PaleYo

Social Distancing Smoothie

Hope everyone’s social distancing is going well.  This is a quick and easy recipe, and you most likely already have some of these at your house.  Feel free to modify!

I know we probably have freezers full of frozen fruits and veggies, some kind of milk (almond, oat, whatever), and we probably all have a honey bear, too!

This recipe you’ll need 3/4 C. frozen mango, 3/4 C. frozen pineapple, 1/2 C. frozen kale, 2 C. milk of your choice, and 2 TBSP honey.  Put everything into a blender and blend away!

Enjoy!  Stay safe!

“Enjoy the simple things.”

Yummy Sauteed Radishes

I don’t know about you, but I love radishes.  I didn’t like them until I was in my mid to late 20s.  You can do SO MANY things with radishes.  One way I enjoy them, is sauteed.  All it takes is radishes, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and chives!

Chop the radishes in halves or quarters – and heat up some olive oil.  Once that’s heated up, throw in the radishes.  Add your balsamic and salt and pepper…cook until they are softened a little bit.  Probably about 8 minutes or so.  Try to keep them on the crispier side so they maintain their crunch.  Put them on a plate, add your chopped herbs…and ENJOY!  Simple and delicious.

“You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.”

Paleo Social Distancing

The Paleo diet that has been around for decades, has become incredibly popular over the last few years.  In 2013, I was very strict Paleo – and had great results.  I was healthier, my anxiety was down, I lost weight, and just felt really great and energetic.

I think now is a great time for me to commit to getting back into it.  I figured that perhaps, maybe, others are looking for something to occupy their time while social distancing.  This will help keep you get healthy, and if you don’t know how to cook – following this diet is a great way to learn!  The great thing about Paleo, is that it’s actually pretty simple, once you get the basics down.

The food pyramid for Paleo is an inverted version of the one that is usually recommended.  The majority of your daily caloric intake is from meat, eggs, and seafood.  That’s followed by fats from plan foods, fruits and vegetables, and then nuts and seeds.  It’s a high protein, low carb diet.  So now that everyone is stuck inside, you’re probably doing a lot of eating and snacking – mostly out of boredom.  If you start to eat Paleo, the meals and snacks will help you feel fuller faster and longer.  When you cut out the sugars and gluten, you also will feel less sluggish, but it may take a few days, I promise.

The Paleo diet consists of 2 parts – I think the major part that anyone needs to focus on is the half where you eliminate foods.  The foods that get eliminated are responsible for slowing your metabolism, welcome problems with your blood sugar and fat storage, and also, slow digestion.  On the list of eliminated foods – processed foods, alcohol, grains, legumes, and sugar.  I know that this sounds scary, considering we are stuck in our houses for a few weeks, but I promise if you go the Paleo way, you’ll have time to enjoy other things.  You can even order some really great Paleo books off Amazon and get some research done.  You won’t be tempted to get half price appetizers at Applebee’s or late night Dairy Queen, because most of those places aren’t open.  Now if it seems steep to give up all those things at once, try doing them one at a time.  Personally, I just did it all at once, and then my time was preoccupied with doing research and finding recipes to follow – and I learned how to cook.  It was tedious at first, and it took a long time, but now, it’s second nature when I actually do stick to it.

So first let’s talk about what’s not allowed.  Number one – processed foods.  This includes fast food, frozen meals, and store bought treats.  Resist the urge.  Next is alcohol.  Cavemen didn’t have it, plus it’s empty calories and way too much sugar.  The lack of nutritional value makes this a big NO.  Okay, I know you’re probably cursing me out right now…but try it for at least 30 days.  After the 30 days, you can try to introduce “paleo approved” alcohol, like ciders.  Anything that includes grains – big NO.  Grains are agricultural products, and this is embarking on a pre-agricultural diet.  Next up, legumes…such as, beans, peas, soy – agricultural – off limits.  Biggest one, SUGAR.  The Paleo diet, if adhered to, can have a big impact on lowering blood sugar levels, and decrease your risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Don’t use artificial sweeteners either.  If you must, in moderation, you can use real maple syrup and honey.

It sounds like a lot, but once you adjust, it really turns out to not be so bad.

