn’t find a cause, and my enzyme levels slowly returned to normal. But it caused all of the stomach issues to become even worse, and I got very tired of feeling lousy all of the time.

Over the past 23 days, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people a lot about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Some people probably roll their eyes and think it all sounds crazy. Some people have decided to try it. Some people are encouraging, and others aren’t as much.  And that’s okay. It’s not about other people; it’s about me. And if my sharing my experience can help others with similar issues find some relief, then great.

 

Day 22 – A Couple New Recipes

It’s Day 22, and I took some time today to look for new recipes–specifically recipes that involved ingredients I already had at home.

I started out my day with some leftover sweet potato hash and turkey bacon. I’ve been making coffee at home lately, but I stopped by Starbucks on my way to work this morning because I was missing my “Starbucks Family.”  (I’ve been there in the afternoons, but it’s a different crew than the ones who work in the morning). Where else can you get great coffee, great service and personalized messages on your coffee cup?

For lunch, I had a leftover pork chop with some no-sugar, organic tomato sauce poured over it. I also had steamed green beans. They were the frozen ones that steam in the bag, and I didn’t like them at all. They needed something – a spice or bacon or something – because they were bland and just not appealing. I like fresh green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic, but at work, that wasn’t an option. Lesson learned.  I also had a cup of applesauce and some water.  For a morning snack, I had some almonds. Around 4:30, I had an apple with some almond butter.

Like I said, I was using my FastPaleo iPhone app and the http://www.fastpaleo.com website to look for some new recipes that used things already in my kitchen. I found one for Cumin Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  I grilled a steak on my George Foreman grill and made the sweet potatoes. I deviated from the recipe a little and did them as fries instead of cubes, but they got a little too crispy. Several were charred black, but most were good.  So I used up my last sweet potato and tried them as cubes. They look much better, but I’m saving them for my lunch tomorrow. I really liked the spice on them; I’m not sure I’ve ever really used cumin before.

After dinner, hubs wanted ice cream from Sonic, so we went. I ordered a nice big ice water and didn’t even feel sad that I couldn’t order my usual strawberry limeade. Instead, I stopped by the grocery store on our way home and picked up a couple of items to make these No Bake Cookies that featured honey, cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut, almond butter and vanilla. They were SO quick to make. I haven’t tried them yet because they’re in the refrigerator getting hardened and set. They smelled fantastic, so I’m looking forward to trying them. I’ll probably have one before I go to bed. My batch turned out a little bit runny, but I’ll figure it out. More coconut would probably help; or I could just drain the extra liquid before I scoop the mixture onto wax paper.

Weekend is coming up and I’m going to get a few groceries and try even more recipes. I found some for the slow cooker that I’m anxious to try.