Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Detox... My Way

Detox. DUH DUH DUH. 

What is the point of a detox? You hear about people that drink lemonade for like 3 days and lose like 10lbs… but is this healthy? NO! Your poor, poor starving body. I would cry every day without food. I decided to do my own detox – the healthy way. The point of a good detox is to give your digestive system a “break” from all the hard-to-digest foods we put in our bodies and instead fill it with easily digestible pure nutrients that are cleansing and refreshing. I decided to do my own detox using smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to break up your food, releasing nutrition, and a great way to add all kinds of different healthy ingredients to one easy drink. 

Detoxes that don’t provide proper nutrition are just stupid. Not worth the 5lbs of WATER WEIGHT you are losing. Because that’s what it is. Water weight. When you are working out often or working out hard (like my bootcamp Saturday… I literally fell onto the floor inside my door and didn't move for a very, very long time) you are setting yourself up for disaster by depriving your body of protein like most detoxes. I have worked super hard for the little muscle that I have and I am not willing to lose it! So you will see that I used whey protein in my detox. This isn’t necessarily easy for the body to digest but will help keep you full and energized and is ESSENTIAL to your diet no matter what. 

Plan to spend a few hours on a Sunday grocery shopping and prepping your food for the next 3 days. I had many of the ingredients already in my fridge so this detox cost me about $50. The Aloe, protein, Olive oil, chia, flax and psyllium are the most expensive ingredients. Everything else is cheap. So if you already have those you are in luck!! I bought everything for this detox at Sprouts. One stop! 

Don’t be scared by how many ingredients are on the list. It’s not that bad!! I’m sure you have some of the ingredients already. You should also note that I am not a fan of using any kind of frozen fruits and vegetables. I would rather use fresh things that are in season.  Frozen fruits and vegetables usually are blanched in hot water before freezing (this means they lose some of their nutrients). Look at the vitamin contents on the back of the packages of the frozen food you buy. You will be surprised at how little it really is. 

If you don't want to do my detox, here are the most important ingredients to include in a detox: cayenne pepper, ginger, tumeric, fennel, aloe, lemon, grapefruit. I added fruits and veggies that I know have cleansing properties as well. 

Sunday Preparation: 
1. Peel and freeze 3 bananas  
2. Make detox soup (recipe below) 
3. Put smoothie packets together (recipes below) – basically, take a medium size ziplock bag and stuff it with all the ingredients (except main liquids) for each smoothie. 3 packets of your RED smoothie and 3 packets of your GREEN smoothie. The post-workout smoothie can be prepared at home after your workout if you work out. 
4. Pack up Nutribullet, smoothie cups/straws, lemon juice, Orange juice, grapefruit juice, aloe juice and almond milk to take to work or have handy wherever you spend your days! These need to be refrigerated. 

Shopping List: 
3 bananas 
1 container of strawberries
1 container of blackberries
1 pineapple (OR frozen pineapple if you want to save time) 
1 bunch of long-stemmed kale 
1 bag of spinach leaves
2 bags of mixed veggies (I bought broccoli, carrots and cauliflower) 
1 rutabaga 
1 jicama 
1 fennel root 
1 onion
1 bunch green onion
Garlic powder
Onion powder 
Sea salt
Cayenne Pepper 
Olive oil 
1 jar of chopped ginger 
1 jar minced garlic 
1 container of dried figs or prunes (whichever you prefer) 
Flax seeds (small bag)
Chia seeds (small bag) 
Psyllium (small bag) 
Box of green tea 
Box of dandelion root tea 
Vanilla Whey protein – no fake sugars or creepy ingredients 
One little container of lemon juice (or lemons if you want to deal with squeezing them) 
One bottle of pure aloe vera juice 
One carton of unsweetened almond milk 
One carton of pure orange juice 
One carton of pure grapefruit juice 
6-8 cups vegetable broth/stock 
3 packets of MacroLife Naturals Macro Greens 
3 packets of MacroLife Naturals Miracle Reds 

Detox Soup: 
1. Use 1 large pot and heat your broth/stock 
2. Chop your rutabaga, fennel, jicama, green onion, onion and put in soup once hot
3. Add 2 bags of veggies to soup 
4. Add a few shakes of turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt and a couple             small pinches of cayenne pepper 
5. Add 2 T. minced garlic 
6. Add  ¼ cup olive oil 
7. Let simmer for maybe 10 minutes. 
8. DO NOT overcook the vegetables since you will be reheating and things get all                   mushy. 
9. Place pot/lid in fridge 
You can use your nutribullet to chop veggies, or I have this little guy that helped so much!! And yes, you can expect the chipped nail polish ALL the time. 