You’re probably thinking, “what else could possibly be left to eat?”  Well the answer is…a lot.  Let’s start with meat, eggs, and seafood.  That category alone has a lot of stuff.  When picking these foods, the only criteria is high quality.  Next is fats from plant sources.  Olive oil and avocados are high on the list.  Grass-fed butter is next.  Yes, it’s dairy, but in moderation, could provide some health benefits.  All nuts are allowed, with the exception of peanuts  Peanuts are a legume.  You can have fruits and veggies, but you should only have sweet potatoes in moderation.  White potatoes are a no go because they actually cause digestive issues.

The paleo diet works, as long as you adhere to the rules for at least 30 days (that will show you how good it makes you feel).  This is a quick breakdown, but if you check my older blogs, I go more in depth.

“Just because you are struggling, does not mean you are failing.”

 

 

 

Paleo Toast Recipe

Okay, so I am working on getting a meal plan together.  I have been gathering and organizing my old recipes and came across a good one.

If you follow a paleo lifestyle, you will appreciate this recipe for toast.

3 C. almond flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda (Trader Joe’s has a good one)
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 T honey
3/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar

butter or coconut oil to grease pan

-heat oven to 300 degrees
-mix dry ingredients in a bowl
-in a separate bowl, whisk eggs then add honey and apple cider vinegar – whisk
-add wet ingredients
-mix well
-scrape batter into a well greased loaf pan
-45 minutes or until golden brown

If you make this, let me know what you think!

“It’s a good day to be happy.”

Importance of Taking Care of You

Some of my posts have not been paleo related – but I promise you, I will try to make it worth your time.

Life can be very busy.  Some days you go non-stop with a million things to do, and on the days you think you have nothing – something always comes up.  I know I tend to spread myself too thin.  I plan too many things, I make too many promises, and I try to get as much done as possible.  Like I said in my previous post, part of me likes to stay busy to distract my mind, and part of me wishes I knew how to just relax.

I was always trying to fix everything and everyone.  Any situation I heard about, I went into action – I had ideas, plans, fixes…I knew it all (or so I thought).  Trust me, my heart was in the right place, not sure about my head though.  I helped a lot of people and often sat and wondered where my help was when I needed it.  I always learned to do things for myself and to deal with any situation by myself.  I buried a lot of emotions.  I smiled around everyone, no matter how much I was hurting on the inside.

I held everything in, and it presented itself as physically sickness.  I had pains that I couldn’t figure out where they came from, I was constantly at the doctor taking antibiotics, my digestive system took a beating, my muscles ached from the physicality of holding the emotions in.  My body was tense, and no amount of stretching or working out would help me feel better.  I wish I knew sooner that my physical symptoms were caused so much by stress and anxiety – and overselling myself.

All of the stress that I was experiencing made me fall off the paleo wagon – it made me feel like I wasn’t worth it.  I felt like nobody cared about me, so why should I care about myself.  I started to eat things that made me happy (pizza, cookies, candy, bread, pasta).  I ate food that made me feel emotions.  I ate food so I didn’t feel empty.  I ate myself into sadness and self loathing.  Before I knew it, I was gaining weight.  I started to not fit in my clothes.  I felt like my world was caving in on me.  Not only was I physically being affected – I was projecting.  It wasn’t fair to anyone around me.

So I made a decision to start going to therapy.  I was open to the idea that it was worth a shot.  I didn’t know if it was going to help, but I needed to do something.  I owed it to myself.  I have learned so many things so far.  I see that fixing and helping myself, allows me to help others – in a more effective, energy saving sort of way.  I started to find the root of the symptoms I was having.  I was learning ways to face emotions and cope, instead of just pushing them down.  I haven’t been cured of anything, and I might not ever be “cured” and free from all the demons I face – but I am learning how to be a better person and control the things that I can control.  I will not let emotions defeat me.  I am strong.

For the first time in months, I can honestly say I am feeling better and more “normal”.  I’m also focusing on a diet that is more paleo again (see…paleo post).  I feel comfortable in my own skin and with my own thoughts.  And eating the right food helps us feel better, too!

It is so important to take care of yourself, first and foremost.  You have to love yourself and you have to forgive yourself.  The journey to get to this point hasn’t been easy, but I read somewhere that if something doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.  I still have some work to do, but it’s a process.  Progress not perfection.  Spend the time to take care of you.  You are worth it.

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”

Overnight Shift and My Health

A re-cap of where I have been…in case you were wondering.  I have been keeping busy with work, I got a puppy who doesn’t like my kitten, my car’s have been in and out of the shop, I got a couple new tattoos, my dad’s sick, and I hate the holidays.  But here we are…or rather, here I am.  In this post, I want to talk about my overnight shift and the effect I believe it had on my physical and mental health, and most importantly, how I am healing.

