Wednesday, November 30, 2011

15 Reasons...Farmer's Markets

 It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician.  
~Meryl Streep

The season of change is among us again. Plants fall back to the earth, we crave the warmth and comfort of food like no other time of the year. It is the most wonderful time for rich soups and stews, root vegetables and savory herbs to satisfy our palate. Yes, the bounty provided from the fall harvest is at hand. Don't miss it!

If you are in an area where it is harder to shop during the winter months...let your local farmers help you find what is available.


15 Benefits Of Shopping At A Local Farmer's Market
Local farmer's markets have sprung up everywhere, and many people are enjoying the benefits associated with being able to drive a few miles to pick up fresh produce and other products.

Are you shopping at your local farmer's market? If not, here are my top 15 reasons why you should.

1. Farm fresh: Fruits and vegetables you find at the grocery store are often several days old before they even reach the produce aisle. Before produce hits supermarket shelves, it ships in refrigerated trucks, possibly from thousands of miles away. Farmer's market produce, on the other hand, is nearly the antithesis of grocery store fruits and vegetables. In most cases, the owner of the stand picked it just that morning, so you know the food is as fresh as you can get it outside of growing it yourself.

2. Organic and non-GMO: Many farmers participating in local farmer's markets use organic methods to grow their produce. Most label it as such, so you can be certain you are purchasing chemical free products. They also are more likely to use non-modified seeds. Organic farming is better for the soil, the environment, and your body.

3. Seasonal: There's a move in the United States towards a more seasonal style of eating where one eats what is locally available in season. Some nutritionists and scientists suggest eating seasonally available foods is better for your body, because humans ate seasonal produce for thousands of years before refrigerated shipping changed all that. Still, eating produce in season only makes sense. Lighter fruits and vegetables are available seasonally in the spring and summer, while heartier winter vegetables like squash and parsnips provide sustenance for the cooler autumn and winter months.

4. Ripe: Offerings at the farmer's market are generally picked at the peak of their ripeness when the plants' natural sugars are at their peak. Eating produce when it is ripe not only tastes better, but it also provides the best nutrition possible.

5. More nutritious: One look at the vivid colors of produce found at the farmer's market, and you'll be able to tell just how nutritious the fruits and vegetables are. Compare that to produce at the grocery store, and you'll see that the supermarket fruits and vegetables pale in comparison. Vivid colors in fruits and vegetables are a reflection of the nutrients they contain. Many local farmers cultivate extremely nutritious produce through their careful farming methods.
6. Tastes better: Try this. Buy a tomato from the supermarket and a gorgeous heirloom tomato from the farmer's market. Now taste them side-by-side and see what you think. Produce from the farmer's market almost always tastes better. This is because it is picked at the peak of ripeness and is incredibly fresh when it gets to you. If you start adding farmer's market produce to your cooking, you'll be amazed at the difference in flavor and texture.

7. Non-industrial: Just like everything else in this country, industrialized farming has become the norm. These giant factory farms grow massive amounts of produce, shipping it all over the world. Giant corporations run industrial farms, driving local family farms out of business.

For the sake of efficiency, industrial farming favors monocultures, where a single field only grows one type of fruits or vegetables. Monocultures sap the soil of essential nutrients, leaving it barren and unplantable. Likewise, they are more susceptible to disease and pests. In general, industrial farming (both conventional and organic) is hard on the land, depletes the soil of nutrients, uses industrial chemical fertilizers and/or pesticides, and utilizes environmentally unfriendly practices that are not sustainable over the long-term.

8. Affordable: For the sheer nutrition you get from farmer's market produce compared to supermarket produce, it's a really good value. Grocery stores tend to charge an arm and a leg for organic fruits and vegetables. At the farmer's market, however, they are typically not much more expensive than conventionally grown produce, and the benefits to your health are likely to save you money on healthcare expenses over the long-term.

