Sept 29 – Overtime.. Key to Success!

I hope that this is not the case, but one reason going primal these last 22 days may have been fairly simple is because:
     –  I don’t eat much during the day…  
     –  I didn’t pull a total 180 from my previous diet… 
     –  I work so many night shifts that binging on what’s in my house or around is easy

While there’s technically some “food” in the break room, I’m not at all interested in those Pop-Tarts, Chips, Candy Bars or Swedish Fish anymore. Haha.. not sure why I ever was. Now, it’s a little after 7pm, and the phones are dead. So, I thought I’d update today’s food:
     –  Boloco Steak Salad with Guac and Salsa (double meat)
     –  Couple Shots of Espresso (not all at once)
     –  Small Banana
     –  Ounce of baking chocolate
     –  Tbsp of Almond Butter

Done! Yeah.. kinda hungry still, but not starving. I should start boiling eggs to bring with to work. Also, Trader Joes has an amazing Pork Loin, which I could bake the night before and pack up in slices – Mmm.. good idea!

Sept 28 – Week Three Weigh-In

Yeah, I kind of skipped the Official Week TWO Weigh-In, but here’s an update from yesterday’s weigh-in: 194lbs

Since dropping 10lbs after my first week on paleo, I’ve started to balance out a bit, and have only dropped an additional 3 lbs since then (averaging 1.5 lbs a week since). So not too bad! I’m feeling much more energetic, stronger and looking leaner. I’ll continue to tweak things week after week, in order to keep the weight-loss consistently within that 1-2lb per week pace.

No guarantees though as we occasionally go through adaptation processes and are prone naturally to plateaus. Plus, total body weight loss is not the only indicator in successful programs.

Sept 28 – Oh My Gourd!

It’s that time of year again! I love seasons because eating the same thing everyday (even if it’s amazing like German Maultaschen) gets old and dull. Enter in seasons! In the winter, we tend to eat less (or should), and stick to hearty soups/stews, warming spices in our coffee, tea and foods, eat good amounts of fats and meats, etc. In the Spring/Summer, it’s berries, tomatoes, summer squash and greens (probably a lot more). But in the Fall, you get to snatch up your last fill of fresh veggies, while starting to transition into apples, citrus, cruciferous vegetables and … WINTER SQUASH like butternut, sugar pumpkin, acorn squash, buttercup, red kuri, kabocha, spaghetti and many more. They’re similar in many ways to their summer cousins, but they’re given more time to grow and, in adapting to the cooler temp, develop thicker skin and heartier seeds.

Last night, I roasted two types of gourd: Sugar Pumpkin and Buttercup (not butterNUT) Squash. Amazing stuff.. and so simple. My dad has always made his famous Butternut Squash on Thanksgiving by cutting of the thick skin, spooning out the seeds/fibers, cubing, then boiling and mashing. BUT… that’s SO much harder than it needs to be (and brown sugar’s unnecessary). You need only to cut the gourd (fun word) in half, scrape out the seeds (save for roasting), then place face down in the oven at 350 for about 30-35 min. Roasting (vs boiling) is faster, cleaner and preserves more of the nutrients which are poured out when the squash is drained. Then when you take them out, the flesh practically falls out of the “jacket” into the bowl for simple mashing. Simply add MUCHO butter or olive oil and salt. Done! Also, depending on the gourd, spices like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and all-spice are great!

Of the two I made last night, the Buttercup Squash was the best. Very thick and buttery on it’s own, though I still added more of my own along with some salt, whle the sugar pumpkin just was that great overall and maybe is better suited to be pureed and mixed with broth as a soup. Didn’t stand up alone for me. Over the course of this Autumn/Winter, I intend to try out every possible gourd variety in the Northeast (or at least most). They’re definately NOT low-carb, but compared to grains or white potatoes, they pack a huge punch with tons of vitamin B’s, beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Plus, the seeds taste great and are high in Zinc and Magnesium! All-around powerhouse of the Fall/Winter months! So much so, that these “sides” over-shadowed the incredibly tender, juicy pork loin that Steph and I had last night! Great meat, better gourd.. I love variety.

Side note: Like rectangles and squares, squashes are always gourds, but not all gourds are necessarily squashes!

Sept 27 – Cutting Back on FitDay

I’m not completely giving up on FitDay as it’s very useful for finding quick nutritional information, but my personality type is far too prone too over geek-out on the finer details, which consume me and control my actions far too much. So while I’ll occasionally OVER-carb or UNDER-protein on some days, I believe that I’ll function better on my more natural, no-measure system. Plus, by adding in more carbs like fruits, I’ve felt much more regular recently. However, I do now appreciate what each individual food items contains and how it can affect my performance in the day. So, for the rest of this challenge, I’m no longer going to log my food intake, but rather just look up the occasional item for curiosity’s sake.

