This blog is going to try and answer the million questions I get about how I manage to afford eating paleo with six kids and "What do you EAT?!" and the even more asked question of "What do your kids eat?!", throw in an occasional "How do you have time to cook three meals a day?" We live a normal and crazy life with a house full of crazy kids, endless laundry, weeds in the garden, and a growing desire to not be satisfied with poor health. I homeschool, garden, Crossfit, eat paleo, have SIX kids, three dogs, lots of chickens, love the Lord, and am trying to honor Him through finding true health both physical and spiritual.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fast Paleo and Banana Fauxmeal

I'm not usually a big recipe girl. I'm lazy, a pretty good "throw it together" cook, and use whatever I have on hand. Unfortunately though that lends itself towards having a lot of the same meals over and over. I think that often moms tend to get into a big food rut. Spaghetti, tacos, soup, etc. week after week. And I think in many ways once you go paleo, and especially in the beginning, it's even worse. You come up with a handful of paleo meals that you actually are fine with eating often without getting sick of them and that's an easy paleo place to be. But what fun is that? I want to try short ribs. And pork belly. And I want almond flour crusted asparagus. And Indian food. And thai food. And more Italian food (Everyday Paleo Italian please hurry up and be released! And she's doing Thai food next I think. YAY~!)

So I'm going to start trying new recipes. UGH. I really don't want to LOL. It's easy to just make roast or meat sauce over green beans. Mexican meat and veggies with premade guacamole I can make and enjoy in my sleep. I have six kids. Trying new recipes is just one more thing to add to my plate. I want to pout and tell myself not to do it. Ugh again. At the same time I want my family to enjoy food. I want my children to leave my home for the world as people who can cook great tasting food for their friends and family. AND on top of it what a waste of the amazing paleo blogs, cookbooks, and paleo recipe sites.

Today I tried a new recipe. It's not a huge intricate dish. In fact it's so simple I'm almost embarrassed to put it as my "tried a new recipe" post. At the same time both my daughter and Cassie and I were raving about how yummy it was and what a treat it would make for those rare breakfast days I think I'll die if I eat another vegetable with my breakfast (yes those days DO happen!). I love kale and can eat it literally every day but once in a while (usually close to a hormonal time of the month) my body says "carbs please". I'm learning (and it's tough I tell ya) not to be afraid of those times and am trying to say "sure body, just this once". I always feel better when I am not afraid of the carbs.

Okay so I got the recipe off the Fast Paleo website. It's a recipe sharing website. Um.... love. Like other recipe sites it has all sorts of categories of food but FastPaleo has a couple awesome different categories as well. One is 21 day Sugar Detox recipes! I plan on doing this soon so I was stoked to see that. It also has a Civilized Caveman recipes. Honestly that man cranks out an endless stream of amazing looking recipes. How cool that the site has a section just for that. Now in theory he might run the site but I don't have any idea if he does. And there's a game section. Going and shooting a moose is definitely paleo. And with a husband who likes to shoot squirrel I need to start reading that section.

Anyways, so onto my anti-climactic recipe HA! "Faux" meal. It's supposed to be oatmealish. I'm not sure if it's oatmealish but it's DElish. I didn't take a picture because I didn't have any nuts, any fruit, etc. to put on it and it just looked like plain ole mush. So I'm going to use her amazing picture and wish I had fresh strawberries when I made mine. But I won't post the recipe so you can run over to Fast Paleo and then to her site.
This recipe is truly the easiest thing you could ever make and BOY how it satisfied the carb monster that was hounding me. SO delicious. And it wouldn't be expensive to make enough for everyone. And if you were to get cheap marked down more black bananas, it could be cheap. I just bought a huge thing of slightly overripe bananas for 29 cents a pound. Cheap. But it's super sweet, soft, warm, yumminess. And honestly with a little dark chocolate crumbled on top? Now THAT would have rocked my socks off. Strawberries and chocolate? Yeah that's the kind of breakfast this hormonal gal needs. No comments and emails about nutrient density with my chocolate banana split breakfast that I'm pining away for now.

The recipe basically has three ingredients and since I forgot baking soda mine was only two ingredients. Nom nom. Here's the Fast Paleo link to the recipe. And to the author's site OurPaleoLife which has amazing recipes too.

The next couple recipes on my Fast Paleo queue are Sweet Potato French Toast and Butterscotch Cookies. Those cookies look so good!

So that's that. Later peeps.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time Saver Tip - Roasting Frozen Veggies

I hear a lot that I must spend forever in the kitchen. I really don't. unless I'm making salmon cakes. Argh that takes a long time. Last night we had rosemary roast and roasted spicy bacon green beans. And let me say it was downright amazing. I just finished up a bowl of it for breakfast with my bulletproof coffee.

The roast I threw in the crockpot the night before so that was cake. When it came time to make the green beans they took about I'll say... 2 minutes. And yes they're frozen. And yes that makes life easier. And yes when they're in season at the farmer's market I will spend more time on green beans. But for now I embrace the frozen green beans. We need to let our kitchen work for us instead of us working hours in it when you have a large crazy family like mine.

