Sunday, August 21, 2011

Awesome Primal Workout: Viking Trekking!

As I believe I mentioned previously, my friend the Viking Food Guy and I planned an epic "Viking Trek" for this weekend. You can read more about the details on my medieval blog.

It's of interest here because it occurred to me that the food I brought was all reasonably primal (home-made grass-fed beef jerky, grass-fed butter, dried fruits, hazelnuts, and dried vegetables), the shoes I wore were basically prehistoric barefoot shoes (a single layer of leather between you and the Earth and totally non-confining), and hiking with a load is a very "ancestral" workout!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Primal road trip!

I haven't posted in forever! I've been up to no good, as usual. I'm adjusting to living primally but still stumbling a lot. Better Half and I are going on a road trip to Vegas (woooooooo), and I prepared by stockpiling quite an assortment of food for the drive:

Beverages: Electrolyte replacement powder, green tea
Meat: Prosciutto, roast beef, leftover pork loin (not pictured)
Note sad lack of vegetables! Primal fail!
Fruits and nuts: Cherries, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts
Assorted snacks and other: Larabars, pasture butter, two yogurts (normally a month's ration of yogurt; we'll see how this goes for me), Tanka bites, and two absurd raw vegan desserts from Whole Foods that happened to be basically primal (a mint chocolate "tart" and coconut "macaroons" -- I picked both of these items up off the shelf to show them to Better Half and mock them, then read the ingredients and ended up buying them; screw you, Whole Foods)

Not pictured: I caved and bought a jar of all-natural peanut butter. It's a legume! It's full of aflatoxins! I am probably developing a peanut allergy! But I haven't had the stuff in months, and sometimes when I walk past it on the shelf, I just can't stand it any longer: I have to have some. I'm hoping that the "allergy" is a product of my overactive imagination, as I'm afraid of what life would be like if I really were allergic to peanuts.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A perfect breakfast

Step 1: Walk to the farmer's market the evening prior and buy some lovely uncured bacon. I got asparagus in my weekly produce box, or I would have also bought some at the market.

Step 2: Cook several slices of bacon to desired crispness. Remove from pan.

Step 3: Wash asparagus well and dry with a tea towel. Break spears in half and fry exuberantly in the bacon fat.

Step 4: Put the asparagus on a plate and salt them (optional). Eat bacon and asparagus with hands.

Step 5: Gloat on the internet. This was delicious. Also, as of yesterday morning, I've lost a grand total of 60 pounds. Hooray for me!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fish tacos!

A ridiculously yummy and simple weeknight dinner, or easy to make at home and take to work for lunch. Serves two.

1 previously frozen mahi mahi fillet (thawed)
1-2 tsp "tequila lime" spice blend from Whole Foods, or other spice mix of your choice
1 tsp fat of choice (melted coconut oil is ideal)
3-4 small radishes
Handfull cilantro leaves
Half a tiny red onion
Mango salsa (homemade or purchased)
3 lettuce leaves per person (okay, okay, Better Half ate corn tortillas; she thinks this paleo business is crazy)
Optional: sour cream for serving

Note: this would have been even better with some avocado, but we didn't have any.

Coat fish with spice mix and fat and grill (we use one of those countertop panini-press type grills) for about 4 minutes per side, or until it flakes easily. Wash and chop radishes, cilantro, and onions. Wash and dry lettuce leaves and arrange on plate. Put fish, salsa, and chopped veggies, avocado, and optional sour cream onto each leaf and serve with lime wedges. If you like salt, add a little salt to each taco before serving.

Nutritional breakdown for half of a recipe: 248 calories, 9 grams of fat (includes 1 tbsp sour cream but not avocado), 15 grams carbohydrate, and 20 grams of protein. Easily doubled.

Observations on Dutifully Tracking

Tracking with Daily Plate has been revelatory, in a good way. In switching over to Weight Watchers (it's free through my work, I thought I'd give it a try last fall, I've lost over 20 pounds since joining, but it's never really felt right for me), I lost the ability to see how my macronutrients were breaking down every day. I was still choosing mostly paleo foods (with the addition of some dairy fat), but I wasn't able to see how things were stacking up.

Well, now I can, and two things stood out right away: carbs and protein. I'm actually doing fine on the carbs, which is really heartening. I'm even able to stay on target (under 80g per day) and still have moderate amounts of fruit, and occasional drizzles of honey. This is a good thing. The protein story is not as good. I was really feeling hungry when I was strictly tracking with WW and keeping within my daily points, so I knew something had to be amiss; sure enough, I have not been getting enough protein. Now it's really nice for me to be able to log on and track and see, yeah, I'm still hungry because I'm 10-20 grams short on protein. Let's go have a Tanka bar (by the way, why, why, WHY do these have sugar in the cranberries??? I love these stupid things and I don't have time to go back to making my own pemmican, but it annoys me that they have added sugar; I digress) or some steak or something.