9. Variety: The farmer's market offers a dizzying array of fruits and vegetables. Industrial farms tend to grow only a few varieties of popular vegetables. Small local farms, on the other hand, tend to favor variety, offering fruits and vegetables you just won't be able to find in the produce section of your local supermarket.

10. Supports local economies: Most farmer's market produce is grown within 100 miles of the market. This means that the farms are a source of local jobs and likely to spend money they make on their produce in the local economy.

11. Supports local family farms: There's no doubt local family farms have decreased in numbers over the years, succumbing to the high cost of running a farm and increasingly stiff competition from giant conglomerate-run farms that produce massive amounts of extremely cheap produce. Purchasing fruits and vegetables from farmer's markets, however, supports local family farms, giving them the valuable capital they need to keep operating and providing consumers an alternative to mass-produced foods.

12. Conserves fuel: Many supermarkets receive their produce from hundreds or thousands of miles away. This involves the significant use of fossil fuels for shipping on refrigerated trucks and rail cars. Famer's market produce doesn't have far to get from the farm to your table, significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels. Farmer's markets also often operate in the open air and thus do not require electricity or heating.

13. Better for the environment: Along with conserving fossil fuels, small family farms produce less environmental waste in the form of carbon monoxide, pesticide use, and chemical fertilizers. They are also less likely to utilize giant processing and sorting machines that contribute to environmental decay.

14. Provenance: When you shop at the farmer's market, you know where your food has been. You can talk with the farm stand workers to learn about the farm's growing and processing practices. In many cases, you can even visit the farms to see how they grow and handle the produce you are serving to your family.

15. Social: The farmer's market is a great place to gather. Visiting is a fun family activity, and you can meet members of your community. Some farmer's markets even offer entertainment and classes, making it a terrific way to while away a fall afternoon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's a Cheat?

 Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork.  ~English Proverb

First let's talk about what a 'CHEAT' is and to 'CHEAT'.

A cheat is something outside of your 'set guidelines' or something that you just know would not be a good habit to eat. Usually comprised of sugar and/or grains, legumes or dairy. Thinking about it all can be more work than actually eating it. Keep it real.

Knowing where your health is or what your goals are is really a key factor. If you have a health issue that would require some guidelines that are fairly strict, your choice of 'cheat's would be different.

So...what does it mean to cheat?
Also called a Gratitude or Grace meal. You might have them planned or let them linger for a 'treat'. I would recommend not labeling your cheats as treats. Otherwise you have the perception that it is better than what is really the good stuff! Also, you definition of cheats will change as your eating habits change. I once had a friend tell me, 'Your junk food is my health food!" Perspective. should you cheat?

Again, know yourself. How does your body react.
  • If eating wheat based cookies/pastry and oatmeal means that your joints hurt or you wake up with a food hangover, choose gluten free cookies/baked goods or rice cereal. 
  • Drinking too much alcohol ruins your workout the next day, cut back on volume, choose a different drink, eat first or pace yourself. Enjoy, but don't go off the deep end, just because it is a cheat.

What it doesn't mean is that you should completely fall off the wagon and gorge yourself with chemicals and toxins. But, if that is where you are, you might need that experience to know what the difference is. Enjoy your choices rather than over indulge.

There are so many tempting choices these days! Organic, quality ingredients, healthier sources of our former cheat foods, if you are going to go for it, don't dump the dirty stuff in your body as well. You body will have to 'crisis manage' what you ate and just when think it is safe to cheat are just about back to a balance...BAM! Another assault. Be smarter than that.

We often talk ourselves into doing something, with some funky reason that only makes sense in that moment. The go crazy cheat day philosophy is popular among many out there. In my opinion, that allows for a huge reaction of circulating immune complexes and inflammation if your body cannot tolerate it. It's like getting a scab and ripping it off every few is that suppose to heal? Ever...and what kind of scar is that leaving? What body system or organ is it damaging, slowly but surely?