Cooking enough green beans for a family of six went like this.....

- Dump two bags of green beans on nice seasoned Pampered Chef cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with bacon grease
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, garlic powder, and salt

*notice that A. I don't worry about them being a single layer, they are piled kind of high. B. How icy and cold they look and C. my little 3yo helper who decided raw frozen green beans with bacon grease on them was delicious. He ate more than just that one. *

Bake in 350 degree over for about 40 minutes.

Eat. Nom nom. Honestly the bacon flavor on the green beans is just delicious! And that little spicy kick? Yum.

So dinner last night took me basically enough time to set up my meat the night before, and throw in a huge batch of green beans. When you throw them in frozen they get somewhere in between steamed and frozen. They start kind of icy so they steam a little and the ones on top get all roasty from the bacon grease and heat.I spent about 5 minutes in the kitchen cooking last night. Tops.

I've done this with frozen broccoli as well and you can't pile it quite as high or the bottom ones get soggier than I prefer. But I will roast some tonight and see how long it took to cook.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Review - Becoming a Supple Leopard

I'll admit before I review this that I've been geeking out pretty badly on all sorts of food and exercise science lately. And I also know most everyone else out there isn't. I didn't think I'd review it here because I assumed it would be a geeky mobility science book to feed the nerd in me. I knew before I started reading this book that I'd love it. BUT I wasn't sure how practical it would be for everyone else in the wide wide world. In fact I know that KStarr can be quite technical in how he presents concepts as well as quite strict in his beliefs about movement so I was pretty sure going into this book that it wouldn't be one I'd recommend to most of my friends. I mean I'm kind of a boring stay-at-home mom with mostly homeschooling stay-at-home mom friends. Giant books about mobility aren't everyone's cup of tea. So I was pretty sure I would only have about three people I'd recommend this to and one is a black belt martial artist stay-at-home mom and another is obsessed with kettlebells. :)

Boy was I wrong! I'm convinced that everyone should own this book even to just keep on the shelf in case of injury. I know so many people with all sorts of health books on the shelf and this one should be sitting up there with them even if you aren't a Crossfitter or aren't into weight lifting at all.

First let's just say this isn't a cheap book. In the era of kindle books we can get a bit turned off by expensive books these days. The price on Amazon has been hovering around $35. But it's a BIG hardback book. And while I can see a day where I might want the info on my iPad I am beyond glad to have the big gorgeous book in my hands. I think of it price-wise as a giant reference book. I will use it basically for the rest of time. But you don't know why yet so this is all babble right?

KStarr (Kelly Starrett) can be intense. He is someone beyond passionate about his love of human movement. So often on his website I found him quite intense. And he's such a force I think I'd be quite nervous in his presence and do the worst squat in the history of squats or forget how to just pick a barbell off the floor properly. I feared I'd feel that way about this book too. But the tone is conversational and down-to-earth while still digging deep into the mechanics of movement.

I'll be honest and say not all of this book will be of interest to everyone I think should own it. Does that make any sense? The first part really gets you excited and explain human movement, why we have pain, how we develop certain injuries, and truly convinces you why you should care about your ability to move and move WELL. It inspired me for sure.

Then it delves into diagnostics. Diagnosing weaknesses in knees or ankles or back flexibility won't matter to everyone. And at the same time it's deep and extensive enough to excite and challenge all who do care whether they are elite athletes or a simple Crossfitting or martial arts mom.                                           

Then it moves into something I didn't expect though I should. A huge part of the front half of the book is devoted to breaking down the steps, correct form, and mistakes/faults of all the basic human movement exercises of anything you can think of from overhead squats to pullups to rowing or kettlebells. Everything! He lists them in progression of how to do and learn them and is a great resources for anyone to have.Take the squat. So it shows you not only the proper form but the common faults and how to fix them! *note, I'm keeping this image and other images small so they can't be read *

Then comes the really good stuff. The next part of the book is why I think everyone should have this on their shelves as a reference book. Everyone. Midwives, moms, elite athletes, older people, younger people, coaches, everyone.

The second half of the book is a reference manual. It's a diagnostic and mobility manual. I'm in love with it right now. It has the body broken into 13 parts. It looks like a book from medical school!

Then each section gets broken down into diagnostic, then different mobility exercises some that use bands, others balls, or foam rollers, and even friends. He tells you how each muscle relates to injuries or pain in your joints and how to work on the mobility in the right places to help alleviate pain in joints. It's a must have. I think we often get aches and pains and just accept them instead of doing everything we can to help heal and prevent them in the future. This book would be great to just pull off the shelf whenever you have any sort of movement pain. Though in theory we should be working on mobility always to prevent aches and pains.

So that's that. I knew I would love the book but didn't expect it to be something for everyone. I can see friends having it sit up there next to their books on herbal medicine or nutrition. It's that kind of book. A must have!