Every day: drink 8oz of grapefruit juice in the morning and drink organic green tea (hot or cold) and TONS of water with lemon – all day er’ry day. Many studies have also shown that the natural acidity of lemon speeds your metabolism by cleansing your kidneys and liver and also helps you sweat out extra toxins. 

Every night: drink dandelion root tea before bed 

Morning Smoothie: Reds All the Way   
o 3-5 strawberries 
o 10 blackberries
o ½ c. almond milk (unsweetened) 
o 2 T. chia seeds 
o 1 individual packet of MacroLife Naturals Miracle Reds 
o 1 scoop vanilla whey protein (not completely Paleo) 
o ½ cup of Crushed ice 
Berries for antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, folate and potassium; almond milk for a little good fat, vitamin E and calcium; chia seeds for intense fiber/ some protein/good fat; vanilla whey for protein boost in morning and 1 packet of MacroLife for an extra boost of extreme added nutrients with the rip of a packet! 

Afternoon smoothie: Greens, Greens, Greens 
o Handful of spinach leaves
o 1 Kale leaf/stem 
o A couple chunks of pineapple (maybe ½ cup?) 
o 1 T. chopped ginger 
o 1 T. psyllium (ground) 
o 1 packet of MacroLife Naturals Macro Greens 
o ½ cup orange juice with pulp 
o 2 oz. of pure aloe vera juice 
o ½ T. lemon juice 
o ½ cup crushed ice
Spinach and Kale both provide Vitamins K, C, A and many antioxidants. Kale also provides sulfur which is a mineral essential for detoxification; ginger is widely recognized for aiding the digestive system and boosting the immune system, psyllium has a ton of fiber to keep things “moving” and help you feel full(9g per 1 T. serving!!), orange juice gives you a big boost of vitamin C and natural sugars for energy, Aloe Vera is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial as well as a laxative and soothing agent for the entire digestive system, lemon detoxifies the entire body providing digestive support/cleansing and helps with fresh, glowing and healthy skin (score!). And pineapple just makes everything taste amazing. 

Post-Workout Smoothie  (Only if you worked out and burned over 500 calories – if you were mostly sedentary during the day, do not drink this smoothie) 
o 1 scoop vanilla whey (or 20-40g protein) 
o ½ large frozen banana 
o 4 dried figs or prunes
o 1 cup almond milk 
o 2 T. flax seeds 
o 1 t. cinnamon 
Bananas include a hefty amount of potassium which is great for post-workout; protein is also essential for post-workout; prunes and figs have fiber and natural laxatives; cinnamon is known to lower cholesterol, help with blood sugar regulation and provides manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Detox soup for dinner. Dandelion tea for dessert. And voila – just like that… for 3 days you are set!  

I lost 4 lbs with this detox even though that wasn't really my goal and I literally am feeling great. I was EXTREMELY satisfied while I did this detox. I was so shocked at how full I was the whole time. I feel like I got to completely start over and I totally recommend this to anyone struggling with carb addictions or just having trouble with a diet!!! No before/after pictures from me… ain’t nobody wanna see that!! 

Thanks for reading and PLEASE let me know how your detox journey is going/went on my Instagram!! 

Follow me on Instagram @itspaleoonthego and remember to thank God for chocolate... after your detox. 


Insecurities and Bad Art

Ever have one of these days?

Last week I had like 3 in a row. It was ruuuulll pathetic. And funny. Because I drew this without thinking while I was on a conference call with an angry woman from Texas and it looks like I'm throwing up cooking utensils. I suck at art. But honestly, who cares if I am still a little chunky? I’m getting there. I am strong and I am healthy because every morning I wake up and ask God to help me be strong and healthy. After so many days at the beginning of this year waking up feeling like I wasn't going to make it, I can't stop thanking God for the healing He has provided. What more could I ask for? It's too easy to spend time complaining about how you will never look good in a two-piece bathing suit or that your arms will always be a little flabby. What you do need, is to be healthy. You owe yourself that. I also want to be clear that that isn't an excuse to say to yourself, "It's ok that I'm 40lbs+ overweight. I workout once a week and I eat vegetables a lot". I've been there too. Telling myself it's ok that I was 40lbs overweight because I ran a half marathon which obviously means I'm healthy (NOT). I was extremely unhealthy, physically and emotionally. So I say with caution, healthy doesn't always mean skinny. We have to be honest with ourselves. The Bible talks about having a "fair estimation of yourself" in Romans 12:3 and this is what I am working on. You are not less than anything God would create but you are not God himself. Find a balance in the truth that you are His and then take great care to preserve that. 
I think some of my crazy insecurity issues snuck up quickly was because last week I  had someone I barely know say, “wow, I thought you were paleo? You can’t eat that!!!” and another person ask me how come I've only lost 2 pounds this month ….While they were stuffing their mouth with Doritos. I'm working on being confident in my choices and not letting negative people get to me.  So I want to define a couple of things for all you new to Paleo or people who have never heard of it. Sidenote: there were like 12 incidents where I couldn’t remember certain words to make sentences this past week at work and I think 78% of people in my office lost confidence in my ability to express thoughts into words, so defining things for you will be interesting. March has been long. Very long with little sleep. 