Is it your choice?
Yes. If your body no longer requires an addiction to sugar/chemicals and otherwise un-natural foods, your metabolism has been re-engaged enough to clean up and process an occasional blast from the past, you will likely be able to process out most of it and re-balance without a destructive pattern.

Well, now let's look at your compliance.

Based on 5 meals a day over a 7 day week = 35 meals a week
35 meals a week (B/S/L/S/D)
I wouldn't count pre/post workout liquid drinks, but meals yes which would be closer to a snack size.

95% = 2 meals a week
90% = 4 meals a week
85% = 5 meals a week
80% = 7 meals a week

Not going outside your chosen guidelines

Some people actually do much better with cheats when they enjoy one or two in the same day, do not have a reaction to them and are not focused on it as a cheat with an emotional attachment. A little one every day just is a distraction most of the time and can snowball into bad habits. Give your body some time to balance and look at HOW you define a cheat. There is so much wonderful food out there that not only tastes delicious but has many health benefits as a bonus! You don't have to go backwards.

Now, if you are only 80% compliant, well you'll really need to consider what your guidelines are because cheating daily will not get you into an optimally healthy state.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easy Prep Please

Adapt what is useful
Reject what is useless, and
Add what is specifically your own.
~Bruce Lee

Most of the Ancestral based recipes do not require a lot of time & crazy effort to prepare. So, make a little extra will give you that protein source to cross over to another meal for your week.

Is the meal too specialized? Well, think outside the box and use that extra burner or oven space to cook up a few servings of beef or chicken or whatnot naked! Package it up and store it so that you have it available to pop into a creation of your own.

Share! What are your quick tips? We all need these ideas ;)

My favorites? These carry nicely too. Not just for the kitchen. Create and pop them in your 'lunch sack'.
  • Crockpot chicken. I can take that thigh, breast or leg shred it and make a variety of wraps for lunch, snack or post workout.
  • Eggs. Hardboil and extra half dozen eggs. Yep, you WILL use them. Alone, over salad or steamed veggies, sprinkled with bacon and it is almost a treat.
  • Spin both of the above in the Bullet or mini-prep with Paleo mayo add some cayenne, onion and celery, a side of avocado and tomatoes and you have chicken or egg salad. 
  • I am not a huge fan of canned, but it sure can come in handy when pressed for time. Wild tuna, salmon, chicken all make a nummy meal and remove a huge part of clean up.
I have had a ton or requests for the recipe for this one. It was a 'shoot from the hip' meal for me today. Adjust ingredients to taste (mustard etc.)

Salmon Burgers (2 servings)
1 can Trader Joe's Wild Atlantic Salmon
1/2 jalepeno finely cut, seeds removed unless you like a bite
1 shallot or 1/4 C red onion
1 tbsp Deli Mustard (I like Boarshead with a little kick)
1 tsp fresh dill chopped fine

  • Combine ingredients. I used my hands, some peeps like to put the salmon and mustard in a food processor (ugh, more cleaning) to help the binding process (usually with fresh salmon), but I found after all ingredients were added, a good firm press of the hands works fine for the canned version.
  • Form a few patties. I like them a little smaller but you can get two nice sized patties out of this.
  • I cooked in a skillet with a little olive oil. 3-5 minutes each side (depending on patty size) over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle some cayenne.
  • Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top.

Once the patties were done I dropped a cup of arugula in with a little water for a quick wilt and chopped some celery and dropped a tbsp of paleo ranch dressing on top.

So many variations to this. If I were making it for my daughter, I would have used celery chopped fine in the patties rather than jalapeno. You can use any of the bell peppers if your tastes are a little milder. And even consider some almond flour for binding if you can't get the darn things to stick together. Wrap the patty in butter lettuce for an on the go or post work out meal.