The original book picture is linked to the book but here's another link to the book if you want to buy it. 

I haven't been asked by the author or anyone but ME to review this book. It's one of those books I feel like most everyone I know hasn't even heard of and here I am calling it a must-have. And Lorri, if you're reading this I should say that I think it would really be an amazing resource for you as a teacher of movement!

*my Amazon links do go through my affiliate program and I earn a tiny bit off every purchase made through my blog. I haven't really made anything so far so it's not like it's a lucrative business but I'm out of magnesium and could use some from Amazon LOL. I wanted to be open about that in terms of writing a review*

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cheap Eats - Homemade Coconut Butter

I'll admit to sometimes get a bit down at how expensive some of these amazing paleo recipes seem to be all over the net. 2 cups of almond butter, a whole cup of coconut cream concentrate or coconut butter, etc. etc. Oy it feels impossible sometimes! I have a smaller budget than many with a family this size and am trying to do the impossible like have paleo treats, things like that.

That brings me to my desire to try and learn to make changes to some of the more expensive recipes and make certain things myself.

Which brought me to.... homemade coconut butter.

I've bought coconut butter before. It's not insanely expensive but out of my range for making thing like cookies for my family. I will say it's DELICIOUS. I ate the last jar with just a spoon. It's smooth but a little gritty and sweet without sweetener and just decadent and yummy. It's not crazy expensive and worth it to treat yourself with a jar for nibbling. (pictures are links to buy them if you want to)

And what about this stuff? I'm not an agave fan so I may just make my own this week. But MAN that looks yummy eh?

Basically coconut butter is coconut ground into a smooth butter. I figured it can't be THAT hard to make right? I used this coconut: from Tropical Traditions. I get it from our local co-op and with tax and whatnot it's $10.
I didn't do the food blogger thing and figure exactly how many cups are in my package, etc. to give you the true cost of my homemade coconut butter. If you can forgive me, keep reading, if not, I'll try better next time. All I will say price wise is that I didn't even notice that I took any out of my bag of coconut. So 6 ounces of coconut butter and I didn't even notice that I used coconut. My guess would be I could make a couple of quarts with that $10 bag.

I started with 2 cups of shredded coconut.

It is really as simple as processing in the food processor. Really. That's it! After about 4 minutes I had to scrape down a little. Every couple of minutes after that I scraped it down. After 10 minutes it was smooth and creamy and............. homemade coconut butter!

I ended up with 6 ounces of coconut butter. Warm from the food processor it's smooth and soft.

A while later in our cool house it was solid.

You can stick the jar in warm water to soften it to use in recipes, etc. Tomorrow I'm going to grab some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips at Kroger and try a recipe with the coconut butter.

I'm on a mission to try and figure out the cheapest ways to enjoy treats for the kids. Hope this helps someone!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Paleo Diet and the Christian

This probably will be the only time I address this but time will tell eh? The question is whether eating a paleo lifestyle is compatible with the Christian. You'd be surprised the questions I have been asked and comments I have gotten. I even had someone tell me that using the word paleo "denies the existence of the Creator". Oh yes I was told I was denying the existence of the creator publicly by using it. Today I had an online friend ask me some good-hearted curious questions that I thought I would answer here. And because I'm about to get all heavy and type a super long post I will post this to cheer me up. I have no idea if Kirk Cameron is paleo or not and couldn't seem to find info online about whether he is, but I literally laughed out loud when I found this during my search of Christian paleo clip art. It doesn't offend me instead it cracks me up something fierce so hopefully it doesn't offend you. Now onto more serious pastures.....

Bread is not "Wrong"

First, I want to be clear that I believe wholeheartedly that believing that the current state of our bodies warrants choices to not eat certain foods that were in the Bible does not call those foods "unclean". It does not say they are bad, or go against God's Word. It does not take a spiritual stance that they should be forbidden. It is not a spiritual doctrine to cut these foods for better health.

1 Timothy 1-4 1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,3men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;5for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

People don't go around saying that they are going to eat 10 bags of Cheetos a day because they are thankful for them. If I were starving and the only thing I had to eat was Cheetos, by all means, I would eat that bag with thankfulness. Fortunately I am not currently in a place in my life where I would starve without Cheetos. For my best health in the midst of the Lord providing the means for me to eat a nutrient-rich diet, I don't choose to eat them. Or grains. Or legumes. Or most dairy and right now in fact no dairy. Believing they are not optimal choices for great health does not go against God's Word.

1 Corinthians 23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up."

So while all things are  lawful, they are not all beneficial. That is where I am in my relationship with food. Not all things are beneficial. God's Word is clear that many things are allowed that may not always be best.

Food is only a tool to stay healthy to be able to do God's work here on earth. Being a good steward means doing the best with that body and keep it functioning the best that it can. That is my goal with my exercise, and it is my goal with my food choices. Optimal Health. We often forget that paleo is just as much about what it IS than what it IS NOT. My research has led me to place where I focus on not eating inflammatory foods, and eating only nutrient dense foods. Keep that in mind as I go on.