Today’s not going to be too high, calorie-wise. Working an extra phone shift, so I had my go-to Steak Salad from Boloco with guac (I’m up to a free burrito already), and threw down some baker’s chocolate chips with almond butter for additional fat. When I get home, I’ll try to throw down some extra protein and some cauliflower, but not much else tonight. Yes, this may have to do with my week 3 weigh-in tomorrow, but leave me alone. I’m crazy like that.

Feeling Sore Today

Just felt like adding a post now, so I’ll talk about how sore I am right now. Over this past weekend, I have done a lot of cycling (over 25 miles), random sprinting, walking,  jumping and lifting, so today it’s all catching up to me. I’m looking forward to getting some additional sleep soon and resting my body. I think the planet sensed my fatigue and has graciously decided to drape the city of Boston with thick rain clouds for the next few days (possibly a week). I’ll be taking between home and work, and will keep walking to almost a minimum.

I love and hate the feeling of sore, aching muscles! Hey, I now know that I did something DE-/CON-structive to my body (really, destructive to encourage construction of my muscles, ligaments and tendons). But to stretch throughout the day without gratification is a thankless chore. Plus, I’ve been known to overstretch and pull muscles in my futile attempts to assuage my body  🙂

Overall though, it’s quite nice to know that I was active this past weekend, and that I’ll be soon reaping the rewards of a more responsive, stronger and leaner body. No pain, no gain, as the saying goes. But without rest, the pain was all for nothing.

Sept 26 – As Primal as Possible…

On Sunday, I went to my pop’s house in Medway for Brianna’s birthday party, and had a lot of fun. But eating primal at home is like being a tap-dancing enthusiast along the 38th Parallel.. gotta watch your step. Gingerly tip-toeing your way between bowls of Doritos, Cheezy Puffs, cheap hotdogs, cake, ice cream, pasta/potato salad and more. I stuck with bun-less burgers and sausages.

I did pretty well, all in all, until I found out that the brats were “laced” with corn syrup and dextrose! Haha.. technically, I’ve ruined my perfect-streak, but it was unintentional and the percentage added to the sausage had to have small. But after having a small coffee later on the afternoon, I reached for and drank a short mug of milk, completely out of habit. Haha.. oh well. At least I didn’t succumb to weakness, just a mental slip. Life happens.

HOWEVER, I more than made up for that extra insulin boost by working it off. I biked to back bay station that morning (4 miles), biked from Norfolf Station to my house (7.5 miles), and biked back home from Back Bay (got a ride to Norfolk that dark evening). Plus, I was the main entertainment for 6-7 screaming kids who wanted to play with me every moment. Tag juking, tumbling and rolling, jumping, climbing trees, weighted push-ups and flipping kids over my back. Oh, and they beat me up with sticks and stuffed me with leaves like a Scare Crow  🙂  Kids know how to exercise for life’s challenges!

And when I came home, I was greeted with homemade beef burgers with avocado-salsa and 3-4 fish oil pills! I’m dying today from an aching body that swears that the small glass of milk and the added corn syrup was never even a “blip” on my pancreas’ radar! Great weekend…

Sept 25 – More Fruit and Veggies

Saturday was a nice day! It started with me taking Bodhi (the pup we’ve taken in for the week) for a walk/jog to the doggie park. It was great until the real dogs showed up.. yep, Bodhi’s that fake dog at less than 10lbs 😉  Then I was on guard duty to protect him from wild and crazy mongrels.  I went for a long bike ride afterwards through the Arnold Arboretum, Olmsted Park and the Jamaica Pond. Good ride, nice day. Steph and I took Bodhi out for another walk later on through Brookline which is always a great idea. On the way, I stopped in at Whole Foods and bought a green apple and two small, red bananas. Those little guys are great. Not quite as sweet but much creamier than their long, yellow bretheren.

At home, I had the usually eggs, bacon, etc, but also decided to add in more fruit and veggies than I have been recently. I ate a kiwi, the bananas, the apple and 3/4 of a canteloupe. Yum. I love canteloupe! And that night, we both went on another bike ride to … The Stockyard Steakhouse! There I ordered a side salad and a 24oz Prime Rib steak! It was amazing and fatty and thick. SO thick! And.. I ate the whole thing. I haven’t had a BIG steak like that in years. They have me sweet potato, but in battered-fries form, so I stuck to the green beans.

Great day and a tasty evening!