Rest of the day.
IF morning

PW meal - lunch Salmon burgers w/ arugula (I ate both servings)

Snack - Sliced turkey & apple w/walnuts

Dinner - 85% ground beef seasoned w/thyme, cayenne & garlic over miracle noodles, sundried tomatoe & Parmesan cheese topping, Romaine salad w/broccoli cauliflower & ranch. Small glass of red wine.

Before bed - Peppermint tea

MacroNutrient ratio

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Self Care

 The oxygen you need is all around you, sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe!

Note To Self:  
Take care of YOU! 

No one else has it on their agenda. You are responsible for your life, your happiness, your health. Check in here.

You are interested enough in your health to change your eating habits, have you let a few other things slip? Are you still moving, playing, relaxing? Have you taken care of your hygiene? Your house, your car? Seriously, it may seem like little things, but they all add up to YOUR LIFE.  

A Little OM Moment
We have all heard the instructions of an airline attendant reminding us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help anyone else with theirs. This advice is often cited as a metaphor for self-care because it so accurately expresses why it is important. It seems to say, ironically, that if you can’t take care of yourself for yourself, do it for others. Few situations in our daily lives mimic the wake-up call of an airplane emergency, so it’s easy to keep putting self-care off—easy, that is, until we get sick, overwhelmed, or exhausted, and suddenly don’t have the energy to care for the people who count on us. That’s when we realize we haven’t been getting the oxygen we need to sustain ourselves. We begin to understand that taking care of ourselves is neither selfish nor indulgent; it’s just plain practical.

Putting yourself first means that it may be necessary to say no to someone else in order to say yes to yourself. For many of us, there is always something we feel we could be doing for someone else, and it helps to remember the oxygen metaphor. You can even encourage yourself by saying “I am caring for myself so that I am better able to care for others” or some other mantra that will encourage you. It also helps to remember that self-care doesn’t have to be composed of massively time-consuming acts. In fact, the best prescription for taking care of yourself is probably small, daily rituals; for example, taking one half-hour for yourself at the beginning and end of the day to meditate, pray or journal, or just be. You might also transform the occasional daily shower or bath into a half-hour self-pampering session.

Whatever you decide, making some small gesture where you put yourself first every day will pay off in spades for you and the ones you love. The oxygen you need is all around you; sometimes you just need to be reminded to breathe. 

You are worth it! ~j 

Bacon & egg
Spinach w/butter

Snack/post workout
MRM Whey powder/antioxidant formula
Unprepared I had to wing it for post workout today (not W30v5)

Leftover roasted chicken thighs
Cauliflower w/butter

Didn't feel like snacking this afternoon ;)

Steak medallions
Zucchini sauteed with sundried tomatoes & yep, spinach
Applecider Vinegar & oil dressing

Nut butter on a spoon

MacroNutrient Ratio:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Knowing When to Change Course
Every plan is in theory perfect until it you put action to it. Flexibility here is a main ingredient for success.

The simple fact of the matter is that life happens, circumstances happen, and even the most organized plan will get blown out of the water.

You have two options at that point.
  1. Keep those blinders on, pretend all is okay and push ahead with the plan as it is and in the case of food, likely feel  as though you are suffering, deprived or a failure.OR
  2. Adapt the plan to fit your reality.

Either way, you have to decide which is the better way to go and more importantly, you have to decide at what point you start listening to everything that is going on around you in order to make the necessary changes to keep the plan moving in the direction you want it to go.

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. 
Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. 
And out of hope, progress.  ~Bruce Barton

This does not mean 'cave in' and return to old habits or ways that are more comfortable and definitely unhealty, this means evaluate and make a conscious choice. It is a choice that you will have to be responsible for the consequences whether negative or positive. It is your guidance system ;).

Non-WOD day
Cottage cheese w/ cinnamon
Here is my adaptability. I have switched from Whole30 to Primal guidelines. I do not usually incorporate dairy into my diet unless it is butter/ghee or yogurt maybe a little keifer. So figured it perfect when following W30v5, but I have to listen to my 'thinger' and it is telling me to get some fermented foods in. So, cultured cottage cheese it was today. Really?! This does not mean I won't flex back to W30v5 guidelines. I really like the program and will keep all packages, sugars etc out. To me this was a simple tweak for the day.