My last blog post I had stated that you don’t have to be a “Paleo” to eat paleo meals. This time, I want to explain that even though I say I follow the paleo diet, I, along with most other “paleos”, have a 85%/15% rule which was part of the original paleo diet plan created by a doctor. This means that you are paleo 85% of the time and NOT 15% of the time. I give major props to people that can do it 100% of the time but that isn’t realistic for me and isn’t what I want for my life. I'm in this for the long-haul. Which can be overwhelming if you don't let yourself find a balance. 

This is real. I make mistakes. I forget to do food prep and then cheat because its convenient. Or someone throws out my smoothie ingredients in the fridge at work. Now I’m eating plantain chips and little grape tomatoes for lunch today. Thanks guys, not like I’m bitter or anything.  I’d rather do my best and be able to share honestly with you all than say I'm Superpaleowoman and hide the fact that I eat naughty foods sometimes. There is no point in that. I’m all about the honesty. I’m all about getting HEALTHY and losing weight will come with that. It is coming... just slowly. For me it just takes longer than others who do not deal with the conditions that I have. My metabolism is kind of a joke.

 We have to be able to talk to each other about the struggles and difficulties so we can be failures together sometimes!! I no longer consider myself a failure when I cheat once or twice a week. I consider myself a failure when I binge and feel the need to lie about it. Luckily I haven’t had that in a while. I was sick like a month ago and ate a whole box of ritz crackers and 4 cans of progresso soup over like 3 days. It was pretty terrible. I’m also an emotional eater and seem to be doing better emotionally since paleo.  

I usually stick to gluten-free even when I cheat but sometimes not even that! It’s called enjoying life. I am still not 100% sure if I am gluten-intolerant or not, but I’m in the works of testing that. I know I’m definitely allergic to dairy to some extent. Which is so, so depressing. But then I think about the fact that chocolate isn’t dairy. So, so not depressing!!   

Understand that being on the paleo diet or “living the lifestyle” (a phrase that annoys the crap out of me for some reason) does not mean you never get to eat anything else ever again. Basically you are training your body to crave the right foods so that foods that aren’t good for you can be considered a rarity or treat. If you are expecting me to never eat cheese again, you will be sorely disappointed. Cheese = happiness and I look forward to the glorious day when I can have cheese again. Maybe next week!  This blog is not here for me to show off or tell you how great I eat. I want to give other people inspiration and tips so they can experience the same joy and healing that I have found!!

I will say that since changing my diet a couple months ago and being more radical about paleo (something I used to do crazy strict for a week and then would binge the next), some of my symptoms related to my thyroid disease and PCOS have really been decreasing. I do see little flare ups when I spend a weekend eating a piece of pie on pi day and a s’more at a beach bonfire… not like I did that or anything. Just kidding. I totally did and it was amazeballs. I also ate like 3 containers of grape tomatoes, 2 containers of strawberries, 2 bunches of kale, 3 bell peppers, brussel sprouts, spaghetti squash, all kinds of chicken, turkey and chicken sausage, lots of carrots, chia seed pudding every day and so much more. So if you are going to judge me for not only eating things that are green, please also remember that you don’t see me on a day to day basis.
I 100% understand that by putting my blog out there, I am asking for some sort of accountability. I am begging for it actually! I expect some people to think I'm trying to be perfect and thinking I'm some role model others should look up to. That's just not the purpose of this blog. In fact, I find those blogs extremely frustrating and then I laugh and say "yeah, I really see you in the kitchen all day in that outfit, cooking all that food, looking like that, with your 4 children patiently helping you cook for the big meal for your perfect husband to come home to."  Yesterday I was explaining to my roommate that I ate the pie and I said, "oh well, it doesn't matter" and she said "Yes! It does matter! You have a blog". I loved that. It wasn't a jab... it was a reminder that my decisions matter for myself and matter because I'm putting myself out there on the internet. Just an added little boost to keep working hard so I can keep giving others advice. 