So why is saying that eating grains, legumes, and modern dairy okay in light of God's Word... and why would I chose as a Christian to not eat things spoken of clearly in the Bible? A few things that I have confronted as I prayed about my health, my eating, and it's relationship to God's Word:

Living in a Sinful World

 Adam and Eve were created to live in eternity with God in the garden. But through their sin, all of creation was cursed. Romans 8:22 "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. 

All of creation was now under the curse. Death was brought to the world. Death came to Adam and Eve as well. But they lived close to 1000 years! Since sin came into the world, life expectancy has steadily dropped, dropping off quickly after the flood.

As we grow farther from the original sin our bodies have been degrading. From a near perfect genetic material in the beginning the current state of genetic degradation we have now with our genes, we have seen a slow and steady onset of disease of everything from cancer to allergies. The wages of sin is death and simply living in a world cursed by sin we have seen a steady onset of death through disease and poor health.  Sinful behavior from gluttony laziness also affects the way our bodies work. Changes in diet such as growing up eating a more processed high carbohydrate diets affect our body's ability to process higher carbohydrate loads. Poor prenatal nutrition greatly affects our children's gene expression, leaving them with damaged genes to pass onto their children. Our cultural norms have eroded the concept of moderation to the point that we have damaged our bodies. And in the end, we just live in a world corrupted by sin, our bodies are not excluded. We are reaping what was sown in the state of our bodies. I do not think I can expect to live the same life as someone who lived in a very different life than my own.

Cultural Changes

The lives of those in Biblical times do not mimic my own. The lives and times of those in Bible times are different than mine. Their struggles with sin are no different, but the way they lived, they way they ate, the health of their bodies, the gut health, their muscle mass, their mobility, everything is very different than mine. God's Word does not contradict history but nor does it ignore it. To refuse to acknowledge that the peoples of Bible times lived in a very specific time and that their lives in regards to food and exercise are different than ours is looking at things through rose colored glasses.

Peoples of the Bible lived lives that look nothing like my own. To walk everywhere, doing manual labor to be able to even just cook, well we can be sure that I do not live that way. I do not raise all my own food, nor work endless hours harvesting food. I do not walk 20 miles to get to town, let alone 100. I do not carry large heavy vessels of water. Muscles on women? Oh yeah in Biblical times there were alright! Their activity level alone is enough to spur me to question whether my food choices should perfectly mimic theirs.

Being raised from birth eating nothing but wild caught fish, all free range animals, fermented foods, no exposure to chemicals, life-long constant exercise and sunshine, all these things affect the state of the bodies of those in Biblical times. To compare the health of our bodies now is almost impossible. Although I can't say I wish I hadn't been raised to eat that way!

Food Quality

There is the obvious discussion about the increasing lack of quality of our food that is going on really everywhere from the late night news to discussions after church. Nutrients in our soil is degrading. Our meats are not free-ranged. Hybridization of grains over time has left us with grains that look nothing like their original forefathers. Pasteurization instead of fermentation leaves us with foods that irritate our stomachs instead of heal them. Highly processed flours. Higher processed sugars lol. Chemicals sprayed on our foods and added to our foods. The list is endless. Even those trying to eat their very best in a modern society don't even begin to rival the quality of food of Bible times.

There is no way this doesn't have an affect on our bodies. We can't put our heads in the sand and pretend that these things don't affect our bodies. I personally have chosen to take a path that questions whether some modern foods are ideal for my body in its current state.


I often hear things like "well what about bread? Jesus called himself the Bread of Life". References to "breaking bread", "bread of life", are not commandments. They are a set of terminology that references history, can be figurative, as well as be literal. I don't see the notion of "breaking bread" as commanding me to break bread but to spend time around the table in fellowship. The Lord's reference to himself as the bread of life was an amazing illustration. Does it mean we are commanded to eat bread? Not in my opinion anyways.

Communion? This one is up for individual interpretation. I don't personally have a problem with eating a bite of bread for communion. I chose to honor the experience of communion over my food choices. But there are also those that through much prayer have decided not to in the paleo world. I admit I would feel much better if it were long-soaked ancient grain bread with live fermented wine instead of a pressed cheap wafer with grape juice, and if they had gluten-free bread I'd eat as well.

Etc., etc. 

People seem to have no problems with the idea of someone being allergic to wheat, legumes, etc. but seem to have an issue with those who believe that not eating them is best for their optimal health. If one has celiac disease that makes them instantly sick when they eat gluten, there seems to be little to no argument amongst Christians that it is totally okay for them say that eating gluten is bad for them. Nowhere do I see negativity amongst Christians over someone with celiac. But the rest of us that choose to align ourselves with the paleo community's science as well as personal experience about the inflammatory nature of grains, legumes, etc. we are met with an onslaught of questions about how we as Christians can support calling something like wheat that God calls good, something not ideal for optimal health in the modern body.