Damn paleo muffins ;) just one with ghee
No sugar, but I think I am going to have to shout out cheat on these soon. Time to know and stay away.
Hard boiled eggs

Small lifting work, mainly technique on Powerlifts. Can't call it a workout but need to hydrate ;).
Coconut water - yum

Cranberry tuna leftovers
Gala apple

85% lean ground beef w/thyme, cayenne & garlic (really simple), over sauerkraut and steamed spinach (yes, hubby bought a HUGE bag of spinach, so it will be in my meals all week)!

Before bed
Peppermint tea

I think I ran about 42%P, 20%C, 38%F on this one. I will get to doing some logging on and check it out. Overall feel good. Water intake could be better. I will start logging that into my daily program too, since I am not actually tracking it, but this time of year I get lazy because the weather is so much cooler.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gateway Foods

How soon 'not now' becomes 'never'. ~MLK

Yes, you have a plan have thought it through and yet it is still hard to get started for some reason. Many of my clients are even anxious, anxious, anxious, yet when I follow up with them, they have found more than one reason to delay.

If this is you. Start NOW with the next thing you put in your mouth. Don't call it a program, plan, challenge or diet. Just call it a choice if you have to label it something.

You can take whatever your next meal is and pull out the crud and eat the good stuff!
  • Sandwich? Take the bread off and eat the inside.
  • Coffee? No sugar or artificial sweetner.
  • Chipotle? Just get a bowl.
When you know the guidelines you have set for yourself, it really isn't hard.There is no special shopping involved, no prepping the space, no thinking, you know what is in that meal that would be considered  non-beneficial. But there is the emotional attachment to food and the thought that we will be deprived. We won't! We aren't really missing anything that if we feel we REALLY need, won't still be there in a few weeks. That birthday cake at the office will be there next month, yep! People are born all year long.

Do we all end up slipping here or there. YES. Do we need to start over, beat ourselves up or just consider it a failure, NO! Pick yourself up, take the gloves off and make a choice you will feel good about next time.

Look at the overall goal, why you are doing the work and take it from there.

Before breakfast
Coffee, black organic

Coaching day for me, not ao workout, but I am active.
Green tea

Turkey sliced w/apple & nutbutter

Omelet w/spinach & red bell pepper

Tecchino - I like the Mocha flavor ;)

Cranberry tuna (w/mustard, shallots, celery & sesame oil, squeeze of lime)

Paleo pumpkin muffin w/ghee
Daughter had a friend over after school. Had to have a warm snack!

Unfortunately here is my 'blow it'...10 chocolate covered almonds. They were in the house and crud, open and exposed! Well I don't feel totally compromised, but those little tidbits that hang around and tempt you are where we need to take a moment and actually decide. Chocolate is a comfort food for me, something my mom and I would share.

Mark's Daily Apple has a great article for those foods that tempt today.
Gateway Foods

Slow roasted chicken w/cabbage
another 1/2 paleo muffin (hope these don't get me, they are delish)

Before bed

Monday, November 7, 2011

Keep it Simple Silly

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. 
Simple can be harder than complex: 
You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, 
you can move mountains.  ~Steve jobs

If you haven't already...start NOW.