One issue I'm having with all of this is it's been a looonnnng time (and almost 60 pounds :D) since having my body fat tested, so I'm winging it a little on the LBM calculation. Better Half and I have actually been talking about buying a better scale anyway, so I may do some research and see if any of the ones that measure %fat are remotely accurate.

Things are looking up. The scale has already budged down a bit this week, which is awesome, and I'm not seeing as much day-to-day fluctuation as I had been. My calorie percentage breakdown seems to be around 55-60% fat, 15-20% carbs, and 20-25% protein. I did go ahead and have a "cheat" meal last night, enjoyed the hell out of it without going overboard, and am back on track this morning.

Monday, May 09, 2011

I'm settling into a routine

I haven't blogged in a while!

I'm still struggling with sticking with it. I'll go for a week and do just fine, then have some big stupid carbfest meal. Change is hard.

On the other hand, I am really falling into a routine, which is good. Breakfast is boiled eggs (I sprang for one of those countertop egg cooker dealies, and it is AWESOME) with pasture butter, lunch is protein + vegetables (I've been taking the lazy way and eating additive-free rotisserie chicken plus frozen organic vegetables fairly often), I sometimes have a fatty snack in the afternoon (I often just "freebase" the pasture butter), and then dinner is a fancier variant of protein + vegetables. Better Half is liking the dinners, at least, even if I haven't persuaded her to come over to the fat side at lunch or breakfast.

In the past month, I have lost zero pounds, and I know why: I haven't been very serious about it. I haven't been tracking, I've had quite a few "effit" days ("I could make good choices... or... ahh, eff it"). I think the lack of tracking is really killing me. I'm so fed up with the WW tracking system, as they don't show you the macronutrient breakdown. I think I need to go back to using Daily Plate, or maybe switch over to fit tracker. Also, I have not upped my activity level. I'm still doing low intensity daily (walking DogMonster); I really need to add more high intensity workouts. I'm not sure when I'll be able to do that, though, as, through no fault of my own, I pretty seriously bruised my tailbone last week and I'm still in beaucoups pain.

Actually, to be fair, I gained 5 pounds in the week after getting my wisdom teeth out, and I have lost that and a little more; but all that means is I still weigh what I did before the tooth surgery.

I have, however, noticed that my clothes fit differently. My pants are getting looser. So it's possible that I am losing fat / putting on some muscle. This would be a really good thing, I've been really worried that following CW means I'm ditching both fat and muscle, which I'd rather not do. I really need to get my body fat % tested, speaking of.

I still want to do a 30 day challenge, but I'm afraid I have to wait until the school year ends before I start one.

In the next 7 days, I challenge myself to:
-Try tracking on Daily Plate and see how it goes
-See what kind of activity I can handle with the injured butt bone
-Find ways to feel like I'm "splurging" without going off-plan

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful Primal Workout on Saturday

Over the weekend Better Half and I went to a medieval food symposium. It was tucked away in the woods, so I got to get my nature-love on. On Saturday morning, we got in some great outside/exercise time. We walked around, ran around, threw snowballs, and stalked through the woods as quietly as possible. Later, we went on a little hike. Divine!

Running as a fun thing to do is completely novel to me. Even as a kid, I didn't run around much. I was no good at games, so I spent my time doing activities that involved sitting. Lots of sitting. Since losing weight and becoming more active, I've discovered that running is actually a lot of fun. So on Saturday when I came to a big open clearing, I ran around. I was wearing medieval garb at the time, making it extra silly, but it was seriously awesome.

I wish I lived closer to woods. I need more places to play.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The most delicious thing... EVER.

I really, really, REALLY like to make pie. My identity is so completely wrapped up in pie that I named my medieval alter-ego after pie (see my other "blogge" for more on my medieval alter ego). I do not want to give up making pie, and I don't plan to, so as previously promised I have continued my quest to make bacon-pies. Tonight's experiment with the medium was extraordinarily successful:

Sagey Apple-Onion Pie with Bacon Lattice Top

The recipe was dead simple, and the result was unbelievably delicious:

Core and chop 3 apples (I chopped them into approximately 3/4" cubes) and put into a 9" square baking dish. Helpful hint: apple dishes are tastiest with a mix of apple varieties. I had a few to use up from the produce box, so I used a granny smith, a braeburn, and... something yellow with no tag. Chop an onion coarsely and a few sage leaves finely and add to the apples. Mix with hands. Cut 8 strips of bacon in half lengthwise, and weave into a lattice on top of the filling. (Weaving a lattice top is not as hard as it seems -- start in the middle and work out.) Bake at 400°F for 35-45 minutes, until bacon reaches desired crispness.

This would be more fitting in the fall; it would make a great stuffing alternative, I think.