But seriously, look at this pie that my friend Brian made for Pi Day… How could you not eat this? It tasted as good as it looks. He’s single, ladies.

And don't forget to take time every day to thank God for chocolate. Sweet, sweet chocolate. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

You Don't Have to be a "Paleo" to Eat Paleo!

Below you will find practical tips and some yummy things that make Paleo more do-able for someone on the go (Please see: the title of my blog). Please also note that this blog is extra long and it's for people who are wanting to get started and don't know how! 

Raise your hand if you are tired of reading fitness/health blogs that suggest the only way you will be a successful person is if you never eat another carb for the rest of your life and "working out" means 2-3 hours a day at a $200/month gym? *hand raised* For me, this just seems so unrealistic for people who want more out of life than being a gym rat and eating the same food every day (a.k.a. me). I will admit that this lifestyle can be a little addicting. You start to crave a good work out and discovering what else out there tastes amazingly yummy and won't add pounds to your tummy. Ugh I hate rhymes. Don't ever let me say something that stupid again. 

So the whole "Paleo" thing can seem extremely restricting, confusing and frustrating at first - I get that. I tried going Paleo multiple times in the past 2 years to lose weight and only lasted a week or two at best before my favorite $3 Taco Bell meal on the way to class got the best of me. Fast food also meant I could watch more Netflix and spend more time doing my nails - the real important things in life. The thing about Paleo is that you almost have unlimited possibilities, you just have to know a little about them. Remember, you are eating: Fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, healthful oils, spices. There is so much more you can do with this than you think! 

On to the actual point of this post: below you will find some things that could help you make the transition to a more healthy lifestyle. I feel like I need to put some sort of disclaimer that you can't sue me if you don't like lose 20lbs by the end of this post or something dumb like that. Disclaimer: don't sue me; I'm broke and you will get nothing. Please also note that below are tips for making Paleo EASIER when you are on the go. I will post more recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks/desserts in the future. For now, you can check out some good stuff on my Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krazykate8/paleo-diet-recipes/. While you're at it, pin my blog! I have not tired all these recipes but based on my experience making so many paleo meals - these recipes seem pretty legit.  I will say right now that I am still learning and do not know everything there is to know. I just know that I love experimenting with food and I'm feeling better and better the longer I do this. 

Last thing: you have to actually want this for yourself - for your life. No matter how many tips I give you or how many good looking recipes on pinterest you find... you will have to want this for yourself to make it work. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging and who want the best for you too. Spend less time with people who are enablers and constantly remind yourself that you are taking care of what God has given you. 

One more quick thing... don't watch "The Following". Both my roommate and I keep waking up with nightmares and then keep watching it anyways because you just have to know what happens to Kevin Bacon. I hate those shows that reel you in and then damage your emotional well-being with their twisted-ness. 

1. PLAN AHEAD: Even a caveman could do it. Breakfast and lunch are the easiest meals to eat and still comply with your "diet"... your adrenaline and hormones start acting up in the afternoon - making you crave more carbs and fatty things by the time your favorite evening show comes on.  No matter what, ALWAYS pack your breakfast and lunch the night before to take with you to work/school. Giving yourself one option forces you to eat what you already spent time and money on... soon enough you will start to crave these things. Try transforming your breakfasts/lunches first, as a start. This will save you TONS of calories throughout the day. You don't have to be Paleo to eat Paleo meals often. Every little bit counts.

2. THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST. Or the first 5 days. Shocking your system to stop craving bad stuff is the HARDEST part and the stage where most people give up. By day 3-5 you will be grumpy, angry and feeling sorry for yourself. The poor boyfriend had to deal with a week or two of me feeling sorry for myself. Allow yourself to feel like this for a day or two (or 10 for me) and take it out on the treadmill. With Paleo you will be craving bread and refined sugars by day 3. The first two days you will be feeling awesome about yourself. Remember that feeling if you start to go downhill and don't let yourself eat emotionally - go out and do something instead! Yelling at Juan Pablo on the Bachelor is also extremely therapeutic. 