The Word Paleo

In the end I will say this. Paleo is not a verb for me. Paleo is not "eating the way a caveman eats". It is a now recognizable label for my choice to eat non-inflammatory nutrient-dense food. If it were called "pre-ag" for pre-modern-agricultural, Christians wouldn't have much of an issue with it. So when I see you next, ask me how my "pre-ag" diet is going. Or anti-inflammatory diet? Maybe you should ask how my "antinflam" diet is going. Eh pre-ag is cooler. But no one would know what you were talking about until you said "paleo". So paleo it is.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My amazing daughter's amazing box jump!

My amazing beast of a daughter did a 32.5 inch box jump tonight at our box Crossfit Old South. She truly is amazing. Her first major box jump goal is three feet. Mine was jumping on that measly 20" box. I mean we did a crazy metcon tonight and on the third round, she managed 18, count that EIGHTEEN, Bar-facing Burpees on that third round in a minute. I was sucking wind with my 10 in that last minute. She's a beast in the making I tell you what. I'm taking applications for marriage in ten years.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quick and Easy Paleo - Stir Fry with Salmon

Move over horribleness raviolis. In my quest to find an easy "grab frozen food" and run home to make a quick meal quest that I thought was hopeless I have already found one!

Start to finish this meal took me 20 minutes. That's how long it took me to boil water, cook the horribleness raviolis, heat up some canned tomatoes for sauce, and mix. 20 minutes. Tops. And if you don't use a million bags of veggies like I did to feed our large brood, it might even take less time!

Here's the players and general pricing. I know prices vary across the country but Aldi's tend to be pretty close regardless of where you are so I'll give our price without tax to give you a ballpark. Everything was from Aldi's and we won't discuss organic vs. nonorganic at the moment. I have six kids and used a bag of green beans and a half (should have just used both bags), two bags of stir fry, and the whole bag of salmon.

And hey look - brewing kombucha and bottles of kombucha hanging out in the background. And a fish bowl. Notice the low water? The cats climb on my counter EW and drink water from the fish bowl. Poor fish. I have since refilled his bowl and fed him. He's happy now.

Frozen Stir Fry - this stir fry comes with baby corn as well as a packet of sauce and I pick out both. Even my three-year-old say "corn corn! Get it out!" as he's my finder when I pour the bag out. Price: $3.70 Now the stir fry came with sliced water chestnuts in it but I found an old can in the pantry so I threw those in too. Those cost about $0.70 only. Water chestnuts are downright yummy and any excuse to throw a can is a good thing.

Frozen Green Beans - I eat more of these on a daily basis than I care to admit. Price - $1.50 (what a terrible picture!)

Frozen Wild Caught Salmon - these aren't amazing as just a filet to eat with dinner in my opinion but in soup or stir fry or whatnot it is a score being wild caught and cheap cheap.

Sunbutter - Legume free butter that I am growing to love more than ever. Truly it was delicious in this dinner. I had more raves about this batch with sunbutter than I ever have before. Truly. Price - $4 though I only used a couple scoops. I couldn't find the brand I used and forgot to take a picture. This brand is a little more expensive but if you can't find it at the store this is the way to go. Though this has some natural sugar in it. Hmm I wonder if my brand does! I don't think so but now when the rubber meets the road I'm not sure if I looked. Drat. Image is clickable.

Spices and whatnot - ginger powder, apple cider vinegar, honey, fish sauce, sesame oil, salt (and honestly if I hadn't been out of it I would have used coconut aminos instead of salt), garlic powder, and onion powder. Most of these things everyone has laying around in their spice cabinet.

I don't have a recipe to share persay as I didn't use one nor do I think one is needed. Heat up your pan to high heat. The veggies are frozen so they will keep that pan cool for a good while. Throw a little fat in the bottom of a large bottomed pan. I used pastured lard :) Throw the green beans in for about 5 minutes with some salt . They take longer to cook than the rest of the stir fry so they go for about 5 minutes first. Dump your bags of stir fry in. Sprinkle ginger powder, garlic powder, and onion powder on the veggies. Salt to taste. At this point lower to medium high heat if it starts to feel like the pan is a tad hot. No burning the veggies :)

Open all the salmon and throw them in a pan deep enough to cover them with water. Sprinkle a TBSP of ginger and about that of salt in the water. Turn up and simmer until about when the veggies are done cooking. They should be light pink in the middle. Feel free to cut one open and see. Turn off until needed.

Once the veggies are done, Splash in some apple cider vinegar, a few dashes of fish sauce if you have it, few dashes of sesame oil, and a few big dollops of honey. Taste for salt. Those veggies eat a lot of salt and I had to use a lot. But better too little than too much~! Then scoop some sunbutter and stir. The sunbutter makes the sauce stick to all the veggies. Taste!!! Adjust as needed - I'm NO help am I? Next time I will do a recipe I guess. Blech.

