Day 31: The Naked Truth

So how did I do?
Here are the before and after pictures.

Before

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After

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*Mentally it was tough this time. While I didn’t have the food temptation in the house this time, I did have wine and liquor tempting me. It also seemed every time I went grocery shopping the bakery was working on over drive (bread and cakes and donuts and cookies all around me). I avoided all the temptations and stayed true to the reset.

*Physical appearance changed! Since I wasn’t over weight to start with my appearance may not look as though it has changed but I have clearly slimmed down in the waist (NO BLOAT). My clothes fit so much better now. I don’t feel bloated and my pants aren’t hard to zip. My skin is better, no break outs and so is Lucy’s. Lucy has eczema and keratosis pilaris. She has patches of bumps, almost like little pimples, on her arms, legs, and cheeks. These patches have been getting better over the past 30 days but have not gone away so I know there is some fine tuning I need to be doing with her. I will address that in a later post. Had I stepped up my cardio, meaning had I done cardio more than 3 times in the whole month there would be a very noticeable difference in my muscle tone. And if I’m being honest I was really hoping for more of a change with my ass. I have no ass and I did a boat load of squats. Things don’t change over night. I never had an ass to begin with so to create something from nothing will take some time, mobility, lifting heavy shit and more focus.

*On the inside I feel physically better as well. I have had more energy, even though Lucy has been sleeping horribly, throughout the day. No bloating, PMS symptoms were almost undetectable by the innocent by standers in the house, and my headaches have stopped!

*Added bonus – creative recipes! I made sweet potato chips, rutabaga fries, coconut whipped cream, coconut cream chocolate mousse, and a new stew recipe.

Our reset may be over but our desire to eat clean and provide our bodies with proper fuel and nourishment is stronger than ever. We head off to the west coast tomorrow and I look forward to taking advantage of the farmers market. Creating new dishes/recipes and really proving to myself that I won’t slip back into having “treats” so often. I am a much happier person when I eat clean. I feel great, I function better, and I look great when I take care of myself! Why would I want to go back to the grumpy, bloated, nothing fits me right, zero patience, here comes another headache, I slept like shit last night, frustrated, unhappy person I become when I eat crap? Doesn’t sound like a good investment to me!

Are you willing to give it a try yet? If so let me know how I can help you? If not, stick around for April. I’m kicking up my cardio, taking on a new challenge, sticking to clean eating, and I’ll be on the west coast which means pretty pictures and a fantastic farmers market (more recipes I promise)!

Thank you for tagging along on this journey with me. I hope you all stick around and that maybe in the next 30 days I’ll hear from you in your comments! I’d love to hear what you all are doing to eat clean and stay active. >

Final 48 hours

I have two more days left on this reset. It has been a very challenging month/30 days. With potty training Lucy, toddler bed transition, the husband working 12 hour days 6 days a week, and the planning and prep for our trip to CA I cannot believe that there are just two days left. I am getting excited and nervous to take the after pictures. I’m excited because I can feel a difference in how my clothes fit and I can feel a difference with my overall health. I’m nervous because I know my results could have been better if I had made time for more cardio. I focused on my squats and push-ups and did some cardio here and there but not consistently. April will definitely have more cardio and I will post more pictures at the end of April so you can see what happens when you get moving. So even though this 30 day reset is almost over I hope you all continue to follow along.
April’s challenge will be a plank challenge and the final weeks of the push-up challenge and the crazy work outs my husband comes up with. Woohoo!

A refreshing drink of water out of a shot glass:

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I Triple Dog Dare You!

As week three of this reset ends and week four begins I find myself thinking about what “treat” I’m going to have on day 31. My husband and I did a New Years reset last year and that seemed like a piece of cake compared to this one. Even though we were living with my parents, my mom is notorious for coming back from the grocery store with items that she just “had a taste” for, and we had temptation behind the pantry door it seemed so much easier than this one.
We removed all temptation from the house. However, this month we potty trained Lucy, transitioned her to a toddler bed, my husband has been working 12 hour days 6 days a week, it’s been a very long winter and March has been so f’ing cold…I think you get the point, there was ALOT of stress this month. Stress can make sticking to a paleo/primal way of eating with no treats and no alcohol tough. But you know what – I’ve stuck to it and in this final week I’m going to do my best not to make a mental list of all the things I want to eat when the 30 day reset is over. I have already decided that on 3/31 I will enjoy a little tequila and some organic popcorn. AND THATS IT!