Get focused and keep it simple.  You know what to do. By now, you should know why you are ready to do it. The only thing in your way is you. Whether you had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or polished off the last of the Halloween candy. Step up to the plate and begin this morning. Might not be your first meal, but it is the beginning.
  • Starting weight: 131
  • Goals: Tighten it up. I am happy with weight and how I look but I could lose a bit of BF% (unofficially about 18%) and shred up a bit (so drop 1-2%), also performance. Yep, I want to lift a bit heavier ;), minimum 10% increase over the next month.
  • Measurements taken logged in Precision Nutrition site and put in WOD book for reference (I know the pics are kinda cruddy, but...they will work and keep me on track. Yikes! I feel exposed a bit.)
  • Labs ordered but not yet drawn (I am not a fan or needles, but the deed must be done and fasting)

Start the day:
Intermitten Fast this morning
7:30am Organic coffee black
9:30am WOD
11:00am Post workout - Butternut squash w/sausage & walnuts, green tea
1:00pm Leftover pork w/fresh steamed spinach

We'll see how the rest of the day pans out.

The plan is:
4pm Ham slices w/pineapple & cinnamon
7pm Beef & salsa wraps

There are so many great recipes popping up on fb right now. They are labeled paleo/primal but in reality, they are an embellishment to the guidelines. If you choose to enjoy them, do so in moderation ;). They are delicious and healthier. They are not actually real food for sustenance but treats and remakes of the SAD (standard American diet) addiction to sugar and carbohydrate. This is not about deprivation, just be aware and enjoy rather than just trade labels.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

To Market, To Market

"the slowly turning Lazy Susan of the seasons." 
~John Hollander

Knowledge is power! It is time to pay attention and wake up to quality of your foods if you aren't already on that path.

Become aware of the foods that you buy and eat! Whole foods that are closest to their natural state are your best options. Example: An apple instead of apple fruit leather or apple juice.

Stay out of the packages, shop the perimeter of the market instead of the packaged isles filled with chemicals and advertising.

The Farmer's Market
CSA (community supported agriculture) has been around for a long time and is a wonderful option  for seasonal, local, fresh foods.

Look for one in your area. Now that the seasons are changing there may not be as many options, but you can also consider getting your produce from a local farmer on a share program. Check out Local Harvest online. Support your community by buying fresh, herbicide and pesticide.

The basics for healthy food choices:
  • eat foods that are fresh, seasonal, local and in their closest to natural state.
  • eat foods that are grass-fed, pasture raised, without hormones or antibiotics
  • eat foods that are free from chemicals, food dyes, hormone disruptors and pesticides
  • eat foods that are local organic over industrial organic - yes, there is also a war going on inside the organic world these days...the point is to be conscious and not get hung up on it.
  • eat foods that are non-GMO and non-irradiated, this is huge, you much corn and soy do you see along the side of the road in your community?
  • eat foods that support sustainable agriculture and reduce your ecological footprint
 Here's to increasing your awareness today and tomorrow and...! ~jgirl

Friday, November 4, 2011

You Need a Plan

Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.  ~Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

A plan makes it all happen. If you are just getting started, don't leave yourself exposed out there. Not knowing what to eat when you are out of the house can be a disaster.

If you don't feel that you can pull a plan together, there are some great resources out there. They do the work for a small price and you get the benefits. The reality is once you get the principles or just have the time to sit down and figure out what YOU can easily do this yourself. You will be able to discern what foods work best for you and/or your family. Try it for a month. Or at least put together 2-4 weeks of menu plans for yourself. There are some great food prep and tips that will be coming up in later posts. One you can use right now is...what you eat for dinner one night, have for lunch within the next day or so. Just make enough!

I am going to post Whole 30 v5 compliant foods here. Since you know the guidelines that YOU personally are going to follow you can vary the plan to your program.

Meal planning sites:
Sample Day w/workout (for me)
Wednesday - early workout day ;)
5:30 am
Coffee - black and organic 16 oz

6am WOD
Water 16 oz


Post WOD meal -in this case is breakfast for me ;)
Pumpkin Frittata, 1/2 green apple on the side
Green tea

Other great post wod meal options and pretty easy to take with you to the box.
  • Butternut squash 'cereal' w/coconut milk & nuts
  • Sweet potato w/sausage & egg omelet
  • Paleo Egg cups
10:30 am
Sliced ham w/other half of apple, cranberries & walnuts

Crockpot Chicken (leftovers from last night's dinner)
Spinach salad w/avocado & cucumber

Garden Meatballs over steamed arugula & beets
I prefer no pork in these. 