Once to taste, throw the salmon in the pot, break it up into bite-sized pieces and mix. Then eat! I didn't take any amazing super fancy pictures but here it what it looked like done. A food blogger I am NOT lol!

The wreckage left behind....

I know this is an epic fail in terms of a recipe but I do feel accomplished that despite not being organic and fancy I made a quick, affordable meal that was paleo, healthy, and delicious. Now to find more....

Next time I make this I will mark down amounts and come back and amend this post I think. What say you?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

50 lb Before and Afters - my story

Oh Lordie I can't believe I am going to do this. I'm going to post my 50 lb before and afters. I should start by saying that I am now 10 MORE lbs down from the after picture. I have put on a fair amount of muscle in that time also so my body is significantly different in just 10 lbs. 50 lbs was a milestone for me though and I thought for the sake of transparency I'll post it.And I'll add my story in for kicks.

As a kid I wasn't ever heavy. I played highly competitive soccer so the endless exercise kept my think enough. In my early twenties I was super active (as we lived somewhere with no electricity and hitchhiked or walked miles into town lol) and got super thin. To thin. I even did okay as I started having babies as I jumped into fad after fad trying to find health. 100% raw food anyone? Juicing anyone? Vegetarian? Endless whole grains? Even then I was okay. I felt pretty healthy because well I was young :) Then my husband got sick. As I attempted to deal with his recovery from a severe drug addiction, I gained weight with a vengeance. I gained 60 lbs in only three months! I destroyed my metabolism, destroyed any proper insulin response I had, destroyed any healthy relationship emotionally and mentally I had with food. I tried to diet on and off through the last few years, Weight Watchers, calorie counting, etc. but all I ended up doing was getting fatter and fatter and hated myself more and more. Diets make you fat. Nuff said about that.

I found myself at a rockin' 245 lbs. As I type this I sit at 191 lbs.

This health journey for me began in October last year (2012). By the recommendation of a friend I read the book "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" by Gary Taubes. That man is amazing! I think anyone starting from a place of eating processed carbs, or even way too many healthy carbs like homemade bread, etc. like I did should read that book. He's not totally paleo or anything but the way he lays out the science of blood sugar and weight gain, it's gold I tell ya. I jumped in with both feet and started going low carb. The weight started melting off. By the end of the year I had lost 25 lbs. I couldn't believe it~!

But I still felt old. My back pain was coming back in full force. I have a malformed vertebra in between my lumbar and sacral part of my back. It has been malformed since birth. I had a bad back injury when I was 12 that left me in physical therapy for months. That injury coupled with my birth defect caused my disk to start to degenerate. A couple of years ago I spent most of a year hardly able to walk. It took my until about noon before my back would loosen up enough to walk. I have six kids. I was scared to death that I'd be in a wheelchair raising my kids. When I got pregnant last the pain subsided due to my Relaxin kicking in and loosening my joints. But last fall, it came back. I was losing weight and yet my back was starting to get worse by the day. And despite low carbing it I still did lots of stevia treats and had sugar, I mean stevia lol, cravings were a tad on the insane side. That's not really what I wanted for long term either. So I started hunting for answers. And I came up..... what for it........ Paleo of course LOL~!

I found the Whole30.

 I read all sorts of amazing claims about the Whole30 and nabbed the Hartwig's amazing book It Starts with Food. I joined the forum and started right away. The Whole30 template has you eating vegetables with EVERY meal and wow was that something! Nutrient dense veggies even with breakfast. Breakfast? And low and behold I found kale was my new favorite breakfast food. Kale! Who knew? But I'll get into W30 food in a different post.

Within a couple of weeks I noticed an amazing thing happening........ My back started to not hurt! What?! Those claims about inflammation going down were true? Believe you me, I'm a skeptic. I didn't really think I would get relief. I had been going to the chiropractor once a week because it was all I could afford. I wished I could go more. Within weeks my chiro told me I didn't need to come but once every two weeks. By the end of my W30 it was three weeks. I read and read and learned about Omega3 and Omega6 ratios. I started trying to eat less nuts and started taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil to up Omega3s. It was a miracle! My back pain was gone. Gone. I started going to Crossfit and was scared to death that deadlifts, weighted squats, pullups, etc. were going to make my back hurt more. I had been scared of exercise since my back pain. I only did isometric exercise since I hurt my back. But low and behold my back pain was gone! My long nagging knee pain was getting better not worse as I squatted. This thing really worked!

And the weight was melting off. I didn't count calories, I didn't restrict myself, I had lots of saturated fats, protein, ate fruit with meals, and weight was melting off. I was feeling vibrant and strong. I was a new woman! I have no gallbladder and my stools were getting better. Loads and loads of fiber and my stools were getting more normal? This whole thing was odd. My body in general was getting healthier right before my eyes. It wasn't weight loss that was driving me feeling better, it was from the inside out! My skin, my hair, my joints, my bowels, everything was feeling better. Why would I ever want to stop?