On August 15, 2019, I started a new assignment at work with normal hours.  Yes folks, it is true…I finally got off the overnight shift!  The National Sleep Foundation says that, “Long term night shift work is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, as well as metabolic problems, heart disease, ulcers, gastrointestinal problems and obesity.”  And from experience, I believe all of that to be true, as well a negative effect on my mental health.  I spent 12 years on an overnight shift, and over the past year, it really started wearing on me.  I wanted off of it, and I couldn’t figure out how to do it.  But after gaining a little bit of confidence and realizing I really needed to do this for myself, I spoke with people and made it happen.  During my time on the overnight shift (2-10am), I had gained weight, I was always sick, and just generally felt terrible.  My self esteem was also at it’s ultimate lowest.  I also felt really overwhelmed with life and wasn’t sure how to deal with things anymore.  Now while all of this is not completely the overnight’s fault, some of it contributed.

Over the last few months, my stomach/esophagus issues have presented themselves again (same issues I had a few years ago).  I was put on some acid reducers for awhile and they were helping, but not.  I was experiencing anxiety symptoms every time I had to eat.  My meals were getting smaller and less frequent and I was starting to freak out.  My gastroenterologist had scheduled an endoscopy for me – which was done last Friday.  Good news…hiatal hernia is gone, stomach looked good, and Grade A esophagitis.  So he’s keeping me on the acid blockers for now, but said my problem is most likely just my anxiety and that I should try to talk to someone and learn how to cope with it (which I am already doing).  Every day is a little bit better than the day before, unless my anxiety acts up – which I’m learning how to get through it much better.  I was getting this feeling like there was something squeezing my throat…I believe it’s called Globus Sensation.  If you don’t know what it is, Google it.  The most important thing I read is that it can come from stress and anxiety.

I have had a lot of stress and anxiety over the last few months, but it is starting to subside.  All the hard stuff at work is finally wrapping up, but my dad is back in the hospital.  I am trying to occupy my mind and time with things that distract me.  I clean obsessively, I organize and then organize again, I start art projects, I re-arrange furniture, I throw out stuff…I do anything that will keep my mind busy.  I don’t mind do any of this stuff, but I see this as a better option then perhaps having a drink.

Now between a shift change, and eating less – 1. because I’m not up all night eating at work and 2. my stomach wasn’t happy with eating for awhile – I lost about 40 lbs. since August.  The doctor understood this, but still said he felt concerned and said he wanted to do a stomach emptying study on me – but I declined.  I would rather not expose myself to the radioactive food.

So the eating has gotten easier than it was and I’m not losing weight as fast as I was.  I’m okay with that.  It will go down, I just want to make sure I’m healthy.  I’m off for awhile in December so I will be doing the Peloton often.  Currently, I’m still working normal hours, getting sunlight, taking the pup on mini hikes…and therapy has been amazing.  I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to an overnight shift.  The way I feel being off it is so wonderful.  I get to sleep.  When I drive, I feel alert.  I don’t have to fight to stay awake at work.  It has only been 3 months since I have been off of it, so I think by my birthday in March I will feel 10 times better, and hopefully be a few more pounds lighter.

I was eating anything that I could get down comfortably, but now I am focusing on a high protein, low fat diet.  I have to focus on eating things that won’t make my acid reflux or esophagitis worse.  It’s paleo-esque.  I am working on getting back to Paleo.  One day at a time.

If anyone has a similar story, please share it.

“Self- care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”
-Katie Reed-

 

Eventually it will stick.

Today is my first day…again…for the 25th time (but really, I lost count).  I figure that one of these first times, it will stick – and I’ll be where I was the first time around.

Been working on getting my mindset back there.  I found some old notebooks about my paleo journey, from the beginning, and it was motivating.  At least it was motivating yesterday when I was reading them.  I got my food list, and went shopping.  I started for breakfast this morning.  I got through it.  Trying not to want to eat anything else though.  It’s a struggle, to be honest. I’m using the original book I used the first time – 30 day paleo.  First meal – Garlicky Brussel Sprouts with Poached Eggs (I fried them because I’m terrible at making poached eggs).

Lunch will be a cobb salad, and then the infamous Italian Wedding Ball Soup…I want to say ‘ugh’, but instead I will say, ‘Yay!’.  The power of positivity, right?  Really, I just want to stick with it this time!