Endurance WOD
Water 16 oz

Butternut squash soup w/sausage & clarified butter
Peppermint tea

Sample Day w/out workout
Coffee, black and organic maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon

Poached eggs (2) mashed cauliflower w/parsley & sausage. I use butter in my cauliflower.
A primal favorite for us.

12 noon
Steak & turnip risotto, side of steamed spinach (w/ghee)
I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed the turnips in this recipe. I added some additional savory spice to the pot, olive oil.

Paleo muffin (applesauce not honey this time) topped w/mixed berries & green tea
We love this after school treat.

Cilantro turkey burger, sweet potato fries
My daughter's friend was over and was a little confused about the burger with no bun! However, she immediately wanted the recipe to give to her mom ;).

  • Organic coffee
  • Herbal or organic green tea
  • Perrier or San Pelegrino (in limited volume)
  • Water ;)
Other great idea or your favorites? Please share them. Yes, people are lurking ;) and they just may be asking a question in their head that you have the answer to.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fresh Start

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~Mary Pickford

Time to clean out the old and bring in the new ;). Here is the moment of truth. You have decided.

I'm IN.

Just wanting to make a change doesn't make change happen. That magic moment in your mind has taken place. You've gone through the thought process, rationalized all the reasons why and now it is time for the how, the ACTION. Let me tell you, if you are taking other actions steps and not considering cleaning up your kitchen/pantry, you are in an uphill battle.
  • Do you CrossFit, train, or have a regular exercise plan? 
  • Working hard physically and rising to the challenge of each workout? 
  • Take time out for prayer, meditation or relaxation techniques?
  • Is your goal to be 'better than yesterday' and to continue to show positive gains?
You are already working hard, but you are at a disadvantage and this is the piece that will transform your life. It is the one that most people make the most excuses for. It is the one that is at the foundation of health and you get to decide every time you put something into your mouth. Get to it.

If you haven't already. Clear out those foods that just might be too tempting to pass up. We have all been there...starving and will eat anything with regret the moment the frenzy is over. Set yourself up for success. Be prepared. The scouts have been saying it for years...motto: be prepared in body and in mind.

You just might be going this alone. If the other members of the family are not joining you, you may need to carve out a place just for your 'goods'. I recommend they are on 'your side', clean shelves, a few door holders and use the veggie drawers too. Yes, it might be a bit hard to shield your eyes from the untouchables, but if you can get  your family to enjoy these meals as well because they are irresistible, you will be able to purge it all sooner than later.

Do the same with your pantry as well.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Measure - Yourself ;)

Yes, I said it. Measure.

Get out a log, piece of paper, journal or something to take some notes on.

  1. If you normally weigh yourself every day, this will be the last day until the end of the month. 
  2. If you do not know what your body measurements are, take those today too. You'll need a soft or flexible measuring tape.
  3. If you don't know what health indicators are...measure these Calculator for W2H ratio, BMI, BMR and use the Harris Benedict Formula on the same page to figure caloric intake w/exercise.
  4. If you haven't had a check up lately or don't usually check up...go to your local grocery/drug store and take your blood pressure. Note you pulse rate and/or beats per minute. 
  5. If you have had labwork done, cool, if not you will want to consider it once a year. You can go through and get the Comprehensive Wellness Profile (it runs $97). You will want to order this after you make your lifestyle changes closer to the end of the year.
  6. If you have no idea how many calories or what ratio of nutrients you eat. Start tracking. You won't have to do this daily but for 3-4 days enter all of your food and beverage into or and get a feel for where you are. Then every week enter for a couple of days too. One weekend day and a few during the week.
  7. Okay, here's the biggie...take a picture ;). Smile! Take some before pictures of yourself or a video if you like. 
NONE of this is required. Just wanting to make a change and taking a first step is really the important part. Taking note of where you are now can really show your effort and what a difference it all makes to your qualify of life. You may find that you really wish you did. So, collect the information. It can be evaluated at a later date. Just collect it. We are not getting all crazy about it, however, it is important to be aware.