Instead of planning out treats I’m going to focus on all the great things that came out of this reset. When you cut out the crap you become more creative in the kitchen and I loved getting creative with food again. I also love that my skin is better (no break outs), my daily headaches are GONE, I don’t wake up in a fog in the morning, my moods have leveled out for the most part, I don’t have a constant feeling of bloat in my abdomen, my digestion is “regular” (hey we all do it and isn’t it nice when it’s not an issue), and my “monthly cycle” was not disruptive to the household (very few Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episodes).

The biggest difference I have noticed is with my toddler and tantrums. While she still has tantrums, that is just my reality for the next few years, I have noticed that I can cut her off at the pass now. Before the reset she would fight you to the death if she wasn’t getting her way no matter what approach I took with her. Now, as soon as she starts to come apart (We all know the signs. The mean face, jumping up and down, tears, and screaming) I get down to her level and tell her to collect herself and to calm down. I let her know that her behavior will not get her what she wants and as the weeks progressed she got better and better at being able to take control of the emotions she was feeling. I haven’t seen a full blown melt down in about a week or so. Some doubters will call it a fluke or have some other reason to explain it and for those people/doubters I say….I DARE YOU! I dare you to take the 30 day challenge with your kids. I am a firm believer that we are what we eat and if we eat natural clean food our bodies can be amazing machines and if we supply it with junk your machine will break down from the inside out.

If you wouldn’t willingly drink liquid drano why are you willing to drink soda? We know it’s loaded with synthetic ingredients, chemicals, artificial this and that but Americans consume this in staggering amounts. If you wouldn’t willingly eat rat poison why are you willing to eat fast food or food that was “created” with synthetic ingredients, chemicals and artificial this and that? Next time you go to the grocery store and you are checking out take a look at what you loaded into your cart. How many products have nutrition labels? Of those items with labels how many of them have more than 5 ingredients? Of those items with more than 5 ingredients, do you know what they all are? Can you pronounce them all? If not you probably shouldn’t put it in your cart or your mouth. It’s probably making you sick.

Even if you commit to one item a month that you will no longer purchase or consume is a step in the right direction.
Being a Clevelander I find this closing statement appropriate…..

I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU! Starting April 1st what will you commit to no longer purchasing and consuming?

Pizza crust or crackers!

Here it folks! This is by far my favorite recipe for paleo pizza crust. When it was cooking it smelled so good that I thought it would make a good paleo cracker as well. I had to test that out first before I posted the recipe.
This is so quick and so easy and FULL of flavor!

This makes one serving personal pizza or about a dozen or so crackers.
This works well if you double or triple it. If you want to quadruple the recipe leave out the 4th egg.

1/2 cup almond flour
1 egg
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp of 21 seasoning salute (Trader Joes seasoning blend)
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 325
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. This will be a very wet and sticky dough.
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2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with a little olive oil and spread out evenly on the parchment.
3. Using a knife or icing spatula spread the dough out to form an 8 inch pizza crust or spread it out as thin as possible for the crackers. Be patient with this step. The dough is wet and sticky. It takes a little patience. If making the crackers rough out the cracker pieces before baking, see photo below, to make cutting easier after baking but DO NOT slice all the way through the dough.

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4. If you are making pizza, bake the crust for 10 mins then assemble the pizza with sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake until toppings are warm/melted etc (do not put raw uncooked meat on pizza, precook any raw meat toppings).
If you are making crackers bake for 15 mins then flip the dough over. This is why you don’t want to slice it all the way through in step 3. Bake for another 15 mins.
5. Remove crackers or pizza from the oven and serve. The crackers would go great with fresh guacamole!!

– I like a little saltier cracker so next time I may sprinkle some course sea salt on top of the dough right before baking.

Week Two Run Down

Weights, chocolate, momentum, airfare, yoga, and breakfast!

As I finished my cup of tea this morning, I set my cup down and realized for the first time in two weeks how significant this cup was.

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This is a mug my husband brought back from a recent trip to CA. I pulled this mug out of the cupboard on day one of the reset and designated it as my “small” cup for my morning tea. The mug says “Get Momentum” and was handed out at a leadership conference our friends put on in Ojai, California. My husband went out to CA to meet with friends, he did not attend the conference but he did bring home this mug. When my husband came back from CA he was so motivated and focused on his goals. Having time to focus and talk with like minded people helped him to put things into perspective. So much so we will be going out there as a family in April and just purchased our airfare. The momentum from his trip has rubbed off on me and it continues to grow. I can’t wait for our trip, for time to spend as a family and focus on our future plans. Huge things are happening and I have to point out again, having positive people in your life that truly push you to reach your goals and show a genuine desire to see you succeed are priceless gifts. If you are looking to make “your best better” go here: http://womackcompany.com

Ok, so how did week two go? Today is day 15. Remember my earlier post where I talked about day 15? Here we are, day 15. Week two is rough. Your energy level is low and you feel the effects of the detox. Here are some things that I did to get through week two.