Then my Whole30 ended. The day after I thought I'd splurge and ate pie. Yes pie. Don't judge me. I ate two pieces of pie. What drove that I don't know. I was feeling amazing and hadn't had any cravings in a couple weeks. Why would I do this? Anyways.... literally the next morning the inflammation in my back was back in full force. I was shocked. Shocked! I had been doing hundreds of squats a week for almost a month and one single air squat that day after the pie wrecked my knee and the inflammation was crazy. I guess I needed that kick in the rear to remind me that I wasn't just making this anti-inflammation thing up. I was a believer through and through now. I went back to total paleo and have been for the last few months since that slip-up.

So 50 lbs. I lost 50 lbs. I'm almost at 60 lbs down now but these pics mattered to me at the time so I'll post them.

I have some observations though. This woman in the befores didn't care. She hated herself. I looked like that day in day out. Terrible bra, slovenly clothes, and hair. She was just someone who had gotten to where she didn't care about herself at all, and I'd venture to say she was disgusted with herself. I am sad for her when I look at the pictures. And look at my shoulders? They were so tilted from my terrible back pain.
Now in the 50# after pics the weight isn't what I see though that's great and all. I see her smile. It's proud and happy. Her shoulders are straight as her back isn't wracked with pain. She shines from her face. She doesn't hate herself. She feels good. She feels strong. Good on her. And look at that squat booty forming. Oh yeah baby.
So there it is. Oy. Pictures.

And the rest of my story will play out here. I've been paleo now for four months. It seems like forever. And it seems like just yesterday I started. Some things are second nature and some things are still a struggle. But I'm muddling through and will muddle through here on this blog. This is my health story.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Doctor Oz and Paleo

So today was the long-anticipated Doctor Oz episode that talked about the "Paleo Diet CRAZE". Yes I watched. What kind of stay-at-home paleo mom would I be if I weren't watching Dr. Oz in the afternoon? (A normal one with concern for true health actually!).

I had watched the episode where he had the amazing Gary Taubes on and it was pretty terrible. Dr. Oz was combative IMO, and he did this terrible week-long low carb thing that was just so preposterous and nothing like a good low-carb diet should be. Low and behold he didn't feel great after and preceded to tell everyone how it's not that great for you. So I was not expecting much. BUT..... I was pleasantly surprised.

I knew they were having good well spoken credible guests on to talk about paleo but hey Gary Taubes  rocks my socks off and Dr. Oz still went at him. But good old Dr. Oz seemed pretty pro-paleo. It left me a tad stunned and still I am wondering what happened. I mean clearly that guy HAS to have some sort of agenda right? How can he go from whole grains will save your life to "paleo can heal health problems!" overnight? Whiplash much? So he seemed to really like the whole concept. And he was very clear that the most preconceptions that people have about it are false. Paleoista did a good job of showing that veggies, good proteins, and good fats aka nutrient rich foods are the core of eating paleo.And Dr. Loren Cordain is so intelligent and well-spoken and came across BEYOND credible. Woot woot.

Now I did have a little pet peeve..... So I'm not a paleo nazi. I'm a normal struggling mom like the rest of the moms out there. But it still rubbed me the wrong way when Paleoista lady started talking about three cheat meals a week. I don't hear anyone in the paleo community saying things like that. Do people eat things that may not be 100% paleo? Sure. Are there occasions where even famous bloggers out there eat a raw organic dairy ice cream with no guilt? Of course. BUT they never say things like "three cheat meals a week is allowed' because eating paleo is not a diet. I wanted to chuck a shoe at the screen when she did that because she threw the entire notion of paleo eating being a way of life and made it sound clearly like a diet. And 75 pounds in 6 months? Oy. Diet wording number 2,992. Not a fan of all that.

And the food was okay but where were braised short ribs? Or something that looked a little less like chicken over salad and more like delicious amazing food that makes everyone salivate? It looked a tad like diet food. Oh well, can't win em all.

The best part were the two ladies with hard-core health issues that had their lives changed through this amazing anti-inflammatory diet we all call paleo. It has changed my life and pain and I am over-the-moon that people are going to go Googling "paleo" to help with their health issues. So many lives are going to be changed simply because Dr. Oz decided he was going to be pro-paleo this time. So good on you Dr. Oz!

They have a little article/write-up on the Dr. Oz site that pretty much sums up how the episode went. Read it here:
Dr. Oz. Paleo Article

The best part of that article thingamajig though is the comments. I am so thrilled for the endless comments of people with inflammation based disorders that are convinced that trying paleo may help them. AMAZING! Ah-mazing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Convenience Paleo Food or lack thereof?