We'll take the measurements again and look at the comparison post program!

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Going Primal

    Well, November is here and change is not only in the season but in the lifestyle. Many people are interested in buckling down and making a real difference in their food choices.

    Whether driven by health, performance, the need to fit into a certain dress over the holidays or because they are sick to their stomachs of the traditional October candy gorge, it all works. MOTIVATION! You have to decide to do it.

    We'll look at 3 options that have come up for me:
    • Whole 30 v5, 
    • Primal & 
    • The Basics (no sugar/no gluten). 
    During the next week, we will get some prep work done. Taking a few measurements, cleaning out the fridge and pantry, putting together a menu plan and heading out to the market.

    Over this next month I will  post up a menu plan and some recipes along with some real experiences that I have had or been able to pry out of those that are participating!

    Please, you are encouraged to join in and share. It can be a challenge to change when the world around you stays the same. But your story just might be an inspiration to someone else having a similar experience. 

    Whole 30 - v5 Guidelines
    When the new Whole 30 put out their new guidelines v5 I decided I would hunker down and commit to the whole program for 30 days. A little more strict than most of the programs but very doable. I started one week ago.

    I normally eat Primarily Paleo 90% compliance, butter/ghee, heavy cream, a few starchy veggies in the wrong time-slots and a slice of cheesecake here or there. I really like the addition of Ghee to the program and felt that I too was feeling a diversion and had a few extra items in the house that wormed their way into my cheat meals (if you are counting, for 90% that would be an item, not a full splurge, in up to 4 meals a week). If you choose this option read and print the guidelines above. I promise it WILL help.

    I plan to continue here with this program but will track along with the other two below as well. 

    21 Day Primal Transformation
    Following the Primal Blueprint (see Mark's Daily Apple for a ton of information). Additionally, a friend of mine decided to track his journey through the 21 Day Primal Blueprint. A well written guide supporting the Primal lifestyle.

    Not quite as strict as a Paleo/Whole version of eating clean, there is an 80% compliance requirement with obviously a few more opportunity for cheat meals in there and some leniency the food list. Whole foods, no grains, occasional diary and comfort foods. Robert (BamBam) Budd, my favorite Kettlebell guy, just happened to be a caveman for Halloween and the role fit incredibly well. If you want to track along, he is hosting a number of members and friends from his studio in Encinitas, CA BUDDBELLS.

    Here is a sample day of Primal.

    The Basics: CF Roseville - No Sugar/No Gluten
    A keeping it simple program. Just like it says. A good guideline for this program is The No-Grain Diet by Dr. Mercola. Though this time of year I am not a fan of the high volume of raw foods on the program. Instead, enjoy those veggies both raw and cooked or steamed. Since this is a gym challenge usually tied to a bonus, this one is basic. No buy-ins, no kitty, no 'winner', you are all winners when it comes to better health and quality of life. While there are many nuances here, staying away from gluten grains (gluten free grains include Rice/Quinoa/Buckwheat) and sugars, mainly found in packaged foods of ALL kinds. So, ditch the Halloween candy and eat fresh leaving no ingredient unturned or unidentified. Look here for the many names of sugar!

    Some getting started tips on The Basics.

    Ultimately we are talking about eating foods that re-feed, re-nourish and replenish your body. Natural, clean and delicious. Give yourself a chance to clear out the crud and feel good!

    Just Do It
    If you decide to jump on board, choose your weapon, come back regularly and see what's up, if you just want to hang out and get a feel for it all, that works too.

    Most importantly, enjoy! ~jgirl