When I am not being vigilant about what I eat I rarely eat breakfast. I don’t wake up hungry and I probably don’t eat until lunch time – this is when I know my body is not running on the proper fuel. As week two progressed I was waking up hungry again. One small thing I did differently was to eat breakfast. Normally I would just have my cup of tea and that’s it. Not this week. I was back to eating breakfast which helps with that morning fog and low energy. Breakfast was a few slices of bacon or bacon and eggs, or just some eggs. I keep breakfast very simple because my little one wakes up acting like a starved velociraptor and my husband has been working his ass off and leaves pretty early in the morning so I need to have quick go to breakfast options. I would rotate between bacon, bacon and eggs, sausage, and sausage and eggs, or just eggs. Each morning there is a little bit of fruit or Lara Bar to go with the protein or left over veggies from the previous nights dinner. For the next two weeks I’ll be making some frittatas to store in the fridge/freezer to change it up and to save some more time in the morning.

I did well with cutting back on my fruit intake and started to eat more fat to curb the hunger throughout the day. I would eat at least half an avocado with dinner, a snack of mixed nuts, and around bed time I would have some almond butter or some coconut cream. SPEAKING OF COCONUT CREAM….

I was really missing chocolate. While you can find some really clean chocolate options at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, we decided that we wouldn’t be indulging ourselves. I did have some left over coconut whipped cream from a dessert I made, you can find the recipe here https://mypaleobaby.wordpress.com/2014/03/02/smells-good-mama/, and some really good looking strawberries. What goes great with strawberries? Chocolate! I added a few spoonfuls of 100% cocoa powder to the whipped cream and holy smokes, what a treat! This really helped me stay on track and not give in to the cravings. I had a little spoonful with some cut up strawberries. Remember…. This is still a treat and should be enjoyed on occasion. If this is your first go at paleo you shouldn’t have it at all during the first 30-90 days. Getting rid of the cravings and proving to yourself that you don’t need teats is your primary focus. Once you have accomplished that then you can reintroduce treats/paleo treats.

As you know I have also been doing a 6 week push up challenge and 30 day squat challenge. Push ups have always been my kryptonite. The push up challenge continues to be challenging and no alterations are needed. However, the squats needed a little something more. I wasn’t “feeling” them in the proper places to which I knew I was not activating my glutes and hamstrings during the “drop”. I was just falling into a squat position. I know when I am doing weighted squats I am forced to activate those muscles so I don’t bottom out and can fire myself up and out of the hole. So, I added weight to my squats this week. I started with two 20# dumb-bells and only made it through part of the 130 squats that I was required to do that day. I dropped to just one 20# dumb-bell and found that this gave me the right amount of tension to keep the appropriate muscles engaged and the right amount of added challenge. Yes, I need to and will continue to work on my air squat. It’s important to be able to engage those muscles with and without the added weight.

Last but not least I was able to make it to two yoga classes this week. This time out of the house, away from the stress of potty training and a toddler bed is much needed. My little one is going through this reset stuff as well along with potty training and a new bed. We have been going toe to toe more often than not and by the time my husband would get home I was so stressed out I was just ready to explode. I am very thankful for this time out of the house. It really is vital for my mental well being. I ended the week with a visit to CrossFit Independence to watch the members there take on The Open workout 14.3. Wow do I miss CrossFit! The community at CFI is amazing. The strength and commitment shown by all who participated was amazing to watch. I know I will be back at it in the neat future. Surrounded by great people. I just need to remain focused – big things are coming.

Stay tuned. Week three is just getting started! More recipes to come this week. Here is to staying the course and keeping the momentum – even during the toughest of days! Thank y for following along on this journey. You all inspire me!

Does your food have lots of color?

I love when my food is full of different colors. My chili starts with several different peppers. Green, red, yellow, orange, hot, sweet, and bell. Don’t forget the garlic! I also have a secret ingredient. If you can guess it I will post the cope.
I can’t wait for dinner time! Typically I serve it over some rice with cheese and sour cream, but not tonight! No rice on the reset.
What’s your favorite colorful dish?

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Family Favorite

I mentioned in a previous that I never liked meat loaf. That is until I tried PaleoOMG’s sweet and savory meat loaf. Bacon, raisins, cinnamon, sweet potato, and spices. It sounds like a weird combo but it goes together so well. My daughter gobbles this up like she hasn’t eaten in days. Check it out if you want something different and tasty. http://paleomg.com/paleo-savory-sweet-potato-meatloaf/

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Yes those are mashed white potatoes. We do eat white potatoes every now and again so stop freaking out.