3. "CHEAT" MEALS or "LAME" MEALS. On your first two weeks transitioning into the paleo lifestyle, I encourage you not to eat ANY "Cheat" meals that you are apparently "allowed" on the Paleo website (85% paleo/15% other crap). These are triggers and make you feel you've been "lacking good stuff". Guess what? Fruits and vegetables are carbs. Eat those. If you feel like you are a pretty self-disciplined person- go for it but be careful. Now I use my 15% to eat some gluten-free grains! 

4. MASON JARS AND PYREX = Gold.  Invest in these!!! Spend $50 on some pyrex containers and 2 different sized packages of Mason jars and this will help you immensely - trust me. I use these things for EVERYTHING. I think my roommate gets like 1 shelf of the fridge and pantry after you take out all the stuff in all my containers. Sorry, Ally. When you buy fruits and veggies or cut them up - put them in these containers in the fridge to avoid having to throw stuff away when it goes bad before you can eat it.

5. SHOP IN SMALL QUANTITIES. This can be frustrating at first. If you are used to shopping at Costco for everything and then eating it for the next 3 weeks... this might not work anymore. Eating food that doesn't go bad after 3 weeks is kind of an indicator it's probably not Paleo. You are going to be eating mainly fruits and vegetables and these go bad... if you don't know that then we maybe need to talk more later. So shop in smaller quantities, more often. Plan what you want to make in the next 3-4 days and only buy enough for that. This will take you a little more time than you are used to but it get's easier!  

6. IT'S NOT THAT EXPENSIVE. With all the money you save not buying cookies, bread, crackers, snacks, starbucks, lunch on your lunch break at work every day... you really aren't spending that much more than you were before. You have to think about this when you go grocery shopping - maybe this bill will be a little higher but you are saving money in the long run by avoiding other things. Unless you do Paleo baking - those ingredients start to cost a crap load of money. I'll spend another blog post in the future talking about that.

7. BREAKFASTS: I never wake up early enough to make my breakfast... so I make it the night before and stick it in the fridge to take to work for later. My breakfast ideas: protein shake w/ almond milk/coconut milk, smoothie with almond milk/coconut milk, chia seed pudding, trail mix, hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelets made in advance, muffins made in advance, fruits, coconut yogurt. All of these things have some great nutrients to get your morning started: good carbs, good fats and protein. Yum! 

8. LUNCHES: I pack a variety of little things in my lunches the night before. Instead of eating one huge burrito for lunch, I eat like 5 ziplocks of different things and I get SO FULL by the afternoon. Another good thing about Paleo is that most of the food you are eating (besides fats) is extremely low in calories which means you get to eat more and feel full all the time (Unlike weight watchers or South Beach diet where you want to eat your own arm). For lunches: grape tomatoes, leftovers from last night's dinner, broccoli in a pyrex container with some coconut oil and lemon pepper (MY FAV) to warm up in microwave, slices of nitrate-free, all natural lunch meat (Trader Joes has good ones), hard boiled eggs, fruits, plantain chips (T.J's for the win again), baby carrots, salads, grilled chicken cut and saved in fridge to put on salads, trail mix, Larabars. All these things take two seconds to put into a lunch bag and then take to work the next day. Hardly any prep at all. Love it. 

9. DINNERS: Find meals that look good on Pinterest or start learning how to make some of your favorite meals Paleo! Some of my favorites are recipes from www.Paleomg.com. Juli is hilarious and comes up with very creative and delicious stuff! Try out one of her recipes this week to start. Her Pizza Spaghetti Pie is to die for. Make something in the crockpot on Sunday that you can warm up for a night or two that week. I don't have anyone else I have to cook for besides myself, so I only end up making 2 or 3 big meals a week and eating leftovers. 

10. PALEO SOME OF THE TIME: Doing paleo when you don't have access to a kitchen or fridge/microwave all day can be tough (living at college, certain workplaces, truck driving, living in Africa...idk). Take little steps to eating more whole foods to the best of your ability. Sometimes this is the best you can do! Maybe your cafeteria has a salad bar or buy protein powder to take in a cup to the cafeteria to fill up and make a shake. Eat way more of the vegetable side dishes than the pasta. Fill up on veggies! If you have to go to fast food - get the salads and then just use half the dressing they give you or choose subway or flame broiler. Obviously these things aren't "paleo" but you are making efforts towards a better you and that's all that really matters. There are probably a bazillion Paleo's yelling at me "blasphemy!!!!" right now. Oh well. Sometimes you just gotta do the best you can and take time to thank God for chocolate. 

Speaking of chocolate... go to Sprouts and buy this ASAP. Straight spoon to jar to mouth action. OMG! 

Some favorite easy recipes coming soon!