If anyone has any words of advice or encouragement – I’m all ears.

“A good half of the art of living is resilience.”

My Own Battle

I wasn’t sure if I should write this post, but perhaps, it can help someone.

This is about mental illness – if you think you need to talk to someone, you should.  I didn’t believe it was ever really necessary, until I needed it myself.

A few months ago, I made the decision to talk to a therapist.  I didn’t tell many people about it.  I really needed it at the time though, but I think I may have held back – to be honest.  The therapist diagnosed me (I guess that’s the way to say it) with moderate anxiety and severe depression.  She was holistic in her practice, so she gave me some exercises and things to do to work through it, without medication.  I did most of the stuff.  I felt better.  I was controlling my emotions – they weren’t taking control of me – I quit talking to the therapist.  Most likely, that wasn’t the best choice, but it was my choice.

I think about when I was doing paleo, and how I felt mentally and emotionally stable.  I was eating great, I was working out – I really took care of myself.  Now I’m wondering if I had stayed strict, would I be in a better mental and physical state – the answer would be mostly yes, but also, no.  I certainly think it would help, so right now, that is what I’m working on.

I think I have to go through a “detox” stage before I start to feel the benefits of eating the right way (at least for my body).  The whole struggle is to just keep myself moving forward.  Everyday is progress.

Lots of research points to the link between sugar and depression.  So if you ditch the sugar, you’re better off, especially if you suffer from depression and anxiety.  Easier said that done, but if you put your mind to it, you can get it done.

“A little progress everyday, adds up to big results.”

Taking that first step…again.

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to
decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”

 

I feel like I have written this post about a dozen times…(one of these days it will stick).

The day I moved, I broke my years long paleo streak and ate pizza.  It wasn’t as good as I was expecting…but it was convenient.  After that, paleo was over – I tried, but stress and bad time management allowed the convenience of terrible, unhealthy food.  It just became habit, and I started to find comfort in that bad food again.  Everything I didn’t have for years, I wanted – and I got it.  All of the progress I made when I was strictly paleo – was gone.

I beat myself up over it, every day.  I shouldn’t, but I do.  I’m struggling to get back on track.  I really want to see results – and it’s taking awhile.  But every time I feel like I’m making progress, I’ll get on the scale or I’ll try on an old shirt…and I’m just like wow, okay.  I’m probably too hard on myself.  I know that most of you would say, just keep going – and as long as I’m working for it – it’s progress.

It’s hard.  When I beat myself up over it, I break myself down.  I feel defeated.  For sure.

It’s been a week of paleo meals though – and I’ve been riding the Peloton bike everyday since January 4, minus 2 days.  I know that I need to take it one day at a time, but I just wish I felt better.  I always said that your support system is probably a big part of our successes, but if people don’t know we need the support – they probably won’t give it.

Going back to when I said getting a pizza was convenient – I can only blame myself for that.  The laziness and blatant disregard for all the progress I made and what I had overcome – led to my failure.

So on the bright side, I have been preparing meals.  I am using recipes from Nom Nom Paleo – Ready or Not.  They are easy to follow, but I really like them because they are different.  So if you’re just getting into paleo, this is a good book to use.  There are so many books out there to choose from (I probably have a good amount of them!).

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
-unknown-

 

 

The Hardest Days Mean the Most

Yesterday was day 2 of this round (smh).  It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but it wasn’t easy.  I had my breakfast/lunch prepped – so that definitely made it easier.  I’m feeling less foggy, so I am trying to use that as motivation.  I keep thinking about how paleo fixed a lot of physical and mental things I had going on the first time I did it, and I just need to get back to that place.

So for dinner – beef and bok choy stir fry.  You need flank steak, bok choy, mushrooms, coconut oil, and garlic.  You have to marinate the flank steak.  Mix coconut aminos, tapioca flour, and black pepper.  Then you make a sauce with more coconut aminos, honey, ground ginger, and more tapioca flour.  Cook the steak in the oil, take it out.  Then put the bok choy, mushrooms, and garlic.  Add the steak and sauce – mix it up until it thickens.  You can serve it over cauliflower rice.  Pretty good, if you ask me.

Then for today’s breakfast, Cinnamon Vanilla muffins.  Just used coconut flour, baking soda, vanilla extract, honey, coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and cloves.  SO FREAKIN’ GOOD!  And they were pretty filling.

“Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”