 I had just done the unthinkable that evening. I had thrown three bags of frozen raviolis in a pot for a quick two second meal. My "must be paleo" 13 year old was at a campout and I didn't need dinner for him and I have no problem throwing some kale and eggs in a pan for me, so I had grabbed three bags of horribleness. The entire time I was lamenting about how I just can't get this "I need quick paleo food" thing together. And let's face it. Stay-at-home moms of 6 kids NEED, and I mean need, quick easy dinners. I can't possibly be the only one who screws days up and doesn't have dinner ready when I need dinner ready.  And let's be real here. Most of these women on paleo blogs show the most amazing 10-star meals at every meal and here I am freaking out with my stupid bags of raviolis because I am having a meltdown that I ran out of time getting my son's camping stuff ready and literally have 5 minutes to have a meal made. Yeah, I didn't have short ribs sitting in the crockpot that came from the local butcher shop. I needed a life line.

As they ate the horribleness, my sweet husband watched the kids so I could go for a nice walk. 3 miles with just me, my iPhone, and the most recent episode of the Paleo View. If you haven't listened to these, you are missing out. Combine Sarah's scientific prowess with Stacy's down-to-earth wise cracks and it's just my cup of tea. It has the best of both Kim worlds, sarcasm and science. Be still my heart. Anyways..... click the image to find the podcasts:

I started it and within moments realized this episode was kismut. Wait for it... Paleo convenience foods via a chat with the fab duo from Rich Food Poor Food and Naked Calories. OH and Vitamin D of course! So between convenience food and getting sun I was ready for a good time. Anyways so they ask them about Paleo convenience foods. And sigh.......... big sigh.............. they say the one thing I knew they'd say that I wish they didn't. Basically that there is no amazing frozen food to just grab and throw in a pot like my horribleness raviolis. I literally sighed as I was walking. I almost wanted to scream that I just can't do this! I can't move my family completely to eating this way if I can't have something on days where I am kind of a mom failure in the meal department. They had suggestions like a sous vide and don't get me wrong I wish I had $500 for something like that but I don't. I'll revisit that cool device another day. I had really expected answers. These two moms who have lived this way for years had no answers, and neither did the two authors who scoured the stores looking at nutritional information for their book.

So I'm left without the best answers for paleo convenience foods. Yes, I need to cook extra and freeze it. But alas I needed to do that before paleo. And I need to make sure and always plan ahead so that doesn't happen, but I needed to do that before as well. I need answers on that front. I may never be perfect menu planned mom. And I may never be "I never screw my day up and am super late for life" mom. BUT I also don't want to be "throw a few bags of crappy raviolis" in the pot mom either.

And now the world, aka the no one who knows my blog exists LOL, realizes this isn't the "I have all the answers" blog. It's the "I'm trying to figure this paleo mom thing out" blog. But I'm inspired. I need an arsenal of quick family paleo dinners. An arsenal! Because well... this certainly won't be the last time I need to quickest paleo dinner in the history in the world so my husband and kids don't freak out. My brain is going going going right now with ideas. Those should be coming soon soon soon.

AND there are so much more from that episode of the View. The Vitamin D talk had me reeling and reeling. I need to relisten to it though. I'm not quick enough to gain all that goodness the first time around. It's my new favorite micro-nutrient and need to learn about it more! Until next time folks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It means I got lots of Vitamin D right? Ouch.

Even typing hurts. This is one of those moments where I am almost afraid to type all this out in fear of looking like an idiot but that's never stopped me before so....

So we went family camping with my daughter's American Heritage Girls troop. So when Saturday morning rolled around I brought out the sunscreen. I put it on my kids' faces and arms and necks and sent them off to their activities. I'm a good mom right?

Then.... Mrs. Paleo Crossfit Health-Obsessed Pretending I'm Super Mom had this internal dialogue with herself. And keep in mind that I had already slathered my children down. It went something like this:

"You haven't really been getting outside much and could use the Vitamin D. Those podcasts with those amazing looking paleo women who know everything that you listened to the other day were talking about how you won't get Vit. D if you slather sunscreen on. And all those chemicals all over your skin? Eek. That's so bad for you! Okay so maybe just a little on my face, ears, and back of the neck so I won't get burnt. You know you don't want to have to take Vit. D supplements Kim. Yeah you don't have the money for Vit. D supplements. You definitely know more than most people about how great Vit. D is for you so you need to set an example and not slather that all over yourself. Only those who don't read about Vit. D put sunscreen all over."

It went something like that. Some famous paleo person told you not to do it (though I doubt any of those amazing people said to go get burnt to a crisp), pride, vanity, you will look awesome being too cool for sunscreen. Pride cometh before the fall right? And yeah I look awesome alright. Awe-some.

Well no one has to guess that I'm an idiot and burnt to a crisp head-to-toe. Head. To. Toe. Face, chest, arms, legs, burnt. A picture? Okay off to grab my phone because well the only thing that really interests anyone is a picture of just how sunburned someone is. That's the fun part right?

The irony in it all? All that Vitamin D my body made? Yeah well it's now being devoted to help repair the insane damage to the largest organ in my body that I managed to accomplish. And I get the honor of going to the box and looking like a big sunburned fool to do my WOD.